A Magical Motivational Tool?

Thursday, July 31, 2014
Use the magic wand to pick up your pen
and write! Photo | EKHumphrey
Worlds collided recently when a solution for a work project, became a tool for helping my daughter read more...and a tool to motivate me to look at my writing and my goals. Perhaps it will be of use to you! (Writers can always use more motivation, can’t we?)

My children learned to read and then, once they mastered the basics, decided they were done with reading. That’s right. At a certain age, no need to crack open any chapter books. After lots of progress, their reading time consisted of picture books—minus any words. Then a few months later, they will return to reading books—with lots of words. As an avid reader and writer, I know my kids will become passionate readers and the older two are (now) voracious readers. But these pockets of reading rebellion can be tricky for me.

A week ago, a colleague mentioned something that might be of help for a project at work:

A magic wand

The premise being that, if you had a magic wand to wave to ask for anything, what would it be? Then take your answer, determine what is the closest you can get to your answer and jump in to achieve the closest to what you can get.

Suddenly, I had the idea that the magic wand would work well for me as a parent and writer by helping to manage those pesky expectations and as motivation.

While I can ask that my seven-year-old daughter reads at a higher level than she is, what is the realistic goal I can look to have her achieve? Right now, she can wave an imaginary wand, look at the picture books and I can read her the chapter books. It’s a win-win and will help her to become a big reader. (And what seven-year-old doesn’t love a magic wand?)

As for my writing, my magic wand "ask" is to become a fabulously popular writer with dozens of titles to my name. What’s the closest I can get? To finish my works-in-progress. After all, I won’t become a prolific writer without finishing the works in front of me, letter-by-letter.

Go ahead, wave the magic wand, and tell us below: What’s your "ask" for your writing career?

Elizabeth King Humphrey is a writer and editor living in North Carolina. She wonders if she could locate a magic wand before heading to her high school reunion later this week.


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