Warning: This weeks topic – what motivates me – was a bitter, dark chapter of self discovery.
Upon preparing for the post, it was revealed that for my whole life, I confused and mixed personal motivation and with illustrious inspiration, and made a delightful cocktail of my own devious imagination.
After I was ever so thoughtfully pointed into the boring, yet proper direction by my beloved friend Thom (whose impressive title of ‘Mr. Know-it-all’ far exceeds that of Bullwinkle J. Moose), I started on the day long journey of discovering if I, indeed, had this elusive motivation gene everyone was clamoring about.
And if I did, what the hell was it.
What I found out both astounded my intelligence yet disgruntled my very soul.
The official definition of motivation is ‘eagerness and willingness to do something without needing to be told or forced to do.’
Motivation is complex since human nature is complex. What kicks you in the arse and gets you going might not thrill me in the slightest and vise-versa.
Yet for me to understand what motivates me to act in certain ways enables me to work peaceably with my muse. It’s also a way for me to give fair warning to those who are intimate in my life; by understanding what motivates me, they are less likely to get in my way and become road kill.
Motivation can be categorized according to whether it is a basic, instinctive drive, common to all people and animals. This type of motivation involves satisfying the needs of the physical body including hunger, thirst, shelter/safety, sexual activity and so on.
Learned motivation (or external motivation) is based on a reward system (think potty training or to cease smoking) and seems to satisfy the desires of the mind and the spirit. It includes achievement of goals, whether they be in terms of gaining knowledge, power, self-development or a loving relationship.
So, with all this hefty knowledge in hand – did I find out what motivates me?
Ummm, yes. But it’s not pretty.
My sexual drive motivates me to be as passionate with my stories as I am to my lovers in bed. It is my WILL to pleasure all who read.
- Sexual Drive
Interesting. Scary. Not what I envisioned as a Gay Romantic Suspense writer, and definitely not what I would consider a healthy way of thinking.
Yet, after pondering on this startling self-examination result, some key factors have come into place. I am a melancholy person. I’m in my element during stormy weather. Pain and death and loss have built me into the creature I am today. I tend to gravitate to the dark side of life. I love villains more than heroes and even my favorite heroes are considered anti-heroes.
Should that which motivates me be any different than that which I love?
GREED – as a writer, I don’t lust after money or fame and have a distain for authors who do. My greed stems from the fact I WANT to write. I am greedy with my time, my words, my talent. My greed motivates me to push past fluff and utter nonsense other writers seem caught up in. It if doesn’t involve around my world of writing, I don’t want it. If it does – it WILL be mine.
ANGER – my anger fuels me, pushes me ahead, keeps me from drowning in a sea of pauper pity. I see the injustice in my life, I see how the sins of others have inflicted me and I seethe with a righteous fire. My anger motivates me to prove myself worthy and to cast the peons who doubted my talent into the fiery path of my pen. Vengeance, even in the form of a story, WILL be mine.
HUNGER – the gnawing in my gut drives me to excess. I feast upon words, upon books, ideas, concepts, anything to fill the empty void within. I regurgitate these things, digest them and absorb them into my body. My hunger motivates me to keep on, a driving force to seek out new experiences, new knowledge, and new ideas to write about, thus propelling me even further into my craft. I WILL follow my craving to write.
FEAR – is the root of my anger. I fear for my sanity. I fear to be alone in an eternity where there is no stories, no books, no words and in such an arena, my imagination would tear at itself like a starving cannibal. I fear the ever present ring of laughter from my past peers, those who told me I would never amount to anything. Surly, they can’t be right, can they? My fear motivates me to run, not as a coward, but to leave those hurtful taunts that chase me behind. I will show them. I WILL succeed.
POWER – they say the pen is mightier than the sword. I believe it, for I have fought many bloody battles with my words. Some I won, some I lost, some are pending. The ink runs in my veins, flows down onto the paper and breathes life into ALL my campaigns. With my words, I can create life, I can cast death. I rain blessings and curses with a stroke across the keyboard. My characters and my world are at my mere whims. I am a GOD and nobody can hurt me. My power motivates me to go beyond what I thought was possible. My stories WILL bow to me and obey.
SEXUAL DRIVE – some days, my need to write, to create, equals or surpasses my sexual desire. My creative juices teams with squiggling life creating properties. The hormones that course through my body scream for release in the form of words on paper, scene after scene, character within the plot and the orgasmic blow of the black moment. My sexual drive motivates me to be as passionate with my stories as I am to my lovers in bed. It is my WILL to pleasure all who read.
So, coming up to resurface from my frightening sub-conscious, I have decided I am totally mental. However, with that said, no matter how disturbing, how insane my motivations are to others, they work well with me. The sense of motivational control I have over my world is almost heady, and within my spirit house bubbles a thigh clenching “Mwah-ha-ha-ha-ha…..”
Yeah. My motivations. They work for me.
Welcome home to the dark side…