Self-Motivation: a.k.a the Art of Sucking it up

Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.
~~Wayne Dyer

Yeah, I know, we’ve all been told to suck it up a time or two, either by ourselves or someone else. That’s where I am at the present moment– deep in the midst of sucking it up. Want to join me?

I sometimes lack the motivation to write every day I wish it weren’t so, but it’s the truth.This doesn’t mean I don’t think about writing those times when I’m not actually doing it, because I can honestly say that scarcely a day goes by when I don’t at least think about my current WIP a few times and try to settle things in my mind.

Someone once told me I think too much. Well, I’m a writer. Writers need to spend as much time thinking as they do writing. Or at least this writer does. The worlds we create are not just on the page, but they take up residence in our minds as well.Sometimes there’s not a lot of room to spare.

I get the impression that other people think I never have my dark times, that everything’s always great in my world, that everything’s simply sunshine and roses. While I’ll admit that, I like to keep a positive attitude and I like to encourage others to do the same, everything isn’t always the way I’d like it to be any more than it is for anyone else. Like everyone else, I have my share of disappointments. It’s part of being human. The only thing is, I don’t often share those disappointments with others. I hang onto them in silence. It’s not a pretty thing when I whine. Believe me.

Today was one of those days when a little bit of everything was getting me down, when I was questioning my abilities, when, for a brief time, I wondered what would happen if I never wrote another word. Would anyone care or even notice? We live in a rather fickle society. We might not like to admit it but it’s the truth. It’s easy for someone to simply disappear unnoticed, unless you’re rich and famous. And, let’s face it, most of us aren’t.

Oh, for a time I certainly did have my doubts today.I even questioned the importance of writing to me, knowing that along the way there have been sacrifices and missed opportunities in other areas of my life because I am a writer, and because sometimes writing has to come first. I realize not everyone understands this and, sadly, I’ve seen where it has changed some of the friendships I have. Out of sight, out of mind. I don’t blame anyone. Sometimes I’m probably not much fun to be around. People begin to forget that you’re more than just what you’ve written or what you are writing. Because of this other side of my life, I can’t be everything to everyone the way I once could.I can’t drop what I’m doing and go play. There’s just not enough of me to go around. Let’s not forget that most writers have to work at something other than writing in order to make a living. I’m no exception.

So what to do? I’m not exactly sure. I can only be sure that whatever I do there will be someone out there who doesn’t approve. For now I can only follow my heart and go where it leads me. And even if everything I write from now on turns out to be nothing but drivel I’ll at least know that I spent my time doing what was important to me. If we go through life, living up to someone else’s expectations of who they want us to be, then that voice inside that is woven into our soul’s fabric will eventually wither and die, leaving behind nothing but some tattered remnants.

Today, my choice was “miserable”, but tomorrow it will darn well be “motivate.” It’s what has to be done and it IS my choice. Sometimes you’ve just got to suck it up and keep going. Because even if there’s not one person out there who cares if I ever write another word I can say, in all honesty that, I do. Let’s hope it stays that way. :)

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  1. Great post, Laura! I was having a great motivated write-every-day week – husband away on a fishing trip, six hours of daylight time between caregiving times for my dad-in-law. I was really going to speed through my second draft!

    But sometimes life happens. My dad wound up in the hospital and my mother has dementia. Suddenly I’m the primary caregiver for them, too. 4 days and 3 sleepless nights later, I’m exhausted, but joyous that my dad is okay, and at the same time mourning how very needy my mother is.

    We’re on our way to solutions, and God is reminding me that no amount a disappointment can take away the knowledge that I was there when my parents needed me. More importantly, God was there and is there in a very big and real way. And soon I’ll have time to write again (and probably appreciate it even more.).

    • Thanks Sue. Life does often times happen and we are called to take on other rolls whether we’re truly prepared to or not.

      I’m so glad you have been able to see your way to finding solutions and that you are finding these solutions through faith. When we learn to turn toward God for these solutions, knowing that our best interests always factor in to it some place, our lives are much enriched.

  2. My dad was a policeman and he taught me this very valuable thought when it comes to making choices.
    Here is what he said “You gather all the information you feel you need and then make a decision with the realization that half of the people involved will not approve”.

    • Your dad was wise. There is no possible way to gain everyone’s approval. The important thing to remember is that, above all, we are the one who needs to be truly happy with our decisions.

  3. syr ruus

     /  June 10, 2011

    The lowest ebb brings the highest tide.

  4. It is comforting to know that I am not the only one who has days like this. Thanks for being brave enough to admit it Laura.

    • I didn’t feel so brave writing this, Darlene. That came into place as I hovered over the “publish” button, reminding myself that we are all human and often face the same trials.

  5. That’s what it comes down to, Laura. You write because you want to write, you need to write. We all have our dark days, but the writer in us always rallies and motivates us to keep going. I wish you great progress tomorrow. :-)

    • So true, Linda, we do always rally. If we didn’t many books would never see the light of day.

