I’m not motivated enough to make a title…

Today’s blogging prompt comes to you from the fine folks that make motivational posters: 11. What motivates you?

First of all, what kind of question is that? Motivates me to do what? Write? Go to a job that doesn’t pay well? Live in what I believe to be one of the prettiest places in America? What, prompt?

Since I have a blog dedicated to writing (it’s in the URL, even), I’ll take the cue and go with what motivates me to write. At first, it was to get an idea that was taking up precious brain space out of there. Ever had a popcorn kernel stuck behind a tooth you just couldn’t reach? It was kinda like that. Annoying… at times painful… just… AAARRgghhh!

I’m definitely not a writer by trade. I didn’t study writing from a young age (well, you could say I did by reading a crap ton of books), or have the lofty goal of becoming a world-famous author. I took one creative writing course in college, but mostly because it was a class I thought I’d do well in (and to ultimately earn the credits for).

Typing this, I realize that yesterday marks 3 years, to the day, that I’ve been writing in earnest (and first met my fiance). The motivation beyond getting the stories out of my head, though, lean to a couple of things. Money, in a very small way. Earning a few extra bucks a month from something I wrote sure isn’t anything to complain about. The other main reason is making it possible for others to get a glimpse of my vision.

Reading is like having telepathy… you’re literally reading someone else’s mind. The amazing amount of stories and ideas and thoughts that I’ve had a chance to input into my brain has been nothing short of wonderful. I’ve also seen a wide array of abilities to do just that. Everything from poorly written fanfiction on sites like Wattpad, all the way up to professionally edited and prepared books from big publishers. I’ve seen fanfiction written better than trad published works. I’ve read self-pubbed books better than anything else out there.

The method doesn’t seem to be the issue that people make of it. But the focus of this is supposed to be motivation, isn’t it? steers the train back onto the proper tracks The sharing of these ideas and stories is what compels me to write. I remember how I was so excited to see something new in the bookstore (whether the book was new or not, never registered… it was the story). I’ve read many stories that are essentially the same. Same characters, same underlying journey. But the way each author has touched the story and changed and tweaked it to match a vision that was in their head fascinates me.

But what about doubt? Oh, there’s doubt that eats at the motivation and makes me question it… but the arguments usually get me back in the right place. What if nobody likes it? is a big one… then I remind myself that people will read ANYTHING. What if it really isn’t very good? is another. James Patterson (yes, the guy that’s made over $3 BILLION from tons of books) has one of the worst rated books on Amazon.  Here’s an actual review:

Worst James Patterson book I ever read. I can’t believe he had his name put on this book. It stunk! A HUGE disappointment. What’s worse is I can’t believe I continued reading the dumb book. I have always been an avid James Patterson fan. I loved his books. Honestly, this was the worst book I have ever read. Please Mr. Patterson…don’t do this to me again.

Think that’ll stop him from writing again? No. Why should it ever stop me? There are many other ways my brain tries to defeat itself (ooh… maybe an idea for a book there?), but for some strange reason, the ability to share my ideas, whether bad or good, keep me going.

How about you? What motivates you? It doesn’t have to be about writing, but it could be… Let me know in the comments.

See you tomorrow.

2 Comments

  1. I like how you immediately broke down motivation into categories. Yeah, if you think about it, you really don’t use the same motivators for all tasks and situations. I would say you could even break down motivations for writing… like, what motivates you to write, vs what motivates you to make a piece shine, vs what motivates you to publish or submit to places. It seems there’s a lot of little motivators working together that I hadn’t really thought about. And some days some motivators lag behind the others. I enjoy writing, so that’s a big one that’s been driving me for years, but more recently I discovered it’s actually quite a nice feeling when someone connects with your work (who knew I could evoke something in others akin to what I feel when I read?), so that’s become a motivator for sharing the words I eek out a little more.

    • a big reason for some to show off the things they’ve done… not only as a matter of pride, but to possibly get a reaction that reinforces the motivator to do that thing in the first place

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