Talent is nice, language skills are nice, good ideas are important, but, for a writer, I think it’s motivation that’s indispensable.

I’d enjoyed writing since beginning school,  had edited a college newspaper, and so on, but I didn’t get going, motivation-wise until coming to Spring Hollow in the Arkansas Ozarks kicked me into writing. Simply put, I wanted to share what I was experiencing with E V E R Y O N E!

That’s what did it for me.  Each writer has a somewhat similar story, I imagine–something that said “I have something to share, and it’s time to write.”

Of course motivation is not a one-time thing. It has to have enough steam to keep you going through the problems, discouragement, and rejection all writers face.

Okay, so I’m motivated. What next?

When I began writing about Spring Hollow for magazines and newspapers, and, eventually, in the non-fiction book “DEAR EARTH: A Love Letter from Spring Hollow,” I already realized that this beautiful area (sometimes I think it’s so beautiful I can’t take it all in) was doomed. We’re located in a county that, largely because it holds Walmart’s headquarters, is rapidly becoming urban/suburban.   Progress has too often been defined by this kind of  growth, though perhaps that’s beginning to change just a bit. As we loose wild places, we begin to value them more.

So, my motivation became a test for me. Could I construct Spring Hollow in words. Could I share and preserve it that way?

After taking up this challenge,  I learned something. In many cases, writing what our senses and perceptions tell us about a place (and I do this in my fiction writing, too) can be better than virtual reality, because we convey more than sight and sound. We strive to open doors for the reader, to bring individual experiences and perceptions to their attention.

I asked myself, “Can I be so accurate and honest that what a reader brings to what I have written enhances the experience for them? What can I bring alive for them?

Well, the reader has to answer that, of coarse, and what happens for him or her will depend, at least partly, on the life experiences they bring to the reading. But, if I am any example (albeit a prejudiced one) I did bring Spring Hollow alive in paper. How do I know this? Because what was once rural here is now suburban. Pastures and forests we used to drive through when coming home  now hold houses, some with golf course style lawns. I have to read my own book to bring it all alive again. If my motivation was to accomplish that, well–for at least one person– it succeeded.

If you are a writer, what motivates you?


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6 Responses to “MOTIVATION”

  1. Jenny Milchman Says:

    I love how setting–preserving it, conveying it–motivates you, Radine.

    I’m not sure about me. I think I write to scare and excite myself. To give myself that can’t-wait-for-the-twist feeling. Finding it in a book I read is one of life’s great pleasures for me. I think I’m forever trying to recreate it.

  2. Terry Says:

    I may be writing to save my thoughts and memories for those days when I can’t recall them on my own. My mother had Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, my dad had Parkinson’s, and I presently have multiple sclerosis, but think it is a prelude to Parkinson’s. I want my grandchildren and their children to have real evidence of what a woman’s life was like at the end of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first. I’m a history and English teacher, and it is important to me that they know this side of me, this egotistic writer side we all have within. My six books so far are all non-fiction, and it is only now that I feel I can expand into fiction … and what have I chosen to work on now? Murder mystery. Who will I have murdered? My characters haven’t told me yet. Only time will tell. Or not.

    • radine Says:

      Moving story, Terry, and the second one of this type I’ve received. (The other was an e-mail.) We write to save the important things! Best of luck on your journey into fiction.

  3. Marilyn Meredith Says:

    I’m motivated by the desire to find out what’s going to happen to the characters in my series–and the only way I’ll find out is by writing their story.

  4. Jacqueline Seewald Says:

    Hi, Radine,

    I believe we each have something unique and special worth expressing. As for me, I write because I need to express myself in written language.

  5. radine Says:

    I love the comments I am getting. Not all are commenting here, some in e-mails. One particularly touching one was from a writer who, fearing advancing illness, is writing her stories for her family, and to share with others as well. (She writes non-fiction for the most part.)

    Marilyn, Carolyn Hart said she discovers her story as she writes. I think you and I do this too.

    We are so unique, and I am glad to be reminded that all authors feel a need to express themselves in writing. We all appreciate the power that can be expressed in well-written words. Magnificent sharing. Right?

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