The thing about writing is, a good idea is not enough. It takes structure, discipline and determination to get that good idea into something concrete. Intrinsic motivation will only take one so far until the coffee breaks and rabbit hole of cute cat videos take over.
I've been writing since I was in college, mostly as a way to procrastinate school work and studying for exams, but in the last three years, I've been consistent, driven and determined to finish the projects I've started. It's easy to say I have a great idea for a story, but building it, creating plot, dialogue, character, and making it submission-ready requires planning and organization. Two things I'm not too great at, I'm ready to admit.
Two Artist grants and mentorships later, I've learned to pace myself through a combination of research, writing, rewriting, querying, submitting, rejection letters, and crossing fingers.
Beyond all that, at the far end of every plot point or character denouement is a pat on the back to keep me moving forward. I love writing, but the idea of making it ready for someone else to read, judge and accept is a little terrifying, so, in come the cheerleaders:
My husband, who always gives me space to write as he wrangles the kids out of the house as a deadline approaches.
My writing buddy a.k.a my eight-year-old son, who sits at his desk writing comics while I try to plan my next novel. If he can do it, so can I.
Next are my mentors: writers and former teachers who are always ready to offer advice and encouragement.
My siblings, who on the other end of our group chats are always ready with an encouraging word, or emoji, that get me smiling.
Then there is Mom. No win is too small. You finished a chapter, Wow, that's amazing, here's some cake. And meatballs. And lunches for the kids for the next three weeks. The woman is like a food ninja, food at the ready no matter what the circumstance. She's always there to pump me up or comfort me. In any case, Mom's I'm so proud of you, no matter how small the challenge is like a grand cheer at a pep rally.
So, thanks to all the cheerleaders in my life. I'm working on making every one count.