Sunday, April 19, 2009

Motivational Quote #26

"Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it." - Michael Jordan

I apologize for my lack of posting lately. I worked with the children from our daughter's preschool to write and illustrate three books for their annual art show. Then I finished the edits to my children's picture book manuscript, The Little Shepherd Boy, and resubmitted it to the publisher who had requested the edits. And then my schedule got all messed up because my brother-in-law is getting married in June and he asked us to be in the wedding, which will take place a few hours away from us. So, while I might not have been here, I have been busy with a lot of good stuff.

But enough about me, let's move on to this week's motivational quote.

I know very little about basketball. Pretty much the objective seems to be getting the big orange ball into one of two orange-rimmed nets on a backboard hanging from the ceiling. Other than knowing you can't travel and hold the ball at the same time, I know nothing about the rules that guide this game.

I do, however, know a thing or two about motivation. It seems that basketball great Michael Jordan knows something about motivation too.

Why do we let obstacles stand in our way? Why do we instantly fold the moment the going gets tough? Why is it that we expect the best things in life should come with no effort on our part?

If the above weren't true, we wouldn't have so many motivational and inspirational quotes floating around. We're human. We like to take the easy road. We like to think that we're going to be one of those amazing break-out authors that we read about in trade magazines. You know the kind I'm talking about. She writes one book, secures a multi-book contract with a New York publishing house, is offered an astronomical advance, the book is optioned for film, and her book is talked about on Oprah.

The reality is, that's probably not going to happen to any of us. Now, we can waste our time waiting for it to happen and blame a million different people and reasons for why it doesn't happen, but in the end the result is the same.

Jordan's advice touches upon something that is vital to carving out a writing career--perseverance. Rejection letters are going to come; and when they do, you have to be willing to let the crying last for all of five minutes before you start typing again.

As children we learned that we weren't going to learn to ride a bike if we refused to brush off our dirty knees and get back on the seat after we fell off. The same holds true for writing. If we let obstacles stop us from pursuing our goals, then we'll never get anywhere. When that next rejection letter comes--and you know there are more in your future--figure out a way to work around it. It's the only way to make your writing dreams come true.

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