Thursday, October 29, 2015

For Shame!

What motivates me to write?

Well, sometimes it's enjoyable. The words flow, the ideas spark like a cut wire in a puddle, the problems are ground to powder under the pounding of the lap top keys. That accounts for maybe ten or fifteen days a year.

And sometimes the end's in sight. I gallop towards the last page, looking forward to printing it out and dancing around to suitable music (ELO's "Mr Blue Sky" is excellent) then lying on the couch watching Castle and eating Kettle Chip sarnies. Let's call that another three days.

And sometimes, just sometimes, it's early days and nothing's gone wrong yet: the words on the page haven't started to knock all the gloss off the idea and cloud the bloom of creativity. Two days if I'm lucky.

So for twenty days a year I no more need motivation to write than I do to drink coffee and take Buzzfeed quizzes. Knock off a hundred days for weekends. Ten for Christmas hols (being a deadbeat European, I milk Christmas until after twelfth night (5th Jan)) another fifteen for Left Coast, Malice and Bouchercon, ten for summer hols and we're down to . . . two hundred and ten writing days to find motivation for.

Call it a round two hundred. Sometimes motivation fails.

For those two hundred days, my motivational cocktail is made up of dread, shame and fear. The dread of having to get a real job, the shame that I would feel if I flaked out on my contracts when so many good writers are trying to get one, and the fear of ever meeting anyone ever ever again and having to tell them I'm no longer a writer. Yep, it's public humiliation all the way for me.


Lori Rader-Day said...

I adore you.

Sarah said...

Ditto what Lori said.

Susan C Shea said...

Truth couched in your usual charming prose, but truth all the same. Thanks.

RJ Harlick said...

That about sums up my writing life too. You captured it perfectly.