David’s first book is a dark fantasy called Crow Man. He currently lives in Scotland and works in the medical field.
We discuss his book and some classic literature. David has great thoughts and advice for new writers.
Alright, well, David, welcome back once again, and the magic of the internet. For most people, this is a set separate episode. But you and I haven’t stopped talking since the episode where I interviewed you. So today, I wanted to talk a bit about motivation, and how that affects authors and how that can be a problem and ways to motivate yourself. So I’m interested because you brought up the topic, what made this a topic that you’d like to discuss, as it refers to new authors, helping patient is the key to
David Rae 1:23
everything sounds like, I’m one of these people that think you’ve got to hohoho to the end of the row. I’m not like that. For me, whoa, whoa, whoa, mean Santa Claus. But we everything we do we do for a reason and understanding why we do things. And the reasons that we we behave and act and do certain things, is of great benefit to us in all sorts of walks of life. And it’s vital for an author to know why they’re doing something.
I you brought up the topic of talking about motivation. And I’m curious, what made you think of that as an issue for new authors? Or is it something that you’ve struggled with in your writing?
David Rae 2:13
I, I think it is something is important to understand. I think it’s a bigger, big topic. And it’s only by understanding what motivates us why we do things that we can get the most out of them. And I think it’s it’s quite important that we realize what it is that motivates us what we really want, what we’re looking for, and then maybe we can get it.
And so, I guess that naturally leads to the question, what are some of the things you wanted? That led you to writing?
David Rae 2:52
Ah, that’s a great question. As we already said, I, in a funny kind of, we I’m not motivated to write, I’m just motivated, to, I’m just not motivated to stop writing. It’s something that I’ve always done to tell a story. And I love to tell a story. And every night, every, there’s the stories going on, and all around me, you see glimpses of stories, you see, you see an old woman walking down the road, you wonder what’s going on there. And just the most present in ordinary things. And once you start to think about these things, your mind goes into all sorts of tangents. And the reason I write is just because all of these thoughts and ideas is there, and it kind of makes them more manageable. Maybe it’s just like a filing system. To get all these thoughts and ideas, though, and this to share the way I think the way I feel about things, and in some ways to get more understand people to understand for I thinking about more, until also for me to more understand myself.
So just those types of feelings, that is what your motivation is. I think a lot of authors get and we’ve we mentioned this a little bit, they get down on themselves a bit because they compare themselves to authors that have been around for 20 years. authors that have you know, 50 books out and they’re like, Oh, I’m not as good as them. Oh, I’ll never be that good. And I think that takes away from your desire. And you mentioned you have a job that you actually enjoy. So is writing for you. Your relaxation, your your fun time. Is that something that helps keep you motivated doing it. No.
David Rae 5:03
Fun. Okay, fun is important. But fun is something that is not limited to when I’m writing. Funny something. I have fun in my job. I have fun with my kids have fun with my wife. I have fun with my friends. Have fun when I write fun should be central to your existence. Because if it’s no fun, then it ain’t fun. Right? Yeah.
I love that sounds like if I ever come to Scotland, I gotta look you up? Oh, yes, please do.
David Rae 5:34
Please do come to Scotland. Hopefully not a refugee.
Well, you never know anymore. My son actually is wanting to move to Ireland. He went there on a school trip and fell in love with it. Yeah, it’s nice. It’s not as nice. Well, some of my wife’s favorite books are the like Outlander, a few other books like she would have no problem wanting to come to Scotland. So there you go. You can’t compete with that. Can you hear me as well? I just have to get my sword. And hopefully I don’t get my head chopped off. Yeah. So something about motivation I heard recently is that we have our thinking on motivation, all wrong, that people try to get motivated. And then they go and do something. Where is what the studies I guess are finding now is the way we’re wired, that if we are doing something, it motivates us to want to do more and to do better. What do you think of that?
