Um . . . You’re the Crazy Ones

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God bless my friends and family who’ve said I should proud of the accomplishment of completing and publishing The Silent PartnerTragically, they have no idea what they’re talking about.

“You should reflect and be proud of yourself.” “It’s such an accomplishment, you should rest awhile.” “You should be so proud of that review!” “Bask in the glory and be proud.” Glory? . . . REST?? . . . Pride? . . . Are you friggin’ kidding me? I’m behind! I’ve got to promote the novel somehow while I conceive my next work! There are more rules to learn, more writers to meet, more stories to tell . . . all while the clock ticks and the publishing world continues to evolve into a new universe while the economy doesn’t get off its ass. It’s madness!

Of course, I’m surrounded by good intentions with spirits around me that are pragmatic, thoughtful, and grounded. In some cases, very loving. However I, like many artists, can be creative, emotionally charged, searching, and inspired. I try to manifest all the aforementioned characteristics, well, most of them . . . and while I don’t know how I’m always doing with this bombardment of conflicts, paradoxes, and mixed emotions, I know when I’m focused on something, it will happen.

I knew once I started the book, I’d finish it. I knew I’d publish it. No matter what. To me, this isn’t amazing at all. I said, “This is what I’m going to do,” and I did it.

You’re already working on your next book? What’s wrong with you?” Some people think that a writer who submerges his or herself into a writing project for YEARS has a serious problem with reality. I think skydiving or racing a car from zero to 60 in 5 seconds is crazy. Coming from a family with 4 siblings, having that many children is crazy.

I’m fortunate to have an amazing array of wonderful people in my life. They’re just the ones who’ve lost their minds. Clearly.

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Staying Motivated

The writer’s world: an often-familiar routine in a controllable environment with simple creature comforts. It’s the place where creativity find its way onto the computer screen. A pleasant frequent aroma allows you to let it all out, and the temperature is cool but not chilly, warm but not tepid. A friendly staff of baristas work there, perhaps. You’re a regular. There’s a table where your stuff stores perfectly. Maybe, you search for a specific chair. If it’s occupied, you keep glancing up at in rising hopes that it will be vacated. After all, that’s your favorite place to write. 

It’s really the small things, isn’t it?

Working on my novel for over 4 1/2 years, I have found multiple ways to stay motivated. As anyone who’s ever attempted writing a novel–let alone completed and published one–knows, there are many tactics we use to keep us on track. As my latest final of all final revisions are being finalized into the next final revision (right!), and the book trailer for The Silent Partner enters its editing phase, I thought of the things I do–and have done–to stay focused. I haven’t let the lovely San Diego lifestyle infect me. I’m no beach monger who has nothing to do but get some rays and accelerate premature melanoma. Rather, I’ve kept forward momentum by spending a lot of time in a coffee shop. (I pay high California taxes to live here WHY?)

Here are ways I recommend to manage staying motivated after you believe you’ve started to write some brilliant prose. (It’s probably not brilliant yet, but if it is, dedication to your craft can hopefully make it that way.)

  1. Find a place you will love to write. You’ll miss the experience of writing. This has worked for me. I’ve missed this when I’ve been on vacation, and I couldn’t wait to get back. Don’t sweat the four bucks for the good coffee if that’s what it takes. The progress is worth it! Or, get a regular coffee, fill it with milk and Splenda, and cut the price in half.
  2. Tell your friends. The good ones will ask about it. And I’ll be damned to be made the fool. Not deliberately or out of laziness, anyway.
  3. Find ways to enjoy the process of getting to the next step. The next chapter. The next revision. The next (or first) step in agent querying. It’s fascinating to watch writers on Twitter motivate each other with a word count. Find success and accomplishment in all steps moving forward.
  4. Meet other writers. In my case, most are better than me at something . . . and I love them for it. Inspires me not to stop.
  5. Don’t stop learning. A little space from your work allows you to breathe new life into yourself, and likely, your writing. If your life becomes enriched, so does your writing.
It’s all about progress. Hopefully this helps you.