We’ve seen a lot about different motivations this week, and I’ve identified with each of my Deb sisters where motivation is concerned.
Like Deb Kerry, I work better with a buddy and best of all when I have to wedge the writing into an impossibly busy day.
Like Deb Dana, I find myself writing this post at 9:30PM on the evening before it’s due.
Like Deb Kelly, I had to slog my way through some difficult years to get to where I’m sitting now, and although, for me, writing offers release from reality and all its attendant difficulties, I still have my moments getting my butt to the chair.
But I’m committed. (And sometimes, my family says I should be…)
In January of 2010, I realized I was going to turn 40 that summer. (It’s not hard math, and I should have noticed before, but I digress.)
Forty, which for my family’s average means more than halfway through my allotted years.
Forty, and with my lifelong dream of becoming a published author not much closer than it was at 18…or 20…or 35.
That January, I made a special commitment. I would write a book a year until I died, got published, or it killed me. If that meant dying with 65 unpublished manuscripts and some real number of cats far greater than zero … so be it. I accepted the risk.
As of May 30, 2013, I’ve written four more manuscripts – a book ahead of schedule if you count Book 3 of the Shinobi series, which is currently halfway through its third full draft. In that time, the total number of days I haven’t written (or edited, which counts from my perspective) is a number lower than my age.
I write because I said I would. Because I made a commitment to the voices in my head. Because “a book a year” is the goal I set and because I’m not a person who likes to fail – even if the only judge of failure is myself.
Not everyone can write a book a year. Not everyone wants to. Not everyone needs to, and perhaps not everyone should. But for me, it’s the number I chose and the one I’ll stick to.
Technically, I’ll have satisfied my commitment in 47 days, when Claws of the Cat releases and I reach that publication goal.
Except that now I’m writing a series. So, happily, I’ll continue to write a book a year – until I tell all the stories in me, until I die, or until it kills me.
Well … or until my family decides commitment is the solution as well as the problem.
What long-term commitment have you made, to yourself or to someone else? How do you keep yourself on track to follow through?