Who are they?
They can be anyone – commencement speakers, mentors, authors at writing conferences, motivational coaches, life experts. They help inspire us. They tell us what we can do with our lives, with our writing. Their words are sweet and move us to action. They tell us that anybody can be a writer, that anybody can learn, that everybody has a story to tell. They tell us that the craft can be learned and that if we try, really try, put in the effort day in and day out and struggle through, then we, too, can be great storytellers, bestselling novelists, award-winning authors.
But they don’t always tell us that for as many ups as we have, we’ll have ten times as many downs. And if they do mention it, we don’t listen. We don’t always understand that we’ll struggle, that we’ll fail, that we’ll come to a point where we’ll think (where we’ll know) that we’re never going to make it. That the inspiration we loved before isn’t so inspiring anymore. That the speech they’re giving is going to fade from our minds and when we listen to it again it won’t have changed, that the person who made it won’t always be there to give another one. We don’t always realize that the drive has to come from inside of us so that, when the excitement of beginning fades, we can grit our teeth and push through it. That we have to find the inspiration inside ourselves so that we can continue on until we reach that next realization, speech, moment, that will carry us forward. It is only then, after we’ve driven ourselves 99% percent of the way, and had others help push us the last 1%, after we’ve been through one hundred ups and one hundred thousand downs, that we’ll be able to look back on that speech by the speaker, mentor, author, coach, expert, and say, ‘That was when it all began,’ and know that we’ve made it.
What I’m trying to say is that nobody in the world can motivate you through writing an entire book. What they can do is motivate you to start one, and help you realize that you have your own reasons to keep going. Finding these reasons for yourself is one of the most important things that you can do as a writer. I have several, but one of the main ones is that I’m obsessed with a good story. Not only in books but in movies, TV shows, and even plays. There’s something about a fictional story that can capture truth even better than real life can – stories can make you realize things about yourself and ask the tough questions. They can be a study on bigger things like right and wrong, the nature of evil, society, memories, forgiveness. I guess that it’s the chance to write a compelling story, and capture something more than the thrill of the ride in it, that keeps me fascinated and keeps me going.
What have others said that inspires you? What videos, speeches, or music makes you want to get up and do something? What drives you? What goals do you have that make you push yourself forward, even without anyone else’s help?