01/19 2019

Motivation Tristan Johns

In any pursuit, the quality of that work depends on the doer's motivations. A painter acting for the reward of money will create a different product than the painter acting for the reward of painting. The former will be concerned only in meeting the objectives required to receive the money; the latter is only concerned in flowing with the pleasant experience of painting. This is universal, and is somewhat talked about in this book.

An important feature of this phenomenon is that of sincerity. One can be honest with family and friends, but if they are not honest with theirself then the whole thing is moot. If, deep down, you know that you don't like painting, and that you are only doing it to impress people, you will never achieve the quality of that person painting for fun. At the same time, if you are trying to do something for fun ONLY in an attempt at achieving this quality, this too is an elaborate self-deception.

Good writing is lots of editing. The good writer must also be a good reader. If the writer does not know what a quality reading experience is like, he will not know how to edit his work. All of his writing will appear satisfactory, as it was at the time of writing, and to re-read it would be a waste. Do you see the conundrum?

I don't expect a big audience to read my work. If I did, it may make more sense to publish in a mainstream outlet such as Medium, or the like. I don't expect a big audience (for quite some time), as I'm still a developing writer. I'm focused on research, learning all that I can, before I commit to any serious role or position in the intellectual landscape. My motivation, then, is a selfish one. Consider this website and its processes a type of public journal. Designed for myself firstly, and if a few souls gain value from my writing in that mission, splendid. The few readers that do consistently return to this site will likely be those in my community. And if they are not, I hope they reach out and become a part of my community. Of course, I'm aware anything I publish to the internet may be archived several times over, which, for historical purposes, may also prove beneficial. But it is not my primary motivation.

This is why I place emphasis on the "independent" aspect of my publishing. I write these things for myself and my own contemplation, and I aim to continue doing so. I'm aware of my flawed existence, and it's entirely possible my original motivation may become corrupted by fame, wealth, or laziness. But if I return to my writing as a reminder of previous thought, perhaps this can be avoided entirely.

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