Some days I just don't feel like writing.
Which is strange, because I'm always coming up with more story ideas in my head, constantly reading and thinking about characters and plots and descriptive settings.
Which is even more strange, because writing is also my job.
How many people get up and say, "Ah, I just don't feeling like going to work this week." Or even, "I just don't feel like listening to my boss right now. Maybe later, after a nap." Hopefully, not too many people, because those kinds of responses can lead to a person losing his or her job. Which is exactly how I should consider it when I wake up and think, "Hmm, do I really feel like writing today?"
In essence, you don't just write when you're motivated. That certainly helps, but that's not the only way to become a better writer. You have to write something - anything - everyday. Not only do you improve and refine your craft, you also create a work ethic that will provide you a framework to fall back on when you are either not inspired, feeling lazy, or just not motivated. Some part of your mind will be frantically waving at you and telling you just to start writing (typing or by hand) and get some words out. Don't worry about where it leads. Just write.
This is, of course, much easier to say than to do. I spent the last week avoiding writing, even though I dutifully opened one or two projects already in progress every day. And true, I did finish editing one draft while I wrote a few hundred words for another two.
No, I didn't meet any of my "big" goals. But I did write or edit something every day while feeling the insistent pull on my creative psyche to finish writing the two stories I had open. I didn't feel like writing, but my "training" kicked in and I can content myself now with knowing I went a little forward throughout the week instead of stagnating or falling backwards.
I write everyday, even if it's just a little something. All the while, the stories pile up in my head, cramming even closer together and begging to get out. And I eventually let them. So because I let my brain wander last week, this week I must finish writing at least one of my short stories. It doesn't matter how I feel, because in the end, if I want this to be a "real" job, then I have to treat it like one. Creative, working artists have enough stereotyping prejudice to deal with in regards to our "work ethic" without adding fuel to the flame by doing exactly what we are accused of.
So this morning, despite my distraction, I began and finished this blog, opened one of my stories, and continued to write - no matter how I "feel."
I just have to write.
This is my work. This is my passion.
That is my motivation.