Sunday, June 6, 2010

Blog Chain Post: My Timeshare in the Pit

This week's blog chain was started by my comic book kindred spirit, Amanda, who asked:

"What do you do to keep yourself motivated when you feel like you're not making any progress in your writing career?"

This is such a fabulous question because it's something I fight with daily. I recently acquired a two-book deal from Flux, and while I'm still happy dancing, I discovered something upsetting. Before the deal, I struggled with my motivation almost on a daily basis. If you recall from some of my interviews, a difficult childhood left me an inner editor that borders on abusive. I thought that obtaining a book deal would silence the voice once and for all...I was wrong. As recent as last Thursday found me on the phone with my close crit-buddy Sarah, with her trying to talk me down from the nefarious ledge of control+A+Delete on my latest WIP. You see, even with the book deal under my belt I still have trouble believing that I'm good enough.

My crit-buddies and I joke about a place we call the Writer's Pit. The Writer's Pit is the place you go when your motivation and confidence is drained. It's bleak there, hard to climb out, and I own a timeshare.

So, back to the question, what do I do to stay motivated?

I get in touch with all the things that inspire me to write. For example, I:

1. Hang out with pirates. (STL Pirate Fest)

2. Cheese it up with super heroes. (STL Archon)

3. Watch movies with wizards. (Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince movie premier)

4. Shoot Guns.

5. Attend Lectures.
(Jason & Grant from Scify's Ghost Hunters)

6. Drink Sake.

7. Pretend to be a Super Hero. (Usually done directly after #6)

8. Compete in Dog Shows.

9. Rock Out.

By opening the door to other creative outlets, I give myself the chance for inspiration to strike. And when it does, well, that's a one-way ticket out of the pit.

I'd love to hear your take on the subject! What do you do when you find yourself in a funk? Check out the always awesome Abby's blog, who posted yesterday, and the radically real Rebecca who will be posted later today (because I was late - shame on me!!!)

Hope you're all having an inspired weekend!


  1. Great ideas for replenishing the well, Cole!

  2. Fabulous ideas and I love the pictures! Great inspiration.

  3. I love this post! Such fun, creative ideas :) I think I need to get some crazier friends!

  4. When I get in a funk I dress up as a super hero and randomly help people. Today I was dressed as the Hulk and held the door open for people at the post office...I thought maybe some good Karma would help my query letters. :)

    Have a good one!

  5. Love the pictures! All terrific ways of plugging back into that creative outlet.

  6. The Writer PIt--oh no's! Great list of how to get out of it! :D

  7. I love your list! And finally someone else who likes to go target practice every now and then! Great post.