Today, because one of my readers asked, I'm sharing what motivates me as a writer.
They say that writers write because we must. There's something indefinable inside of us that makes storytelling a necessity, that makes the written word our power. While this is commonly true, there are many successful writers out there who consider writing a side project rather than a passion, and even born writers struggle oftentimes with motivation. Writing is an extremely difficult career, as are all the arts.
Here are a few things that keep me going when I'm down in the dumps or just generally not feeling it.
Great Artwork of All Kinds
Because writing is an art medium, it is often inspired by the other art that can be found all around us. Pinterest has actually been a great piece for gaining motivation. I have boards where I can pin quotes and artwork of all kinds.
Similarly, great music (I work well with movie scores) can help you gain inspiration and motivation. If you connects with it, there's something there to feed off of. Use it!
Most of all, other stories give you a starting point from which to work, not only teaching you how to refine your craft in innumerable ways, but also giving you bits of inspiration and a greater understanding of what speaks to you. Movies, television, and especially books are great inspiration pieces and incredible motivators. Make use of them!
Questions and Conflicts in My Life
My primary reason to write is in order to gain understanding and catharsis personally and emotionally. I think that's true of many authors. Often, my novels help me straighten out my thoughts as I face some confusion or conflict in my life. My trials thus motivate me!
Often, it's more subconscious, and I don't see what issue(s) I was trying to work through with a novel until I'm in the editing/querying phase. Sometimes I have a few vague real life issues I'm facing directly and others that are more subconscious. One time in my life, a specific problem inspired an idea: #FibromyalgiaStory. I wanted to spread awareness, and I wanted there to be a story out there for people who had problems like mine.
Friends, Family, and Fans
Your main motivation should be internal. Writing only because you want others to be proud of you isn't going to do you any good in the end. It has to be more intrinsic than that.
However, when you're in a tough place, your friends, family, and fans can be what drives you that last inch. Hopefully, you've shown some people your work, and some of them have become your fans. If you haven't gotten to that stage yet, look to friends and family who want you to succeed and are eager to support you. You can even indulge yourself by imagining the future fans you may acquire when your work is published. Take their enthusiasm and make it your own!
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