As an aspiring writer, novelist, and poet (those three are different!), I have to be driven to make my dreams of seeing my work published and publicized come true. (I will say that I’ve been published before, but that was way back in the 8th grade, when a poem I wrote in English class one day made it to 1998 Anthology of Poetry by Young Americans. Yes, I am that old now.) It’s all about making the effort and putting in the time to be creative every day, but it’s also easier said than done. So what drives me to, say, finish up the novel I’m working on? Not only wanting to finish it, but to finish it before a story just like mine hits the bookshelves. I can’t say the subject matter I’m writing about has not been done before, but I’m confident that my take on it will make my story stand out from the rest. There is also seeing some books out there of the same subject matter that I’m writing about, and when I see reviews of it, I’m wondering: how the hell did that get published in the first place? Then there are also seeing books written by certain people that make me wonder: how the fuck did they get a book deal in the first place? Something is totally fucked-up with the world when I see some no-talent famous-for-nothing get a book deal before me or other actual aspiring writers with talent. But if there’s a silver lining to that, it’s that it motivates me more to really get my story out there. Because I know I’m much better than some overhyped reality show cunt. If it takes a hundred rejections from publishing groups, so be it. It’s no different than me being turned down a job one too many times when I was looking for work (long before I took up massage therapy) years ago. There’s always going to be someone that will eventually say “yes” to you without odious compromising.
And from there, I’m also driven to make my work successful. I don’t know if it will happen with the first book (not really betting the farm on it), but I also don’t want to wait until I’m in my 50s to achieve my goals in this gig. I want it to happen soon, to show my parents I made something of my life. Particularly for my dad, who, while still leading a relatively healthy life for his age, is getting to those years in his life. Going off on a little tangent, that’s how close I am to my dad: I want to be successful not just for me, but for him. And if I ever reap mad wealth from my writing, I want to share some of it with him as well. To buy a house for him, after being forced out from his past two homes due to financial troubles. To buy him the dream car he’s always wanted, after literally seeing his get repossessed by the dealership years ago. To give him happiness in this world, after being saddled with unnecessary drama in his later life. I will say that the troubles he has went through at his age is also motivational bit. I want to work my damnedest in my writing right now, while I’m still young, save up my dough, so when I get to my old ages, I don’t ever have to worry about my house and my car being taken away from me. Those are things one should never worry about when you get to a certain age.
I’ll admit, it can be a challenge to stay driven. Even when thoughts of some book written by a no-talent attention whore get into my head (I’m not going to be thinking these things all the time, as I prefer to keep those losers out of my mind), there are times when I turn lax. Like, one moment, while I’m having dinner, I’ll be so eager to write some poems. And then the next moment, I’m super driven…to get that Gold cup in the Grand Prix of Mario Kart Wii. Luckily, I’ve been able to stave off playing games or any other form of slacking off for long periods. (In short bouts, slacking off from writing is actually good for me–so I don’t have to concentrate so, so much on my work and instead have a little fun. Give my brain some rest from milking creative juices.)
(Not the best song on motivation, but fun to listen to, anyway!)
If the things I hate motivate me, then so do the things I love. Or at least want. I’m motivated to get my butt into single-digit sizes by the time I turn 30 (which is not that far now, since I declared this well over a year ago!), and so I do my best to eat as healthy as I can, and work out at least 3-4 times a week. (Although I’d like to know if performing deep tissue bodywork for 50 minutes three times a day, four days a week is considered a major calorie-burning workout.) I become driven to write a poem about a lost love when I hear of a certain crush object of mine (whom I’m never met but admired from afar) hook up with another girl. (I actually wrote plenty of poems from this bit of inspiration!) I turn ambitious when I see so many girls wearing the same neutral-colored clothing and tight pants, and so I don a colorful top and a miniskirt or flared pants, not just to stand out from the homogenized herd of sheep, but because I know I look good in those clothes, and so I work it.
It’s not hard to find motivation, but how you take it is another thing. I can’t say this fire in me to be a successful writer was in me 10 years ago. I actually didn’t know what I was going to be then. I know I was writing short stories then, but only for fun and for myself, never giving thought that I can make a career out of it. I do wish I had that fire in me then, or had a better understanding of what I wanted in my life then. But better to have it happen now than never, right?
You know what I’m motivated to do right this second? Hit the hay. I need to stop writing my entries so late at night, as I risk sounding nonsensical here. I’ll leave you with this poem I wrote a couple years ago, that I recited at a poetry reading last year, that I think ties into this entry here. I call it, “Like, Tired.”
(By the way, if I see anyone out there take my work from here and claim it as their own, you are DEAD. I will hunt you down, I swear.)