Some people think that a writers’ greatest enemy is Writer’s Block. But that’s not always the case. I am, after all, in the camp of believers that think Writer’s Block is a myth; it’s a nice scapegoat, and a nice way to phrase it to family when they ask why you haven’t been writing recently, but the true reason many of us writers blame WB is because we know we’re being lazy or purposefully redirecting our energy from writing to something else (Yes, I know it’s “research”, but there’s only so many hours you can do that before you need to hunker down and actually write).
Motivation, for many, is that monster we begrudgingly have to become friends with because deep down we all know it wants the best for us. Even if sometimes, we just want to tell it to go away so we can sit on a beach and read a book instead of doing anything else.
The weather in my part of town has been gorgeous lately; true spring weather. And after a long, incredibly cold winter, there’s nothing more I want to do that just go outside and bask in the sunlight, either with a book or taking a nap in the yard. And, like many others, I have to relinquish that desire because of my responsibilities. I have classes to attend and schoolwork to finish, I have lunch and dinner shifts to work at the restaurant, I have to keep up with the site and Round Robin and keep up with the housework. And so I find it in me to wake up at 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning to write a blog post and get some writing done before heading off to the job that (sort of) pays the bills. And I’m just a 20 year old, living with roommates; some people are mothers or fathers and have children to take care of, or other important matters to take care of.
So at the end of the day, there’s nothing more I’d like to do but kick my feet up, watch a movie and go to bed early. But I don’t because Motivation is sitting right beside me, giving me the fuel I need to stay up an extra few hours to write. I become the responsible adult writer than I know I have to become. I no longer rely on the days where I wouldn’t write unless I had the inspiration, as I did in my youth, because I know that’s not going to cut it anymore. I put on my Big Girl Pants and I sit down and I write, whether I have anything to write or not.
And when Motivation doesn’t stick around, or its sick and refuses to come close, I remind myself of how tired I am and how much I dislike working for others where I have little control over my schedule, and that keeps me going. I excitedly wait for the day when I can quit my day job and do nothing but write all day. A stretch, I understand, but it’s the dream that keeps me going. It’s the picture of a new piece of clothing that motivates me to go for a run; it’s the sunny day that urges me to get my work done so I can sit in the sunlight and read a book. Becoming published is still the underlying theme of the dream but it’s become a mere facet of the gem that is my Authorial Independence.
So, what motivates you? Do you keep a picture of your book’s cover taped to the wall where you work, or do you entice yourself with something else? Answer in the comments!