Keeping Motivation on Side
I facilitated a professional development planning workshop the other week for NAWE in Glasgow. We had 18 poets attending. These workshops are great places to chew over ideas of what’s important to us in our writing life (while it isn’t always a collective us that has an opinion, often there is plenty of overlap of individual ideas).
This time I tried out an exercise exploring the sources of our motivation. Where we find it – easily, and so may know where to turn to see the bottle half full when it feels half empty…
The answers were fascinating. While they were quite diverse, the underlying tone seemed it was the belonging to a community that kept most of us bouyant.
This community was both the wider world of culture, ideas and writers, tapped into through emails and reading books, in socal media, in the need to communication (although there was an on-going tension between the drive to communicate and the need for space to reflect) and realising the freedom of expression (this is perhaps taken for granted in the UK, but underlies the imperative to write wherever we are)
and our smaller communities of writing groups, buddies and reading events, in which we find the recognition of a shared experience, between the writer and writer, and writer and reader.
I love this pay off of community being such a driving force for writers, as we are people who may spend much of their creative time alone. Keeping the balance between half full and half empty is crucial for our writing health; what is inspiring can become distraction and drain. Only we know our own measurements…