Monday Motivation, Motivation Monday, Uncategorized

Monday Motivation: You Do You!

Good afternoon, everyone! 🙂

This is just your friendly (and supportive!) reminder that it’s OKAY to write what you want to write.

If you want to write poetry, do it.

If you want to write a werewolf vampire love story, do it.

If you want to write dystopian play, do it.

If you want to write [insert trend here], do it.

See a pattern? Whatever it is that you’re passionate about writing, whatever it is that you can’t wait to get on the page, whatever your project is, YOU DO YOU.

Write what you want to write, regardless of how niche it is or whether or not it’s marketable or if so-and-so is representing/publishing that. Because chances are, if you write what you want to write, you’re more likely to look forward to writing. You’re more likely to finish your project. AND just because it’s niche or unusual or “unmarketable” doesn’t mean it won’t sell. Trends come and go. The market is ALWAYS changing. Who knows where your writing will take you!

Don’t be afraid to stick to what you’re passionate/excited to write about. Realistic, yes. But never afraid. Because when it comes down to it, you’re writing for YOU. And you’re the only one that’s going to finish your project. It won’t ever be as near and dear to anyone else’s heart as it is to yours. So make it worthy of your time, your energy, your sanity, and your love. Make it everything YOU want it to be.

You do you.

And good luck! 🙂

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Monday Motivation, Motivation Monday

Monday Motivation: A Writer’s Journey

Good afternoon, everyone!

I just wanted to take a moment to remind everyone what we need to remember most as writers.

Writing is not a contest. Writing is not a race. It’s not a competition or a game or a thing where there’s only two types of people: winners and losers.

Writing is a journey—a trip, a voyage, or whatever term you prefer most. You are in charge of your journey. Where your writing path takes you is completely up to you. Yes, things happen and sometimes you veer off course. Sometimes you get stuck. Sometimes you go in the wrong direction, even if you thought you were going the right way. Sometimes you take a break. A really really really long break. But ultimately, YOU decide when you’ve reached “the” destination. You determine what that destination is—and if you ever plan on reaching it.

It’s hard to feel like we have control over our “journeys” when there are so many other people involved (especially if you take the traditional route)—publishers, editors, agents, readers, reviewers, critics—the list goes on. It can feel like we have zero control over our own career, that we’re just waiting for other people to make it happen for us, but that’s not true. They open the doors along the way, but we work to get there, and then decide if we want to go through.

But most importantly, every journey is different. Every journey has different obstacles, opportunities, successes, and failures. A writer’s journey is just as unique as the writer. So what if your best friend just sold their debut and you’re still revising a tangled mess? So what if your 40th birthday is around the corner and you still don’t have an agent? It’s YOUR journey. It won’t be like any other writer’s journey. Don’t waste time comparing it to others. Instead, focus on the horizon. Focus on what YOU want out of your journey and work to get there. Write. Revise. Improve.

There are no losers or winners on a writer’s journey. There are only writers. So be bold, be brave, be confident as you chase the horizon. Enjoy your journey, even when it gets hard. Appreciate your own story—your story as a writer. Because you ARE a writer.

And if you ever think you can’t reach your destination, that the horizon is too far away, look back. Look at how far you’ve come and what you’ve accomplished, even if only improvement (which is the most important accomplishment.) You CAN do it, because you have before. So don’t give up! It’s your life. It’s your journey. Embrace it and make the most of it. And most of all, enjoy it.

I’m cheering you on! You’ve got this! 🙂

Need more motivation? Comment below! I’ve got plenty more to go around!

Monday Motivation, Motivation Monday, Uncategorized

Monday Motivation: Agatha Christie

Good morning, everyone!

Today’s post is a week late thanks to some technical difficulties (sorry!) But moving on, let’s talk about the woman who’s books have been printed more than any other author—except for Shakespeare’s works and the Bible—Agatha Christie.

For those of you that don’t know, Agatha Christie was (and is) a very popular mystery writer. She died in 1976, yet her books are still some of the most printed stories to this day. She’s famous in the book world—but she didn’t start out that way.

Christie had a fairly good childhood, up until she was eleven. Her family was wealthy, and she loved books so much, she taught herself to read. But in 1901, her father died, which left her and her family with an uncertain financial future. She’s been quoted saying that her father’s death “marked the end of her childhood.”

