1. Reading. There is just something about flipping through a story someone else has written that makes me want to go off and work on my own stories.
2. Art. I sometimes look at photos or other forms of media in my downtime and make up stories that might go along with these things. I don’t always write those stories, but it’s a good way to keep your creative muscles in shape.
3. My fear of failure. It’s not good to be afraid when it stops you from doing what you otherwise might do, but sometimes fear is a great motivator if it keeps you moving forward in a positive direction.
4. The (slim?) possibility of success. Writing is something that could come to define at least a good portion of my work life in the future, and the possibility alone keeps me from quitting because “What if it happens? What if I stop and it doesn’t happen because I stopped trying?”
5. Music. I have specific playlists created for when I am feeling down and/or unmotivated and need something to light a fire in my soul. It took a long time to figure out which music did this, but now, it works almost every time.
6. My enthusiasm for my craft. I write because it makes me feel alive, and it makes me happy — and I want whoever might read my work to feel the same way when they experience it from the other side.
7. Stories of people who could have given up on their dreams but didn’t. Sometimes these are stories I hear or read. Sometimes I need them so much that I end up writing my own.
8. People who tell me I am not good enough at what I do to succeed. This can come in many forms, and I just happen to be someone who has endured enough hate that I have learned how to turn it into something more positive for my own benefit — maybe for the benefit of others, too.
9. A hunger to make things. I am not myself unless I am creating something. Sometimes it’s the act of sitting down and making something that inspires me to keep making more things.
10. Knowing that writing is my choice and my choice alone. I am in control of whether or not I write, and I am in control of the stories I do and do not tell. This is mine, and therefore I am excited to see what I can do with it in the many years to come.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a 10-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.