Discussion in 'General Writing' started by GoldenFeather, Nov 21, 2015.
Research? Inspiration? Emotion? Steady routine? Commitment? Etc....
Probably a combination of all of those. But as you are asking for what fuels it 'above all else', I would probably have to go with inspiration from other writers. Seeing what they accomplish, what can be done through writing, and how one can alter and reflect the world through one's own writing has always been my main drive. The 'weakest' drive is probably research (i.e. research outside of reading other people's writing); it is a good source of subject matter, however, as are emotions.
Probably a need to see it through. Finish. Get it off my chest. I also like to read my own work so I like to see the transference from ideas to actual words. To have a real sense of the story and not just scattered images and maybes.
Nothing gets me madder than opening an old draft and seeing it unfinished. No matter how terrible it was.
Routine, though, is important. I can't always count on being in the mood to write - like right now, I've had a two week hitch in which I haven't been able to write much of anything except a paragraph or two. Everything feels stalled. I hate it.
Research leads to misc. knowledge of things I previously had no idea about. Though I like to use a lot of emotion and philosophical perspectives to my writing, so it is more than just hard actions, blood, and guts. Try to be a little thought provoking in the way I try and tell a story. But unfortunately it is hard to have a 'schedule', as I grapple with depression constantly (sometimes for at least a week or two without writing a damn thing). Well that's life.
What tends to fuel me most into writing is simply being near others, someone playing a video game in the background, bonus points for awesome soundtrack. I have no routine in my life, no one to kick me into gear, and I get pretty moody and will do anything to avoid writing a work.
RPing also keeps me alive, as does excess journaling if I need it.
Discipline and routine, and for the later stages of writing, deadlines and pride. I have a spreadsheet where I track my daily word count, I have an annual goal for how many new words I should have written, and I know how many words a month, week, and day I need to write in order to reach that goal. And then once the writing's at a certain stage and other people are involved, there are schedules imposed on me, and I take pride in getting things done according to the schedule I've agreed to.
Inspiration only goes so far. Take any activity you've been involved with, and I'm sure you can think of some wide eyed beginner with a stack of how-to books and or maybe an instructor and nice new shiny equipment- maybe even this applied to you. In the beginning, the activity is fresh and new, and you have nothing to lose, because no one, including yourself, expects you to be any good. Most of all, as a beginner, its easy to see one's potential as unlimited. This of course slowly changes as time goes by, and the committed beginner begins to notice the subtle and sometimes not subtle reality of his endeavors. I don't think it's fair to say someone finds something tiresome doesn't have the passion anymore. It's just that the dream is always going to be different from the reality. To everyone else, you always want to appear inspired, but I think deep down, it's going to ultimately be about commitment.
Hatred for human beings.
But really, I'm fueled by a combination of passion for the subject matter mixed with discipline and dedication. Really, I can't imagine a project without one of those ingredients.
For me the primary motivator is having a story that I want to tell followed by wanting to tell that story well--in a manner that I feel good about and hopefully will bring readers to stay with and enjoy the story. If it is a story that I am excited to tell, then I have no trouble keeping to a writing routine--then I look forward to getting back to the keyboard.
Being told that something can't be done.
I am a story teller by nature. I enjoy it. The mechanical aspect of it is part of the process. Nothing ever gets made without effort. I just accept it and do it, just like any other job of work. The only difference from writing a report or proposal at work is that I like, no, I love, what I am creating.
Love your quote Bryan! ^
On the current book I am writing, its mostly my love of the story/characters and the desire to finish that keeps me going. I want the first draft done before Christmas. When I start a project it is mostly inspiration; I have a store idea that i can't put down, or simply the desire to just write because I love it so much! When I'm not writing i feel incomplete or something. Its my passion.
I love research and can't write without it. An interesting tidbit that pops up in an archaeological journal or old map can morph into a chapter with my characters. Immersing myself in research is what really draws the story out and makes the writing fun. Of course no research would happen without some form of inspiration to get my butt down to the library. My inspiration is in large part spiritual, which fuels the research and keeps me interested.