Christie was sent away from home to a finishing school, but in 1910 she returned home and spent most of her time traveling with her mother. Between 1910 and 1913, Christie started writing, a spark seemingly ignited after an unknown illness. She wrote several short stories, which were all rejected by magazine publishers at the time, and her first novel, SNOW UPON THE DESERT, was also rejected by several publishers. Her mother’s friend, and writer, sent the manuscript to his agent, who also rejected it but suggested she write another book. She would, but not for a few years.

In 1913, Christie married her first husband, Archibald Christie, an officer in the Royal Flying Corps. While her husband was away fighting in the war, Christie volunteered as a nurse from 1914 to 1918. During that time, she worked on her second novel, THE MYSTERIOUS AFFAIR AT STYLES, starting around 1916. After several rejections from publishers, she was offered a publishing contract by a smaller house, The Bodley Head, on the condition she change the ending. She did, and the book was published in 1920, when she was about 30 years old. It would be the first of many.

In 1926, Christie’s mother died, but things only got worse for the author. Christie’s husband asked her for a divorce later that year, claiming he was in love with another woman. Distraught, she “disappeared” for ten days. She was eventually found in a hotel in Yorkshire where she used a fake name—the name of her husband’s lover. Her disappearance caused quite the uproar, many even going so far as to claim she did it to frame her husband for murder. In 1928, Christie and her husband officially divorced, Christie having full custody of their 9 year old daughter.

In 1930, Christie married Max Mallowan, an archeologist—and they lived happily ever after, until her death in 1976. During their marriage, Christie wrote roughly 60 books, drawing on her own experiences working in a pharmacy during the Second World War as well as her trips with her husband across the world. She was even made Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1971 for her work. That same year, her health began to decline until her death in in 1976, and it’s thought she suffered from dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Christie is rightfully known as the “Queen of Crime.” She practically founded the mystery genre, many of the most well-known tropes coming from her works. More than 2 BILLION copies of her books have been sold and translated into over 100 languages. She’s at the top of the author pyramid—an inspiration to us all. And if Agatha Christie did it, so can you.

She started at the bottom, just like everyone else. Sure, she was well-off financially, but that didn’t get her a free pass into the writing world. She had to work hard to get published, and she got rejected. A lot. And guess what? Rejection is part of the process. EVERYONE gets rejected at some point, most of us in the beginning. So if you’re swimming in the sea of rejection, that’s okay. It’s part of the journey, and every “No” you get—it gets you that much closer to a “YES!”

Or maybe you don’t feel like you’re good enough. Maybe you don’t think you can do it—as a single mom/dad, someone struggling to stay afloat through a separation with their spouse, as a child who has lost a parent—maybe your writing dreams seem impossible.

Well, they’re not. Sometimes it’s hard and sometimes it sucks, but it’s never impossible. As long as you don’t give up. Christie didn’t, and neither should you.

Swim through that sea of rejection or despair or loneliness or self-loathing or wherever you’re at in your writing journey. Fight to get to the other side! Because you CAN. You can reach your goals! You just CAN’T GIVE UP.

I’m cheering you on! I know you can do it!

I believe in YOU! 🙂

Need more motivation? Drop a comment below! I got you covered!

To read more about Agatha Christie’s story, go here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agatha_Christie

Monday Motivation, Motivation Monday, Uncategorized

Monday Motivation: All About Twitter

Good afternoon!

So today’s post (if you haven’t already guessed) is about Twitter.

Which, despite certain people using it that probably shouldn’t be (I won’t name names), it’s a godsend to the writing community—and in more ways then one. If you don’t already know about the helpful greatness that is Twitter, here’s a handy list to clue you in!

