Wednesday, March 23, 2011

You can do it!

I think most of you know I'm staring down a pretty crazy deadline--I've certainly done enough whining about it.

But I'm not here to whine today. I'm here to share the single thought that's kept me going through all the stress and sleepless nights and revising till my eyes go blurry: I can do this.

Four simple words. But they're some of the hardest to believe, aren't they?

And yet, they're almost always true.

I have a friend who wrote and revised an entire book in three and a half months--and outlined the sequel--so she could turn it into her agent on time.

I have another friend who works full time, has four kids, and has written almost an entire first draft in two-and-a-half months to meet a deadline of her own. She's not there yet, but she's going to make it.

I have another friend who spent late night after late night working to meet a revision deadline--some chapters driving him so crazy he thought he'd never get them right. But he nailed those freaking chapters and turned in the draft on time.

I have another friend who hit a wall in her draft and didn't know how to get around it. But she powered through and found the solution and finished her draft with plenty of time to revise before her deadline.

And me? I wrote over 25,000 words in four-and-a-half days so I could type "the end" and have (barely) enough time to revise. 

What do all those things have in common? 

None of us thought we could do them until we did it. 

It's hard and exhausting and stressful and all that jazz. But it can be done.

So whatever you're facing. Whether it's an impossible deadline, or a busy schedule that never seems to allow enough time for writing or a problem with your draft that seems to have no solution or insert-other-difficulty-here. Remember: you can do it.

If you don't give up, you CAN do it. Never doubt that. Never doubt yourself. I promise: you can do it!*

What about you guys? Any of you do something you didn't think you could do? Feel free to share in the comments.

*this motivational message has been brought to you by an extremely exhausted blogger. Please ignore any typos or general incoherence. :)

48 comments:

  1. I think you're right. We are always capable of far more than we realize. congrats on typing The End.

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  2. Great post, Shannon! Thanks for the inspiration...I need to tackle yet another revision on my novel.

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  3. MAAAN my internet's annoying - took me 10 mins to be able to open this comment window. :P

    Anyway...I really loved this post - very inspirational indeed! Thanks Shannon!

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  4. Thanks for giving us the pep talk. I needed it. And that's great you made your deadline.

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  5. I finished my ms. on my self-imposed deadline, Monday. I was thrown a few curveballs but I just couldn't NOT finish. Ta Da!

    Congrats to you. And you have a REAL deadline.

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  6. Congrats on the end. I need inspiration like this. Thanks so much. I always have to remind myself, it can be done, just keep going.
    Thanks.

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  7. I have a friend who's awesome and inspires almost daily. Yes, it's you.

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  8. Very inspirational post. Thanks for sharing. CONGRATS on being able to finish up your WIP and type "the end"!

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  9. Seems simple, but that little bit of inspiration helps. My novel is done, and if readers can be believed, it's pretty good. Now it's out on query and so far I've had the obligatory rejections, which, as I'm sure everyone knows, is a major downer. So just a little bit of positivity helps lighten my spirit a teensy weensy bit. Thanks!

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  10. Love the pom pom action you had going there, Shannon. :D

    Good luck on reaching your deadline. We're all cheering for you.

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  11. Thank you for a lovely reminder. Two years ago I started my blog and the title of the first post was: "I Can do this." I meant than, that I CAN write and two years later, I continue to improve while chanting that mantra.

    Good for you for reaching your goals.

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  12. I needed this is a lot today. This was perfect for me. Today I'm over at Matthew Rush's blog being critiqued on my query letter. It's been rough, even with all the good advice.

    I'd love if you'd stop by and see if what you think about my query! It'd mean a lot!

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  13. Thank you for this post. I really needed it today. :)

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  14. WOOT! Way to go on finishing the draft, and good luck with the revisions!

    I did NaNo. The thing was, I did it mostly in the last 5 days. I just kept telling myself, "If some people can do the novel-in-a-weekend writing marathon, you can do one in a week." And I did it. Then I slept. :-)

    Keep going, Shannon. Yo CAN do it!

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  15. I love this post. I needed this post. TODAY I will *try* to find the courage to query that agent. :-)

    Hang in there, #1. I'm rooting for you!!!!

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  16. 'Just Do It' sums up a lot of things in life. I always tell myself that the time is going to pass no matter what I do. So I might as well make it useful. So glad you were able to meet your deadline! THE END are two of my favorite words too!;)

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  17. At this point I'm more concerned about making sure my kids comb their hair and wear matching clothes to school than just about anything else.

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  18. Great post! This is exactly the thing everyone needs to hear...more often. Against all odds, I wrote a book in January. My four kids might've had a bit of a TV overload and my house got lost in all the mess, but I did it. It was hard and I might not ever do that again, but I wanted to challenge myself.

    Good job at 25000 words in four days! I don't think I've ever written that many in so little time. It's amazing how much relief we can get from two simple words. The end.

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  19. I love these fist-pump blog posts about achieving goals. They make me eager to put fingers to keyboard! Great job meeting your goals.

