There used to be a motivational poster that circulated the teachers’ classrooms when I was in grade school. Like all motivational posters, it served as an attempt to inspire students before they became fully jaded by life’s injustices. Shoot for the moon, the poster read, even if you miss, you will land among the stars.
The poster made no sense, scientifically speaking. Earth’s moon is much closer to a person and their fanciful desires than any star in our universe is. However, the sentiment behind the poster is somewhat encouraging. Set big goals and even if you don’t succeed in meeting that one big goal, you may find that you have achieved smaller successes in the process.
This past month has been a prime example of the need to recognize alternate and unexpected achievements. I started out with a grand plan of keeping up with my consistent blog posting, including writing on every lunch break, listening to writing podcasts on my commute each day to and from work, and basically bleeding writing . . . Then a mishap with the Internet company occurred and during an attempt to switch Internet providers at the house, we were accidentally left completely Internet-less at our house for the past couple weeks. With no Internet connection at home, I have not been able to post in my free time as I normally would.
I told myself that despite this obstacle, I would simply write on my lunch breaks and publish the posts at a coffee shop with WiFi in the meantime. I wouldn’t give up that easily. Then, it turned out that the coffee shop near my work is a very popular place to go at lunch time. I attempted to find parking on several occasions but to no avail, and and so that plan was equally dashed.
Without a way to work on my blog, I filled my spare time with random other activities that have proven fruitful for my writing, albeit for meeting my original goal. I finished David Sedaris’ Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls which entertained me and reminded me to focus on the fun of life and its peculiarities. I am also going to post a review soon, so I am able to use the time devoted to the book for my blog as well.
I am currently working my way through The Right to Write, a writer’s handbook by Julia Cameron. The activities suggested in the book have given me some prompts to experiment with on my lunch breaks. As a result, I’ve been handwriting a few poems and short story pieces in one of my writer’s notebooks on my lunch breaks, little bits of writing that exist solely for my enjoyment.
I also found that I had enough down time to think about ways I can slowly shift into writing for a living. With this goal in mind, I searched volunteer editing opportunities, contacted an organization in regards to their post seeking a volunteer editing, and within a couple days, I am now listed as an editor with this non-profit and have the chance to edit blog posts of my choice.
While we still don’t have Internet at the house (that will change on Monday!), I am thankful for this unexpected setback as it allowed for several other writing opportunities to come to fruition.
Does this all sound too positive and cheesy? If so, you should probably consider adding some motivational posters to your decor . . .