Thursday, May 17, 2012

What's Your Fuel?

By Suzie Carr

As a novelist, I’m always interested to learn what motivates people to go beyond their comfort levels to that place where real growth happens. When creating characters, I enjoy learning lessons through them. What makes them act the way they do? Why do they care so deeply for certain things? How did they become so cynical, so happy or so fearful?

We’re all driven by different things. Our past experiences shape the way we view the world and the way we interact with others. We all come equipped with driving forces that dig deep and push us to or pull us away from defining moments.

I’m driven by the word CAN’T. When someone tells me I can’t do something, I do it double-time.  The reason for this motivation digs deep.

When I was in kindergarten and sitting in a circle for story time, a girl bullied me. Each time I’d raise my hand to answer a question, she’d hit me. After several grueling rounds of this, I stopped raising my hand and eventually lost all confidence to speak to anyone but my best friend, Todd, and my immediate family members. For two years, I spoke only to them.

Bribed with adventures and treats that would make any well-adjusted child leap for joy, I turned my back on any hope of being a ‘normal’ kid. Then one day, my best friend begged me to speak to his mother because that was the only way I could go to his baseball game. For three hours, I stood next to his mom as she watched soap operas and waited patiently for me to whisper something, anything, in her ear.

Todd begged and cried for me to brave up and say something. By the end of the third hour, my best friend knelt down exhausted and said to me, “I knew you couldn’t do it.” This little action switched something in me so powerful that I managed to whisper ‘yes’ into his mom’s ear.

I haven’t been able to stop talking since.

Fast forward to high school English class. To graduate, I needed to present my book report to the class. I refused, deathly afraid of public speaking. My English teacher allowed me to present it to him after school. When I finished, he told me, “You won’t succeed in a professional setting, so get used to working harder instead of smarter. That little insult sparked an inferno inside of me and I marched off to college shortly after and majored in public speaking, and graduated Summa Cum Laude.

Whenever someone tells me I can’t accomplish something, I accomplish the S*#T out of it!

That is my fuel.

What’s yours? What gets you out of your comfort zone?

All the Best,


I feel it's critical to support the community, and so I've committed to donate a portion of my book sale proceeds to the NOH8 Campaign (


becca said...

that's a good question I think like you it's someone telling me i can't i want to prove I can

Suzie Carr - novelist said...

It is truly a driving force, isn't it?

Wishing you a great day, Becca!

Bryhn Peace said...

I completely agree! I don't know where it comes from exactly, stubbornness I think, but I can totally relate. I could feel you mustering up the courage to say that "yes". Nice writing. Thank you.

Bryhn Peace said...

Sorry....hit it before ending...I can't end anything without sending blessings and good wishes. Namaste.

Suzie Carr - novelist said...

Hi Bryhn, thanks for stopping by here! Aw, Namaste to you, too:)


Panty Buns said...

It can be very difficult overcoming childhood
trauma. I appreciate you sharing yours
and reading of your success in dealing with/overcoming it.
I had too many childhood traumas are to enumerate in a short
comment but they effect my life. I'm reclusive but work on it.
I've been over-eating and not getting out or exercising enough.
Almost everything gets me out
of my comfort zone. My outlet is blogging, commenting,
and tweeting. Thank you for following me on Twitter.
I like your Twitter
@girl_novelist and am following you now.
I have a blogspot blog (following you on blogspot) and a YouTube too.
Nice to find and Tweet you!

Suzie Carr said...

@Panty-buns: Thank you for your comment:) I appreciate your sharing with me. Looking forward to sharing more with you here and on Twitter.