Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What drives you?

I was reading a blog post from a friend. She was talking about things that make her hit the "pause" button in her writing. When I left my comment for her, it got me thinking about myself. Not about my pause button, but about what drives me to keep going. To keep writing despite all the hurdles I've had in my way.

SO, what drove me to keep writing despite the rejections. Despite the almosts, but just not theres. Despite some friends and family who completely considered my writing a "hobby" and nothing to take serious. Of course the number ONE answer is my LOVE of writing. I write because I'm passionate about it, and I can't imagine doing anything else, but I'm delving a little deeper here. What really drove me to keep going, to keep writing and now that I have an agent what's making me push forward even harder is my HUGE fear of failure. I hate it when I can't do something. Whatever it is will weigh on my mind until I drive myself (and my husband) crazy. For as long as I can remember, my dream has always been to be author. Not just with one book or two, but a career! I wanted to share my love of stories with the world and do it for a long, long time.

Once I realized that, for me, there was no turning back. I was so scared to start something and not finish it. To prove those people right who just considered writing a silly hobby that I would never get anywhere with. It was that fear of failure that after I wrote my first agent targeted book and only got ONE agent request to write my second one. That fear told me to suck it up after I wrote my second book to AGAIN only get ONE agent request. That fear told me, "Okay, Kelley, time to step up your game and write a really special story" when I started my third agent targeted book. And after the excitement of the ten or so agent requests I got for it turned into more rejections (though a couple REALLY close calls) that fear of failure propelled me forward to write yet another one.

This time, I wasn't pulling any punches. Sebastian, my hero, was special and I knew his story was too. But I got rejections... a lot of them. Less requests than I got for number three, but still definitely more than I got for my other books.

Should I give up? Do I SUCK? I was honestly starting to think I did, but I couldn't let myself give up. I was so scared. Part of my dream had come true, I had a few published books, but I wanted it all. So I kept querying. And I got more requests... and then I got FOUR offers of representation.

Despite how over the moon happy I am, I'm even more scared now. What if it was a fluke? What if now that I have an agent I can't write? Fear, fear, fear! I have to prove to myself that it isn't a fluke. That I would deserve the agent requests so I got busy on my next book. My fear won't let me give up and though I don't like being so scared, I'm thankful for it. Thankful that my fear won't let me lie down. Won't let me take anything for granted and will keep making me push on no matter what.

What drives YOU? It doesn't have to be about writing, but can be if you're a writer. What drives you in your job, personal life, anything at all.


Regina Carlysle said...

All of this is an exercise in fighting our fears. I've always believed that. When I was younger that fear was something I succumbed to. It stopped me in my tracks and kept me from living my life the way I wanted. Finally, I got SICK of it. I was so DONE with letting fear rule my life. And I still fight it, even though I've achieved many of my dreams. I think we all do this.The worse thing though is not trying. How could I live with myself if I didn't beat back these fears and TRY?

Madison Scott said...

Well said, Reg!

wendy said...

What drives me is i can't give up i have been like that forever when i start something i can't let it go i can walk away from it for a little bit but i away go back to it because my brain won't let it go until what I'm doing is finish like when i taught myself to read it was hard and took a long time but when i started it took me a few months to read a book know it takes me a few days to read a book still have to sound out some words but I'm 10 times better then when i start so i guess it is my brain that drives me.

Delaney Diamond said...

What drives me as a writer? Compliments. LOL. No really. The occasional pat on the back encourages me to continue.

Before I became published, it was friends and family telling me that I was a good writer. Now that I'm published, it's having readers and other writers tell me they like my stories.

As long as there are more compliments than negative criticism, I'll keep doing it. Because that means there are other people other than me enjoying my work.

Brindle Chase said...

I write purely for the love. I tested the waters to see if I was publishable, and wasn't... and that motivated me to learn more... and I did and then retested. And I was published, but I too wondered if it was a fluke. So I tried again and got published. Now, I still write for the love, but am happy to publish them, so I can share my stories with others and make a little change on the side! Hehehe

Zina said...

My kids are what keepsme going and the desire to be the best mom I can and produce offspring that will be good people, a sort of paying it forward kinda thing with my kids I guess, besides someday thse kids will be hopefully taking care of me.

Madison Scott said...

Lovely answers everyone. I completely agree with a lot of them. I definitely want my kids to learn from mom going for her dream.

Tess MacKall said...

Congrats on the agent, sweetie. You deserve it for sure. Hard work does pay off.

Fear of failure can be what paralyzes you and also what propels you forward.

You took the right road, hon.

I have yet to figure out what drives me. Possibly fear of failure, definitely love of writing, but there's something else there that keeps nagging me on too that I can't quite define.

Natalie Dae said...

I've been through so many emotions with this gig that I'm now at the point where I write because I want to and because I love it. Back to how it all started, in fact. The best place for me to be! Just doing something that makes me happy.