Jim Butcher on Motivation

A very heartfelt post came across my feeds today and I want to share this with you. What Jim Butcher says here? Matters. It totally and completely is relevant to any writer who struggles with fame, fortune, and the reasons why we’ve decided to take the hard road.

In particular, this stood out to me:

In fact, the vast majority of aspiring authors (somewhere over 99 percent) self-terminate their dream. They quit. Think about this for a minute, because it’s important: THEY KILL THEIR OWN DREAM. And a lot of you who read this are going to do it too. Doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. It’s just human nature. It takes a lot of motivation to make yourself keep going when it feels like no one wants to read your stuff, no one will ever want to read your stuff, and you’ve wasted your time creating all this stuff. That feeling of hopelessness is part of the process. Practically everyone gets it at one time or another. Most can’t handle it. But here’s the secret: YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE IN THE WORLD WHO CAN KILL YOUR DREAM. — Jim Butcher at LiveJournal.com

And he’s right. The reason why I like this part of his article, is because Jim flat out states what I think is so difficult for others to grasp. If you want to be a writer, I feel you have to have some amount of personal responsibility. That short story didn’t get done? No one’s taking your keyboard out of your hand. That novel didn’t get outlined? Who’s fault is that? And before you say: But I have full-time job, kids, medical problems, etc. I will point out authors like Matt Forbeck who has not one, but five kids. Jay Lake, who has cancer but still pens novels. And full-time job? Shoot. Most authors have some other means of making money like a full-time job or multiple freelance contracts.

In other words: If you want to write novels, then write ’em. You have to tell the rest of the world to take a flying leap and prioritize based on your end game. Is it that simple? Yes, because in the end? Being a writer isn’t about making excuses. It’s about telling a damn, good story.

3 Responses to Jim Butcher on Motivation
  1. A.J.

    Wow. I really needed to read this today. Thank you so much.

  2. Charlton

    Only you can kill your dream, if your dream is to write novels.

    Any of a thousand greyfaces can kill your dream, if your dream is to see your book published traditionally.

    Barry Hughart stopped writing Master Li and Number Ten Ox novels. Harry Connolly has turned away from Twenty Palaces novels.

  3. [...] (typeof(addthis_share) == "undefined"){ addthis_share = [];}From Jim Butcher, (h/t Monica Vale... madpoetfiles.com/?p=487

Monica Valentinelli is a writer, editor, and game developer. Her portfolio includes stories, games, comics, essays, and pop culture books.

In addition to her own worlds, she has worked on a number of different properties including Firefly, Vampire: the Masquerade, Shadowrun, Hunter: the Vigil, Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn, and Robert E. Howard’s Conan.

Looking for Monica’s books and games that are still in print? Visit Monica Valentinelli on Amazon’s Author Central or a bookstore and game store near you.

Want to Interview or Hire Me? Send Fan Mail?

Would you like to hire me? Because my projects and manuscripts are in flux, I am always open to discussing new opportunities with publishers and studios. As a full-time writer, I spend a portion of my time seeking new gigs–so don’t be afraid to reach out. If you’re interested, please e-mail me via my Contact Page. I typically reply to work-related e-mails within one-to-two business days.

Want an interview? If you’d like to interview me or request a guest blog post, please connect with me via the contact page, too. Due to time constraints and other communicative concerns, I typically don’t follow up on requests via social media.

Keen on sending fan mail? I am also happy to engage with readers and fans. Please note that I am unable to reply satisfactorily to certain types of queries related to the companies I work for due to the agreements I typically sign. If you have a question about a TV show or a line of books, the best way to get your answer is to contact the studio or publisher directly.

Back to Top