March 26th, 2009 by Sasha White

“I’d rather be a could-be if I cannot be an are; because a could-be is a maybe who is reaching for a star. I’d rather be a has-been than a might-have-been by far; for a might-have-been has never been, but a has-been was once an are.” – Milton Berle

I found that quote on the internet, and it gave me a bit of a kick in the pants. You see, for the past year I’ve been struggling. I’d like to say I’ve been struggling with being creative, with balancing life and work, or even with the business of writing for a living, but that’s not really true. What is true is that for the past year I’ve been struggling with myself.

It seems clichéd to blame it on the fact that I’ll be turning 40 later this year, especially since I’m someone to whom age has never mattered, but I can’t fight it anymore. You see, when I started writing my goal was to be feeling confident in my career as an author by the time I turned 40. I was smart enough to know that you can never be completely secure as an author, but I wanted to feel like I was doing my job, and moving forward. And therein lie my problem. Little by little, things were eating into my confidence that my career was moving forward, but I kept burying my head and pushing onward, because it had always worked for me in the past. And when it didn’t work, I stopped dead to try and figure out why.

So here’s what I’ve figured out.

There is no figuring it out. It is what it is. There will be good days and bad days. Days when I love what I do, and days when I hate what I do. Days when someone’s careless and hurtful words in a review can make me cry, and days when a reader letter can make me feel like a Rock Star. Part of being an author is accepting that there will be times I struggle not to put my fist through my computer screen, and others when it feels like magic is flowing from my fingertips. You know what else I figured out?

All Glory Comes From Daring To Begin.

Yep, that’s another motivation saying. One of two motivational posters that I’d had mounted for my walls over ten years ago. Last summer, when I was repainting and decorating my condo, I figured they didn’t look as nice as my other artwork, and they didn’t fit, so I gave them to a friend. Now I think that might’ve been a mistake because that was about the time I stopped pushing myself. So, I’ll be taking my camera out next week to take some shots that inspire me, and I’ll be putting my two favorite saying on them, and putting them back on display. What was the other saying that always kept me going?

Success Doesn’t Come To You. You Go To It.

Have you got any mantras that help keep you on track?

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11 comments to “Mantras”

  1. Lynn
     · March 26th, 2009 at 6:52 am · Link

    There’s the one that reminds me of what’s important, and what isn’t:

    My fortune is sufficient to gratify my wishes. And what is fame? A gilded butt? Forever pierced with arrows of malignancy. –Dr. Edward Jenner, creator of the smallpox vaccine (who never made a fortune or thought he deserved one, but lived a modest and happy life after saving the world from a horrible disease)

  2. Captain Hook
     · March 26th, 2009 at 8:16 am · Link

    I love that quote at the beginning! So true.

  3. Liz C
     · March 26th, 2009 at 10:46 am · Link

    I was whining about something and my boyfriend reminded me of this quote (paraphrased):

    We do these things… not because they’re easy, but because they’re hard.

    I poked around a bit and found it was from JFK’s 1962 speech on going to space. I was almost three years old when he made that speech.

    I love that quote.

  4. Charlene Teglia
     · March 26th, 2009 at 11:00 am · Link

    “A genuinely creative act is always motivated by generosity.” – A.H. Almaas

    And also:

    “Anything will give up its secrets if you love it enough.” – George Washington Carver

  5. Sasha White
     · March 26th, 2009 at 11:55 am · Link

    That’s a good one to remember. Not just for the quote, but for who said it. :)

  6. Carrie Vaughn
     · March 26th, 2009 at 11:56 am · Link

    “If this were easy everyone would be doing it.”

    That’s been on my computer for ten years now.

  7. Sasha White
     · March 26th, 2009 at 11:56 am · Link

    Yeah, I like it too. The other two are just from posters, but hey, they work for me. 😀

  8. Sasha White
     · March 26th, 2009 at 11:57 am · Link

    LOL. I’m guessing your boyfriend knows you well.

  9. Sasha White
     · March 26th, 2009 at 11:58 am · Link

    Ohhh, that George Washington Carver one is very good when thinking writing thoughts. Love it.

  10. Sasha White
     · March 26th, 2009 at 11:58 am · Link

    Very True. Also a great one to remember.

  11. LKap
     · March 26th, 2009 at 12:58 pm · Link

    I have 2 I live by:

    If think you can’t, you’re right. If think you can, you’re right. – Ken Hatton

    Life is not the amount of breaths you take . . . it’s the moments that take your breath away!

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