What’s your motivation to write? Money? Fame?
What if you don’t get those? Would you go on writing?
Have you met someone who could write well but doesn’t?
The next time you meet such a person, ask her why.
Chances are she would say she has no time etcetera. That’s a lie. A white lie.
Want to know what the truth is?
The truth is she isn’t motivated to write.
You and I know if we are motivated to do something, we’ll find a way to do it. By hook or crook.
It’s easy to give up on writing if you rely on external motivations – book sales, post comments, page views, social shares and so on.
You’re addicted to external success. That’s the problem.
Truth is external success, more often than not, is beyond reach of a writer in the short term.
So, why worry about it at all? If you rely on external success as a primary motivation, you’ll have a short lifespan as a writer. It has happened to many. Don’t let it happen to you.
Have you come across writers who have published only one or two books? Quality books.
Bloggers who have abandoned their blogs despite publishing well-crafted posts?
You wonder where they had gone and when they’ll show up again.
Lack of ‘success’ had killed the writer in them. Their love affair with writing is over because they couldn’t see the rewards.
They must have opted for some other ‘pursuits’ where success could come easily.
If they don’t find success there, they’ll hop somewhere else where success will be delivered to them on a platter.
So, what should be your motivation to write? How do you have it within arm’s reach every time you sit down to write?
A little self-examination is appropriate.
Sit down and think what made you choose writing in the first place.
Be honest. Most of us when starting out and struggling with the craft would not have thought about fame or fortune.
We just wanted to write and publish. We wanted to enjoy the satisfaction of seeing our name in print.
Once we enjoy this first phase of success we turn our radar on to a different target – money and fame and forget and even mercilessly extinguish that initial spark that had given us much joy.
We look at others who are earning well with writing and are being talked about.
Our goal now is to be like them. And we want to be like them as soon as possible. If possible, the next day or this very moment (as soon as we publish a book or write a blog post).
When this doesn’t happen, writing is no longer a worthy pursuit. An activity that had been so close to our hearts is ditched because we can’t see tangible results.
Does this mean we shouldn’t seek tangible rewards through writing? Absolutely not. It’s only human to expect rewards for our efforts.
But then the rewards should flow naturally from our efforts.
Frankly speaking nobody can engineer a piece of writing to bring tangible rewards. Those who try hard usually end up disappointed.
I once heard a famous award-winning writer, despite his success, say, “Writing is its own reward. Being able to write is the biggest reward you could get.”
Imagine how many millions out there who can’t read much less write, who could read but not write, who have written in school and wished they could write again. Wouldn’t they wish they had your reward – the ability to write?
You have the Big Reward. Why kill the Golden Goose by seeking some elusive rewards like fame and fortune?
You’ll be more productive as a writer if you start enjoying the inner rewards in your writing life.
What are the examples of inner rewards?
1) You get the satisfaction of sharing useful content with the world. Somebody somewhere will read it and benefit from it even if he or she doesn’t say so. As long as you know this will happen, you get your first reward.
2) Every piece you write makes you a better writer because you’re are getting valuable writing practice. Unless you’re a die-hard cynic, you can’t claim you aren’t improving as a writer each time you write. Now, that’s a reward nobody can take away from you.
3) Everytime you write, you learn. All true writers enjoy learning. They like to learn new things which they would eventually share with the world. If you like to do something (learn) and you get to do it, isn’t that reward enough?
These are just examples of inner motivations that drives most writers to put words on paper. The list can go on and on and you are invited to add to it.
Have you heard of successful writers who say, they’ll still be writing even if there are no publishing houses or book sales or press coverage?
It turns out that the fame and fortune they’re enjoying is just a by-product of this inner motivation – I want to write because it makes me feel good internally.
Find your internal ‘feel good’ factor today if you feel you’ve lost the motivation to write.
Track back to the day or the moment you decided to write, whether it was five years or thirty years back. How good did the moment feel? Relive it.
As they say the first time is always the best. Shuttle back to the day when you were a ‘virgin’ writer.
And today, this very moment, you’re going to reboot and return to that very day or moment you felt so good about writing.
Do this every time you sit down to write and you’ll not have to worry about writing again because you’re armed with a powerful weapon called Instant Inner Motivation (IIM) to Write.
And if could spare a few moments, please share the moment you felt so good about writing, the moment you felt you could go on and on without food, rest or sleep and when this joy ride came to end. Why you ran out of steam and ended up having your motivation robbed.