Raison d’être: Discover Challenge

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

About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
This entry was posted in Daily Post prompt and challenges, musings, opinion, Weekly Discover Challenge, Writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Raison d’être: Discover Challenge

  1. Your article is really interesting. I love knowing what motivates other writers, either in general or for a specific project. You know yourself well, you know what you needed to do to get your project completed.
    Really sad that teacher made you feel so badly about your writing. It was a brilliant and creative approach. Shame on her.
    I have no problems writing or getting my stories completed, even though I might spend years getting them perfected. My problem is dealing with the queries. All my insecurities come to the fore and I feel exhausted or defeated before I’ve begun. I belong to a great writer’s group but I need a query group.
    Cannot wait to read your memoir, Irene.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Charli Mills says:

    I’m always fascinated by the process of other writers. Deadlines that involve someone other than me are useful. Self-imposed deadlines don’t always hold up. I’m taking a disliking to your 3rd-grade teacher. I had a nun protest my creative inclination in kindergarten, but I really didn’t understand at the time, only that I was in trouble for drawing colorful pictures in my workbook. I’m so glad you let your inner creative writer out to play with flash fiction. You are really good at it and I love your dark humor and sense of timing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have to thank you Charli for unleashing a creative fiction side for me with your prompts. Although some I find very difficult it is fun coming up with a story in 99 words. Glad you enjoy them and thank heavens you were too young to let your nun have the same effect on you.
      My own set deadlines don’t work as well as those imposed from the outside as it is too easy to shift the goal posts.


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