Linda G. Hill

Life in progress

Just Jot It January 14th – Motivation

74 Comments

I’ve been thinking about the motivation to write. I’m not talking about fiction, necessarily, but that’s a big part of it that I’ll get to in a few minutes. My thoughts at the moment are more on writing about real life and the need to connect with others who might be going through the same things as I am. The desire to put it all out there to find out if I really am alone in my living room with my laptop. And I am alone. Alone with millions of other people, all of them doing the same thing I am. Being part of that crowd is motivating indeed.

But then, a couple of days ago I read an article about David Bowie. Only it isn’t really just about him. It’s about all of us. Every one of us on social media, whether a blog, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr… any of them. Whether you liked Bowie or not, you need to read this. I’ll give you a minute. Please come back when you’re finished.

http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/01/david-bowies-dignified-death-is-a-reminder-of-the-sanctity-of-private-life/

Makes you think, doesn’t it?

We’re urged as writers to bleed on the page. That if we’re not bleeding – if we’re not putting everything we’ve got into what we write – then no one will be interested. But how much is too much? There are some who will tell us that there’s no such thing as too much. They are the ones who live off the angst of everyone else. I think of them as emotional vampires; they’ll say anything to get us to open up to them and say it’s for our own good. But they’ll never go out of their way to help. They’ll just motivate us…

What motivates you to write what you write? To share what you share? Has it changed since you started?

I understand how cathartic it can be to share a problem with the world, or go off on a rant when something is weighing heavily on the mind. I suppose the question comes down to how many details we give out. Its scary when we realise just how easy it is to give away our privacy. To box it up in a neat little package that is a simple post on social media and hand it to the entire world. In the past couple of weeks I’ve written 50-word stories on my fiction blog. Fifty words can say a lot. I even wonder sometimes how much of myself I’m giving away via fiction. To me it’s glaringly obvious what I’m imagining and what I’m bleeding; I can only hope it’s not as obvious to everyone else.

In the past I have tried to put a few filters on what I post. First and foremost, how does what I’m writing serve me? My reason for blogging of course is to have people read, so yes, I write what I think people will click on. When a post seems to be entirely self-serving (such as a rant) I feel uncomfortable. Sometimes I’ll post, sometimes it goes in the trash. If a post serves others, whether it’s a public service announcement, an example of what it’s like to parent a special needs child, or a prompt, I’m more likely to hit the publish button without thought for my privacy. On this blog I draw the line at the people in my life. I only write about what they willingly make public themselves. Even then I sometimes hesitate. There are people in my life I don’t talk about at all. Personally I have very little to hide about my life. Until I read the article, I didn’t even really think about discretion or, on the flipside, indiscretion. Now I wonder.

It’s contradictory that we’re so isolated and yet so out-in-the-open. We’re a society that no longer needs to go to a store to buy things, nor venture outside to talk to our neighbours, yet people half way around the planet can experience our lunch, our bowel movements, and if we wish to remain anonymous, even our sickest desires and without consequence.  But it all starts with one thing. Motivation.

I ask you again, what’s yours?

The “Motivation” prompt is brought to you by Aaron Elmore at the blog bearing his own name. If you don’t already follow him, please check him out!

JJJ 2016

To find the rules for Just Jot It January, click here and join in today. It’s never too late! And don’t forget to ping back your January 14th post here!

Author: LindaGHill

There's a writer in here, clawing her way out.

74 thoughts on “Just Jot It January 14th – Motivation

  1. Thanks for this post. I think when you are a blogger you know that parts of your life is public. It’s just part of the deal But we can decide how much. I write a lot about my pain. It’s therapeutic. I deal with life better when I write about it. Maybe not the best motivation for writing but that’s who I am for now. And I have got many comments which told me how much it helps the reader. As for abuse: I am glad that is in the open. It helps survivors no end to know they are not alone. And it shows that everybody can be an abuser not only the stranger in the bushes. I do not write a lot about my family though. Today I’ve posted one if our wedding photos but I asked the hubby first if it’s OK for him. There is a line for me. However, I have asked myself often if I share too much.

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  9. Fantastic post, Linda. I often think that I share too much, but finally I write what I write. Most of the time I put quite a few filters on my blogging but I still only write what is authentically “me.” I loved the David Bowie article. That is exactly what struck me when I learned of his passing. I grew up with his music, and I love his artistry. I admire him even more for having given so much to so many whilst retaining his own authentic and private life and death. I think it is a quality that is disappearing in this horrible age of over-the-top social media and “reality” tv. Just because someone is famous should not mean that every aspect of their lives are public! And making every aspect of your life public should not make one famous! (Seriously. The Kardashians are…who, exactly?)

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    • To be honest, as one who watches very little TV I wouldn’t know a Kardashian if I tripped over one, let alone why they’re famous.😛
      I find it amazing how much the world has changed – how it’s expanded and yet diminished in size. And most of that has to do with social media and how much we share.
      Thanks so much for the comment, Kelli, and for your kind words.:)

      Liked by 1 person

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  12. Aaah… all alone but together right?😛 Motivation? Wine? Cake?

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  15. I appreciate the line we all walk between privacy and connection. There are things I won’t reveal, even to most friends. When I write poetry, I try to leave space for people to bring their own personal stories into the poem and it isn’t always clear what is literally true and what is poetic license. Still, my spouse would probably say I share too much.

