Excuse me for a moment while I take a break from fiction. Recently, I’ve been asked what my motivation is for writing. I had never been asked this before, and I really had to think about my answer. What did I use for motivation? Did I have motivation? When I asked myself that question, all I could think of was not really. But then I second-guessed that response. I had to have motivation, right? Then, I wondered, what if I didn’t have to have a specific motivation? Sometimes, I write for the sake of writing. Certainly that’s good enough.
Writing has been my passion since I was a little kid. I used to enter into poetry contests and wrote my first “novel” before I was twelve. By “novel,” I mean I filled up a wide-ruled notebook with one, consectutive story. I still have that notebook. It’s very dear to me. One day, I would like to turn it into a children’s book. But writing, like drawing, has been something I’ve just done. Even still, I just…do. I write. I guess passion is my motivation?
Granted, I’m not perfect. There are days when I simply don’t feel like writing. Did I ever mention I’m a procrastinator? I’m a huge procratinator. I love Fallout 4 and Skyrim. Napping is also a favorite hobby of mine. It’s no secret the internet is a glaring distraction. But I usually come back to writing. I feel weird when I don’t write. Like a part of me is missing.
I will say having this blog helps. People follow me, like my posts, comment on them. I’m obligated to provide content. In a good way. It give me a purpose to my short stories and poems. Even my pictures. There are many days where all I write is a short story or poem. Some days, I don’t work on my novel. But I know the key is writing. Every published author I’ve seen or read about all say the same thing: Write. No matter what it is, write.
Now, as far as my novel goes, that can become tricky. It’s my first one, so I don’t have a contract or deadline. I actually abandoned it for over a year. I’ve been working on it since 2012. It’s gone through about five plot changes, and I still can’t come up with a suitable title. I won’t lie. It gets old sometimes. I picked it back up last summer. Currently, I’m close to finishing the revision stage, and it will be off to editing. Knowing it’s so close to completion is encouraging.
However, I can’t force myself to work on it. Not when I can take my time and make sure my debut novel is, as I deem, perfect. In my opinion, you can tell when writing is forced. It’s awkward, stale, dead. Stories and characters are meant to be free, to evolve. Writers don’t control characters or ideas; they guide them. But that’s a soapbox for a different time.
I am a huge believer in muses and the power of music. I know what type of music will put me in the zone. I know what will pull me out. Headphones are amazing. I’m also always searching. Searching for that one creative detail in the world that I can shape into a work of art. To me, that’s what creative people do. Show the world how we see it. That’s how we get so many different styles. It’s everyone’s perspectives.
You could say I work more from inspiration rather than motivation, I suppose. Inspiration is everywhere. Motivation is something I have to control. I don’t have good control. I’m also a thinker. I spend so much time thinking about something, I never do what I’m supposed to be doing. It’s why I can’t think about my writing too much. When I do, I don’t get any writing done.
My stories and poems are never “planned.” I think of the first one or two lines then just let go and write. The words flow on their own. The story shapes itself. I have no idea when or how they will end. I never know what message will come out of it, even when I want them to have a particular meaning. Though, they typically end dark or depressing. I wonder what that says about me, then…? Regardless, I’m sure you understand my point.
In fact, I’m not entirely sure what my point to this was. I think I got completely off-track. I’m more of a listener in real life. I only talk a lot to people I really know. But put pen and paper in front of me, and I never shut up. I honestly don’t know if there was a point. I’ll chalk it up to getting my thoughts out. They ususally won’t leave me alone until I write them down. None of this probably made any sense, but maybe someone can take something from it. Thank you for bearing this post with me.