I’ve always been a social advocator through the written word. At the age of ten, I submitted an angry letter to the editor of our local newspaper, highlighting the increased instances of domesticated dogs being dumped into rural areas, which tragically led to their deaths as hunted feral animals. I was driven to write to reach a wider audience with the hope I could instigate some sort of change.
Upon reflection of the types of writing I have undertaken since then, I would have to admit that this drive has not changed. I write for a range of audiences and markets; from travel, social commentary and mumsy articles through to speculative science fiction, chic lit and magical realism fiction. The theme through all of these is my passion to inform my audience, with the view it will challenge beliefs or thoughts and begin a small change in behaviour or outlook.
For many writers, finding that drive or motivation ranks as one of the biggest blockages of expression. To overcome that writers block, you must first recognise the key things which motivate you. They are most likely to be feelings, rather than a single word; but everyone is differently wired, so explore this for yourself.
According to Maslow, if your physiological and safety needs (the needs which are at the bottom of his pyramid) are not being met, you will be motivated to change your environment and situation. Though this may be a little extreme in the context of writing, the theory is still strong. Unless you have a strong enough reason to climb out of your funk or rut, you will stay there, in writers block hell.
One of the most direct ways to uncover your motivation is to first identify what you are grateful for. Everything else will fall into place once you have dug deep enough into this list. (You haven’t tried hard enough if you have less than 100 things on your list.) Around the eightieth entry, you will begin to recognise the small things and will come closer to your core motivation here, more than the larger more grandiose ones earlier on. It may also help to write a list of lists of things you are grateful for. After all, you are a writer, and your access to words shouldn’t be a problem.
It’s been said on many occasions that writing is the cheapest form of self discovery and counselling around; and I’d have to admit to agreeing to that. Some days are harder than others to draw on that motivation to put words on the page. I have found the inspiration from my gratitude lists; and hope you find your way out of writers block through them as well.