The motivation of an intention coin

Every once in a while one or the other of my kids comes up with something so brilliant it amazes me.

My daughter just e-mailed me to let me know she’d created an “Intention coin,” and, curious about the name, I went to her Etsy site and read her description.

And I loved the concept. I love the power of taking something ephemeral and making it tangible, putting it in front of yourself, and using it to improve your life.

I also loved the post on her blog. Take a look at what she wrote and tell me what sort of intangible you want to make real this year. Put it into words that would fit on your Intention coin.

I’ll do a random drawing Tuesday, February 1st and buy an Intention coin (no, I don’t get ’em for free 😀 ) for each of five winners. And I’ll cover shipping, too.

As for me, TAXES are still ongoing. [shudder]

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and indie-publish my new ones.

369 comments… add one
  • Carol Jan 25, 2011 @ 9:44

    My word for this year is “Be”

  • Amy Tripp Jan 25, 2011 @ 9:42

    It’s funny, I was just thinking last night that I need to focus on the word “Discipline” in both my writing and my weight loss goals. So that’s the word I would have on my intention coin.

    I love your daughter’s creativity – she’s an inspiration.
    Thanks for allowing us a peek at the coins and a chance to win one.

  • Laurel Harrison Jan 25, 2011 @ 9:29

    I’m always inspired by sayings I read everywhere. I take meticulous lecture notes, including quotes by my professors that are humorous or meaningful. I don’t write as a profession but for a release of emotions. Something that I have taken to heart over the last couple of years has been the saying “You are who you want to be.” It means a lot and I’d love to be able to carry around a tangible reminder. Thanks for this opportunity.

  • Zuhaib Jan 25, 2011 @ 9:25

    Mine would be Believe. Believe in myself, believe that there is more to me than my doubts and believe that I can complete the fantasy series of books I want to finish! 🙂

  • Ame Jan 25, 2011 @ 9:20

    “Breathe.” We do it to live, but I never remember to use it to pause before and after any project. Life is fast, but we should all take a moment to stop, breathe, and remember what is essential and what we will do and what we have done.

  • Lisa Hartjes Jan 25, 2011 @ 9:14

    Motivation coins are a brilliant idea. I’ve been considering buying one for myself, and likely will, regardless of whether or not I’m one of the winners.

    I currently have two motivation statements that work for me: “Where’s the Snark” and “Share”.

    “Where’s the Snark” was actually something a member of my crit group said to me. It’s a reminder to have a clear vision of what I was writing, to be true to the voice of the story. It also applies to life in general – you need to be true to your own story, to yourself, to truly be happy.

    “Share” is one of those golden rules. It’s a reminder not to be completely selfish, and that even a moment or two shared with someone can make a huge difference. With writing, it’s a prod not to keep everything in my head. Sharing with the world makes it a better place, be it telling a story or helping someone who needs a hand.

  • Tami Jan 25, 2011 @ 9:13

    I think I’d go with “[Nouns] [Verb]” because it applies perfectly to so many aspects of life needing motivation.

    Writers write.
    Artists [make] art.
    Musicians [make] music.
    Pilots fly.
    Chefs cook.
    Students learn.
    Programmers program.

    If you want to be a noun, it’s as easy as verbing.

    Sometimes I need to be reminded of the simple equation – it’s far more important than all the complexities I add to it when I’m trying to convince myself that I’m no good at something. Nouns Verb. Period.

  • Sherry Jan 25, 2011 @ 9:05

    Wow Holly! I guess mine would say, “its okay to kill your baby” Now before anyone calls me a lunatic, this was a phrase I picked up from a speaker at one of the SCBWI conferences I have attended. It works because it lets me know that my story is going to be better with editing. so “killing the baby” is nothing more than tough love edititng,

    Your daughter is briallant!

  • Aislin Whelan Jan 25, 2011 @ 9:02

    “You’d be surprised.” I’m always surprising myself, there are so many things to learn and see I am never bored.

