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  • Writer's pictureJeff Monday

Internalized Motivations

I consider myself a somewhat creative individual. I mean, yes, I write stories and create new worlds. But that's a lot easier than most people realize. We all do it. We all have those fever dreams that shake us out of our routines and make us question everything we think we know. We all have started telling a story to friends only to get distracted by some oddball tangent and suddenly realize we have no idea what we were talking about in the first place because we're now in a random place mentally.

Like any other art form, writing requires disciple, knowledge and practice. Sitting my butt down in my chair and banging out sentences is THE WORST. Sure, I could be writing...but the sun is shining. But there's a squirrel outside my window. But I haven't checked the FaceGram or the InstaBook in the last ten minutes. But there's a lonely glass of whiskey waiting for me at the pub around the corner. It takes disciple to stay in that chair. Or go to the dance studio when you just want to relax on your couch. Or practice that song even though you have to work in the morning.

As an art form, writing is a very individual exercise. There is no one with you as you spew your thoughts onto paper. Sure, someone (hopefully) will read your work after it's finished. But by then it's already getting judged. Not even by others. Trust me, I have judged every word of every story long before another person ever laid eyes on it.

This solitude is a double-edge sword. On the one hand, I'm free to pursue my thoughts, no matter how bizarre or strange. I can indulge my wildest fantasies without judgement. I'm free. I drift along the river of the universe clinging to the side of a thought-ark, just enjoying the ride.

On the other hand, you have no one to help motivate you to pursue your dreams. All the motivation comes from within. You don't have a cheerleader off to the side urging you on. Sure, you have a support system of friends and family that encourage you to keep writing. But they are not there in the middle of the night when something speaks to you from the dreamscape, asking you to tell their story. Asking you to trust in them that others will want to hear that story.

I could write a million pages, compose the greatest epic of all time. But I have to find the inner confidence to allow someone else to read it. I have to believe in myself enough to let someone see my work, hope they actually read it, and then wait for them to judge it.

I can't speak for other artists. I don't know where their confidence comes from. So often people equate needing to create with needing to show your work. They are not the same. Not by a long shot. I need to create. I need to write. I need to jot down the bits and pieces of thoughts that somehow weave together into a coherent story. But showing it? Letting others in? That is completely separate for me.

But here's the thing: I'm struggling just like you. Not sure if you should change jobs? Still haven't asked that guy out yet that you've been smitten with for the last year? Want to move but don't think you can afford it? All of us, every day are making choices. And second-guessing those choices. And obsessing over them late at night. I am too.

There is a part of me that knows I'm a fairly decent writer. And there's a part of me that laughs at the thought of ever making a difference with my words. Sometimes I trust myself to make the right decisions. Other times I know I will fail because *haha* what else could possibly happen, right?

So I make an effort, every damn day, to look at the positive. To acknowledge the hurtful lies that the dark side of me spews but not let them dictate my actions.

To not live in fear.

And if you need someone to stand at your side and help shout down the insecurities, I will be there with you.

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