Find Your Mojo

Find your mojoEveryone takes a knock to their confidence at some point. Perhaps you received a rejection letter or the epic scene in your head comes out a bit limp and lame on paper. You just feel like giving up and crawling into bed with a book and hot cocoa. I mean, that’s fine for a day or two, but after that you need to get up, get out and find your mojo!

Just because one person doesn’t like your work doesn’t mean other people won’t either. Did you know that Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code was rejected at least once, and the publisher said, “It is so badly written”? Did that stop him? Of course it didn’t, he simply sent it to another publisher and lo and behold, it has now sold in excess of 80 million copies.

If you’re struggling to find the willpower to write more, try finding a competition with either a great prize or a great premise. You want to do well, so you’ll do the best you can; it could be the best entry they get!

Ups and downs are a given in life: what goes up must come down, but likewise what falls down bounces. If you fall to what you imagine to be the bottom of everything, just bounce up again and keep moving forward. Losing your mojo for a day, even a week or a month, isn’t the end of the world, you can always come back to being your old, great self again.

It’s well known that if you enjoy something you’re so likely to do well. You like writing, right, otherwise you wouldn’t be here. So even if one little thing can’t be fixed for the moment, move on until you’ve got a clear enough head to go back and smash it. I mean, not literally, your laptop probably wouldn’t thank you for that.

At least one person out there believes in you, and even if that’s a stranger over the internet (hello!) then surely that’s enough to heave yourself, grab your mojo from wherever it’s lurking and carry on doing what you love?

A Discussion About Targets

I don’t know about you, but I thrive under pressure. I have 15 minutes to complete a task that takes 30? I’ll give it a shot and be damned if I don’t have something near to a finished product. Last minute revision? I’m your man. 30 days to write 50,000 words? Bring it.

So since I discovered NaNoWriMo, I have done every November and every camp. Except… I won’t be doing April.

The main reason? Because I respect my parents’ wishes not to. However, I am also under a lot of stress at college (I EVEN HAVE COLD SORES WHAT IS THIS) and life events.

So, when are targets bad things?

  1. When they’re taking over your life and mental health.
  2. When they’re causing you excess amounts of unnecessary pressure (unfortunately due to the messed up schooling system, projects don’t count as ‘unnecessary pressure’ despite however many nights you spend crying about them).
  3. When people have asked you not to set them because they’re worried about you.

This post might seem to be rather angry – and it is, about some things – but what I’m trying to say is it’s fine, probably healthy, to set targets. But, hey, don’t go crazy.

My target of writing a 20,000 word novella during a month wherein I should be madly revising plus trying to have some sort of a social life may be a bit unrealistic. But 10,000? 5,000 even? That’s not crazy talk. Neither is having a goal of having 3 novellas written by the end of the year, or even by the end of next. That’s realistic. And that’s what you have to be too.

I’m not trying to be demoralising here. Targets are good. Without them, we’d never get anything done. But if they’re too much for you, no matter if your friend/family member is doing it, then don’t. Know your limit (much like with alcohol. Also caffeine. Perhaps I should listen to the latter). But keep writing and don’t give up!

This post also appeared on Hannah Brown.