  1. Twitter has a great writing community, and is worth joining for that reason alone. I’ve made a lot of writing friends/acquaintances, met beta readers and CP partners, and received a lot of great support from people I haven’t even talked with before. There are so many people willing to help, uplift, and encourage you. You only have to reach out!
  2. There is sooooo much information at your fingertips, thanks to technology, but Twitter is slightly advantageous, especially for those considering the traditional publishing route. There are Literary Agents, editors, and publishers all over Twitter, constantly tweeting helpful tidbits, what they do/don’t want to see in a query, their manuscript wishlists, the deals they make, and the people they sign. TONS of information is out there, just waiting for you to read it.
  3. Twitter. Pitch. Contests. No other social media platform has anything close to these (that I’m aware,) but if you don’t know, there are dozens of opportunities every year to pitch your book on Twitter, and agents/editors request more if they want more. Instead of going to the agents, they come to you! Sort of. It’s also a great way to get your book in front of agents that are closed to unsolicited queries. But each contest has its own rules, so make sure you read them before you start tweeting. Don’t want to hurt your chances 😉
  4. There are other contests announced on Twitter that aren’t technically pitch contests but still get your work in front of agents. For example, the most recent one was #SunvsSnow. The contest wasn’t hosted on Twitter, BUT it was announced by the two awesome hosts that way (and through their blogs, which can be found here: http://www.michelle4laughs.com and here: https://amytruebloodauthor.com.) Those chosen not only got paired with a mentor (a published author) to revise their query and first page, but they also got their revised entries posted on the host’s blogs for a group of agents to make requests! There were a LOT of full and partial requests for a lot of writers, and even the few that didn’t get any still had a sparkly query ready to go! Pitch Wars is another popular contest that doesn’t take place on Twitter, but the announcement, news, etc is available there.
  5. Twitter is the most-used social media platform (and all the bots and duplicate accounts may or may not be why.) As a writer, having a platform will eventually be important—if you want to sell a lot of books, anyway. If selling books isn’t important to you and only writing matters, then you can probably ignore this whole post. But if you do want to sell books, Twitter’s a great way to do that. There are a lot of writers and a lot of readers looking for the next great thing to read. It’s a great way to keep your friends and family updated in your writing journey, and your fans of course, one day.

SO, here are 5 great reasons to sign up for Twitter (or become more active if you haven’t used it in a few years,) if you’re an aspiring author! No, this wasn’t a paid promotion or anything like that. Just speaking from my own experience! I want you guys to succeed!

Now, of course you don’t HAVE to have Twitter to be an author. You don’t have to have social media at all. BUT if you’re wondering how you can increase your chances of success in the publishing world (beyond querying) or if you’re looking for a supportive writing community or if you want to get your name out there in the world of social media and don’t know where to start, consider Twitter. 🙂 And if you already have twitter, hopefully you learned something new!

Good luck every body! I believe in you! 🙂

Monday Motivation, Uncategorized

Monday Motivation: Judy Blume’s Story

Good morning afternoon, everyone!

Time for another author’s story to get you motivated! Today’s post is about Judy Blume.

For those of you who don’t know, Judy Blume is an American writer known for her children’s (including young adult) books, like ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT’S ME MARGARET and TALES OF A FOURTH GRADE NOTHING.

Blume had a pretty average early life. She was born in 1938 and grew up in New Jersey. She married John Blume in 1959 and graduated from New York University in 1961 with a Bachelor’s degree in education. She also had her first child in 1961 and her second in 1963.

When her kids were in preschool, Blume started writing, her first book getting published in 1969 (THE ONE IN THE MIDDLE IS THE GREEN KANGAROO.) So Blume was around 31 when her writing career began, and over the next ten years, she published some of her most well-known titles (including the two mentioned at the start of this post.)

But, as Blume is quoted saying, her life wasn’t all cupcakes. She and her first husband separated in 1975 and divorced in 1976, and she described her first marriage as “suffocating.” She remarried in 1976 to Thomas Kitchens, but they divorced in 1978. She described her second marriage as “a total disaster,” also saying she “cried everyday.”

Eventually though, Blume found love and married George Cooper in 1987.

Around 1995, Blume was diagnosed with cervical cancer, but she had a hysterectomy and survived the disease. In 2012, Blume was diagnosed with breast cancer (her current situation with the disease is unknown.)

While Blume has published several titles over the decades, she remains one of the most challenged writers of the 21st century because of topics such as masturbation, menstruation, and teen sex tackled in her books.

But despite the controversial subjects she writes about, Blume has won over 90 awards in her lifetime and sold over 82 million copies of her books.

