• S.E. Burr

Record Low Levels of Motivation

A year ago, I wrote a blog post called The Long Hard Slog Through Revisions. At that time I wasn't feeling very motivated but I was diligently working away to improve the first three books in my Gobbled series.

Recently, I've experienced a small, but encouraging, modicum of success. The kid's book, 1% Clean, which I wrote and illustrated myself has been more successful than I expected. I've always heard that it's hard for indie authors to make money off of kids' books, and though I'm not selling a ton of books, I am selling them steadily and the tiny amount of money I've spent on Amazon ads has had a great Return on Investment. If only I knew how to scale that up. It's surprisingly difficult to get Amazon to spend your ad money. I don't feel knowledgeable enough to do Facebook ads (it's quite easy to get Facebook to spend your ad money, so easy that that money is often wasted.)

The second area where I've experienced recent success is that my novel, One Singular Second, made it through two elimination rounds to be on a new podcast by Katie Cross and Gabriel Mercer called SlushTank, where they help you launch your book. It's very gratifying to have made it this far, and I'm really excited about it. My understanding is that I'm one of a small number of people who will get to pitch the book to a panel of judges/experts/authors and that pitch should at least be featured briefly on the show. This is a great opportunity to get some exposure and to work with some much bigger authors/marketers. As a result, I'm delaying the launch I had planned to do by myself this month.

I don't know if these small successes are actually contributing to my lack of motivation lately, or if the cause is how crazy my life's been (this summer has just been packed with things to be excited about, things to be worried about, triumphs, and defeats. It's been a little head-spinning.) Maybe the cause is something else entirely. Whatever the reason, I find myself writing tiny goals like, "Write 500 words this week in the fourth Goblin Fruit book," and, "Really, really, really, for-reallies, write that email," and failing to accomplish them.

On the bright side, I HAVE been able to rekindle my motivation for ukulele playing this week, another interest I hadn't been pursuing with much zest. Maybe renewed vigor for writing is just around the corner. How do you motivate yourself and/or keep yourself motivated.

Book of the Week: The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss

I love kid's books. I love how they can have surprisingly deep messages for adults. This week I heard someone give a talk about fear and its benefits and especially its peril in our lives. They used the Dr. Seuss story "What was I Scared of?" to illustrate their points. I found it incredibly powerful and moving. Highly recommend.

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