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?