The Crocodile Hunter and the Writer

crocodileBy Jennifer Hallmark

I have no fear of losing my life – if I have to save a koala or a crocodile or a kangaroo or a snake, mate, I will save it.”-Steve Irwin

When I think of Australia, one of the first things that come to mind is crocodiles. Large, salt-water, scary, teeth-filled reptiles that can grow to 17 feet long. Yes, the stuff nightmares are made of.

Also The Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin. I really enjoyed his shows where he and his family would rescue, doctor, and feed the terrifying crocodile. Steve and his wife, Terri, were major proponents of conservation. Instead of a honeymoon, the couple took the chance to embark on a crocodile rescue mission and film the project for a wildlife documentary. According to Wikipedia, film footage of their honeymoon, taken by John Stainton, became the first episode of The Crocodile Hunter. (Shown below)

Irwin was a passionate conservationist and believed in promoting environmentalism by sharing his excitement about the natural world rather than preaching to people. He was concerned with conservation of endangered animals and land clearing leading to loss of habitat. He considered conservation to be the most important part of his work: “I consider myself a wildlife warrior. My mission is to save the world’s endangered species.”

While I didn’t always agree with all his philosophies about conservation and life in general, there was something about a man totally sold out to what he believed. On September 4, 2006, Irwin was on location at Batt Reef, near Port Douglas, Queensland, taking part in the production of the documentary series, Ocean’s Deadliest. He was snorkeling in shallow water when he was stung by a stingray in the heart and died.

He had given his all to see the message of conservation reach others. As a writer, what is my message? You might say, “But I write fiction”. All writing has a point to make, even if it is to purely entertain. Every book, whether non-fiction or fiction, has a theme. Have you thought about what you are trying to convey through your writing?

One theme I try to incorporate in all my writing is hope. I also love to include symbolism in subtle ways throughout my writing. Many times, in writing the first draft, I do this sub-consciously, only to notice it later in a read through. It is part of who I am and shows up in my writing.

writing450Crocodile hunting and writing. Maybe there not as different as you first thought. Both need passion to keep moving forward, courage to tackle the tough assignments, and a willingness to see it through to the end. I leave you with these questions.

  • What is your message?
  • What is your specific work’s theme?
  • What are you trying to convey through writing?

This is the final month before our big blog-a-versary celebration in June! You can enter our contest to win a $100 gift card simply by finishing one or all of our writing prompts offered on our regular Monday and Friday posts. If you haven’t already, you may want to follow this blog to receive an email each time we have a new blog post. The “follow” link can be found to the right of this post. Or, you can also “like” our Facebook page to stay up with the news.

Writing Prompt: Write a short paragraph from the prompt below. Don’t think of a theme or message. Just write it fast and from the heart. Then analyze the finished product and see what the subtle (or not so subtle) message is.

Uluru, a massive sandstone monolith, towered over our camp, magnificent even in the fading light of day. The place was sacred, or so said Daku, our young Aborigine guide. I turned, suddenly aware of a force emanating from somewhere above…uluru-1076320_1280