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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Monday, August 25, 2008

It’s All about Motivation

Mo-ti-va-tion (noun): a feeling of enthusiasm, interest, or commitment that makes somebody want to do something.

At some point, every published author was unpublished. Most of us are inspired by something or someone to write the book of our hearts. At some point, we all sit our butts in the chair and write. Why? What drives us, truly motivates us, to work alone for hours upon hours and write?

My motivation began over a decade ago when I decided that I wanted to show my kids that they could do anything they set their mind to. When I didn’t sell right away, I decided to prove that determination and perseverance would win in the end. A few years later, I became discouraged. I stopped writing for a few months in 2007, but the stories wouldn’t stop coming. And that’s when I had an epiphany! I couldn’t stop writing even if I wanted to. This realization was freeing. I no longer felt the need to prove anything to anyone. Suddenly, all of the self-appointed pressure I had put on myself disappeared. I was now writing because I loved to write. What a concept. That’s when I found the joy again.

I’m still shooting for the publishing moon, and I’m more determined and focused than ever before. Write and submit. Write and submit. That’s what I do. I KNOW I will sell. I just don’t know when. But it doesn’t matter because I’ve stopped looking ahead. I’m writing more than ever and I’m enjoying the ride.

My motivation has changed. Now I write because it’s what I love to do. Why do you write? What’s your true motivation? Has it changed over the years?

The picture above is of me jumping out of a plane last week. What motivated me to do that!? Other than my daughter begging me to do it for the last two years, I can honestly say that I have no idea why I actually did it. No Fear. Just Do it! I guess that says it all…

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At 8:03 AM, Blogger Terry Odell said...

Jumping out of an airplane? Yikes! I can't even stand to swing on a playground swing. Jumping off a three foot wall makes my stomach lurch. I'm not afraid of heights, just leaving them for the fastest route down.

Motivation? Some days, it's just because if I wasn't writing, I'd have to do the ironing. Or shopping. Or cooking.

My biggest kick to keep going was a cruel-hearted on-line critique group leader. Her focus was so narrow, and her criticisms so blunt that I decided I'd get the book written and published just to prove her wrong.

At 9:06 AM, Blogger Trish Milburn said...

I'm still amazed about the skydiving thing, but cool picture!

I think I have different reasons for writing -- proving to myself I can make a success of it, I like creating stories, I want others to have a good time reading my stories, I don't want to work full-time at a day job again. :)

At 9:59 AM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Good morning, Terry! That's hilarious. Your motivation is to NOT iron and do laundry! ha! And to prove to "show" the mean leader that you could do it. LOL

But could you stop writing forever, do you think?

I get sort of crabby when I haven't written in a couple of days...

At 10:01 AM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Good one, Trish. I though I was going to have to go back to work after the kids were all in high school and I remember panicking and writing faster, but that didn't help me get there!?

You are a success, Trish! You're on a roll...

At 10:07 AM, Blogger Terry Odell said...

Theresa, no way I could stop writing. Nobody, myself included, likes to be around me if I can't do something about the voices in my head.

At 11:00 AM, Blogger Mo H said...

My motivation has changed over the years. The joy of creating a story has always been part of that motivation, but recently another layer of motivation was added--the price of pointe shoes for my daughter! Selling more will help and then there's summer programs when she's a bit older, if she gets in. Another layer of motivation is the whole rigamarole of cleaning, housekeeping duties, which I try to avoid for as long as possible. Speaking of which, I must do my grocery shopping. ARGH!

At 11:53 AM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

OH, Mo! I really don't like to grocery shop. I never have. I don't like to clean or iron either. I mean the last thing we're going to think while we lay on our deathbed is, "Boy, I'm so glad I spent all that time cleaning my house and doing laundry."

So, why bother! LOL WHEN I sell my first book, I'm going to hire a house cleaner. Yay!

Did you published authors do that? You know...think of a hundred ways you were going to spend your first advance before you sold?

At 12:07 PM, Blogger Esri Rose said...

Congrats on your plane jump! More importantly, congrats on being the most optimistic and determined writer I know. I've found you inspirational on many occasions. (XOXOX)

I started writing because I loved it, and then publication became my goal and I wrote because I wanted to "show those sonsa*@#!" and now, like you, I write for the love of it again, which is much nicer.

Besides that, I want to feel special and I want to entertain people.

At 12:23 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Thanks SOOO much, Esri! Very sweet of you to say.

Esri, you are special AND entertaining AND hilariously funny! Even without the awesome books you're putting out their for us! I also love how you say what you mean without mincing words. Boy, I like a lot of things about you! And our husbands have the same name...that's cool, too! :)

Writing books does do something for the ego, doesn't it? And now that you mention it, I do feel special every time I finish a book. Maybe because we know how difficult it is to do?

At 5:47 PM, Blogger M. said...

wowsers. a real photo instead of an image taken from databanks somewhere. i have joined the club of used-to-like-rollercoasters-but-now-can-barely-manage-the-ferris-wheel, so my admiration of your courage (and motivation *g*) is sincere

At 6:06 PM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

m, I believe I was a founding member of that roller coaster club. I cannot imagine jumping from an airplane. Or skiing for that matter.

But there are some risks I am willing to take. Like putting a story out there for others to see. It used to be editors whose opinion I took a chance on. Now it is readers and reviewers.

I think I would be very unhappy if not writing. I always want to write one more book. Then another one.

When I was so close and yet getting discouraged, Theresa, my epiphany moment was to realize that every step of this journey-the good and the bad--was one step closer to the goal. Every contest final, every rejection, everything was one step closer. All I had to do was keep moving.

Now I think it is that next book that keeps me moving.

At 9:35 PM, Blogger Louisa Cornell said...

I am in awe, Theresa! Skydiving is on my bucket list, but I have not managed to get up the gumption to do it yet. I have been mountain climbing in the Alps, but there was the side of a mountain to hold onto, not just AIR!! How cool was it to take that leap with your daughter? She will never ever forget it!

I write because I have to - I can't not write. It has been a compulsion since I was nine. Other things have come along, but I always come back to writing.

At first I just had all of these stories to tell. I think that is still a big part of it. And I LOVE words. I really, really do. I love how they fit together like notes in a song. I love the rhythm of words. The pictures they can paint.

And I love romance novels so much. They have meant so much to me for so long (I was reading Heyer at 12)I just feel this need to create and contribute something to this genre that means so much to me.

I can also relate to all of the motives that have been posted here. I would love not to have to work a day job. I would definitely like to hire a housekeeper! LOL

I love it when people read my stories and enjoy them, like them. I have been so very lucky these last two years since I started this journey in earnest. I just want to keep going and see how far I can get.

At 11:53 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Diane, good point. Each step is one step closer whether its a rejection letter or whatever! Thanks for that reminder!

At 11:55 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

m, thanks for the comment. If I was going to jump I was going to pay the extra few bucks to get a picture!

At 11:58 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Louisa, I love words, too!

I'm sure you will go far!

Mountain climbing in the Alps sounds scarier than jumping from a plane to me...and singing in front of an audience!!! You are very brave!

At 12:01 PM, Blogger Karen said...

I would love to jump out of an airplane. Would do it in a heartbeat. It's the landing part that stops me!

Thanks for the inspiration. I'm revising, and it takes a lot of motivation to keep going.


At 12:19 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

I know what you mean, Karen! For me revisions can be the toughest part...which is odd because that's when I'm the most disciplined, too!?

Imagine the relief and excitement you will feel the moment you finish those revisions...that keeps me going!


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