What motivates writers to write? I recently read a blog post that was amazingly inspiring. It was all about what motivates that particular individual and how they try and capture that motivation to keep on writing.
C.B Wentworth: thank you for the honesty with which you wrote about your motivations. It’s made me consider what it is that motivates me and how I might best be able to not just get motivated, but also stay motivated.
So why do I write? What motivates me in my struggle to write?
Those moments when I allow myself to consider the day when I am a published author and I can say that I did it. I said I was going to be a writer, and not only do I write, but I am actually recognised for doing so. Amazingly it isn’t the recognition or the physical idea of holding my writing in published form that motivates me – it is the simplicity of following through on something that I said I wanted.
One of my pet hates are those people that say they want something, or want to do something, and then do absolutely nothing about it. I hate those people. I do not want to be one of those people. So, if I say I want something, then I plan to do the very best that I can to try and achieve it. If you decide that what you wanted is just ‘too much hard work’ for you to accomplish, well, you mustn’t have wanted it all that much to begin with.
Closely related to the first motivator is the Fear: The terrifying prospect that I will exit this life having left nothing of any worth behind and I will fall into the chasm of complete obscurity and be forgotten. The idea that once I die there won’t be any evidence that I was ever really here.
I studied Egyptology at University – and one of the aspects of their belief system was that in order to have some form of afterlife their name must be remembered. Each time we say ‘Tutankhamun’ or ‘Rameses’ their spirit is renewed in the afterlife and is all the richer for being remembered. I like the thought that I could leave something tangible behind that could remain for thousands of years, only to be re-discovered and someone to ask: ‘who’s this?’.
Perhaps this is the most motivating aspect of all for me. While they say that ‘pride comes before a fall’, I’m quite happy to fall as long as I feel truly proud of the effort that I am making. Sitting down every day to be a writer is – now I know – not an easy task. When I tell people I am writing a novel, they seem surprised on one hand and almost disbelieving on another. But, I am proud of what I do. And it is this overwhelming pride in my continued efforts to write that pushes me on each day. I don’t want to lose that feeling of inner self-worth and esteem that makes my struggle to write so satisfying.
My list differs from C.B.W’s in that I’ve highlighted the big, emotional drivers that add up to my character and personality: the Dream, Fear and Pride are what keep me going on the inside and contextualise my task of writing on a grand scale. It wasn’t until I started to think about these, however, that I realised just how integral writing must be to my happiness. Because of my Dream, my Fear and my Pride: I have to write – it’s part of who I am.
While I always knew this, I didn’t understand why it was. Now that I do, I feel a lot more motivated to ensure that I don’t give up. If I ever do surrender my Dream, give in to the Fear and lose my sense of Pride in my writing, then it’s bound to impact on my well-being. So that just gives me one more reason to make sure I continue to write…