Tag: writing authentically

5 Ways to Find Writing Motivation: Beyond the Obvious Recommendations

Credit: Joseph Lapin, The Man Who Walks Through Walls, Paris, France.

I graduated from my Master of Fine Arts program from Florida International University at 25-years old, which seemed like an impressive feat at the time. When I finished my MFA, I moved from Miami to Los Angeles, and I thought I was a pretty hot-shit writer about to head to one of the most creative cities in the world. In fact, I thought I was moments away from turning my thesis into a best-selling book, and I wasn’t worried about finding writing motivation to finish countless drafts while working long days at many different jobs. Honestly, it felt like I had already arrived.

In fact, I look back on that version of myself, a totally delusional version of myself, and realize that it’s kind of embarrassing. I remember asking one of my professors how long it took her to publish her first book after graduation, and she said, four years. At the time, four years after graduate school felt like such a long time to publish a book.

Now, I just turned 35-years old, and it’s 10 years since I graduated from my MFA program, and I don’t have a book. I have published a decent amount of non fiction and some fiction, and I have a great career where I practice my craft every day, but I know I still have a long way to go to accomplish my life goal: Filling an entire shelf with books I have written, and those books have to be worth the trees that were sacrificed. I want people to actually read the books, not just let them sit there and collect dust.

And even though so much time has passed since I graduated, I know I need to dig deep to still make my dreams come true. It’s hard to stay motivated though, especially with all that is happening in the world.

That’s why I put together a list of ways to find writing motivation. When I was researching for this blog, I read a lot of the other posts about finding writing motivation, and I realized the advice was terrible. They give trite advice like “set deadlines” and “commit to writing.” It’s time to actually hear some real advice. Let me keep it real with you.

Continue reading “5 Ways to Find Writing Motivation: Beyond the Obvious Recommendations”

Sailing Off the Coast of California

This Saturday, Heron and I went to Newport Beach where we met up with some friends.  We were going to spend the day on our buddy’s — let’s call him Kent — sailboat.  Kent has this beautiful boat, and he has been sailing most of his life.  Back home, my buddy had a great power boat, but this was my firs time on a sailboat.

Honestly, I was worried that I was going to get sea-sick, and I was even more worried that Heron would get sea-sick, too.  The waves were large, and it was a windy day.  As we drove through the harbor, Kent told me to head up to the middle of the boat and start pulling a rope attached to the mast.  To my surprise, I was lifting the main sail, watching the canvas spread out open at the top — the wind filling and catching.  It was amazing.

I kept asking Kent questions.  “What do you call that first sail?”  I learned it was called a jib.  “What are those dials for?”  “How fast are we going?”  At first, I worried that I might have been annoying, but Kent seemed like he loved to teach about sailing.  He knew what he was doing.  And to my surprise, as we pulled out of the harbor and passed the jetties, he told me to get behind the wheel.

Suddenly, I was Captain Joe — at the helm of the ship.  I couldn’t really figure out, at first, how to keep the boat straight, and Kent wanted me to do circles around a buoy.  I was amazed that every small movement of the wheel could cause such major shifts in direction.  I was navigating all right, until I took a few sharp turns, and the boom came swinging hard back through the cock pit, almost nailing Kent in the head.  Luckily, he was prepared for that disaster and kept his head low.  When that happened, I thought to myself, “I’m sure glad I didn’t do that.”  But then Kent said, “You’ve got to keep the boat straight.”  I asked, “What happened when the sail moved like that?”  “That was you,” Kent said.  “Definitely you.”  So, I was at fault.  Kent was nothing but encouraging however, and I stayed behind the wheel.   Continue reading “Sailing Off the Coast of California”