Monday, June 10, 2013

Keep Going


“You've got to get up every morning with determination if you're going to go to bed with satisfaction.”

George Lorimer
“The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win.”
Roger Bannister

This morning I wrote, “The enthusiasm comes during the work, not before it.”  That’s not always true.  I have a lot of enthusiasm now even if I’m not sure what I’ll be writing about.  I feel happy to be in a place where I am surrounded by books and quiet and solitude.  It’s perfect.  At this moment I am very happy to be alive. 
And still I am under attack.  This morning I felt a complete lack of enthusiasm for writing.  At this moment I feel a complete lack of ideas.  So I will keep writing and I’ll keep going until the ideas come. 
There’s actually a lot to that method.  In the past, when I’ve taught writing, I taught students the quick-write method; that is, writing for five to seven minutes without stopping.  This was usually done by hand and it literally hurt.  The benefit, however, was that usually one or more ideas came out of this, thus ending the writer’s block.  Sometimes this method works in other endeavors, too.  Just attack the problem.  Sit down and do something.  Get the kinks out.  Warm up.  Move.   Go.  Keep going.
Earlier this evening my daughter and I were “sword fighting” with those long Styrofoam swimming noodles.  We would turn our backs to each other and then we would take turns trying to sneak up on each other.  Sometimes I’d go slowly, carefully and methodically.  Other times I’d just attack with no warning.   I think that I have to use both methods when writing.  Sometimes I have to go slowly, methodically and carefully.  Other times I just need to attack.  Tonight I have to attack.  I just have to write until I’m done with this blog.
I’ll be honest; the idea of writing 47 more blogs in the next 21 days scares me.  My first thought was, “Do I have that much creativity?”
Then I thought about God, as a creator.  I thought about the infinite variety of plants, animals, people, days and snowflakes.  I thought of the millions of different songs, books, foods, ideas, superheroes, movies, paintings, dance moves, lesson plans, recipes and stories out there. I may prefer some to others, but there seems to be something for every taste.  And there seems to be no end to any of it.
I once overheard two men talking in a bookstore and one of them said, “Christians think that Heaven is a place of rest, but Jewish people believe it will be more like a library or a place of study.”   I love the idea that there will always be new things to learn, even in eternity.  That means there will also be some new things to write.
However, if this isn’t true, then I’d better do all the writing I can on this planet.. 
I better use my gifts now. 
I’d better use my time well now. 
I’d better get to work now. 
I’d better express my purpose now.
I may not get the chance afterwards.
I don’t know if it will be possible to have regrets in Heaven, but I don’t want to take the chance.  So I’m going to do all the writing I can here on Earth. 
Even now, when I feel starved for ideas and have no plan.  I’m going to keep going.  I’m going to keep writing.  I’m going to finish this blog.  Then tomorrow morning I’m going to wake up and write another one.
It’s interesting how being in purpose puts everything else in perspective, even when I’m struggling.  This is where I’m supposed to be.  This is what I’m supposed to be doing.  I’m tired and I’m sure I’ve done better writing, but it doesn’t matter.  This is where I’m supposed to be.
I’m reminded of a time when I was working the graveyard shift at a 7-11.  I hadn’t sleep for over a day and I was dead tired.  But I knew if I stopped I would fall asleep.  The grocery shipment had come in so even though I had “hit the wall” and could barely move from exhaustion, I decided to put them all away.  It was about a six-hour job but somehow I did it in about three hours.  I was exhausted, but I felt great.
I thought the manager would be amazed and impressed. Instead, she got very angry and said that was her job, not mine, and that I had no right to do that.  That wasn’t the response I’d hoped for.  But it didn’t matter.  I had kept going.  I hadn’t quit even though all my body wanted and needed was sleep.
While I don’t prefer to be under such extreme conditions, I know I can be and I can keep going with joy and determination. 
If I feel I have nothing to say, I’m going to keep writing anyway.  Maybe that’s what I have to say.  No inspiration.  No message.  Just persistence and motivation.
I can keep going.
I can Get Started and Keep Going.