Tag Archives: motivation

7 Days of Motivation…. well, some weeks you need it more than others

1- MondayHappy Tuesday, everyone! Start your day with these tuesday funny quotes3- Wednesday4 Thursday5 Friday6 Saturday7 Sunday

 

and breathe ….. whatever it is that you are going through –

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(Images sourced via Google – credits to the owners)

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Define Success……. Go On I Dare You To…

success collage

Like many indie authors and bloggers I have “liked” and “joined” numerous….ok countless….author and book promotion Facebook groups and pages. I use these as a means to promote my author page, this blog and my book babies and very rarely comment on any discussion style posts.

Recently one caught my attention… “Do we have anyone in here with a lot of success?”

Initially I read it and scrolled on…. but it was bugging me….so I scrolled backup and replied.

“Define success? It means something different to each of us. If you mean “Do I feel I have succeeded with my writing?” then the answer is “yes” as I have told folk a story that entertained them and caused an emotional response. If you quantify success as hard cash then you’re in the wrong game. There’s more to life than money when there’s a story to be told.”

My response was well received by other members of the group.

And I stand by what I said.

It took me a long time to think of my writing as being successful in any shape or form. Self-publishing my first novel in 2015 was a surreal experience. It took me so far out of my comfort zone! Even having published three more novels, it still feels surreal.  Seeing my name on the cover of those books feels like a dream I am about to be rudely awakened from. However, as time has passed, I’ve come to realise that I’ve achieved something pretty special. Well, it’s pretty special to me.

How many people can say they’ve seen one of their lifelong dreams come true?

I can and that genuinely makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Makes me feel successful in my own quiet way.

I’ve been incredibly fortunate that no one yet has said my book babies are ugly. Seeing them sitting on Amazon.co.uk with lots of twinkling stars and multiple reviews makes me feel proud of what I’ve achieved (with the love and support of my Infamous Five and my cavalry) Seeing them with stars and reviews on Amazon.com, which is such a huge arena, blows my mind. It makes me feel successful in my own quiet way.

You can’t put a price on the emotions you experience when someone tells you they’ve loved your book and that it’s evoked an emotional response whether it be laughter or tears. Feedback like that is truly priceless.

If indie authors and bloggers were in it purely for the money, there wouldn’t be many of us left. FACT!

Let’s be honest, unless you strike it really lucky and your work lands before the right person at the right time and catches their eye then, chances are you’re not making a huge income, if any. I half-joked when I published my first novel that I hoped to earn enough to cover my concert ticket budget. My royalties come nowhere near to covering it! Most months they would barely cover the cost of a couple of coffees.

Authors are storytellers. We write to tell the story that’s grown inside us. At the risk of sounding cheesy for a minute, writing is a passion and I’ve always maintained that as soon as I stop feeling the love for it, I’ll stop.

But, do people realise the length of time it takes to pull an article/blog together or the number of hours of work a short story requires? Or the hundreds of hours a novel requires?

I’ll use this blog as an example and it’s not a long piece. It has taken me roughly an hour to write and re-draft and it’s taken another hour or so to type and re-draft again then say it will take ten minutes to publish it. That’s about 2-3 hours work. And guess what – it doesn’t earn me any royalties?

Last week, I published a short story on this blog page.  The word count was roughly 4000 words. It took me about four hours to write it. It took another couple to re-draft it, another couple to type it then fifteen minutes to post it. Let’s call it eight hours of work. And guess what – that didn’t earn me any royalties either.

Novels take months of effort. I really should take note of the time spent writing, typing, editing etc one of these days. All in all, it’s probably about four hours of work in total per thousand words ( rough guesstimate). My novels so far have ranged from 107000 words to 186 000 words. Let’s do the maths – that gives us about 428 -744 hours of work and that’s before you factor in the time to design the cover, the time my alpha readers (my Infamous Five) and my beta readers (the cavalry) donate and the time to upload the file to Amazon for publication…… and then there’s marketing and promotion to be done…..

The current National Minimum Wage in the UK is £7.93 per hour.

If I had been paid that for writing Ellen, my latest and shortest novel, that would have earned me £3400 approximately. To date, Ellen has generated around £100 in royalties.

I personally don’t define success in respect of my writing in terms of hard cash. If it was about the money, I’d have closed over my notebook and put the lid back on my pen a long time ago.

Success for me is about seeing people enjoying what I write. It’s about folk saying I’ve made them laugh or cry. It’s about entertaining readers. It’s about telling the story and setting my characters free from my imagination.
So, next time you read over a short story in your lunchbreak or a blog post, pause to think of the time and effort that went into making it a success.

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(images sourced via Google – credits to the owners)

January……

motivation collage

January – the first month of the year when you are supposed to feel motivated and energised to take on the challenges of the year to come.  Eh……maybe not!

January – cold dark month lasting at least 96 soul draining days…… I jest (slightly)

Did I feel motivated and ready to take on 2018 31 days ago? I thought so…..

In the spirit of honesty, I’ll confess to having struggled with my own  creative motivation   this month. The stresses and strains of every day life may have been a contributory factor or I may just be making excuses…who knows! We are now at the end of January and I’ve not met the goals I had in my head at the turn of the year and I’m mad at myself.

