Friday, August 20, 2010

What My Dove Chocolate Just Told Me
I was thinking about motivation this morning, so I decided to turn to the geniuses at Dove for some wisdom.  That was probably a mistake.

Chocolate #1
Keep moving forward; don't look back.—Sally, Griffin, IN
My Analysis:
Pretty stupid.  Moving forward is only good advice if you’re going in the right direction, which you can’t really know unless you look back occasionally.  That said, I'm kind of amazed at the correct semicolon usage.  So, I guess, kudos to you, Sally.

Chocolate #2
Live from your heart.  It will never steer you wrong.—Sherry, Conway, AZ
My Analysis:
Wrong.  Five minutes of the Maury Povich show will tell you that there are a whole lot of people in America “living from the heart” and definitely not on course.  Unless needing multiple paternity tests for all eight of your children is on course. 

Chocolate #3
You go girl!  You deserve this! –Teresa, Arlington, KY
My Analysis:
I liked this one at first.  I do deserve this!  But then I started thinking: it’s only my third chocolate, but would I really deserve it if it was my thirtieth?  Or if I’d just kicked my neighbor’s dog?  I haven’t, but I’m just saying Teresa has no clue. 

Chocolate #4
If you can imagine then you can achieve.  –Colleen, Cherry Hill, NJ
My Analysis:
Too bland to even comment on.  I mean maybe, but so what?

Chocolate #5
Wear that perfect dress tonight. –Lisa, Morristown, NJ
My Analysis:
Best one yet.  It’s something I can actually do, and it might even make my life slightly better.  Now I just have to clean the chocolate off my face and go buy a new dress.

Slightly More Serious Thoughts On Motivation:
I had two violin teachers growing up.  The first one was a screamer.  I was just a little girl (age 4-11), but there were threats, insults, crying at my lessons, the whole crazy deal.  I worked my butt off to avoid getting in trouble, but sometimes crap got dealt out anyway.  Aside from being completely mental, she was an amazing violin teacher—worth toughing  it out.  But it was personality forming to say the least, and to this day I’m a little afraid of perfectly nice people who happen to have Polish accents.
The second teacher was the opposite.  I was older (age 11-18) and cared about impressing him, which was hard to do.  But he was never mean.  Every single week I worked like a maniac, which of course was way harder than I ever worked for the crazy lady.
It’s not rocket science.  Fear bad, positive reinforcement good, right?
Except now, as a writer, I could use a good dose of teacher number one from time to time.  Trying to impress my agent/editor/readers/family/etc. is kind of an amorphous concept, and impressing myself is even harder.  So if anyone wants to call me up on Wednesday afternoons (is it weird that I remember my exact lesson time over twenty years later?) and scream at me in broken English, I just know it would give my writing a boost.  I might even dedicate book #2 to you.  Also appreciated: any motivational tips that don’t involve me eating another entire bag of Dove Dark Chocolates. 


  1. I guess it's been a while since I've eaten Dove chocolates. Who knew regular ol' people could send in inspiration?

  2. From now on I'm going to be tempted to call you every time a Wednesday roles around. Good luck with the motivation, all I can say about that is just keep writing even if it's crap, eventually it will spark something good and you can go back and get rid of the crap. Now with that said I've never written a book so maybe it doesn't work like that for book writing, but it's worked for me writing other things. You are amazing and if anyone can be motivated its you!

  3. I LOVED this post. Period. (Too much goodness to attempt to comment on)

  4. Forget blogging, you need to have your own TV show. Oprah's retiring next year, right? You're too funny to not have an entire media empire.

  5. Dove chocolates are BOGO Free this week at Publix. I know, I am your most helpful friend.

  6. Call me if you need someone to holler at and demean you. I'm good for that sort of thing.