As time passes I realize it is not about acing it but rather, it is about keeping yourself in the game no matter what. As long as you’re still in the game, you’re bound to win or at the very least learn why you didn’t. So below are a couple of rules that never fail to help me find the necessary motivation to keep writing.
I used to feed myself a lot of bullshit about myself. I don’t anymore. Not because I don’t want to but because I don’t believe myself anymore. I have wised up in spite of myself. Plus my husband never fail to provide me with the necessary but much dreaded reality check. I had to face myself. I had to accept that I was this lazy person who could not commit to writing and kept lying to herself about not being able to commit. You know, just like an alcoholic claiming he/she can get by without attending AA meetings . Or better yet just like my husband claiming he’s only getting back on eBay to buy that one star wars action figure. He bought it and is still on eBay maybe now buying his 4th or 5th action figure….go figure. The minute I stopped believing my lies about myself, things got better. Or course they got worse at the beginning. My pink and lilac dreams were shattered 🙂 But things got better in the end. I started seeing myself objectively. When you face yourself you can deal with yourself efficiently and prescribe a proper course of treatment. I sincerely wish there was a “delusional want-to-be writers anonymous”. I swear I’ d go to meetings.
Consider yourself a scientist
Except that you’re also the sole lab rat. You see whenever I used to promise myself to do something and fail to do so I would get discouraged, think I am doomed and give up. But now since I am a scientist on my own case, I press on. I conduct little experiments and I tell myself “Fabienne, you’ll keep trying until you succeed”. As an example, before my surgery I had my writing schedule all figured out (before February 2017). I wake up at 4:45, make coffee and starts writing at 5:00. And then I exercise at 6:00 o’clock sharp. Took three months off due to surgery and I found myself back to square one.
It was actually quite frustrating trying to get back to my old schedule and realizing it wasn’t working anymore. What happened I asked myself? Did I leave my ambition in the surgery room or what? I tried writing at night after work. Still to no avail. The minute I get home all I want to do is relax with dear husband. Still I carry on. Then it hit me that instead of coming home to write after work I could go somewhere nearby my workplace, grab a coffee and write. It worked for a little while until I started spending my time being distracted by people watching. Still I didn’t get discourage. I press on determined to succeed. I researched shared workplace and found the Gab cafe (There are plenty other options here in Montreal).
Tried it, loved it. The staff is amazing. The coffee is great. It is 3 dollars an hour. I am currently on the monthly membership but I think I’ll get back to the per/hour basis as I find that working with a limited amount of time (due to the 3$/hr rate) can be very motivating as opposed to the monthly membership where the amount of time is unlimited. Which brings me to rule number 3.
Tie it to a treat
About the GAB cafe, if I am to be honest, I don’t go for the writing. Yes, you heard right! I go for the coffee.
I go for the staff. They are super sweet. So I get there. A fresh water bottle is waiting for me. My coffee is brought to me prettily served (Their latte is to die for). As for motivation there are other people working and appropriate silence. Once I am done with my writing I can pay a quick visit to my favorite stores because they are all at walking distance. I am not sure how good that arrangement will prove to be for my bank account but I can assure you it is money well spent 🙂 For some reason there always seem to be a new item waiting for me. Although I don’t always buy, it never fails to put me in a good mood for the rest of the day. So whenever I don’t feel like going to write, all I have to do is think about the good coffee and the possibly new item waiting for me at one my favorite stores and my motivation goes up to 100 %.
Give it time
Everything takes time. A lot of time. Life gets in the way sometimes. We get in our own way as well. Give it time all the time it needs. Take breaks when you’re tired. Then get back up again. Keep at it until you figure it out. Stay flexible. There isn’t just one way to do something. Different things work at different times and different stages of our lives. And last but not least:
Anything count as writing: Not writing is the building block of writing
You are a writer even if you’re not writing at the present time (emphasis on present time, provided you have written at some point). To me writing is a way of recycling our experiences into something better, something useful and healing. This way of thinking helps me not to get discouraged. Lately, I’ve realized that the more mature I get, the better my writing becomes. I am able to tackle certain subject with much more assurance and depth. I now have a much more nuanced understanding of human nature. I have always had a highly attuned sense of psychology but the older I get the more I am able to grasp how simultaneously fickle and wonderful human nature can be. The downside is I can now smell my own crap. I can no longer lie to myself and pretend I’ve moved on. All of this knowledge will hopefully help me create multidimensional characters that adequately reflect the human experience. After all, what is writing if not an attempt at translating our human emotions into something everlasting?
I hope you enjoyed this piece and will be back soon with a review of “interview with a vampire” by Anne Rice. Stay tuned and don’t forget to comment, like or share this article!