Monday, September 13, 2010

Where Does Your Motivation Come From?

What happens when we have our feet pulled out from under us? I have recently come back from a hiatus from writing as personal crisis in the family took all motivation from me to be involved in anything writer related. No words flowed onto the empty screen, no desire to communicate with my writer friends. Life suddenly became hollow and undesirable. How do we allow personal circumstances not to deter us from writing?

When life gets in the way, we easily push the writing aside. Yet we carry on at our day jobs as a necessity. Days you don’t want to work, you force yourself out of bed and into the office just because that is where the paycheck comes from. When does the writing become top priority in your life? How do you break through the personal circumstances and push out the story anyway? So much emotion can come from your personal circumstances to make your story enriched. But the idea of making it actual happen can be fear gripping. Life can push you on and motivate you or it can paralyze you.

Pushing through my fear this past week, I was able to finally put words to empty screen after three months of complete emptiness. Writing is something I love, yet couldn’t motivate myself to do it because I lost my biggest supporter of my writing. Pushing through that fear was freeing. Showing up for a writer’s meeting locally was another motivator. What motivated me to continue? Writer friends that continued to send me emails, messages encouraging me to continue.

Where do you find your motivation when it feels hollow and empty?


Jill James said...

Emma, I've been in that empty, hollow place. When my mom died I didn't write for a whole year. She didn't even like my writing so I don't know what was holding me back. I think because she died so young (61) that I saw life passing me by and I was never getting published, so why bother. Thank God I did not have a deadline because I would have been in deep doo-doo.

My friends motivate me. Writer workshops motivate me. And finally, life does go on and it motivates us too.

Emma Leigh said...

Absolutely, Jill, life does go on. I'm sorry about your loss of your mom.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

I found writing a life saver when my daugher was dying of cancer. It was a place to 'go' and escape what was too horrible to even think about much less accept. Over the years I have been able to put those feelings, fears and emotions into my characters and story. I think you mother would be proud of you for getting back to writing, escaping a little every day to help you push on.

Hugs to you on your Mom. It's never easy to lose someone as dear as your mother.

Sherry Gloag said...

I'm sorry to hear of your loss, Emma. When my brother died unexpepctedly, a couple of years ago,the anger that consummed me terrified me, so I used my writing to release it. I doubt any of that writing will ever see the light of day, but I did find some elements of it that I can and will use in futuer projects.
It did disperse my anger, but if made it manageable. One day, I'll go back and read the suff I wrote then.
When you go through this experience, you know everyone else does too, at some level, but you still feel so alone.
Thanks for sharing this insightful blog.

Josie said...

Nice post, Emma. I find that writing online workshops always seem to motivate me. If I can only get myself to the computer and write a page or two, the words usually begin to flow.

morgan said...

Sometimes, I think we need to stop and grieve. A friend of mine wrote the most poignant poetry as her father battled cancer and lost. I, on the other hand, stopped writing when my fiance died. It took me two years and a really great RWA group to get me going again. Keep in touch with your writing buddies.
Great blog.