Gail Carriger on Motivating to Write, Some Tough Love (Important for Authors) NaNoWriMo

Via Goodreads I got a certain question, Gentle Reader.

I hope, as you read the following, you can see my virtual eyebrow arching.

I’m an aspiring writer, but I’m dealing with two things:

  1. I get discouraged every single day because 96% of manuscripts are rejected, and I haven’t had an idea for years. 
  2. There’s too many people wanting to be writers, and knowing there’s so much competition just kills me a little every day. When I get motivated, immediately something appears about the industry that kills it.

Any tips on how to deal with this?

Look, here’s the truth…

If you get published or publish yourself. It only gets worse.

Being a full time freelancer (artist, author, etc…) is all about self motivation against nearly overwhelming odds.

I find blind optimism works well, not to mention willful disregard for the opinions of other.

I use shameless self-bribery to get my word count, usually chocolate and tea. I’m also a social writer, so I take myself off to cafes a lot. Finding what works to keep me writing is my most important ongoing quest.

The the simple fact is, if I don’t finish the book I have nothing. And since I’m an author, that also means I am nothing.

William Feather said, “Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.”

You want my secret?


Yes, there are a ton of people who want to be authors. Very few actually finish anything. Fewer still take the steps necessary to revise and edit their work properly.

What should you do? Be better then that.

There is no major secret beyond hard work and getting over your own hang-ups. Coincidentally that’s also basically how life works.

Specific instructions?

Arse in chair.

Fingers on keyboard.




End of discussion.

Oh and listen to I Should Be Writing.

Mur is a hell of a lot nicer than I am.

Or if you like tough love then listen to Ditch Diggers instead, because Matt is almost as mean.

Yours in crabbiness,

Miss G

P.S.  If you want tips on writer’s block, that’s here. If you want motivational speakers, there’s an industry for that. If you want emotional deep dives into your own psyche? May I suggest a good therapist?

P.P.S. This is the reason that I am one of those authors who supports NaNoWriMo. I think it’s a great training program for the reality of being a professional author, full time or not. Honestly, stop getting all up in your head about it, just flipping write. Sheeseh.


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Posted by Gail Carriger

2 Responses

  1. Rhiannon Lynn said:

    Hurrah for good advice. And a thought – Marvin reminds me a lot of Lord A; speech mannerisms, mostly. Intentional?

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