I have written 634,310 words this year.
I have written over a million words each year since 2002.
So what is my motivation?
My motivation is very simple and directly related to writing and nothing more: I have stories to tell and I want to see them completed. I think tossing aside unfinished work is a writer's worst sin. It is a waste of precious writing time that most people have to scramble to find. To see them waste it seems a horrible crime. Oh sure, for some there are works that are practice pieces and aren't really intended to be finished, but others will toss aside a story the moment they hit some plot snag.
I do not. I work my way through the problem, including massive rewrites, and I finish everything I start. I also do so within the year that I started the work because it would be far too easy to say 'I'll finish it later' and let the story sit for years. Finishing in this case means a current draft (or outline) and not all the way from idea to publication in one year. That will rarely ever happen with me, and only on shorter pieces. I know the need for editing and the power of letting the story sit for a long time before I pick it up to read and edit again.
Is my motivation also publication and readers? Yes, of course it is, but that's not why I write. I was writing for twenty years before I realized I might have readers. This was the fault of a teacher who told me that only people who went to college could be published. I came from a very, very poor family so I was not going to get that chance. However, I still wrote and held on to the love of writing and creativity that helped me create my own special worlds. Silky came out of those years. So did the first glimmering of the Devlin series and many others.
Eventually I learned differently about publication. I did well in the small press world and the early on-line paying markets. I started to become disenchanted with the world of traditional publishing when I realized I was finding fewer things on the shelves I wanted to read, and since I write what I want to read I knew this meant I wasn't going to find a publisher. My type of story was not popular.
So how does a person find motivation if they are motivated by publication and realize they aren't writing for the current market?
You can face it one of two ways:
1. Change what you write. Be careful of this one, though. If you try to follow a current trend, chances are the trend is going to be long past by the time you can write, edit, submit and resubmit to find a publisher.
2. Throw caution to the wind and leap into the world of Indie Publishing. I am not a best selling Indie Author, but I have made more income there then I ever did in the traditional route. I also hear from more readers. There are pitfalls, of course, but if you motivation for writing is to get readers, then go out and get them.
My motivation to write is that there is nothing else I would rather do. My motivation is my love of creating stories and if it were anything else, like making big sales or winning exceptional notice, I would have quit. That is, in fact, why a number of people do quit. They are not going to be the next big thing; the story they tell is only a ladder to get what they truly want.
Fame and fortune would be nice. All in all, though, I'm happy to be writing the stories I enjoy.
If you want to get to read about nearly twenty other writers, check out the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour. Be sure to read tomorrow's post by Sharon Kemmerer