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Saturday, November 28, 2009

How do you stay motivated to write?

When I'm under contract, I don't need any help. Somebody has asked for my work and paid me for it. To me the pay is just affirmation, which is what I'm really looking for. As long as I don't feel that I'm spinning my wheels, writing is its own reward.

When I'm not under contract, when I'm writing something on spec and hoping an editor will buy it later--which happens to me a LOT--it's much easier to get derailed by one negative opinion. But I've been through this enough times by now that I know how to deal with it.

First, to echo what many people have said here, I lean on my writing friends--my local writer's group, Southern Magic; my critique partners, Victoria Dahl and Catherine Chant; and other authors like Barb Ferrer, Erin Downing, Niki Burnham and Marley Gibson, who are always willing to read a manuscript for me or just listen to me rant. Writers are a little crazy, in case you have not figured this out yet, and nobody really understands us except other writers, who understand completely.

Second, I read how-to-write-a-book books for inspiration. A lot of writers hate how-to-write-a-book books but I love them, and they certainly got me out of my funk last spring. Click here to review that particularly gruesome episode of wallowing.

Finally, I go back to the manuscript in question, the one I'm having trouble finishing, and I make sure it's the book I want to read. Writers are readers first, and if my books aren't the most delicious novels I personally have ever read, or at least pretty darn close, imho I'm not doing it right.

Just a reminder...

Next Saturday, December 5, I'll be signing books in the Birmingham area along with authors of adult romance Christy Reece, Debra Webb, and Peggy Webb, so these would be terrific events to drag your mom to. We'll be at the Books-A-Million in Fultondale from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the Books-A-Million at Brookwood Mall in Mountain Brook/Homewood from 3 to 5 p.m. I realized belatedly that the latter signing is during the #2 Alabama vs. #1 Florida SEC Championship slugfest. If you're not a football fan, come out and see us. If you are a football fan, come see us during halftime and tell us the score.

1 comment:

whiteshark0121 said...

I love writing and reading books. I love the notion that people can make things up in their mind and then make them real on a page, for the pleasure or utility of someone else. One of my favorite mentor on learning how to write a book is Mark Victor Hansen, co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul.