Mar 17, 2010

Boldly Go

To maintain motivation in an industry where rejection is more normal than not, can be tough. Like in any endeavor, it requires a tough skin, a whole lot of belief in oneself and a lot of tenacity. Support sure doesn't hurt either.

Sometimes I feel a little less than ... positive about it all. It helps to know other writers have gone through the same thing and I'm not in this boat alone. Being active with a writers group is really helpful. To have people around me who believe so strongly in me helps.

My husband periodically running down the list of positives helps. Then I have to tick them off myself and come to own them again. Over and over until I feel fully armored again. It's a must to keep bold.

Every once in awhile a 'I don't completely suck' day rolls around. Those are sweet.

The most important thing is that I believe. Sometimes it wanes a little, but overall the current is pretty strong. Otherwise, I wouldn't keep submitting and opening myself up for more rejection-love [as I call it]. Sometimes there are bits of love in the rejections. The last few especially. So, I take it as a sign that I'm on the right track.

I learned in a presentation given to my writers group a few months back that there is good rejection and gold star rejection. I was unaware there were categories of rejection prior to that. Apparently, there are though.

I hit the jackpot end of December when one kind editor wrote me a letter with real constructive feedback - that my story had been seriously considered and then what ultimately sunk me. That letter helped me a lot. I went back and rewrote my five completed short stories based on that feedback. It was something I was aware of on a subconscious level, but not fully conscious of. Now I am fully conscious of it and my stories are better because of it. It also helps my husband to give me better feedback. I sent that editor a 'thank you' for that, because what he said makes me better. Constructive feedback is as rare as a 'yes'. So, I was thankful for the gift.

If I don't continue to be bold and continue submitting, I will never reach my goal. My progress is hard to measure, but I keep going. If I hadn't been bold enough to begin reading publicly at open mics, I'd be missing out on some positive reenforcement that is very much needed. It's good practice for me and it turns out people really like my stories. They look at me with interest, like they know I'm going some place. I went from being scared to death of speaking in public to looking forward to my 'fix' of positiveness.

I've learned to focus on the positive, take constructive feedback as a gift when I find it and to just keep going. Mostly, I find the motivation in being exactly where I want to be. I'm producing and submitting. I'm in the game. I used to dream of being here, in the game. So despite the stormy seas, I can keep my nose above water and see my way.  I can find the joy in it.

It is an exciting time. On the brink. So, I remind myself of how exciting it is. Then I feel it. I know my break is coming. Somedays I can actually smell it. So, I get impatient. But, this time of beginning is special. So, I need to savor it, too.

I keep writing. I keep submitting. What other choice is there? I can not stop. I love what I do. I am determined. Perhaps it helps that by nature I am a very stubborn gal.

Wherever you are in your goals, be bold - to borrow from a friend's recent posts [Loretta].  There is no gain without risk. Sure there's a downside to it. But, if you care to really look and examine it, you may find a lot of positives in the negative that you otherwise wouldn't be privy to if you didn't dare to be bold.

Whatever happens, I am about to finish my second novel. I should have it and the first going out to agents this summer. I am submitting five short stories and working on finishing a 6th. I write flash fictions each month for open mic. My website is almost done. I get out there and get seen. I have plans for novel#3 when I'm ready to go at it. I suspect by early fall.

I make adjustments here and there as needed. And I keep going. How do you keep your motivation?