Earlier this week, I attended a seminar by an internationally renowned motivational speaker. He was talking about academic success but what he said made a lot of sense for writing as well. Too often, we can fall into the trap of despair or pass on our laziness and lack of motivation as ‘writer’s block’. Writers are notoriously temperamental, emotional, and irrational being but that does not excuse our behaviour. What so many writers lack or claim they cannot possibly possess lest it ‘interrupt the flow of inspiration’ is conviction. But if I am perfectly honest, inspiration is no more than an ephemeral idea with less substance to it than antimatter.
Think back on anything you have ever succeeded in. Did it just happen? Or did you have to work for it? At some stage,even for genui, you have to put in the work to achieve the results. I know a lot of writers who didn’t really like school, found it difficult or uncomfortable, but love writing and think that if they sit down with pen and paper they can create a masterpiece without a whole lot of effort. Wrong. Things worth doing taking effort but the effort doesn’t have to burn you out. Not if you work intelligently. You see, our own minds are the determiners of our fate. If we believe we can achieve then we will. If belive we will fail then we will.
For every negative thought, for every doubt, for every time that demon in your head tells you you can’t, it takes three positive thoughts to erase that one negative thought. As clichéd as it sounds, it’s all in your heads. But you know, as writers, we should be used to voices in our heads.