David Rae 6:44
Yeah, I can see that I can see that. They love the barriers to doing some, the biggest barrier to doing something is fear and fear of looking, looking stupid fear of not being if you’re a writer, the fear is not you’re not Stephen King. And you talked about this, how we compare ourselves with others. And that’s not unique to authors. I mean, football players do it, they do, I stopped playing football after high school because I knew I was never going to make the big league or I stopped playing basketball because I knew I was never going to make the big leap. I didn’t try hard at school because the kids there were all smarter than me or whatever, you know, there are all these things that say, Oh, I’m not good enough. I’m a can’t do this, blah, blah, blah. And I always tell my kids, I can do anything. And they don’t believe me, and said I was caveated I can say I can do anything badly. And the matter is, you have to do something badly before you can do it. Well, whether it’s playing the ukulele whether it’s doing kung fu whether it’s doing football, whether it’s doing math, whether it’s writing, whether it’s whether it’s sex, whether it’s whatever it is, you’ve got to do it badly first.
And I love that and agree to many people think that if they can’t do something the best, then it’s not worth doing. And that’s not true. I am never going to play basketball as well as LeBron James. But I can still go and play and enjoy it. And we you know, we talked about enjoying something. Yeah, making that your focus rather than being the best or something like that.
David Rae 8:37
Yeah. And Kenyan, Oh, you’ve done plays a basketball, I’m sure. That sticks in your mind. And they are world beating moves that, stick that in your paper. But unfortunately, there’s no camera to capture it.
Yeah. And sometimes, and I really think if we relax and enjoy things, we do much better at them. And then it goes back to the same thing. If you’re doing something and you’re doing good at it, you want to do better, and there’s your motivation to go do it. I’m not saying that that simple philosophy will get you on the basketball court as a pro. But, but no court. Yeah. And you’ll do better. I’ve noticed that and especially with writing, I’ve noticed a lot of people get really uptight, and they’ve had for five years that they’ve been working on one book, and it’s still not out and they’re not done and they’re worried about it. And then they get all upset because oh, I haven’t written anything for three days. You know, and, and what we just said, you look at him like, well, you don’t seem to be enjoying this. Why are you doing it?
David Rae 9:52
Yeah, I’ve seen it. Yeah, I’ve seen it. Yeah, see, and to be honest, and you know, I’m spoiler alert. I’m not young. anymore. I’ve done the same thing. I’ve written books. When I was 18, I, the first book I wrote, I was probably 18 when I wrote it, and it was a spy movie, and I showed it to my friend. And he, his response was just what the world needs another effin spine on. And Yo, so for that I do with a suck in a drawer. Who knows? Who cares? You know, it’s, it’s, it was 60,000 words that were put in an order that would meet them, at least readable. And main, something that was an achievement. That was a huge cheat. 18 Wow. Now I’m really impressed by myself. When I see tape, I’m going to punch you. But, but this happens to us all the time. People say oh, you know, if you look at people that are successful, they ain’t that great?
David Rae 11:05
I I used to play soccer. And we call it football. Right? Because we use some bowling you use your feet.
Americans have to screw everything up. We screwed your guy. We screwed the English language up,
David Rae 11:21
we screw up. No, we’ve done plenty of that ourselves. And hey, I’m not here that I’m not. English isn’t really. Yeah, it’s a sore point for us courts. See, we screw it up.
But we’ve got we’ve got the enemy of your enemy thing going on here.
David Rae 11:40
I’ve played football with people have gone on to have, and in some cases, international careers. And let me tell you, they were my grade. They were my grade. They were they might have been better than me most of the time, but not all of the time. And there’s times when I’ve made them look stupid, just as they’ve made me look stupid. And there’s moments when I can look at football, I’d say, Yeah, I had. And then you know that for all sorts of things that are physical and emotional attributes that you need to be at the top. And if you don’t have them, you don’t have them. But it doesn’t mean that you can enjoy it. I remember playing football in Norway, and we were playing with a lot of Americans. And one of the boys there was they were sort of 1819 year old boys. And I was quite a bit older. And now I get Thank you see, I’m a good, good, good soccer player I could, I could have been a contender. And this boy was he came from Alaska, I remember his name. And he was he almost died at birth. He wasn’t quite crippled, but he was not athletic. And, you know, he ran about the park and all the rest of it. And he got the ball. Just outside of the goal area. That’s the fight box, in case you don’t know. And I was playing the holding midfielder midfield general. And I self backed off Gazette go and sand Shoot, shoot, shoot, because I was fairly confident he was going to miss from that distance. But he had it sweet as a nut and it flew into the top corner. And that’s something that That boy is never going to forget. And nothing can take that away from him. And all of us have those moments where we have successes, when things just come together and go right. And nobody can take them away from us because they’re there and they’re real. And you know, it that goes as good as it goes. Plenty of the goals are scored. People love. So in playing professional score them, you know, and he’s probably not playing football at the moment. But that was a real thing that happened to him. He scored this goal from not quite the halfway line, but pretty far out.
