Thursday, January 7, 2010

White Knuckles


"Hold fast to dreams

For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly."
~ Langston Hughes

While blog-hopping yesterday, I noticed there were more posts than usual about feelings of frustration, disappointment, and uncertainty. No, no, no, no, no. We all have those feelings, probably more often than we like to admit (me included), but I can never leave it at that. Thanks to Roni's post about personality types yesterday, I now understand why. I have a protector/guardian personality, driven to be everyone's personal cheer princess! So here's a bit of cheer.




The Will to Win


If you want a thing bad enough
To go out and fight for it,
Work day and night for it,
Give up your time and your peace and your sleep for it

If only desire of it
Makes you quite mad enough
Never to tire of it,
Makes you hold all other things tawdry
and cheap for it

If life seems all empty and useless without it
And all that you scheme and you dream is about it,

If gladly you'll sweat for it,
Fret for it, Plan for it,
Lose all your terror of God or man for it,

If you'll simply go after that thing that you want
With all your capacity,
Strength and sagacity,
Faith, hope and confidence, stern pertinacity,

If neither cold poverty, famished and gaunt,
Nor sickness nor pain
Of body or brain

Can turn you away from the thing that you want,

If dogged and grim you besiege and beset it,
You'll get it!

~Berton Braley

I challenge you to think positive thoughts only today - to hold so tightly to your dreams that your hands cramp and your knuckles turn white.

What helps you maintain a winning attitude?

32 comments:

Guinevere said...

Honestly, I guess what keeps me going in the face of frustration and negative thinking is that so far, I've done a lot of things I really shouldn't have been able to do in life -- by just showing up. So every day when it comes to my writing, I try to just show up. It doesn't matter if my writing is brilliant that day... sheer tenacity should wear down the universe. It's worked for everything else I've wanted out of life so far!

There was a great quote in Ann Lamont's Bird by Bird where the says that (paraphraisng terribly) if you write well and submit often, you'll most likely get an agent eventually. I like that. It's harder than it seems to do, of course, but it's comforting in a way too.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

That IS a winning attitude, Guinevere! What a great way to look at life - just show up. I love it! :-)

Stephanie Thornton said...

You are definitely a cheerleader, Shannon!

It might be easy to get down in this industry, but I think a positive attitude and perseverance makes all the difference in the world.

Robyn Campbell said...

OUCH! My hands are hurting and my knuckles are ashen.

I'm positive even though my sweet Scooby is gone and even as I try to write this dern synopsis.

And I did see your comment Shannon. I knew you were a fellow feline lover. Thanks for understanding and for your wonderful words to me.

Natalie Murphy said...

Honestly, blog posts like these always help me out. They really do. By reading things like this, it reminds me that I'm not the only one going through writing troubles and that I have people to help me out and cheer me on when I'm down. So thank you hun =]

Tamika: said...

You are a delightful cheer princess!

There are days when motivations wanes, frustration seethes, and I want to quit. But so much of my life relies on scripture, "work heartily as unto the Lord and not man." This is my work for the Lord, who strengthens me for every good work. He promises that what He has begun in me He will complete.

I trudge along, standing on the promises of God.

Bethany Mattingly said...

Such a great inspiriing post! I keep my winning attitude by reading posts like this :D

Kristi said...

THANK YOU! What a nice inspiring post...I totally loved the visual sign by the way...very cool.

We all need a little cheerleading along the way...so thanks for giving me my dose!

Karen said...

My faith, my Hubbykin's support, and the cheers of my writing group. And chocolate. Lots of chocolate. :)

Steph Damore said...

Such good comments! I second and third those who commented that posts like this cheer me up. Support and faith are big ones for me too. I can't imagine navigating my way throughout this industry without either one.

Kelly H-Y said...

YAY! for this post! Loved it!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Stephanie - Thanks, Stephanie! You are one of the positive people who keeps my attitude on the winning side. You and your squirrels!

Robyn - Hurray for ashen knuckles! I'm glad you saw my comments, Robyn. I hope healing comes quickly and mama cat sticks around for a long, long time yet.

Natalie - I'm so glad you liked it, Natalie. I promise to always try to leave a little piece of happy on my blog. :)

Tamika - You say things so beautifully! Thank you.

Bethany - I'm here for you! :)

Kristi - You're welcome!

Karen - Chocolate...Oh, I'm with you on that one. I always tell my students (no joke) that chocolate is part of a woman's DNA, and that without it, we would cease to function and die! :-)

Steph - Ditto to everything you just said. :)

Jennie Englund said...

LOVE that poem!

Dragged my three kids from Oregon to Harlem so they could see where it came from.

PS: I've noticed that you're quite the hopeful!

Diana Paz said...

I love this post! I always love your positivity, actually :) I maintain my winning attitude by reminding myself that being doom and gloom doesn't make things any better, and feels a whole lot worse :)

choco (In Which a Girl Reads) said...

Lovely post, great poem. I feel really inspired after reading this, thanks for posting it :)

Kimberly Franklin said...

Great poem and thanks for sharing.

oh and by the way, I need to find this place "inspiration point" because how cool would it be to live there?

Lisa and Laura said...

I love that line from Langston Hughes. I imagine you're a wonderful teacher--encouraging and positive, their own personal cheerleader! Anyways, usually when one of us is down, the other is up and vice versa. I guess we have our own personal cheerleaders in eachother :)

Thanks for all the positivity!

Jemi Fraser said...

Great post! I tend to be pretty optomistic and happy. Until I get really overtired. But that's pretty easy to cure :)

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

Well then. I'm glad I didn't read any blogs yesterday if it was that kind of day. I agree, think positive! Even when it gets hard. Makes the end result that much more rewarding. :)
My blog

Jemi Fraser said...

Oops - forgot to say... I've left you an award over at my blog :)

Lori W. said...

Thanks for this encouraging post and poem.

I love Guinevere's comment as well. Sometimes, all we can do is keep showing up, so it's nice to have friends/family, etc. to pull us through those times.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Jennie - How fun for your kids! Thanks.

Diana - Thanks, Diana. No doom and gloom! :)

Choco - I'm so glad you enoyed it!

Kimberly - When you find it, let me know.

LiLa - I'm pretty close to one of my sisters, but we live two states apart. I really envy the two of you. :)

Jemi - I'm the same way. Thankfully, it is pretty easy to catch up on sleep. I can't wait to bop over to your blog and see what's waiting for me there.

Karen - Yes! :-)

Lori - Guinevere's comment was brilliant. I loved it!

Catherine Denton said...

Thank you for this Shannon! It is hard to not get buried under the rejections sometimes. But I love the cheer you give.

My twin sister is my number one fan and she gives me a shot of optimism when I'm feeling doomed.

Roxane B. Salonen said...

Hey Shannon, I'd say...keeping things in perspective. I tend to be a pretty positive person too, and definitely a cheerleader. I think we are a lot alike in that way. I, too, like poured out positivity. I want to put the positive spin on things, even difficult things. That is my mission, and yours as well. We need us cheerleader types. I'm proud to be one and am glad you're on my squad. There can never be too many of us! :) I think most children's writers fall into this category. We have a special mission to fulfill, and that is what drives us. You go girl!

Susan R. Mills said...

Thank you so much for the encouragement here. I was feeling a little frustrated today, and you just reminded me to think positively. Thanks!

Michelle Gregory said...

i'm a cheer princess, too, but what keeps me going is when other people cheer for me. we encouragers need all the cheering we can get.

Jen Chandler said...

Good morning, Shannon!

I wanted to thank you for following my blog :) I consider it a compliment whenever I meet a new bloggy friend via a follow.

I LOVE this post and really needed the encouragement today. Thank you, thank you. I look forward to browsing through your world.

Happy Friday!
Jen

Jody Hedlund said...

Thanks for being a cheerleader and reminding us to be positive!! We all need that!

Julie Dao said...

The Langston Hughes poem you posted is my all-time favorite poem. I have it written in my story notebook on the very front page, to remind myself why I'm doing this. :) Thank you for your uplifting post!

Bane of Anubis said...

I'm a gloom and doom sort of fella on a global level, but, locally, I'm usually fairly positive (except when I get 4 rejections in one day - frickin' agent conspiracies :)

Roni @ FictionGroupie said...

Can't believe I missed this post. Thanks for the linkage and the cheerleading. Clearly, I need it! :)

Nishant said...

There can never be too many of us! :) I think most children's writers fall into this category. We have a special mission to fulfill, and that is what drives us. You go girl!

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