Category Archives: A writer’s motivation

Inspiration / expiration

I feel like I’m talking a lot about motivation as it pertains to writing. The major reason for that is writing doesn’t happen without it. With as many people out there as there are, most of whom carrying around some vague, unrealized notion of writing a book someday, how many do you think actually will? Only the ones with sufficient motivation to get their hineys in the chairs.

I’ve done a lot of thinking about motivation–particularly, my motivation when it comes to authoring my book. It’s not easy to justify spending so much time away from family and friends and other worthy pursuits like learning and reading and exercise in order to scribble, which seems such a selfish, unproductive thing to do with your time. But it’s not easy to write either. You don’t just sit down and write War and Peace–or even The Cat in the Hat–without a truly mind-blowing amount of energy and effort, devising and editing and building and organizing and crafting. It’s not sitting by the stream, languidly jotting your musings and ruminations. If you’ve ever actually done it, you know it’s just not.

And besides, it’s likely that drivel you wrote by the stream wouldn’t be readable anyway. It is my strong suspicion that unless writers slog it out in an uncomfortable, dingy hole, sweating, fingers cramping, fighting against the urge to quit with every word, birthing each thought through hard labor without the aid of laudanum, morphine, absinthe or Nyquil, it’s not going to be any good whatsoever. The world is simply not prepared to give you such an easy time of it. Of course, you want to take that at face value and not become masochistic about it. I’m not suggesting you go live in New York or anything.

But I’m convinced it is, in fact, struggle that keeps writers writing. If it was too easy, most would find something else to do–like play with the kids and go on long vacations to deserted islands. Maybe writers, like politicians, defense attorneys, and professional athletes, simply possess a weaker survival mechanism than most, which allows them to court their own expiration with such abandon. Maybe it’s good more people aren’t so motivated.

Confessions of a Shameful Time Waster

So, what kind of web experience have you had today? Mine has been long and laborious. I’ve spent 3 hours searching for houses online in my area. We need a bit more space. My wife and me and our 19 month old daughter, are very nearly being driven crazy in our 2 room condo. Of course, we have to sell the place before we can “actually” begin shopping, but as lifelong consumers, it’s so blasted hard to resist the urge to shop.

So totally useless. I hate the feeling of wasting so much of my day–especially when I could have been writing on the book.

It isn’t rare for me to waste time instead of write. Sometimes I wonder why I do it if I claim to love writing so much. Any little whim of an excuse not to write–this creative activity that occupies so much of my mind–derails my conviction and inspiration at the mere suggestion of a diversion. It’s as though since I’m thinking of writing all day long, when I actually have a chance to do it, I resist. Why?

And this evening, it’s the Olympics. I don’t usually watch sports, but the Olympics in Greece is not sports. It’s sort of history in the making, isn’t it?

Oh well. Can’t be helped, I suppose. Can’t spend all your time on the computer. Or maybe you can…