November 15, 2010

Let Me Motivate You

Peeps, in this, the most glorious month of the year for crazy writers (NaNoWriMo), I am reminded of the motto I live by. I throw it down to you now, with deepest love and affection:

DARE TO SUCK!

Yes. Glorious indeed, eh? Simple and to the point, but so incredibly, excruciatingly deep in meaning. If you need real motivation, people, this is it.

I like to keep this little nugget on my desk to remind me that I don’t have to write perfectly, that it’s more important to get my imagination on the page, one sentence, one paragraph, one provocative sex scene at a time. THEN, I can go back to leisurely edit and rewrite — again and again, ad nauseum — only better. NaNoWriMo is built on this foundation.

But these words don't apply only to writers. Trust me when I say that giving yourself permission to do anything badly is liberating. I'm, like, a pro at it. Your apexual (Suck it, Colbert!) expectations drop way down and your skillz amp way up when you loosen the iron chains of perfection that bind you — reminiscent of the way a stool softener can set you free. When you dare to suck, you bravely spit in the eye of self-doubt. You cast aside all fear of your peers snickering, jeering, and flipping you the bird.

Seriously, do not let them see you cry. Press onward! Think of the poster child for The Ultimate Suck. Babe Ruth had far more strike-outs than he did home runs. He dared to swing away! Who's laughing at the Babe now? Hmmm?

You want to be a better driver? Dare to suck at it. You want to be a better parent? Dare to suck, mamasan. You want to be a better football team? Do like the Cowboys. They're sucking bigtime so next season they'll figure out they've got to do more than just look baffled on the field without Romo. [D'oh! They finally fingered it out on Sunday! But I'm pretty sure they have elevated The Ultimate Suck to new levels. Sorry, TG.]

Yes, dare to do something sucky enough for long enough, and you eventually learn not to do it quite like that again. Why, I'm sucking right now at composing this post. But I'm committed to teaching you stuff, so my motives for motivating you to be a better person are nestled in the spirit of demonstrating precisely how to suck at something. Plus, the joy I take in that is just, well, I can't describe it.

So what are you waiting for? Go on, whatever you want to be good at, I dare you first to suck!
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38 comments:

Big Daddy Autism said...

I am sucking at sleeping as I write this comment and I will probably suck at staying awake tomorrow. Somehow, I don't think that's what you had in mind. But, by writing this comment, I think I am daring to suck as you have recommended.

Seriously, good advice.

Sarah Lulu said...

Have you seen the American movie called Serendipity? In it ..is a quote "If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid."... I've always believed that too.

A Daft Scots Lass said...

I suck at keep my children healthy at the moment.

daisyfae said...

i do many, many things poorly. sucking is a strength...

Gail said...

I have done this quite often lately in each branch of my life.

If you're not messing up some, you're not doing anything.

creative kerfuffle said...

love this post and the advice : ) i totally suck at cooking, so apparently one day i will be as good as emeril or paula dean : ) lol. i also suck at finding a job...so i'm sure when i do find one it will be most excellent. you are totally right though as it relates to writing. any book i've ever read on how to be a writer (which are all stupid btw) says you just have to DO IT. write. put stuff on paper. you can fix it later. you are a great motivator : )

ellen abbott said...

I'll have to add that little sign next to the one that says 'persevere'.

Charlotte Ann said...

OH Thank YOU! I've practiced sucking for two years on my blog and I'm so a picture of perfection. I never promised you or me a blog of brillance. It was supposed to be a diary of days in my life and a substition for the memory that seems to have went the way of my "monthly" with menapause. The 'pause part of menaPAUSE I fully understand now it it sucks also!

Kristina P. said...

I think this would be a great motivational talk. I will dare to suck today!!

Missy said...

Apparently I am on the Right Track!
I Suck at quite a few things! LOL

Expat From Hell said...

I think I found this at just the right time. You remain an inspiration to many - thanks for posting this. EFH

Pat said...

Finally! Something I'm GOOD at! SUCKING! Thanks for that!

Linda in New Mexico said...

I suck at being patient with myself soooooo yeah. Dare to suck. The Olde Bagg

injaynesworld said...

