Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tuesday Tumbling Term ~Motivation

The term for today is Motivation. What motivates an indie writer to continue writing?

mo·ti·va·tion
noun
1. the act or an instance of motivating, or providing with a reason to act in a certain way. Synonyms: motive, inspiration, inducement, cause, impetus.
2. the state or condition of being motivated.

3. something that motivates; inducement; incentive.

What is the set of circumstances which causes a writer to write? I can
only speak for myself on this but here goes...
  • Right a wrong
  • Disperse information
  • As Paul Harvey used to say, tell "the rest of the story"
  • A story which won't die in your head
  • Characters who would play a role in your story won't shut up
  • Demons need exorcising
  • The more you write; the more appears to be written-self generating story line.
  • I want to be rich like (insert the author's name here)
I've used all of these except the last one.

The first, second, and third are the motivating factors behind 99% of all nonfiction I have written in the past and will in the future. I'm an advocate at heart. If I feel an audience in general have the wrong impression about something, I go out of my way to set the record straight, disperse the correct information, and tell the rest of the story.

My first nonfiction was a case in point. Mommie, I Wish I'd Never Heard of Arfritis, was a parent's journal of day to day life of a child with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. For the next twelve years (that's how long I was with the Arthritis Foundation) in the promotion and dispersion of this nonfiction, I heard two comments repeatedly... 1) "I didn't know this disease affected children," and 2) "Thank you."

If I had a dollar for every time I heard it, it would fund a small research wing devoted to care and treatment of children with JRA. The first comment was from people who now know, and the second was from parents of the children afflicted with JRA.

Need another example? Are You a Survivalist or a Prepper?
 I watched the show on the National Geographic channel about preppers. It was so full of hype and "crazy" people it gave preparedness a bad rap. These folks aren't crazy. Possibly a little misguided but their basic reasoning is sound in how they go about preparedness. The same thing goes for Dual Survival and a host of other reality shows on television.

I wanted to set the record straight with some seat of your pants common sense on how I prepare on a dime. This was the first book of a series of at least five I had outlined.

I don't know about you, but I haven't got a sugar daddy stashed away or thousands of dollars to spend like the people depicted on the show. We all prepare for a hurricane or tornado, don't we? It's the same thing except you do it on a larger scale. You learn how to be self sufficient. It's something our grandparents or great-grandparents knew but we've lost in the modern, technological lifestyles we live in now.

For fiction the next four are the premise behind all my fiction works. Some kernels for stories just don't pan out but others take on a life of their own. The last ones are the ones that get finished and published. But more on this tomorrow.

I wanted to touch base on the last one. For me personally, this is probably the worst reason to be a writer. The odds are 95% against you being either rich or famous for writing a book. Sure there are success stories, blogs and books galore on the topic, but the fact is even if you copy everything they say...you won't be rich or famous unless you change your name to Rich N. Famous or have it tattooed on your butt. It's a nice pipe dream though. Eeking out a living wage by being a writer takes time, productivity, and building an audience. But don't let me deter you from trying. I encourage you to prove me wrong.

Keep writing and loving the Lord.

6 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I never wrote to be rich and famous. That people have purchased my books is bonus to me.

Pk Hrezo said...

No kidding! The possibility if it tho is what lights a fire under some. If I could simply support myself with writing fiction, I'd be thrilled. :)

S.P. Bowers said...

I don't really know what my motivation is. I'd like to be traditionally published, I'd like to be rich and have lots of people who love my books but honestly I just write because I need to. Because the stories are screaming at me.

Deniz Bevan said...

Lucky for me, I've been writing for so long that the whole idea of earning money - let alone becoming rich and famous - never even entered my head. I write even when I'm not earning a penny from the stories!

J.L. Murphey said...

I've had children and grands in and out of my house today. A continued source of joy but extremely tiring!

Alex- I agree with you.

PK- while I don't support myself entirely by my writing, it does help to pay the bills.

Sara, for me also. They just won't shut up!

Deniz- I know what you mean.

For all the things y'all mentioned, they are signs of a true writer!

Jeremy [Retro] said...

i lost my direction... why i do the things i do from my freelance work to making a bigger deal about the art i make. in between being sick the last two weeks i decided to compile some of the compulsive art/design where i design something and then make like 50 pieces of art to follow.. then i was done. i am not sure if it is good or even worth sharing... not for the money... i just feel i lately wanting to share my work... and my motivation is lost somewhere... i think this sort of hits the mark, if not i am sorry this illness is making me a little dizzy...

second part... a friend called me out of the blue and when this happens, they want me to do work for free, it's something i find motivating because i know it's happening again... i just don't want to do it and they always make me feel bad.

i think that people know my situations from work to my current illness and yet there they are... so i find that being motivated is more difficult.

you must think me to be a little out there, i am hopefully making a point... just not in the traditional way. have a great day.