So if you’re feeling trapped in a bad relationship or going through a divorce or battling cancer, if your life is hard—nothing close to cupcakes and rainbows, and if you’re at your lowest point and know there’s no way you could ever be a writer—there’s no way you could ever achieve your dreams… Think again.

Judy Blume did it. And if she did it, so can you.

Life gets hard. It has its low points—it always does. But it has its high points, too. Don’t let the low points get you down. Don’t let them stop you from being a writer. Don’t ever give up. You have greatness in you! Show the world!

I believe in you! 🙂

(To read more about Judy Blume’s story, go here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judy_Blume)

Need more motivation? Comment below! I’ve got plenty more to go around!

Monday Motivation, Motivation Monday, Uncategorized

Monday Motivation: Surviving Creativity Burnout

Good morning, everyone!

This post is a week overdue thanks to internet malfunction. But it’s fixed now! Hopefully. So here we go!

So today I want to talk about burnout, how to avoid it, and how to fix it.

I suffered terribly from burnout after the holidays. I didn’t even have time to write, I was so busy running around from one event to the next, and spending time with my family of course. But after all the chaos, I tried to write. I really really tried. And I hated every word I typed so much, I just wanted to give up on the entire project.

Luckily, I have an awesome husband who had something encouraging to say. “Everyone has bad days.” And he’s absolutely right. So I stopped banging my head on the keyboard and took a break from writing for a few days. Eventually, I came back to it, scrapped the horrible 500 words I’d written (because I wanted to take the story on a different path,) and since then, I’ve added another ~8000 words to the manuscript.

My point is, sometimes we hit a rough patch on our creative endeavors. And instead of making things worse by trying to squeeze every last drop of creativity out of us, sometimes it’s best to take a break and refill your creative well. What rejuvenates you? Reading? Sleeping? Painting? Exercising? A night out? A night in? Whatever it is, do it! Word count goals aside. A day or two or three (or how ever many you need) spent refilling your creative well will do more good than trying to write when you’re suffering from burnout.

How do you avoid burnout? Set reasonable goals. Reduce the stress in your life (if that’s even possible). Keep your life balanced—make sure you’re getting enough sleep, exercise, food, etc. Know your limits and plan accordingly.

Burnout isn’t always avoidable. Life happens, and that’s okay. Take the time off you need to recover. Do things that you enjoy—hobbies, READING (especially for you writers!), spending time with family, catching up on sleep, etc. Or any of the things I listed above.

Having a supportive person in you life who understands what you’re going through is helpful, too. It can be anyone! A spouse, a friend, a roommate, a family member, a writing partner, a cat. Whoever that person is, don’t be afraid to confide in them. They can actually help!

At the end of the day, do what’s best for you, your health (mental and physical,) and your future. I want you to succeed! But I don’t want you to fry your brain and totally deplete yourself in the process. It’s not always easy to avoid that, especially considering most of us write in our very limited spare time, but you’ll make more progress giving yourself the time you need to recover from burnout than trying to force yourself to write when you’re suffering from an empty creativity well.

Just remember to hop back up on that horse ASAP if you do take a break. You don’t want to fall out of your writing routine!

Burnout isn’t the ends of things. It’s just a bump in the road. The sooner you recover from it, the sooner you can get back to writing.

Good luck with your writing goals! I believe in you! 🙂

 

 

Monday Motivation, Motivation Monday, Uncategorized

Monday Motivation: Writing Through the Holidays

Good morning everyone!

I know I usually do these posts bi-weekly, but next Monday is Christmas and the one after that is New Year’s Day. Since I’ll be spending time with my family and busy running around, I decided to do next week’s post a week early, and I’ll be back in 2018!

Anyway, for today’s post, I wanted to talk about something a little different. (Just a heads up).

I don’t know about you guys, but I didn’t get a single word written over Thanksgiving week. Not a one. Between running around to family events, to spending time with my little family while my husband had time off, I just couldn’t find the motivation to write. All the food I ate didn’t really help, either. To be frank, I was too busy being lazy to write over Thanksgiving week.