  • Sandra Clarke Jan 25, 2011 @ 8:59

    ID have to say the word CHANGE would be mine. Change hovers over my every step with menace, and I avoid it whenever possible. This year, I decided to take control of change. By making small, meaningful steps towards my goal each day. Change is happening now because I’m driving it.Standing up to my fear feels great. But a little reminder in my pocket would sure come in handy when those changes flowing out of my mind become clouds of doubt.

  • Vanessa Jan 25, 2011 @ 8:51

    I’ve spent a lot of time doing things I’m not particularly ‘naturally’ good at. Persistence gets me through these situations. This year I would like to apply that dogged persistence to my writing as well…

    So my intention coin would say “Pit Bull”. Or I guess it could say “Rabid Squirrel’ since they have the same sort of locking mechanism in their jaws…but you have to admit Pit Bull invokes a tougher mental image…

  • Elisa Jan 25, 2011 @ 8:47

    I love the little coin! With so much going on at the same time – children, family, old parents to take care of – I think mine would have to say “NOW”. It’s all here, and I will never know when or if I will have the opportunity again. I would need to embrace the moment, the now.

  • Mallory Schmitz Jan 25, 2011 @ 8:46

    I think my intention coin would say “Serenity”. I tend to get wired up and really worry about small details, to the point of obsessing over them. My coin would remind me not to worry about it, and to just relax.

  • Julie Stiles Jan 25, 2011 @ 8:44

    I think my intention coin would say Be on one side and Do on the other. I need the reminder that those are two sides of the same coin! I focus on doing a lot and I need to right now, but doing always comes out of being, and I can sometimes lose how I’m being in all that I’m doing.

  • David Jan 25, 2011 @ 8:37

    I suppose the most inspiring word for me is “Why?” I’ve always been curious, ever since I was a kid; those open questions – how, what, where, who – and those fun “What if?” scenarios are what really get my creative juices flowing.

    Wright on!

  • Carina Kamara Jan 25, 2011 @ 8:24

    CREATE! I have it in my head, so many thing that I want to create, to bring to life, to make tangible. Just to be able to create them inspires me to create even more. Instead of the creations living in my head where they strive to come to life I want to make them come to life. My word this year is… CREATE.

  • Emily Jan 25, 2011 @ 8:15

    LIVE. So far this year, I’ve had too many days when it was all I could do just to get out of bed or get food on the table or other normal, going on with life kind of things. Sometimes, I need a reminder that the only way is forward.

  • Bruce Elton Foulds aka eltonBruce Jan 25, 2011 @ 8:13

    I recently had my 67th birthday but if there is one thing I still need to learn as a life skill it is to ‘ persevere and complete’,’ especially for my writing. An offshoot to that is to retain confidence and belief that what I am writing is important and it will entertain or engage readers.

    Thank you for the opportunity to win an ‘intention coin’ and it is a grand idea!

  • Sera Jan 25, 2011 @ 8:12

    This Is definitely a fabulous idea! As long as the word gets out, I can see these coins doing very well. If I ordered one it would say “This too shall pass”. Those four words serve as a reminder for so much: that time is fleeting, that pain doesn’t last, and that each joyous moment should be cherished. I have had a very rough time the past two years and while I had incredibly high hours for 2011, it hasn’t started auspiciously. I’ve been contemplating a tattoo of the phrase, but an intention coin might work just as well.

  • Jim Wright Jan 25, 2011 @ 8:07

    I used to amuse my nieces by this little “story”.

    “Out in the wild wooly west a band of outlaws sat around the campfire. One said Jim tell a story and Jim began…Out in the wild wooly west…”

    I would repeat this again and again until they screamed “Uncle Jim, what was the story??” I think my coin would remind me to get off my backside by saying “JIM, TELL A STORY”.

  • Raven Jan 25, 2011 @ 8:05

    I know I can write, and I know from other people that I can write well, but sometimes I doubt myself. So the words I’d have on a talisman would probably be “You can, and you’re doing it well” because I usually loose faith in myself right in the middle of writing something. This is to remind me that yes, I can write, and what I’m already writing will look much better tomorrow, so don’t stop halfway through.

