When I realized tonight was Monday night and not Sunday night, meaning I had to write my weekly Deb post, I felt…shall we say…rather unmotivated.
And then I discovered this week’s theme is “motivation.” I am swimming in irony!
As with many instances in my life — my job in daily news, my applications to grad school and college, my entry to become a Deb — I was motivated to write this blog post by one thing: a deadline. There’s nothing like a do-or-die cutoff to light a fire under my ass.
But when it came to writing THE GIRLS’ GUIDE TO LOVE AND SUPPER CLUBS, I had no deadline. No official one, at least. I hoped an editor would read and fall in love with my book someday, but whether that was in a month or a year…well, who cared, other than me? I set personal deadlines for myself, but none of those deadlines were “official,” and the “official” part of deadlines is what makes them so powerful and, frankly, so scary.
So then how does a deadline-oriented person get motivated to knuckle down when there is no real deadline? I’ll tell you how: by reading published authors. When I was writing SUPPER CLUBS, as soon as I’d read something written by Nick Hornby or Sarah Pekkanen or Jonathan Tropper or Sophie Kinsella, I’d feel inspired to finish my own work-in-progress. Their writing inspired me, yes — especially when I’d read a passage that made me laugh out loud — but it also made me realize that, at one point, they were unpublished authors, too. And if they hadn’t finished and sent off their first manuscript, they would still be unpublished authors. It wasn’t a deadline, but it was a hefty dose of reality, and it kept me going.
Now that I’m a published author (a distinction I sometimes need to pinch myself to believe), I have more real deadlines, but I still turn to my favorite authors to motivate me and keep my writing fresh.
What about you? Are you deadline-oriented? What authors inspire and motivate you?