Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Reason Angels Can Fly

The reason angels can fly is because they take themselves lightly ~ GK Chesterton

I've written before about keeping your routines simple while working on your dream goal.  You also need to keep the whole thing in perspective and not take things too seriously.  Remember, if you're not having fun and it feels more like a work job, maybe you should reconsider your approach.  Once you get going, don't take yourself too seriously.

What have you done recently to take yourself a bit more lightly?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Courage to Follow It

Everyone has talent.  What's rare is the courage to follow it to the dark places where it leads ~ Erica Jong

Your talent, your dream journey may lead you to some very dark places.  It's not very fun to share your dream journey with close family and friends, only to have them try to talk you out of it.  Sometimes honing a talent can mean hours of sacrifice away from family and friends to devote to your craft.  There are probably a million other "dark places" I can't even mention.

To me, going through all of that is worth the reward in the end.  Dream journeys take time away from family and friends, but usually the reward in the end is more time to spend with them.  And even though they can try to talk you out it, it's usually just because they love you and don't want to see you get hurt.

Hone your talent, follow your dream, the dark places will go away.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Most Fortunate People

The most fortunate people on earth are those who have found a calling that's bigger than they are - that moves them and fills their lives with constant passion, aliveness, and growth ~ Richard Leider

Whenever I look at some of my current, inspirational heroes, I think that this quote sure does define them.  Oprah is building a cable network.  I have friends in direct sales who are achieving their dreams.  My brother just recently landed his dream job as an air medic.

Even when things seem bad to me, these folks are usually the ones I turn to to life my spirits.  All I have to do is watch the latest episode of Oprah's Lifeclass to find an inspirational story to get going again.  After watching an episode about Jim Carey, I wrote myself some milestone checks and carry the first one in my wallet.  The other three are in the nightstand at home.

And although I'm not making my income from writing, I have been living my dream since April.  I get up and have all morning to complete my workout, get my writing done, and still have time to relax, and get to go to a job I love every day.  I'm not wealthy by any means, but pretty much writing on the schedule I dream about.  And this is genuinely one of the happiest times in my life; it's filled with passion, aliveness, and growth.

If you're on a dream journey, do you feel the same?  I'd love to hear!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The First Person Through the Wall

Develop your own compass, and trust it.  Take risks, dare to fail, and remember the first person through the wall always gets hurt ~ Aaron Sorkin

When you're pursing a dream goal, it can always feel like you're the first person through the wall.  Even though hundreds, probably thousands have gone before you in your field, it will always feel like you're the first one through the wall.

But you have to keep going.  If you want to achieve your dream goal, you must pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and go through another wall.  It's what anyone who has achieved your dream goal will tell you.

Keep on going, just be relentless.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Whatever I Believed

Whatever I believed, I did; and whatever I did, I did with my whole heart and mind as far as possible to do so ~ Jean Toomer

I'm doing it with my whole heart, that's how I know that writing is meant to be my passion and vocation.  I've shared before that at one point, I thought that a sales career was to be my dream journey.  But there were times, as I look back now, that my heart wasn't always in it.  During the warm weather, during the holidays, I wanted to be enjoying those times myself and not building a business.

And that's how I know that writing is the passion to pursue now.  During the hot summer months, I enjoyed the hot mornings as I typed away on my second novel and worked on editing the first.  Even now, I've plunged full force into re-writing the first novel, I find it hard to stop in the mornings when I have to put it down.  I have to have some downtime in the mornings and not wear myself out before going to work each day!!

If you're not pursuing your dream journey with all your heart and soul, figure out why not.  Maybe you're on the wrong dream journey?  Maybe you are on the right journey, you just haven't hit your stride yet.  This is the most important time to keep moving forward.  Over that last few months it was the mornings when I didn't want to write that I forced myself to go on and can now brag about getting my goals accomplished. 

Are you chasing your dream with all your heart?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Don't Water It Down

Don't bend; don't water it down, don't try to make it logical; don't edit your own soul according to the fashion.  Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly ~ Franz Kafka

Sometimes figuring out what exactly your dream journey is meant to be is the hard part.  But once it is revealed to you, you much follow it like an obsession and like Frank Kafka says, mercilessly.

I'm working through this right now.  Those who follow me regularly know what I have finished writing my first novel, A Place to Call Their Own, and am looking for publication options.  Well, this week I heard from the balance of my initial prospects and am sad to say, that no one has taken me up on my offer.  Don't worry, I'm OK.  I know it goes with the territory.

A few weeks ago, based on a publisher's advice I started re-writing the manuscript and that was very scary for me.  With just a little bit of direction and a lot of fear, I waded in the shallow end of re-writing/editing.  After I figured out what the notes meant to me, I dove right into the deep end and am about halfway done with the rewrite.

So you see, I know deep down in my heart that the story I have to tell is publishable.  I just have to mold into a marketable novel so that someone can help me give it to the world.  And that is my obsession that I'm pursuing mercilessly right now.