    I may buy one of these anyway if I’m not lucky in the draw ^.^ … as soon as I have a job and CAN buy one anyway lol.

  • Stephanie Arseneau Jan 25, 2011 @ 8:00

    for me it will be “DON’T GIVE UP” I have a tendency to give up dreams and come up with a pasebo effect dream.I started in last November by doing nano and keep at it until last week ( over worked myself need a breather.) I figure my real dream and I didn’t give up.Now I just have to continue and still not giving up to pressures of school and family XD

  • Christine Jan 25, 2011 @ 7:54

    I’ve been working so hard this year on just getting the words out for my novel. Last year I obsessed over writing guides, online classes and how to find the best way to bring my story to the world. THis year, I finally realized that I just have to focus on showing up every day and making a word count (though it’s ridiculously low, it often motivates me to keep going). Now I have several thousand words and I am starting to believe that maybe, just maybe, I’ll have a complete novel by the end of the year.

    My intention coin would simply say “All your words lie within.” I’ve finally realized that that is where I need to look to make my story the best it can be.

  • Maria Barseth Bakken Jan 25, 2011 @ 7:43

    Well. I’ve been thinking long and hard about this and I’m still not sure, but I think my words would be SHUT UP AND TRY. Sounds awfully mean, I know, but I think that’s what I need to be reminded of. My mind is full of an eternal chatter, and it’s keeping me from doing what I want, both when it comes to writing and socializing with others. If it would just shut up with it’s ‘but’s and ‘what if’s, I can do what I want. I’ve done it before, I just need a reminder that I can 🙂
    If it was possible, I think I would want the text in Norwegian though: TI STILLE OG PRØV.

  • Annemieke Jan 25, 2011 @ 7:37

    A couple of months ago I realized that I’ve given up dreaming of the future. I’ve lived through some hard setbacks the last few years, and forced myself to stop dreaming, because “dreams never come true anyway”. I am now trying to dream again, so my intention coin would say “dare to dream”.
    What a wonderful idea to always carry your intentions with you!

  • François Jan 25, 2011 @ 7:35

    Right now I’m sitting here in a hostel lounge in London, so far from home, on the adventure of my life. I’m on this adventure because back home I felt I couldn’t bloom, become myself, let go of everything I know… Now I’m here and I can’t seem to let go once again. I guess my word would be “Be”. “Be” as in letting go of my inhibitions, of my rationalities, and following my heart.

  • Bud Jan 25, 2011 @ 7:33

    I really like the concept of the intention coin. I think I would put “If not now, when?” on mine. I think that about sums it up.

  • Tommy Jan 25, 2011 @ 7:26

    Wow-Cool and Fantastic!
    Storytelling may be about many things, but that’s what it is always about, the Wow-Cool and Fantastic. It’s the artist’s advantage. The reason is simple.
    There’s never enough Wow-Cool an Fantastic in the world.
    Never has been. Never will be.
    Therefore the artist always has the advantage.

  • Tony Dyer Jan 25, 2011 @ 7:06

    “Live Now, Write Now”. I had a work colleague who died suddenly on 23rd December 2010 at the very young age of 36. He was a kind soul, full of enthusiaism and not an unkind word about anyone. I know that I’ll die. could be sooner than I want might be the time I need to achieve what I long for but I realise that I must live and write in the now. No more putting off what’s important. Do it NOW.

  • Linda Visman Jan 25, 2011 @ 6:51

    What a wonderful idea, Holly!
    I am struggling to do a few things – partly due to anti-cancer drugs, but partly due to my lack of self-confidence. I have a novel I want to self-publish, and its sequel to complete, and I want to do them this year. I need something to let me know I can do it, so “I CAN do it” would be great.
    All the best, Holly.

  • Terrie Hope Jan 25, 2011 @ 6:47

    I think if I had an Intention Coin, it would say “Inspiration, Motivation, Success”.
    What a great idea.

