Riding with Marlo – Amanda writes about her experience…………

Riding With Marlo

Hello again, you may all remember me as the suburban mom/closet writer from my previous post featuring how Marlo is not a magical oracle with secrets to the meaning of life.  While I’m still not convinced that she has no magical powers, I can tell you with confidence that Marlo is a MOTIVATOR.

I’ve sent her emails at two in the morning labeled “Things That Keep Me Up At Night” complaining about how writing is hard and I wasn’t sure if I could make it work with my real life.  She sent me timely responses (we’re talking EARLY morning) basically saying go big or go home.   The misperception I had about motivational coaches was that they were there to kiss your boo-boos and gently usher you on the road to success.

Please note: Marlo does not kiss emotional boo-boos.

Shortly after I received her email I slammed my computer shut and had a conversation via text with my friend that went like this:

“Marlo just gave me more sage advice.  Epic Fail.”

“Were you whining?”  (This girl knows me too well)

“I’m just saying.  I hate writing.”

“So, you’re lying.”

“STOP YELLING AT ME.”  (I might be a little dramatic.)

“She’s your coach not your mom.  Go write something and we’ll drink wine later.”

Have I mentioned I love my friends?

So, I begrudgingly re-read the email she sent me and decided she was right.  I was at a point of “growing or shrinking.” I promised myself from that day forward that I would be watching for those moments and always choose to grow.

In the days after, I slowly began looking at writing as a job and not just an avocation.  I was peppered with texts, emails, challenges from Marlo, not asking about progress (thank God) but about how I felt about the way things were going.  Believe it or not I slowly but surely began thinking I was an actual writer.

Fast forward to about a week ago when I opened her email to find an invitation to an event.  She said she thought it was a great networking opportunity, but there were two words that stood out to me.

Champagne.  Cupcakes.  Done.

Better yet, Marlo emailed me asking if I wanted to ride together to the event.  A forty minute round-trip ride with Marlo as my captive audience?  Yes please.

To recapture the entire conversation with her would be more like an essay and I know you have more important things do, like accept your own challenges Marlo has assigned you and test your own limits.

So I’ll just make a list, because lists are awesome.

Things I’ve learned about myself:

I wear heels when I’m serious about something.  Not kidding.  That’s how I know my subconscious is saying “you better get yourself together, Sister.  This is important!”  I wear heels whenever I know I’m about to meet Marlo.  I do it without thinking about it.  Even my subconscious knows she means business.

I blame procrastination on perfectionism.  I have this horrible tendency to think “If it’s not perfect, it’s not worth doing at all.”  WRONG!  A frequent conversation between Marlo and me usually ends with her saying “What are you waiting for?  Go for it!”

Writing once a week (or month) won’t make me a published author any more than going to the gym once a week (or month…or year) will make me fit.  For me, consistency is an issue.  I love routine, but my procrastination sets in and… bottom line:  I need to be more consistent.  I’m working on it.

I need gratification.  It’s easy for me to be hard on myself.  I get down for not spending enough time writing, but if I write more I get down for not spending enough time being a mom, etc.  Accepting praise from me and others is something that’s still challenging because I see the flaws first.  Balance is hard.  Boundaries are good.  I’m working on it.

In order for things to change, I have to do something different.  This is the statement that resonated most.  If there was one thing I needed to hear that night, this would be it.  I want to be a successful, published author.  But it won’t happen unless I take the steps to get there.  It’s hard.  But as Marlo also says, if it were easy everyone would do it.

Finally, I realized the only person standing in the way of my success is me.  We’re talking Gandalf-staff-in-hand screaming “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!” kind of in the way. (LOTR reference?  Anyone?)

I stepped out of her car that evening and the first words out of my mouth to my husband were “I’m going to go on a writing getaway.  By myself.”

His response?  “Okay.”

So there it is, it’s out there for the world to hold me accountable.  I’m not sure where, but somewhere in November, I’m holing up for a few days with me and my laptop just to see what happens.  I’m hoping for literary genius.  No pressure.  Thanks Marlo, the motivator, for driving me (literally and mentally) to a new destination.  As always, I enjoyed the ride.

Amanda Lund, Aspiring Writer