I was talking to a friend about procrastination when she asked, “What motivates you?”
Wow. I had to stop for a moment as I processed that question. In my mind, a dozen paths unfurled, mapping the motivations that drive different parts of my life.
Even as I contemplate what motivates me to write, I realize there are underlying motivations that brought me to the writer’s path. And one would not exist without the other.
What motivates you to rise from your bed each day? What creates such passion in your heart that you can’t imagine it not being part of your life?
For me, the deepest motivation comes from an intense desire to learn something new every day. And once having learned this, I have a passion to share what I’ve discovered.
It seems simple enough. But that need for learning has driven the direction of my life since I became old enough to make my own choices.
No, no… I’ve reflected on my life once more, and realize I’ve held that need to learn since the earliest memories I can call forth.
It takes a passion as wide and as deep and as tall as a human life to form the motivations that build on top of that first passion. And in discovering and building those motivations and passions, we form unique lives through our experiences.
Just as each of us requires that one grand passion that pulls us from our rumpled bed each morning, and sets us on the path of discovery, so too do our characters need a defining motivation.
Without motivation, our characters are uninteresting caricatures who fail to enthrall the reader. Without motivation, our characters have no reason to show up in our books. Without motivation, we have no story.
Since most of us write characters who reflect some aspect of our own souls, it’s necessary to gain insight about the passions that drive us through each day in order to breathe life into our creations.
What is your motivation to rise each morning? What passion informs and directs your life even before you write? Share your life’s passion in the comments.