^^^And this too. I much prefer my imaginary friends to real life human beings. Writing lets me interact with people I actually like, even if they are only figments of my imagination!
This sums up pretty much everything I want to say, writing is my passion.
Love for my MC(s) and the desire to see how their story turns out to be.
It started as a monkey-see-monkey-do thing. As a kid, I'd read a neat book and go, "Hey I wanna write a neat book."
Writing was genuinely fun, but then for pretty much all of high school it was a vital coping mechanism because mental breakdowns are frowned upon.
I became more and more invested in my characters and their stories, using them as avatars to work out my own emotions and problems.
Ten years later, my writing-fuel is a desire to paint those characters and tell their stories in the realest way possible. They've graduated from life-vest to imaginary friend, and isn't that what friends are for?
Focusing on something specific. Like a character's change.
Day in, day out? Mints. White chocolate, sherbet lemons. Every five hundred words, I have one of those three as a reward. Rather than going into writing with the mindset of "I'm going to write 2,500 words today!", I go into it thinking "500 words and I can have a mint!". I find it's must less intimidating and overwhelming that way. Probably not good for my teeth, admittedly. But I'm British - bad teeth is to be expected.
Of course there are all those other things too. Dreams of being a published novelist, commitment, and so on. But I generally don't think about my bigger motivations in the morning or evening when I'm sitting at my desk about to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). It's the tiny motivators I make for myself that get me going. And, soon enough, I forget about the treats as I get lost in the words.
Genuine emotion. My best writing has been done under the influence of affect.
No-one mentioned 'a sense of one's own mortality' ? I think my main driver is the desire to leave a trace of my existence. Even if my work's judged as folly in this life I take a lot presently from the notion that some future soul on a distant thinner branch of my family tree will take an interest, read me and enjoy the view of the past I'll be giving them.
Ha! You know what, for a chocolate fiend I have never tried this! This is a great motivator.
It's interesting you mention small motivators. I've noticed that sometimes what hurts my ability to sit down and write truly is being self-conscious about readers. I write not how I feel I want to write, but how I feel the reader would want me to write. "Does this sound good? Would this make sense? Should I rewrite this so people don't get the wrong idea?" It's a challenge that I am working through for my writing (I'm sure others have or have had this as well).
Absolutely! When I think about it, my best works have been when I had a strong emotion inside of me that I wrote out. But again, sometimes you're in such a situation that you can't exactly allow those emotions to work their magic. You're mind is too stressed at work, relationship, family etc. For me, to write from emotion means to be able to clear my head and truly FEEL. That's where the joint comes in
For me it's passion/inspiration for the subject I've decided to write about and an imagination that seems to have misplaced it's off-button. I tend to draw a lot from real life experiences; whether directly or reading about them, hearing it music, seeing them on the news etc. Once I've had a 'trigger' my mind starts to whir and a story seems to grow all by itself over days/months/years. 99% of these stories remain purely theoretical, but every now (and it has to be something that genuinely interests me) I get the urge to put one them down on paper and explore it a little more and that desire power's me through.
That being said I have terrible discipline. Writing is nothing more than a hobby, so things like word counts don't really register with me. I write when I want to and get a kick out of it.
I'm fairly new at taking my writing seriously, and as such I have a hard time maintaining any semblance of schedule. I know this needs to change, and I'm working on that, but I still have a hard time balancing a demanding day job, my family and my writing, as well as sleep. (Sometimes I think writers should be allotted thirty hours in a day - but that's for another thread, I'm sure.)
But when I do write, and I get "in the zone" - just me and the story in a bubble - I am fueled with a passion to get the words out and see where they lead. I'm probably a cross between a planner and a panster, and I have yet to finish a story that didn't take a surprising turn here or there.
Like many in here, I am also inspired by other writers. I believe that creativity is infinite, and seeing the many ways that writers express themselves, painting a picture of their thoughts with words... Well, let's just say that it makes me want to write all the more.
Not necessarily. You don't need to have a schedule to be a serious writer. Many artists practice their art whenever the urge strikes, and that's never regular or along a schedule. It's different for everyone
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