You’ve heard it before. I’ve said it. Every author you’ve ever heard repeats it as if it was a mantra to the writing gods. “Keep Writing.” It really is the best advice you could take. We all know this, but how many people sit down and write every day for as long as they planned the night before? Planning is easy, doing is hard. (Great example: This blog post is due in three days. I’ve been meaning to write it for weeks now.) The mantra is true, but you need to look beyond that. Don’t just say you’re going to write, determine why you’re going to write. What is your motivation to finish that manuscript?
At Superstars, author James A. Owen did a panel on “Drawing out the Dragons.” It was a story of his motivations and how they fueled his career through a world that was decisively against him. The talk was powerful and left the room roaring with energy. I could feel it pulse with the story he told, and in turn, it latched onto my own dreams and motivators and brought them to the front of my mind. I was ready to write and take over the world! I would be the next household name! James said he believed in us, and I believed.
Since the talk, the blaze has died down to the quiet flame that is always burning in my chest. When I sit down, I let that heat flow again and use it to power my writing. When I don’t feel like writing, I have to think back toward these moments that brought on the blaze, and remind myself why I’m doing it. I think of the friends I have that believe in me. I think of friends and family reading my stories. I think of fame and fortune! (I do write fantasy, so it’s pretty easy to imagine this.)
So, keep writing. When you don’t want to write, think back to why you started writing in the first place and what motivates you. Let this ignite your spirit and push you to write, because in the end, no matter how many times someone tells you to keep writing, it’s up to you to actually do so.
Sometimes it can be hard to keep the rejections from dousing the flame, but you’re right. Whatever happens, we have to find the self-determination to get our butts in the chair. Good post. 🙂
Rejections are just little pieces of paper. Just think of them a fuel for the fire!
I have a hardback of Drawing Out The Dragons that I read a bit out of every few weeks. James’ second Meditation book, The Barbizon Diaries, is darker than DOTD, but that also make the triumph more magnificent (http://coppervaleinternational.com/marketplace/the-meditations).
And if you want to feel the energy of hearing James tell those stories again, there’s a recording of his Drawing Out The Dragons presentation from LTUE this year online – http://soundcloud.com/jess-smart-smiley-1/james-a-owen-keynote-address