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I’m Working on the Roots

4 Oct

The day is over and I just want to go to bed, but I still haven’t written my daily post. Day freaking 4 and I’m already in trouble. Good thing I just read a post called Ten Tricks to Motivate Yourself To Write – Right Now, on Ollin Morales’ blog, Courage 2 Create.

I’m already stuck on the very first tip:

1. Reward Yourself For Trying

I don’t think any fiction writer writes to win awards or to make money. Writing is no get-rich-quick career or an instant fame booster. But that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve an award for your day-to-day efforts. You do. Is no one else rewarding you? Then do it yourself.

This might be embarrassing but usually a strategically placed red velvet cupcake, or banana nut muffin, or double chocolate brownie by my laptop will get me through to a whole night’s revision of a passage in my book. Use whatever little goodie, or treat, or gift that will get you through the day-to-day drudgery. It’s not a luxury if you literally need it to get the writing done.

Rewarding yourself for trying also means not demanding that your work be brilliant every day. It won’t be: it will be awful most of the time, but that’s ok. You’re growing a tree, it’s as important to work on the roots as it is to work on the bark and the branches. So if you think you did a crummy job today, remind yourself: ”I’m still working on the roots!”

Oh sure, Ollin, easy for you to say.  My problem is I already ate the motivation. A Cadbury’s Chocolate Almond bar.

It was yummy, the milk chocolate was smooth and the nuts were crunchy, and it was the perfect blend of sweet and salty at the same time. Now I can’t use it for motivation. I can’t place it just out of reach until my writing is done. But I can tell you how yummy it was and how I’ve savoured it over two evenings.  I can tell you about how I ate it, square by square, breaking off each lovely piece and melting it on my tongue for a second, before delightfully savouring its texture and flavour.  I can tell you about reaching in the purple foil wrapper looking for just one more bite until it was all gone.

In a way, I guess Ollin was right.  Only the treat wasn’t motivation, it was inspiration. Yeah, that’s it. Inspiration. And this post isn’t brilliant, but it’s okay, I’m working on the roots.  I can hardly wait to work on the bark or the branches.

Did someone say bark?  Almond bark?