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What’s Your Motive for Writing?

Why is it important to know what’s your motive for writing?

There are at least 3 reasons:

1 – Direction of Writing Career.

Your motive for writing provides you with the direction, like a weathervane, of your writing career.

2 – Inspiration for your books.

This is where your motive can and often does influence or inspire your writing. Initially it would be the genre, such as historical fiction, but eventually it can inspire who and what you are writing about to a much greater degree.

3 – Duration of your career.

Here, motive plays a major role in helping you survive or be sustained when your writing career runs into buffeting winds of adversity or road bumps that threaten to derail you.

We will explore these and more on the other side of the break.

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Now back to the article.

Let’s break these motives down further.

Direction of Your Writing Career

This overlaps to some degree the Inspiration for your books. However, whatever your motive is, it will play a major role in choices you make early on. For example, your motive could be a desire to make a lot of money.

If I was rating motives, money would come in as the least effective, and virtually the weakest. It is not bad to want to make money; all of us do. But I contend that if making money is your only motive, you will have a hard time.

Why, you might ask.

Because money is not durable. You might fall out of favor with your leaders, or you might lose readership. Whatever the cause, you do suddenly twice as much work for less than you were paid to do.

On the other hand, desiring to make money can lead to writing for magazines, copy writing, and other financially beneficial jobs. These are all good results. In fact, you can earn a lot of money writing stories for magazines.

So, if your motive is to make a lot of money, go for it. But remember that if and when you hit a wall or the money ceases for a time, the motive of making money is on shaky ground. You will need another motive to sustain you.

Inspiration for Your Writing

Inspiration is the lifeblood of writing. Whether you are writing fiction or nonfiction you need inspiration. I write in multiple genres, and I have multiple motives. One is making money, but another is to write stories that entertain and point people to Christ.

For example, I have one series, The World That Was that includes novels about creation, our forefathers such as Adam, Enoch, Abraham, and others. This series is based on factual people, places, and events, but like any historical novel, it fills the gaps with enough fictional narrative to bring the facts alive. In this way, readers are transported back (or forward) to the events the book is based upon.

Inspiration can also lead you to write stories about children, thus children’s fiction. My books, for example, tend to explore adult themes. My goal is to write stories that demonstrate the depravity of man and the grace of God. This sometimes requires me being on a balancing beam between being too explicit and being too bland. That is one reason I like people to review my books because it gives me an inkling of how I am doing and if I need to edit or not.

In short, inspiration covers almost every aspect of writing. It is also helpful in helping me when roadblocks, etc. get in my way. Before I got saved when I asked Jesus into my heart, I would attempt to write a book. Sometimes I would get about five chapters in and suddenly hit a roadblock. And I couldn’t get around it.

But after I got saved this changed; albeit 30 years later. I got inspiration direct from God while reading about Noah and the Ark in Genesis chapter 6. I saw that while God told us enough to display the depravity of man and the grace of God, it was still mostly skeleton. I realized that as a writer I could clothe the skeleton in fiction and bring the characters and events alive!

In addition, the Holy Spirit gave me Psalm 71:18: ‘Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shown thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.”

He not only gave me a major boost in my writing, but He also gave me a motive: to show His strength unto this generation!

That is my number one motive for writing and it sustains me no matter what.

Duration of your career

At the beginning of this blog I said, motive plays a major role in helping you survive or be sustained when your writing career runs into buffeting winds of adversity or road bumps that threaten to derail you.

In previous blogs I have discussed a variety of motives, such as:

  • Money
  • Fame
  • Call of God

These are all excellent motives, but as a Christian the best is Call of God. At our physical birth we receive talents. It could be one or multiple talents. I believe I received the talent called imagination, which is crucial to fictional and, for that matter, nonfictional writing.

I don’t regard my writing skill as a talent. Rather, it is a result of hard work and study! But when I got saved, He gave me another gift which is the ability to tell a story that glorifies God.

Even so, it took another 30 years for the talent (my imagination) and the storytelling ability to unite. And that happened because God showed it to me as I described earlier. But all of that would not have taken place without my first getting saved and then allowing God to chip away the dead skin of sin in my life. He keeps purifying me and providing me insights into how we humans think and, more importantly, how He thinks.

I am not saying that you must have the same experiences I had. But if you are a Christian and you want to serve God through your writing, then we have something in common. More importantly, in Christ you have the most important motivation there can be. Nothing is more powerful than knowing that you are doing what He wants you to do.

Motives can change over time and thus it is always wise to reexamine your motives and how you are applying them. But God’s plan for your life while it may seem to change from your perspective, it remains unchanged. Your understanding of it can change, but God is fully aware of everything that you will experience and has already incorporated it into His plan for you. That is exciting!

In conclusion, being motivated is absolutely important. You can have multiple motivations, but I believe that one will dominate. Whichever one that is, it will influence how you write and whether to overcome obstacles or not. I encourage you to reexamine your motives. It might result in adding or subtracting, or reordering, but it will certainly result in you having a more balanced approach to your writing and the wherewithal to overcome the obstacles that will come.

If you would like to comment on this article, please do.

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Why Does the Church Want My Money?

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Wednesday’s I try to focus on the Church. This week I am taking a look at Why Does the Church want my money?
Our Money Isn’t Ours
People who take the attitude that the church just wants their money are missing a fundamental truth: It isn’t their money. It’s God’s money!
So when a pastor stands before the congregation and tells about a financial need for the church or an individual, he is actually appealing to you as stewards of God’s Money. God, being generous allows us to earn ‘xxx’ amount of dollars perhaps as a wage, royalty, or some other manner. We didn’t really earn it. God gave us the ability and opportunity to earn that money; it is part of His care for us.
On top of that He only commands us to give back 10% or, to state it another way, He allows us to keep 90%!
The Church is a Storehouse to be Used for God’s Purposes
“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
The primary purpose of the Church is to promulgate the gospel. This may touch on several different fronts:

  • A church building to worship within
  • An evangelistic outreach program
  • Church planting
  • Missions
  • Care of the Needy

Every one of these requires money. To object to a church seeking funds from its members to take care of its needs and commitments is outright foolish. Usually the ones who complain aren’t even Christians, which is both tragic and funny. Most pastors are careful to address the church’s needs to the congregation, but even so a visitor will quite readily get upset and say, “I knew it. All they want is our money!”
The problem with that is that the church doesn’t really want your money. They want you to be reached with the gospel and get saved. Then as a steward of God’s money respond as He leads you.
Does God Really Care?
Yes. God wants us to grow, to become mature Christians in all areas of our lives. He wants us to have a discerning spirit whereby we see and are burdened for a need, pray seeking His guidance, and respond to His tender leading.
It is through His people that God answers prayer. Sure, He may use non-Christians in the furtherance of His work, but primarily he uses Christians.
God Delights in Giving Us the Ability to Give Back
Isn’t that amazing! God owns all the resources of the world no matter what humans believe. He owns it and can do anything He wants with it. But the truth is He takes pleasure in using those resources to bless us! He then delights in using us in such a way that we help others! And when you explore it out you discover that the money you gave is multiplied many times over so that the church as well as others have their needs met.
We’ve all heard testimonies of people having a dire need and God providing the solution. It touches our hearts and makes us want to give more.
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.