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How to gain Inspiration, making money and not caring about being popular (1 Viewer)

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siliconpoetry

Senior Member
Ok. So to start off, I am not a professional at this point nor am I schooled in writing except for college. On that note, I am also an introvert and this shows in my ability to stay afloat as a social butterfly. The reason I mention that is because it seems like my metric of facebook interaction means that I am not in anyway destined for literary greatness. I have the average 200 friends and most of them are high school friends. As a second note on this, I recently posted a story I wrote on scribd for .99 cents. On last check it had over 100 hits but no purchases. I can understand this. At this point I don't feel the need to be rewarded monetarily although that is a future goal. Even having a close friend read and like my story was reward enough. Then again, I am very motivated by money and my metric for success in writing would be a few thousand or more. That said, any suggestions for how I can move past roadblocks and become a notable writer who actually makes money at the craft while still retaining a sort of grassroots appeal.

To answer a bit of the question. I feel like I have many good ideas, the problem is the inspiration and motivation to put them on paper. Inspiration in the sense of that spark that indelibly gets transferred from my inner voice or muse to paper and attracts readers. Motivation in the sense that it is a lot of work to become a good writer.

Cheers and Happy Holidays.
 

shadowwalker

WF Veterans
Lots of people have ideas and want money. The key is developing the discipline and patience to write and write and write and then write some more, until at some point you might have something that can get published and hopefully earn some money. If you wait for inspiration, it will take much, much longer; if you wait for motivation, it never will.
 

Bishop

WF Veterans
Set a writing goal.

Daily, weekly, monthly... by word count, time spend writing, pages written... whatever. Make yourself stick to it. Write everyday. Read everyday. Practice the craft by putting your fingers onto the keys and producing the work. Read more and more and learn what works in books and what doesn't. That's the only way to become a better writer, if you ask this humble Bishop. If you're writing solely for the money, you picked the wrong industry--there's better and more sure-fire ways to make money, even in Las Vegas. If you're doing it because you have a love for books and a story that must be told? That's more like it.

The only one that's going to get your story written is you. So make the choice; write or don't write.
 

Morkonan

WF Veterans
....That said, any suggestions for how I can move past roadblocks and become a notable writer who actually makes money at the craft while still retaining a sort of grassroots appeal.

Write well.

But, as you know, those two words don't even come close to communicating what "writing well" means.

To answer a bit of the question. I feel like I have many good ideas, the problem is the inspiration and motivation to put them on paper.

This is why "writing is hard."

A writer can trip over five good ideas on their way to the bathroom in the middle of the night. But, a good writer will trip over five already well-written pages before they flush. "Ideas" are the most common denominator amongst creative minds. "Written Words" are probably the least common denominator...

Writing isn't performance art. There's nobody in the audience watching you at your craft and forcing you to keep juggling out of fear of being made to look like an idiot... It's just you and a blank page - Writing is a solitary occupation. That means that being a successful writer means that you have to write and you have to be able to either inspire, force or blackmail yourself to put words on paper. You can not be a writer if you don't write.

If you have trouble actually producing the activity of "writing", one of the best ways to start inspiring yourself to write is to set a word-count limit that you must reach every day. Every day. Not just "when you feel like it", but every single day. If you have outside commitments or one of those "job" things, then create a schedule that clearly states what time of the day you will be writing or which days you will reserve for writing. Once you have this schedule, stick to it. Remember - Nobody else is going to be able to stand on your chest and make you write. It's all up to you. If you want to write and find difficulties regarding "motivation" or "inspiration" or "cogitation" or any other "-ations", coming up with a strict schedule and a word-count goal is the best answer.

Make your word-count something realistic. At first, start out with lightweight goals, just so you'll have a feeling of success at the end of the day. Disappointment and crushed dreams can wait for later... For now, set a reasonable goal and be sure that you meet it. You don't have to be bound to only "writing well." All you have to do is get some words down on paper that have some sort of logical order to them. Editing is something else that you can put off until tomorrow.

