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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Writer's Challenge (NOT the FaithWriters Challenge) (06/10/10)

TITLE: Motivation
By dub W


A writer actually has only one challenge. Motivation is the only roadblock to the written word. Oh, sure, training, skill, time, and facility play a big part in the makeup of a writer. But, motivation stands alone as the wall between producer and product.

For many years the schools of every nation used a prescriptive method of motivation. “Johnny, write this sentence with a subject, a verb, a modifier, and a complement. Take out a sheet of (lined) paper and begin.” Failure to do so would have been punitive. In later life, on the job, writing was not so different. “Marge, take a memo.”

However, the person who would sit and write trivial nonsense, inane prose, soupy poetry, and torrid theatre; is entirely a different matter. The writer has to “want to.”

Few writers benefit from a drill sergeant in their home. Most writers pull up a blank screen and simply begin. Some may have a character sketch to copy, some may have an outline, or some may have a contrived device to quick start their efforts. Many will simply have a thought while sitting in church, standing in the shower, or driving down the road, and have to get it on paper (screen) as quickly as possible. A huge hurdle in the writing process will be crossed as a result. The challenge is put off, perhaps for good. If the motivation to write continues the writer can celebrate. However, if the germinal idea hangs on the screen then the motivation to finish it becomes moot.

Doctoral dissertations sit in musty closets, unfinished. Novels stop at 20 thousand words. Poems linger and fail. And scripts become tired. Motivation killed them all.

Writers go to conferences, workshops, schools, and seminars – not so much for additional training as to get motivated with new ideas. Unfortunately, the annual writer tune up does little more than propel the process forward. After the dust settles, the writer still has to pull up the screen and type the words, one word at a time.

Well, I’m not motivated to write more … so, this is it.

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This article has been read 477 times
Member Comments
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Sara Harricharan 06/19/10
Ah, this made me chuckle, because I can relate to it so well. Sometimes I write so much and then other times, I am loathe to even think of words in the formation of anything remotely resembling writing.

You picked a good POV for this and I especially like the narrative voice and the ending, it's honest and real. There's so much packed in here--and a lot of it is easy to relate to as a writer.

Motivation is indeed the one thing that can make or break a creative career, you captured that quite nicely in this piece!
Brenda Shipman 06/20/10
Well-written, and chock-full of the realities that accompany the writing life. I liked your simple intro, and the abrupt conclusion at the end made me laugh with appreciation at your honesty. :) Great job.
Susan Montaperto06/20/10
Um...very...um...what's the word? Oh I got it, motivational. Loved the ending. Keep writing, really.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 06/21/10
This is so true. You make a great argument, I do believe you helped me become motivated- for now.
Colin Swann06/21/10
Well it was enough to keep my interest! Enjoyable read and some good advice. Thanks - Colin
Verna Cole Mitchell 06/21/10
So well done, you could use this as a demonstration for your students on how to take an idea and present it logically, in an interesting manner.
Joanne Sher 06/21/10
Nicely done - well-presented, and the end is just right.
Connie Dixon06/21/10
A well written piece that has caused me to want to...put down my pen and read some more. Seems I'm lacking something...not sure what. :o)
Patricia Turner06/23/10
So right! Just long enough, said all it needed to say, and ended perfectly. I love it!
Carol Slider 06/23/10
Or, as T.S. Eliot said,

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow

Good job!