Motivation and Goals: Everything is Hard

Motivation is hard.

I know that you know that. I know you know that because at least once I day I receive the following GIF in my inbox:

writingishard

The person who sends this to me varies on a daily basis. Needless to say, I have a lot of friends who are writers, and they like to commiserate with me as I toil away at the keyboard in a different state, room or country than them.

Lately, it hasn’t felt like writing specifically is hard.

Lately it has felt like everything is hard.

It’s harder when I’m sitting in front of social media sites that suck my motivation right out of my face and put into their endlessly scrolling feeds of gifs, pictures and news articles that just remind me that the world is going to shit faster than anyone really wants to admit.

I was thinking about this yesterday as I multitasked my work, reblogging gif after gif of Tom Hiddleston teasing the Cookie Monster and teaching him about delayed gratification, drinking coffee, and trying to keep one ear on the news of what was happening with senatorial procedure and what the heck President Obama was going to do in the face of this Syria situation.

Then I woke up this morning, and I read some words by another writer on this whole Syria thing, and I got to thinking.

Syria has been a reality for months and weeks. It didn’t really occur to me that it could affect things here in a big way until this weekend. (Yes, I realize that is grossly self-centered and naive.) I was driving down a rural turnpike, singing along to some musicians I’d never heard before, and exchanging Top 5 lists with my friend, and it felt like the world was about to change. And then it did.

I had checked Twitter just to see what was going on in the rest of the world outside the car. Upon seeing one of my old political friends tweeting about the imminent remarks President Obama would be delivering, I unplugged our fancy mp3 player from the dashboard and hustled through a game of hide and seek with the local airwaves to land on NPR just as he began.

His voice came through the car speakers – tinny and unpolished by a synthesizer and so unlike what I hear come through stereos now with all the digital hoopla of 2013. The decision he had made, that of addressing the violence and use of chemical weapons in Syria with the Congress after their recess, is one that will have far-reaching consequences.

Afterwards we continued on the rural turnpike, quietly listening to the responses from politicos and wonks on NPR.

I was reminded, in the silence, that the drugs I use dull my creativity and my motivation and they are under my control.

I can turn off Twitter. I can close the window on Tumblr. I can open a notebook, and pick up a pen, and not engage with the raging masses of social media who sit behind their computer screens – probably marginally clean, well fed and housed – and I can actually attempt to make a difference.

It’s a new goal. I’m going to be turning off the internet more often. I’m going to try to spend more time putting pen to paper creating new things instead of critiquing the things of others.

Let’s see how it goes. Maybe I’ll find some friends along the way.

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About bookoisseur
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