HAPPY BIRTHDAY again Seekerville. Sandra here, and I just can’t say it enough. One of the best things in my writing career is Seekerville and all the friends I have met here. Thank you all for making this 7th year so special.
As you’ve guessed by now, we’re talking in sevens. And I have a list of seven that is really written more for me than for you. But since Seekerville is all about sharing the experience, there might be someone out there who can relate.
And speaking of birthdays, I have a big one coming up—you know one of those big zero numbers. And we’re talking sevens here so does that explain why I shudder to even say it? LOL
Because of that and because of the “senior condition” of my abilities to micro manage, I have been considering retiring from writing. In fact, I was pretty sure I was going to on my next birthday. Then someone, I think it was Ruthy, came up with the bright idea to write a Christmas novella. I had so much fun with that, I have been reconsidering my decision. Hence this post.
|Hope For the Holidays-Contemporary|
Why write? Good question. I know I’ve heard people say “its God’s plan for me. “ Well to be perfectly honest, I used to say the same thing. Notice I said used to. One thing my relationship with God does do is make me examine my inner self. And like the peeling of an onion, those little inner thoughts become exposed.
My purpose was escape. Pure and simple. In the eighties when I started writing, I was in an extremely stressful job. I was involved in a program of teaching through a project with Arizona State University that turned out to be quite successful. Because of that, we had people trouping in and out of the classroom every day including the governor, educators from other countries, etc. This is very stressful because you have to be perfect every minute. (Stop laughing, you folks who know how perfect I am NOT). I ended up taking a sabbatical and started writing and became published. Miracle of miracles.
God’s plan? Nope. Just a merciful reprieve. Because when the sabbatical was over, I lost all three editors and no sales. Back to teaching I went and looking back, I do know THAT was God’s plan for me.
Then when I retired in 2000, I thought. “Oh boy, I get to write now.” And I started writing again. But then, as those of you who have been in Seekerville all these seven years know, I had another stressful job: caregiver of elder parents, family members and a dear friend. Again, I wanted to write to escape. And again, writing got set aside. And looking back, , I do know THAT was God’s plan for me.
But I have nothing to escape now. My life is pretty nice. I have been super blessed. And I thank my Lord for that every moment of the day. So I can’t write to escape.
I need to find a strong motivation. Writing as you know takes a lot of dedication, perseverance and hard work. It is not going to get done if you aren’t strongly motivated.
So what is your motivation to write?
|Christmas lights in Seville, Spain|
A strong imagination, love of romance, love of people and a love of daydreaming gives me a gift for writing. I can write. Although, I have my doubts after critique partners red line my first draft so much it looks like it is bleeding. And I do have doubts. It seems like every novel requires so much assistance from critique partners, editors and copy editors. I often wonder if I should be doing this when I need so much help.
However, whenever I am writing, the people I need suddenly appear in my life. Now there are psychological studies that attest to why this happens. There are those who say “God provides.” Well, I say, “If I am supposed to write, why can’t I do it by myself?” I mean, really? Shouldn’t I be able to?
But that is just an excuse. All I have to do is read the reviews of my books and I know that I have the ability to write. At least some people think so. Smile So if I have a gift, shouldn’t I use it? I mean, isn’t that why we have gifts?
Do you write because you have the gift to write?
|Tree of lights in the plaza|
Now when I was teaching, and wanted to escape that job, the motivation to write and become wealthy beyond my dreams did inspire me to write. Of course there were all those articles of sage advice not to quit your day job, but one can ignore any advice they don’t want to hear. LOL
But I have to say, when I wanted or needed the money to write, I was writing a lot more than I am now when I’m sitting here with all of my financial needs met.
So even though money is a worldly reward, it certainly will motivate you. So perhaps I can channel that motivation in thinking of ways to use the money I do earn. Hmmm. Good point.
Are any of you writing because you want the extra income?
|Street in Seville during Christmas|
Writing does give me a sense of purpose. I have goals I set each day. I get up every morning and engage in productive activity. When I accomplish my goals, I feel good about myself.
Now there have been several studies on aging and it has been determined by several that all those elderly who do well with the aging process have one thing in common. They have a sense of purpose. It doesn’t matter really what the purpose is, but they feel they need to do something and they do it. It keeps them energetic and young.
