Posted by: S. L. Doss | August 2, 2011

What’s My Motivation?

I’ve been reading some great writing on a website called bookrix.com and have found myself feeling intimidated, inadequate and unskilled as a writer. I know that many of them, like me, are unpublished, except for the books they’ve posted on BookRix or have self-published, but they seem so much better writers than I.

Why does this affect me so? I’ve been getting some great feedback; you know, the “this was wonderful” and “it touched my heart” and other feel-good comments. So why am I feeling this way? Why can I read authors in the mainstream, like Christopher Paolini or Katherine Patterson, and not be bothered, but when I read the writing of my fellow BookRix members, I get all weak in the knees and want to rip up my manuscripts?

What’s my motivation? Do I post my writing on BookRix because I’m so insecure in myself that I need the feel-good comments? If that’s the case, then the not so good “you might need to develop this idea more” or “this concept is not quite believable” would set me crying. Or, am I seeking validation as a writer, that I really did not waste my time and my money getting my degree, that I did choose the right field of study? Am I merely trying to make a buck, to add to our strained finances and get a little wiggle room in the money department? Am I writing to make a name for myself, to be able to say “I’m a writer!” with chest puffed out and a cocky swagger? Am I competing to be Top Dog, the best, the most awesome? Then others’ writings would intimidate me, because they would be my competition, my “enemies.”

My motivation should be none of these. I shouldn’t be writing to brag, or to make money, or to make a name for myself. I should be writing to reach others, to minister to the hurting, to lift someone up. God gave me a gift, and regardless if I’m a great writer, the next Charles Dickens, or a so-so writer that is only read on sites like BookRix, as long as I write for Him, for His Work, it doesn’t matter. If I put Him first, if I can learn to put aside myself, my fears, my insecurities, and trust in Him, everything will work out. My stories will then somehow end up in the hands of those who need it, and if God wants to bless me back with a little cash for the effort, then so be it. The act of writing, with my mind on Him, should be reward enough.

What is my motivation? It should be only Jesus…and only His opinion should matter.

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33

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