Today, a friend asked me where I get the will to sit down and write. Here is a (refined) Copy of the answer I gave:
I write because it’s what I love. Well, there is more to it than that, but that’s certainly the first step.
And if that is the first step, then next are inspiration and confidence. I love my characters, I love my stories, I love my settings – and I really think that, once I have it all written down, other people will love it too. When I’m planning something, I make sure that every character, every scene, every theme – everything that goes into it – is awesome, even on its own. I make sure every sentence I put down is something I would enjoy reading. Then, when everything has been combined into a novel, I know I’ve come out with something awesome. And that Inspires me. It is important for me to be inspired by what I’m writing about, and by the characters. It’s important I feel for my characters – because if I don’t, how can I expect readers to?
But the actual task of sitting down and writing? The act of pushing keys until words form, and doing that over and over until I have a string of letters that make some sense? That can be hard, sometimes. I’m Lazy. It’s easier for me to browse the internet, or watch a movie. Heck, it’s easier for me to sit around and stare blankly at my plot outline imagining everything as a movie (or rather, Imagining everything as an anime). Sometimes I’ll sit and write a few sentences or a paragraph and then get distracted and float away. Sometimes I’ll stare at the blinking cursor then decide to check my e-mail, then Facebook, then whatever else I can do to avoid writing.
Out of everything I do as a writer, starting is the hardest part. So I give myself a goal and promise myself a reward, just to start. I force myself into it. Just grit your teeth and do it, I think. And then, a few minutes later, I’m fully immersed in writing and nothing can pull me away until I hit the next bump. Then, usually, it’s off to see what shiny things are on the internet (it’s amazing how much more productive I am when I unplug the Ethernet cable). Sometimes I delete the last paragraph and re-write it from memory, as close as I can, just to get my fingers moving on the keys and my brain ‘into gear.’ Sometimes I do some reading before I write, Sometimes I log onto LegendFire and give a short critique. Sometimes I just listen to music.
But what drives me? Where do I find the will to do any of it, at all? There is no real easy answer to that question. I could say that I write because it’s what I love, because it’s ‘my thing,’ but that ignores the fact I fantasize about giving people I know a copy of my book. That ignores the fact I fantasize about seeing myself in the bookstore. It’s true, though. I do write because it’s what I love, and even if no one could ever read it, I’d still spend hours tapping away. Writing, Just the simple act of writing, gives me an amazing feeling I can’t get from anything else. I can look back after hours of work and think ‘I wrote that, I created that. Without me, that would not exist.’ Maybe writing is my way of proving I exist. I write, therefore I am. Maybe. But even if every word I put down was to be erased at my death, I’d still write. Showing my work gives me an amazing feeling, too – being read, having another sentient Life-form read and enjoy something I wrote. The feeling is pure euphoria.
I guess it all comes down to this. I write because that’s me. Its who i am, it defines me. I know that sounds cliché and useless, and maybe it is.
But that’s really the only answer a writer can give.
I’ll leave you with a quote from one of my greatest inspirations:
“Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.”