Keeping the Hope ALive

I’m not like a lot of other writers who had a passion for it from the moment they could read. I spent a month writing in August 2008 while unemployed, then set it aside for a year. I returned to it August 2009 when I had difficulty finding a job and finally finished my first draft. I wrote by the seat of my pants and enjoyed pretty much every moment. Then I sent it to critique groups October 2009. I had some up and down moments when I realized writing a great novel was more than just putting words to paper. Still I was passionate about my work. It wasn’t until I editing it for the umpteeth time when the passion started to fade. Now I don’t even want to look at it. Okay, maybe I do want to look at it, but it irritates the hell out of me. 🙂

Now I’m working on other novels. I started off with wonderful ideas (in my mind that is) and wrote the first few chapters. Then the technicalities of writing came into play and just sapped my motivation for writing the books. Did I show enough? Does it capture the reader? Which novel should I concentrate on first? Are there gaps in the plot? Will a literary agent find this one attention getting? Is this a hopeless cause? It’s turned into a chore…a job with no pay.

So, how do I keep myself going? Sometimes I don’t. I remind myself this is not my livelihood. This was meant to be fun…a way to pass the time while looking for work, keep my mind active, and entertain myself. Even if I do find someone to represent me or publish my work, there’s no guarantee I’d sell enough to make a financial living from it. Most authors don’t. So, I stopped turning into a job I have to complete and work on it when I feel like it. That might be a few thousand words a day. That might be a day I only think about writing. Sometimes I get an idea which has nothing to do with my current WIP and spend a day writing a short story.

I guess the bottom line for me is this. I keep my love for writing alive by remembering why I started–for personal entertainment. If I find representation (which I REALLY SUPER DOOPER WANT), it’s icing on the cake. So, why did you start writing? What keeps you going? And how do you keep the hope alive?

0 thoughts on “Keeping the Hope ALive

  1. I’m one of those people who doesn’t remember not reading and writing. Writing is the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do. Sometimes that’s cool. Sometimes that’s scary because I’m not qualified to do anything else. But mostly I write because it’s the only way I get to know the rest of the story. Sometimes that’s enough motivation and sometimes not. But it’s all I’ve got so I’ll take it.

  2. Sounds like you write by the seat of your pants. Do you? I wrote Shadow Cat that way and not knowing what would happen next, definitely kept me motivated. I wrote myself into corners so many times. Trying to figure out how to get out of a dead situation constantly drove me.

    I wrote outlines for my most recent works. Sometimes I have to remind myself to keep writing. Though I know the story, it’s not yet written. Takes the fun out of it. I might go back to being a pantseater. 🙂

  3. Yes and no. I’m a plotter, so I always know what’s going to happen. I don’t always know why or to whom, or what it “means” so that part’s always fun. I almost never know the ending, though.

    I’ve heard a lot of people say they can’t write an outline because once they do, they’ve spoiled the story for themselves and find it hard to get excited about it. One of my friends actually saves the romancey stuff for the very end, otherwise she loses interest. Makes sense if you think about it. I feel the same way about movies. If I’ve read spoilers (and I always read spoilers) what’s the point in watching the movie?

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