Monday, April 2, 2012

What Motivates You?

Having a healthy bank account? The perfect job or the perfect car? Is it wearing the latest styles or sending your children to the perfect school? Or is it a sense of accomplishment, knowing you did your best?

Money has never been much of a motivator for me. Accomplishment is my single motivator. Whatever I do, I want to do my best, not for accolades but for self-satisfaction.
This picture was taken at the mile 7 hydration station.
The cups on the side of the road are from
1500 runners passing through. The bluegrass
did not stay littered very long.
Writing fiction comes with a huge learning curve. I don’t confess to being anywhere near the end of the curve, but I think I’m at least over the hump. It was a hard uphill struggle, much like the race this past Saturday. Look at this hill on Old Frankfort Pike, and it was just one of many. (That’s my running mentor, Ernie Peel, flying high after the high 5.)

One of the first critiques I received several years ago said: You are still early in the long learning curve required to master the art and craft of fiction.  This is not a negative thing because everyone starts at the beginning.  One of my clients used to say: Everything worth doing is worth doing badly at first!  You are far beyond doing this badly but also need to learn more about the structure and execution of fiction as this novel does have some serious problems that would make it not salable yet.
What did I do with this critique? I went to work. I joined RWA. I took on-line classes. I join a critique group. I studied craft books and I studied other writers. I entered contests. I wrote and I wrote and I wrote, and I’m still writing. There are a few rare and gifted writers who get it right from the get-go, but they are few and far between. The rest of us, well, we struggle uphill! But the view from the top is “to die for” as long as you don’t look too far ahead at the next hill you have to climb.
As Ernie told me constantly during training, hills are our friends. Yes, they are. We embrace them because they make us stronger.  
What hills are you running today?
Happy writing and running, Kathy

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