Oh the shame. A whole week without writing. The last time that happened was when I was so sick I thought I was going to die (not really, but it was bad.) Not writing over Thanksgiving put me behind my target goal for NaNo WriMo and my goal to finish my first draft by the end of the year. I still have time, of course. But I’m around 15-20k words away. With the holidays coming up and the parent life to juggle, I can’t imagine hitting that goal. I’m still going to try, but I’m also trying to be reasonable about it so I don’t set myself up for disappointment.

ANYWAY, this month, to avoid the shame of not writing for several days in a row, I’m handling the holidays differently. I’ll still spend time with my family, but I’m not going to let laziness and food comas get the better of me. And if you struggle to write through the holidays for similar reasons and want to be more productive, here are a few different ways to do it:

  1. Start your morning a little earlier than usual, especially if you have time off. Get up, get coffee, and write for an hour or more. You’ll get your writing done, start your day off with a writing high, and still have the rest of the day to spend with your family.
  2. If you prefer to write in the afternoon or evening (because, like me, you’re not a morning person) avoid carb heavy foods right before you write (pasta, bread, cake, etc) and if you can’t for whatever reason, keep your portions SMALL. If you eat a lot of carbs at any point, you’ll get “The Itis.” The Itis makes you sleepy and lazy. Avoid it! Avoid carbs before you write! Personally, I have a Greek yogurt and berry smoothie plus a multivitamin before my writing session. ALL THE ENERGY.
  3. Avoid last minute holiday stress. When you’re stressed, you don’t want to write. You just want to relax, or watch TV, or drink—probably. Get all of your shopping and gift wrapping and anything else you CAN get out of the way while you have plenty of time! Do a little wrapping, cleaning, or whatever every day. That way you can do a little writing every day, too. 🙂
  4. DELEGATE. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! If you’re hosting or cooking, get your family to do their share! I know it’s not easy to ask, but it’s definitely worth it! Instead of doing dishes for the next 32 hours, have someone help you so you have a little time left over to write. Don’t be afraid to be bossy, especially if you’re hosting. It’s your house. You’re the boss!
  5. Get your moment of peace, even if you have to sneak down to Starbucks. Writing when there are fifty people around you being loud and obnoxious is impossible. Writing when one person is being loud and obnoxious is impossible. Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean you can’t have some time to yourself. If you can’t get it at your house or wherever you’re staying, sneak out! Find a place to write and relax. Lie about it if you have to. Get your “me time” in. Trust me, your sanity will thank you.
  6. Don’t feel obligated to see any family member or attend any function you don’t want to. The holidays are supposed to be fun, even if a little stressful. But if your family stresses you out too much, or you and your third cousin hate each other, or whatever, don’t go. You’re not obligated to spend time with your family over Christmas, especially if you don’t get along with them. Do what’s best for you, your stress levels, and your sanity. I know that doesn’t seem writing related, but mental well-being is important for every writer. Low stress and happy brains make it easier to write!
  7.  Lastly, don’t feel guilty if you don’t write over the holidays. It happens. I’ve been there. Life doesn’t always coincide with your writing plans, and that’s okay. Just try and hop back on that writing horse as soon as possible! The sooner you get back at it, the sooner you’ll finish. 😉 But wasting time wallowing in guilt and self-hate won’t get you anywhere. So skip that part (if you can) and write, write, write!

The holiday season is different for everyone. Some of you might have no trouble writing, some of you (like me) are so busy running around like a chicken with their head cut off that you can’t even form a coherent sentence, let alone write one. That’s okay! The holidays are supposed to be an enjoyable time. Do what it takes to enjoy it, even if that means not writing. Some of you might even need a break from writing all year, and that’s okay, too.

But I STRONGLY recommend you write a little every day, even if it’s just one hundred words. For the sake of your sanity, your WIP, and your dreams. Because every word you type gets you that much closer to the finish line.

Enjoy the holidays, everyone! I’ll be back in 2018! 🙂

Need more motivation? Comment below! I’ve got plenty more to go around!

Monday Motivation, Motivation Monday, Uncategorized

Monday Motivation: Stephen King’s Story

Good morning, everyone!

Despite the fact that I only got a few hours of sleep last night (parent life), I still want to spread motivation with everyone and hopefully encourage some of you to tackle that blank page, writer’s block, self-doubt, etc. My brain feels like pudding, so bare with me! I apologize in advance if none of this makes any sense.

