Justification of effort is a theory that says, "If I have to work hard to achieve something, I will afterward find it more attractive." We all understand this. The thought of wasting time and energy toward a particular end would prove us to be sort of daft, right? Consequently, it would damage your self esteem and confidence.
The research that proves this phenomena cracked me up. Aronson and Mills (1959) recruited students for a discussion group. For every third person recruited, they made the process more difficult to get "in." Afterward, when all the participants of the discussion group were asked to rate a boring tape recording they were asked to listen to, those who had a harder time getting into the group rated it higher.
Tell me you don't think that's funny!
But how does this apply to writers?
The reality is that writing is all one long process of getting "in" the publishing industry. Contests, conferences, critique partners, proposals, agents...consider it much the same way you would an examination to get into an exclusive Ivy League school, or perhaps like an initiation period into a fraternity/sorority/gang.
Those who successfully make it through the enlistment look back with very real pride (as they should) on this accomplishment. There is an air of exclusivity to those who have passed through the flaming hoops, at least to those who have yet to traverse the hallowed published grounds.
I propose that if you're at all thinking about being a writer, getting published, and making your
Gangs and mobs have used this knowledge for years. If the process if hard to get in, people are less likely to quit. I mean, there must be a reason for all their sacrifice--whether it's blood, sweat, or tears. Is that any different from writing?
Let people know your goals, and then you'll have built in accountability to press on for the goal and finish your path to completion.