Project Dreamcatcher: A RANT and Motivation


Before I get started with this week, I want to address a criticism one of my Project Dreamcatchers received on her blog. It made me REALLY mad. Like, hopping stinging angry.

One of the biggest reasons I started this project was because of what I was seeing in our culture. So many of us put ourselves dead last, whether because of the demands of caregiving, our careers or whatever the case may be. It seems to be what is expected of us, as mothers, as wives, as professionals. But: this is not good for our relationships, our professional lives, our marriages or our families. When we are more balanced and more fulfilled, we are more productive, happier and refreshed. But don’t take my word for this: many have found this to be true.

What drives me nuts is when women finally decide to pursue an activity or hobby or goal and they get feedback about how this activity is preventing them from spending time with their child or marriage or whatever. THIS IS BS! These women are not running off and chasing a band or whatever self-destructive behavior we can imagine. They are simply taking a little time out of their day, whether it is a few minutes or a few hours, to pursue something that makes them happy. They then return, refreshed and recharged, to their duties and responsibilities. Chances are, they return to these activities with renewed vigor and increased productivity as well.


Onto the Ted Talk for this week. It’s by Greg McEvilly and it’s about motivation. Greg has done something I think we all think about doing from time to time. He started his own business doing something he is passionate about, in this case trying to create products that will end Malaria-related deaths in Africa and create sustainable products throughout the world. He used Kickstarter to raise money for his company and way exceeded his fundraising expectations. His talk is really inspirational and moving, because he talks about how each of us are worked on by two motivators: fear and love.

Fear is that we won’t be able to keep up with the Jones, that we are afraid of the “other,” that we need to stay in our own world with our blinders on. Love allows us to connect with others, open our minds to the possibilities of helping others and helps us combine our lives with service for others.

I could really relate to this, because my book is a way to make others dealing with infertility feel less alone, less marginalized, less, well, “other.” It seems just when I lose motivation, someone or something comes through to help me keep going. Last night, as I was feeling kind of not very motivated, I received an email from someone whose acquaintance was going through a third miscarriage. Her acquaintance found “Faces of ALI” through a Google search.

The email said:

“She was so thankful for the message because no one in her life has understood what it’s like…and she has felt so alone. It wasn’t until she read Courtney’s profile and blog that she felt like someone else knew what it was like. So even though you know these profiles are helping women everywhere I thought I’d tell you of yet another instance where – because of your choice to create this amazing thing and feature these profiles on your blog – you just helped another woman to not feel alone.”

I want to clarify that it is the words of the women I am profiling that have led to this project. All of you have made this change, this difference.

And every goal on the Project Dreamcatcher list is making a change for good in this world, whether through a better life-balance, creating a better family and professional environment, creating better health through improved physical fitness, etc.

Rock on, ladies. Rock on.

Does it chap your hide when people accuse women with hobbies or goals of not being engaged enough in their family life? Are you motivated by fear or love, or a combination of both?

{What’s Project Dreamcatcher? Click here to find out.


Filed under getting published, Miscarriage, Project Dreamcatcher, writing

8 responses to “Project Dreamcatcher: A RANT and Motivation

  1. You would never hear someone saying that about a man. Ever. I have a post brewing all about the sort of thing. What feminism looks like today if anything. It’s really disheartening. It reminds me of Marge Piercy Poem (Which I have always loved. I think I was given this book when I was about 18 or younger. Before my MFA of course which she disses but I can forgive her):

    Talent is what they say
    you have after the novel
    is published and favorably
    reviewed. Beforehand what
    you have is a tedious
    delusion, a hobby like knitting.

    Work is what you have done
    after the play is produced
    and the audience claps.
    Before that friends keep asking
    when you are planning to go
    out and get a job.

    Genius is what they know you
    had after the third volume
    of remarkable poems. Earlier
    they accuse you of withdrawing,
    ask why you don’t have a baby,
    call you a bum.

    The reason people want M.F.A.’s,
    take workshops with fancy names
    when all you can really
    learn is a few techniques,
    typing instructions and some-
    body else’s mannerisms

    is that every artist lacks
    a license to hang on the wall
    like your optician, your vet
    proving you may be a clumsy sadist
    whose fillings fall into the stew
    but you’re certified a dentist.

    The real writer is one
    who really writes. Talent
    is an invention like phlogiston
    after the fact of fire.
    Work is its own cure. You have to
    like it better than being loved.
    Marge Piercy, “For the young who want to” from Circles on the Water: Selected Poems of Marge Piercy (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1982). First appeared in Mother Jones V, no. 4 (May 1980). Copyright © 1980, 1982 by Marge Piercy and Middlemarsh, Inc. Used by permission of the Wallace Literary Agency, Inc.


    You rock. Your project rocks. XOXO Pam

  2. Who would say that? What an awful ridiculous thing to say. I hope she realises that by looking after herself she is making sure in the long run she is going to be a better happier mum for all.

    Sent from my iPhone

  3. Yes, I have to admit, I was surprised that comment. I have never seen a woman admonished for following a dream or attempting a hobby before. I mean, I’m sure it happens, but it’s not something I’ve ever witnessed personally. Luckily, I have received nothing but support, and even admiration, for what I’ve been doing. At least, that has been the case, with my family and friends. In fact, just today, I mother offered to buy me an electric tiller, so I can get the middle square done by myself. I thought that was a really awesome way to support me, since she is out of town for most of the summer.

    I’m glad you’re finding the inspiration to keep going with your project. I think it is a really important project, and I really want to see it completed. No pressure or anything. 😉

  4. I actually see a lot of this when the women are artists, cause that’s not a real profession, right? Apparently as a wife and mother, I only have a right to be happy if dinner is on time.

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