Well, since we sometimes like to pretend and call ourselves "writers" it means that on occasion, we actually have to write something. This is often a problem for me. Push is right when she says I have beta read all of her stories. I have over 100 beta files on my hard drive to prove it. That is not a complaint, just evidence that I swear she never stops. It's kind of cool though when you think that this person who had nothing published less than a year ago already has a whole bunch of really good stories posted.
So, what does motivate us to write? The truth is, I don't know. I've had moments where some little idea comes to me out of nowhere and I just start typing. I've had ideas in my head for extended periods of time and done nothing with them until one day I finally decided to sit down and write them up. I think sometimes I've even only had one little scene in my head that I wanted to get out there and was forced to come up with a story to go around it. Sometimes it needs to be forced and sometimes it comes out effortlessly, there never seems to be a reason for it.
One thing that Push and I have done in the past when neither one of us was working on some big story (that has not happened in a very long time) is to issue challenges to one another. This can be a scenario, or even just a line that must be used, anything to just force us to get writing when nothing seems to be coming out. While none of these tended to wind up masterpieces, I think both of us have used pieces from these challenges in larger stories later on, and often times they help to spark ideas and at least get us into the writing groove once again.
Another helper in the motivation department is simply sharing our trials and tribulations with each other. By nature, we are both self-deprecating. Or at least I know I am! Half the time we send stuff to each other we amend it by saying something like, "I know it's not very good..." or the much more direct, "This totally sucks, but..." and of course the other person never actually agrees with that. I always enjoy reading her stuff (otherwise I would definitely not have 100+ beta files of her writing on my computer!) and she at least pretends to like mine so I will continue doing all of the hard labor for her ;) It's always encouraging to have someone read something you wrote and tell you that they actually liked it.
Now, perhaps this is why a lot of times the motivation starts to wane. Remember, actually having people tell you they enjoy your writing makes you more inclined to write more. The opposite can also be true, as often times a new story or chapter gets posted online and hardly a soul says a word about it. I'm not sure people realize how disheartening it is to post a story and not get feedback. We don't do this for money or accolades, but if nobody says anything about it, how do we even know if anyone is reading let alone enjoying it? We can just as easily keep our stories to ourselves on our hard drives. I have to say, I suspect that had we not started encouraging each other, there's a good chance neither one of us would be posting much of anything. My current story I have going on was literally dragged out of me when I let it slip that I had been writing something that I hadn't shown her yet. I don't think I would've pursued it at all had she not read it and told me to publish it.
So, if any aspiring writers out there are looking for some motivation, I'd definitely encourage you to share your stuff with someone. It can be anyone, really. I'm at a stage in adulthood where it would probably be a little weird to other people my age to ask them to read a fan fiction story, but some of you are probably young enough where that still might seem "normal" to your friends. Aside from that, that's what's so great about the internet. Anyone who comes to web sites like the ones we frequent for reading Han and Leia fan fiction is going to share a common interest, so don't be afraid to send a message. Chances are you'll have some good conversations. I know I have. It is also quite nice to talk to other people who share the same obsessiveness. I don't think I know anyone in real life that I could turn to and ask, "Hey, did you ever wonder whether or not Han and Leia had sex on the way to Bespin?"
I'd say this post has turned into a bit of a ramble, so I should probably stop there. But it is doing a great job of keeping me from working on the next chapter of my story...