Inside Scoop: Dish from a Literary Agent Intern – On Motivation

Today I want to talk about that thing called motivation, something that might be hard to find when you are feeling defeated, lost or unsettled, like nothing in life is going to work out. Sometimes these times feel insurmountable to me, like I want to crawl into a hole and never come out again. For you writers this might happen while sending out queries, trying to finish up a manuscript or when you get another rejection letter. In these moments, I like to remember there are things I can do to remain motivated. Staying motivated in the face of rejection can be difficult, but I’ve taught myself some little tricks to keep me on track.

  • Create a mantra – When I’m feeling particularly unmotivated and sorry for myself, I pick out a mantra. It can be as simple as ‘just be’ or as specific as ‘you can finish this chapter.’ Finding a mantra that works helps in conquering those feelings of defeat.
  • Write a goal/gratitude list – Sometimes I forget what I’m doing or why I’m doing it. Getting rejected, not hearing back from anyone, or hitting a road block, are things that can make us forget what we’re doing in the first place. In order to battle those feelings, I make a list to remind myself of the goals I’ve already reached, my hopes and dreams, and what I have in general. These lists help me remember why I’m doing what I’m doing.
  • Take a break – Rejection, constant critiquing, or even silence sometimes feel like too much. That’s when I like to take a break. And no, I don’t mean a 6-month hiatus while I wallow in despair. I mean a day or two where I can collect myself, focus on the positive and recharge my battery. If I don’t give myself the time I need to appreciate my end goal, I get bogged down in the rest and forget what I’m doing in the first place.

I recently went through a time where I was questioning what I was doing with my life (ahh!) and I had to take some time to remind myself of my end goal: getting a paying job in publishing. I’m back on track now, and looking forward to the day I borrow Linda’s blog to let you all know about my new job in publishing!

I would love to hear some tips & tricks that you use to stay motivated!

Kim Photo BioKimberly Richardson is currently interning for Linda Epstein at The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency, while pursuing her Masters degree in Pace University’s Publishing Program. She also interns at the National Association of Professional Women. You can follow Kimberly on Twitter @kimberly_ann688.

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4 responses to “Inside Scoop: Dish from a Literary Agent Intern – On Motivation

  1. I read! Reading always reminds me of the precious power writing has to uplift, transcend, and erase sorrow. It sweeps you away and shows you the humanity in us all. I can really go there- weeping in my self pity, vacillating between procrastination and all out quitting. But reading always reveals the truth behind the gift.

  2. What a great piece, Kimberly. I particularly like the idea of a goal/gratitude list!

  3. I don’t have any tips,Kimberly, but all the best in finding your new job in publishing this or next year.

  4. Janet Richardson

    one of my favorite “tricks” in finding focus is to remember “to thine own self be true” for if you’re not true to yourself there is no truth at all.