Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Keys to Personal Excellence

"There are only two options regarding commitment. You're either in or out. There's no such thing as a life in-between." Pat Riley

"I don't care how much power, brilliance or energy you have, if you don't harness it and focus it on a specific target, and hold it there you're never going to accomplish as much as your ability warrants." ~Zig Ziglar

I've been thinking quite a bit about commitment. Maybe because, like most writers, there are days when I'm surely ready for that padded room! Hah!

Yet the idea of commitment is one that I've danced around, perhaps like many here. On a good day, I'm there. I *get* it. I believe. Then the clouds roll in and the raindrops pour down my cheeks as I wonder if I'm truly cut out to be A Writer.

In or out, woman. There's no in-between.

To me, that's what marks a true writer. A friend once said to me (paraphrasing here), that Real Writers stick to it.

"Success depends on your backbone, not your wishbone." –Author Unknown

I've had my share of doubts. I hit my slump and wondered… Did I have the Right Stuff to make magic happen on the printed page? Did I have the *eye* to clarify my vision? Hell, did I really have a vision to begin with or is this just a fanciful dream? Horrors! Had I become one of those people who sneer, "I could write a book easy," only to toss my dream aside out of fear or insecurity?


"The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential... these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence." --Eddie Robinson

There are a number of people who helped push me past that wall. Some offered support at my request, others unknowingly brought forth a wisdom that radiated like moonbeams, chasing away shadows and illuminating my darkest night. Thanks to the writers I am privileged to know, I reconnected with my will to win—the urge to reach my full potential. *smile*

I also realized (thanks, Misty) that hitting a wall may just be part of the process. Which is exactly why a writer needs to commit. This is as much a relationship as the one I share with my husband. For better or worse, sickness and health, richer or poorer…

"Write only if you cannot live without writing. Write only what you alone can write." --Elie Wiesel

My friend Tessy is an incredible example of one who cannot live without writing. Listening to her tickled the memory of what drove me to the keyboard so long ago. My thirst to create worlds. Ah-ha! Take that you pesky ideas rolling around my brain. Let's toss you onto the page and see where we shall fly.

"So come with me, where dreams are born, and time is never planned. Just think of happy things, and your heart will fly on wings, forever, in Never Never Land!"J. M. Barrie (from Peter Pan)

Commitment is what marks us as writers. Writing requires time, effort, focus and a great deal of faith. We're like explorers crawling into a cave with nothing but the wavering beam of a flashlight to light our way. Without faith, we might turn back. Without persistence, we might give up. Which is exactly why writers need to commit: to writing that sentence, to filling up the page, to finishing the chapter, to wrapping up the book.

And of course, that's just the beginning! Re-read and revise. Cut some scenes, flesh out others. Yet… the joy of it. Ah, the tingling rush of pleasure as the eye follows the plot. This is magic of the best sort.

Did you know that scans have shown that our brains respond to imagined circumstances just as if they were real? When we write stories, and others read them, we are making magic. We are creating worlds here, my friends. This is True Magic.

Which is why…

"It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end."Ursula K. LeGuin

Let's recommit to our journey and relish the spectacular joy of writing!


"It is impossible to discourage the real writers - they don't give a damn what you say, they're going to write." ~Sinclair Lewis

And that about sums it up.

This week let's make a conscious decision to commit to our writing. Do you, budding author, take this profession to love and to write?

Let's do it, let's fall in love all over again!

Remember, We Are Writers. And what do writers do? They WRITE. So let's Go-go-GO!

Have a great writing week, everyone!

--Chiron O'Keefe

Also featured at Pop Culture Divas.


Kathy Holmes said...

You are so "write on," girlfriend, with perfect timing. I was just thinking what Zig Zigler said. In my effort to avoid distractions from the writing community, I mustn't avoid writing inspiration as well and let it all slip through my fingers, playing with my manuscripts for the rest of my life. I'm at a crossroads where I think I must commit to a genre to move forward - not fly in-between several. No, not "I think I must commit" - I MUST commit. Thanks, Chiron. I knew I could count on you to lift me up once again.

Anonymous said...

i actually adore your posting kind, very remarkable,
don't give up and also keep writing mainly because it just that is worth to follow it.
impatient to view a lot more of your current articles, have a good day!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Chiron said...

Hi Kathy!

My goodness, I have been working so hard that the days fly by. I could have sworn I responded to this comment, but now I realize it was all in my mind. D'oh!

I'm with you on the need to commit. For my part, it's daunting to choose mystery/suspense but this last book really *feels* like ME. So as much as I love my rom-com books, I'm choosing which road to pursue, at least for now.

My goal is to outline two more books in the series, then began sending out queries for the first. *crosses fingers*

We MUST... no make that we WILL commit to our choices!!

Yay, us!*grin*


Chiron said...

Thanks, anonymous!