What obsession are your pursuing right now?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The People Who Get on in This World

The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can't find them, make them ~ George Bernard Shaw

I think this quote speaks for itself, there's not much else I can add to it today.  In my own words:  the people who get ahead look for opportunities to do so, when they can't find them, they make them.

I hope you're have a wonderfully productive week!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

You Have to Let it Out

Dreams express what your soul is telling you, so as crazy as your dream might seem - even to you - I don't care:  You have to let that out ~ Eleni Gabre-Madhin

When my dreams first came to me, I brushed them off.  I thought I was nuts for thinking that I could help make such things come true.  But once I saw that others just like myself were successful, I knew I could do it, too.

When the thought first entered my mind to sit down and write a novel, I passed it off as someone else's dreams.  But the more I thought about it, the more I realized it had been my dream at one point.  It still took me nearly two years to come up with a premise for my first novel and get started writing, but I did it.  And now four years after starting the writing, I am working on the editing.

So no matter how crazy those ideas that gnaw you might be, listen to them, because it is probably telling you what you should do with your life.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Conceive Your World in Your Mind

You conceive your world in your mind then create it with your hands ~ Chris Widener

I have posted before about creating your end vision in your mind.  Have you done it?  No really, have you actually sat down and written out what your life will look like when your dream is accomplished?

If your dream is artistic in nature, have you written a paragraph or two about what it feels like to be famous?  to be asked for autographs, mauled by the paparazzi, what your Facebook and Twitter accounts look like?  Have you written any acceptance speeches for the awards you'll receive?

If you are going to school, can you see yourself walking across the stage and getting your diploma?  After you land your dream job, what does your life look like during the week versus the weekends? 

If your dream is financial in nature, what does your life look now with a different (hopefully much higher) income?  What will your day to day life look like?  Will that change on the weekends? 

I don't what if this has made a difference with my writing journey, but after doing this exercise, I see everything in my future more clearly now than I ever have.  I think about weekends at festivals and craft fairs selling my books.  I think about traveling all over the country and doing book signings.  And each day it helps me to do the things I need to do to make those dreams a reality.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

What Nobody Else Has

The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you.  Your voice our mind, your story, your vision.  So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can ~ Neil Gaiman

The one thing that you bring to your dream journey is yourself.  No matter if anyone else has made the same journey, each one of us will put our own mark on the journey.  That's what makes each one of us special, even if we are embarking on the same type of journey together.

No matter what your journey, there is probably some advice on how to achieve your goal.  As a writer, there is a lot of information on pursuing a fiction writing/publishing career.  Just about about everything I've read says I should be making a blog post every day.  But that routine has never worked out for me.  Even after coming up with the premise for my blog, I still struggled to get posts done daily.  If you look at my blog history, you'll see that I wrote more posts in 2011 than in 2010.  And this year you'll see I've written nearly twice as many as I did in those two years combined.

I figured out in February that I couldn't live up to the daily blog post.  I just couldn't do it.  But what I did figure out is that I could plan two posts during the week and each day of the weekend.  That's when I came up with my Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday schedule.  It's not everyday as recommended, but it's a regular schedule.  Since February I think I've only missed one day.  I've posted "off" schedule because of announcements I wanted to make or posts that participated in other events that needed to get completed.

Make your journey your own and I'm sure you'll provide some inspiration for someone else.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Absolutely Terrified

I've been absolutely terrified every moment of my life and I've never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do ~ Georgia O'Keefe

When I was selling Tupperware, my director used to tell us that if a stretch goal didn't make you nervous, it wasn't big enough.  And that's how I feel about my dream goal of becoming a published author.

I am still working on rewrites and editing and that has become just as daunting of a task as the actual writing of the first draft.  And at the same time, I find it so exhilarating to see look at my work from three or four years ago and see how far I've come. 

I've also done some freelance writing work the last couple of weeks.  It's absolutely the type of work I would love to do full time.  And I'm learning so much about it and facing deadlines and working through my weekend and all that that good stuff that come with new challenges.

If you're not just a bit nervous about your goals that you've set, they probably aren't big enough.  I hope you've set them big enough and are enjoying your dream journey like I am this year.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Don't be Trapped by Dogma

Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking.  Don't let the noise of other's opinions drownout your own inner voice.  And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.  They somehow already know what you truly want to become.  Everything else is secondary ~ Steve Jobs

Twelve years ago I decided that life was too short to sit around and be a drone to a corporate lifestyle.  I decided then that I needed to figure something out to do outside of a routine, eight to five corporate job.  At the time, I thought that ticket out was going to be Tupperware.  Twelve years later, I know that ticket is through writing.

All year long I've been talking about taking the entire year to get your New Year's Resolutions accomplished.  My resolution for 2012 is to get my first novel published.  I've got it written and have am working on some editing, but for the most part, I've sent it out to some small presses and am waiting to hear back.  If things don't progress by the end of the year, I'll pursue some self-publishing options.