People like to have serene images in mind when thinking of "writers at their craft." There's often a tiny nook with a nice window that overlooks a pastoral scene in their imagination. The writer, a grizzled veteran, but with kind eyes, leans back in his chair and cradles a pipe as he ponders the mysteries of human experience.

The truth is that writers are often sprawled all over a messy desk in a cramped corner of a living room, bounded by squalling brats, traffic noise, and insistent pets who demand crazy things like "food" and "poopies." In between frantic sessions of tearing their hair out and screaming at the kids, they struggle to put two words in a comprehensible sequence. But, still, somehow they manage to get it done. Despite adversity, they persevere and achieve. Their medal is a published work.

That brings up something else - Your writing space. The "serene" writing nook is something we'd all like to have. But, it's like Bigfoot - Everyone has heard of them or knows someone who has seen one, but they've never seen one themselves. Find yourself a writing space where you can focus in comfort and without distraction if you actually want to be able to produce anything in your writing sessions. Remember - You have a goal that you must reach, no matter what, every writing session. Prepare your ground.

When it comes down to actually producing words on paper, "inspiration" or "motivation" isn't necessary. That may be necessary in order to develop a story, but you can't rely on such ephemeral things when it comes down to actually telling that story. Do not rely on being struck by a muse in order to be required to sit down and write. Just do it. No excuses, no exceptions, no magical mythological trollops necessary. :)
 

Jeko

WF Veterans
I feel like I have many good ideas, the problem is the inspiration and motivation to put them on paper.

Everyone has good ideas. Not everyone has the discipline to use them.

That discipline isn't something that comes flying through the window one starry night; you have to grasp and command it yourself.
 

John Galt

Senior Member
Ok. So to start off, I am not a professional at this point nor am I schooled in writing except for college. On that note, I am also an introvert and this shows in my ability to stay afloat as a social butterfly. The reason I mention that is because it seems like my metric of facebook interaction means that I am not in anyway destined for literary greatness. I have the average 200 friends and most of them are high school friends. As a second note on this, I recently posted a story I wrote on scribd for .99 cents. On last check it had over 100 hits but no purchases. I can understand this. At this point I don't feel the need to be rewarded monetarily although that is a future goal. Even having a close friend read and like my story was reward enough. Then again, I am very motivated by money and my metric for success in writing would be a few thousand or more. That said, any suggestions for how I can move past roadblocks and become a notable writer who actually makes money at the craft while still retaining a sort of grassroots appeal.

To answer a bit of the question. I feel like I have many good ideas, the problem is the inspiration and motivation to put them on paper. Inspiration in the sense of that spark that indelibly gets transferred from my inner voice or muse to paper and attracts readers. Motivation in the sense that it is a lot of work to become a good writer.

Cheers and Happy Holidays.

In my opinion, being a professional doesn't necessarily mean making a living by writing or having a qualification; to me it means taking your writing seriously and conducting yourself like a professional. Submitting according to guidelines, submitting on time when given a deadline (many writers see the deadline as "just a suggestion"), etc. As long as you take your writing seriously and value it as a craft.

Ideas are cheap. You can pick up 100 a day, a dozen good ones, before you've had lunch. Execution is key.

I don't remember who said this:
"I work on inspiration... and I make damn sure to be inspired every day at 5."
 

Deleted member 56686

Retired Supervisor
WF Veterans
I guess you have to ask yourself "Do I want to make a lot of money writing?" If so, that means that you will have to write what the publishers think the public wants, possibly absolute garbage. At the very least it will be something lesser than you may be capable of.

On the other hand, if you are trying to write something you would want to be remembered for, don't expect to get rich as Bishop says, but think of the self-respect you will gain as a writer.

And if what you write is really good you may have a small fan base in time. You won't become a millionaire certainly, maybe not even make a living from writing, but you will be able to say that you have made some kind of mark.

