Hello, my name is Colette, and I’m a hypocrite. Oh, did you think the title of this post was a misprint? Nope, it’s the beginning of a support-group meeting. I may be the only member, but if you feel that your situation applies, you’re welcome to join.
Now, most of us are hypocrites at some time or another, but my declaration pertains to our theme for this month, motivation in writing. I’m writing this post about motivation, and yet I’ve hardly written two words this entire summer. I keep thinking, when __(blank)__ happens in my life then I’ll make the time to write. Honestly, me telling anyone how to stay motivated right now is just plain hypocrisy. Instead, I’ll tell you some of the stupid, bogus reasons I haven’t been writing and what I’m going to do about it. That is my hypocritical oath, in order to be less of a hypocrite. Maybe, in the process, you’ll discover some of your own roadblocks and get ideas on ways to hurdle them.
- Rejection amid Expectation: Rejection is part of the game. I used to save my rejection letters as symbols of pride. If I was getting rejected then I was writing and submitting which meant I was still improving. However, a while back I had a submission rejected that I had considered a sure thing. All of my fellow writers had given me awesome feedback and I’d even received glowing praise from a well-known author who was related to the project. About the same time, a professional sale I’d made fell through and the publisher didn’t respond to my inquiries. To top it off, my marketing efforts for my current books fell completely flat. It was too much. Rejection I could take, but not from such heights of expectation. I’ve been trying to convince myself ever since, and I’m still working on it, that “success” and/or “rejection” is not the name of MY game. I write because I enjoy it. I hope that as I work on 2 and 3, that I’ll gain more confidence.
- Family/work Obigations: I quit my job so I’d have more time to spend with my ailing mother, to take her to Dr. appointments, and to work on helping a daughter with severe anxiety and another of my children with chronic migraines. My mother is doing much better than she was, my daughter is in school again, driving, and handling her anxiety, and they finally diagnosed my other daughter with a rare condition–chiari malformation. Surgery will be upcoming and should finally give her relief. And yet I still find obligations to fill my time. I have a solution that has worked in the past. I will schedule my writing time and treat it like an appointment. I even put it in my calendar…which, I am doing, right now. Done. Scheduled for Mon, Wed, Fri afternoons, we’ll start with one hour blocks, and go from there. Schedules can have power. At least, I hope so.
- Mental Illness: They say that 1 in 4 people suffer from some form of mental illness such as anxiety and/or depression. I think it may be higher than that and from my experience, the statistics are higher among creative thinkers. I went to a panel on the subject at a conference and was impressed by the number of people who showed up to talk about the issue. It’s as real as any other condition–diabetes, chiari malformation, etc.–and needs to often be treated medically before it can be tackled with cognitive therapy. For me, even though I treat my depression, lately it’s been taking over The oxymoron of depression is that as I need more help, I resist getting that help more and more. Realizing in a moment of clarity that something must be done and then acting on that moment is a challenge. Since it’s after office hours, making that phone call just went on my to-do list. It will happen first thing tomorrow, though. Promise.
I know I’m not alone with some of these challenges, and I know that there are other obstacles for many of you. Please share. I tend to overshare. I know that and sometimes it gets me in trouble, but sometimes I’ve received and/or given help that wouldn’t have otherwise happened. And I’d like to give a special thank you to my writing group. Through all of this, they’ve kept my fingers coming back to the keyboard at least once/week with their constructive criticism and personal dedication. I wish that kind of support for all of us so that we can keep treading water until we start swimming again.
Colette Black lives in the far outskirts of Phoenix, Arizona with her family, 2 dogs, a mischievous cat and the occasional unwanted scorpion. She loves learning new things, vacations, and the color purple. She writes New Adult and Young Adult sci-fi and fantasy novels with kick-butt characters, lots of action, and always a touch of romance. Find her at www.coletteblack.net