You Can Do It!

"A #2 pencil and a dream can take you anywhere." Joyce A Myers Objects-stationery-draw-10141-l

For some reason, I've been thinking a lot about motivation this weekend.

Because I think that sometimes we need it to get ourselves started.  And by "started," I don't mean just beginning a project.  I'm talking about starting a writing session.  Here's what sometimes happens to me:

1.  I commit to taking time to write.

2.  I check email.

3.  I ponder writing, but it seems scary.

4.  I converse on Twitter.

5.  I look at news and entertainment stories.

6.  I ponder writing, but it seems like it will take a lot of energy.

7.  I check email again.

8.  I find another tweet to which I must respond.

9.  And finally, finally, I get to my writing.

And then I love it.  Flat out love it and don't want to do anything else again, ever.  So why did it take so long for me to get to it?

I think its a lack of motivation.  I have failed to remember and capture that wonderful feeling of being in love with my writing.  Truly, hearing sentiments like, "you can do it!" remind me of what it is that I really want to be doing.  Hearty platitudes actually help me because they recall the feeling of accomplishment I want to achieve. They remind me that I am in love with writing.

And the best way to evoke the desire to do something is to think about how it will make you feel.

So, here's my encouragement to you:  You can do it!  Really, you can!  Just pick up that pencil or open that computer and have at it.  

Please comment.  Do motivational phrases and ideas encourage you or annoy you?

Photo by Danzo08.


18 Responses to You Can Do It!

  1. Heather Jenkins 05/29/2012 at 12:10 #

    First, I LOVE the Joyce Myers quote. Though I don’t use a pencil, I write most of my stuff by hand. As for the elusive “m” word… If I waited for motivation to hit me, I might never write. True story.

    Odd things motivate me, like a cheesy, predictable movie, a clean house, inclement weather, my hubby’s hot wings, a toe-to-head, infantile cry. Sometimes a phrase, be it pithy or profound, will motivate me. Other times, I hit the snooze button. The more I tell myself I HAVE to do something, the less I WANT to do it.

    So I write when I can because I can and pray that God lets the words flow. If I’m mentally constipated, I take a break and remind myself that the mere fact I am here, breathing, is good. One day at a time. One breath at a time. One word at a time.

    “You can do it!” Yes I can…now will I??

  2. Kate 05/29/2012 at 12:29 #

    Motivational phrases usually irritate me. But they also sometimes push me to do something instead of just thinking about it.

  3. Fear of Writing 05/29/2012 at 13:25 #

    Interesting. I’m procrastinating right this very minute about starting a writing session (and had to laugh at your list – mine’s nearly the same). I know why I’m procrastinating this time. It’s going to be some journaling. And it’s going to delve into a painful place.

    I usually don’t do that kind of journaling anymore – because it often leaves me feeling worse, instead of cleansed. But I know this is some writing I need to do because it’s about a creative piece of me that I lost a long time ago.

    So, what would motivate me to get started? LOL! A cappuccino made with freshly-ground coffee beans. That never fails. A good cup of coffee always calls for either good conversation, a good book, or some writing.

    OK, I’m off to the kitchen. Thanks for the confessional. I’m suddenly feeling more enthusiastic.

  4. Charlotte Dixon 05/29/2012 at 13:46 #

    Will you, indeed, now that is the real question, isn't it?  Thanks for asking it, Heather.  And I LOVE your list of odd motivators, because that's how it is for me, too, the strangest things lodge in my brain and inspire me.  I suspect it is that way for most of us.  Now, I truly do hope you are writing!

  5. Charlotte Dixon 05/29/2012 at 13:47 #

    I don't know why they don't irritate me, but most of the time they don't.  Maybe its the sentiment behind them that makes the difference?  If I feel the person saying them means them, then they don't irritate me.  I think. 

  6. Charlotte Dixon 05/29/2012 at 13:49 #

    I'm so glad my confessions made you feel better.  And yes, since I often see you on Twitter, I can imagine how our lists might be similar.  In all seriousness, I love this heartfelt comment and your ideas about why this writing session is going to be difficult.  I hope that you are digging into the depths with gusto–and a shot of caffeine or two.

  7. Runningonheavy 05/29/2012 at 14:21 #

    Charlotte, I feel like you copied a page out of my daily calendar! The only thing missing was “read a few pages of the book of the moment” and “walk/feed/play with the dogs”.

    I’m a procrastinator. As much as I love to write, I will open a page (computer or journal), flirt with it and find a dozen other things to mess with before I give it the attention it needs.

    Motivational quotes SOMETIMES help/inspire me. It depends on when I receive them. If I’m already in a creative slump and someone tries gives me a quote to try to motivate me, I turn into Jack Nicholson in The Shining (minus the profanity!).

    Thanks for this post! I enjoyed it very much :-)

  8. Charlotte Dixon 05/29/2012 at 14:40 #

    You'll be happy to know that a friend of mine told me something her therapist said: that creative types have procrastinating type minds, period.  And that there's creative work being done in all that procrastination.  That made me feel a lot better and I hope it does you, too.

  9. Fear of Writing 05/29/2012 at 14:53 #

    LOL! I thought I was the one who confessed.

    Well, it’s done. Seven pages in my journal and it wasn’t what I was expecting. I didn’t end up venting about old wounds (thank goodness). The names of my godparents (long dead) came into my mind and I wrote them a letter asking them for help. I’m named after my godmother so it felt extra special.

  10. Charlotte Dixon 05/29/2012 at 14:58 #

    I'm so glad you did it.  And seven pages!  That's a lot. Not only that, but it sounds like what you wrote was really special. Thanks for coming back and letting us know.

  11. Hollymarie7 05/29/2012 at 20:28 #

    I LOVE motivational phrases. I try to look up a few everyday because my brain tends to love to hang on to the scary, “oh it will be too hard” stuff. They help me just as much as affirmations.

  12. Charlotte Dixon 05/29/2012 at 21:06 #

    Holly Marie, I'm so glad you chimed in!  And I'm so pleased you like the motivational phrases also.

  13. Heather Jenkins 05/30/2012 at 08:49 #

    As a matter of fact, I wrote last night. 20 minutes of high velocity writing! :) Thank you!

  14. Charlotte Dixon 05/30/2012 at 09:19 #

    Yay! I'm so happy for you. 

  15. Zan Marie 05/30/2012 at 10:18 #

    I think that’s what morning pages are doing for me. I’m writing even if it’s not one of the WIPs and then starting the rest is much easier. Well, that and just now figuring out some of the bells and whistles of Scrivener. ; )

  16. Charlotte Dixon 05/30/2012 at 10:29 #

    I'm so glad you're still doing Morning Pages, Zan Marie.  And I'm glad you're finding them so helpful. I still haven't bitten on Scrivener, but who knows, maybe one of these days I will….

  17. Amanda 06/17/2012 at 08:24 #

    I agree. I wrote a whole post about it:

  18. Charlotte Dixon 06/17/2012 at 09:44 #

    Thanks for pointing out this post, Amanda, its a good one!

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