Finding Your Motivation

Where do we find our motivation to write?

Obviously, we’re all self-motivated to some extent. If not, we wouldn’t be here, reading this. But what happens when we have a tough day at work, or a the house is a mess, you didn’t get enough sleep last night or you’re just hungover, and all you want to do is lie down on the couch and stare at the back cushion and there is no way on God’s Green Earth you’re going near that keyboard today?

We’ve all had those days. Or weeks. Or months.

So when it happens, what does it take to get your blood pumping again? For some writers, it’s the fear of losing out on a paycheck. Others rely on the encouragement of friends and loved ones.

Me, I usually find my motivation in books of some kind or another. I started writing (again) after several years, after reading Stephen King’s ‘On Writing.’ Another go-to is Jon Franklin’s ‘Writing For Story,’ geared more towards journalists, but it still works for me.

What works even better is reading great fiction. A good story can make me jump up, run to my desk and yell “I can do that!” Sometimes it only takes a great sentence; it’s like a shot of adrenaline. Hemmingway’s good for that. I get a rush from Shakespeare, also. But my go-to is Hunter S. Thompson. Seconds after reading the intro paragraph (“We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold.”), I’m ready to write.

So what does it take to put you back in the mood? Money? Caffine? Please share!

© 2017, Dave Allen. All rights reserved.
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Author Notes

4 Comments for “Finding Your Motivation”

Raymond Tobaygo


Good morning, Dave

Glad to see you posting again.

I’m inspired by the writings of Cussler, Koontz, Bear, Bova and Cricton , coupled with the inspiration of creating new characters, situations and worlds (while listening to ‘songs from ‘Two Steps From Hell’). I find my best time to write is between 4 to eight A.M . Some of the best descriptive writing I’ve found is in National Geo articles.

Take care and stay safe,



My best time is early morning, which conflicts with my best workout time, too. I need to start setting a schedule and going at it.

I also find Hemmingway to be a great inspiration.


I find our local Japanese gardens inspire me. When I am there I always get the sense of I am here to write. This sense manages to linger for a while and when I feel I have been negligent I simply head back for a healthy dose of inspiration. I originally only wrote haiku there but have now branched out into the french styles and some freestyle poetry as well.

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