Today Im tidying up on the introductory seminar for my online creative writing course. The Topic of this first of the six seminars is Motivation & Inspiration – Getting & Staying Creative, & one of the things I will cover is motivation – the kinds of motivation for being creative that keep people going long term.
One motivation which is a huge mistake is money. Getting into writing for the sake of money is like going to Greenland for the sunbathing or heading to Times Square on a Saturday night looking for peace & quiet. It’s naive & not a little daft.
I say this because I still come across people who do hold the belief that you can make a sustainable income as a creative writer. You can’t, at least not for the first ten or fifteen years, until, after several books, you are well known enough to patch together an income out of teaching, reviewing etc.
This us why many writers you hear about in the mainstream media are from privileged backgrounds – people who had enough money to begin with, si that they could take a lot of time off & not have to worry about being evicted etc. Not an option for the majority of us.
So other motivations besides financial renumeration are required. In the seminar I will be talking about what some of these might be – based on twenty years working with writers as mentor, editor, lecturer etc, as well as my own experiences.
I have seen people who had several ‘bestsellers’ (a nonsense term when talking about a tiny provincial literary market like Ireland) give up in despair, & people who have never been heard of continue joyfully exploring their creativity for decades. So thinking & writing this morning about what keeps people going & enjoying & how beginners & emerging writers can benefit.