Motivation for writing should be the writing itself. But that is not always the case – the true motivator for this Wordsmith, is to be read.
I’m not a diarist, keeping my inner thoughts inside the covers of a notebook not to be seen by the outside world. No, to be read by complete strangers is the motivation which prompts one to spend hours upon hours in the make believe world of fiction (or nonfiction for that matter).
Then again, why write? Why not paint? Construct beautiful pieces of sculpture? All are worthy for the creative mind but why do so many of us put pen to paper or fingers to keypads?
Seems simple enough – to tell a story. Be that a short story or a novel – a story needs to be told and the one with the imagination to express the prose must be the one to share it. And most importantly a story needs to be read.
Thus a writer is born.
Then again, opportunity is a great happenstance to motivate the mind.
When I was younger, an opportunity presented itself to me and I met it head on. Writing for a local monthly magazine gave me the chance to meet some incredibly interesting people, and one of those was Ray Bradbury. Yes, the magical story teller of such international fame as Fahrenheit 451, All Summer in a Day, and The Martian Chronicles just to name a few. He was a guest speaker at a local library and I wandered in to hear from the master himself. Forty minutes later I knew I wanted to be a fiction writer. The pieces I had written up to that point were non-fiction for both the magazine I wrote for and the occasional newspaper articles.
The way Ray brought to life his love of storytelling was so impressive that I jotted as fast as I could into a small 5 x 7 spiral notebook. Everything was golden to the ears of this very young and impressionable journalist. At the end of his lecture – yes, the professor was speaking to his student, I realized two things.
First, I would interview Ray Bradbury for the magazine, and secondly I would someday be both a novelist and short story author.
Approached and approved for a phone interview the following week I was giddy with anticipation and scared at ‘screwing’ up my first real opportunity at interviewing a ‘celebrity.’
I was nervous but it was all for naught. Ray Bradbury immediately put me at ease and soon the interview turned into a true conversation between two writers. A world famous legend and a struggling one who now had dreams of fame and fortune.
Article written and published – so my job was done.
Two weeks later the phone rang and it was Ray. “Good job on the article. You made me sound as though I know a thing or two about writing.”
Wow, Ray Bradbury calling me to congratulate me on an article. He had actually read it!
From then on we’d speak once or twice per year via phone or snail mail. To this day, especially after his passing in 2012 I believe he was part of my personal motivation to keep writing.
Did it work? Three novels and numerous stories –both non-fiction and fiction in the last decade – it seems to this writer that Bradbury had a major influence to keep that once young student’s fingers pecking away at the keyboard as part of an almost daily routine.
Of course, I had been writing prior to this meeting with Bradbury, but there was something there which was inspirational.
With that and the support of a loving family, if one is so lucky to have that, would be another wonderful factor in becoming successful in this world of storytelling. The hours locked away in the study with the understanding from loved ones that the door would open when certain events occurred.
That would be when dialogue flowed smoothly, the action took place, tears fell on characters faces, or the other one hundred things which have to happen to make a story a story.
Stories must be told and that should be enough to make a person have the desire to write but often it is not enough.
Opportunity will often give birth to motivation – it did for this writer.
Former street cop, training officer and member of SWAT John Beyer has been writing most of his life. He’s traveled to at least 23 countries (and was actually shot in the head in Spain in 2000 during a march between Neo Nazis and Communists two days after running with the bulls in Pamplona). He was caught in a hurricane off the coast of east Baja (Bahia de los Angeles) while kayaking and lived to tell about it. Essentially, it’s hard to tell where experience leaves off and fiction takes over. You’ll want to read his books.
Website URL: http://johnrobertbeyer.weebly.com/
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