August 8, 2016

Motivation Monday: Nelson Mandela


"May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears."

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (July 18, 1918–December 5, 2013) was a politician and revolutionist. He was South Africa's first black president and the first person elected in a fully democratic election. During his term, he tackled institutional racism. He later served prison time for armed rebellion, and he left prison as the pacifist we often think of him as today.

Fun Facts about Nelson Mandela:
  • His pacifism was based on the belief that democracy and dialogue were the way to solve the world's problems.
  • His birth name means "to pull a branch off a tree" and "troublemaker."
  • He was given the name Nelson in school when he was seven years old.
  • His father was a polygamist and had four wives. Nelson had three wives--but not at the same time!
  • He had six children.
So What?
I love Mandela's quote because publishing is a hard profession. I know that after nearly four years of daily writing, five books finished, two books queried, and countless hours spent with critique groups, craft books, investigating agents, and otherwise working toward my dream, I occasionally want to give up. Every rejection, every effort that hasn't ended up where I thought it would, every failure strikes fear and doubt inside me. It makes me wonder if I'm good enough. It builds up and makes it hard to keep going. Maybe it's the same for you.

But, if a creative career is what you really want, then I think it's essential to make choices and goals based on what you hope will happen, rather than the fear of past failures. Personally, I'm looking forward to the challenge.