I was once given some excellent advice on staying motivated during anything you want to commit yourself to; this wasn’t restricted to writing and can invariably be applied to most other things.
You need to decide within yourself, then put onto paper, the reason why you do it. Answer the question within your heart and keep the answer close. Read it when you lose focus or need a boost. It acts as a safety net, and keeps your reasonings in the fore of your mind.
So that’s what I set out to do here. Decide why I want to write. It’s easier said than done, though. How do I eloquently describe my reasonings for something that I hold so close to me?
That is the question I mulled over whilst writing this post. It seems too frivolous to simply answer it with “I enjoy it.” I need to dig deeper. It’s this level of self-reflection that really puts you in a position to increase the passion you have for the activity tenfold.
My Self reflection
I guess I really enjoy stories, and that is the baseline for why I write. Don’t worry, I’m going to elaborate…
I’ve always been a creative person and I love creating something new, something that doesn’t yet exist. I’m a web programmer by trade, so this urge to create is mostly satisfied in a large part by my job, but I can’t simply turn this urge off at 5:00pm when I leave to office. So, to that, I do quite a lot at home that will also satisfy me. A little home-coding, some gaming, I even (infrequently) create recipes whilst I cook. It’s the creation of things that I enjoy; I don’t usually have a preference what that thing is, provided it’s new and fresh.
With regards to my other interests, such as gaming, reading, coding etc, and in mirrorring House M.D’s sentiments, whom in the show ‘House’, only takes on medical cases that interest him – I usually only read stories or play games that really interest me. It’s the ‘getting lost’ part that really thrills me. Being lost in a world that dismisses my pre-conceptions excites me; which is why my predominant genres for reading material are Fantasy, Sci-fi and Horror. Couple this with my passion for creating and I have a tremendous force within me to make stories of my own; to craft and develop worlds I feel would actually interest me as a reader/player.
Had I developed the skills to build games from scratch, I may have veered my interests toward game development instead, however, I had an innate understanding for the written word so it was the natural choice to hone my skills.
I remember writing stories back when I first had a computer, back when I was a child; Creative Writer 2 the program was called. Not only was it a word processor, but you could add all manner of crazy backgrounds onto your pages, and the clip-art was second-to-none. I can’t tell you how much money I wasted on ink for my parents. They silently cursed me, but still supported me, I like to believe.
Back then, I had tried Judo, Karate, Tae Kwon Do, learning Guitar, Piano, Violin (briefly), playing Rugby, Basketball and a number of other endeavours, but now that I think about it, my writing pre-dated those activities, and still exists today. My father used to say “You never stick with anything.” Though I had, and do; he just hadn’t seen it.
Flipping this concept, I thought I’d see if there’s a way I could articulate why I don’t write, with the goal of getting me to engage with writing more frequently; but everything I could come up with felt like a brush-off excuse. I don’t have the time, or I’m tired when I get home from work, or my life gets in the way. None of them feel like ‘real’ reasons, ergo, I am to assume that I have no reason for not writing, and a multitude of reasons for writing.
I write because I can, and I write because it is very much part of who I am.