Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The First Question

Last week during our bloggers meeting at the library, our fearless leader Carrie brought out questionnaire with nine writing-related questions. We had several minutes to sketch in our answers and then we went around the room discussing our answers. Most everyone had more in-depth answers than mine--I was fixated on a project that isn't working out all that well and trying to decide whether it was something I could abandon without too much guilt.

My answers tended toward those mixed feelings. There were several replies about hope and enjoying the world, none of which appeared in my replies. (I am obviously taking too much time thinking about this: my screen keeps flopping forward. I expect it to start snoring at any moment. Getting to the point.) I thought the questions would make a good series of blog posts and give me a chance to think further about where I might be going with this writing thing. Thus, the first question:

1. What motivates you?

Briefly? Deadlines. Eyeballs (as in readers, not as in actual eyeballs). Cadence and lyricism will drive me to pick up a pen, although that fades as I try to hum my way through my own prose. I've never really lost that taste for poetic prophecies and spells, for the resonance of lines against other lines, or for the lift in the poetry, the flick pushing the words aside and revealing the emotion or image behind them.

Aside from the text itself, walking and driving (so...motion?) motivates me. When I can, I go to the local arboretum and hike the trails or, in hot weather, to a mall to walk and think. Ideas float by in traffic, although I've never kept a recorder to catch them.

The issue isn't really motivation, though. If I'm not writing, it's not that I lack the motivation or the stories. It's that motivation exists in almost perfect equilibrium with demotivation. Even thinking about the things that motivate me drives me to think about their opposites, as if a superhero summons calls the villains at the same time.

It occurs to me that I *should* write better antagonists than I do. Motivation! :)

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