I’ve been asking myself this question a lot lately. What is it that acutally motivates me to write?
It’s not something that I’ve been able to easily answer in the past, and it’s still something that I struggle with regularly.
More recently, I haven’t written a darn thing, I can only surmise that its because I’ve been spending more time navigating the slings and arrows of my day job. So it’s safe to say that I haven’t been motivated much at all of late.
On a good day, when I feel motivated to put fingers to keys, the reasons I write can vary from the exploration of a single thought right down to the simple basic premise of telling a really good story.
I truly love the ‘flow state’ I achieve when motivated to write, like its the fresh air I’ve been looking to breathe all my life. In that moment, be it one-thousand or twenty-thousand words, it feels achievable.
Its the state that I want to strive for one more word, one more sentence, one more chapter… and its something that I long for every day.
The flip-side of which is when I’ve been spending my time thinking about my day job, where it’s going, what I’m currently doing, the deadlines, who I need to talk to, when can I do a certain thing.
The result is basic mental burn out, and that I find is the utter death of my flow state. Where everything you have to think about gets in the way of actually doing the thing you love, which for me is writing.
I’m at my happiest coming up with things to write. Sometimes its characters, where that character lives, and how they interact with the people that occupy their environment. Often I could spend whole weeks writing backstory elements full of amazing technologies, and settings to fill entire universes, and have done so in the past.
A few people have asked me if it’s the thought of monetary reward. Sure, I’d be an utter liar if I said I haven’t imagined what it would be like being a ‘best seller’ or some kind of literary award winner (Hey Nebula Awards, I’m coming after you!) but it isn’t my motivation.
If I had to set a goal in stone, the future would allow me to support my wife and I with my writing, ultimately writing a book or two a year with articles and short stories in-between. But it’s not the only goal, and it shouldn’t be, doing it for the money is fine for a while, but if you don’t love it then kiss your happiness goodbye.
Have any thoughts on your motivations to write?
Feel free to drop a comment on this post!