Monday, February 22, 2016

Motivational Monday


IF YOU EVER FIND YOURSELF
IN THE WRONG STORY,
LEAVE.
(Mo Willems)

I love this quote because it can refer to writing/art and to life. 

How many time have we started a story, a novel, a song, an art project, etc. only to end up stuck, confused and miserable? How often do we keep on pushing and shoving our way through no matter what our gut, our heart, is telling us? We started it, damn it, so we must finish it! Sometimes yes, but not always.

How many times do we start down a life path, thinking we know what we're doing, only to come upon an obstacle or two or seven that forces us to turn right when we want to go left, to turn back, to off-road for a bit? How often do we end up somewhere we don't recognize at all, as a person we don't recognize at all? 

Of course we can't - or shouldn't - always just "leave" a current project or "leave" our everyday lives. But we can stop. We can re-evaluate. We can make changes, small ones and big ones. 

When I was younger, I read books all the way through to the end, even if I didn't like them, even if I was reading the "wrong" story. Somewhere along the line, though, I said enough. Now, that not only goes for books I'm not enjoying, but also for the plot lines of my life that no longer work for me, the ones that no longer tell the story of who I am and who I want to be. 

31 comments:

  1. The dumbest thing we can do is continue on the wrong path.
    And if I'm not enjoying a book, I don't finish. Life is too short.

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    1. I think the idea of finishing a book - or anything, for that matter - came from a stubbornness to see the thing through. While there's definitely something to be said for that, I'm learning it's okay to sometimes say "enough" then move on. :)

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  2. I used to finish every book too, but not any more. I stop reading if I don't like it. I agree with Alex. Life is too short. :) Have a wonderful week.

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    1. It really is too short. Sigh.

      Have a great week yourself! :)

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  3. I used to keep reading a book too when I didn't like but I don't do that any more. It took me a while to learn to give up on a writing project but I'm getting better.

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    1. I think it might be that the older we get, the more we realize that it's okay to stop some something that's really not working for us. Always pushing through on a writing project we're hating isn't going to do us, the story, the readers any good!

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  4. I've never had the desire to stop writing a book. I've always had the desire to keep working despite feeling miserable, because I love the story and know I can make it what it's meant to be.

    As for reading, I did the same thing when I was younger. I hated leaving a book half-read even if I disliked it. Now that's different. Why waste time reafing a boring book?

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    1. I think it's important to distinguish between the usual writerly angst that happens during a project and the more certain gut-level feeling that the project isn't working. I've had mss where I've loved the story, but for some reason, wasn't able to make it work at that point in time. Those I still have around. Of course, then there were the projects where I said to myself, "What were you thinking?!" :)

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  5. I never finish a book I'm not enjoying. I've never had the patience to do that. Honestly I probably give up on some too quickly but if something doesn't grab me right away I admit I don't give it much time to change that.
    I've been on the wrong path in life more times than I care to remember but I think I've finally found the right one now. Or at least one I enjoy, so that must make it right on some level.

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    1. I totally agree - if you enjoy the path you're on, it's definitely right on some level. :)

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  6. I've always been good about walking away from something that doesn't work for me. I know as long as I gave it an honest effort I have nothing to regret.

    Not all paths are right for us, but each experience helps us make better decisions for the next time.

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    1. I love what you said about giving it an honest effort then having no regrets. And so true about experience helping for next time.

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  7. I really like that quote. A good idea to live by.

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    1. The quote really struck me when I first read it, too.

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  8. Life is too short too be miserable. I love the idea of changing paths. We must be masters of our destinies, right?

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  9. The story I'm in right now just plain sucks, but hopefully tomorrow will be a better day. :)

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    1. I'm sorry to hear that, JH! Fingers crossed your plot line will take on a wonderful twist very soon.... :)

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  10. I have a hard time walking away. With writing though, I find a good rest usually gets me back on track. With books, well, once in a great while, I give up on one, but thankfully it doesn't happen too often.

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    1. I think taking a rest is good idea. For me, I have to give myself permission to actually do it and not just fall into it accidentally. I need to take that rest on purpose.

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  11. We make the big decisions, and live with them. Why not take control or change course. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  12. I agree about reading, Madeline. Life is way too short to continuing with a book we don't like or understand. I've also learned to give up on a project from time to time if I realize it's not giving me joy and might even be causing me stress. I realize I can't do that with everything (like housecleaning for instance), but optional projects (like a novel that just isn't working out) can be tossed aside without guilt.

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    1. It's the "without guilt" part that I'm still working on. I'm getting better at it though. :)

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  13. I heard a fun speech where a very busy/successful older man told about a conversation with his son. He was asked how he did everything with less energy and capacity. He responded that he only does what's most important.

    Age and maturity bring us to see that there are only so many hours in life and they should be used wisely, eh?

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    1. Love your comment, Crystal! Thanks for those words of wisdom. :)

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  14. I relate to this post. Your words are so true. I'm one of those people who stay on the wrong path because you don't want to give up and start over. I could have saved myself so much effort and anguish if I followed my gut, or heart as you said. I also like what you said about getting rid of the plot lines that no longer fit into who you are, or who you want to be. Wonderfully said. I definitely stopped reading books I didn't like.

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    1. I've always liked what Oprah (quoting someone else - Maya Angelou, maybe?) says, "When we know better, we do better." That effort and anguish you experienced taught you something, and you take those lessons with you now, wherever you go. Hang in there! :)

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  15. Love this!!! I especially love the idea of getting rid of plot lines in my life that don't work for me. I want to quote you on that - wonderful motivation!

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