Writers do it for fun
At least, that is the best motivation I can discover for doing it. Writing, I mean, floating on words, drifting, or pelting, towards worlds new and refreshing. That must be why we do it, right? Not for fame, fortune, or to make money, exactly. This writing lark costs time – precious days that will not come again in this lifetime! – so fun must be the only and best reason for doing it.
Not because we have a routine. Not because we call ourselves writers, or authors, or wordsmiths so writing is what we should do, right? Not because that is what we have always done, or always do on a Thursday between 9 am and 4pm with an hour break for lunch. Not because our editors are waiting, or our reading public expects…. In fact, expectation often killeth the word, shrivelling up creative pools and leaving behind a sludgy mess that maketh a mockery of art….and why would we want to work in that?
It takes courage to look past all the business of writing, to the simple joy that sparked off this whole odyssey. It takes courage to divest oneself of all the nuts and bolts, the ropes of duty and obligation and reconnect with the spark of light and colour that we call inspiration. But surely, without inspiration, we have nothing to power us forward….
So, when I feel discouraged or empty, I recall the reason for all of it, take a deep breath and smile at the memory, you are doing all this for love, for enjoyment. Don’t forget.
Submitting proposals and the like, it is very easy to become discouraged. But, since joy is the well-spring of all that authors do, no amount of criticism from professionals should derail our ambition if, ultimately, that is what makes us enthusiastic. In fact, in the face of rejection and discouragement, it is a good idea to keep going, and keep hoping to find a way through. By walking the path, we find a way. There’s no other way to find out what our limits are.