Today I wanted to share Stephen King’s story with you. I think it’s safe to say most of us know who he is. He’s been writing for a few decades now, and a lot of his work has been made into movies and TV shows (most recently, The Dark Tower and IT.)

But despite his fame, King started at the bottom just like everybody else. And actually, he started a little lower than most.

When King was two-years-old, his father went out to buy a pack of cigarettes and never came back. This left his mother a single parent of two (King and his older brother, David.) Growing up, King’s mother struggled to provide for her family. They were very poor, but that didn’t stop King from writing. He wrote a variety of things through his teen years, even selling some of his stories to his friends.

1966 through 1970, King studied at the University of Maine where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English. In order to pay for his tuition, he worked a variety of odd jobs, including being a janitor, a gas pump attendant, and a worker at an industrial laundry facility.

After graduating, King married and had a daughter, and it was around that time that his struggle with substance abuse began, which lasted for more than a decade. By the time his family held an intervention in the late 80s, King was an alcoholic and drug addict, and he had been abusing cocaine, marijuana, Xanax, Valium, and other substances. After the intervention, King got help and has been sober ever since.

King had a difficult time believing in himself and his work, especially in the beginning of his career. King’s first novel CARRIE was originally thrown in the trash after just a few pages had been written. But after his wife’s encouragement, he finished it, and it was published shortly after in 1973. He received a $2,500 advance, and the paperback rights would eventually earn over $400,000.

King even wrote a few stories under the pseudonym Richard Bachman. Reportedly, he did so to “test” his writing—to see if Richard Bachman could become just as successful as Stephen King. He did this to ease his fears that his popularity was just an accident, but it was later found out that King was behind the pseudonym.

In 1999, King was hit by a car while he was walking on the side of the road. His injuries were severe and included a collapsed lung, a broken hip, and so many fractures in his right leg that doctors considered amputating it (but they didn’t.) King struggled to write after his accident, and temporarily quit in 2002 due to pain from his injuries and loss of stamina. However, since then he’s stated he does write, just at a much slower pace.

In his lifetime, King has written around 200 short stories, and he’s written and published 54 books which have sold over 350 MILLION copies, many of which were adapted into movies, TV shows, and comic books. He’s won dozens of awards, including the National Book Award and the Hugo Award. He’s been praised for his work and he’s been criticized for it, but without a doubt, King is one of the most famous and most successful writers in the world.

And he did it all despite his limitations in his early life, despite his self-doubt, and despite his struggle with substance abuse.

If your dad abandoned you as a child.
If you grew up with practically nothing as the child of a single mom.
If you had to work your ass off to pay for your college education.
If you doubt your ability to write and every other word you put on that page.
If you’re consumed by alcoholism or substance abuse every waking moment.
If you’ve been in a horrible accident that limits your ability to write.
You can still be a writer.

Despite these limitations, these challenges, these hurdles, you can overcome them.

Just like Stephen King did.

I believe you can do it. I know you can do it. There is greatness in you. It might be hard to see it sometimes, if you ever see it at all, but it’s there. And you may not be in the best place in your life. You might be stuck in the bottom of a bottle, or too poor to feed yourself, or so full of self-doubt you can’t even touch your keyboard. But you can get through it and come out on top, just like Stephen King.

The most important thing? You’ve got to try. You’ve got to work for it.

And the second most important thing? You can’t give up.

Tackle that blank page despite the things holding you back. Write. Write. Write. Edit. Edit. Edit. Show the world what you can do.

And you CAN do it. Don’t let anyone ever tell you differently, especially not that voice of doubt in the back of your mind.

I believe in you, even if you don’t believe in yourself.

GO WRITE! 🙂

Source for post and to read more about King’s story, go here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_King

Need more motivations? Come at me! I’m tired, but I’ve got more to spare! Hopefully it makes sense!

Monday Motivation, Uncategorized

Monday Motivation: Push Through!

Good morning!

I hope everyone that celebrates Thanksgiving had a lovely holiday! 🙂

For today’s motivational post, Thanksgiving has been my inspiration. (I’ll explain a little further down.)