And that’s a great example too. because like you said, I mean, I don’t know the guy, but he obviously had some challenges in life. Well, yeah, physicality, yet. He was out on the field to play. And so you gotta wonder, what’s his motivation to do that? Because he’s not going to be the top scorer, he’s not going to be the fastest down the field. So did he do it to prove a point that I can do it? Was he doing it just because he enjoyed it, though, I mean, those are definitely reasons people get motivated to do something. I would say you almost look at it once almost using the dark side, you know, to prove a point and the others using the light side, but they both achieve the same goal. They motivated him to get on the field and start running.
David Rae 14:57
I think part of it was Really just the fact that it was a communion activity that we all do together. And, you know, writing, you might think that it’s just sitting in your room, typing away on your laptop, but actually, it’s known. And if that’s all you ever do, then you’ve you’ve, you’ve missed out.
Right? Agreed. People, and I guess, I’m kind of with you, I don’t understand so much when people go, Oh, I gotta get motivated to write. Well, if you’re having to psych yourself up every day to sit in the chair, maybe this isn’t the best choice for you, I usually don’t, I usually wake up, I’m like, oh, man, I only got 1200 words yesterday, I’ve got to sit down, because I’ve got all these great things going. And I want to sit down and type.
David Rae 15:52
There’s this days, I’ve written 5000 words, in this plaintiff’s case, and I’ve written nothing. And I’m not the days that I’ve written nothing, doesn’t mean I haven’t been doing things because we, as you see, Paul said, we we write, we talked about all these things that are actually inside us, that we want to tell and all the rest of it. And those things are things like the relationship you’ve built with your kids, and what’s what’s behind that the relationship with your partners, your relationship with your school kids, the relationships with your parents, the the beauty of nature, you know, there’s all these things that you don’t get sitting in front of your laptop. So if you’re out there having a good time, you know, for now, when I grew up, or sorry, when I was writing as a teenager, my friend Ted, the one that didn’t like my he likes my science fiction story, but didn’t like my my detective story. He really encouraged me to take drugs, because he felt this would expand my mind. And I would understand things would open doors and blah, blah. Spoiler alert, I never took them. And, and I don’t regret that, but I kind of understand where he’s coming from. Except that’s not really an I don’t really want to write about being a junkie, because I don’t want to be a junkie, sorry about that prerogative, a word about people that are unfortunate enough to be in that situation. I do want to vary about them as people and to express love for them and care for them. But I don’t want to write about the experience of being one because I don’t want to be one.
Right? I agree. And if personally, if you have to do drugs to get yourself motivated to do anything, I question whether that’s the best choice anyway.
David Rae 17:58
Oh, bigger, right. Doesn’t take that approach. Edgar Rice Burroughs and hunter E. Thompson. And there’s plenty of people have thought. I don’t know maybe for them. It is right. And maybe it works. But looking at their life in the round, I would have said no. Then who am I to judge?
Yeah, that’s true. I mean, you mentioned Stephen King earlier. You know, he very openly has said he did lots of drugs back in the older days. And people would argue that his better books are in that time period. So I guess maybe that tells you something well, for his better books. Do what for our
David Rae 18:52
respective books. I mean, that’s something I don’t think there’s there’s uniformity about that me.
I guess that’s true. I guess people who
David Rae 19:04
are thinking along these lines are probably thinking that some of the more easy tearing stuff up the Dark Tower and things like that. I’ve noticed passbooks if the Dark Tower, a better book than the Green Mile. I don’t know. Maybe as
I say that’s definitely a probably opinion each person to for any writer.
