Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Finding Motivation

It can be difficult to find motivation if you're a writer. I know that I'm supposed to claim that a true writer has such boundless passion for the craft that it is nearly impossible to tear oneself away from the computer, but -- with some exceptions -- I've found that to be, well, bullshit.

Writing may feel good. When I'm in the middle of writing something I truly care about, time seems to stop. But the same can be said for when I'm working out, or when I'm cooking a meal. Plenty of things are enjoyable when you're doing them, only to seem like difficult tasks when you're not doing them.

Sometimes, for me, it's like that with writing. While the stories and jokes and descriptions in my head entertain me, the thought of sitting down and actually committing them to the page isn't always attractive.

In other words, I understand what it's like to sometimes lack the motivation to get some writing done. And I'm here to admit that's fine for a writer.

But last night, I was hanging out with my girlfriend, watching, um, The Carrie Diaries. (I made her watch Goodfellas after that, so I'd call us even.) I went to college with one of the key actors on the show, and though I didn't know him well, we hung out at many of the same parties and with many of the same people. And that got my ass in gear.

Sure, I'll admit that I'm jealous of him. I think that jealousy can be rather harmless, if you don't let it change the way you feel about someone else's success. Jealous or not, I still want him to continue making a living as an actor, because I admire what he chose to do with his life. He found something he loved and, despite probably hearing from countless people that it was an unrealistic goal, dedicated himself to it until he actually got somewhere.

That's what I want for myself. While I don't think there's anything wrong with taking on a nine-to-five job and living a comfortable, happy life, personally, I want a little more. I want to really strive towards doing what I love to. Honestly, I don't need to make a ton of money, I just need to make a living, with a little left over at the end of the week to go out to the bar with some friends.

So, while there are plenty of reasons to give up on writing and just accept that I'll never be able to make a living doing this type of work, there's one key reason why i shouldn't give up: because I don't want to.

And if you don't want to give up, then neither should you.

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