Tag - Motivation

Tuesday Talks: Motivation Cultivation

TuesdayTalksCCochet180Hello all! Welcome to another Tuesday Talks. Today I'm yammering on about motivation. I consider myself to be very lucky. I have the opportunity to do what I love. I've sacrificed a good deal in order to do that, but I still consider myself very lucky. It should come as no surprise when I say being an author isn't easy, and although I knew that when I started this venture, I really had no idea.

Being an author is more than just writing, it's being part of something bigger. There's a lot more to do than finish that manuscript. The whole process is rather crazy when you think about it. I sit down with an idea, work and work until that idea blossoms and characters become real, a story emerges, type, type, type until it's ready--though to you it never feels ready enough. After the initial readying of your manuscript, with the bouts of "oh-my-god what if they don't like it", comes the putting on your big girl/boy pants, preparing your synopsis after the initial groaning and moaning and "how am I supposed to condense 100k into 5 pages?!!", you survive that, sort out your blurb, general description, feel your heart beating against your chest as you compose your email to the publisher, remember to attach everything--very important, and hit send. Then you wait, wait, wait, oh my god you wait.

ccworkIn the meantime you work on something else. You blog, and tweet, and post to Facebook. you play Candy Crush Saga, and you say "please" every time a new email enters your inbox, and you wait some more. You try not to let it get to you that everyone seems to write so much quicker than you, that new contracts are popping up every day like daisies, that everyone seems to be celebrating, and you wait. You mope and play more Candy Crush and then one day, out of the blue, you open your email, and there it is. New contract. And you squee so loud they can hear you in Jersey. Then a few months later, you start your edits, and in between you blog, and you tweet, and you Facebook, and as the day gets closer you start to freak out because "what if they hate it?!" and then you have to figure out what you're going to do for your launch, and you have to write how many blog posts? Galleys, and cover specs, and then your baby is unleashed upon the world.

You feel proud and happy and a little queasy, and you do your promos, and you start getting the reviews in, and some make your heart soar and some tear you apart, some are beautiful and some are just plain mean, and you keep going and going until the time comes when you start the whole process over again. There's gallons and gallons of coffee involved, sleepless nights, stress, and headdesk moments. You have a dozen social media platforms to keep track of, a community to be a part of, a family who's trying to drag you away from your PC, and you grab your keyboard because Ha! it's wireless, and take it with you as they wheel you away--I knew I should have gotten a chair without wheels! What's the signal range on this thing? And you have days where you wonder what the hell you're doing with your life and why? And then you pull yourself together and get your keister back behind that desk.

yepSo no, being an author isn't easy, but I love it, and I'll toil and work, and not sleep, and fret, and do it all over again because I love what I do, and I love all my readers, and I love all my author friends, and I love my publishers, and I love my reviewers, and it's one big love-fest. It's not easy, but you pick yourself up and you try, one day at a time, and you do your best, and you KEEP GOING because you're important and what you do is important, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise! There's ups and downs, but it's worth it. It's hard work, but you keep going. You find ways to keep yourself going, because the world needs stories, and people to read those stories, and someone's gotta do it, so what are you waiting for?

How do you keep yourself motivated?


Tuesday Talks: Busting Through Writer's Block

TuesdayTalksCCochetSome writers don't believe in writer's block, some simply refer to it as being stuck or hitting a wall. Whatever you call it, it's frustrating. You feel you've nowhere to go, can't push through. You glare at that blinking cursor or that blank page, sitting there, waiting for you. It can happen any time, either right after a submission, when starting something new, or during a work in progress. I've had both.  I have my story to work on. I want to work on it, yet when I sit down in front of my PC, nothing happens.

I've started plotting out all my books, outlining everything that happens which has helped me a huge deal in getting it done, and motivating me, but what if you can't get the plotting? What if the story isn't coming to you? You've hit a wall before you've even started.


There's a reason all those great ideas, scenes, and pieces of dialogue come to you as you're falling asleep. You're doing your best to relax your body and mind, you're allowing yourself to do nothing but rest, something I know I find difficult to do during the day. I feel that if I'm just sitting there thinking, even if it's about my story, that I could be doing something, that I'm somehow wasting time, and it keeps me from relaxing. So what to do? I pick a slot of time where I tell myself I'm allowed to do nothing but think. I put my feet up with a pad and pen next to me, and I think about my story, what tone I want it to have, who my characters are. I ask myself all sorts of questions about them.

  • Music and Setting the Mood: Another thing that helps me greatly, is music. I'll pick music that fits the tone of my story, and I start playing around with scenes that would fit the music. Sometimes that one scene will kick things off. For example, I was stuck on how to start Jack's book. This was messing with my mojo and the rest of the book. I allowed myself an hour to just sit and think. I knew I wanted to start out light and fun. I put on a jazzy, fast-paced song, fun with a bounce in its step, and BANG! A party, a Christmas party. The annual Silver Bells Christmas Ball where the first book ended would be a perfect place to open this book. As the music played, I could see my fellas enjoying themselves, and that got the ball rolling. What would be the consequences of this party? That led me to the events which would make up the second chapter. What were the results of that encounter? And it went on and on from there. The block was obliterated.
  • Prompts: If music doesn't do for you what it does for me, think of a situation that would be relevant to your story, and write out a scene between your characters. It doesn't matter if you'll end up deleting the whole thing. It gets you into their heads. Write out a big quarrel between them, some major angst, or maybe a sweet scene, some kissing or making up. Find a prompt and just write. The point is to get into the flow of things again. Even if it's just dialogue. I often kick things off with dialogue. My fellas love to talk.
  • Read: Another way to get the gears moving is to read. Read a story of the same genre as the one you're writing. Sometimes, taking time away from my characters and spending it with someone else's makes me want to get back to my fellas. Sometimes I'll go back and revisit a work in progress I haven't touched in a while, not with the intention of working on it, but because reading my writing sometimes gives my brain a jump-start.
  • Allow yourself some time away: Telling myself I have to work on something is a surefire way to bring it to a screeching halt. Now if I take myself away to read or watch a movie, tell myself I can't write for a while, I find myself needing to get back to my story. The longer I pull myself away, the more I'm dying to get back to it. I allow myself to make quick notes, but I don't sit there and start working things out. It's funny how the mind works.
Most importantly, just write! There's time to edit later.

How about you? What do you do when you get stuck?    

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