>> Monday, June 7, 2010
I am not a motivated person.
In fact, I have chosen so far not to share this blog and much of my online writing with my friends and family simply because they have seen me come up with so many crazy plans and fail to follow through. I'd love the views, the clicks on my Examiner and Associated Content profile pages and articles. But it's scary.
It's funny how my fears run so contrary to my goals as a writer. If I'm scared to show my work to friends and family who have stuck by me for this long, what am I going to do when something I've written gets a bad review?
Or maybe that's not the issue. Maybe I just want to fall into this pattern of safely writing when I feel like it, never being bothered for more or asked when I'll update, and then if I stop feeling like writing I can quit.
Well, that's just not how it works.
There's an infinite number of guides out there on how to motivate yourself as a writer. They suggest setting aside solid blocks of time to write, because of course every writer lives alone or with family and pets who are considerate enough to keep to themselves for more than five minutes at a time.
They suggest rewarding yourself with new clothes or a nice meal out. I guess a 99 cent burrito from Taco Bell might fall under that category.
I'm sure these tips work for some people, but to me they sound like self-discipline for those already capable of self-discipline. I stick by the idea that if you care enough about something, it's not lack of motivation that's holding you back. It's fear.
For the past few days I've been relentlessly working at mindless little tasks -- cooking, cleaning, job applications. But I haven't wanted to write. There's a lot of fear in art. What's beautiful to you isn't beautiful to everyone. You're exposing your inner world and anyone who criticizes it is criticizing you.
I guess the key is to learn not to take it personally. Everyone dreams of having themselves and their work in the spotlight, and you'll never get there if you can't handle someone, somewhere disliking who you are.