Motivation and the need to write: whatever it is, all writers share it. For Kafka it was a flight of the soul. "Don't bend; don't water it down; don't try to make it logical; don't edit your own soul according to the fashion," he wrote. "Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.” For Wordsworth, it was an expression of his heart. “Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart,” he guided, and, for Hemmingway, it became something akin to making love. “After writing a story I was always empty and both sad and happy, as though I had made love,” he noted. Dahl likened it more to a freedom: "A person is a fool to become a writer," he opined. "His only compensation is absolute
freedom. He has no master except his own soul, and that, I am sure, is why he does it.”
Each writer has their own, unique motivation to write. Some, like the Bronte sisters living cooped up in their parsonage of restricted views, write from a towering inferno of imagination uncontained by their environment. Others write to express passions and feelings inspired by joys of the heart, the glories of nature or temporal frustrations. Yet more from a deep compulsion to put one word after another.
The motivation and inspiration to write is mythical and myriad, but it is also real, and when it strikes, it strikes hard.
“I write for the same reason I breathe ... because if I didn't, I would die,” wrote Isaac Asimov, revealingly.
The most important thing to release that inner muse and start writing that one word after another. With that, it is time for me to get back to my next book. More next week on practical tips to fire up your motivation.