Thursday, August 18, 2011

To give up or not to give up...

I don't know about you, but I love de-motivational posters. I found this one today:

I don't know about you, but I feel like this all the time. Especially this week. I've worked so, so, so hard on my MS, and it comes time to query and I'm petrified. I send out a few, get a few rejections, send out a few more. I feel like I'm wasting my time.

Posting on the WriteOnCon forums hasn't helped with this feeling. I do get people saying my story sounds interesting, but almost everyone agrees that it's confusing and it needs a lot of work. I'm on draft seven now, I think. I've lost count.

So what do you do when you feel like giving up? Personally, I wallow. I know I shouldn't, but I think about all the reasons I should give up and how someone else would be better to write this story than me. I look for motivation somewhere, but I have a real talent for twisting the good into bad.

The only solution is that I need to change my thinking. I need to take down my de-motivational poster and replace it with one more like this:

How hard is this? Insanely. But I read an awesome post by Michelle McLean over at Operation Awesome entitled How Darth Vader and Decapitation are Like Writing. If, like me, you need to remind yourself of all the hard work you've done and the milestones you've already crossed, this is a great pick-me-up!

What helps you not give up? What do you do to keep yourself motivated?



  1. One day, you will be being interviewed about your novel, and the interviewer will ask about publishing, and you will say "I got rejected a lot, and I almost gave up hope, but I gave it one more shot and it got picked up." Just keep giving it one more shot, and eventually that WILL be your story. And keep editing. If its too complicated, clarify, or take out extraneous stuff, or kill some "darlings". If you write it, they will read.

  2. I second what Anonymous said. I hear story after story after story about authors who almost gave up and then thought, what the heck? I'll give it one more try. And that was the extra mile they needed to go. Happens in other arts, too.

    Robert Pattinson was about to give up acting... then he got called in to do an audition with Kristen Stewart and the rest is history. He's been in like seven movies since saying, "Hmm, maybe I shouldn't be an actor after all."

    As artists, we're a sensitive bunch who can be easily encouraged and easily discouraged. But that's one major reason I blog. When I'm feeling down, there's always a Michelle McLean post or a Beth Revis vlog out there to make me see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    I, for one, am very excited about your writing, and I'd be so sad if your always intriguing characters didn't get their stories told. So yeah, I vote for replacing the demotivational poster with the motivational one. It's prettier anyway. :)

  3. JK Rowling got rejected a TON....point made?

  4. I think it's important to remember that most people don't get that Stephenie Meyer fairy tale of writing your first book, getting a dozen or so rejections before landing a Writers House dream agent, and then having your book sell for a gajillion dollars. I try to remember that most people fail - a LOT - before anything happens for them.

    There have been plenty of times when I thought I wouldn't get anywhere, but the great thing about writing and querying is that nothing is wasted. Every manuscript you write makes you better, and every query you send leads to potential feedback, requests, or even a contact for the future if it doesn't work out that time around.

    There were tons of days when I was positive nothing would come of my writing, that I was too mediocre. And now I'm working with someone who really believes in me. Having seen your first five pages on WriteOnCon, I know you'll go places with your writing - if not with this MS, with future ones. The Ninja Agent said you were off to a good start - that's something to be proud of!


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