What? I Can Write! To “Write”? Or to “Have Written”?

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“A man may write at any time, if he will set himself doggedly to it.”—Samuel Johnson

To “Write”? Or to “Have Written”?

So far I have talked about passion, engagement and imagination as three essential qualities for a writer. Now it is time to discuss another: motivation.

Why do you want to write? Why do you want to be a writer? While these questions may sound similar, they actually cut to the heart of the difference between a writer and a "wannabe." The first question focuses on the craft of writing; the second, on the status of the writer. The first focuses on doing; the second, on dreaming. In other words, do you want to write... or do you want to have written? What motivates you? Is there something inside that compels you to articulate your thoughts, feelings and ideas through the written word? Are you driven to get them down "on paper," so to speak, regardless of whether anybody else ever reads what you write or what they may think if they do? Or do you simply dream of how nice it would be to bask in the aura of others’ admiration because you are "a writer"? In a way, this speaks to the question of passion. Are you passionate enough to bare your heart before others or are you content merely to daydream about what could be?

Many people dream of being a writer, but few achieve it; the difference is motivation. They may say they want to be a writer but deep inside they don't really want to write; they want the pleasure of a finished product without the pain of the creative process. Your dream of becoming a writer will never come true unless you accept the reality that you actually have to write!

If you truly are a writer, you will write; it's as simple as that. So what drives you?

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