So there is a good reason to continue to write. I will have a sense of purpose which will help me age with dignity and will keep me out of mischief. Smile My hubby claims he loves when I write novels because then I’m not writing him a honey-do list. My family tells me I write because I’m so bossy and my characters are the only ones who listen and do what I tell them. So they see my writing as a reprieve. I’m too busy bossing my characters instead of them. Chuckle. Little do they know that those strong-willed characters often do what they please instead of what they are told.
Does writing give you a sense of purpose?
|More city streets decorated for Christmas in Seville|
5. DESIRES AND PASSION
When I started writing the novella, it reawakened the desire and the passion I’ve always felt for a good story. I was always an avid reader as far back as I can remember. I skipped Nancy Drew and went straight to my mother’s novels. I’ve always loved a good romance and spent all my spare time reading.
When I started writing, I discovered writing a novel was even more fun than reading a novel. My passion easily transferred to writing and creating a romance novel.
Personally, I think you need that passion and desire to muddle through all the disappointments, editing and rejections that come along with the writing process. It is a relief to know I still have that passion.
Do you have a passionate desire to write?
|Beach at Matalascanas. Remains of a moorish tower|
6. SATISFACTION AND GOAL ACCOMPLISHMENT
If you have the desire, passion, ability, motivation and determination to write a novel, then the actually accomplishment of writing one is extremely satisfying. There is nothing quite satisfying as completing a project or accomplishing a goal that you set for yourself. This builds your sense of purpose and your self-esteem.
Many of us work in jobs that are not very satisfying. Writing is one way to build that sense of purpose. Writing and completing something as difficult and seemingly impossible as a whole novel, is a great pat on the back. At least you feel that way until the rejections sail in. But then a determined writer eventually gets published and that really cements that feeling of self worth.
Do you write for satisfaction and the sense of accomplishing a goal?
When you do actually accomplish your goal and fulfill your sense of purpose, you have a product that shows the result of all your efforts. This product provides satisfaction, fulfills a sense of purpose and hopefully produces income. It proves you have ability and were motivated. Having the product in hand, in my case anyway, stimulates the passion and desire to write again.
Have you produced a product or finished work with your writing? How did it make you feel?
|View from hunting lodge of the King in Parque Natural de Donana|
So there you have it folks. Seven reasons to keep on writing. Like I said, this article was written for me and it has helped me see the reason I must keep on writing. Smile
And I must say, the product in hand, the novella that we are publishing this fall definitely convinced me that I have made the right decision.
And guess what? This novella is my seventh novel that will be listed on Amazon under my pen name, Sandra Leesmith. It totally amazed me to realize that I have seven books out there.
In case you are wondering about the photos I have within this post, they are shots taken in Spain where my novella is set. The name of my novella is A HEART FULL OF HOPE and it takes place in a small town in Southwestern Spain called Matalascañas. It is about an hour drive from Seville. Part of the story is set in the beautiful Parque Natural de Doñana. One of the tour guides we hired while in Seville gave me his email address and when I told him about this story, he sent photos of Christmas in Seville. One thing about Spain, they do Christmas up big. They have no qualms about statues of Jesus appearing everywhere and tour guides speak openly about the Christian influences. I loved it.
The video is called Mapping and it is like a huge slide show on the walls of city hall that depicts scenes for the celebration of Christmas. Thousands of people flock to Seville to see it. I will try and attach it, but I’ve never attached a video so hope it works. It’s quite amazing. That of course, is in my novella also. Smile
In Spain they delight in tons of Christmas pastries. And most of them drink coffee European style in thick lattés. So I have prepared a table full of delightful pastries and there are plenty of lattés.
My prize giveaway is a handmade kindle bag that my friend makes and sells in the craft fairs in our RV parks. It will fit a kindle or any tablet actually. I’m also including a gift card for Staples, a leather notebook, and some surprise print Seeker novels. I will also pre-order one of the contemporary novellas for the winner.
|Also a pen and the ebook makes 7 items for our 7th birthday bash|
So grab your latté and comment today for a chance to win. Remember to check in the weekend edition for the winner and to respond to the Seeker address.
If you are in the Phoenix area, checkout my author page, Sandra Leesmith, in Amazon Central for upcoming events. November 8, Scottsdale Civic Library is offering free writing workshops. I will be there giving a workshop on Motivation and Focus