To me, the ultimate act of being willing to suck has got to be the stand-up comic. Talk about brutal. If they've got the guts to do that, I can put my ass on the line and give stuff the good ol' college try. Especially in creative endeavors, you've got to be willing to suck. Good advice, my friend.

Linda Medrano said...

I think it's very important to do it poorly, but do it in all walks of life. My husband is not much of a dancer, but by God, he dances! I'm not much of a singer, but I sing all the time. I write all the time too, and while it may suck, I do it. I sucked at what I was trying to say right here, but hope you sort of know what I meant to say!

Out on the prairie said...

Think of the variations of spreading this ideal to others. I suck at a lot of things so why can't you?Hmmm some feelings may get stepped on and your invites to social gatherings become a lose.that sucks.

Candice said...

How timely of a post could this be? I just now finished sucking.

I'm great at it. At least that's what I've been told.

Fred Miller said...

Of my four NaNoWriMo novels, the third one sucked the most. I'm not doing it this year, but I'm glad to hear that you are. I'll bet my drunken dog your novel does not suck.

Michelle @ The Virtual Assistant said...

Big Daddy's comment has me cracking up over here!

I am sucking at a few things right now... particularly with my mommy-hood responsibilities.

However....we are making tiny changes and getting closer to the desired end result.

I am such a perfectionist....and that's why I haven't been doing my own blog posts....because I want to be just like all the great women I admire.

I often remind myself that I am Michelle and that means that I will never be @RedheadWriting or @ShellyKramer or @KatJaib with my writing style. I will evolve and become "better" but in order to get better....I must write more often and more consistently.

So glad you and I met via Twitter and that you went and wrote this post! Way to put action behind the 140 characters!

@mmangen

Lisa said...

I am sucking all over the place. And I could use something to suck all this snot out of my head.

rory said...

Sonsabitches!
I forgot to suck AGAIN this year.
I keep meaning to do the NaNoWriMo and then it blows right by me and I'm left hoping that maybe I'll remember to suck next year.
Shit.

Gaelyn said...

Thanks for the motivation. I've been sucking at retirement.

flutter said...

I suck at housework. Most of the time my kitchen looks like a bombstrike and I totally make my fiance scrub the toilets.

huh.

maybe that's why he won't marry me.

powdergirl said...

Nah, you didn't suck at all when you wrote this post. You were BRILLIANT!
I suck at sucking, it's why I've only golfed twice. Hell, I've quite lots of things because I'm not instantly good at it. I like sports and anything else that I'm good at RFN. Maybe I'll try that damn game again. Maybe I will dare to suck. : ) Hell, maybe I suck already and I don't even know it...

meleah rebeccah said...

Im sucking at leaving comments - especially this early in the morning!

secret agent woman said...

This is the month I am glad I feel no compulsion to write!

Jocelyn said...

OMG, that picture of the monkey face with the words "Dare to suck" next to it is cracking. my. shizz. up.

You make the most valid of points about writing: that perfectionism is ultimately an excuse not to even try.

mac said...

I suck at lots of tings. That never stopped me from njoying them though.
Thank you for the validation :-)

Madame DeFarge said...

There's so much I want to write, but this is a family blog! I shall dare to be pants, which is probably the UK equivalent.

I'm Jane said...

My first thought was "Dare to suck what?".

This is probably why haven't been laid in awhile.

DLK said...

Found you from Pearl's site. I enjoyed this post as I suck at many things namely motivating a 16 yo boy. Oh, also...my blog sucks!

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

I suck. Hard.
Seriously, though - great advice. So often I worry about not sucking, then I get the writerz blockage, then that sucks. Aannndd...I'm back at square one.

GutsyWriter said...

I suck at getting my blog posts ready ahead of time, so I don't freak out at the last minute.

Captain Dumbass said...

I think you should start giving motivational speaches.

Captain Dumbass said...

Spe-atches. Hey, I suck at spelling!

Pastor Sharon said...

Okay. . . you have the ability to write in a way that causes me to laugh uncontrollably! I am very thankful for that.

Now, this is what sucks. I read this and my water broke. And, hon, I'm not pregnant.

Murr Brewster said...

I'm putting this motto right up there with my other favorite, "Don't believe everything you think." Except I do not want to dare to suck at driving.

Although that particular car has already scraped the curb.

Que said...

This post sucks!