Motivation is as Motivation Does

Cover of "Gone with the Wind"

Cover of Gone with the Wind

Margaret Mitchell wrote an expansive and very popular novel based on research and personal experience growing up in the South. Gone with the Wind was her first and only book which won The National Book Award for Most Distinguished Novel of 1936 and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1937.  Although Margaret worked as a writer for the Atlanta Journal, she did not aspire to write a novel.  She actually quit her job at the Journal and was recovering from an ankle injury when inspiration (of sorts) hit her.  She was a voracious reader and her husband would bring home books from the library which she would consume at a high rate.  Her husband suggested that she start writing and bought her a Remington portable Number three Typewriter.  For the next three years she worked on the novel.  When finished, she had no intention of getting a publisher until a friend mocked her ability to write a novel. (As we all know a novel is not a novel unless it is published).  So much for Margret proving she could write a novel and she probably would have written more but was tragically killed by a drunk driver as she and her husband were crossing Peachtree Street in Atlanta. 

I think Margaret Mitchell teaches us two motivational lessons; 1.  Motivation can come from unusual
circumstances and sources.  Margaret was motivated to write to assist her recovery from an injury (And her husband was tired of lugging books).  2.  Personal satisfaction is sometimes not enough to sustain a writer.  Being called out
and questioned on writing ability caused Margaret to work diligently to be not only published, but also recognized as a great writer.  I guess each of us would like to win the Pulitzer Prize but failing that; we each need to find the motivation niche that keeps us sustained word after word, hour after hour, day after day.




  1. Oh, I love this one. It really forces one to identify what brings you to that creative space time and time again. I also love the concept to the blog. I try to arbitrarily pick a link/article to read so it’s like opening a present. Cheers.

    1. Thanks again. I had hoped that the set up would be used just as you describe. Cheers to you as well.

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