Whenever my husband and I take a trip up to Ohio to visit my family, there are stages for us to go through to get there. The first stage is the motivation stage. In other words, why are we going. Is the trip just to celebrate the holidays with family or to vacation there. The reason for the trip will then determine how we plan the trip.
If just a holiday trip, then we will probably stay at my parents’ home the entire time, vegging out on mom’s awesome cooking and dad’s out of this world baking. If we’re going during the summer, then we plan which amusement parks we are going to visit, with a possible stop at the zoo and aquarium.
Either of these plans means that there are different needs during the trip. Winter means coats, sweaters, hats and gas money. Whereas summer means shorts, spending money, purchasing tickets online, gas money, flip-flops and sun block. Different reasons for the same destination, mean different planning.
The same goes for pursuing a writing career. I found that sitting down and asking three questions really helped me to begin my journey. These questions have been instrumental in my examination of what I would like to achieve in the short, medium and long-term.
- Why do I want to be a writer? (A sub question would be whether to write as a career or for a hobby.)
- What do I want to writer?
- How do I want to write it?
In answering why I want to be a writer, I have found my motivation for writing. I write because I can’t help myself. It’s part of who I am and as important to me as breathing or sleeping.
Take today for instance. I am sitting here with a sore throat, swollen tonsils and my ears feel like they’re full of fluid. My husband advised me to rest in bed yesterday. I did stay in bed; however, I worked on two blog articles, networked with other writers via the internet and read a novel by one of my favorite authors.
You see, when I woke up, I had an overwhelming urge to write, even though I wasn’t feeling well. I couldn’t stop myself. There’s a compulsion within me that drives me to type out what’s floating around in my brain. I dream stories, literally. Many of my short stories and the basis of the novel series that I’m working on have all come from dreams.
Poetry and Science Fiction are what I want to write. Poetry because it is how I vent and express myself and Sci-Fi because I have a logical and scientific type of brain. The thought of traveling to other galaxies and meeting other species is intriguing to me. What are they like? What are the things that constitute politics for them? What societal issues do they encounter? What is on the other side of a black hole?
How I currently choose to write is through blogging and short story mediums. Eventually I will venture into novels; however, I’d like to cut my teeth first in smaller ways.
I chose these vehicles of expression in this order so that I can get my name out there and gather a following. At the end of the day, you aren’t going to sell very many books if people do not know who you are.
Why do you want to express yourself through writing? Will you write as a career or a hobby? What do you want to write: fiction (and which genre), or non-fiction? Will a blog suffice or are there other mediums that will deliver your thoughts properly.
Asking and answering these questions will give you an idea of what direction you need to go in. Once you determine your direction, then the journey can begin.