First and foremost, I see a lot of writers all over the internet that claim they have lost their motivation (which is why I started this series.) I even have moments when I’m staring at my screen, fingers ready to type away, but my brain feels like mush and I really really really want to take a nap. Like right now. (Kidding! Sort of.)

Let’s face it. We have days when we’re unmotivated or uninspired or have writer’s block. We have days when we’d rather take a nap or browse reddit or drown our sorrows with pizza and an entire bottle of sparkling grape juice. And when we have those days, we tend to just accept them for what they are.

“I’m feeling unmotivated today. I’ll try again tomorrow.” You might tell yourself.

And I will say NO!

NO NO NO NO NO!

Don’t tell yourself that! It’s a trap!

You’ve heard people say “push through” when you get stuck in the sludge of writer’s block/unmotivation/internet distraction. And you probably think things like:

  • They don’t understand what I’m going through. My brain is LITERALLY PUDDING. I can’t write with a pudding brain.
  • If I write and I’m not motivated it will suck. I know it. I’m 100000000% positive it will be garbage. And garbage belongs in the trash. I’m not wasting my time writing something that will just be thrown out.
  • I’ll push through………. tomorrow.
  • I wrote four and a half words and I hate them and I hate myself and I hate that I’m a terrible writer who doesn’t even take the time to use punctuation and uses run on sentences that would make any English teacher cry and pushing through clearly doesn’t work so why bother where’s my sparkling grape juice (sobs)

Personally, I tend to resort to the first excuse, but I’ve definitely used all of them before.

But guess what? Pushing through is GREAT advice. Seriously. When you’re feeling unmotivated or you have writer’s block or whatever your writing ailment may be, that’s when you REALLY need to push through.

DO IT.

And here’s a helpful analogy to explain why you should do it, brought to you by Grandma’s Thanksgiving Dinner. (Told you.)

Let’s say you’re one your way to Thanksgiving dinner. Grandma’s made your favorite foods (mac and cheese, apple pie, green bean casserole, whatever you like.) And you haven’t eaten breakfast in preparation for this feast. You are SO READY to get your grub on. You even wore pants with an elastic waistband.

You’re driving along, do-do-do-do, when suddenly, the worst thing ever happens.

You hit a pothole, and it eats your tire (because potholes celebrate Thanksgiving, too.)

Now you’re stuck on the side of the road with no spare because you have a Hyundai, and they give you “patch kits” instead of spare tires (speaking from experience) but you can’t patch a tire that has been completely consumed by a hungry pothole.

You’re alone on the road. Everyone else is at their Thanksgiving dinners. Grandma’s apple pie is getting cold. What do you do?

Well, if you handle that situation like you handle writer’s block, you’d sit and wait. Maybe the apple pie would come to you if you waited long enough. Or maybe the car will magically fix itself and you can continue on your merry little way. Or if nothing happens, you can just try again tomorrow.

Now, any person in their right mind would call a tow truck or a friend or do whatever it took to get to Grandma’s house. Because apple pie.

But is eating apple pie a goal in your life? Is it your dream? Is it the one thing you want more than anything? No. Writing is.

So push through writer’s block like you would for apple pie or Black Friday shopping or to get to the movies to see the latest Marvel movie on time. Push through because writing should be more important to you than any of those things.

Because it works. Pushing though will get you where you need to be.

When you force yourself to push through writer’s block, you’ll find the harder you push, the easier it gets, and pretty soon, things are rolling pretty smoothly.

Like pushing a boulder down a hill. If you just stand there, nothing will happen. You’ve got to grit your teeth and put in the effort to get things going. At first, it will be difficult. You’ll want to give up. But don’t. Keep trying. Push through. And if you push hard enough, the words will flow. It will get easier. And next thing you know, the boulder’s rolling down the hill and you’re out of the unmotivated sludge. Ta-da!

Your story isn’t going to write itself. You have to put the work into it. It’s not always easy or fun or good. Sometimes we put a lot of work into things we just throw away, but don’t look at the things you throw out as failure. Look at the finish line. Look how pushing through got you a little closer to the it, even if you don’t end up using what you wrote. And best of all, look at the writer’s block you defeated. That in itself is an accomplishment.

And if you can’t get out of the sludge, that’s okay. Sometimes we need time to think of how to get out. Sometimes we need outside assistance.

