Reaching Down Deep to Find Your Motivation

My husband, who is also a writer, has no problem with self-motivation. He wakes, he works, he creates. I on the other hand, need to "get my pilot light lit," as I call it. I need to get up and stand kindling together in a tee pee shape, stuff wads of newspaper inside, and strike wet matches until the fire begins to burn. When the usable material finally catches I'm ready to fuel a bonfire of ideas, stories, essays, novels, non-fiction articles, you name it -- let's burn.

Unfortunately, there are those times when the burning desire to write doesn't make an appearance no matter how much you drag that match across the surface of the box. It needs to be coaxed out of hiding, like a scared cat from a drainage pipe. Try as you may, nothing seems to get Point A (your ass) to Point B (your project). This is when you need to reach down deep.

To reach down deep you have to recognize there is an element inside of you that is capable of cooking great things if only you can get the pilot light lit. It is a secret piece to the creative puzzle that is nestled into your core, hidden at the base of your spine, or huddled inside the chambers of your heart. Perhaps it looks like an emerald, maybe a droplet of water, a horseshoe, a star.

Whatever you imagine this shape, it is made from the same material all the great authors and artists of generations before us have used for their motivations. More than acknowledging that fact, you must know this:

The chunk of motivation which will lead to your greatest creation is already present inside of you.

You may not be able to feel it, although some days you get to brush up against it, and you may not be able to hear it, even though it speaks to you as you work, but it is there.

Noticed or not. Recognized or not. Believed in or not. It waits for you there.

Some particle of greatness is crouching there, and even on the days when you think it's going to take a lot of coffee, or wine, or bad TV, or a hot shower to get anything usable to surface, it is there, pulsating, waiting for its moment.

So go ahead. Reach down deep. Close your eyes and feel for this element within you -- this piece of tinder that wants to desperately to bloom into flames. Reach for it, draw it forward, and click the lighter.

1 comment:

  1. I'm not a writer by career; rather a writer by desire or want. My view of motivation is something different since the amount of time I have to sit at a keyboard and smash ideas out of my head is limited by other sources. I've found if something is not finished (dinner, dishes, laundry...) or if someone else gives me an hour or two (such as the wife) than I can concentrate on clearing my head of the "hafta do's" and focus more on the "wanna do's."

    The easiest way I can clear my head of outside sources is to shut the laptop lid and focus on what I'm supposed to be writing about. Build the outline in my head and once I feel comfortable enough to start writing, open up the laptop and get in my zone.

    Alcohol also helps.