Monday, September 10, 2007

What Keeps You Writing?

You know, writing is not always an easy life. Sure, there are times when the words are flowing like crazy and you can barely tear yourself away from your laptop/computer/notebook but there are lots of times when writers struggle. Not just for words either. For ideas. For discipline. For faith. For lots of things.

Being self-employed, not matter what the job, is never the easy way out. In fact, I think you have to be at least a little bit of a workaholic to keep on working in whatever your field is. You need to have a bit of a healthy fear of the work not being there tomorrow. If you have too much confidence that you'll always have work, it's pretty easy to get lazy.

"I'll write more tomorrow."
"I've done well - I can skip out early today."
"I can take a couple days off."
"I deserve a break."

These are all things that can be ok to say to yourself - once in awhile. But if you start saying them to yourself too often it can become a habit. Then you're likely going to be in trouble.

So - what keeps you writing?

For me, it's knowing that my family depends on the money I make from writing. But it's also knowing that it's way to easy to take it easy. Knowing that I am the type of person who if given an inch will take a mile. So I give myself half an inch at a time. LOL. I know that if I don't be my own boss, no one else will.


Shaun said...

One simple thing keeps me writing: A desire to stay in good writing habits. If you skip one day it's real easy to skip another -- so I've gotten in the habit of writing for about four hours each day. A lot of it is throwaway writing, but at least I'm constantly churning out something, even if it is trash.

mother of hana said...

Yes, you're right about being your own boss.

I'm about to focus on being a writer, too.

Your blog is very inspiring.


clairec23 said...

Don't to so quick to throw out the trash either :) Great habit you have there Shaun (one which I keep failing to get into) but when I look back on the rubbish I've written after a certain amount of time, it nearly always gives me new ideas, maybe even more trash but whatever keeps the words coming...

Candace Salima (LDS Nora Roberts) said...

I have a couple of interesting ways to keep writing. First, if I start feel the world closing in and the writing tapering off it's up to the mountains I go. I live in the heart o the Rockies and I go park myself by this beautiful mountain stream and just relax. It only takes two or three hours and I'm completely rejuvenated.

Second, I read and I try to read a book or two a week, at least. Obviously I'm a fast reader so this makes it a doable thing. It triggers writing for me as well.

I have one more thing I do if the other two fail, but it's pretty sacred to me, so I'll keep it to myself.

Anonymous said...

Not to sound too zen, but if writers write then you're not a writer if you're not writing, right? lol

If you're not writing, you're just someone who thinks about writing; you're not really a writer.

Rebecca Laffar-Smith said...

I struggle day to day with the discipline required to write regularly. You're so right about the ease of falling into what I call the "not today" habit. I've found taking it easy on myself one day leads into a viscious cycle that perpetuates a bad habit of not writing.

So, how do I stay motivated? I guess it requires a dedication. By deciding to write every day, even if it's only free writing or morning pages helps keep the fluidity of motion. If you can commit to a month or six weeks you can develop a good habit of writing every day.

Terry Heath said...

One thing that keeps me going is remembering a writer is someone who writes. If I'm not writing, I'm not a writer, and since I like thinking of myself as a writer, I must write. Right?

Other than that, its my love of words. I enjoy the process of manipulating them until they say something meaningful. That way, its more about the process than the result, and that works for me.

Deborah said...

Healthy fear, it is! I'm still stuck in the 9-5 rut, but I'm digging my way out as well! Good luck to you! Keep writing!