Tips for staying motivated?

Created about 2 years ago by Antimony Noon with 9 comments
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Kevin book cover headshot 2017 Kevin O’Coffey · Author · edited almost 2 years ago
@Rick Heinz, I think my slug line has improved as it used to read like a TV Guide listing for a Nick Jr. program, but feel free to critique as well if you have the time/don’t mind. (I also purchased your book, so there’s that for karma!) 

I appreciate everyone being real. I can particularly relate with Kaytalin and J. Graham-Jones. I too had a soap opera worthy breakdown the day my project went live on Inkshares. (I think I hid for an hour in the fetal position behind my toilet.) Gradually, I got used to having  the soft part of my underbelly the scales don’t cover exposed and am okay and more mature about handling praise or--God forbid--harsh critiques. I just try not to get too high or too low when either happens.

But if I’m honest, I must say the crickets are what’s killing me. I’ve got a bad case of the--holy crap!--I’m less than thirty days away from ending my campaign and nobody loves my book blues. So for starters, if anyone cares to give it a once over and leave a review please do. Any extra advice is more than welcome if anyone wants to PM me regarding how do you gently "Amway" folks into purchasing? (If I hear one more time, "But why is your book $10 and Amazon books are only .99?" I think the fault lines in my brain will achieve seismic crescendo.)

Perhaps more impactful, I am more than willing to swap with you. Let me clarify: pre-orders that is, not spit or significant others. Nor the spit of significant others. Yes, I’m officially brain giddy and besieged by own campaign. Anyhow, hopefully you get the picture. Just let me know if you’re game.

I appreciate everyone and their mutual support. Let me know how I can help! 
Picture Rick Heinz · Author · added almost 2 years ago
If you need help with an elevator pitch @Ryan Cook just PM me. This is a skill thing and I can show you some tips on how to get there. Sadly, "read my book", doesn’t count as an appropriate one. Or hit me up on Twitter / Facebook. I’ve helped the elevator pitches of a few projects around here already and it’s kind of a fun task. 
Bio pic 2 Ryan Cook · Author · added about 2 years ago
I have no problem sharing my work, but I definitely struggle to promote it. The elevator pitch is probably my worst area. "What’s your book about?" "Oh, well... I started writing it in high school. It’s a lot like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but there’s so much more... You see, Kara wants to be a hero... Monique is my favorite character to write..." "What happens in the book?" "... There’s werewolves and vampires and Frankenstein monsters and mummies and..." 

I just want to tell someone to read my work and, magically, they do. And they love it like they love Harry Potter or The Hunger Games. But, alas...

I agree that you have to ask EVERYONE you know to support you and your campaign. I’ve had Facebook friends who I’ve had less than a conversation with in real life immediately pre-order my book. No one is off limits. And keep asking them (like once a week) because some forget to pre-order right away and need the reminder. One of my best friends said he was going to pre-order on day one. It took him three weeks but her pre-ordered 3 books.

Utilize all social media: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Snapchat... and convey your unending love for your book in your posts. Appeal to others’ love of all things. I just tweeted "Ever wonder what Han Solo would be like as an overweight witch? #starwars" because I’m not above luring a few fellow Star Wars nerds. And even if I get no bites, I had fun coming up with the comparison.

And, when all else fails, come here. Ask for help. You’d be surprised how many authors deep into their own funding campaigns will blast out a few posts to support a fellow author.
Img 20160806 023915 Luke Fellner · Author · added about 2 years ago
I haven’t started my own preorder campaign yet, but when I need motivation I just remember that it won’t get done if I don’t do it. One of those harsh reality type of things, but it’s true. You also need to make sure you switch gears from what I’ve heard. Make sure when someone says no that you don’t take offense to it, just keep moving to the next person.
Headshotprofile Antimony Noon · Author · edited about 2 years ago · 2 likes
Thank you, all of you, for sharing your own experiences - another thing that isn’t always easy to do. 

@Kaytalin Platt - it’s quite painful reading your response and recognising some very familiar feelings; and similarly - for me, one of the most painful and difficult parts of all of this is not nasty responses from strangers, but apathy from people who I know very well. 

I took your very useful advice, took a day for myself away from anything book-related and from reading any emails/comments/updates and just let myself recharge and then came back to write over the weekend. 

Pretty sure the rest of this adventure is going to be exhausting as well, but I’ve managed this far and really, overall, it hasn’t been as awful as I thought it would be; I’ve had some wonderfully positive responses from people I didn’t expect them from and most importantly, am writing something that I love writing. 
Unholy pursuit poster A. White · Author · edited about 2 years ago · 1 like
Kaytalin, thank you for sharing those things with us. There a saying one can’t write in depths without having lived it.  Yes when one has been through a lot in life you learn to see priorities better. Yes, it is hard to stay motivated in this fund raising campaign but when we look back on what you have already been through, you are right---this is a spring Sunday  afternoon picnic.  I stay motivated in believing where there’s a will there’s a way. Funded or not I know I have written a fabulous series.  Some might say that is egoistic but if you don’t believe in your work then who will? Every major discovery in history, in the beginning no one believed the performer could do it but that didn’t stop them.  For example, every one told Dr. Jenner he would make small poxes worse but that  didn’t stop him from finding a vaccine. Well, that’s kinda how I see publication.  
Kpphoto Kaytalin Platt · Author · edited almost 2 years ago · 8 likes
*Sorry, this ended up being very long-winded. I bolded the more relevant information to your question.*

I understand completely what you mean! I’ve posted small snippets of writing with short stories on blogs, but I’ve always been reluctant to share them with my network of people.

