Posts tagged ‘motivation’

February 14th, 2011

Sometimes You Feel Inadequate

by Madeleine Rex

In case you were unaware of this fact, it’s true.

Sometimes. Occasionally. Every now and then. You feel inadequate.

Goodness knows it’s natural. Ask your neighbor, your coworkers, heck – it’s likely your dog has felt inadequate at some point in time.

I have. She has. They have. We have.

And yet, with this mindbogglingly stressful weight of inadequacy on our shoulders – even worst: the possibility that you will somehow be proven insignificant, unremarkable, horrifically replaceable – we keep trying. We are beaten down by self-doubt and ridicule and imaginary ridicule. I’ve been haunted in my dreams by this ever-present feeling of hopelessness. Every day:

There’s that blog with 200 more followers than I have!

Holy crap, [insert amazingly popular author here] just commented on [insert amazingly lucky blogger here]’s post!


Amidst all this, we must and do find a way to trudge along. I find myself thinking this over. What is it that’s necessary to keep all this insanity from breaching the security of our psyche and polluting us – what keeps us from plunging into the deep, dark, treacherous caves of despair?

It’s the way we digest things.

You can either look at that popular blogger’s follower count and actually, physically cringe, or you can allow that monstrously intimidating number to inspire you. You can process that boiling envy into something useful and powerful.


Instead of indulging hate for that blogger (who probably felt inadequate 20 minutes ago and will in another 45), or that unavoidable and TOTALLY UNHELPFUL feeling we call jealousy, we can recycle our envy and create progress. No more moping and no more watching the computer screen and hitting the refresh button just in case their follower number increases from 821 to 103,728,485 in the next two seconds (not that I’ve ever done that). Give yourself an alternative: Write another gosh darned blog post.

There’s only one way to make change, and that is to move. Consume, digest, and do something with what’s left. Take those feelings of inadequacy and mutilate them until they are feelings of promise, of potential, of if-they-can-do-that-maybe-I-can-too.

We’ve done it before. We wouldn’t have telephones or iPads or microwaves if people had not transformed useless self-doubt into useful motivation. Bill Gates would be living with his parents in an RV somewhere in Colorado if people didn’t have the ability to recycle their emotions.

If you cannot reduce, then at the very least, reuse and recycle.

In ten minutes, when your friend emails to tell you that an agent requested a partial… In twenty minutes, when you stumble upon that singularly popular blog with 103,728,485 followers… Move your curser to the red “X” in the corner, click it, and open a Word document.

November 26th, 2010

Have You Ever Lost It?

by Madeleine Rex

Despite the picture above, today’s been a good day.

It began with waking up to the task of helping a friend decorate for Christmas. I’d slept over at her house for this purpose. It took over three hours to decorate because her house is magical at this time of year. Then, I went home and watched Eat, Pray, Love with my mom. What’s not to love?

It wasn’t until about 20 minutes ago, when I found myself contemplating what to do next, that something dawned on me. Not necessarily like a light bulb flickering to life in my head, but one turning off –

I’ve lost it.

The desire to do homework, tidy the house, bake, read, write. I’ve lost the motivation to do any of the things I used to fill my spare time with. Having four hours on my hands doesn’t bring with it the excitement it used to – the excitement surrounding free time in which to write or read or blog. It’s hard to connect to the me that wrote this – Why I Write – a few months ago.

I’ve lost the motivation to do the thing I thought made me who I was. I say I’m a writer. I think about my book and feel the desire to see it finished, but I don’t want to finish it. I don’t want to edit it. I can’t even fathom how I would if I did want to. There’s not a single person around me who can help with this. No one close – who I have easy access to – that can come over and help me dig in. Can actually sit down with me and give me the advice I need.

I feel terrible. I don’t blog as much anymore. I get home from school and feel like collapsing and doing absolutley nothing. The odd thing is, though, that I hate doing nothing. It’s counterproductive. It’s ending the day before it’s begun.

All summer, I lived in a dreamland. I cleaned the house, did the laundry, exercised, dreamed, wrote thousands of words every day, blogged every day, kept the house in order – in other words, overachieved. The contrast between now and then – when I’m lucky if I get the bird cage cleaned at weekly intervals – is heartbreaking to me. All I do is dream about doing instead of actually doing.

I want so badly to make The Lemonites beautiful. I want to feel as though I’ve accomplished something every day. I want to meet or exceed my expectations of myself. And yet I sit and sit and sit and live life as though it’s all in my head – as though dreaming and thinking about my ambitions and hopes and goals will help me achieve them.

Have you lost your motivation before? Have you ever been horrified by the fact that you can, indeed, do nothing? That you can not do the thing you thought was necessarily for you to live (writing, in my case)? What in the world happened to the person who did so much? Who used to put off meals so that she could finish doing the laundry? Who spent 6 hours a day for one week in the middle of the summer writing? How on earth did my books get written in the first place?

Maybe it’s my lack of guidance and the intimidating prospect of months of editing – a truly foreign concept to me – or maybe it’s that I’m just overtired, but something’s missing. Have you ever lost it, too? And, more importantly, did you ever run into it again?

Just For You: