How to Find Motivation
First of all, it's not lost. Everyone, including me, needs to stop talking about motivation like it's a five-year-old who disappeared in a department store. We don't need to find it. We need to harness it. Have you all seen this one-minute gem of freaking internet goodness?
That's what I think too, Shia. You tell them, Shia. Say it with your awkward poses and your pointless green screen all the anger your little braid can muster. PREACH.
If you're tired of starting over, stop giving up.
Our generation, more than any before us, has access to limitless videos, blogs, books, essays, memoirs, articles, songs, tweets, Facebook posts, tumblr posts, Pinterest pictures, and a bazillion other bits of "motivational" material. You could actually spend the rest of your life being energized by other people's inspirational advice, stories, and tricks.
Meaning you could be the most motivated person in the world without actually doing anything.
Writers are some of the worst culprits for this thinking. I could spend hours on Google and not even scratch the surface of the 37,800,000 results that come up when I type "motivation for writers". And I mean, those pages are there for a reason.
Writing is isolating, and it never promises anything different. Just ask Hemingway:
Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. Organizations for writers palliate the writer's loneliness, but I doubt if they improve his writing. He grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates. For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer, he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day.
Sometimes there is nothing scarier than that desk and that open laptop or notebook. I go into my study with the best intentions -- novel manuscript open and crying out to me, notecards with random thoughts, ideas, and lines of dialogue spread out next to it -- and instead of working, I head to Writer's Digest to read a blog about advice for young writers.
Or I check out my list of agents on Twitter, wondering what they're up to and what new things I should know about querying. Because networking.
And oh my goodness, did you see the latest Funds for Writers newsletter from Hope Clark? Look at all those markets waiting to buy my words! Of course, if you read the latest editorial by Hope Clark, you'll find these brutal, necessary words instead of the pandering zap of coddling you were hoping for:
If you are afraid to write, then don't.
If you are afraid to submit, then don't.
If you are afraid to publish, then don't.
You're getting in the way of the glut of writers out there who've decided fear is not an option.
Gulp. You guys, it's a disease. And we all do it, not just writers, so don't pretend.
So here I am, going against my own advice by writing a post about finding motivation. But rather than giving you 10 famous author's quotes about writing, or a video of some buff guy working out with music pumping in the background interspersed with a deep gruff voice saying awesome things, I will leave you with this:
Just do it. Really. DO IT.
No, but really, thanks for reading.
Now shut your browser, app, email, or whatever you're reading this on and DO IT, whatever the it is that you want to do. Despite what Disney has been feeding us for years, you really are the only one who can make your dreams come true.
Plus, you'll make Shia happy.