Motivation is key to writing, and yet it can be hard to summon. You lock yourself away for hours slaving over a product that, for us beginners, has a 99% chance of rejection. To improve that product, we have to accept criticism; beyond ego, this is tricky too. We must be able to discern which criticisms are useful, and decide how to incorporate them. It’s a rocky road; I frequently struggle with motivation. I enjoy writing and the play of it, but sometimes the short-term assurity of failure looms large. But if we don’t tackle that short-term failure, long-term failure is even more assured. Yesterday marked one year since I began submitting fiction consistently. I’ve submitted 78 times, with 3 acceptances.
So, any help at motivation, be it friends, clubs, or whatever, is helpful. Participating in NaNoWriMo was wonderful. I attended RavenCon in Richmond in April, and that was exciting and motivating as well. And yesterday, the 2014 Clarion Write-a-Thon began.
For those who have not heard of it, the Clarion workshop is a 6 week workshop in San Diego for science fiction and fantasy writing, with such alumni as Octavia Butler, Kim Stanley Robinson, and Cory Doctorow. I would dearly love to go some day. In the mean time, this Write-a-Thon allows participants to challenge themselves with writing goals in those same six weeks.
You can visit my Clarion Write-a-Thon page here. So far, I especially like the ability to set different goals. I loved NaNoWriMo, but frankly I feel that I need to improve my short stories to improve my writing skills. My goal for the Write-a-Thon is to write 8 short story drafts. Wish me luck! I’m looking to join a writing team, so make a profile, and we can team up!