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  1. #1
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    What Inspires you to write?

    Writing can be (and usually is) ridiculously difficult. With the planning/outlining/writing/editing/rewriting/rediting/self doubt/fear/anxiety/ect., why do you still do it? What is the fuel that keeps you going? Keeps you working on your MS and revisting projects for the eighth, ninth, or tenth time? With NaNo this month, there's the promise to yourself that you'll write so many words. What keeps you going for the other eleven months?

  2. #2
    There is no tomorrow RedMage's Avatar
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    Oh, so many reasons. I often struggle with the drive to write, with making the commitment to sit down each night and actually type or hand write enough words that I can say it was a decent night. However, I push through those times, sometimes given into the desire to watch TV or play games or any number of other things. But, I do keep coming back, keep chipping away at this story or that.

    In the last few months I have begun to see the extent to which I outline before a first draft is less of an actual "outline" and more "prewriting" of the draft, like I was taught in school. I prewrite to learn What happens. I then write the draft to learn the minutiae of How it happens. That's why I write each book. Because I have an idea, often for a beginning or an end, and I want to know what happens next or how things got that way.

    I keep coming back to writing itself because, one day, I want to see my name in print. I want to have something that is Mine. I want to produce something that I can be proud of. I come back because, when I die, I don't want the only thing showing that I was ever here to be legal and financial documents and memories that become mistier with each passing day in the minds of those I once knew.

  3. #3
    KMTolan kmtolan's Avatar
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    We have a choice?

    Kerry

  4. #4
    Registered User Facing's Avatar
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    I think everyone either creates or withers. Throughout my life I have found many different ways to express my creative side. I've cooked and baked, gardened and built, played and sang, but for me all of those things limit my imagination. Writing does not. I don't yet have the skill to express myself as well as I would like but I believe their is value in the attempt. If I could simply sit down and flawlessly write the stories that thrash about in my mind, I might meet with success but I'm not sure I'd gain fulfillment.

    When I read a passage I've written and hear the story come more fully alive, it engages me like nothing else and so I keep writing.

  5. #5
    It could be worse. ~tmso Moderator N. E. White's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmtolan View Post
    We have a choice?
    I've tried to stop writing numerous times. Once I got the bug...forever infected.

  6. #6
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    I wrote out an answer to this, but it honestly makes me sound a little nuts, so simple answer: I want to finish the stories. In frantic hours of passion, I have written more than thirty documents, ranging from 300 words to 6000. Scenes, moments in time, the start of books and stories; poetry even. Dozens of different stories barely begun, likely never to see the light of day. I was looking through them one day and I got angry. Angry at myself. I thought, "What the hell am I doing? I want to know the end of these stories. I want to hear the tales of these people." and I realized that I was the only one who could give me that, who could write the stories because they are my stories.

    I don't know if I will ever finish my book, just one of the many tales in that folder labeled "thoughts" waiting to be told, but I wont give up. I want to finish it, to hold a printed book in my hands and say, "This is the story."

  7. #7
    Greymane Wilson Geiger's Avatar
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    Sap Quotient = HIGH. Sound the alarms.

    When I was a kid, I loved to write stories, or daydream about them. I drew, sketched, painted, wrote, and loved the idea of creating imaginary worlds and heroes. I was a dreamer, and I always imagined that it would just magically happen, like I'd get struck by a thunderbolt and just be an artist.

    The real world hits us dreamers pretty hard. There were a hundred-thousand things in the way of me reaching that lofty goal of being an artist, and I was too naive to understand what it took to reach it.

    It took me twenty-some years, but I finally realized that without putting in the work, I'd always remain that dreaming kid. Those fantastic visions and stories in my head would stay there, and no one else would ever know. I'd gone from a 12-year-old kid to a 40-year-old adult who realized he was running out of chances. Talent was nothing without effort, and the dream was nothing without realization.

    So I built a writing habit, set my schedule around that private time, and strove to get better with every page. I put down all the writing books and just wrote. I quit talking about writing, and I wrote instead. I learned to look at that blank page and start. I learned to finish. I learned to hate what I wrote, and then to not hate what I wrote.

