Everyone has conscious and unconscious reasons that drive our actions. You’ll have an enormous advantage in life, if you know what your deeper motivations are, because only when you know what drives you, you’ll be able to make changes.

Motivations are the reason we act. They have a tremendous power over our everyday thinking and our acting. They can be divided in two categories: avoidance of negative consequence and the hope for betterment.

Avoidance of negative consequence

You all know what I’m talking about, don’t you? You’ve been doing your homework to avoid angering your parents. You’re cleaning your apartment to not be embarassed when your guests arrive. You’re doing your taxes on time to avoid collection expenses. All of this is done in order to avoid negative consequence.

Hope for betterment

On the other hand you’ll find the intention to improve your life. The motivation behind learning something can be the wish for better employment or simply the need for personal development. Behind the wish for better employment usually hides the motivation to earn money and therefore to improve your lifestyle.

You may have realized by now that there are a multitude of different motivations behind an action. Motivations don’t act isolated, they mix and intertwine. And therefore you can have more than one reason to do or want a certain thing. A job is your source of income and therefore the security you need to have a roof over your head and food on your plate. Ideally though it also provides acknowledgment and maybe even fulfillment.

Motivations can be manipulated and changed. Sometimes you’re doing an action out of routine and the original motivation got lost over time. However you can always search for meaning. You may be able to rediscover your initial motivation or you can find different reasons why something is important to you. Sometimes though you may realize that you’re doing something solely out of routine and the action doesn’t provide any benefit for your life whatsoever. If that’s the case, it’s time to let go of it and use your time and energy for something rewarding.

Reasons for writing

So why do you write? What is your motivation to put words on paper when you could be going out or be relaxing?

Sometimes it can be hard to remember your reasons when you’ve been writing for months on end. I collected some basic motivations to get you started.


Maybe you thrive on recognition of your peers or readers. The wish for recognition is a basic human need and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.

Satisfaction and fulfillment

Having a deep feeling of fulfillment when creating a novel is a very strong motivation and definitely something that keeps you going in the long run.

Process of creation

Another strong motivation can be the urge to create something new. Be it a novel or an accumulation of knowledge.


Humans do have a deeply rooted desire for stories. This fascination can be the driving force for some to tell a story themselves.

Play with words

You like playing with words and turning them into sentences, pages and books? Great!

Pass on knowledge

The desire to provide information and knowledge to other people is a strong and valuable force that should not be disregarded.


Earning money can be a strong motivator as well and it is understandable if you wish to make an income with your work.


Closely tied with recognition, fame can be a driving force for some folks too, though it’s broader and aims at admiration from others.

Did you find your own motivations? Think about why you do what you do and don’t pressure yourself. You may need a little time to figure this out.


If you did find your driving forces, I encourage you to think about yourself, your writing and your motivations. Is writing the ideal realization of your motivations? I don’t want to talk you out of writing! I just think that we’re sometimes blind for the possibilities that we have.
As you might have realized, most motivations can be realized in different ways. If you want recognition you can write a book or you can get a job that gets you recognition or you can do some voluntary work and make a change. Knowledge can be shared through a book, but also through a Youtube channel, videos or teaching classes. The possibilities are endless.

Especially for motivators like money and fame there are better and easier ways to achieve that. Earning a living with selling books is possible, yes, but unfortunately not the norm. If, however, you have other reasons beside money, like fulfillment or a love for words, then you can motivate yourself more sustainably.


When you’re stuck in your daily grind it can be hard to be enthusiastic and full of joy about the task at hand. This is where you can use your newly found motivators: Take a step back from your work and reconnect with your reasons. I’d even write them down as to not forget them during times of frustration. Visualizing your own driving forces is motivating and helps you to take the next small step on the way to your goal.

And another thing: Do not let others decide for you what you want.

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