What Motivates You to Write? The Craft or Glory?

In this article, author Shelly Sanders talks about the takeaways gleaned through her publishing journey. I’ll start by offering a heartfelt Kudos to Sanders. We all know it’s not easy, and she put in the effort. But I do wonder, reading this, if the effort was for the glory and not the craft…? What’s your impression? What motivates YOU to write? 🤔

motivates to write typewriter

When would you feel happy as a writer?

It is never my intent to knock any other writer, and Sanders is probably more tenacious than me. It’s just that Sanders gave me the impression that no matter what accolades she won, no matter how many books came out, it wouldn’t be satisfying enough. I get that there’s a high from finishing and seeing it all out there. But aren’t we supposed to worry more about the craft and not the high?

So, my question is, when would you feel happy as a writer? Can you be content doing your writing solely for the love of creating? Or is there something else attached to it you’re chasing that motivates you? I’m not even saying chasing those things is bad. It feels good to get recognition and see your hard work pay off. I’m just saying, I don’t want people to confuse their motivations. And I think there’s something more honorable in allowing the writing to stand on its own and kind of detach yourself from it. I feel like there’s something pure and honest in making sure it’s simply about expression you cannot help to save your life and keeping ego or your sense of worth away from it.

What motivates you shouldn’t be completely external

I know it’s a careful balance. Writers have a legitimate need to do what they do, IMO. Words on the page are like breaths. So, I’m not saying forget that it’s part of you or your identity or that you genuinely get a joy you need for mental or physical health from it. But I don’t think getting joy from the activity and craft itself is the same as getting external affirmation from the production of a book, and this just felt…very externally driven to me. Am I off in my perception, or do you agree?