It's still not too late to get started on a New Year's resolution.  You have nothing to loose by getting started on a dream goal today.  For me, it would be worse for another tragic event to happen and feel remorseful that I didn't get any novels written. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Secret

The secret to making something work in your lives is, first of all, the deep desire to make it work; then the faith and belief that it can work; then to hold that clear definite vision in your consciousness and see it working out step by step; without one doubt or disbelief ~ Eileen Caddy

These 55 words are so beautiful, there's not much else I can add today. I hope everyone is enjoying as productive and busy September as I am.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Dream Out Loud

You have to speak your dream out loud ~ Kelly Corrigan

I speak my dreams out loud a couple of different ways.  I think the first way is obvious.  I tell anyone who asks, and some who don't, about my dream to become a published writer.  I also tell about our house that we're going to build some day and the story that goes behind that.  I have a seven pinboards on Pinterest dedicated to our dream cottage house.

And there's another method I use to dream out loud.  I dream out loud to myself and tell myself every day that I will be a published author.  Whenever I run across an opportunity to dream out loud in my head to myself, I do.  For example, we hate our current kitchen.  It's small, cramped, and cut off from the rest of our living space.  Because it's closed off, our downstairs gets very little natural daylight.  So whenever our tiny cramped kitchen gets to me, I just close my eyes and dream of our open kitchen with lots of natural light, plenty of space, and open access to the dining area and living room.

These two routines accomplish two things for me.  First of all, when I tell people my goals, it means I will accomplish them.  And I will have an "update" for anyone who asks me later on who things are going.  The other reason is so that the law of attraction can do it's job in the universe and bring me the goals the I'm seeking.

So don't be afraid to speak your dreams out loud.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Meet and Greet

I am participating in Gear Up to Get an Agent (GUTGAA) this week.  Today's blogpost is a list of questions of each of has to answer as part of the meet and greet blogfest.  Here goes.

1.  Where do you write?

I write in my home office on my computer or on my iPad.

2.  Quick - Go to your writing sapce, sit down, and look to your left.  What is the first thing you see.

A picture of Thomas and I.

3.  Favorite time to write?

I always do my writing in the morning when I'm most fresh.  Sometimes, if I get a brainstorm later in the day or into the night, I will pound out 250-300 words on a great idea.  After I get that initial idea out of my head, I'm able to relax and work on the idea later.

4.  Drink of choice while writing?

I drink coffee in the morning and then switch to flavored water after the coffee gone.

5.  When writing, do you listen to music or do you need complete silence?

I watch TV, mostly "The Today Show."

6.  What was the inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it?

This is a difficult question for me to answer, so I'm going to answer it the long way.  A Place to Call Their Own, my first manuscript, is inspired by a visit to Pea Ridge National Military Park. Disappear with Me, my second manuscript, was inspired by music at church one Sunday morning.  My third manuscript, The Higher Law, is inspired by The Great Gatsby.  I just started The Higher Law and have put it aside to continue to put some finished touches on A Place to Call Their Own.

7.  What's your most valuable writing tip?

Develop the routines that work for you, no matter your research tells you.  For example, most people advise aspiring writers to blog every day.  I could never get a daily blog post accomplished.  So I figured out I could do a post on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.  Once I figured that out, I only missed one blog post.  So even though I don't post every day, I post four consistent days per week.

Thanks to all the new readers checking me out through this process.

No Greater Gift

There is no greater gift you can give or receive than to honor your calling.  It's why you were born. And how you become most truly alive ~ Oprah Winfrey

Sometimes our callings don't come to us right away.  Oprah herself started in broadcasting at a young age and was told she wasn't right for broadcast journalism.  As we all know, she went on to host/lead the most successful daytime talk show ever and now runs the OWN Network.

My story is similar.  I thought my calling was to be a direct sales professional with a large downline.  I was involved with Tupperware, SimplyFun, The Body Shop at Home, and Avon.  It was while I was a Tupperware Manager that I created my Vision, Goals, Routines, Boundaries, and Friends mantra for success.  I still use that formula today as a writer just waiting to be published.

There is no greater gift than to honor your calling.  Have you found it?  Are you looking?

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Make Your Soul Grow

To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow.  So do it ~ Kurt Vonnegut

I would add to this to follow any dream journey is a way to make your soul grow, so do it. 

Achieving any goal that stretches you to your limit is a way to make your soul grow, so do it.

I hope you're having a great weekend!  In the U.S. it is Labor Day weekend and I am attending a family reunion in Nebraska City, Nebraska with my mom's family.  I am looking forward to pushing forward with the editing of A Place to Call Their Own next week.

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Apocalypse Mechanism

 The Apocalypse Mechanism, by JM Richardson, follows two college professors (one a historian, the other a geologist) on their race to stop a religious zealot in the Middle East from activating an ancient machine designed to start world wide chaos through natural disasters and mass destruction.

This modern-day Indiana Jones tale is steep in research on the history of Egypt, Alexander the Great, Zoroastrianism, as well as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.  Although not a historical novel, I found the history supporting the story very interesting and enjoyable.  I did some further research on some of the topics because the novel piqued my interest.

You won't be disappointed with this book.  You'll have to read it to find out whether the world is saved or not.