Writing is a relationship. I’m a little afraid to jinx it, but writing is going well, lately. I’m definitely all over it, trying to figure out why it’s going well so that I can replicate the situation, environment, and mindset for the next time writing becomes challenging.
I’m not sure if it was like this for all my schoolmates, but during my time in conservatory and thereafter, I was rather… down-to-earth and business-like in making a career and making money from music. In other words, keeping the passion and love alive was definitely not on my priority list.
Being “professional” was sorta drilled into your skull at all costs. (I am a rare bird in that I remember my time in conservatory fondly. The majority of my friends spent about a decade “getting over” the experience. When I was there, they hired a full-time psychiatrist to help students deal.)
I remember one friend being rather proud of herself for being down-to-earth enough to realize that “it’s a job, just like any other.”
It worked, honestly. I think C.I.M. boasts that 90% (around there) of their alumni make their living in music. But personally, I got burnt out. That was my fault, not C.I.M.’s. I sometimes cut corners out of what I loved about being a musician and teacher in order to make money.
Bad idea. It kills your enthusiasm, stresses you out, and burns you out, which, long-term, gives you less profit.
With writing, I’ve been careful to take the opposite approach: I protect the writing at all costs. I am trying to nurture my enthusiasm. I refuse to settle. Sure, what I’ve learned about making money in the arts is up there in my head, and I can’t completely turn it off (and perhaps my approach only works because of this), but my focus is on having fun and loving story and giving fiction everything I’ve got.
So I’m very careful to monitor what motivates me and what does not. Writing is going awesome at the moment. It’s erotica, though. I’ve got to figure out how to apply that to a NY-able genre.
Another big difference is that I have a lot more on my plate to write. And people already want it. That makes a big difference for my motivation.
Oddly, I have some deadlines coming up, but I’m writing as if I have none—and writing faster because of it. I’m just spending every second I can writing because I can’t wait to get back to my world and my characters.
I forgot what this was like.
I’ve been going to the movies a lot. That’s important for me. I love story, and in a movie I can disappear in it. When I read, it’s a little like working. I analyze too much while reading, so movies help me disappear in story.
I’m trying to remember these things, so I can keep the love alive.
How do you keep the love alive in your relationship with writing? What motivates you the most?