BUT don’t give up without trying. TRY to push through. Work for your dream and your goals like you’d work for grandma’s apple pie. REALLY put in some effort to getting out of the sludge. Trust me, it’s in your best interest.

The sooner you really try, the sooner you get out of the sludge, and the sooner you cross the finish line.

And guess what? I’m cheering for you!

YOU GOT THIS! 🙂

Need more motivation? Comment below!

 

Monday Motivation, Motivation Monday, Uncategorized

Monday Motivation: The Art of Goals

Good morning everyone!

In the season of NaNoWriMo, I wanted to talk about the art of goals.

Yes, it is an art.

Because if you don’t have the right goal, you won’t achieve it, and you’ll end up in a cycle of self-loathing and despair.

Technically, this cycle is inevitable. Every writer has been there, or will be there. But if you make the right goals for yourself, you’ll avoid the cycle more often than if you hadn’t.

So, how do you make the right goal? Here’s the secret ingredient: YOU.

You are the biggest part of your goal, and by that I mean you are the only thing standing between your starting point and the finish line.

Or you should be.

If you have other things between the beginning and the end, things you can’t control, you’re going to have a bad time. Because the only thing you have control over is yourself. You can’t control those other things, so who’s to say when or if you’ll achieve your goal?

When you set a goal for yourself, make sure you are solely responsible for achieving that goal. (For best results.)

Don’t come up with goals where you have no control, or you’ll only wind up bitter, disappointed, and hating yourself when you can’t achieve it (by no fault of your own!)

Here are some examples of good goals.

  •  I’m going to write 500 words every day.
  • I’m going to write 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo.
  • I’m going to work harder to network with other writers on social media.
  • I’m going to spend one hour each day writing without checking phone/social media.

These are good goals to make for yourself, because you have ALL the control. The only thing stopping you from achieving them, is YOU.

On the other hand, here are a few examples of bad goals.

  • I’m going to sign with an agent by the end of the year.
  • I’m going traditionally publish my book by May.
  • I’m going to get 100 new followers on twitter every day.
  • My blog will get 50 page views every time I post.

These are bad because you are not in control, not completely. You can do things to influence your goal, but ultimately, other people determine if you will reach it or not.

Now, that’s not to say you can’t have these kind of goals. You can. But what happens in May when your book still isn’t published? Or you still don’t have an agent by the end of the year? Self-loathing, that’s what.

To avoid that, revise those goals. Make them more open ended. Accept that if there is a finish line, it’s not in your control if you reach it. Goals like these:

  • I’m going to get an agent.
  • I’m going to traditionally publish a book.
  • I’m going to get more followers on twitter.
  • I’m going to get more page views on my blog.

Are better to have because they’re open ended. If your goal involves another person(s), they need to be open ended if you want to avoid getting discouraged or self-loathing when you don’t accomplish your “goals.”

Now, if you’re the kind of person that doesn’t get discouraged when you don’t achieve your goals, you can ignore this post.

But I’ve been there. I had a goal of getting an agent in X amount of time, and as more time passed by, I started to feel discouraged. But after thinking about it and restructuring my goal to getting an agent without the time restraint, I felt a lot better. I didn’t feel as pressured, and the self-loathing vanished.

If you find yourself feeling discouraged lately, maybe your goals are your problem! Rework them. Make them into something YOU have control of, or take the restrictive pressure off the ones that involve other people.

Just make sure when you make a goal, it’s not a far stretch. Don’t say, “I’m going to write fifty thousand words today!” But you work two jobs and have a family of 26 to take care of. Be realistic. Know your limits. Factor in reality. But don’t be afraid to push yourself either, just don’t over-do it.

Dream big! But set appropriate goals to get you there without burning out or giving up on the way. Even if it takes a billion steps before you cross the finish line.

I want to see y’all succeed! I love reading success stories on here. It’s motivating and exciting! And it’s just as depressing to read stories of people who’ve lost all motivation.

So think about your goals. Think about what you really want out of your writing career, and do everything YOU can to make it happen.

Good luck everyone! 🙂

(P. S. My brain is mush this morning. Apologies if this doesn’t make any sense. It makes sense in my mushy brain.)

 

Need more motivation? Comment below!