Writers: Do You Write for Internal or External Reasons? (Love or Money)

When people are driven by extrinsic motivations it means they do something because of factors outside themselves. Somebody has to pay the bills, right?

William Ballard, MBA
6 min readJun 14, 2022


Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

I found this article over at Michael Hyatt & Company that I thought was interesting, and so I figured I would give my perspective on the information that was shared with you guys here on Medium.

Did you know that psychologists have this belief that there are two reasons why people choose their behavior? In short, our behavior is either motivated intrinsically or extrinsically.

Now, you are all a smart group of people so I know you all understand that intrinsic means internal, while extrinsic means external. Therefore, when a person is driven by intrinsic motivations it means they choose to do an activity simply because they have an internal enjoyment for doing so. The act of doing the activity is, itself, the reward.

When you do activities because of intrinsic motivation, you feel a sense of accomplishment and achievement every time you are able to participate in the activity. For me, that would be why I write, read, draw, and participate in the art of photography.

Now, when people are driven by extrinsic motivations it means they do something because of factors outside themselves. For instance, they may want their parent’s approval, or perhaps they have financial motivations — got to pay the bills, right?

Or it could be that they do something because they feel it is what society expects of them. The reason for the activity comes, not from the love of the activity, but from the external motivation that comes from the activity.

Which Motivation is Better?

Believe it or not, some extrinsic rewards can be helpful for achieving a goal. For instance, while going to University to earn my Masters in Business Administration one of the motivations that kept me going was because I knew I would receive an increase in my income from my employer. Knowing that I would receive that financial increase is what kept me pushing through the hard times.



William Ballard, MBA

Business coach, marketing consultant, and creative entrepreneur. I help writers get their work noticed and get paid what they are worth: https://bit.ly/3M9ztvm