Friday, February 25, 2011
What Motivates You to Keep Writing?
Everyone loves getting accolades and praise. But what do you do when you don’t hear anything back from a publisher or agent? I asked a group of writers what motivates them to keep writing and here’s some of the encouragement they had for other writers to keep at the craft and persevere.
Once I submit my work to a publication, I let it go, making sure to have a "plan b" market already lined up in case I receive a rejection. That way, I don't have time to have an emotional reaction--I send it out again and let it go. I find it helps to keep my head clear of any potential frustration so I can keep improving, and keep submitting new material.
I remind myself why I'm writing. God has put in my spirit to write for publication, and until He tells me different, I keep going no matter what the results.
I have come to the point of giving up many times. Each time a different circumstance gave me the will to continue… like when friends tell me they were touched by my story and want to share it with others.
I keep going with the little signs of encouragement -- like when a publisher who had previously rejected me, suggests I enter his writing contest.
This is a business based on acceptance or rejection. Both are going to happen. So, don't let the rejections stop you. Do what you love to do. Rejections show you’re in the game. Keep getting up to bat.
When I've had a rejection that stings, I write other small pieces and submit them to different journals and competitions. I need something to hope for, and I need to feel that someone is reading what I'm writing.
Over the past 10 years I’ve only had a few things published. I've had times where I gave up writing for bits of time. Giving up writing for good is not an option for me. There's no better way to say it then I feel I have a calling on my life to write. Something God given is inside me that doesn't allow me to give up.
It’s just the act of writing itself, which keeps me going. I know I can query the next book and go through the rejection again because I need to continue to write despite the odds.
I queried over 100 agents and had just a few who said they loved what I wrote but couldn't see the novel selling to any publishers. It was my love and passion for my novel for my novel that kept me going. Whenever I felt like giving up, I'd ask myself, have I done enough for this novel? If the answer was no, I had more in me to go on. I'm always surprised by those who said they got 5 or 10 rejections and stopped trying.
This business is all about treading the fine line of humility. You have to know you can always learn and improve. You need to have the confidence to believe in what you've written and its worth.
I’ve decided I am a writer no matter what. I write to disprove the rejections. If someone tells me I can't do something, I’m going to prove them wrong! When I get a rejection slip, it actually motivates me.
So many things keep me motivated. It’s my love of being immersed in my stories and characters of wanting to make those magical places exciting for someone else to visit and share it with others.
I'm OK with rejections, it's the of silence that bothers me... but I keep going because I have stories that need to be told, and that only happens if I write them, and people will only read them if I sell them, and I keep getting better, so it's worth it.
Even if one hundred agents don't respond of your book, remember it only takes one who loves it enough to convince one editor. You just have to keep trying until you find the agent your book speaks to in the way you meant for it to speak.
Read some of the sites that post how many rejections very, very famous authors were sent before someone recognized their talent and signed them.
I write for the joy of writing and it's like entertainment for me. I only write when I'm in the mood and never pressure myself to conform to others' expectations of how I should write. If I'm published, so be it. If I'm not, well, I enjoyed the ride.