What Motivates Me to Write

Does “having fun” count?

What if I’m not always having fun? Then what’s my answer?

I actually pondered this for a long time, especially whenever the writing got hard. And for a long time, I didn’t have a really great answer.

When I finally found it, it was a combination of finding out more about my personal Clifton Strengths, and a serendipitous sentence that fell out of my own mouth without me realizing it.

First, Clifton Strengths. It’s a fascinating “personality system,” except it doesn’t touch introvert/extrovert or anything like that. Instead, it asks “what are you good at doing?” And it doesn’t mean carpentry or singing or homework.

My top Strength is Input, which means my brain is good at taking stuff in & collection information. If you’re like me, this is your cue to stare blankly and say, “Isn’t that what all brains are for?” But apparently— not. Brains strong in Communication are good at creating understanding between people. Brains strong in Adaptability are good at being flexible, no matter what comes up. There are 34 different Strengths. Wow!

So, what does Input have to do with my reasons for writing?

I wondered that, too. In the meantime, I gave an interview where I was asked why I write. To my surprise, I found myself talking about God and creativity. So there’s that. And it’s true.

Which leads me back to Strengths. In my Strengths group, we had a conversation about how our #1 Strength is usually the reason for why we write, or for the specific books we write. A #1 Responsibility might write because his fans were waiting, for instance, or a #1 Belief might write to spread a philosophy.

Okay, where does that leave #1 Inputs?

I was very confused. What does collecting information have to do with writing a book? Isn’t one an inward process and one an outward process. And what does that have to do with my prior comment about God?

Then another #1 Input said, “I write the books I want to read.”

Oh. Oh, yeah, that’s it.

I honor God by using the creativity he gave me (which isn’t any better than anybody else’s gifts, btw) to write the books I want to read. That makes total sense. (That’s also why I can’t “write to market” unless the market wants the same things I want.)

So, there you have it. I write the books I want to read.

I hope you enjoy them, too.

Happy reading,
Marty C Lee

© 2023 M. C. Lee LLC. All rights reserved.

Author: MCLeeBooks

Marty C. Lee told stories for most of her life, but never took them seriously until her daughter asked her to write the first in the Unexpected Heroes series. Between writing and spending time with her family, she reads, embroiders, and gardens. Her characters take over her brain on a regular basis. If you catch her muttering to thin air, she's probably arguing with one of her characters. She has learned to keep a notebook by her bed to jot down ideas so she can go to sleep and deal with them in the morning.

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