This week we have been asked what is our reason for being or in other words what motivates us. I know I am goal oriented, deadline driven but what is my motivation for writing anything in the first place.
My Dad gave me a diary for my birthday and taught me the types of entries I could write in it. I filled it out religiously for many years despite my desire to write creatively, stories of fiction, being squashed and laid to rest by my 3rd class teacher who did not appreciate the creative approach I had taken to a composition we had to write about Mud. I chose to write about a puppy found in the mud and was hence named Mud. Her criticisms hit the mark and until my foray into flash fiction I did not attempt to write fiction from that time. She was my raison d’être for not writing.
I don’t share the feeling many writers have who say it is a compulsion to write every day, although most days I do. I am hopeless at responding to emails as I was with letters although when I do sit down to correspond it is long and newsy. Despite this I think storylines constantly. I will overhear conversations and dream dreams that will trigger a story. I’ll often jot notes. Reminders of what I could do when I have time. Projects will be planned in my head when I know that I don’t currently have the time to implement them. So I have the ideas but lack either the time or the motivation to carry them to fruition.
It was not until I had a story that I was compelled to write that I buckled down and got it done. It started as a project to be completed for my Mother’s 70th birthday to be given as a present. This is where it would have stayed had I not joined the River Writer’s writing group. I joined because I was in danger of coming to a standstill and the weekly deadline was the motivation I needed to complete another chapter or do a rewrite. Due to their interest in the story I was telling I was persuaded that the story should be written for a wider audience and I was motivated to agree. Moving to Noosa I left behind my writing group but not before we had published an anthology and had a growing folder of stories. Once my deadlines were gone so too was my motivation to a large extent and despite trying other writing groups I could never find one that gave the level of critique I was wanting. This led to enrolling in a post -grad certificate in Creative Industries. My understanding of this course was that it would bring together the creative aspects of writing whilst merging it with the commercial side. Just what I wanted to get my book published. I achieved my goals (although it is not yet published due to some legal issues I had with a small amount of the content) but soon will be.
Fired up I wanted to keep writing. I had another story to tell and another and another. My future projects are numerous but I know myself well. I need that deadline. I need a goal. For that reason blogging is good for me. I can impose my own goals and deadlines and the posts get done or I can use a challenger’s prompt deadline. I tend to do a combination of the two.
The other requirement to sustain the motivation is passion. The project has to be one that engrosses me, that lives with me for the time it takes until completion. An interesting discovery I have recently made is that I have found that a project where the deadline has blown out the passion too has gone, as though the two were linked.
In response to weekly discover challenge