3 Types of Motivation and 1 Type of Irony

20150616_071256Life with a Little is the busiest I have ever experienced. College got pretty busy, but my homework didn’t wake me up at night unless I had a high-pressure exam the next day. So now that I’m sleeping much less than I would like (thank you, Little’s lower central incisors) I have set some pretty high goals for myself: finish the second draft of my novel. Soon. If I’m going to succeed, I need as much motivation as I can get. Thankfully, I have three types:

Now or Never

One good thing about being so busy is that my mindset is always “work now, or else you’ll never get to it.” There is no room for procrastination. It’s ironic, but I just might get more written now that I don’t have free time.

My goal is to finish editing my first act by New Years (or by Christmas if at all possible) and the next two acts by March. If I don’t work on it every day, I will fall behind. So I can at least take some time during Little’s naps or while he plays happily in the morning. There is time, I just need to find it and steal it away from other tasks like dishes and laundry.

Competition

These goals are also part of a competition. Even though ‘now or never’ gets me going pretty well, my internal motivation isn’t strong enough to withstand sleep deprivation. To battle this, I am competing with a writing group friend. We both set the same two due dates and we’ll trade our works by the end.

Expectant Readers

As if this wasn’t enough, another friend demanded that I let her read the novel at the end. If I didn’t trust her to handle my novel well I wouldn’t even consider sending it to her, but she is a conscientious person who I’m sure will be able to give a thoughtful critique. This also gives me a good excuse to print off the whole manuscript, which is always satisfying. Having few readers will help me meet my deadlines, and their notes will give me clearer direction for draft three.

Though each form of motivation helps keep me going, I still have some serious time restrictions no matter how determined I am to write. So wish me luck! I’m going to need it.

Get Paid! The Anatomy of a Writer’s Paycheck

13483674021616Today I’m not just talking about the satisfaction of a job well done; I’m talking business. Rates, skills, and time.

Alongside my usual freelance work, I recently edited friends’ grad school portfolios and cover letters. I’m happy to help them out; I’m invested in their success and I want to support them however I can. But far too many people out there don’t realize the pecuniary worth of a writer. Continue reading

Friday Reflections: Write Your Heart Out

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Let’s start writing! …just give me a minute make some tea, okay?

Since I’ve been talking a lot about business and freelancing lately, I thought that today I should get back to my roots. Here are a few writing challenges to get you going:

2014 April PAD Challenge: FAQs (and Tips)” – Though we’re a few days late with this peom-a-day challenge, Robert Lee Brewer from Writer’s Digest encourages writers to try their hand at a few stanzas. The challenge can teach you a lot about the art and discipline of writing, so you might as well sneak a look and take a shot! Continue reading

From the Forge: The Art of Collaboration Part 1

Art can be a lonely endeavor. Your muse spills onto a canvas, a page, a screen—and that intense focus often requires solitude. Your mind delves into invisible worlds, trying to pull slivers of imagination into reality. It takes a lot of work to communicate your original vision but, no matter what, it will be a shadowy simulacra of the original thought. Though solitude can be a helpful meditation to invoke your muse, community remains an essential component both the creative process and your survival in the ever-competitive professional realm.

Symbiotic Networking

Networking is a hive of potentiality, but before I explain, let’s do away with any negative connotations that may buzz around your brain…(Read more at StoryForge and see illustrations from some fantastic artists who were kind enough to collaborate with me!)

The Freelancer’s Polar Bear Club: Diving in Headfirst

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Ripped mercilessly off their shelves, books congregate by color. Homesickness sets in as they wait for their turn with the  camera.

Last week when the hubby came home from work, a mess of books sprawled across the dining table. He asked; I explained:

When I quit my semi-traditional salaried job last month, I decided to dive headfirst into freelancing. I bought a domain. I shot pictures for the website’s headers–discovering that that green books have too many tones to match well, but blue and red are nicely uniform. Superfluities aside, Continue reading

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davidfarland:

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About five years ago I looked at the future of publishing and felt … deeply worried. The rise in the sale of e-readers heralded both opportunities and concerns. You see, there aren’t a lot of avid readers in the world. About 40 percent of the people in the US won’t read a book this year—or…

Why I’m no Long Cautiously Optimistic about the Future of Publishing

SLY and Freelancing

As you have probably noticed, many of my posts have mentioned StoryForge recently, so maybe it’s time to update you on my career direction!

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I thought that you might want a face to go with the name 😉 My husband and I in Michigan last October. The face he is making—that’s from the cold, haha

Several weeks ago I quit my teaching job. It was a difficult but quick decision; I love the people that I worked with, but I wanted to focus more on my freelancing. I’m still writing interior decor articles (and loving it), and recently I started working with marking proposals, copyediting, and graphic design for another company. While they stretch me Continue reading

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…I really stretched the budget to try to make it work but the reality was simply more expensive—kind of the equivalent of jamming a square peg in a round hole.

Novelist Kelly Thompson, author of The Girl Who Would Be King and Storykiller, on her experiences with self-publishing and Kickstarter. See the full interview at StoryForge Productions!

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I had the good fortune to interview Kelly Thompson, author of The Girl Who Would Be King and Storykiller. She gives some great advice to aspiring novelists and shares the ups and downs of her journey! 

An Interview with Novelist Kelly Thompson, Part 1