Being a Self-Starter: The Key to Writing

I’ll start this post with the disclaimer that, when it comes to blogging, I haven’t been much of a self-starter! After having written fiction for nine years, getting back into true personal narratives is a learning curve for me…but I’m getting there.

My deficiency, however, gave me the needed inspiration for today’s article. Almost every time I tell someone that I’m an author, they say, “I’ve always wanted to write a book, but I couldn’t,” or the like. Maybe that’s true for some, especially for those who didn’t enjoy English class. For others, on the other hand, I think they’re short-changing themselves.

The problem I see is how major of a task society has made becoming an author. Writing a novel is often bunched with other formidable endeavors like running a marathon and going to Mars. Hollywood sometimes even depicts a manuscript as a three-foot-tall stack of papers that took the author decades to complete. Because of this, I, myself, once doubted the practicality of setting such a goal.

But I did, and it didn’t take me long to discover the true essential to composing a story: self-motivation. Sure, skill and talent help, but without incentive to use them, they’re worthless. That’s why art of any kind has to come from the heart, not just the mind. Even those who write non-fiction have to care about their subject in order to want to pass it on to others in the most interesting way they can. Your own drive can be more powerful than any deadline or editor and can make those 50,000+ words seem like 500!

So, to all the wannabe authors, don’t be overwhelmed by the stigma of writing a novel…or a blog, for that matter. Find the key to your own creativity and rev up the engine!

For more on overcoming the intimidation of beginning a story, read The Menacing Blank Page post.

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