What motivates a person to write? Is it the desire to be known? Is it a wish to educate or share information? Is it a creative impulse that must be heeded lest it lead to frustration in all its forms?Take this hypothetical situation: what if you were challenged to stop writing. What if you had to store all your ideas, reflections and feelings in your brain. What would have to happen externally to make you sneak off to a dark corner and scratch something onto a piece of bark? Would it be a great joy or deep sorrow? Would it be a new thought that had never previously entered your brain and you had to get it down? What would be the push to get you to pick up the pen (or keyboard)?
In the past, my motivator was strong emotion. It could be joy or happiness, or it could be hard disappointment or sadness. Either would do. Then I would find myself forced to write, almost as if I couldn’t NOT write.
There are times when something in your life elicits such a strong reaction in you that you are moved to action. For writers, I believe that action, even though it is solitary, is the formation of words on the page.
Ultimately then, our motivation doesn’t need to be some grand thing — in fact, I think it is better if it is deceptively small.
Tip #2: Make your motivation an appreciation of language and all it can do.
Why do we write? If we love language and the process of writing, then simply setting coherent words down one after the other is motive enough. Bending those words to our will is a strenuous activity! Other stuff is a sidedish that comes along later, but at its most elemental, there is a relationship with words for people who are prompted to write.
For more on other kinds of motivations, such as fame or success, keep yer ears on because I’ll be posting another Writing Tip very soon.