Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Motivation? You Want Motivation?

Okay, fine. Here's some motivation for you.

First off, I could cite any number of sports movies, most of which have some basis in fact. I mean, seriously. INVINCIBLE?


One of the greats. A regular guy tries out for--and makes the team of--a professional football team. If you haven't seen it, dude, Redbox it up tonight.

THE NATURAL. Baseball.

HOOSIERS. Basketball.

FOREVER STRONG. Rugby. (One of my faves, FYI. The MC has a lot of anger, and you know how I feel about angsty, angry teens. Or maybe you don't... I sense another blog post coming on!)

SOUL SURFER. Swimming/Surfing. (Let the record show that I haven't seen this movie, but it sounds like a girl overcoming the odds to keep on surfing. Yeah?)

I won't bore you to death with more sports movies. In fact, I'm sort of embarrassed I know so many. (RUDY, MIRACLE, THE BLIND SIDE, CINDERELLA MAN, SEABISCUIT, REMEMBER THE TITANS... Okay, okay, I'll stop now.)

The point is, people overcome the odds. They go up against the things stacked against them, and they win.

Why can't you?

You can.

I queried two novels before I found an agent. I sent well into the hundreds the first time, and well into the hundreds the second. I endured a combined total of 16 months of querying. I have 188 rejections for Possession alone.

I prevailed.

You can too.

How's that for motivation? What motivates you? (In case you haven't seen it, go here to see New York Times bestselling author Beth Revis (ACROSS THE UNIVERSE) talk about motivation. It's priceless.)

51 comments:

Andrea Mack said...

Reading stories like yours, and how you persisted despite all the rejections (and finally got to see your dream realized) is motivating to me. And just what I needed today! Thanks!

Miranda Hardy said...

Motivation and support is so important, in anything. Without it, many people would give up.

Isis Rushdan said...

Thanks for sharing your stats. Writers tend to be a bit shy about that.

What motivates me?

“You will find true success in those efforts that captivate your heart and soul. Belief fuels passion, and passion rarely fails.”--Unknown

Quite simply, I'm passionate about my writing and I believe in my stories.

I thanked you on Twitter today for being such a great blogging role model. I reached 500 followers on my blog today. Not very many, but since I had 50+ at the beginning of Aug, I'm thrilled. Your tips helped me more than you know.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I agree with Miranda. Motivation is necessary, but support can make all the difference when you're ready to give up.

Jemi Fraser said...

I think my motivation comes from the fact that I like writing. Sounds kinda silly, but I enjoy the time I spend doing it, enjoy getting better and don't worry too much about the future. Now if I ever get to the querying stage with this wip, things might change!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks for the motivation. I need a kick in the butt to get going again. And you're motivating me. Thanks.

Creepy Query Girl said...

thank you elana. Needed to hear this. To be honest my motivation isn't really 'I will succeed' anymore. It's more like 'I'm going to keep writing and querying because I love to write, will never stop, and you can't win if you don't play.'- you know what I mean:)

Jen Daiker said...

Currently: Cookies

Laura Pauling said...

I loved Beth's vlog from WriteOnCon! And I love those movies that show an athlete overcoming the odds. You forgot about the Bad News Bears. :)

Christine Fonseca said...

I am with some of the other commenters...Motivation + confidence = support from friends = a winning combo! HUGS

Janet Johnson said...

I love sports movies! Soul Surfer is on my list to watch, too.

And wow, 188? That's amazing. I think I better step it up.

Now I'm off to conquer the world! Have a great day. :)

Joshua said...

If I said money would you hold it against me?

Honestly, though...being motivated by wanting to leave something behind so I'm remembered.

And money.

J. A. Bennett said...

At the league of Utah Writers conference the actual man, Rudy himself, spoke. That gave me motivation in spades! There are some amazing people out there!

Nicole Zoltack said...

I love Invincible! Of course it helps that I'm a huge Philadelphia Eagles fan, but even if I wasn't, I'm sure I would still like the movie.

lynnrush said...

GREAT Post. You named some awesome movies that show motivation. They give us all hope. And so does YOUR story.
Thanks for this post. Just what I needed to see today!

Jessie Humphries said...

I love all those movies too. Especially Hoosiers. I watched it like 100 times one summer when I was playing a lot of tennis tournaments. Totally helped. Maybe I ought to start that habit again?

Kristin Lenz said...

Wow, perseverance - just what I needed to hear as I prepare to query my new novel. Thanks for sharing!

Nichole Giles said...

I love Forever Strong. When he does the Haka in jail--strong stuff.

Also, I see an inspirational sports movie every time I watch my teen girls play soccer or basketball. Their determination is enormous, and it inspires me to no end.

300 rejections, here I come!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

REMEMBER THE TITANS is one of my all-time favorite movies. I show it to my high school classes every year. It and THE FREEDOM WRITERS DIARY and FINDING FORRESTER. :-)

Mina Burrows said...

You did prevail. Damn. I love it. Perseverance! Hear the battle cry....Ahhhh!!!!

I stopped querying sometime ago. When I feel the novels are strong enough, I'll try it again. Great post. Excellent inspiration.

One of my favs: RUDY. "Rudy, Rudy, Rudy!"

mshatch said...

188 queries? Yikes. I'm feeling better already :)

thanks!

Patti said...