David Rae 19:36
I was always under the impression that Stephen King didn’t agree with that particular narrative that he didn’t feel it’s best books. Maybe he did.
I know. When I read King and I read a lot of King I definitely I can get to a point where it’s overkill that it’s I just can’t read anymore because I feel like my brains are oozing out.
David Rae 20:07
I mean, I used to read all these books when I was a teenager, Plague Dogs, the fog tommyknockers. And I came to find that, at some point he, he’d obviously lost the joy of writing. And every book I read was kind of the same. Very good book. But I kind of read, you know, the fog and the plague, you know, the rods was the same structure to all of this, the stories with just different bits plugged in. Right.
Fred and I kind of joke sometimes that you could easily create a Stephen King generator, you just have a bunch of dice that have character attributes, settings, and an idea, they just roll the dice and pick them up in there. You wrote a Stephen King story. But who are we to judge? We’re not multimillionaires? No. No,
David Rae 21:11
he’s laughing all day. And he’s insane. He’s a great writer.
Yeah, I, I’ve learned through the years that King was one of the earliest writers I read. And I’ve learned through the years to appreciate what he’s good at. and ignore the things that he’s not quite as good at. But he’s still one of my favorite authors to read. And I guess
David Rae 21:40
for the novel, first time you read any one of his other books, you think he was the greatest writer you’ve ever read? I’m quite sure.
Right? And for me, because I love getting bored of things that we see a lot of. Right? We do. I usually love noisy. I guess I guess you could say, using Stephen King, you know, wanting to be like Stephen King is good motivation. We’re talking about motive, motivating yourself. You know, for me, a lot of times, I’ll read a little bit of King and then I’ll want to sit down and write. Okay, so we had a few internet glitches there. But, David, to finish up our talk on motivation, what would you say your advice then would be for new authors to get themselves motivated or to stay motivated, or any last thoughts on motivation itself,
David Rae 22:43
I think it would be to enjoy yourself to have fun to be a to just just just enjoy it, go with it. You know, right range should be a pleasure. And don’t make it a chore. Make it a pleasure. And think about the things that made you happy when you read and try and recapture that for as you write. There’s other advice you can give, you know, be generous with your time, be generous with other people, be generous with their comments about other people’s work, and your work. But ultimately, it’s all about being fun. Don’t take it too sick. Don’t take it too serious. Seems a strange thing to say. But seriously, don’t. We have an expression, what’s for you won’t go by and nothing that’s, that’s true. If you’re going to be there’s going to be something comes to you, as a result of you being a writer, there’s going to be people that read your book, no matter who you are, or what you’ve written, that they’re going to love. You see, when you look on Amazon, and you read a book, and you think, how did this book get five star reviews? And this is because somebody loved it. You may not have loved it, but somebody did. And I don’t think there are many books on Amazon, they don’t have at least one five star review. And they’re not fake. Right? They’re not fake. Somebody really liked that book.
And I think that’s good advice. Just start writing and write and enjoy it. Because if you’re writing and enjoy it, it’ll come through. And you’ll have much more success that way. And it’ll go right back to what we said. If you’re writing, enjoying it, and you’re having success, that’s going to motivate you to write some more. So it’s, you know, maybe we need to change our thinking that, you know, not trying to motivate ourselves to write but maybe we have to write to motivate ourselves. Yeah, maybe,
David Rae 24:53
maybe indeed. And and we just need to remember that You know, there are a million books out there more. And that doesn’t matter. That only matters thing that matters is your book and your story. And you tell it your way. And, you know, if, if that leads you to a mil million pound advance with drawn demos great. If it leads you to go self publishing and sell a few copies on Amazon. That’s good to sound good.
Yeah. All right. It’s been a really good conversation with you today. And I wish you luck on your book.
David Rae 25:48
Oh, thank you. I’ve really enjoyed your company, Steven. And I’m looking forward to listening to this podcast and to listening to your wise words again and thinking about your very stimulating and intelligent conversation and I think you give me a lot of things to think about that I’ll they’ll certainly take onboard.
Great, I appreciate that. Thanks, David. Okay.