What motivates you?
This seems like a straightforward question, and I suppose for some people, it is.
For myself, this is an extremely difficult question to answer. Answering it, truthfully at least, requires intense soul-searching, which I’m not exactly a fan of.
But, using myself as an example, I’ll give some of the basics.
First, there’s the undeniable need for me to write. And that is a brutal truth: I have to write. It doesn’t matter if it’s a poem, a short story, a longer work of fiction, or a piece of nonfiction. I have the need to write. This need has been there since I was 9 years old and listening to my mother and stepfather argue. It was there when I sat in class – drawing, and writing – and being too much the antagonist and futile rebel to pay attention to what the nuns were trying to teach me.
In high school, I met Mr. Richard White, a patient, intelligent author, and journalist who taught my English class of hormonal and testosterone-fueled students. He taught us how to craft our sentences and how to form our paragraphs into coherent stories, whether they were fiction or to deliver the news in a succinct fashion.
My writing has always been a way to release the tension within myself, although I didn’t always see it as such. I harbored dreams, of course, of becoming a famous writer, someone as successful as Stephen King, or at least with the cult-like adoration of Lovecraft fandom. I wanted to create worlds where people could escape reality, just like I did when I was younger (and still do when I write).
At this point in my life, as a husband, a father of three, and approaching the half-century mark, I don’t want to be famous anymore (although a healthy royalty check would be appreciated). What I want, what I need, is to create a place where the reader can seek refuge. We all desperately need to forget about the troubles and issues that we face in reality. I want my readers to find that in my stories. I want them to pick up the book, or click on the link, and read a story that takes them away, if only for a few minutes, where they don’t have to worry about the bills, or illness, or the ten thousand other problems and irritations that creep up in daily life.
That’s my motivation.
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