Definitely hearing about other people's journeys to publication motivates me.

K.T. Hanna said...

Thank you. Every time I read something like this, I get super motivated. Which really, for me, means I get motivated another notch higher.

Thank you for adding to my motivation.

Jenny S. Morris said...

I love movies like this. One of my all time favorite movies is Remember the Titans. And Soul Surfer was great too. It had my 7 year old all teared up, but he loved that she was able to overcome. Great pep talk, coach!

Theresa Milstein said...

Thanks for the motivation.

I love The Blind Side. My family has seen it numerous times and I showed it to the 7th and 8th graders last year (fast forwarding through the violent scene).

Tristyn said...

This post couldn't have come at a better time for me. Thank you for lifting my spirits. :)

Matthew MacNish said...

I never thought you could actually be cooler than I already thought you were, but apparently you are.

Hannah Kincade said...

Other writers motivate me and my dream of writing for a living (not a paid living) but as my career, whether it pays well or not. :D

Krispy said...

People can say what they want about sports movies, but they've got the whole motivation/inspiration thing down. I've seen at least a couple of the ones you've named. I LOVE Seabiscuit - the book and the movie. So good! (Plus, I'm like super close to his home-track.)

Angela Brown said...

Give us motivation!!!

You can't handle motivation!

Okay, maybe feeling a bit excited there. But your story of overcoming is AMAZING. Thanks for sharing. So now we can add things up.

THE HELP - 60 rejections
POSSESSION - 188 rejections
EVERVEIL (my WIP) - no queries yet but we'll see what happens because I'm loving this story.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm still moving forward!

Tiffany Garner said...

Thanks for the motivation! :D It's so true, and I think sometimes people fool themselves into thinking things like this only happen in the movies. They forget that many of these movies were based on life!!

And I love sports movies too--THE BLIND SIDE is probably my favorite, but INVINCIBLE is up there!

J said...

Don't forget Radio! I liked that movie, as far as sports movies go. Stories like yours are the ones that need to be publicized. All people ever hear are the I-sold-my-first-novel-to-the-first-agent-i-queried stories, which are NOT the norm at all. Thanks for the pep talk! :D

Peggy Eddleman said...

Awesome motivational stories! --The sports ones and yours. What motivates me? Idk. I guess just the belief that I can beat the odds. That if I persist, I can prevail.

Melody said...

Aaaaaah, I needed to hear this today, Elana. Thank you. Seriously. :)

P.S. I just saw FOREVER STRONG last week and *fell in love*. Omgosh. Inspiring and angsty, plus a cute guy...what more can YA writer-girl want? :)

F.E. Sewell said...

That's motivation enough for me. 188 is an inspiring number, even if it didn't seem that way when you were querying.

Stacy Henrie said...

People like you motivate me! :) Seriously, though, having crit partners or others who believe in you and remind you of that when things are tough makes all the difference.

Abby said...

If this post wasn't motivating enough with the sports movies (which I love too) you had to throw in your own blast of awesomeness! Thanks for sharing this with us. Perseverance!

Charlotte said...

I get so downhearted and am filled with so much doubt when it comes to my writing, so it really is the most wonderful thing to hear that writers with loads of rejections still get agents in the end. It reminds me of the importance of bouncing back from failure and persevering- 'fail better' etc. Thanks so much for sharing! I think you only really fail if you don't try or give up on yourself.

Sophia Chang said...

Oh man do I need this today. I swear, the universe has been responding to me this week with a bunch of "don't give up" posts around the blogosphere. I had a particular painful pass and I'm boning up on stories of published authors whose acclaimed books were rejected multiple times.

Meredith said...

Sports movies never fail to pump me up, even in the face of rejection! I have such a soft spot for Rudy, especially. I still root for Notre Dame football because of that movie. :)

J.R. Johansson said...

Dude. I so need this right now. I really think I could use a motivational movie marathon tonight. Thanks for the suggestions. :)

RaShelle Workman said...

Great post, Elana! Thanks for the inspiration. You're my writing hero. Love how hard to worked to achieve your dream. You go, girl!!!

Catherine Stine said...

Okay, you've officially inspired my determination!!!

Amber Argyle, author said...

Been there.

Wait . . . I'm still there.

Carolyn V said...

Oh motivation. I think just getting started give me motivation. If I can just get started. Awesome post Elana! Thanks. =)

Amy Richardson said...

Motivation. Beating the odds. I think that in the writing market today this is a must attitude! Thanks for all your blogs!

LynNerd said...

Those against-all-odds movies definitely inspire and motivate me. Gotta love Rocky - love that theme song! I want to see Seabiscuit. My mom told me it's even better than Secretariat. Just watched that the other night, and I LOVED it. I love those sports movies, too. Really good stuff.

Bailish said...

I agree with your choices of motivational movies. I'd also include a non-sports movie: Fame, both the 1980 and the 2009 versions. Just watching those high school kids accomplish so much makes me want to accomplish, also.

B.E. Sanderson said...

One thing that keeps me going is the thought that Ken Follett wrote 11 novels before he sold The Eye of the Needle. I'm no Follett, but it gives me hope that all this work isn't for nothing.

Ziwei said...

Ahh! Sports movies... my eyes. D:
My motivation? I want to make my parents proud, and just to prove that I can beat the odds!

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