Good day, my blogging and writing friends.
I thought I would do a follow up from my last post for Insecure Writer’s Support Group. If you haven’t read it, check it out.
Since the post was published, I received encouraging words and advice in the comments. Looking back, I know there are more issues I could have highlighted, but I kept it at five because I wanted to keep the post as short as possible. (1200 words is anything but short.) Also, they are the most glaring and the biggest topics I talk about on Twitter, and recently, Discord and Twitch. There are other issues I could have added, but there is one that stands out.
My Motivation for Writing.
When the new year started, I set a goal to write a short story a month. I told a bunch of writing friends about this ambitious endeavor. Someone sent me a plan on how I could accomplish it. It sounded like a good plan, but a few questions came to mind. Could I feasibly write twelve stories in twelve months? What would happen if I couldn’t come up with story ideas? How could I effectively create a quality story if I was essentially rushing the process? Those questions overwhelmed me. So, as usual, I took to social media. Then someone threw this at me. Don’t focus on quantity; just write the best story you can. And he was right. There was no way I could be happy with a finished product if I didn’t believe it was the best I could write. So I shrunk the goal down to four, allowing myself to write using my process.
It worked. I wrote stories my way and felt good about the quality. In the back of my mind, however, I thought I should be writing more. I had the notion that I still wanted to publish my stories for others to read. So I inquired about Wattpad. I knew of other writers who used Wattpad. I danced around starting an account for months, even dating back to last year. And the one piece of advice others shared went along the lines of, “If you want a strong following, have a set publishing schedule.”
This was perfect. I thought having an account would force me to not talk about how I should be writing and actually write. This August, I pulled the trigger and started a Wattpad account. This was the motivation I needed to get my butt in gear. I obviously forgot about the “quality vs. quantity” crisis from earlier. So my account sat for two months without a story to my name. And as most of you know, I went on hiatus from writing stories.
Fast forward to November 1st, a month removed from my hiatus. NaNoWriMo started. While I didn’t sign up, I made it my mission to write every day. I also made goals to publish a new story on Wattpad—I published three the previous month—and enter a short story contest. I lurked on a lot of chats as writers shared favorite lines from sprints on their NaNo projects. Reading so many made my head swirl and I started going down that rabbit hole. As hard as I tried to not be the Debbie Downer anymore, it came out.
I had to be talked down the ledge once more. But then, someone had the gumption to challenge me on my writing. It wasn’t about my skills or my process. No, it was something deeper. What’s my motivation to write? It was a lengthy chat, but she posed these questions:
Do I love [writing]? Could I carry on life without it?
Bottom line: if I couldn’t answer those questions, then writing wasn’t for me. It was a hard pill to swallow. But ultimately, it was something I had to face. As much as I wanted to answer right away, I really had to think. Was writing really my passion or just a way to say I did something with my life?
After much thought, I can confidently say, “I love writing and I can’t imagine my life without it.” Sure, being published is nice. Getting props and being told “I’m a good writer” feels wonderful. But it’s not the main reason I chose to write.
For years, dating back to high school, I felt the need to be creative. I didn’t know how until my college years when I wrote a story that would eventually get published. I got recognition, but there was more. I felt this was a talent I could nurture and share with the world. Somewhere along the way, I lost that passion. I focused on the wrong things. However, the passion ceased to be extinguished. No matter how many times I dropped the pen, I kept coming back to it.
Writing is a part of me. No matter how many stories I write. No matter how many times I get discouraged. I can’t imagine my life without the written word.