On Writing: Resolve, Productivity, Work Habits, and Motivations

Welcome to February of 2015. Many people are fighting with resolutions. Some are succeeding. Some are failing. Some never got beyond the point of saying they'd try. Actually, I might go out on a limb at this point and state that I believe most people have already quit or failed in their goals.

I used to be a frequent flier of the failed resolutions brigade. The wreckage of my past attempts litter my life. Some still smolder, haunting me with my failure to succeed at something I thought should have been easy.

While I do view the New Year as a way to reset and start with a fresh slate, I've given up on resolutions for the most part. I do make resolutions, but I don't make them for January 1st. If I want to do something, if I truly want to do something, I start right away. Today. Any day I decide it needs to be done.

It's not much of a resolution if I don't believe in it enough to do it now. But, I want to talk about the reason why resolutions shouldn't be completely ignored. The base word of resolution is resolve… and having the resolve to do something is a big deal. In a way, I think we've cheapened and lessened our ability to have solid resolve by putting so much behind a single date to be resolved to do anything at all.

Sometime in December, I started seriously pursuing my own writing. My clients came second, my novels came first. My clients (being as awesome as they are) knew this, and knew when I did work on their novels, it got my full attention. I just made sure I wasn't spending the majority of my day on their stories, instead making sure I was focusing on mine as the priority.

Since I hardened my resolve, I finished drafting one novel. I am halfway through the drafts of two newer pieces. I am also well on my way to completing Storm Surge.

Storm Surge - RJ Blain - Cover ArtStorm Surge is currently available for preorder and will release on April 14, 2015. If you enjoyed Storm Without End, please consider purchasing a copy of the book! (Or, if you enjoy this blog and you want to support me as an author, take a look at all of my available titles and either purchase one for yourself or give a copy to someone as a gift.)

You can also be a huge help to me by adding one (or all) of my titles to your amazon wishlist. This lets amazon know people are interested in the book.

I'm really excited about Storm SurgeWhile I released the first book of the Fall of Erelith series before I published the first book of Requiem for the Rift King, Kalen and Breton are special to me–their story is the one that made me truly, truly want to be an author, no matter what. There's definitely quite a lot of sentimental value in this series for me. I'll be honest–this series isn't a money maker for me. (I wish.) But it's a series I'm writing for me in equal proportion as writing for my readers and fans.

Sometimes, the return of investments matters less to me. This is one of those instances. Of course, I'd love for Requiem for the Rift King to take flight and do well, but that's a matter of luck and readers finding me–and my books.

In the meantime, I will simply hold onto the hope that those who do read Requiem will enjoy the story–even if I break all of the rules of writing to tell the story I want to tell versus the story the fantasy-reading market tells me I should tell.

Not good financial sense, but that's life. Even if no one bought any of the books, I would still write them and release them.

I've taken quite the detour from the original subject: resolving to do something. But, I think my rambling about Storm Surge does demonstrate the most important part of my point. I am resolved to do this because it is something I truly want to do. I am willing to put in the hard work and effort because it is something I want for myself, not because others tell me I should do this.

I have motivation and desire backing my resolution. Because of this reason, I refuse to accept anything other than success.

I'm told, time and time again, that I should resolve to do a lot of things–lose weight, eat healthier (and lose weight), clean the house (I should, as dust allergies suck), exercise, and all of these good things everyone else thinks should be done this time of year.

I've learned my lesson. Unless I truly want it, I won't do it. Peer pressure just isn't sustainable. At the end of the day, the only person responsible for my successes and failures is me.

I've resolved to make my writing career a success, come hell, high (sewage) water, or anything else that comes in my way.

Ever since I decided that, ever since I embraced my desire to write and allow it to be my motivation, resolving to get it done wasn't that hard–neither was implementing it.

But maybe, just maybe, that's because I also accepted that no one is responsible for me except for me. I like encouragement. It helps, I won't deny that–but if I'm not willing to do things for myself, I certainly can't expect others to want to carry me towards my goals. As a result of deciding this for myself, I've improved my habits and productivity. The habits formed because I decided I needed to do this work. I became more productive because I decided what was important to me.

Better work habits and productivity weren't the means to an end; they were the direct result of my efforts. My resolve, motivation, drive, and desire forced my to sit down and work. I didn't resolve to improve my habits or productivity. I decided to sit down and finish what I started–the habits and productivity changes were the consequences of accomplishing my goals.

And that's working really well for me.

It's February. Is there anything you have decided to do?

Every day is a new day. This moment is all we're guaranteed.

What are you going to do with the time you have?

Me? I have writing to do, so I'm going to hop to it.

Leave a Comment:

1 comment
Hendrik Boom says February 8, 2015

(W)ri(g)t(e) on!

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