One of the hardest parts of being a writer is keeping your motivation. Most of us have been there: rejection number 400, another form, an R&R turned down, our fifteeth time on publisher submission, a CP points out all the holes in your story...you name it, we've trudged the same path as a hundred writers before us. So, how exactly do we keep our motivation?
We all know the old adages "write because you can't not", "write for the passion" and "it just takes one yes", but sometimes those feel like just that...adages. So what can you really do to keep your spirits up? Here's what I do:
1) Keep a note of what you're good at, and what you can improve on. I have this on my whiteboard. The more times one skill gets transfered to the "I can do it well" list, the more motivating it is. Baby steps, people.
2) Go into the guts of your book and find the reason you wrote it. What made you think it was cool and fun? What got you excited? Now go and immerse yourself in it, for no other reason than simple enjoyment. I wrote my fantasy because I loved the idea of magic being made by quantum physics (yes, I geeked out), so I go and watch documentaries on science and magic. It really raises my spirits.
3) Go out and ignore writing for a day. Go do something else. I find the longer I sit staring at the computer, the more anxious I become. Go get some oxygen and outside air.
4) Stay OFF social media for a day. Yes, it's amazing to hear of all the good news about agent and publishing success. It'll probably make you feel a bit frustrated and crappy, too, so give yourself a break.
5) Binge on your favorite thing - movies, books, chocolate, hiking...whatever. Just go on, guilt free, and do it.
So, that's it. This is my way to cope and to keep my motivation chugging along. I hope one of these is useful to you! Now go get your happy!!!
Thursday, November 17, 2016
Fiona McLaren is a displaced Scot living on the sunny island of Cyprus. She's an author, scriptwriter, and editor. She works alongside Cornerstones Literary Consultancy U.S., and also takes on freelance editorial work. The most important things in her life are her boys, her family, and her partner...and lots and lots of books! She's represented by the wonderful literary agent Maura Kye-Casella at Don Congdon Associates.