Blog Chain: What Motivates Me...


This Blog Chain came swinging around quickly again. The lovely Amanda has a turn in asking this round’s topic.

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

I don’t know.

Truly, I don’t know what keeps me going. Like Eric who posted before me, there have been times when I hear about someone getting an agent/book deal where I felt like throwing myself on the floor, crawling into a fetal position, and sucking my thumb profusely (after hugely congratulating the successful author - of course).

I’m still trying to understand what motivates me. The thought of seeing the book in the store? The thrill of reading a stellar review? The chance to do book/blog tours and meet wonderful people who love reading my story? Glancing at the bookshelf and seeing my novel sitting among the likes of Stephen King, Poe, and Gaiman? Cashing the royalty check?

While those things would be great, none keeps me motivated when I hit that writing brick wall. None fills me with the passion to keep my fingers typing on the keyboard no matter how many rejections I receive.

I don’t have any support team to lean on. My family feels it’s just a “phase” I’m going through, like craving a certain type of food until getting sick of it and moving on. Friends see it as a quaint thing, like the exotic creature in the zoo they don’t quite understand but will believe whatever the kiosk says about the critter whenever it rambles off about crit groups and ARCs and query letters.

When I’m feeling good about myself, I write. When I’m feeling down about myself, I write more. Writing is second nature to me, like eating or breathing. My writing expresses who I am. It is my outlet. Whenever I feel like I’m not making any progress, I keep writing knowing that I can only improve upon myself. I suppose my motivation is my passion for this. It’s the only thing I need, I suppose.

Visit Eric’s post on what motivates him. Christine’s answer will appear tomorrow.

16 comments:

  1. Love this post! I KNOW what it's like to have friends and family not exactly understand the writer's journey. Those closest to me know how hard it is. But my friends that aren't familiar with the industry or the day to day agonizing ups and downs just don't get it.

    When I signed with my agent, I told a friend about it and she said, "Oh, cool." Like I'd just looked through the yellow pages, called someone up and said, "Hey! Want to be my agent?" *sigh* But, ultimately I knew what I'd accomplished. And it sounds as if you are very aware of your accomplishments too. Every improvement, every request, every personalized rejection is like climbing Everest. Just keep climbing, Michelle!

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  2. Great post, Michelle. Passion is the ultimate motivator. And as I have discovered, the folks I've met through the blogosphere, they provide great support and are wonderful cheerleaders. Cheering you on!

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  3. I agree that passion for writing has to be the ultimate motivator. And now you've got me and the other Blog Chainers as a support team!

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  4. Kudos to you for such a winning attitude!!! It's hard to keep going when people aren't the most supportive, but that can add fuel to the motivation fire--show 'em the writing bug is here to stay! :D

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  5. I love how you write no matter what...how it is an extension of who you are. I think that is really the key! GREAT POST! And PS - I agree with Sandra - we ARE your support team!!! GO TEAM MICHELLE H!!!!!!!!!

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  6. Beautiful! I agree with the others. One of the most amazing things I've discovered since meeting you all is how freaking fantastic you all are. And you're right, passion is the fuel that stokes the fire!

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  7. Loving the blog chain and the topic! Thanks for your post...and yep yep on passion being the fuel for the fire-you are a living breathing words on the paper writer.

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  8. This is a great post. I'm glad to see people that write even when they're journey is not understood. I have best friends shrug off my few accomplishments because they don't understand! That's why I love this cyber writing community so much. We all get it!

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  9. Thank you everyone! Truly, it wasn't until I started blogging where I discovered so many writers sharing so many similar instances, and what wonderful support we can give to each other. I am SO loving being a part of this Blog Chain and, really, the online writing community in general! I never until now realized that each and every one of us doesn't have to walk the path alone.

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  10. OMG - it's been the same with me. It wasn't until after I got my agent that people stopped rolling their eyes when I talked about wanting to publish a book. I'd never have made it without the support I found from the online writing community!

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  11. "When I’m feeling good about myself, I write. When I’m feeling down about myself, I write more."

    You rock for that. And hasn't the internet been great for writers? We don't have to be lonely, tortured souls in cramped garrets. And we don't have to depend on our immediate physical community to connect with other writers. I have very few local writing contacts. I feel much closer to my online connections who are in similar boats.

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  12. The fact that you write no matter what, is awesome! The fact that you don't let the lack of support get you down is fantastic! I also know what it's like to deal with people who don't get it. You have a terrific attitude!

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  13. Very well said! I think you hit the nail on the head. :D

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  14. When I’m feeling good about myself, I write. When I’m feeling down about myself, I write more.

    I love that line. Great post!

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  15. Wow, I really love your response. You have so much passion about writing. And that's awesome.

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  16. Oh my goodness, wouldn't it be so much easier if writing was just a phase. Like something you'll look back on years from now - as if it were a bad haircut and think - hmmm, what was I thinking? Yeah, not exactly the way it works, but try explaining that to everyone else.

    Great post!

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All comments are welcome. Thanks for stopping by!