What motivates you? Is it money? Love? The thrill of the hunt? Do you play the game for the fun of playing or do you play to win? I hear writers say they get asked, Why do you write? As a writer I can answer that the same way all my writer friends do: I can’t Not write.
My entire life I have been happiest when I was making something. I learned needlepoint and thread crafts at an early age, my mother’s attempts to keep my nose out of a book and make me socialize. I can sew, crochet or embroider pretty much anything. I’ve built small pieces of furniture, put together innumerable jigsaw puzzles, framed windows and walls, even rebuilt a carburetor for a 1963 Nash Rambler. I can draw and paint and string multiple notes together without needing a bucket to carry them in. I’ve made my own wax candles and bath salts and lip balm. I can make magic with my own two hands. I can cook manicotti that grown men will fight over. And when I put my pencil to paper I can write words that will inspire you, make you laugh or cry, turn you on or tick you off.
This uncontrollable desire to create something has been a part of my chemistry since birth. Reading is the only thing I devote as much focus to as creating. Where does the motivation come from? I couldn’t tell you. I’m not really concerned about where it comes from as long as it keeps coming.
A writer friend turned me on to a quote from Pearl S. Buck about creating. He said it pretty much summed him up. I would have to agree, for him and myself. See what you think….
“The truly creative mind, in any field, is no more than this: a human born abnormally, inhumanely sensitive. To him, a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god and failure is death. Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create-so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him. He must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency, he is not really alive unless he is creating.”
There are as many motives for actions as there are actions to be made. They are not always something we need to question or define. If you do know your motivations, you are probably ahead of the game. Not many people who feel the need to know have the courage to look honestly in the mirror for the answers. In my case, writing is something in my blood, an insatiable craving for the printed word and the pictures, dreams and passions that are painted onto the page.
Keep in mind that motivation is the Why. Inspiration is the What. I’ll save that for the next blog.