Episode 41 – What Motivates Authors to Write?

Something inspires an author to write a novel. Perhaps they have an idea for a story that demands to be told, or their mother was a writer, or they want to prove to that teacher that they have what it takes to do it.

Whatever their initial motivation, if they are going to have a chance at finishing 80,000 words and go on to write a second and third, they need a good deal of inspiration. What helps them to succeed?

Every successful author can identify some of the things that helped them to complete a novel. Some suggest having a writing space or going outside to find inspiration. Some write in the morning or only at night and some can write anywhere. But, what motivated them in the first place and what keeps them writing now. 

While it is essential to have internal motivations, such as, needing to tell a story, or joy in creating characters that have something to show the world, external motivators can help sustain writers in the long term. Glowing reviews and sales can be powerful motivators.

Listen to Mariëlle and Lucinda discuss why they started writing and how they continue to publish regularly.

Mariëlle invites you to consider:

Who are you writing for? Yourself? Your great-great-grandmother who never had the chance to become a writer? That inspiring elementary school teacher who never stopped believing in you? One of your parents, or both?

Grab a notebook, open a new document, or use the white space below. Set the timer to 20 minutes and ask yourself who you want to reach ‘The End’ for. Whoever it is, write them a letter— also if it’s you! —and explain to them why you have what it takes to reach that finish line.

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