Purpose, Drive, and Direction

Most of my posts on writing seem to be about things going wrong and what I’ve tried that helped get me out of it. All to the good I suppose if it helps someone else, but it does make it look like I’m always having trouble. Which I guess I am most of the time, in my writing at least! One day maybe I’ll try something different – do a breakdown of my experience writing a novel maybe, or something that points out something clever about characters, or writing technique. Ok, maybe not, but I’ll try and come up with something. For now though, here’s my latest set of difficulties.

For the duration of this post: purpose=why, drive=why, direction=where. And the two ‘whys’ are different, as I hope will become clear.

You’d think the first ‘why’ would be simple: why are you writing? What do you want from it? What’s your aim? Except my ‘why’ has gone wandering. I thought I had it firmly set, but recently. . . I was writing because I loved it. End of. Since I was spending so much time on it, I hoped I might be able to do something useful at the same time, and was persuaded that I should give other people a chance to read my stuff. I guess getting something published, or shortlisted in a  competition was my way-out-there goal.

What was pushing me on – driving me, why was I doing this? – because I love writing. Didn’t you hear me the first time? Anything else was a bonus.

But where was I going? I knew before but now. . . Everyone gets rejections and you have to brush them aside and carry on. Even non-writers know that by now I should think! But what if you loose faith not in your story, but in your own writing ability? What if it hits you one day – I may be a writer, I may be writing, but what good is that if the work is less than mediocre, if no-one wants to read it? And if I’m never going to get to do anything with it, is there a point in spending all this time on it? I love writing – whether I’m good or not doesn’t matter in a way – but right now  I can’t help thinking, if there’s no purpose behind it, shouldn’t I be spending my time on something actually useful.

Who knew crisis in confidence came in different flavours?!

Its got so it’s affecting my blog too. Every time I go to write a post I get a ‘why am I keeping going when I’m writing such rubbish? Who really cares about this stuff?’. I’ve carried on anyway, hoping it’s a fleeting thing and working through it like some people say to. But more than ever I’m starting to wonder what’s the point. I’ve never been one for ambitions, but I used to have some drive you know? Some purpose and a vague idea of direction. (Having said that, I never knew what I was doing here, I just posted random stuff and hoped someone read it!)

Now the questions and doubts have taken over.

Having read this through, I’m tempted to delete it. I know I’ve said that before, and it even happened a couple of times. Not that you can know that!  It sounds like I’m so depressed and whiny, rambling on about unimportant stuff when I should just be getting on with things. But it’s the place I’m at right now, and if nothing else I promised myself to tell the truth here. Else really, what’s the point. Like lying to yourself.

Really needing advice right now, so please shout out to keep me going, or to advise me to stop. Give me a boot up the backside or point out a new direction, something I’ve missed. . . Until next time.

2 thoughts on “Purpose, Drive, and Direction

  1. I find that even if I write something I think is rubbish, and I do that a lot, I file it away somewhere and almost forget about it. Quite often I’ll stumble across these files and realise that whilst they aren’t great, they might not be as bad as I thought and with a bit of work, they can become decent pieces of writing. Occasionally I find they slot in quite nicely with something I have been working on.

    If you don’t doubt yourself as a writer, you aren’t doing it right.


    1. I’ve doubted my work before, but never myself quite this much. Thanks for the reminder that old writing or things you think are bad can sometimes still be of use given a bit of time and thought!


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