Friday, April 29, 2011

Motivation and Ambition

Today I am very sick, and thus even less lucid than usual...or even more illucid? Whichever (possibly both), you must excuse the written confabulation that will inevitably follow along with that. If it is half-assed, that is only because I wasn’t paying enough attention to apply my whole ass. I want to talk about motivation, and its close cousin: ambition. I’m a big steaming pile of ambition, wrapped in a delightful marinade of motivation, whose sweetness belies the pepper-corn core from which the true flavour is derived. So what’s my motivation?

A Steady Living
Since this Writing thing seems to be my most advanced salable skill and since this aptly named Second Golden Age of Publishing seems to promise the dedicated Writer a steady income, I figure I’ll give it a shot. For security, and such. But that’s a long term goal, and we humans don’t really derive our motivation from the long-term. (In the long-term, we’re all dead.). So what are my day-to-day motivations?

The nature of my cobbled-together mental health means that for about one week every month I don’t want to see anybody because I think too much, and for about one and a half weeks every month nobody wants to see me because I talk too much. A 9-to-5 job (i.e. where I have to show up at an office) is enervating, and wandering around in the jungle, while fun, is not really a long-term solution. The joy of writing is that I don’t actually have to talk or associate with anybody, unless I want to. And, well, a lot of that is in writing, which is what I do best. The point is, I’m entirely suited to a solitary existence, within reason. But that’s a lame day-to-day motivation.

Beer Rat. Actual Size.
That is only slightly tongue-in-cheek. On account of it’s not really a good idea to drink a lot of beer (for one, you’ll get really fat), but since I rather enjoy drinking beer in and of itself, I use beer as a motivator. I stock my refrigerator with a shelf of twenty-four beers each month, and every time I finish a short story (or some chunk of a serial I so designate) I put a penny on top of one can. Once I feel I have marked sufficient cans, and preferably when it’s raining, I have a party. Obviously, the goal would be to finish 24 stories in a month, but that hasn’t happened yet. Some cans of the beer inevitably disappear without being marked.

I blame the beer rats? ...yeah:


Within One Year
-At least 100 individual short stories, and however many novels coalesce during that time from serials.
-As many collections as is reasonable from out of that short story pool.
-To be making a quarter-living from writing.

Within Two Years
-Professional art, cover and interior.
-At least 5 novels.
-At least 10 book-length POD titles being regularly sent out to bookstores

Within Three Years
-To attend one of these professional writing workshops I hear so much about.
-To be making a half-living from writing.

Within Five Years
-To be making a full living from writing.

How about you? (Excuse me while I go feed the beer rats.)

I'd totally have more pictures of the beer rats, but my Internet Access sucks too much for uploading pictures right now. Sorry dudes! Wait one month, and I'll be in a more stable part of the jungle.
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