My first impression of the day was, ‘How do I keep myself motivated?” I am a fiction writer by definition. Writing anything is a singular, frequently arduous and an entirely insular act . Being a novelist is an act of desperation, a primordial passion that drives one to fight against the natural world to envision another that doesn’t exist, it’s the act of a person addicted to passion. Being an artist can be a zero sum game of mental masturbation, as circular as narcissism, and as profitable as a spent lottery ticket. So, what the hell get’s us up in the morning?
If I had to describe my day as a writer I would have to tell you that structure is all important. Personally, I have routines that I might be described as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder by any casual observer. I wake, I write until my ass hurts, then I walk around blocks of my village, rain or shine, in various states of dress, regardless the time of year, without any attempt at athletic vigor hoping I don’t lose my train of thought in the time elapsed before I sit down again.
I’ve cut myself off from all news streams, I don’t want any contemporary information to bleed into my creation. I fear plagiarisms in my writing like I do being attacked by an accidental virus that slips insidiously into my bloodstream. In my mind there is nothing worse than being derivative, if only by association. It would be too easy to rewrite a popular novel in ‘another setting’ or ‘style’. We see this happen too much, sometimes to the delight of publishers, but I don’t consider myself a cheap slut or wordsmith whore for the shallow whim of an agent or publisher looking for a fast buck.
It’s my belief that as an artist and an individual I want to leave this mortal coil having left behind something entirely unique, a thought that none of the billions of my contemporaries and those preceding us had ever thought before. Unique thought is the door to immortality . So, is that my motivation? I would have to say ‘yes’. I am the seeker of a single thought to differentiate me from history, what a monumental ego!
But what else would serve as a driver to submit to this passion if it wasn’t ego? As an artist you choose the most arduous path of all to achieve that singular act of passion fulfilled, the act of writing, this alone quantifies you as insane. This is why I don’t believe that any creative writer of fiction would ever suffer from writers block, the mind of an artist is like a volcano in mid-eruption. Submit to your passion and your guts and blood will spill uncontrolled onto the page whether you like it or not. The choice of being an artist or not is not yours to make. Often the book you write is not the work you began, the muse taking over is a good thing, flow with that and give yourself to the world instead of trying to prove what a smartypants you are by turning out some derivative rubbish. Free your mind, goes the old song, and the rest will follow.