  • Ruth Ellen Parlour Jan 25, 2011 @ 6:40

    The words I would choose would be “Aim Higher” This year I’m trying to get a first in my university degree but I’m always trying to push myself to do better, to do more, and this would be the kind of thing to constantly aspire to. I think I’d wear it around my wrist as a constant reminder to be better and to work hard!

  • Maria Jan 25, 2011 @ 6:38

    “My Year”

    Things are really looking up for me this year. I’ve accepted another job near my mother–lower cost of living, better weather than in Virginia, and feel that this is the right thing to do.

  • Grazina Jan 25, 2011 @ 6:25

    The best two words that motivate me to write are “payment reminder” :o)
    I wouldn’t want it on my coin, though. On the Intention coin I would put “So what?” When I read my finished text, and that question pops into my mind, I know a reader can think it, too, and that’s bad.

  • Rebecca Anne Jan 25, 2011 @ 5:52

    Never give up when my mind knows what to say and my hand is to slow to keep up with my thoughts.

  • Laura Jan 25, 2011 @ 5:43

    I think mine would have to be “Never give in”. this covers both my life and my writing. Sometimes with writing it seems like I’m facing such a high hurdle that I’ll never get anywhere and it de-motivates me. many days I sit here thinking about writing but I can’t quite make that transition to actually opening a document and doing it, this is something I really need to work on.

    Then there’s my life. I’m nineteen, bedbound, have been for some time and everybody seems to have given up on me. no one expects me to every be able to do anything for myself, my healthcare professionals only ever turn up to treat infections and illnesses, never to discuss treatment, and my family aren’t much better. When I bring the subject up I usually get pitying looks and a change of subject which doesn’t help me keep going. I’m not asking to be able to run a marathon, I just want to be able to get to a bathroom, get myself a snack and a drink and be able to go to the shops.

    I don’t think that’s much to ask at my age, but I need to keep a reminder to help me keep going when those close to be have given up.

  • Zoe Farris Jan 25, 2011 @ 5:32

    I have a saying I always use when I have been going through hard times. I have also shared it with poeple who had suffered abuse or other trauma over the years and have been told it inspired them. It is “Stay Safe, Stay Strong.” It is simple, but it has alot of meaning for me and for som eof the people I have shared it with.

  • Vanna Jan 25, 2011 @ 5:22

    I like the “It is time 2011” coin the most since it sums up my intentions and hopes for this year very well. For the past 4 years, I have not done very much with my life. I have simply let it pass me by and this year I plan to not be that person anymore. It is time to start doing all of those things that I always wanted to do like write, travel, be myself, apologize to no one, and so on and finally live my life the way I want to live it. “Move” would be a good word to sum it all up, though I kind of prefer “It is time.”

  • Juleen Jan 25, 2011 @ 5:15


    Its probably a strange word to be inspired by, but I believe that life is nine parts determination and one part luck. And if you are determined to be lucky, then somewhere – no matter how far in life – you will get that one thing you want the most.

    For me it is to become a published author. If I work hard enough and I am determined enough to reach for my dreams, I’ll end up lucky enough to get what I want.

  • Steffi Engert Jan 25, 2011 @ 5:11

    Very moved by the idea of the intention coin and by some of the posts here. I am very much a procrastinator, too, as Holly’s daughter. So my talisman coin will say “Go for it”.

    Ah, yes, Holly, taxes. I am full of commiseration (have to do mine, too, at the weekend).

    Best regards

  • Prudence Jan 25, 2011 @ 5:10

    “Just do it :)”

    The smiley is part of the words – they are a friendly reminder and not a command!

    I love thinking about new projects; I love doing research for a new book. Left brain and right brain work well together but at some point I need reminding to get on and ‘just do it’!

    What a wonderful idea for a talisman!

  • Eve Jan 25, 2011 @ 5:07

    I love this idea.
    My coin would have the simplest and most obvious word on it, “Write.” Because that’s what I want to do more of this year. I want to write more and I want more people to read the tales I have to tell. I’ll try to make the “hard work” part of it fun.

