Friday, May 4, 2012

Motivation - The Write Stuff

Why do you write? What makes you get out of bed to face the blank page every day? What drives you to rewrite, edit, and edit some more? What makes you strive to find a publisher or self-publish?

If you are in it for the money, stop writing and focus on your day job. Money, in shrink-talk is a "negative and non-sustaining motivation." Oh, sure, we all need and want money, but if that is your sole or main motivation, you are headed for a world of hurt.

You need positive and sustaining motivations to write to keep you writing.

I write because, like breathing, I will die without it. It is as essential to my being as my heart and lungs.. I have found that when I don't write I am more prone to depression, restlessness, and listlessness. Ever since I decided to be a writer at the age of eight, it has been a part of me. Perhaps it was always a part of me and it just took until I was eight for it to become incorporated into my awareness. Until then it took the form of my being a voracious reader at an early age. I remember sitting in my little reading group in first grade and the teacher was asking if anyone could read the one word on the first page of the reader. I looked quickly around the group. What was the big deal? Couldn't they all read it? All it said was Tip. I had already taught myself to read as my parents had read to me. I could already sign my name because I had had a savings account for college for more than a year.

Years ago I realized that my need to write was my "calling." Just as serious as though God had called me to become a nun. Since I am not Catholic, I did not go running off to the nearest convent. I was raised Presbyterian and later veered off into the New Age. So my "service" to God is to do what he provided me the talent to do. To speak to everyone with my writing. Later on I discovered that I have a talent for writing humor, the strongest medicine in the world.

I also write because I love the places I can go, the worlds I can explore, the different people I can be. It does leave me living primarily in my head. Not a bad place on the whole. I am entertained and consumed at the same time. It is living life on an intense level since I try to put myself in everyone else's  shoes. It makes me a more compassionate human being because of this.

I am, therefore I write. And yes, I do make some money writing, but that is a nice side benefit. I am hoping that the old saying "Do what you love and the money will follow," is true.

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