Finding Your Internal Motivations – Beginner Self Publishing Course from WriteZero

This post is part of the Beginner Self Publishing Course from Write Zero

This post is part of the ‘Why Do You Write’ Pillar. This is the First Pillar of the Beginner Self Publishing Course

This post on ‘Finding Your Internal Motivations’ is in three parts

  1. Part 1: Knowing What to Write – The Single Most Important Author Skill
  2. Part 2: You have to Find Your Internal Motivations if you are to find The Right Market
  3. Part 3: You have to Find Your Internal Motivations if you want to Succeed and Be Happy

Let’s start by jumping into the first part

Finding Your Internal Motivations – The Critical Importance of Knowing What to Write

The absolute most important skill you can develop as an Author is – Knowing What to Write

i.e. Creating The Right Product for The Right Market

i.e. Product Market Fit

We discuss this skill in an article titled Levels of Mastery – 3 Core Skills. Please read that article. It’s fine if you don’t understand all of it at the moment. The most critical takeaway from that article is

  • Above all else, Knowing What to Write is the most important skill you must master as an author

Let’s look at why that is

Knowing What to Write – The Single Most Important Author Skill

Knowing What to Write is very important because

  1. If you don’t write what readers want to buy, you will not get sales
  2. If you don’t write what makes you happy, you will be unhappy
  3. If you write for a market that does not exist, then no matter how good your writing is, no one will buy it
  4. If you write the wrong book for the right market, then no matter how good your book is, no one will ever buy it
  5. If you write for the wrong market, or write the wrong book for the right market, then no amount of marketing can make the book a success

Everything else becomes easier if you write The Right Book for The Right Market

In fact, everything else does not even matter until you figure out

  1. What is the Right Market you should write for
  2. What is The Right Book you should write for this market

If you were to spend 50% of your time just figuring out The Right Book for The Right Market, it would still not be enough time spent on Figuring out What to Write

  1. Because figuring out What Market to Write For is the most important thing an Author can do
  2. Because figuring out What Book to Write for this Perfect Market is the second most important thing an Author can do
  3. Because Knowing What to Write is by far the most important skill you can develop as an author

Yes, Knowing What to Write is more important than everything else

Knowing What to Write – Far More Important than Marketing and Far More Important than Writing Quality

If you still doubt the importance of Knowing What to Write, consider that

  1. No matter how good your writing is, if there is no market for your book, then it cannot sell
    1. If there are no readers for the book, the writing quality does not matter
  2. No matter how good your marketing is, if readers are not looking to buy, then your book will not sell
    1. If there is market demand for pizza, then you have to make and sell pizza
    2. You could make the best cheeseburgers in the world, and do the best marketing, and still people who want pizza would not buy your cheeseburgers

On the other hand, if you find a market where people are hungry for Pizza and there is not enough supply of Pizza

  1. Even if your pizza is not very high quality, it will still sell a lot
  2. Even if you do very little marketing, it will still sell

Of course, in an ideal world you want to create a perfect scenario

  1. Find a market where people are hungry to eat Pizza
  2. Produce Pizza of Very High Quality and Produce it Consistently
  3. Have Excellent Marketing

However, of the three, there is no doubt which is the most important

Finding The Right Market, and then producing The Right Product for that Right Market, takes precedence over everything else

You could even make an argument that creating The Right Product for The Right Market is more important than everything else combined. If you made such an argument, you would be right

Finding Your Internal Motivations – You have to find Your Internal Motivations if you are to find The Right Market

You cannot find The Right Market until you Understand what your Internal Motivations are


  1. Because The Right Market for you is inextricably linked with who you are and what you want from life
  2. Because you cannot create The Right Product for the Right Market until and unless it matches your internal motivations and your identity
  3. Because choosing a Market based on External Motivations (Surface Level Motivations) is almost always a huge mistake
    1. Without strong internal motivation, it is hard to succeed
    2. Without congruence with your internal motivations, you will usually create a low quality product
    3. External Motivations have very little staying power. When times get tough, and you have to fight through adversity, extrinsic things cannot sustain you

The world outside is a reflection of the world inside

When you are aware of, and at peace with, your internal motivations

  1. You can make them congruent with your external ‘desires and aspirations’
  2. You can figure out The Right Market, which will deliver both your Internal Needs and your External Needs
  3. You can create a very high quality book as you will be performing at your best (or close to it)
  4. You can create high quality books consistently. You will be energized by what you are doing
  5. You can give your best. Remember, when a goal matches both Your Internal Motivations and Your External Motivations, that is when you are most excited and do your best work

