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What I’m Writing: On Motivation

June 9, 2012

The thing about writing a book is that is takes a lot of self-confidence.

That might surprise some of you. You’ll say, “But, it’s just writing. And you’re the one writing it. So why would you need to be self-confident to write? I mean, it is just writing?”

Well, my friends. You are sort of right. But when you write with the goal of someday having what you’ve written published, at least for me, there’s all this self-doubt that creeps in. I’ll think to myself, “Why am I doing this? There are a bazillion other writers out there who are so much better at this than I am, and who are telling much better stories, and there’s no reason to waste all this time that I could be spending watching Battlestar Galatctica on writing this stupid story that no one will ever want to acquire.”

Because that is how my evil brain works.

And because of my evil brain, I’ve taken a BIG BIG OH-SO BIG break in writing my current WIP.

But then this past week I got to meet several bloggers and writers who are in town for BEA. Not surprisingly, when I’m around authors and bloggers I all of a sudden want to go back and finish my WIP. Especially when published authors are all like, “I have a full time job, and three sons under the age of 10, and I’m on the School Board, and also I write books.” Because then I’m all, “Ugh. I’m such a failure thinking my life is so busy when my only responsibilities are going to work and paying my bills on time.” I seriously have no excuse for not being able to find time to write compared to those people.

And then at dinner the other night, I started talking about writing with Farrah Penn and Claire Legrand and Liz Vallish. After listening to Claire and Farrah talk about all of their awesomeness, I started lamenting my lack of motivation and how maybe my story sucks and no one would ever buy it. And they asked me what it was about, so I told them about it and how I envisionied it ending.

And guys. They were so supportive and encouraging, and it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. And even if I finish writing this WIP and I think, “You know. I finished. That’s enough.” and move on and write the next book(s) swimming around in my head, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

But! The beautiful part about all of this is that they reminded me that this WIP is still my first draft. It’s okay if it’s really really obscenely shitty. Because that’s the way first drafts are supposed to be! And it’s what the revision process is for! Because no one writes a first draft that is beautiful and shiny and perfect. NO ONE. And if they say they do, they’re a big fat liar. I’ve been putting all this pressure on myself for this to be GREAT and it just isn’t going to be yet. And that is a-okay!

So. I’m glad that I’m motivated again. I just need to find a way to keep the motivation up and not let myself get bogged down by my own evil brain and self-doubt.

Perhaps I’ll make a big glittery poster with motivational words to hang from my inflatable moosehead or something.

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