Sunday, October 25, 2009


Luckily, the world of writing is much more of a community than many fields of work. However, there is still an aspect of cut-throat competition and get rich quick schemes that lingers around the profession. The more I have been looking into publishing, the more I see that one must be discerning as a writer.

Of course, we all know we must laboriously consider each word we choose and each thought we construct. I mean discerning when it comes to gimmicks and motivation. There are a shocking number of empty promises floating about. It is far too easy to waste time chasing after “10 Days to Success” or “Fool-proof Writing” or whatever other shortcuts are being marketed to aspiring writers. I am a sucker for books on writing, blogs on writing, writing tips and “inspiration” in any form. Unfortunately, I never seem to buckle down to the actual writing. I fill myself up with positive emotions and a plethora of ideas and then have no time or energy to craft a piece from all of that. It is frustrating and discouraging.

Yet, there is some sense in which a gimmick can serve as genuine motivation. NaNoWriMo* seems to be an example of this. This competition is a month long novel writing challenge. It welcomes hype without making hallow promises. It spurs writer’s on with short term goals. And it seems to be fairly effective. I would love to produce a high volume of work and be able to cull through it later. Still, I am reluctant to engage in a venture that may only produce mediocre work at lightening speed.

What are your thoughts on motivation, competitions and writing gimmicks?



  1. You might find this article entertaining, or even comforting.

    Anything that motivates a writer to write is good, in my book. It may be gimmicky, but if it gets you going, then why not??

  2. The article was very interesting and I have continued to think about the challenge of getting writing. It prompted me to write the post about “Momentum.” Thank you for the link and your comments.