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No One Likes a Crooked Head

So I was reading this delightful blog post on burnout (Chuck Wendig has such an enviable voice) and especially adored the line, "Writing sometimes feels like digging ditches, but you have to remember: it’s you digging ditches in a magical fantasy land that you control."

It got me to thinking about goals. It's a perennial discussion I have with my writing friends. My main quantifiable goal was to quit my day job. And after that, goals began feeling counterproductive. I've given up saying "I will write a novel in x-amount of months" because all that does is force a shitty, unpublishable novel out of me and make me miserable.

Some of my writing pals have certain monetary goals, or bestseller lists they want to hit. None of those goals lit me up. I clearly remember a cluster of us standing there in a parking lot earnestly describing what we wanted, and I blurted out, "My goal is to get my head on straight."

Hypnosis, meditation, therapy. Maybe some of it helps. I'm in a really good spot right now, that's freaking exciting.

As far as I can tell, what helped inspire me the most is to watch another author—Sean Platt—working hard and sharing his process without bragging about any milestones he's met. I don't know his typical wordcount (which undoubtedly smokes mine), I don't know how much money he makes (ditto), and we're not on the same charts so I don't need to watch him trouncing me. But I have a perception that he and the rest of his team are "successful" (there's a slippery definition, right?) and listening to him podcast about his daily writing discipline has inspired me to show up early, show up fully, and don't check my damn email or facebook until I'm happy I've got a fat chunk written the mojo's exhausted for the day. Once I slide out of creative-mind, it's gone for the day and I get sucked into admin, social media and correspondence.

What about you, what do you find motivational?

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
engarian
Apr. 29th, 2016 02:40 pm (UTC)
When I've got a character or plot situation that has me in its jaws, I can write until my eyes are almost closed and my fingers are tapping on the keyboard but not actually making enough contact to achieve letters. Unfortunately, those times aren't predictable and that muse can turn in an instant and disappear back into the forest having left my poor character painted into a corner. *sigh*

Then again, creative life would be much easier if I didn't work a 60-hour week. Reality sometimes really sucks!

- Erulisse (one L)
krondr
May. 2nd, 2016 12:36 am (UTC)
First of all, I’m glad you are in a really good spot right now :-)

I totally understand the sentiment of "My goal is to get my head on straight." I had general burnout at my last job and got to the point where I just had to walk away, and like you say, get my head on straight. So, that is my goal for the immediate future.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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