How’s it going? First, a little note…I totally forgot to wish everyone a happy Mother’s Day yesterday (a little late even then, I know). So, Happy Mother’s Day! I really hope you got to spend some time on Sunday with a mom who matters to you, no matter if that’s yours or someone else’s.
Anyway, let’s get to it.
For those of you who don’t know, when I think something is funny, usually I think it’s REALLY funny, and my laugh volume adjusts accordingly. All that was on full display yesterday. Here’s how things went:
I ran into a seamstress. It turns out she’s been sewing since she was a kid–and she’s 87 now. She plants flowers and mows her own lawn at home–I respect that, because in modern society a lot of the time even people in their 50s and 60s are slowing down to a point where they’re not able to do a whole lot (and that’s not knocking them–I sit on my behind for hours a day writing and researching–just mentioning what I see when I’m out and about).
She started talking about birds and crops and what-have-ya, and somehow we got on the topic of stink bugs, which she found in her big bathroom, one time. When I asked what she did with them, she said she picked one up “with a piece of toilet tissue.” In general though, what she said was:
“I give ’em a ride down the john.”
…Cue me laughing–and snorting. I was probably red-faced, and I’m probably the same as I’m telling you this, for sure.
Well, what’s my point? This doesn’t have to with writing, so much as mindset and motivation (which is linked to writing and creativity, at least for me it is). Should we be able to write under any condition? Yes we should–absent being pasted to the couch from massive illness, or major disease of some type.
We all have negative thoughts and emotions from time to time–doubt, fear, and what-have-ya. Those are great for adding depth to characters, and sticking your client (or you, if you’re promoting something) to your prospects–that’s humanity on display. It’s great if you have people curious about someone or a product because they think that someone is just like them, or think the product can help them overcome what they’re struggling with.
Sometimes, though, thinking “I can’t do this” or “What do I do now” or “What if ABC 123 DEF happens…” is too much. If it’s a lack of training or practice, that’s fine–that’s something you can fix.
But if a negative thought, that you know is just self-doubt or fear is bugging you, and you know it’s nothing more than that, give it a ride down the john. Do that for all the thoughts, as often as they come up, and remind yourself that those thoughts–which is all they are, if they’re not based on facts or the truth–don’t tell the story of who you really are, and what you can accomplish with your writing (or your life).
I have to tell myself this too about negative thoughts–give ’em a ride down the john.
Until next time,