“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
“From that day on, I began to sell. The ‘Magic of Enthusiasm’ began to work for me in business, just as it had in baseball….I would not want to give anybody the impression that I think enthusiasm consists of fist-pounding…but if fist-pounding is what you need to arouse yourself inside, then I am overwhelmingly for it. I know this: When I force myself to act enthusiastic, I soon feel enthusiastic.”
“Force yourself to act enthusiastic, and you’ll become enthusiastic!”
Frank Bettger, How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling
Just recently, a friend who’d been feeling discouraged about her writing sent me a note saying that my enthusiasm about some pages she’d given me really gave her a boost. And in turn, she told me about some poetry programs for kids that heartened me about the approach I’m taking with my novel. This exchange drove home to me once again just how important it is that we share our enthusiasm with each other.
Writing is challenging and often we feel that we’re working in a bubble or trapped inside our own heads. When someone else gives us an energetic, positive response to our work — it can make all the difference.
In a nutshell, enthusiasm is a vital quality for us as writers on two fronts:
First, there’s the enthusiasm we give others when we share our excitement with them about what they are doing. This is a transfer of energy.
Second, and equally — or even more important — there’s the self-motivating enthusiasm we bring to our own work — the adrenalin boost we give ourselves when we bring joy and energy to the page.
As Frank Bettger’s inspiring comments above suggest, there’s a simple, but powerful technique you can use to light an inner fire — “to arouse yourself inside.” Just “act as if” you’re excited and energized and you’ll become excited and energized. What does enthusiasm look like for you? Would you bounce out of bed, ready for action? Would your mind be buzzing with ideas? Would you be totally “in the zone” when you began playing on the page? Whatever the ingredients are for you, why not try “acting as if” you have them in abundance and see what happens? Let “the Magic of Enthusiasm” work its magic on you. I’d love to hear whether this way of working is a winner as you write on.