Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Writers' Wednesday: How To Stay Motivated

“I have not failed [at inventing the light bulb] 700 times. I have proven 700 ways it will not work.”
~Thomas Edison

Welcome to another Writers' Wednesday! Remember, if you leave a comment on today's post, you'll be entered into a random drawing to win a $5 Amazon gift certificate. Thanks for stopping by!


Sometimes it seems as though the effort of writing just isn’t worth it. You want to find an agent, and all you get are “Thanks but not right for us” letters. Or you desperately want to get published but can’t convince a publisher to request anything more than a partial. Or you really wish you could finish a darn story, but you can’t find the time or the words just won’t come.

It’s easy to give up on days like these. It’s easier to find other things to do, to just say, “Well, it isn’t meant to be."

But here, in no particular order, are 10 reasons you shouldn’t:

#1. Einstein was 4 years old before he could speak and 7 years old before he could read.

#2. A newspaper editor once fired Walt Disney because “he had no good ideas.”

#3. Beethoven’s music teacher once said of him, “As a composer, he is hopeless.”

#4. As a boy, Thomas Edison was told by his schoolteachers he was too stupid to learn anything.

#5. Leo Tolstoy flunked out of college.

#6. Winston Churchill failed 6th grade.

#7. Abraham was defeated for Congress 4 times before being elected President of the United States.

#8. Louis Pasteur was rated “mediocre” in chemistry at Royal College.

#9. Louisa May Alcott was told by an editor she could never write anything that had popular appeal.

#10. Stephen King was told, of his first horror novel Carrie, “We are not interested in science fiction which deals with negative utopias. They do not sell.”

Print out this page and tape it up somewhere (or heck, stick it in a drawer. I won’t care ;) ). And whenever you’re feeling discouraged, read it over. Everyone has faced challenges and disappointment and a certain level of failure in their pursuits. The truly successful don’t let it kill their spirit.

Write on!


hellojed said...

Inspirational! Reading other writers' experiences in their blogs are a great way to keep motivated too.

Judy said...

Thanks for these. Some of them I knew, others were new to me. The only sure way to fail is to stop trying.

Mom said...

Thanks for the inspirational "10 reasons." They are appropriate references for any field of work or walk of life.

Karen said...

Hi Allie, I've bookmarked your blog and have been following you for a week or so. I loved today's post -- it's applicable to so many things in life. I'm printing it out for my kids (and me!)


Rachelle said...

Wow, this is very encouraging. I'm a poet and I can't seem to get my hand to write a new verse these days. Thank you so much for sharing!


Anonymous said...

Great post, Allie :)
I'm definitely printing this off to keep nearby :)

marylin said...

Very well-said Allie. i'm keeping this list. I'd probably tack it on my refrigerator so I get reminded everyday.

Anicz said...

If you experience a disappointment or even a serious setback, that is no reason to give up hope. Though life is certainly not perfect, you are completely capable of moving forward no matter what may have happened before.

Leif D. said...

This is a really nice list. It made my heart flair in hopes and dreams!

Dylan said...

Thanks for sharing this Allie! Just brightened my day! I received a rejection leter today and I feel like crying but this one just cheered me up! Where did you get this list anyway?

g.i. george said...

This list works! I should get a few more lists toget me going each day! Thanks for the tip!


Kimberlee said...

I like your posts! They are very insightful and informative. I'm bookmarking your blog!

Kim (",)

Loney said...

This makes me feel like I wanna be somebody someday! Ohhh... so great as they are..they are still human like us..

Marianne Arkins said...

I have several of these committed to memory -- it's always good to know that there's hope.

You know me and my HEA's! :-)

Jess said...

Really nice list! Thank you so much!

Emma_Sanders said...

I definitely do not believe in giving up. I could have given up years ago but I wouldn't be published today. And, like Karen said, this post is applicable to many things, not only writing. Thanks!

Pam said...

Hi Allie,

Yes, indeedy. It's tough being a self-actualized adult while spending a huge amount of time hoping for external validation. :-)

Either there's something seriously wrong with us, or else we really are brave buckaroos becoming better and stronger everyday.

A favorite poet said, "Even my pain's gonna be pretty." Guess that means those lulls in motivation are just par for the course. We hang tough, endure and emerge ready for another round.


Alice Teh said...

Hi Allie,

Your post is very timely and inspiring.

I have recently finished reading Jeffrey Gitomer's Little Gold Book of YES!Attitude and even put up a review in Katrina's blog for the "Spring Reading Thing 2007" project. This is an absolutely positive must-read list and I'm pinning it to my noticeboard for the 365 days. Thanks very much!

Warm regards, Alice

Anonymous said...

I really liked your words of wisdom here. It is a reminder that successful people failed more times than not, but they made it because they kept going. Thanks for reminding us! -laura

robynl said...

It sure brings home that one must try many times at something to succeed in many cases and there is nothing wrong with that. Thanks.

Lenz said...

Thanks for this motivator. Surely touches lives!

mirth-quake said...

Wow, this is some info you got here. Never knew the famous got through some tough times, too!

Chel said...

I had no idea who Louisa May Alcott so I googled her. Hmm..she's the Little Women author. How could I not know! LOL

franz said...

This ain't a motivator, it's a butt-kicking wakeup call. hehehe