To fully understand this, let’s consider why

Your Internal Motivations are Far More Important than Your External Motivations

Examples of Internal Motivations include

  1. Wanting to Leave a Legacy
  2. Wanting to Make a Positive Difference in the World
  3. Wanting to Share Your Knowledge
  4. Wanting to Create a Conversation with Like Minded People
  5. Wanting to Spread a Powerful Idea which will create good things in the world
  6. Wanting to Make People Happy
  7. Wanting Others to Learn from Your Experiences and Mistakes
  8. Wanting to make Your Family proud of You
  9. Wanting to Give Back to Your Country or To People Who Helped You or To Your City
  10. Wanting to Share Expertise in Your Area of Expertise with people in that Area

Notice how these are extremely powerful things. Notice how these are generally things that benefit lots of people

Examples of External Motivations include

  1. Achieving Social Recognition
  2. Getting External Validation that you can write
  3. Getting Popularity
  4. Making Money
  5. Becoming a full time author
  6. Becoming Wealthy
  7. Becoming a Bestseller
  8. Being Recognized as an Expert in Your Area of Expertise

Notice how all these External Motivations are EXTRINSIC things. They do not really tap into Your Deepest and Strongest Desires

While External Motivations can motivate you to an extent, it is Internal Motivations that are truly powerful

There is no Book Dedication that ever says – I would like to dedicate this book to the $27,000 I got for my last book deal. Through all the tough times, that cold hard cash was there for me when I needed it the most

Book Dedications are like Internal Motivations – they get to the most important things in your life and to the most important people in your life

You Must Figure Out Your Internal Motivations BEFORE You Start Searching for The Right Market

Here is an example of why. Please adjust this example according to your personal situation

If your internal motivations are

  1. To share your experiences as a Biography & Memoir
  2. To help other people have better lives by learning from the tough times you went through
  3. To help people become successful and happy without going through the adversity you had to go through
  4. To connect with people at a very human level
  5. To give people hope and courage that carries them through the darkness to the light

Then it makes absolutely no sense to start searching for The Right Market based on extrinsic things that are unrelated to these core motivations

If you search for what books sell the most, and what books make the most money, you will never arrive at Biographies & Memoirs

However, that may very well be the Best Category For You to write in

Your Perfect Market is something very unique to you, and almost always derived from Your Unique Internal Motivations

Finding Your Internal Motivation – You Have to Find Your Internal Motivation if You are to Succeed and Be Happy

Now, we come to the most perplexing thing

  1. You are most likely to meet Your External Motivations, if you stop caring about Your External Motivations, and chase Your Internal Motivations

Yes, as crazy as it sounds, you are most likely to have financial success and popularity if you chase very ethereal things such as

  1. Leaving a Legacy
  2. Doing your Best Work
  3. Giving to the People you Care For
  4. Making Your Art Proud of You
  5. Committing to Excellence

It is people who go all out chasing their internal motivations, who are the most likely to create beautiful work. They are also the ones most likely to create beautiful work consistently

THAT is what leads to success

The less you focus on money and success. The more you focus on giving value and creating something of beauty

The more likely you are to succeed

Internal Motivations vs External Motivations

While we have an entire article on External Motivations (it is the next article in this Course)

While External Motivations have their place and are quite important

It is critical to realize that each of us has only a hundred years to live. Do not give up on your true dreams, your internal motivations, to chase other people’s dreams

Most External Motivations, such as making money and getting validation from others, are other people’s dreams. They cannot give you the power and fire that your own dreams can

Finding The Right Marketing is as simple as Chasing Your Internal Motivations

The Right Market is The Market Which Will Satisfy Your Internal Motivations

Give to the world what you most need yourself

Give to the world what you most want to give

The World will give you back everything you truly desire

If we get stuck in External Motivations and Dreams that are not Our Dreams, then we cannot find The Right Market. We are finding The Right Market for Someone Else

To Find the Right Market for Yourself, you have to figure out Your Internal Motivations and use them as a Compass to Find The Right Market

Closing Thoughts On Finding The Right Market

Finding the Right Market is a very tough thing

What makes it tough is that we constantly look at things that do not matter, instead of looking inside ourselves and finding out what it is that we truly desire

As an Author you have a very unique opportunity – You can create a Legacy and chase what you most desire. You can give to the world what you are uniquely qualified to give

The Right Market is where you can give the best of yourself and where you can achieve the things that will complete your journey as a human being


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