I’m taking a break today from the usual topics of book selling and promotion to touch on the subject of motivation, specifically, the motivation to write. As a kid I used to write stories almost non-stop. Instead of keeping a diary, my notebooks were filled with a series of scattered narratives that I would then read out to my friends during lunchtime or recess. As I grew older, my stories became more complicated and I became shy about sharing. This sort of attitude soon became so extreme during my teen years that I was reluctant to share my poems and stories to anyone that I knew in real life. Despite this, I still wrote prolifically and began to submit my stories and poems to contests.
By the time I entered college, I had a decent enough writing portfolio to earn a scholarship despite my now waning desire to write. Friends of mine have often expressed that they lost their motivation to read after college, that they were unable to read anything without constantly analyzing and making critiques. For me, I completely lost my motivation to write creatively. Long nights of study and countless pages of essays left me creatively drained. As the years passed by, I barely wrote anything for myself. The few poems I wrote during that time were published and well received but I could no longer find my true narrative voice.
After graduating and entering the work force, I was almost certain that my inner writer had vanished. A series of unfortunate work-related events soon followed and it was only then that my creative spark was re-ignited. For the first time since my pre-teen years, I felt my stress fall away and my creative spark began to flicker. Despite working a dull job, I was able to take comfort in the thought of working on my stories at the end of the day. At this point in my life, I find my motivation to write by reflecting on those times when I could barely raise my pen. By helping others tell their stories I am driven to continue working on my own.
(Bonus tip: If you’re ever feeling extremely unmotivated, try looking up quotes by famous writers or navigating writing memes. If you read about writing, chances are good that you’ll find yourself wanting to write.)