Writing for the Wrong Reasons

People write for all kinds of reasons.

They can write because they love to create worlds and stories and characters. They can have information that they are eager to share with the world. The can love the language and can’t help playing with it. Or they can write because they are deeply committed to a cause. People like this are inspired to write.

Inspiration doesn’t necessarily make writing less work, but it gives a writer the energy that they need to do the work and do it right. Ideas flow better and the mind chews on problems because it wants to and often inspired writers find that they wake up with solutions suddenly at hand. The work of writing is satisfying and rewarding.

There are of course times when we are required to write things: school papers, or projects for work e.g. These external reasons do not inspire the writer, they just pressure him.

Not only is forced writing a chore, it often takes longer because the writer doesn’t care to plan things out properly. To top it off, forced writing is rarely our best work, and can often reflect our indifferent attitude towards the material.

When a project is unappealing it can be tempting to buckle down and grind the product out. Sometimes that method of working can be effective, but what if there were another way? What if a little inspiration could be found?

By taking some time at the beginning of a project to think of different slants often times it is possible to find a way to make a project more interesting. For example a research paper for school doesn’t have to be dull if an interesting research topic is chosen.

Even when there is no choice about the subject we write about, taking some time to frame the projects goals can help make it less objectionable. If a job requires a set of instructions to accompany the copy machine, a person could do the minimum work possible and make the instructions dry boring and unmemorable, or they could do there best to make them instructions that they would find useful and reassuring when dealing with a recalcitrant copy machine. It can be nice to know that we are helping people.

Often money, or credit, gets in the way of seeing what a project is about. We forget that writing isn’t about the paycheck, it is about conveying an idea the best way we know how to another human being. And by reminding ourselves of the true reasons behind each project we can make our work easier and more rewarding by finding a little inspiration.

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