Thursday, March 19, 2009

There Ain't No Such Word as Can't

“If you think you can, you can. If you think you can’t, you’re right.” -- variations of this quote attributed to Mary Kay Ash, founder of May Kay Cosmetics and Henry Ford, among others.
This is one of my favorite quotes, and it pertains to more than just my writing. I was a school band director a number of years ago and often told my students to delete the word can’t from their vocabulary. With my high school bands, I always selected one piece for each concert that pushed them beyond what they thought they were capable of, and come concert time, they surprised themselves and the audience with their performance. What they accomplished never surprised me. I knew with the proper preparation we could achieve our goal together.

Writing is a solitary task, and all writers reach a point when we think we can’t. I arrived at that place last week. I want to tell a story, but seem to be stuck. Notice I didn’t say “I can’t” write the story. I know I can do it. It’s just a matter of continuing to try and waiting for the story to come to me. Maybe it's time for a new sticky on my monitor quoting that famous little train who said, “ I think I can. I think I can.” On second thought, it should read "I know I can. I know I can."

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