Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sources of motivation

First and foremost, I'd like to ask you guys if there's anything you'd like to see here on Points of Claire-ification (besides the re-instatement of giveaways, of course). I'd really like to be able to give you guys what you need/want. So if there's something I'm doing that you'd like to see more of, let me know. Or if there's something I'm not doing that you'd like to see, let me know that too. Also, god is nothing without bad, so if there's something grating on your nerves, holla. You can answer in the comments or email me at muchlanguage (at) gmail (dot) com.

Thanks! Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming, except that it's totally not scheduled, but meh...

We all have our reasons for doing the things we do. And for things that are particularly difficult or that take a long time, we need to find motivators to keep us from throwing the towel in with the bathwater when the going gets tough. lol.

Here are some of the things that motivate me when it comes to writing:

Being friends with stars:

Call me weird, but I have this thing about being friends with famous people. Oh, I love meeting them, but anybody can do that. And I've met oodles of famous people now. The novelty has mostly worn off. (Unless it's Johnny Depp. Or Orlando Bloom. All bets are off for pirates.)

But I'd really like to be friends with the amazing people whose books I read. I imagine chitchatting with Jay Asher about how his son's doing, calling up Kody Keplinger to ask how she's liking the big city, having a laugh over a croissant with Louise Rennison when I'm in the UK. And when I've got booksies under my belt, then I might just stand a chance at doing some of those things.

(Of course, I have to mention that even in my semi-published state I've already 'met' so many amazing published writers: the whole Japan lot, especially the guys and gals at SCBWI Tokyo, the awesome Natalie Whipple, the amazing Elana Johnson, the incredibly nice Dianne K. Salerni, the hilariously risque Tawna Fenske, and so many others, I can't name them all. )

Sharing the job title and the shelf:

When I think about all the amazing stories in the universe, and the amazing authors that penned them and think I could be a part of that, well, forgive me if I swoon a little. I get to do what Tolkien did. I get to sit in a section with J.K. Rowling. Maybe around the corner from Stephen King. Excuse me a minute, my brain just imploded and I need to get a paper towel to clean up the mess.

We change the history:

(That was one of the slogans at my JHS sports last year. So proud of my kiddies for coming up wth it on their own. )

I can't think of a single English-speaking Caribbean author who writes commercial fiction aimed at Caribbean audiences. (If you know of one, please point me in their direction- I'd love to read some.) If you just consider Jamaica, Trinida and Barbados, that's a population of over 5 million people. A population that has always been ignored in entertainment. A population that always falls into this hole somewhere between America, Canada and the UK. A population that's constantly misrepresented as one particular dreadlocked, "Hey Mon" stereotype. A population that on average reads more books than the citizens of many other developed/developping countries.

I'm not even thinking about the financial implications here. But just imagine, if someone were to write books for people who loved books but had never had books written for them, how hungry they'd be for them. How happy they'd be.

I want to give them that.

Despise the 9 to 5:

I love my job, but it has a 5 year max, and I'm starting year 4. Which means I need to pick something new in 2 years' time. But frankly, I hate 9to5ing. I hate getting up and putting on the same-ish clothes, to go the same office and sit in the same chair.

That's one of my favourite things about writing. There's enough change to keep me happy. You can work with new characters every few months. Writing is a different process from editing, which is different from marketing and public appearances. You can fly through a first draft and take it slow through edits. You can write in the morning or at night.

And somehow there's still enough consistency to keep me from feeling disconnected. Story structures, arcs, themes are repeated. Aspects of writing become honed into the most effective method and that gets repeated. Your voice grows and develop, but most authors keep the same type of voice throughout their career. Even on a micro-level, you spend at least a year on the development of each book.

My brother:

I told me brother I was a writer. He laughed and said I was a teacher. He's probably forgotten that. But I can't. Not until I'm a writer in my brother's eyes. And everyone else who hangs to the technicality of having an actual book.


It amazes me that there are almost 200 people who thought to click "follow" for my blog. I'm even more amazed by the ones who've been around here for almost 2 years: Marsha, Laura, JP, EJ, Postman, Jen, Erin, ...

And it makes me feel like I owe you guys something. Somethind more than random mumblings and pics of Japan and occasional insights into Caribbean life. I feel like I owe you a book. Whether or not you ever read that book, whether or not you like it, I need to produce it. Otherwise, where do I get off pompasetting (Bajan word, meaning strutting around like a peacock) about the place like I know something about writing, giving advice, offering opinions? If I don't give it my best shot, then I'm just a fraud. This blog is more than just a testament to my insanities. It's a promise.

I will do this.

What motivates you?


Unknown said...

Book reviews! You've done some of the best, if I do say so myself. I also really enjoy your posts that relate writing to various things in pop culture (like Disney movies, etc.).

That's my Claire wish list. :-)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You definitely need to prove your brother's laughter wrong!
Blog about your passions - the enthusiasm will come through to us, the readers, and we'll enjoy it.

S. said...

I love your blog posts! =D Can't wait for your book to come out!
As for what I like on your blog? Write more about just you, you know like your rants and life anecdotes, esp stuff from your childhood that makes you, you! =)

Jon Paul said...

Thanks for the mention, Claire! It's great to be remembered. :D

I really like the way you think through you're posts, and getting those juices flowing--letting things pop and sizzle up in the old noggin--really gets me motivated!

So thanks, and keep 'em coming!

Marsha Sigman said...

It has been totally my pleasure to follow you these past two years and many more to come. You WILL have a book out someday and so will I. When the time comes, if you need someone to spot you while you shove that in your brother's face...count me

I think you have a great mix of writery posts and personal ones. I come here to read what you have to say because it's important and interesting. If you never give anything else away or hold another contest it wouldn't make a difference to me. How's that for some bloggy friend love?ha

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