...well, objectively speaking, not a hell of a lot. Having the education and financial security to angst into my laptop about my deathless prose is a pretty sweet deal.
But I tell you what: if you wanna lose a hundred pounds or win a triathlon or bulk up and bench-press your car, there is no shortage of inspiring pictures out there to keep you motivated. Jillian Michaels on your fridge! Usain Bolt by the bathroom mirror! Mr. Universe on the ceiling above your weight bench! (One of the vaseline-slathered beefcake ones, not the poor bastard with the RealDoll girlfriend from Serenity.)
A little tougher to do that if you're trying to write a novel or cut an album or master the ancient art of erotic clowning. Like, you can paper your house with pictures of famous people in your field, but at the end of the day, the quality of your efforts can't be visually measured - and that makes visual motivation harder to arrange.
Anyway, today is the first day of NaNoWriMo, and as good a day as any to celebrate the relentless nose-to-grindstoning of creative folks in every field. So here's my contribution to our collective motivational poster-pool.
This is the keyboard I've used for the last eight years of my writing apprenticeship.
The grooves are from my fingernails.
Did I mention that my first novel was called The Nine Mnemonics of the N'mmmnerian Nunnery?
Anyway: keep at it, arty people, whatever your art may be. And remember: there is nothing standing between you and success but years of thankless unrelenting toil!
It's going to take you awhile.