posted on November 30, 2021 by Elle Cruz

DO THE THING – How Motivation Stops You in Your Tracks

My writing journey was thirty-two years in the making. When I was eight years-old, I wrote my very first short story. It was about evil winged knights who plagued a kingdom. I don’t remember the details of the story itself, but I do remember it was the start of something that would last for the rest of my life.

Flash-forward to the year 2021. My debut romance novel, HOW TO SURVIVE A MODERN-DAY FAIRY TALE, will be released on November 30th. Looking back, I ask myself the following questions:

How did this happen?

What factors contributed to my success in becoming a professional writer?

How do I sustain this as a career?

As many writers endeavor to answer these questions, one concept always rises up and steals the show as the ultimate answer: MOTIVATION. Motivation must be, in essence, one of the main factors in a writer’s success. A writer must be motivated to write every day. A writer must be motivated to be creative and always search for novel ways (pun intended) to create stories. A writer must be motivated to seek professional representation, and be motivated to continuously build relationships and network in the industry. Although motivation can play a part in the success, I say it plays another role…one that is a lot more insidious than people might think.

In my honest opinion, motivation doesn’t work.

There is a simple, brutal truth underpinning the concept of motivation: those who feel the need to SEEK motivation to DO something…don’t really want to do it in the first place. If you really want to do something—if you’re passionate and disciplined, you won’t waste your time looking for motivation. You’ll skip ahead and simply DO THE THING. You’ll find the time to write. You’ll get out there and make connections. You’ll do the research and look for agents who would be a good fit for you. You’ll hone your craft and continue to learn.

The answer is to be disciplined and make whatever goal you have part of your routine. If something becomes part of your routine, it will most likely stick. It’s the same principle with working out and dieting. I’ve seen some people on social media making videos with great advice on honing in on discipline:

  • Be organized.
  • Look at your schedule and block out time to write. It doesn’t have to be a full hour. Even fifteen minutes a day or every other day is an accomplishment. I mean, I don’t think there’s a reason to hurry, since traditional publishing is slower than molasses anyway.
  • Set aside time to CP or beta your partner’s manuscript.
  • Set aside time to do research on the Internet.

Ultimately, you should be able to give at least thirty minutes to an hour to do all of these things in one day.

I have a full time demanding job, I’m on-call 24-7, I have 2 children who are very active in sports and arts, a fun-loving husband, and a side-hustle as a professional novelist. Trust me…IF I CAN DO IT, SO CAN YOU. And if you want more advice on how I did it, let me know and I will talk your ear off. I’ve been doing this for almost a decade and I only just got my first book deal in 2019.

Be patient. Be disciplined. Throw motivation away because it’s just a barrier. Find your tribe and just DO THE THING!

One person who comments will win a print copy of HOW TO SURVIVE A MODERN-DAY FAIRY TALE and some swag!

Elle Cruz

Elle Cruz

Elle is a Filipino-American author who writes contemporary romance. She fell in love with romance at the tender age of twelve when she discovered Elizabeth Lowell, and there was no turning back. Elle is a nurse practitioner, wife of a sexy city official, and mother of two lovable goofballs. She lives in beautiful Southern California.

7 thoughts on “DO THE THING – How Motivation Stops You in Your Tracks”

  1. bn100 says:

    helpful tips

  2. Colleen C. says:

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Ashley Fasolo says:

    Wow, great tips and I a lot of effort goes into anything worthwhile. ^^ Thanks for the chance.

  4. Shelly Williams says:

    You go! Congrats on getting your book and message out.

  5. Amber says:

    Oh my goose; you are awesome, amazing and unreal 🙂 I have my hands full raising a puppy! You are an inspiration for sure!
    Thanks for the “real” book offering! Hope you’ll sign my copy if I get lucky!
    Happy Holidays!

  6. GB says:

    I am so impressed at what you have accomplished. It is really inspiring!

  7. Patt O'Neil says:

    My own tale is similar with my drawing/writing a story. In it, the people all had beaks instead of noses and mouths. I don’t remember the plot, only the fact that my mother laughed at it. Fast forward fifty-five years, I started writing again and now have my own collection of short stories, Witness Testimony and Other Tales, and have been published in over thirty-five anthologies and online journals. All this in only five years (I publish under the name P.A. O’Neil).

    I would like to give a shout-out to an extended member of the family, who after writing for years, has now released her first novel, The Blue Mesa by Olivia Godat, and has another scheduled for release in the spring. The greatest thing about her situation is the fact that she is near ninety-years old!

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