Last week, I posted an article on the difference between Intrinsic and Extrinsic motivations. I also mentioned that you must strive to strike a balance between internal and external motivations in order to be most successful and feel fulfilled as a writer. Well, today, I will follow up on that idea and hopefully make you think even deeper about your authentic motivations as a writer. One way to determine where your motivations truly lie as writer is to try to determine where your passions lie. What makes you want to get into your office and write every day? Is it getting noticed by other editors or agents who will be HOT for your story or is it because you truly love to write? Please take some time to really, really think about this. Your quality of writing and the level of fulfillment in your writing life depend on it. In the beginning, most of us fall in love with the process of writing. We want to write because we enjoy it. But as the years go on, something shifts in us. All of a sudden our friends and family who know nothing about the writing process may be bickering about the fact that we are taking all this time to write yet we have nothing to show for it because we are not published yet. No one has noticed our work. Its as if publishing and being noticed by agents is the most important yardstick for success. But if we allow this negative feeling to seep deep into our heart, that will precisely become all important for us. All of a sudden, much of our writing time will be taken up with looking for agents, comparing ourselves to others, and how they are doing, and imitating them, not really knowing if that is really where our path to success will lies. I believe one of the worst things that writers can do to themselves is to become restless and anxious, looking for external approval when they really should be enjoying their writing and the journey that it is taking them on. I believe that the foundation for any meaningful, fulfilling and successful writing life depends on balancing the intrinsic and extrinsic motivations of our writing career. We must decide where our true passions lie. Is it to get noticed by agents and editors (which is completely out of our control) or to enjoy writing and to keep writing regardless of life’s ups and downs (which is completely within our control)? I hope you will depend more on intrinsic motivations for your writing life instead of merely extrinsic motivations. You can have extrinsic motivations. Just make sure that your most authentic motivations depend on things you can control. So, which are your primary motivations? Irene S. Roth