My seven-year-old is kind of whiny. Coupling that with his oppositional disorder makes for some really frustrating conversations, let me tell ya. But since I’m pretty sure he got it from me (the whiny part, not the ODD part), I view my parental job in terms of getting him to understand when he needs to just suck it up and do it even if he doesn’t want to.
Which brings us ever so casually and smoothly into the topic of writing. And even specifically into this very post, which I had almost talked myself into skipping. This has been a rough week for me. My temp job still hasn’t gotten around to bringing me on full time yet, which is a big source of anxiety for me – I am most assuredly not a freelancer by nature. I also appear to have developed a bit of back pain; it mostly only hurts to sit, though, so my desk job shouldn’t present a problem, right? And said desk job presents lots of opportunity for eye strain, so I’ve had a nasty headache since about noon on Friday (it’s Sunday now, for those of you who thought I was actually planning these posts out).
Simply put, I don’t feel good. And I don’t want to think about writing right now. Don’t get me wrong, though; I’m well aware that there are better excuses out there than my little whiny ones. But excuses are really just excuses. If you want to write, you can make time (and energy) to do it. Unless you’re in a coma or something – I think we can make an exception there.
Anyway, if you want this to happen, you have to make it happen. Writing is not something that’s going to happen to you. Nothing ever just happens; there’s always some cause, even if it’s not obvious. Even winning the lottery requires that you buy a ticket. But ultimately you have to motivate yourself somehow. As trite as it sounds, you have to want it.
Some people do find help (or comfort) in outside coaching. I find that following a gaggle of writers on Twitter does wonders for my own sense of motivation. In addition to (mostly) being really smart and often funny people, they also sometimes show their flawed sides there. They’re people too, just like me. Well, hopefully their backs don’t hurt like mine does right now, but I digress.
Specifically, I recommend @kseniaanske and @chuckwendig. They drop the occasional f-bomb, but the pearls of wisdom and encouragement more than make up for it (not that I care about f-bombs, but some do). Check them out, and find your own as well.
And go put some words together.