Who motivated me to write?




I have a lifelong passion for reading and writing. My Mom and my Aunt Vera supported my love of reading by taking me to the library of a weekly basis growing up. I've written a daily journal since elementary school. I was motivated by the pilot episode for "The Waton's". The main character, John Boy taught me it was o.k. to have strong feelings and to want to write them down. Very few of my school teachers ever really consciously motivated me to write. I had great teachers, but few really got thru my then undiagnosed ADHA hyperactive mind. I was always the kid looking out the window dreaming or talking to my classmates.

Mr. Cservek was my ninth grade English teacher at Severna Park Junior High School. Mr. Cservek motivated me to write. Mr. Cservek was a great teacher and I actually liked his class. This meant a lot as most teachers could not motivate me or get me to concentrate. We had to write a composition on the American settlers in Mike's class. Something motivated me to put in more than my requisite effort. I wrote the first draft of my composition. Then, I got out the thesaurus and tried to improve on my writing verbiage. I edited my paper with added vocabulary way beyond my usual average effort. Once I edited the paper, I decided to edit it a second time reading it out loud for clarity.

When Mr. Cservek got my paper, he knew it was not my usual effort. Mr. Cservek told me he suspected plagiarism. The sentence that specifically made him suspicious stated, "The early pioneers did not fully comprehend the full utilization of America's dwindling resources." The sentence was originally, "The pioneers did not know how to use their resources." The thesaurus facilitated the expansion of my vocabulary beyond my means. Using the thesaurus also aided me in editing my writing and it forced me to edit my work by requiring I reread it several times as I assessed the work for better comprehension, readability, and continuity.

Mr. Cservek requested a meeting with my parents and me to discuss possible plagiarism. My Mom and Dad setup a meeting. My Mother backed up my story about using the thesaurus. The meeting made me realize; I was a writer.

I've written every day since that meeting thirty-seven years ago. I've written term papers, police reports, and murder mysteries. I've written text books, lesson plans, and short stories.  I've written about heroism, pain, and loss.

I wrote for the high school newspaper and took journalism and report writing classes. I'm a technical writer and editor for a living for the government. I write books and short stories for pleasure and therapy. My writing has appeared in federal court, legal journals, and National Public Radio. Nothing has brought me as much pleasure as my writing.

Ironically, it was my classmate from Mr. Cservek’s class who motivated me the most to be a writer, from the grave. My best friend Jerry Kensinger died of a heart attack in 2011. I had a hard time dealing with Jerry’s death. I decided to write a compilation of my journals from 1974 to the present based on all of the Jerry stories for his daughter Harmony. I sat and read my journals looking for every Jerry story I could find for his daughter. I wanted her to know the man I was best friends with for forty years.

Once I finished the book, my son challenged me to try National Novel Writing Month. The challenge is you have to write a 50,000 word novel in one month. I wrote a murder mystery based on my years as a horse mounted cop on the Presidio. That led to a text book on how to get a federal law enforcement job and a second murder mystery based on my time as a game warden. So, many people motivated me to write and they continue to motivate and support me writing. .

 

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