Thirteen years ago when I set my sights on becoming a published author I had a vision in my head of what it might be like. Without going into the painful details, I was wrong on almost every account.
Now, five books later I find myself still working my day job, juggling writing and work around family, and trying in vain to keep up with all the social media outlets. I'm writing one book while editing another while gearing up to promote and market yet another. My time management skills are being put to the test and at times I fail miserably. I fret and worry about each book, whether it will be well-received or not. I lose sleep. I second-guess myself. I struggle with writer's block and lack of inspiration.
This isn't the way it was supposed to be. This writing life has turned out to be too much like work.
So I think about why I keep doing it, why I keep writing. My reasons have to go further than just wanting to honor the rest of my contract. There must be a deeper purpose. To find it I really don't have to look far within myself and the answer is more complicated than you may think.
There are several reasons:
1) I continue because it gives me something to do. I'm not a hobby kind of guy. I can't see myself spending Saturday afternoons on a golf course. And I'm not so much into watching sports on TV. Writing gives me a worthwhile activity to channel my energy into.
2) I continue because the opportunity is there. Not everyone gets this chance to be published so there must be a reason God allowed me to be. I don't want to waste it.
3) I continue because I still have stories to tell. Not my stories, though they come from within me, but the stories of others, so many just like the people I meet on a daily basis.
4) I continue because I believe God wants me to. Whether I grow tired of it at times or not, whether I question my ability or not, whether I want to or not, doesn't really matter. God has put this task before me and I want to complete it. I don't want to let Him down. And, for me, that's enough motivation to press on.
So what keeps you going? Not just with writing but with anything. Where do find your motivation? Why do you press on in the face of discouragement or failure or hardship? Why do you feel a burning need to do more than zone out in front of a TV?