The thing is, there are all kinds of motivators for each situation.
I've found that poverty and fear of poverty were always the motivator that kept me working, or kept me busy looking for work. And, of course, I always had my dreams. A dream can serve that purpose, as long as you don't allow anyone to crush it. There are people who--just as Frank Sinatra said in one of his famous tunes--get a kick out stompin' on a dream. I've always done a fair job of keeping other people from stomping on my particular dreams. Mainly, that meant keeping those people out of my life. I never hesitated to shed unwanted company, no matter who they were.
My biggest dreams were always kind of selfish, I have to admit. These dreams involved my writing and the goals that I had for that side of my artwork. From the first time I wrote a short story at the age of eight I wanted to be good enough to make money creating fiction. From time to time I've done that. Never enough to make it my livelihood, but always enough to keep the dreams fed. Sometimes it was enough for them to have a cookie, and sometimes it was room and board for several months. Enough to keep 'em alive and kickin'.
Today I signed the contracts for a two-book deal with a major New York publisher, Tor Books. This was seeing one of my dreams become reality. I had the help of an excellent agent (Robert Fleck), and the eye of a good editor (Jim Frenkel). They've helped give my dream life.
If that ain't a motivator, I don't know what is.