Motivation is when your dreams put on work clothes~ Benjamin Franklin(1706-1790); Publisher, Inventor, Scientist, Politician, and Writer.
Dreams. We all have them. Maybe no one better aspired to fill all of his, like old Ben. If you have not ever thought about this: Benjamin Franklin is the only person on American currency who never served as a president. And he is on the largest face dollar of laymen-trade currency to say the least. Why is that? Because he is an example of a person who was not afraid to explore, to fulfill his dreams by working for them. This is not an American History blog about my favorite founding father; however subjective I will afford to be about him.
I have learned a few abstract things today from association with the physical world that I wish to share and I shall digress my day in reverse.
In a conversation I had a few hours ago with a writer who brought up that she was tired of people feeling as though things should be given to them without putting the work into reaching their goal. This reminding of earlier today when I took my son to Water Knob Rock on the Blue Ridge Parkway. My little one is a scout, and working hard to finish up his Wolf Patch. He needed to go out on a trail to finish one of the requirements, so I took him to the closest place I could think of. The winding trail is only half mile, but its elevation starts at over 6,000 ft. and ascends 200 ft. over hot pavement and a very rocky, dried out river bed.
About five minutes into our little hike my little guy, Noah, wanted to give up. I told him, “If you want something you have to work hard for it and not give up. Nothing’s give to you. Walk it out.” I am prior service, Army (Hooah!), and can be a little pushy at times, but only when it’s for his own well-being. After I said this to him, I begun to think of my own dreams; my path as a writer has been an uphill struggle. I took the picture above as I had that very thought. I feel that the picture above says it all about any path in life. The path may be paved with beautiful imagery of the reward all around us, but it’s an uphill struggle with no end in sight. Only an abstract thought of what could lie around the bend. Around the bend could be the end, or success, or as my son learned a dried up, rocky river bed. You just never know what the climb involves, nor if you will succeed.
Even if one succeeds, is there a downhill? The stroll back to the truck a half mile away was just as slippery hard. With desire and hard work, my son saw through his dream today, finishing his last task to gain his patch. He only stopped that one time on the path to idle in his dream before he tried to quit.
Yet he has another year of new tasks on the horizon to become a WEBLOS. A lot of people only get a taste of what they wish to do before giving in, or claim to be posers, shooting lies at the mouth as the lay down in the paths of others like snakes.
I stepped on top of a black snake today before I realized what the hell it was. I knew I felt something wiggling under my feet. It even struck at me, should see my shoe. But, oh, how many times have I done this on a path. This black snake slowed me, as others have in past. To be successful, one has to align themself with other serious people. The writing process may be a lonely process, but the business side is full of competition. Not only are we competitors, we are friends, associates, colleagues, and critics who help one another out on the way. Beware of those snakes who will crawl beneath your feet and bite at your toes. They are neither friend, nor critic. God forbid they get their poisonous fangs in your flesh.
I am only a young, fledgling writer, but I work extremely hard everyday to better myself. I have the same feeling as everyone else: fear of being rejected, fear of being misjudged, afraid of bad criticism; however, I finally realized how much I sat around and looked at the scenery a few months back when I could be submitting my work. If you don’t put on your work clothes (and in our business that’s envelopes, stamps, ect) how do you expect to make it? Well, you can’t.
I really wished that after the Revision Chapter in those college text books was a chapter called Submission, Receiving criticism, and Dealing with Rejection. That’s only in a perfect world.
Bottom Line: If you give up to view the scenery, why bother? Other than writing, there should be a commitment everyday to brush up skills and learn new ones, grey areas you have problems with, time set aside for editing/revision, and to conduct business. Oh yeah, don’t forget to learn a brand new word.