Just my opinion anyway :smile:
 

Terry D

Retired Supervisor
Writing isn't something you do to make lots of money. Most 'professional' writers (of fiction) have other jobs also. Get thoughts of John Grisham, J.K. Rowling, and Stephen King out of your head. Your chances of making that kind of money from your fiction are far, far smaller than your chances of winning a PowerBall jackpot. Seriously. Whatever money you do make writing will be a by-product of the work you are willing to put into your craft. Successful writers (whatever that term actually means--we could have a whole new thread about that) don't just decide to make money by writing and crap out sell-able stories. They were writers long before they became authors.

The only tip for turning your ideas into stories--even bad stories--is to write. And to read. Your signature says you haven't yet read 100 books. You better get started. Those book provide the seeds for your 'inspiration' and the fertilizer to help the stories grow. Books show you how other writers have navigated the obstacles you will encounter, they teach you how good sentences (and bad ones) look. Most writers are voracious readers. The two avocations go hand-in-hand.

Most of us dream about making that first big book sale, about getting that eight figure deal that will set us up for life. There's nothing wrong with those dreams, but dreams don't get the work done. There are lots of good books that never see the light of day, lots of good writers you'll never hear about. But the books are still written, and the writers still write; not for money, but because they are writers. I've said many times on these forums (yes, I know the plural of forum is fora, but I hate that word), there are two types of people who sit down at a keyboard and start writing: those who want to be writers, and those who want to write.
 

shadowwalker

WF Veterans
A lot of good writers write for money - that's their job. They don't write garbage (and implying that writing what the public wants means writing something 'lesser' is really insulting to readers. JMO).
 

Schrody

WF Veterans
Ideas are cheap. You can pick up 100 a day, a dozen good ones, before you've had lunch.

I usually get an idea every now and then, but they're always good. Why forcing it? When you have an idea write it down, then let it sit for a while. Not all "good" ideas will be good after a while, and not every "bad" idea will still be bad.

That means that being a successful writer means that you have to write and you have to be able to either inspire, force or blackmail yourself to put words on paper.

Sorry for the off topic, but how do you blackmail yourself? :-s

A lot of good writers write for money - that's their job. They don't write garbage (and implying that writing what the public wants means writing something 'lesser' is really insulting to readers. JMO).

Generalizations. They're not good, but they're mostly right. A lot of bad writers wrote what they thought market needs and succeeded by making a ton of money. Now, not every writer who writes for the money is a sell-out, or their work suck, but most of them are, and we have to deal with that. It's the same like saying vampires/erotic literature is a trash genre. Most of it is, but that doesn't mean there aren't any good stories. Every writer chooses a path he need to tramp, and some paths are easier then others. A lot of people think fantasy is a waste of time (as a genre), but you don't see fantasy writers stop writing them, don't you? :)

The main point is - do what you want. If you want to write for the money, do it. Just don't expect to make money overnight like some more famous authors.
 

shadowwalker

WF Veterans
I'm just saying that people write for two basic reasons - hobby or to get published. They want to get published for two basic reasons - money and/or pride. I imagine there are a few exceptions, but if we're being totally honest, that's what it boils down to. How badly one wants either of those determines how much work they're willing to put in.
 

Jeko

WF Veterans
I'm just saying that people write for two basic reasons - hobby or to get published. They want to get published for two basic reasons - money and/or pride. I imagine there are a few exceptions, but if we're being totally honest, that's what it boils down to. How badly one wants either of those determines how much work they're willing to put in.

I think Orwell's thoughts on this issue sum it up well. He thinks there are four key motivations:

-Sheer egoism
-Aesthetic enthusiasm
-Historical impulse
-Political purpose

Money would therefore join with one or more of these. You might, for example, want to use your skills in appreciating the world around you (aesthetic enthusiasm) in order to make a living. At least, that's where I see myself.
 
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