Monday, January 18, 2016

Finding Motivation by Kristine Carlson Asselin

The holidays are busy. I’m helping my children with homework. The day job is crazy. I don’t like oranges.
A couple of weeks ago, Beth invited me to write a guest blog post…and it’s taking me way too long to actually get this post to her. I can find a million excuses to procrastinate the writing. In fact, I should be working on my revision right now, but I decided to write this blog post instead.
We all have a host of things calling us. Coaxing us in a new direction, away from the straight and narrow. Off the path. And while it can be exhilarating to take a detour, more often than not, it’s an easy excuse to avoid doing what you’re supposed to be doing.
I’ve got a revision for my agent to work on. Later this spring, my co-author and I have a book to write for a deadline this summer. Miraculously, I’ve got three school visits and a conference faculty presentation to prep. And yet, despite this litany of writing projects, I can easily spend an hour staring at Facebook because I simply must be up to date on the recent goings on with my many, close personal friends—most of whom I only see online.
 I’m supposed to be giving expert advice, not whining about my current lack of motivation. Some crumb of wisdom to share with the masses. Something that expresses to you all that it is possible to get through the slump. But I find myself staring at the screen in a completely dumbfounded expression. I just don’t know the answer!
The bottom line is that I wish I was faster. I wish I was more focused. I wish I could whip out a first draft of 50K words in a month and then revise equally fast. But I don’t. I take six months or a year to write a draft. And revision is sometimes painfully slow.
But the truth is, when I think about it, I have written this blog post. And I did jot a few notes on my scene inventory earlier. And I spent some time today doing some Girl Scout paperwork that needed to get done. And my daughter is fed and happy.
So things are getting done. Yes. Things are getting done. So maybe I’ll just go and pour myself a congratulatory glass of wine. It’s not as bad as I thought.
How do you find your motivation?

Kristine Carlson Asselin is the author of more than fifteen nonfiction books for children. Her YA novel, ANY WAY YOU SLICE IT (Bloomsbury) is now available and her debut middle grade novel, ART OF THE SWAP (co-authored w/ Jen Malone, Simon & Schuster), will be out in Fall 2017. She has a BS from Fitchburg State University and an MA from the University of Connecticut. She lives with her husband and daughter in a suburb of Boston. You can find me on twitter @KristineAsselin and @QueryGodMother where she tweets query support and tips.


  1. I try to motivate myself by keeping in mind what I want to achieve. Usually it works, but sometimes, I just have to visit a million blogs. ;-)

    1. I know the feeling! Sometimes there are just too many things, and my writing takes the last priority. I must work on changing that! Thanks for your comment!