Blog Chain–Hey. I got your motivation right here! (Um, imagine a Sopranos accent, please. It’s much more powerful that way.)


Amanda started this round of the blog chain with a FANTASTIC question:

What do you do to keep yourself motivated when you feel like you’re not making any progress in your writing career?

Um, yeah, so I’ve asked myself this very question like a MILLION BAZILLION TRIPTILLION times. (Yes, triptillion IS a real number in my world.) Cuz I’m like at the OMG, I’ll never get this manuscript in shape stage.

Like so many others, I queried wwaaaayyyyyy too early. I suppose sometimes it’s the only way to learn–through gettin’ your hands dirty and learnin’ from your mistakes, I mean. Anyway, I’ve finally figured out how to not trip the trigger switch (by that I mean hit “send” on any e-query letter) too early and have allowed myself the pleasure of slowing down, taking my time, and REALLY learning how to write. It by no means guarantees that I’ll ever get pubbed, but it certainly gives me better odds.

So how does slowing down keep motivation high? Lemme s’plain.

When I first started, I was so, um, ridiculously gung ho about slamming out a manuscript and tossing it in the query pool that I charged ahead, full steam (forgive the pun, but really, every spare waking moment was devoted to writing). The sheer momentum of it kept me going. It was quite literally out of my control.

Then I got the R’s. (Big surprise, right? I knew they were coming, but, really? OUCH!) They totally sapped my confidence. I saw others get request after request, multiple offers of representation, contracts, book deals. Whoa! What about me? Did I really suck that bad?

Uh, yeah, I did.

Who the hell would keep going after that? *raises hand*

You know what helped?

I got totally pissed off. I’m serious. I was furious. With myself. I was frustrated that I hadn’t figured “it” out. I was missing something, but I had no idea what it was. The fury revved me up again. But I made it work for me. I enlisted the help of beta readers, QT forum members, “mentors” (people in the biz further along than me), and I KEPT WRITING. I forced myself to listen to the feedback with an open, non-defensive mind (the not getting defensive part is KEY, let me tell you, but I suppose that’s another post altogether, LOL!). No matter how many times I had to “start over,” I saw my technique get more and more refined. I watched my “voice” develop. I learned about “tension” and balancing description with pace.

You wanna talk about motivation? Well, there it is.

Look, I know I’ve got a LONG way to go, but I CAN’T give up now. Cuz I can literally feel myself getting closer. I’m not nearly ready to query again yet, but that doesn’t matter. I’m confident I’ll keep going. I’ll make it. Damn it!

Be sure to check out Bonnie’s post from yesterday in case you missed it and tune into Michelle’s post tomorrow for her take on motivation.

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12 comments on “Blog Chain–Hey. I got your motivation right here! (Um, imagine a Sopranos accent, please. It’s much more powerful that way.)

  1. Sounds like you took the best possible approach to dealing with rejections! I think you’ll be much stronger in the end for that. Kudos to you!

  2. Jana Hutcheson says:

    Great to hear your confidence! Best wishes!

  3. Michelle H. says:

    I did the exact same thing with my first queried book – went gung ho and naive into the e-query pool. And what did I have to show for it? Zero requests.

    There should be an email program for writers that pops up multiple messages the moment we are about to hit the send button. They should read, “Are you really sure you’ve perfected everything? Did you fix those plot holes? Did you have it critiqued? Did you place the story aside for awhile and then reread it with a fresh mind, looking for mistakes you might have missed earlier?”

  4. Jamie Grey says:

    LOL- I did this very same thing. And looking back now, I can see I was nowhere near ready. But I think it actually helped me – now I know what I need to do to make something query-worthy, and I won’t make the same mistake again.

    Good luck – I know you’re going to make it!

  5. Thanks for the vote of confidence, all! It was hard to admit how angry I got, but I’m sure I’m not the only one. At least I didn’t give up. So far, lol! 😉

    Michelle–that idea is fantastic!!!

  6. Christine Fonseca says:

    I love this post! And I, for one, and so so so glad you never gave up. You will make it, I KNOW you will.

  7. Shannon says:

    Woo-hoo! Way to channel your fury. 😀

  8. cole gibsen says:

    Awesome post! Absolutely loved it. Just goes to show how much you and me are alike 😉

  9. I love this post. Anger can be a good motivator as long as it doesn’t become destructive. Sounds like you took it and turned it into something positive.

  10. Heck yeah! What a great way to turn a negative into a positive.

  11. Love “I’ll make it. damn it!” That has been attitude lately as well.

  12. Now that’s the attitude to have!! Good luck with it and keep writing!

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