“My motto is this: Just wake up and have a good day, have a good time, and no matter what goes wrong, turn that into something good. Still come out smiling, still come out having a good time. Magic Johnson
Magic Johnson has had a storied basketball career; he’s also had his share of ups and downs on life’s highway, so we’re probably safe in saying that his motto has hardened in the fires of experience. All the more reason to take it to heart:
“Have a good day” — Write now, right now, in this moment, we can choose to have a good day, even a great day. It’s a good day when we’re strong and healthy enough — or tough enough — to pursue our dreams. It’s a good day when we have the freedom to think, to plan, to get our ideas on paper. It’s a good day when one good idea comes to us unexpectedly, unbidden — a gift from the universe. Sometimes any or all of these can make it not just a good day, but a great day.
“Have a good time” — When we think of work as play, the chances of having a good time are far better than if we think of what lies ahead as a chore or a problem. Envision these two images, which just flashed into my mind: Writing can be a thorny thicket of tangled words we fight our way through or it can be a sunlit meadow in which we happily pluck a rainbow of flowers — just the right words — and create a beautiful bouquet from them. Have a good time today — be bold, playful, and adventurous. Let the child in you run through that meadow!
“No matter what goes wrong, turn that into something good” — We writers are alchemists: We turn words into feelings, ideas into stories . We’re masters of the art of transformation — it’s our stock and trade. So taking something that’s gone wrong and turning it into something good: this is something we know how to do. Have you hit a messy plot point and has it run away with you? There’s a nugget of gold in your confusion — maybe it’s a signal that you need to simplify your story line. Is one of your characters feeling leaden and two-dimensional? Great! It’s the perfect opportunity to work your magic and come up with fresh, new ways to breath life into those dry, hackneyed bones.
“Still come out smiling, still come out having a good time” — If we can do this at the end of the day — and why not? — we’ve had a day well spent. To feel that we’ve come through our day on the page with something of value, something we can use, something we can work with — what a blessing! Write on!