    I learned, finally, that this is what I am.

    So I guess for me, the answer is simple: I'm not inspired to write. I do it, because I have to.


    *Short answer: What Kerry said.

  8. #8
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    For the huge profits. (haha)

    I write because I love literature and language. I'm working on a career transition into editing in large part because I want writing and working with words to be the focus of what I do, rather than something I'm constantly trying to fit into gaps here and there.

  9. #9
    Registered User CharlotteAshley's Avatar
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    I'm somewhere half way between motivated by competition ("I can do better than this. I will sell more than them. I will win this contest! I will have the best Amazon ranking/Goodreads score/Wattpad read count!!!") and motivated by fear of bankruptcy and starvation ("I have to write this and sell it or my kids will be eating millet again. AGAIN.")

    I mean, this isn't where I get my ideas or why I enjoy writing, but it certainly is what forces me to sit my ass down and open the word processor every single day.

    Oh, and also there's the thing where basically nobody writes what I like to read, so I have to do it myself.

  10. #10
    Slave to the Cruel Pen
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    Life. Seriously. I can't think of how many times I've heard (eavesdropped) on a conversation between people or met a particularly unique individual and thought, wow I need to figure out a way to put that in my story! Going on runs and looking at the scenery gives me fresh ideas for description.

    The world is my inspiration because it is so beautiful and ugly, profound and confusing, hope inspiring and brutal all at the same time. The paradox makes me ponder on life. My writing and stories are like conversation with myself, delving into these topics. If I was more musically inclined, perhaps it would be through song. The same with art and those who are visually creative. I prefer writing because I've always been more comfortable with the written word, and I think (IMO) that good writing can provide the reader with such rich sensory details to beggar other art forms.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilson Geiger View Post

    So I guess for me, the answer is simple: I'm not inspired to write. I do it, because I have to.


    *Short answer: What Kerry said.
    Wow. Such powerful responses.

    For a long time I thought writing was something fun to do. To be the creative master of a project was freeing. Wonderful. Enriching. But it's more than that; it's more than freedom. After college I stopped writing for periods of time and focused on other art mediums. Inevitably I came back to writing. And there were books on the craft I wanted to read, knew I should devour the lessons they taught, but I ended up opening my word document instead. It soothed me. Like it always does. And then, one day, I realized like so many of you that I no longer had a choice. I was going to write regardless because it's the only time I really feel like I'm breathing.

  12. #12
    Registered User Jaigon's Avatar
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    Writing is a means to escape the mundane world. A world that we all live and go through the motions as if on some great conveyor belt. Many of us have work that serves as a tedium or a source of stress. When I go to write I escape all this and am the master. I create. I let loose my pent-up imagination. Without this I would just be dull like many others.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaigon View Post
    Writing is a means to escape the mundane world. A world that we all live and go through the motions as if on some great conveyor belt. Many of us have work that serves as a tedium or a source of stress. When I go to write I escape all this and am the master. I create. I let loose my pent-up imagination. Without this I would just be dull like many others.
    Same here plus I have good ideas that I would like other people to write.

  14. #14
    Sitting down to write is the polar opposite of my work life. It is, in many ways, a bit of an escape from the day-to-day life. As for sitting down and actually writing? That motivation builds up over weeks and, in short, manic bursts, it all just comes out.

  15. #15
    Registered User Jaigon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarunus View Post
    Sitting down to write is the polar opposite of my work life. It is, in many ways, a bit of an escape from the day-to-day life. As for sitting down and actually writing? That motivation builds up over weeks and, in short, manic bursts, it all just comes out.
    Ever since I started waking up an hour early every day to write my ideas have been coming much more smoothly. Usually I spend 10 or 15 minutes before bed every night just to jot down a few odd things. Eventually these few odd things amount to stories. I used to have the problem of not generating ideas fast enough, but now I have them coming in without really trying. Plus, I find writing in the morning gets my creative juice flowing and makes me happier for the rest of the day.

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