One of the things that I was thinking about recently was my motivation for writing.
For a while I’ve been somewhat uncertain about that, not because I didn’t feel driven but because I wasn’t really sure how to communicate it, so I’d often give an answer that wasn’t necessarily untrue, but didn’t encapsulate the whole truth.
Or sometimes I’d just say money, with a varying degree of sarcasm depending on how I felt about my prospects.
In truth, I think that there’s something else going on that has been motivating me, but I’ve only recently been able to put it in words.
And it’s a little ironic, since the notion that I settled on is that writing–passionate and meaningful writing–is an attempt to put the ineffable into words.
Of course, one of the things that I also feel is an infinite inadequacy for this task.
And I’ve been thinking about that a lot because I’ve been getting my output up and feeling a lot better about my writing at the same time that I’ve been able to begin putting into words and thought the idea that my work could fail on account of my inadequacy.
My hypothesis is that this idea has liberated me from some of my shackles. I wouldn’t exactly describe myself as having had a “writer’s block” because I still have been writing at a relatively great volume. I have not been writing as much as at my peak, and little of it ready for immediate publication, but still much greater than average people write. More importantly, I’ve been writing better than I’ve ever written before, in fields that I’ve felt less comfortable in, on demand.
And that’s something that requires a moment of stepping back. I’ve always had problems writing fiction beyond very short pieces because I can’t force myself to write things. It has to be spontaneous. Sometimes it’s spontaneous under external pressure, but it’s still not something I’ve drawn out of myself.
And now suddenly I’m doing that.
And I think that the idea is that through understanding my own infinite inadequacy, I have liberated myself to take infinite risk. There will be flaws in everything I create, and the goal I have set is defined by its very impossibility. That just means that there’s no reason to hold back. If you are going to fail, it is better to fail nobly.
If you have a choice between failure and success, the temptation toward safety will overwhelm you.
But there are only degrees of imperfection. It is better to have small imperfection than moderate imperfection, but the difference between moderate imperfection and great imperfection is negligible.
So it is that infinite inadequacy drives me.