I decided I wanted to actually do something with the novels I’ve been working with over the years, so I posted one on Inkshares and then was encouraged to join the Geek & Sundry contest and start funding. 

I did a lot of research on how to run a successful campaign, and it all seemed to boil down to messaging literally everyone you’ve ever met and asking them to support you. I started easy, with people that I knew I could count on. Then, I branched out to people I was acquainted with, and then I moved on to people that I sort-of-kind-of-knew. All of these, even down to messaging people I know very well, has been an introvert’s anxiety induced nightmare.

This has been an exhausting adventure, made more exhausting by the fact that I’m introverted and it is really hard to ask people for help or to support me. I’m only a month into a three-month contest/campaign and going forward seems daunting.

I’ve already gotten nasty messages from people,  sadly most were authors that I did nearly free or completely free design work for and had felt confident they would return the favor of with their support. The response rate, or lack-thereof from people that I know has been equally disheartening. The need to keep up in a contest that is solely driven on the amount of people you know, and can get onboard with your project, and less about the quality of your writing is exhausting, especially for writers who are not comfortable with sharing their work or do not have a vast network. 

My saving grace has been in my very close friends who have pushed the book to their network, and when I say push, I mean going to people personally (friends, family, and co-workers) and getting them on board with pre-ordering.

Yesterday, I took a big hit in the motivation area. When you realize the campaign or contest you’re in is very carrot-and-stick with the prize continuously moving forward and you continuously chasing it, on top of tumble-weed replies or cricket responses in your network, you get knocked a couple of pegs in that department. When I get bummed a friend says, "You’re allowed to throw a pity party for one day, and then the next day you get back to work."

I’ve been through a lot in life, things far worse than the stress of this campaign, and so I have to remind myself that this is a cakewalk, even if losing will close a really great door for me. I grew up poor, I worked to put myself through college while taking care of my elderly grandmother. I gave all of myself, emotionally and monetarily, to parents and to the point I had to move a thousand miles away, with little money and no job, in order to save what was left of me. I’ve been desperate. I’ve been broken. I’ve cried myself to sleep nights on end, but no matter what happened in life I kept pushing. I worked endlessly, and I still do. Sixteen hour work days are "normal days" for me. 

Motivation. When I’m tired, when I’m on the verge of a nervous breakdown and I wonder why I keep going on, I think about what I want in life. I think about that goal and I let myself feel how much I want it. I let myself understand how much I truly want it, and I press on. I learned the hard way that, for most of us, nothing is ever given in life. For most of us, the only way to ever to see that goal fulfilled is to want something bad enough that you’ll give anything and do anything to accomplish it.  What I learned about motivation is that it is best found in that fire that burns inside you. Motivation is found in that burning, soaring, breaking need to have that one thing that you’ve always wanted and the willingness to do anything it takes to succeed. When you lose motivation, seek that flame inside you. Seek that goal, and remind yourself of why you do what you do. Let that fire drive you onward.

Sorry for the longness, it is a personal problem with finding it hard to write short things. I wrote a blog post a while back about motivation and goals, you can find it here.
Me J. Graham-Jones · Author · edited almost 2 years ago · 7 likes
I definitely know how you feel, Antimony. In fact - I have felt almost exactly the same as you do, every day. I felt physically sick are uploading my first chapter, because I was putting myself out there for everyone to see for the first time, with no idea about whether I’ve actually got any skill/talent at all as a writer - or if my story is even remotely appealing to readers!

It can feel disheartening, to see other campaigns climbing higher and higher, further away from you, but there are two things keeping me motivated:

1) This is a story I want to write. Regardless of whether I reach my funding goal, joining Inkshares - and taking part in the Fantastic Ink contest - has given me  the kind of focus I’ve been lacking. Witherfist is a story that I’ve wanted to write for so long, but always dilly-dallied with. Now that I’ve started, I don’t want to stop. I can’t! I’m going to see the story through to completion if only because...

2) People are interested in what I’m writing. It might not be enough people, right now for me to hustle my way to Quill overnight, but day by day people are picking up on Witherfist. People are reading something that I’ve written and they’re telling me that they’re enjoying it. In some cases, I’ve heard people even discussing it with their friends. Heck, I went into a local comic book shop to hand out fliers, and the cashier said she had seen the book’s cover online! 

I can be a bit of a cynic and a skeptic - it’s a natural part of being British - but the two factors above are keeping me motivated. 
Headshotprofile Antimony Noon · Author · edited about 2 years ago · 4 likes
Crowdfunding and I aren’t getting along that well and right now, I’m not sure if it’s just a case of it being the wrong choice for me or if it’s just been a bad week. 

I will readily admit that I’m really not good at self-promotion. Before joining Inkshares, I’ve been pretty reluctant to even share my writing with anybody, so advertising it as something worth buying is a real struggle for me. 

Putting my writing up on social media for everybody I know to read has been a really difficult, anxiety-inducing thing for me to do; which has made it even harder to not feel defeated on the days where I’ve put in a lot of effort sharing my work and doing updates and haven’t seen any effect. 

There’s a lot of really amazing guides out there for crowdfunding tips and where to share your work and how to contact people, but I’d like to know instead - what keeps you motivated?  :)