Motivated by the Painful Truth

Laura Ayo

Few people like to look another person in the eye and admit they’ve failed, especially if that person is someone who is depending on you or views you as a role model. That’s one reason experts recommend that you find someone to hold you accountable when you’re trying to reach a goal.

I enlisted my 12-year-old daughter to be that person for me. Actually, she commanded the job, and who was I to argue? Let me explain.

Those of you who read this blog regularly know that I’m not a present mother, wife, daughter or friend for about eight weeks each fall. I’m busy working on a demanding freelance writing project at that time each year. I use several to-do lists to stay on task during those weeks. I write consistently at set times each day. I put my phone on silent while I’m working and only check email three times during the day. I batch cook in the weeks leading up to it so I have ready-made meals to pull out of the freezer to feed our family each night. I stick to a routine – one that I’ve tweaked and fine-tuned over a decade – so that I meet my December deadline.

I am organized.

I am consistent.

I am persistent.

I am fierce.

I am driven.

And in the end, I am successful.

Leave it to a perceptive 12-year-old to point out – in not so many words – that I am none of those things when I’m working on my novel. Ouch!

At that moment, she challenged me to work on my manuscript in 2018 with the same amount of discipline and fervor that I put into the work people pay me to do. I should mention here that my daughter is a cheerleader – an actual clapping, stomping, tumbling, stunting, louder than life, spirit-filled cheerleader. So, naturally, she was the best candidate for the job. She would keep me motivated with her positive, upbeat encouragement. She would hold me accountable. And, of course, I don’t want to let her down. I want to show her what you can achieve with hard work, dedication and passion.

I’m happy to report that I’ve made more progress in the past month than I did in all of 2017. I’m using Write by Midnight to hone the things I know I need to do.  So far, I’ve stuck to my goals and have written every day. At the end of the month, I hope to say the following:

I am organized.

I am consistent.

I am persistent.

I am fierce.

I am driven.

I am on track to completing my novel.

 

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