Thursday, September 8, 2011

What Motivates You?

I have been reading The Artist's Way, again. It was written by Julia Cameron. My copy is marked up and the corners of the pages are getting ratty. Whenever I see a copy, I get it. I gave one to my daughter, and I gave one to a good friend of mine. I think I may still have one. I also have read every book by Barbara Sher that I can get hold of.

Barbara Sher asks, “What motivates you?” She wants it written on a card. So, reading her book yet again, I did so. In reading through my motivators often, I was struck with one thing on that list of what motivates me.

The biggest motivator I have is the freedom to do as I please. I suppose that sounds horrible. I was trained by society that it was horrible. We are supposed to please society, you know, and some things just aren't done, like doing work your soul craves. We are supposed to make money, do things that are financially acceptable. We are supposed to work for someone else. We are not supposed to have fun working.

I suppose that is why I am, only now, waking up to my biggest motivator. If I know that I can do anything, that nothing holds me back, then I “go for it”. If I have the freedom to really do anything I please, then one of the things I please to do is write.

I thought I had given up writing. Gone past it. Until I decided to get serious about this blog. Then I discovered that writing is still in my blood. It's in my bones. It's in my flesh, and in my spirit. That's why I'm sharing my stories without charge in my other blogs (linked to this one). Stories were meant to be shared, not to hide in a hole with a cover slid over the top.

Other things I would do if I had the freedom to do anything:

I would learn at least seven languages fluently. Right now, I dabble in languages. Dabble is the key word. I would love to become fluent.

I know French best, but fear I have forgotten much of what I once learned. My next best foreign language is Spanish, and I know for a fact that I have forgotten nearly everything I learned, which wasn't much anyway. (I used to pronounce it so well when I read it, though, that Spanish-speakers could hardly believe that I really didn't know what they were talking about.) I have dabbled in Chinese (I only hear the tones once in a while), Irish Gaelic, Sign Language and Swedish. Less so, in Russian, Italian, and Japanese. Some dialects of England's English is like a foreign language, but then so is Southern American at times, and I'm sure my Western American is confusing to them as well.

When I was somewhere around ten years old, a friend of my sister's who was blind (Dave Murray) gave me a braille writer and stylus. At least, I think that's where I got it from. I learned a tiny bit, but had lost the braille writer and stylus by the time I went to college. I would love to add that to my languages.

The trouble is, I don't feel that “freedom to do anything and everything” when it comes to studying languages. It's like eating ice cream and watching television all day. It isn't real work, because it doesn't bring in money. (It is real work, in that it is difficult – but it is a fun difficult.) It is only acceptable to do if I am paying someone thousands upon thousands of dollars to teach me (like a university), even though it wouldn't be nearly as fun as doing it on my own. I know, logically, that this particular attitude makes no sense, but I'm not sure how to overcome it.

Another thing I would do is draw all day. I would write all day. I would draw all day. I would learn languages all day (especially if I had someone who knew them, who would speak them with me). I would sing. I would dance (even though my body is pretty slow when it comes to learning anything like dance steps). That's more than 24 hours worth of doing in 24 hours.

So, what is your desire? What would you do all day if you could? What motivates you? What feels like play to you, even if it is difficult for you to do?

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