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  18. Powerful message -and hits home. I’m sure I say way to much, and should pull back. I do believe that talking about things does help people, but there is a balance -and I cross it.
    http://www.fiddledeedeebooks.wordpress.com

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  20. My blog is mostly for writing updates, though I do post other things going on in my life. I don’t go on a lot of rants. But, I do try to share at least a piece of my life. It’s always extremely happy, though I try not to let it get too dark.
    For a long time, I’ve kept silent about my issues with anxiety. Mostly because I got used to people telling me it was all in my head. But, not letting people know I can feel this way, doesn’t help me at all. It’s actually been reading about other people’s experiences with it to help me with my own. So, I try not to hide too much.

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  22. Great questions and thoughts here. I started my blog to figure out who I was (hence my blog name) and where I was headed, during a time in my life when I was lost and questioning everything. Blogging helped me to discover all that I needed to in order to be at peace with my life choices. As vague as that was, is just how vague my personal posts are generally. There are some posts, as you mentioned, that are easy to publish. There are others, such as the deeply personal ones, that often stay unpublished, or like you, I write them as fiction. It always amazes me how no one ever picks up the scent of what I’m *really* writing about. There are a few details and issues about my life and things that come up every now and then, that I feel I have no right to write about and to make visible to the world. There is certainly a limit on what I share.

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  24. For me, David Bowie’s death was an unpleasant surprise but watching his “Lazarus” video made up for the fact that he kept his illness under wraps. He shared it in his own way and in his own time. I think it was perfectly done.

    Liked by 1 person

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  26. That article was one of the first things I read this morning, and I thought about it over coffee, in the quiet, in the dark, afterward.
    I think this is a fascinating spin you’ve taken. I think writers are often people who are clearly aware of their motivation, since they spend so much time observing the motivation of others as well as that of characters.
    I write because I want to. I never blog about anything truly painful, because the intent of my blog is entertainment, if inspirational, if rant-y, if sarcastic and angsty. But not pain. Not about deep, personal issues of any kind. Not about dangerous or chronic illness. I feel like the people who get me are the kind that can read between the lines. Obviously I have health issues, mentally and physically, and similar people can commiserate or laugh with me, but I don’t bleed on my blog. I don’t want pity, I want laughter. For me, if I make a connection to a reader, if at least one person truly understands me, I’m validated. That’s in the Comments, not the Likes. I want to be ‘gotten’ — that’s my motivation.
    Excellent post! No wonder you’re LindaGHill!😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Joey.:) It occurs to me that blogs and articles that bleed attract the same sort of attention as an accident on the road. A morbid curiosity, coupled with the selfish relief that you’re “not that guy.” I don’t think we need to bleed our personal lives to gain commiseration. A glimpse is enough.
      Thanks for your comment, my dear.:)

      Liked by 1 person

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  29. I mentioned on another post that Bowie died the way he lived…with dignity, grace and a bit of mystery. It was perfect for him and a lesson to us all. I try to be very cautious about over sharing, which is why I gave up on Facebook long ago. The motivation for blogging is different, starting as a way to document my childhood and its influence, and moved on to things/situations that I think we all share. Nice post. Thanks. ☺ Van

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  32. Interesting.
    I don’t really have any filters, hence the tendency to ramble I suppose.
    I might even come close to using this prompt for today’s post, since I’ve been asked a few times recently why I write.

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  33. Hi Linda I read the Bowie article and agree totally. I was absolutely gobsmacked and so saddened at the news of his passing because he did keep it private. Also a private cremation not even family present then no memorial service. Good for him no hangers on and strangers weeping and wailing. He was true to himself to the end.
    I think it all start with Diana then social media was born. Even sucked up the life by proxy…. Emotional Vampires as you so perfectly named us all.
    Now to motivation, at first it was anger and pain after braking my back. Having to retire too early. Loss of people I thought were friends.There I have just bled on the page. Now my motivation is, it clears my brain of all mad, bad and weird things and it makes me happy and feel safe and healthy…. I think?
    Hard to explain really.

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    • Hard to explain but I know what you mean. When real life sucks (as it often does) it’s good to have a place to go where things feel positive. It’s an escape from the suckiness, if only temporary. Like a vacation.
      Thanks for sharing, Willow.:)

      Liked by 1 person

  34. Mine is just to try and make light of life, and to have a laugh or two, Having said that, I do occasionally write about depression as it seems to help me.

    Liked by 1 person

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  36. I always wrote for my therapy . My blog was always an extention of my diary. Which is why I never fused about views or comments. I just need that outlet to write through my emotions or rant or rave. I’m perfectly fine hitting publish and if no one reads it, I’m fine with that. My motivations for writing is sanity.

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  37. Here’s mine:

    http://shanjeniah.com/my-prime-directives/

    Basically, if it doesn’t fit in these parameters, I don’t post it. And, where my beloveds are concerned, they have right of approval for everything I post about them.

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    • It’s a great idea to have a list to keep you in focus. I should do one myself.:) Thanks for the idea, Shan!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I did that a few years ago, when I really wanted to focus on positivity. I was abused as a child; my family of origin dynamic is still dysfunctional. I don’t want to hide these things – I feel a need to explore what comes of treating children harshly. I hope it will help other parents to reconsider if they’re using these approaches, and help others who’ve endured that treatment to heal from it.

        But I don’t have to do it in a way that vilifies anyone. The parents who raised me were also abused. Likely so were their parents; that’s often the case.

        I’m glad the idea resonates with you. =D

        Liked by 1 person

  38. The why & who for alludes me right now. I wonder, WTF.
    “Definition of irony,” she laughs, “I started blogging because I had become too private of a person!”

    Liked by 1 person

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