I did not have a burning passion to write when I was young. As far as I can recall, I did not have a burning passion for much of anything. I had some plans; I’d taken the necessary office administration courses in high school and completed my states Civil Service exam for Clerk/Typist. A nice a good office job, maybe an executive assistant, seemed like an acceptable way to support myself for a while. Then, hopefully, marriage and a family – it’s what I wanted.
My father wanted me to be a lawyer and offered to foot the bill for my entire education. I thought it was a ridiculous notion. Obviously he saw something in me that I was unaware of. Somewhere over the years, I don’t know exactly when, I became fascinated with the criminal mind and procedural law. Dad was right, I’d have made a fine lawyer – or an FBI profiler. Oh, well, chalk it up to would have could have.
As it turned out, I met that man I wanted to marry sooner than I’d planned, but as the saying goes, life is what happens while your busy making other plans. We married and started the family we both wanted
I was happy and still not thinking much about any burning desires. But there was one thing I’d felt passionate about all my life — books. I was a voracious reader, but it was about more than just the enjoyment of a good story, I was also consumed by the beauty of language. By my mid twenties I knew, I wanted to be a writer.
When I told my father, he chuckled. “A writer? You can’t even spell.” My father had excellent spelling skills – me, not so much. I always have trouble with words containing double consonants (should they or shouldn’t they be double?). I countered my father, “That’s what dictionaries are for.”
He then said I lacked the education – not just anybody could write for publication.
The Guantlet had been thrown down. There’s nothing I love more than a challenge to prove myself. Within a year, I was writing a weekly column for a local newspaper. Dad was very, very proud of me.
My writing career burbbled along for several years while I raised my children. I took correspondence courses through the state university system and occasionally (anybody want to take bets on how many times I tried to spell that before looking it up?) – occasionally attended workshops on campus. Twenty five years later, I am writing for two local magazines, a newspaper, and a handful of online periodicals, and regularly receiving checks in the mail.
In about one week, I will be embarking on a long held dream – a two month writing retreat in an undisclosed location to write my novel. This won’t be the first novel – I’ve actually completed three, that were seriously considered by Simon and Schuster. This will be my first retreat, though. Maybe it will lead to my first published novel – and the possibility of that reward is what will keep those pages piling up, even when the research becomes daunting and I’d rather give up.
As the MAD Goddess, I am also passionate about encouraging women in midlife and beyond to pursue their wildest dreams – but what does it take to get moving in the right direction. What does it take to make those first steps, and to keep pushing through on the journey to self fulfillment?
When completing my certification as a Life Strategies Coach, and developing my SelfC.A.R.E program for personal development and enrichment, the story of my father challenging my ability to become a writer would play a big part in understanding personal motivational styles and how to use them as a stepping stone for success. On further reflection, it became clear to me that the most significant successes in my life could be attributed to proving my ability to somebody whose opinion of me mattered. Yes, that makes me a people pleaser, but that is not always a bad thing, as long as I know how to direct it and use it to my advantage.
Another thing I discovered about myself and my motivation is that I love accolades. I loved seeing that gold star on my paper as a kid. I loved the applause I heard for the first time, after performing in a junior high school gymnastics and tumbling exhibition. I love the applause to this day, performing in community theater. Digging a bit deeper I discovered that in these cases, it fills my desire to bring an element of joy into people’s lives.
What motivates you? What floats your boat or turns your crank? What gets you up off your duff to complete a goal and make a lasting change for the better? One way to find out, is to examine your past successes.
If you want to explore your motivational style and how to use it to your advantage, we’re delving into the mysteries this week in the Dark Moon Lodge. If you’ve you’ve already joined my tribe there, click on over to the page and download this weeks PDFs (remember, the password is darkmoon). If you’re interested in joining, find out all the details here.
And remember what the Mad Goddess says, “Now is the time to begin embracing your wildest dreams with Purpose, Passion and Pizzazz!”