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  20. This is exactly what I needed to read today. Thank you!

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  21. I really needed to hear that today. I'm going to be reminding myself all day -- I CAN do it! (I kind of feel like the little engine.)

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  22. I needed an inspiring post today! Much appreciated! Now if I can just think of where to go with my WIP and have a child in the next few weeks I'll be golden!

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  23. Aw, Shannon. I heart you. And yes you CAN do it! You've been working your butt off--and it's totally showing in your amazing wordage :)

    Now. Hurry up and finish so you can get some SLEEP.

    <3

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  24. Fantastic post!! Starred it in google reader to reread when times are tough with writing. Thank you. :)

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  25. Last summer, I worked through edits while putting a house on the market, selling it, buying another, moving across country, and bringing a puppy into the family. A lot of days I lived moment by moment, pushing myself to continue by remembering it would all end soon.

    It's doable! Go, you!

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  26. I so needed this post. I'm revising and have hit the point where I'm thinking, "I know what I want to do, but I'm confident I can actually do it." It's made me stuck and avoid working on it in small bits because the revisions seem so overwhelming that I need a good chunk of time. But, you know, I can so do this.

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  27. Thanks for this post. I really needed it today! I've also set a crazy deadline for myself but I'm going to make it!

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  28. Thanks, Shannon. I'm trying to finish a rough draft by the end of the month, and I needed this.

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  29. Great post!

    We have lots of deadlines at my day job, and one thing we always say is: The great thing about deadlines, is they always pass.

    It's true that deadlines suck, but once you meet them you're done!

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  30. Very nice, Shannon! Rah for your deadline, and I'm sure I'll make mine too whenever I get there. :) Now go revise! LOL

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  31. This is the best post ever! It's so true. And sometimes, we just need an email or a blog post or a tweet to remind us. I love getting the email that says, "You can do this!" Everyone needs those cheerleaders.

    So go, S! You can do this!

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  32. Nothing like a deadline to make us do 'the impossible'. Or: getting ready for vacation...amazing what I can get done the week before I leave on vacation.

    I try to always remind myself your four words, and these four words: This too shall pass.

    Those eight words will get you through just about anything. :)

    Good luck and best wishes with your deadline.
    Hugs,
    Lola

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  33. You are sooo my fav cheerleader!lol

    I stressed over being able to write at all with my schedule or being able to finish a novel anyway. Now I'm working on my fourth manuscript and I know 'I can do this'. Thank you!

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  34. You're amazing! Congrats!

    I'm trying to make a self-imposed deadline this week too. Will keep your words in mind. Thanks! :)

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  35. Awwwww you smexy woman you!! Thank you!! Yes I can do writing malarky darn it!!!

    Onwards and upwards for you!! Yay!!! Take care
    x

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  36. You are amazing!! (Tired, but amazing.)

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  37. Yay for meeting deadlines and typing the end! I need to remind myself of this all the time. Yes, it is hard, but it's not like I'm trying to build a time machine or create a ray gun that turns aspidistras into cats...finishing my novel is totally doable! Hope you finish soon!

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  38. Perfect timing for this post...I needed to hear this today

    (And YOU CAN DO IT!)

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  39. Yep, I needed to hear this desperately. Good luck, Shannon! You can definitely do it!

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  40. Yap! I had to rewrite my novel as an entirely different genre in two months with a full time job. I was SO stressed. But I did it! I'm sure you can too, hon! :o) sending positive thoughts your way!!! xxx

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  41. It is posts like these why I love you blog and why I think you are amazing.

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  42. Yes, Shannon! Go sister. I'm rooting you on over here! And yes, we are all put to the test-repeatedly-in this business. These *are* the words that get you through!
    Oh, and 25K words in 5 days? wha???

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  43. Your site was nominated for the Inspiring Blog Award.

    Go to http://astorybookworld.blogspot.com/p/awards.html and pick up your award.
    ~Deirdra

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  44. Ah, see - I nominated you for an inspiring blog award before I read this post. How timely! And so true - thank you for this. :) We writers really need to hear this from time to time. I know I did! Continued success on your revisions! You'll make that deadline, of course you will! :)

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  45. Great words to hear today -- thanks!

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  46. I LOVE this. You can do eet!

    P.S. 25k in 4 and a half days? You rock.

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  47. Thanks so much, Shannon, for this great pep talk. I'm staring down the barrel of a hectic week myself, with deadlines for two different clients plus my own writing/blogging/keeping up with the writerly community. And that doesn't take into account the kid, the household chores and errands, and numerous other things that everybody else also has to deal with. It's amazing how we not only survive but thrive while continually asking more and more of ourselves. Thanks again for the shot of positive attitude. As others have said, I needed it today!

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Yay-I love comments! Thank you so much! (But please remember to keep your comments spoiler-free. Also, I try to keep this a happy, positive place. Friendly debate is fine, but always be kind to each other). <3