The number one problem for any writer is staying motivated. A lack of motivation leads to poor writing, less writing, and a general feeling of malaise whenever writing is occurring. Anyone who has ever written for an extended period of time has been in this situation. It’s not fun and it’s an easy trap to tall into. In a world of increasing distractions [cell phones and the internet, especially], that trap is all the more easily fallen into. So, where does motivation come from?
Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer to that question. Motivation comes from a wide variety of locations and those locations can vary wildly from one person to the next. For me, most of my motivation has come from a desire to take the many stories that I invent in my head and write them down. The joy of creation, of making something interesting from raw materials. That’s gotten me quite a long way.
Recently, however, my goal has shifted from simply creating to an attempt to turn my writing hobby into a writing career. That’s brought with it a host of problems to deal with and added a laundry list of things that I need to do. The joy of creation is no longer the primary motivator anymore. It’s just not enough to write something down and then say to myself “Yeah, that was pretty good.” Now my motivation comes more often from feedback, from hearing the thoughts of the people who purchase and read what I’ve written. And that’s all well and good, because I’ve heard some very positive reactions, but what happens when things slow down and the feedback dries up?
That’s where the malaise hits hard. It’s more difficult to write something good, it’s more difficult to wrote for a prolonged period of time, it’s more difficult to just sit down in front of the computer and work. And that’s what writing, in those unmotivated moments, becomes. Work. It’s no longer that fun hobby that you’re doing for fun, it’s a job that you’re doing because you have to. And that’s why it’s so important to power through those times, so that you can find new motivation and inspiration to keep you going.