A Healthy Pride Can Be Motivational

Sometimes it’s easy to get stuck inside my own head and be overwhelmed by all I have to do to manage my health. That’s the life of a disabled Spoonie, and I’m not the only one who feels this way or goes through this. What helps me get out of these ruts are visual reminders of who I am or what I can do.

Cue the Word Pride Wall! I decided to frame the front cover images of books I’ve written, edited, and/or anthologies that include my short stories. (I don’t have the cover design for Space Opera Libretti yet, but I’m betting it will be awesome! My plan is to put it with the three other framed anthology covers and get a poster size of The Stealth Lovers for the right side.)

My office. I have a framed poster of Life in the ’Cosm’s cover, then four smaller framed covers of The Stealth Lovers, Nothing Without Us, We Shall Be Monsters, and Alice Unbound Beyond Wonderland.

Also on my wall is a craft I made that says, “Editing feels so write.”

You don’t know how many times I enter this office just drained, but then I see that wall and remember what I’m capable of. It’s just the shot in the arm to get my unmotivated attitude to sing a new motto: “Wait, I can so do this!”

There might be a lot of things that take away my spoons (energy), but I’ve done some pretty cool things with words. Not only for myself, but also for other people! I’m an editor as well as an author. When I turn my chair around, I can see some of the works I’ve edited, resting on my bookshelf.

Confessions of a Mad Mooer (Robin Elizabeth), Skylark (S.M. Carrière), Camp Follower: One Army Brat’s Story (Michele Sabad), Little Yellow Magnet (Jamieson Wolf), A Desert Song (Amy M. Young), Life and Lemonade (Jamieson Wolf), and Moonshadow’s Guardian (Diana Gunn)

It’s really okay that I have Author’s Pride and Editor’s Pride displays in my work area. They make me smile, inspire me to feel proud of what I’ve achieved, and light a fire under me. Sometimes we’re so worried about arrogance that we don’t take the time to enjoy a healthy pride. There’s nothing wrong with saying, “Hey, I did a thing!” Because doing things can be challenging at times, and you should be happy when you’ve done things!

Even if you haven’t completed your first novel, I bet there are milestones you can frame on your wall or pin to a cork-board to remind yourself of what you’ve accomplished. Off the top of my head: Finished my outline! Nailed that chapter! Found plot holes! Completed first draft! Got a list of beta readers! Found an editor! (To me, those are all pretty big deals.)

However you do it, I encourage you to take the time to celebrate your creativity. Future You might thank you for it when you’re in a place where you feel like you can’t do anything. Then you’ll remind yourself of who you are, and hopefully you’ll perk up and shout:

I can so do the thing!

Cait Gordon, in a black and white digital sketch
Cait Gordon

Cait Gordon is a disability advocate and the author of Life in the ’Cosm and The Stealth Lovers (Fall of 2019). When she’s not writing, Cait’s editing manuscripts and running The Spoonie Authors Network, a blog whose contributors manage disabilities and/or chronic conditions. She’s also teamed up with co-editor Talia C. Johnson on the Nothing Without Us anthology (Fall of 2019.)

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