On motivation to write

Should we push ourselves to write? Should we drag our behinds to the chair and sit there until we type something? Or do we wait? I think there are times when it’s okay to wait.

I got this opinion from working out. Years ago, I used to drag myself to the gym whether I was sick or well, whether I wanted to go or not. The result was that I did go…but I hated it. When I did go, my workouts were lame, barely-there attempts without any heart or drive in them.

Then, one day, I stopped going. I told myself I wouldn’t go again until I felt like going. I made a vow to myself and I kept it.

I stayed away from the gym for almost a year. And then, finally, one day, I wanted to go. I went for a little work out and I had fun. I liked it.

I’ve been working out ever since but my relationship with the gym is very different. I may notice when I don’t go that often but I don’t nag myself and I don’t force myself to go. I go when I want to go. The result is, when I’m there, I have delicious workouts. I love it.

I wonder if writing is like that. I certainly write because I love it. But do I wait for inspiration or do I put my behind in the chair?

I particularly like what Justine Musk says: “Reading is the inhale. Writing is the exhale.”

But, just for kicks, here is Kelly Leiter who says something completely different on motivation.

What about you? What do you think?