So, today I’ve been struggling with my motivation to keep on writing. Nothing is really happening, career-wise, right now for me with regards to publishing, and I’m beginning to let the doubt monsters creep into my brain every now and again. They settle in, like parasites, robbing me of my positive mojo, and make me doubt every word I pen. ( or in my case, type) These negative thoughts creep in, insidiously, trying to take over my creativity and confidence.
Nothing sparks these episodes, not really. But small events do make me realize what a long road I still have left to travel towards publication. The announcement of an acquaintance getting a book contract; the pride when a colleague tells me they’ve landed an agent; hearing about an upcoming release of yet another book by my favorite author.
None of these things singularly is enough to set me off on my spiral of self-doubt. But collectively, they can and do make me doubt myself as a writer.
The only way – aside from heavy medication, which I won’t do! – to get the negativities off my back, is for me to remember why I write in the first place. Publication was never the end goal for me. I know when I tell that to some people they roll their eyes and say, “Really?” with such disbelief that it’s comical, but it’s true. I didn’t start writing with the hope of being the next Nora Roberts or J.K. Rowling. I started writing again last year as an outlet for my creativity. I had so many voices ( the good kind) swirling around in my head with stories to tell, I just wanted to give them an outlet. When I realized there were other people like me out there, with stories to tell and voices to let free, I began to see my writing in a different way. A few contest wins and suddenly I thought I might have something someone might actually want to publish. That goal became the paramount one – getting what I’d written letter perfect for an editor in the hopes that it would be purchased and published. I moved away from the goal in my heart.
Then, when publication didn’t happen in the millisecond I thought it would, I got depressed. Not “you need to talk me off a ledge” depressed, just a little down about the circumstances. Again, I forgot about the goal in my heart.
Today, during the self-doubt-a-thon hour I allowed myself, I wrote the following words on a piece of paper and taped it to the window in front of me. Remember WHY you write.
Now, when those nasty parasitic negativities come creeping back in, all I need to do is glance at that little piece of paper and they are once again banished to the outer recesses of my psyche.
Remember why you write.
Four little words that have the strength of ten thousand fighters.