Got grit?

16 thoughts on “Got grit?”

  1. Great post, Andrea! You don’t need “quotes” now. You are a writer. Writing to you from the far end of the mom spectrum, obstacles will always remain, and you’ll just keep getting your gritty on to overcome them.

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  2. Thanks for this – I needed the reminder. Grit is a good word, but I like sticktoittiveness too. =) It is what my father always said I lack, but it is what twenty years of rejection letters says I have, in spades.

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  3. YES to Grit, capital G. Check out the book Talent Is Overrated — a nonfiction book about the difference between the “greats” and the “pretty goods” and “I quit when I turned 14″s — there is definitely a link between temperament and “success” (tho these days, I’m re-examining my definition of success — not sure the popular culture’s interpretation fits me very well) … and it has a lot to do with being able to endure practice of whatever kind, and to practice effectively — which means being able to withstand being in the uncomfortable space of doing something not very well — an unpleasant sensation … anyway. Glad your moment changed from overwhelmed.

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    1. I think you hit the nail on the head – we have to define what success means to us before we can decide whether or not we have succeeded. I love your thoughts, that success may be the practice itself – “to endure practice of whatever kind… β€” which means being able to withstand being in the uncomfortable space of doing something not very well. Perfectly put. When I write about future success, I’m still working on what that means for me, but I think mostly it means I produce work that I’m really, really proud of. I guess in that sense I have already succeeded. So maybe my future success means that by the time the kids move out, I will be skilled enough as a writer to supplement our income through my craft rather than going out and getting some other kind of job. I think that’s probably my definition of success for myself.

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  4. Thank you so much for posting this. It was exactly what I, personally, needed to hear. Life constantly gets in the way of life, doesn’t it? And sometimes we falter because we doubt our own abilities. But a little grit can go a long way and a lot will get you exactly where you want to be. We can do it!

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    1. Life does have a messy way of getting in the way of itself! And I love that you point out that we falter because of self-doubt. I think you’ve hit a key point there. Success isn’t always clean, and as Lesley mentioned in her comment above, we sometimes have to “withstand being in the uncomfortable space of doing something not very well” before we become better. And that’s when we doubt ourselves, and that’s where the grit comes in. I’m glad this was helpful to you, as your comment about doubting ourselves was helpful to me too. We can totally do it.

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  5. I don’t know how many millions Nike spent to come up with their slogan, but it’s been my mantra through the tough times of the last few years: “Just Do It!”

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    1. I know! It’s genius. It says everything we need to know. I remember the first time I really got that slogan – maybe during the AIDS Ride? – and realized the power of it. No thinking, no worrying, no hemming and hawing. Just do it.

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    1. I thought of you the whole time I listened to Duckworth’s talk and the whole time I wrote this, and I tittered and giggled every time I tried to figure out where to slip in the word “gritty.” I knew it had to come at the end, at a power point πŸ˜€

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  6. Fabulous, Andrea. I have had SO many of these moments myself. I totally get it. Being “mom” and “CEO of the house” are both huge jobs that require a seemingly endless supply of energy, patience, and cat-herding skills. Trying to add anything else into the mix can quickly send you into a tailspin. BUT … we do it anyway. πŸ˜‰

    Seth Godin recently wrote a post about the difference between “persistence” (which if often touted as a good trait although, as he points out, it’s more applicable to telemarketers than, for example, Olympic athletes) and “tenacity.” I like “gritty,” but I also like “tenacity” – that sense of hanging on and sticking with it no matter what it takes. That’s what a writer needs, because writing is about the long haul. There are no short cuts.

    I’m glad you felt better by the end of writing this post. Those feelings will come back, but at least you know (hopefully) that they will also pass. You ARE a writer … and a mom and CEO of the house and so much more. That’s as it should be. Your life influences your writing influences your life influences your writing. And so it goes. πŸ˜‰

    xo

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    1. Tenacity – yes! Perfect word. I wish we lived in the same town so we could have coffee, Jamie. I think we could spend a lot of time talking. Love your closing: “Your life influences your writing influences your life influences your writing. And so it goes” Yes ma’am. Thank you.

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      1. I wish that, too. Maybe we’ll have to do a virtual coffee (or wine!) date one of these days. Skype and Google Hangouts do a great job of closing geographical gaps. πŸ˜‰

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  7. Grit is a word I’ll have to remember. Hadn’t heard it in a while. I think you can definitely call yourself a writer. Good things take time and there’s nothing wrong with it. Stick with it and you’ll do more with your writing. You’ll never regret spending the time you do in your kid’s lives now, so just write as you can. They’ll be grown too quickly and you’ll have probably too much time on your hands way too soon.

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