Wednesday, May 6
On Motivation and Being Positive
The gist of the quote is that no should be a great motivator and not something that leaves us lying on the floor like a puddle of goo.
I've been really...unsettled...lately. Partially because I'm knee-deep in a rough draft and partially because I have a new project out on submission and partially because I have another project I'm trying to breath new life into. I don't want to hear no on any of these projects because I have poured my heart into them. I love the characters, I love the themes and tropes and I do think these next books will be the best I've written.
And that is scary. Because what if The Best I've Written translates into The Best I Can Write, Everything After This Will Be Dreck?
Yesterday my sister-in-law, who is one of the most positive people I have ever known, shared an inspiring article on Facebook, about negative self-talk. The article was geared toward runners, but as I read it I had a little ah-ha moment. Because I'm guilty of the negative self-talk thing. Very, very guilty. I am incredibly hard on myself, to the point that some days I seriously feel like it's better to completely avoid writing or teaching or ... pretty much anything because I'm afraid my efforts won't be 'good enough'. Good enough for whom? I have no idea.
As I was reading that article I thought about all the ways I tell myself 'no' - I remind myself that if a project isn't liked by a certain publisher 'I can always self-publish', as if self-publishing is somehow less than traditional...I tell myself that I can't sign up for charity bike rides because I'll never be able to push that 20 mile mark. There are more, but this post is getting wordy and...there I go, telling myself no again.
So I'm adding a new word on to my Word of the Year list. That word is Yes ~ yes, I can sign up for that bike ride because who cares if I don't make the full 20 miles, I'll go as far as I can. Yes, I can self-publish a project, not because it's less worthy than something on the NYT list but because I believe in it enough to take a chance. And, yes, I can let no be a motivator...I can let 'no' push me to be more than I think I can be...because, really, those boundaries I've imagined don't have to be boundaries at all.