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!