Sunday, March 17, 2013

Matters of Motivation

First of all, quick technology update - the Dell POS has been returned!  Since the hard drive was still under warranty, they had to ship it back to California, fix it in their special, super-duper factory warehouse(which means they had to pry out the old one and slap in another), and then rush it back to me in Hawaii.  As a bonus, they managed to save all my data, so I still have all my old books and short stories(I'd have only lost the short stories...all my novels are saved in multiple backup locations).
(Yay, everything works again!)
Now, on to the next topic!

Finding motivation as a writer can be hard sometimes.  It can be late, you haven't had a decent idea in a few days(or weeks), the rent is due, and those you've mailed stuff to for them to look over have unfailingly ignored you.  It can be easy to get discouraged and wonder what the point os it all can be.

It's in times like these that I reach for my inner motivation mojo - anger.

That's right, I said it.  I use anger to propel me forward.  Some would call this a destructive behavior that's unworthy of being an "arteest."  Why, we're supposed to be above such immature emotions and allow ourselves to create simply for the joy of providing it to the world.  To that, I say...

...thhhhhbbbbbppppttt!

Throughout my entire life, I've found one of the easiest ways to get me to do something is to make me angry enough that I have to go forward to relieve the burn.  The quickest way from A to B in that regard is to intimate I'll fail or that what I'm doing isn't good enough for you.  When I get written off, I get madder than Bela Lugosi at a Twilight convention.  The imagined conversation in my head usually goes something like this:

"Please stop bothering me.  You're not talented enough for me to waste time on."

"I'm not talented enough?  Fuck you and the elitist jackass you rode in on."

"Sorry, I'm busy."

"I'll show you busy.  I'll show you how much you'll regret ignoring me.  I'll make it so far you'll beg for me to be seen in public with you.  And when you show up at my door, begging for a scrap of paper I once wiped my mouth with, I'll brush you off and laugh at how untalented you thought I was."

Maybe not the most healthy from a psychological standpoint, but it works.  Someone I knew several years ago has recently become a fairly prominent figure in political circles.  He's even written several books, and I wrote him a while back to let him know that I was also breaking into writing and that I was gratified by the success he was having.  He immediately wrote me back and wanted me to call him(I was out of the country for a while at that point and couldn't do it).  He advised me about Thrillerfest and told me about all the great literary agents that would be there.  As an aside, was my book an action/thriller?  Was it based on shadowy spies that lurked just out of sight before running in to save America?

Not exactly.  In fact, when I mentioned what I liked to write about, communication suddenly ceased.  It was like I was a leper.  I tried contacting this person just a couple of months ago to let them know about my switch towards the indie side of the spectrum, and I met a similar wall of silence.  I know that this individual is busy, but I also know his personality quite well, and I have no doubt in my mind that my subject matter would make him think I was a bit of a fruitcake.
(Yup, I'm a little nutty)
Yes, the anger at such an elitist attitude, whether this person actually is that way or simply had better things to do all of the sudden, has spurred me towards wanting to prove myself, to show that it's not me that's out of the mainstream.  Had our conversations just petered out, that would've been one thing, but to get snubbed like that gives me an "I'll fucking show you" demeanor that means I'll either succeed or I'll die of a stroke while trying(probably penniless in the process).  It makes me work harder, whether that's in finishing up another novel or preparing a business plan, and that will lead to greater success.

I've also had some friends of mine look at my work, and I usually get some great feedback.  However, even with a copy in someone's hand, I get ignored from time to time.  I realize that life gets in the way, but my brain automatically interprets that to either "you sucked and I don't want to hurt your feelings" or "you weren't worth my time."  If I sucked, I would like to be told how I sucked, which would give me the opportunity to fix problems.  However, if I wasn't worth someone's time, especially after giving them a first run copy that not many people had seen before, that eats me alive, and it kicks off that same "I'll show you" feeling as above.

Maybe I should be glad that these people have made me angry.  I've been able to turn that anger into action, and as my stuff starts to come out, it'll get me to work myself to the bone becoming successful at it.  Whichever way it is, none of them will be invited to my "RD Meyer is an awesome author" party in a few years.

Unless they bring pie...chocolate pie...mmm...
(Just waiting for the critics to die so I can pick their bones clean)
 

2 comments:

  1. Hi Russ, great post on motivation. I can totally see the anger within you……it can certainly be a powerful motivator.

    I’m motivated by people that doubt me. My family, friends, literary agents that once scoffed at me…… they will be taught a lesson!

    Then you have the ones that quietly doubt you……they mock your attempts behind your back and you know they are at home talking smack about you. (My buddies wife is like that…I just know it...jealous B_tch)

    But in the end I will have the last laugh!

    Hey, thanks....I feel better!

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    1. Yup, that's exactly what I mean. And with perseverance and a little bit of talent, we can overcome those doubts.

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