I have examined how getting my first two books out there has motivated me by generating feedback and offering financial incentives. My last two areas of motivation are more important than those.
The third thing that has kept me motivated now is my family in particular and all families everywhere (sounds grandiose, eh?). I originally chose to sit down and write because of my own children (which makes this sound simultaneously selfish and selfless). Let me explain. I have already mentioned how our young bibliophile devours books. By the time I sat down to write my first book, our five year old had consumed her first Nancy Drew book, some Little House books, and a plethora of “young reader” chapter books. As my wife and I looked around, we wondered where we could find a sufficient quantity of wholesome books, appropriate for children like her, which would satisfy her appetite for reading.
We looked around and saw many books out there that were some combination of pointless, nonsensical, formulaic, or just plain vile. Longing for more options, I decided to sit down and write a story that had been bouncing around in my head for years. I don’t use foul language, so avoiding it in my writing was a non-issue. I took extra care to avoid any graphic descriptions of violence (and made no mention of sex) and ended up with a story that I could comfortably sit down and read with my five year old daughter.
The story I am in the process of telling has wonderful thematic elements (love, self-sacrifice, good versus evil, friendship, redemption, accountability) and, when complete, tells a story that has been around for thousands of years and still never gets old. It has entertaining plot elements (humor, suspense, action) and intriguing characters. In short, it’s everything I want in a story for my kids and nothing I don’t want.
I have been able to share this story with other family as well. Sisters and nieces and nephews and aunts and in-laws have all been able to read the story, and my hope is that one day my grandchildren and their children and friends will have a chance to read it as well.
Our six-year old daughter has been inspired to believe that she can accomplish anything she sets her mind to, including writing stories of her own. I have told her that if she wants to write a set of short stories, I will help her fix them up and make them available just like mine via CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing.
That’s great motivation.