As part of the “day job” in the “salt mine” I’ve been delivering coaching sessions to my team to encourage them to think about what motivates them in a work sense and to think about what areas they wish to develop themselves in. I’ve now delivered the same session, tweaked to the individual, fourteen times.  It struck me earlier that I needed to deliver it one more time. I needed to deliver it to myself!

I’ll not bore you with the ins and outs of it all but the focus of the coaching was a motivational triangle. The three sides represent Clear, Capable and Motivated. Is it Clear what’s expected of you? Are you Capable of meeting these expectations/goals? Are you Motivated to succeed?

I paused for some self-reflection as I went for my lunchtime meander in the cold. A bit of soul-searching.

And the result……

Clear – YES I am clear of the expectation /goal I have set myself. I need to finish the first draft of book baby 4.

Capable – YES I am capable of achieving this. I need to remain focussed and not “waste” the time deviating off at a tangent and writing other pieces.

Motivated – YES I will finish this! I have invested too much time in the project to abandon it at the last gasp. It is so close to being finished in reality.

So, without further ado…. I have a book to finish! ….. Goodbye January. Hello February!

So, what motivates you? A simple thought provoking question.

motivation

One question that keeps cropping up just now centres around something we all have and something we are all capable of doing.

In a work sense, I was asked recently to name three things that motivated me.

In a personal (mad mad world) sense, I’ve been complimented on my motivation with regards to this blog and my book baby.

It’s got me thinking…..or should I say, it’s motivated me to think a bit more about this. (Seldom a good thing!)

My first port of call, as it is frequently for any topic up for discussion, my rather battered Collins English Dictionary. It says-

Motivate –     to give incentive to

Motivation –  the act or instance of motivating

Incentive of inducement

Desire to do; interest or drive

The process that arouses, sustains and regulated human and animal

behaviour.

Interesting…..

I’ve been mulling this over for a while, trying to establish what actually motivates me.

When I was asked the question in a work context, I was like a rabbit in the headlights. With only a few seconds to come up with my answer, I mumbled a rather bog standard money, recognition for a job well done and the satisfaction of seeing the job completed to a high standard.

If I’m honest, on reflection, two out of the three definitely motivate me at work. One less so. I’ll leave you to work it out.

At the time, most of my colleagues answered along similar lines – money, success, achievement, the thought of retirement on a reasonable pension.

In my own mad, mad world out of work, what motivates me? This has required more thought. A lot more thought!

Seeking inspiration, I consulted the Big Green Gummi Bear to determine his motivators in life. As expected I got a rather succinct three word answer. (For fear of incurring his wrath I won’t share them here.)

I consulted Boy Child, who looked at me blankly at first before saying he’d been motivated to get a summer job to get save enough money to buy a PRS guitar (and pay your way through university for a while, I hope) So I guess from his answer, I can deduce that money motivates him because it allows him to buy nice things. Most folk would struggle to argue with that.

I consulted a friend, who I consider to be one of the most motivated people in my circle of friends, and got a pleasant surprise in the midst of their answer. Family. A highly commendable motivator.

Over time I’ve discovered different things can trigger motivation in me. There’s no one single thing that motivates me. It’s a complex combination of things.

Books can motivate people to change their behaviour. After reading two books by Dean Karnazes, author and ultramarathon man, I was motivated sufficiently to get up off my butt and partake of some regular exercise. (To those reading this who know me – please stop laughing!) If you’d told me a year or so ago that I’d be sufficiently motivated to get out of bed an hour early to go for a run before work, I’d have sworn you were insane.

News articles/social media campaigns can motivate people. Remember last summer’s ALS Ice Bucket Challenge? – were you motivated enough to take part? Or is that inspired? Hmm…. The perfect example harks back to my blog of a few weeks ago. A BBC news item in 1984 motivated Sir Bob Geldof to get up off his couch and come up with Band Aid and subsequently Live Aid. The rest, as they say, is history.

With regards to my creative writing, what motivates me to keep going is the moral support of others, especially my Infamous Five. My motivation to keep going after the launch of Stronger Within went through a serious dip a few weeks ago. A chance comment from someone ,who had read my book baby, was enough to re-fill my motivation tanks for a good long while. They quite frankly told me that, while they’d enjoyed my book, it wasn’t really their thing (fair enough) but that it had inspired them to keep reading other books. Job done! Hearing that I’d inspired someone to read books was certainly motivational for me!

When I’m writing out my weekly To Do list, currently there is a weekly word target to be met. Seeing this number steadily increase week on week helps to motivate me to keep going. (Exceeding the week’s magic number and the resulting buzz I get from it has proved to me that I am more competitive than I thought I was.) Typing for hour after hour several nights a week, especially after a long day in the salt mine, can be quite draining so my simple numbers game is the ideal motivator here.

Another motivator is a sense of accomplishment. With the undying support of a close circle of wonderful people, I’ve made a lifelong dream come true and am on the way to repeating it. I don’t have the words to describe how that feels but, every time I reflect on it, I smile to myself and feel warm and fuzzy inside.

So on reflection, what are my personal motivators? Accomplishment, satisfaction and the determination to keep going.

What are yours?