There is a bad part of being done NaNo early. That fire that was lit under my butt is now out and it is that much more of a fight to keep going. The good thing for me (if you can call it that) is that I have two short stories that need to be done before the end of the month. That being the case, I’m still writing, albeit somewhat more reluctantly as my daily word count will suggest.
It is still freaking cold here (some wise guy started a rumour that Calgary was the second coldest place on Earth yesterday. It wasn’t but it sure felt like it.) which is sapping my motivation. It’s dark when I leave and when I get home which also doesn’t help either.
But enough of my pity party.
I would like to welcome all of you who are new to the site. It seems that my daily ramblings about my NaNo progress have been attracting interest. Thank you for coming by to read (and sometimes listen) to what I have to say.
I actually had time to read the motivational note today. It was from Lemony Snicket. I’m pretty sure it is intended to be treated with a grain of salt. It essentially says “when things get hard in your writing, you should quit”.
Let me give you my own take on motivation for writing. I’ve been writing on and off since Grade six or seven. I started adult novels when I was five. I love the written word.
I stopped writing when I went to college; there were simply too many things going on. I kept reading, but that was it. Then, things started to get hard in my life. Work was dragging me to depths I’d never visited before. I felt trapped by my job and I didn’t know of any way to get out.
I decided to start writing again hoping (foolishly) that I would be one of the lucky ones to hit it big quickly and escape the trap of my life.
As you can probably guess, it didn’t quite work out that way. But something amazing happened instead. I found my love for writing again.
The first few things I wrote took forever to finish and weren’t very good. I made a LOT of mistakes (i.e. Continuous editing of manuscript, not writing while I waited for replies to my submissions, etc.) but I kept writing and it gradually got better.
Along the way I realized that I wasn’t going to be an overnight sensation, but somehow I decided I was not going to quit. Not ever. My goal was clear: I was going to be a a published author and then I was going to keep being published until I had enough of an income that I can do it full time.
There have been a couple times that I wondered about the sanity of that decision. I had one particular time where my high hopes were dashed and then crushed. I almost quit then, but after a couple days of feeling sorry for myself I started writing again. My conviction actually became stronger.
So how is this motivating?
For those of you who know me or have followed my journey for a while, things have taken a huge turn for the better in the past months. I now have two short stories in print (e-magazines and paper. See the “My Work” section on the site for details). I have sold a third short story and I have an article in the October issue of “Scouting Life”. And I sold my first book.
All of that has happened since May.
Has it been a long haul to get here? Absolutely. Do I think all the work was worth it? Absolutely (and I say that without seeing my book in print yet).
The possibilities seem endless. That taste of success has changed my attitude about my work completely. I now EXPECT to sell everything I write because I now know it is of a quality to allow that to happen. Even if I have to edit and revise, I still know it will happen.
Am I being delusional? Is my ego too big now?
I would like to think I’m being realistic. You will note I haven’t made the claim that I can go full time yet. I hope that will happen one day, but I think it will still be years before that happens. Still, I now know it is a matter of when, not if.
That’s why you need to stick with it. Ignore the bad and keep working towards the good. It will happen if you want it badly enough.
Today’s writing breakdown:
Mid day: 0
Evening: 1536 words
NaNoWriMo total to date: 52,018 words