  • dancingcrane Jan 25, 2011 @ 4:49

    I loved all these posts, and was especially moved by the one on Joy. Danzier and Holly, you described it perfectly. As much as I loved it, and live it, that’s not my word for now.


    Holly, I signed up for a course, and haven’t touched it yet. Too much going on. People needing help, illess, back pain. Husband, kids. You know. Life.

    I need to give myself what I give everyone else. If I give myself permission to do what I need to — to write, to get all these lovely people inside me out of their prison, into living, breathing and telling their stories — then i’ll be better for myself and the people I love. Sometimes I feel like club soda in a shaken bottle, and I grin at the tickle and fizz of the voices. Each with a different accent, a different time, a different world. “Hey, let me tell you –” ” –and you know what happened then –” “oh, i can do him one better, watch me –”

    Just writing this is fun. A solid reminder couldn’t hurt though, and the coin will remind me that I always have ‘permission’.

  • tambo Jan 25, 2011 @ 4:48

    I’d need four.

    Be Happy
    Love Yourself

    Those are what I really need to work on. {{huggs}}

  • Deshani Fernando Jan 25, 2011 @ 4:45

    I’ve been the quiet achiever for all of my life, taking the backseat while everyone else got noticed. I spent endless nights regretting not speaking up or making my voice heard, my talents noticed. Since high school ended last year, I’ve had too much time to think about the way I want people to see me and the person I am meant to be. I want this year to be the year that people notice me and the things I am good at. I have insecurities that run deep and bad habits that tend to push my mind into dark places. I am one who sees the light in the smallest of things and something as precious as an intention coin will give me some sort of quiet faith in myself. I want this year to be the one where I am fearless. I want this to be the year that I SHINE, and everyone sees it.

  • Jessica Sprinkle Jan 25, 2011 @ 4:40

    I love the idea of this. If I don’t win by contest I may buy one on my own.

    Anyways (this is a tough one) my coin would probably say “Don’t Worry. Just Live.”
    All I seem to do is worry anymore and half the time it gets in the way of everything. Once I start to worry, all my thoughts are consumed and I can’t do anything but sit and dwell on it. I would probably wear it as a necklace and every time I got down it would be there to remind me that worrying isn’t worth it.

  • Rachel Green Jan 25, 2011 @ 4:40

    I’d have ‘Let your children fly’ my children, in this case, being my manuscripts.

  • Leanne Johnston Jan 25, 2011 @ 4:31

    Wow, what an awesome idea. My talisman has always been the pentagram, i had a pentagram ring for years that whenever i wore i got a sense of strength. May sound silly, i always lost it, but always, always found it again, and when i put it back on i got a huge sense of relief. I lost it for good a few years back, i guess someone needed it more than me at that moment in time, and to this day i still miss it.

    Anyways….i love the idea of the Intention Coin, and think it’s awesome that you’re giving us the opportunity to win one. Thanks!

    My coin would definately say “For You”. I would hang it on my computer, and use it as inspiration to keep fighting and working hard on my writing, to do it for my Mum, who i lost 2 years ago, and a best friend i lost several years back, Dolly. They always believed in me, and it’s for them that i’m still fighting to this day, i write for them.

  • Tiffani Barth Jan 25, 2011 @ 4:24

    I’m to a point in my life where I am tying up loose and ends and finishing projects that I thought would never end. It it now my desire for those things to take me somewhere so that I can finally obtain the life I’ve been working towards for so many years. I want to realize my dreams and inspire others. I know that if I believe I can accomplish great things, nothing can stop me, and a talisman would be a constant reminder to focus on that belief. So i guess my word would be “achieve.”

  • Jessica Jan 25, 2011 @ 4:22

    One word that’s always pushed and motivated me is “Learn.” It has so many layers to the meaning. We learn in school, we learn from others how to do things, but we also learn from our general lives, from our experiences. I think change is good, and the reason is that you gain knowledge from it. Learning is a great example of positive change. It’s also a reminder not to be satisfied, not to fall into a rut or routine but to get out there and do things and change and learn, because no matter who you are or what you do or how old you are or what you know already, there is always more to learn.

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