I said I was gonna address this, didn’t I?
A big thing with being a writer I’ve been faced with many times is the simple fact that sometimes I don’t feel like it.
I don’t feel like writing.
I have an idea but don’t have the energy needed to dive into its ocean of possibilities. Uncovering exactly what I want to do with the thought, how I want to start it, grow it, and use it to create another large or small project is just beyond me. Or perhaps I already accomplished the dive. It’s started. I’m in the midst of the storm just trecking my way through the ups and downs of plots and character development and trying to outline a path to the ending that just made itself known to me yesterday. Or the ending I may have known quite well from the start. And I just don’t feel like making my way through the messy middle to get to the finish line. It’s a lot of work.
This feeling happens.
And when it does, I try to think back to why I started. And the root of thinking sprouts from why I started the particular project into why I felt excited about a particular idea for a project into why I started writing, in general, in the first place.
Let’s talk motivation. What pushes me to create and stay consistent in achieving my writing goals.
Motivation: Defined & How it Finds Me
noun 1. the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.
2. the general desire or willingness of someone to do something.
Not to be confused with inspiration. Immerse yourself into a magical experience of me explaining what inspiration is and where I find it here.
I can find inspiration in just about anything. I am not someone who can find motivation in anything. It goes a little deeper. It’s the reason why I allow myself to be open to inspiration. Why I write and why I write the stories, poems, etc. that I feel compelled to write. I don’t really need to go looking for it, because it always finds me.
Let’s start from the beginning.
When I was a kid, I read a lot. I particularly remember being in middle school, sitting in my seventh-grade classroom. I can’t remember if it was a free period or we were supposed to be watching a movie, but I do remember a majority of the students engrossed in conversations while only a few paid attention to the TV that had been rolled in and placed at the head of the class. The lights were off and the room was solely lit by the sun that brightened a cloudy afternoon sky through a wall of open windows. And my desk was on the side of the room closest to the windows, so I could see the paper sitting in front of me clearly.
It was a pivotal point of reading in my young adult life. A time where I was obsessed with both series I was reading and would make my way to Barnes and Noble every time the next books became available. Specifically, the Gossip Girl series by Cecily von Zeigesar (yes, I watched the TV show and was equally as obsessed with that as well) and The Clique by Lisi Harrison.
I sat in that seventh-grade classroom and wrote on that piece of paper a story about a group of high school students that was inspired by a mixture of Gossip Girl and The Clique. Drama between well-off, young adults doing things rich teens with minimal supervision tend to do and facing the pressures of not tainting their family’s names. But there was no mysterious figure behind a gossip page and the characters were black. And I really got into it, I remember it was like five pages handwritten. I wish I knew where it ended up. I might have thrown it away. But that’s the first memory I have of writing something and many more memories followed.
But as I got older, I took on new hobbies (going to the mall and skating rink with friends) and had more responsibilities (first job working at a grocery store and also being on the dance team at my high school). My attention shifted. I eventually revisited writing but in bits and pieces.
Then 2015 came and with it was an overwhelming desire to start fresh in a new place. Along with piercing loneliness as I was tired of dealing with and being surrounded by the same type of people doing the same things I had no interest in at all. Then I visited L.A. for the second time in my life and had a huge burst of inspiration. More fuel was added to the fire of me wanting to get away from where I was. Thus my first book, Away, was written. And it was purely motivated by my yearning for an escape.
My yearning to disappear from the current place I was in.
Being motivated to write due to the need and want to have time away from reality is still a great cause of my writing to this day. I get to create worlds inside of worlds and meet new people. Granted, the people are characters in my head but listen… I become connected to them. I become connected to the world they live in and the obstacles they face and the accomplishments they achieve. It’s like getting lost in a book or movie as a break from what you may be going through in real life. Writing gives me a break from real life and places me into something new. So new, it’s not even apart of this world I live in.
And in that comes another motivator: The beauty of such an escape being therapeutic for me.
The escape from reality, as well as the release afforded, has been noticed as something incredibly healthy for me. It’s like being weighed down with so much – reliving experiences in my head, some scenes having occurred and others being figments of my imagination, characters vividly seen and their lifestyles, tragedies witnessed, lost/broken friendships and relationships, new and properly maintained friendships and relationships, the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly – and taking that weight and literally releasing it off your shoulders, your chest, and your head when you take all those bits and pieces that make you who you are and insert them into a story.
Creating something that can be entertaining, insightful, an evocation of emotion, all of that. That release has truly helped me through some hard times. And times when I may have felt down and considered not working on a project due to just wanting to lie down in my sorrows or irritations or whatever, every time I pushed through and decided to put in the work I’ve always, always, always felt so much better after doing it.
Two more bits of motivation then we’re done, ya’ll.
Ever since taking that step into being courageous and sharing my work with the world and not just my close friends and mama, the feedback I have received has been beyond magical.
People express a sincere connection to what I put out there. Delivering praise, stating astonishment in my ability to piece together feelings they never quite knew how to explain – mostly for Fragile. People have read Away and decided to take leaps of faith, spanning from moving to a new place they’ve always been hesitant to follow through with to putting their own special projects out into the world to be seen and experienced. Feedback like this and connections that have formed between myself and readers is another large source of motivation for me to continue writing.
I live for inspiring and motivating others to accomplish something positive and fulfilling in their lives.
I try to keep myself pushing for better, never settling and never allowing myself to be content with anything less than what I truly want in all aspects of life. That piece of me falls into my writing often. And I love it when people connect and gain something from that.
And last, but certainly not least – I’m motivated to write the stories I write by the simple fact that I want to read certain books that just are not out there.
Look at one of my favorite quotes:
“If there is a book that you want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it.”
– T O N I M O R R I S O N
I believe in the importance of acknowledging what’s really pushing us to make certain decisions and do the things we do. Laying in it and reflecting on the influence. Determining what motivates you opens a window to who you truly are and what you’re looking for in life.
Feel free to reach out and share with me your biggest motivators! I’d love to hear them.