Personally, I don't think anything motivates a writer as much as hearing what other authors, publishers and the like are up to. Nothing quite twists my nethers and screams, "Get writing!" as seeing other writers post on Twitter that they're crossing mile-markers on their current works-in-progress.
Unfortunately, this always seems to come when I can't get down to business and hammer out some prose because I'm usually tied up at work. Unfortunate. Lament, bitch, moan.
On the positive side, some progress is being made in my own writing career. Queries keep going out to get agented, and rejections keep pouring back. Hell, any news is good news, even if it isn't the news I'd like to hear. All that matters is that somewhere someone involved in the publishing field is reading my name and works, even if it's only a cursory glance at tiny digital type. My name is out there and crossing desks. Navigating slushpiles. Succumbing to its fate.
On a brighter note, my author site is quickly becoming a reality. The web guy here at the office is a friend of mine (thank god.) and agreed to help me out with the endeavour. By help me out, I mean I give him beer and he does it for me, because I'm hopeless when it comes to internetromy. Apparently I could have a full mockup as early as tomorrow, and it's got me quivering in anticipation, yet again.
As an open question to other published writers - when does it become real?
When does it finally sink in that you, a former Joe Nobody, has achieved something great and beaten the odds? When do you officially become an Author rather than Dude Who Likes To Write On His Free Time? Is it when you get your book in print for the first time? Is it the first royalty check that you hang on the wall rather than cash? Is it when your first review comes in a newspaper? I have no idea.
For me, it's all just a fun distraction thusfar. I love writing. I love storycraft. I love the idea that someone out there may feel genuine emotion for characters spun solely from my mind. But it isn't really real yet.
In any case, I don't plan on stopping any day soon. I've put the sequel to GREY DOGS & THE WILLOW temporarily on hold while I consider another project. Who knows if it will work - it's great to plant seeds, but no one can truly tell whether it will bear golden apples or shrivelled peaches.
I guess the waiting game really is more serious than I take it.