I woke up today and didn't want to write. I wanted to do anything but write. I felt, What's the use, it's never been a happen, I'm never going to be able to earn a significant portion of my living from my writing. But I know with that sort of attitude only one thing is guaranteed: I'm guaranteed to fail. So I wrote this blog post with myself in mind.
1. You owe it to yourself.
If earning your living from writing is your dream, the only way your dream is going to come true is if you keep at it. There's only one person who can make your dream come true: You. Remember, if this were easy then everyone would be doing it. There's a reason they're not.
2. If you try you will succeed.
I'm not saying that if you try you'll get rich, or that you try you will be able to earn enough money from your writing to quit your day job – that would be nice, though! What will happen is that you won't have given up on your dream and, yes this sounds corny, but that's success. You'll be a writer. There's a reason why the phrase, 'starving writer,' trips off the tongue so easily.
3. If you don't try, you'll always wonder, 'what if?'
They say that at the end of life as you look back at what you've done, what you've accomplished, you don't regret the things you did, you regret the things you didn't do. I don't know if that's true, but it sounds right to me.
4. It's a marathon, not a sprint
You've heard this one before. Personally, I think it's like a series of triathlons!
5. Variety is the spice of life
When you get bored, try something new. Something I'm trying out is Dragon NaturallySpeaking. I hadn't heard about this software until a couple of weeks ago when I came across a number of author blogs talking about the fantastic results they had been getting with it. (No, this is not advertisement for Dragon NaturallySpeaking!)
When I picked up the software last week, I thought that this might be a way of getting another half hour per day to write. It takes me 15 minutes to walk to work, but if I could use a digital recorder to dictate parts of my story, perhaps even a blog post, I could squeeze another 30 from the day.
I haven't tried that yet, but something unexpected has happened. This new way of writing – perhaps I can't, or shouldn't, call this writing; perhaps I should call it speaking – has made the words come easier, has reinvigorated me.
One thing Dragon NaturallySpeaking had been excellent for is transcribing my longhand notes. Often when I get an idea for a story I write it out longhand and these notes can run to hundreds of pages! Over the past few days I have been faced with the task of typing in about 50 or 60 pages of notes, something that takes me a long time to do. Last night, using Dragon, I transcribed the lion share of my notes in about half an hour! Perhaps it's the novelty that made it seem effortless – and fun! – But it seemed to go much faster, and I'm a fast typist.
6. Bribery works
I love books, especially journals. New journals. Over my lifetime I've filled bookcases with journals covered in my scribbling. (And, no, I'm not a serial killer!) For me, if I need special motivation, I tell myself, "Self, all you need to do is fill up this journal and you can buy yourself a new one." And, believe it or not this often works.
Okay, I don't know about you, but it's NaNoWriMo time and I'm all fired up to write! Talk to you tomorrow. :)