Thursday, June 7, 2012

Malicious Motivation

This past Tuesday I broke. My legs felt like lead rods. My stomach My head throbbed. Tears welled in my eyes as I blinked to fight them back. Fleeing the cozy living room, I rushed into the kitchen where my tears splashed on the wooden floor. Laying my face into my hands, I wept the stress away.

That entire evening I had berated myself for not accomplishing my goals for that day and the last. In fact, I berated myself even more for the extreme lack of progress I had made on those goals.

Looking back, I realize now that my goals were ridiculous. No, they weren't ridiculous, they were obscene. Ridiculous goals are laughable, but possible to achieve. My goals were obscene. I am looking for a summer job and so I spent the majority of Monday, and Tuesday looking for one, and then I spent more time helping my Dad construct a ramp, so, how could I expect to get a few thousand words written each day?

There is no doubt that I had the motivation to write. And perhaps that is what broke me. I pushed myself into a degree of motivation that is unhealthy. I pushed myself into obsession. I was obsessed with accomplishing ALL my goals, particularly my writing goals and I broke. The stress was too much. My motivation had turned into de-motivation.

Yet on Wednesday, when I relaxed and didn't set drastic goals for myself. I wrote 3000 words in one of my novels! This experience has taught me that, while goals are important, and motivation priceless, too much of both or either can do more harm than good. I encourage you, friends, be careful not to put too much stress on yourselves and become prey to malicious motivation.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Summer Reading

This summer I plan on doing a lot of reading. Of course, every summer I plan on doing a lot of reading. Some summers this happens. Some summers I end up reading very little.

The goal for this summer is to read a majority of the books in my Goodreads to-read shelf. The books on that shelf are not organized according which books interest me more than the others. Many of the books are recommendations, some of them from years ago!

These are the book I REALLY want to read arranged in order personal interest:

1. The Chronicles of Prydain (the entire series) by Lloyd Alexander because I enjoy his quick paced style, his sense of humor, and his memorable characters. Also, to my shame, I read the last book in the series before I read any of the others.

2. The Prestige by Christopher Priest because I LOVE the movie directed by Christopher Nolan. I think I've seen it about 11 times!

3. Labor Gabala Erenn: The Book of the Taking of Ireland because I love all things ancient (particularly Celtic) and I'm going to Ireland in the fall! This book is proving tricky to get my hands on. The library system is giving me some trouble. Apparently the public doesn't have as peculiar interests as I do.

4. J├Ąger des Spotts. Geschichten aus dieser Zeit. by Siegfried Lenz
Yes, it's a German book. And no, I don't know German. So this probably won't be read this summer. Not unless I have amazing language learning capacities. But I want to read this (or at least find an English translation) because it contains my name and a poem my Grandmother had framed is found within this book.

5. Reckless by Cornelia Funk because a friend keeps badgering me to read it and I trust his opinion on good books to read.

I have already dispatched of a few book that were on my list. These are:  

1. Forbidden  by Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee. It was a decent book. The basic idea of it, a world devoid of emotion with a corrupt government ruling over it, is not that original. In fact, the beginning of the book reminded me very much of the movie Equilibrium. But the writing was good and Lee's style really complimented Dekker's. Overall, I would say that they created an enjoyable read and I am looking forward to reading the second book.

2. The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander. This is the first book in the Prydain Chronicles. It is fast paced, but not rushed. Despite the pacing, I still connected with the characters. I laughed at them. I mourned with them. I was shocked with them. Alexander is a marvelous story-teller. I wouldn't say the book was brilliant, but I know I definitely enjoyed it as a good, quick fantasy book.

We will see if I can obtain my goal of chipping away the majority of my to-read books by August 12th. Wish me luck!

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