In every great story there is a moment when something happens to the protagonist which must be addressed, known to writers as the Inciting Incident. Ignore your “I Incident” at your peril. Find it and flourish.
A dead goose.
In the novel Spit, the central character Ray is forever changed by the shooting of a wild Canadian goose near his head when he is a child. He is watching it fly, wondering at its beauty, at the moment it is plucked from the sky — so close to him that its blood and feathers splatter onto his face and shoulders. Understanding the meaning of this moment drives him throughout the story.
Like Ray, you have an Inciting Incident. It is a moment in your life when everything essential changed. The question is: do you know what that moment was, and if so: do you know what to do with your incident to fully understand what motivates you?
Why is it important?
The reason you need to understand your I Incident is because it is there that a big part of your “I” — who you are — was formed. That moment continues to motivate you, beneath your consciousness. That moment demands a reckoning; more likely, a series of reckonings, until you address this formative moment in your life. If you know your moment, you will understand your quest, and what motivates you. Ignore your I Incident or fail to find it, and you will be a mystery to yourself and to others your whole life.
Your life is a story.
Remember that your life is a story. It has chapters and events. The question is: is your story adding up, making sense?
A story well-told.
What you want is a story well-told. A story which leads somewhere and makes sense. Otherwise, that Scribbler up in your head will just keep driving you crazy with wild, random thoughts. Learn to tell your story well. The key ingredients for a story well-told are an Inciting Incident and movement toward resolution of that incident.
If you want to understand what motivates you, find your I Incident and move with focus to resolve what began there.
Want more help?
I can help you discover what motivates you — so you can move powerfully toward fulfilling your goals.