The Sweetie Chronicles

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~William Wordsworth

The Writer's 'Well'

Some people call it the Muse. Others call it the Well. I guess I think of it as Mana, but then again, I'm a gamer, so that makes sense. What am I talking about? That special something that propels and motivates a writer to write and work hard. It's hard to explain it, but it's even harder to find it when it's gone.

Sometimes, an idea grabs me so hard that I have to write about it immediately. Usually, though, the ideas are the easy part. It's the sitting down and writing part that can be tough. Once I've got my butt in the chair and I'm writing, I love it. It's addictive and fun and amazing and magical. But if I take a week off, getting back into the groove of it is extremely tough for me.

Does that mean I have writer's block every time I don't want to sit down or I can't find my motivation? Nah. I'm not sure I totally believe in writer's block. At least not in the sense that there's some mystical thing that prevents you from writing. Okay, so maybe there are times when the writing is slow to come, but as long as my fingers aren't broken, I can always write something. It's not 'writer's block' that kills me, it's lack of motivation. It's resistance. Maybe it's even a little bit self-sabotage.

When I made the decision to self-publish, I knew that I was signing up for some serious hard work. The most important thing for me is simply to get as much quality content for sale as I can over the next year. (which is, in itself, a full blog post I need to write). Getting content out is impossible without hard work. It means long days and hours of putting my butt in this chair and writing my heart out. It means pushing myself to the limit. A rough draft in a month, then revisions in two weeks. Formatting, then publishing. The whole process takes less than 2 months. And then I start all over again. Without motivation and the drive to work, there is no way I will be able to keep up this pace I've set.

So how do I overcome those days when I feel resistance? Those days when my damn muse just isn't showing up? How do I fill up that writer's well when I'm constantly emptying it? In some ways, I'm still looking for the right path and the right method to keep myself motivated. But I think that's the real key. To keep looking. To keep pushing. To never give up. I look for the small things (inexpensive things, ha!) that can make me happy or make me smile. (See my recent post about Hello Kitty things I bought! That was only $10, but it's kept me smiling all week!) I spend time with my friends and seize opportunities for laughter. I stop and think about the joyful things in my life - like my amazing husband and my best friends. These are the things that keep my going. Instead of concentrating on the negative things and the stress of deadlines, I try to stop and think of the blessings in my life.

And most importantly, I write even when I don't feel like it. I'm not perfect. I still have a long way to go until I have cultivated the work ethic I really want to have, but I'm working everyday to get better. Never give up. That's what matters.


Tivi Jones January 13, 2011 at 7:05 PM  

Awesome post, Sarra! Very inspirational!

Sarra Cannon

Young Adult Indie Author

I always secretly wanted to be a cheerleader. And a witch. Now, I write about both. The first five novels in my Peachville High Demons Young Adult Paranormal series are available now in ebook!

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Sarra's bookshelf: sarra-s-favorites

Beautiful DemonsThe Time Traveler's WifeLoveroot: PoemsFear of FlyingWe the LivingAnthem

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