      Feeling much better this morning, thanks. Up and writing, making notes, feeling renewed enthusiasm for my WIP.

  6. I’ve learned that it’s during those dark moments that I grow the most. Course, that doesn’t occur to me UNTIL after the moment or day passes.

    Great post, Laura. Thank you for sharing. You’ve reminded me that I’m not alone.

  7. I don’t write every day. I didn’t today. Sometimes it just isn’t going to happen. I tell myself there’s always tomorrow.

    • Great attitude, Tricia. I don’t, as a rule, beat myself up about things but every so often a whole bunch of little things seem to add up and down I go. But I can suck it up with the best of them.. :) That’s the only thing that helps.

  8. I need to suck it up, too. La dee da. I’ll do it pretty soon. :) We all have those days when we feel blue. Blessings to you, Laura.

  9. We only suck it up, Carol Ann, when we are ready. Here’s hoping you will soon be ready. :)

  10. I can only say, “Been there, done that” and it sucked. I am a regular visit to the ‘pit’, but I like to believe that I will crawl out eventually and that daylight and joywriting will exist once again. There are times, though that I don’t really believe it at all. But I have been blessed with a friend, who is also a writer, who knows when to say, “Heal, recover, sleep, whatever you need to do first, then the writing will come.” She’s been unerringly right, so far. I found a book that actually spoke her language and I’ll pass on the link here. It’s called “More Writer’s First Aid” and it’s by Kristi Holl. I reviewed it here: Thanks for the great post, Laura, and for pushing the ‘publish’ button. Glad you are writing today.

    • Yup, sure sucks when we’re there. Thanks for sending the link, Heather. I checked out your review and the book does look great. Wish it was available in print. Writers are a sensitive bunch. It’s difficult not to take things personally. Like anything that we create, it is very near and dear to our hearts.

  11. What a great read, I write as well and find myself asking in a writers tantrum at times “what have i gotten my hind quarters into” but i love it and this is usually what keeps me typing or putting pencil to paper continuously. Im currently writing a book and surprising find myself at times feeling empty headed, its rather funny. I think writing is an authors baby and just as traditional mothers need a respite so do we.

    Too keeping moving, and being patient ith ourselves and the various emotional seasons we find ouraelves in!

    • Thanks for dropping in and leaving a comment, Trina. Love the inspirational message in your blog post.

      Glad you enjoyed my post. If we did not love writing we certainly would stay with it, would we? It is easy to love doing something when it always goes along smoothly. It is those times when we are gripped with disappointment that tells a writer they are in it for the long hall.

  12. :) Well said! This is super inspirational! Being a writer can be hard sometimes… people just don’t get us!

    • Hi Alley. Thanks for visiting and for your comment. Glad you were able to find some inspiration in my words. I find this quote particularly inspiring when I’m down and need help getting back up. “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” This is how I feel about writing. I can’t imagine ever falling down and staying there.

  13. The good thing is, the day after a sucky one is usually pretty good – hope that was the case! According to Kurt Vonnegut, you should write for only one person – sometimes it might happen to be yourself, or at least your 12-year-old self:)

    • I love the Kurt Vonnegut quote. I always write for my 12 year old self and need to be reminded of that! Thanks Jani.

      • “The good thing is, the day after a sucky one is usually pretty good” –Oh Jan that’s so true. Thank goodness those sucky days don’t hang around forever. Yesterday, was indeed quite wonderful. Even Miss Charlotte showed up later in the day for a (hopefully) week long visit. I’m smiling from ear to ear..:)

  14. “…. when I was questioning my abilities, when, for a brief time, I wondered what would happen if I never wrote another word.”

    I think that probably happens with some regularity for most of us (screwballs) from time to time. My approach to this dilemma is simple – I go outside, light a $20 cigar, sip some 30 year old scotch (only one ice cube, please) & just admit out loud that I suck. Makes me feel better every time. Not sure how I’ll deal with it after Monday – the Doc gave me pills to quit smoking & Monday is the “BIG DAY”. Why is it that doctors are such know-it-alls? Breathing is so overrated.

    On a serious note, well, slightly more serious, i’ve read B,S (oh, how I love writing that) & you got nothin’ to question. Now go light a cigar before someone lies to ya & tells ya it’s not healthy.

    • I have noticed how you love to write “B,S” hehe.

      Thanks for your words of encouragement, Dave. Wish I had a cigar to light ,on second thought the scotch might be better. ;)

  15. Thanks for hitting ‘publish’ and sharing. Sometimes we need to work on the weeds so we can get back to our regular garden of flowery words.

    • And some days those weeds seem to be more of a problem than others, Patti. Knowing that it is always choices in life, and that we are responsible for our own feelings, certainly helps.

  1. Self-Motivation: a.k.a the Art of Sucking it up (via Laura Best, author) | Of a Writerly Sort

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