Yesterday, we took our kids to hear Adventurer Ray Zahab. He’s a motivational speaker. I thought I needed motivation to finish my novel. The kids were an excuse to go. As expected, his presentation was inspiring. The goals he’s reached and surpassed, and the sheer determination of the man are somewhat overwhelming. And truthfully, almost unbelievable.
When he finished speaking our son asked him a question.
“How do you stay focused on a goal? Especially if the goal is far in the future.”
The answer was simplistic. No bullshit. Zahab looked him directly in the eyes, and said, “Take all of the negative comments, all of the doubts you might have, and use them to fuel your fire. Turn all of the negatives into positives. Find your passion, and go for it.” He expanded on the idea, and offered sincere words of encouragement, but it was that simple.
When I sit at my computer to write, negative internal voices come at me from all directions. I hear, you don’t have a journalism degree, writers make no money, and getting published is impossible. Even six months ago those voices would have drowned out any positive thoughts, or good intentions I had. I’ve been working on that. I’ve been on a quest to discover how to turn those voices off. The solution seems to be as simple as do it for yourself, not anybody else. In other words, I’ve reached a point where my motivation is being drawn from my passion to create, instead of my need to exceed other people’s expectations of me.
So, I’m taking negatives, and turning them into positives, and I’m going to rely on my internal motivation to reach my goals. And that, my friends, is how I plan to finish the novel I almost didn’t even start. A novel. Almost unbelievable, isn’t it?