Tuesday, July 31, 2012

If You've Got The Nerve

You sort of start thinking anything's possible if you've got enough nerve ~ J.K. Rowling

Did you watch the Opening Ceremonies last Friday night?  Weren't they just magical?  The producers of that spectacle had the nerve to think they could pull something like that off, and they did.  The same can be said for all of the athletes competing in the Games.  They all have the nerve to attempt to compete and there they are competing on the world stage.

I love the Olympics.  Each time they are on, we are introduced to new athletes and hear their stories of what it took to see them competing in the Games.  Each one of these stories reminds me that will enough work and determination, anything is possible.

P.S. - Happy Birthday, J.K. Rowling.  I can't wait to read your next novel!

What are some of your favorite Olympic stories this year?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

When You Get a Good Idea

Here's to the breath you take when you get a good idea ~ Jill Badonsky

I love it when I get good ideas, but I hate it when I'm unprepared to write them down.  Are you always prepared to write thoughts down or make notes?  If I don't have a piece of paper, I use my cell phone or iPad to make notes.  If it's a note about something I'm working on, it gets transferred to those notes.  If it's for a future project, it gets filed away for later use.

How do you keep track of good ideas?  I'd love to hear!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Give Yourself a Treat

Here's the to the invention of the banana split ~ Jill Badonsky

Here's the invention of a treat of your choice!  Although with the heat we've had this summer, a banana split does sound good.

When you reach small goals and milestones, do you ever reward yourself?  If you don't, you should!  As a matter of fact, you should create milestone goals and rewards to match them. 

My treat for finishing A Place to Call Their Own was to start a new novel, Disappear with Me.  I had been thinking about it for some time and had the basic outline created, so it was pretty easy for me to finish one and start the other.  What kind of reward is that, you ask?

At that point in my writing, I needed to maintain the momentum I had found finishing A Place to Call Their Own.  Thanks to that momentum, I'm about finished completing the first draft of Disappear with Me.  I've written Disappear with Me in 1/10th of the time it had taken to write A Place to Call Their Own. 

My reward will be to start a third novel, The Higher Law, but slow down.  I will continue to write each day, but devote more time to the "business" of getting the two novels published. 

How about you?  Do you have milestone goals and rewards which helps you keep moving forward?  I'd love to hear!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

If You Have Something to Give

If you feel you have something to give, if you feel that your particular talent is worth developing, is worth caring for, then there's nothing you can't achieve ~ Kevin Spacey

Everyone once in awhile a quote resonates within me so much, that I have very few words to add to it.  This is one of them. 

I will say this:  even if you want to learn a talent and you feel it is worth caring for and developing, there is nothing you can't achieve.

I hope everyone is surviving the heat of the summer.  It sees an unusually warm winter always brings an unusually warm winter, at least in the Midwest.  I'm just hanging out inside,  writing.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Most Difficult Decision

The most difficult decision is to act, the rest is merely tenacity.  The fears are paper tigers.  you can do anything you decide to do.  You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward ~ Amelia Earhart

Have you started on your new year's resolutions yet?  Most people don't even remember what they were if they even made them.  But if you did make a New Year's Resolution

But that doesn't have to be the case for you.  My New Year's resolution was to finish A Place to Call Their Own and I did it!  I had not planned to do it until much later in the year.  If finished it in March.  My resolution was to finish writing and start "shopping" the manuscript by the end of the year and I'm on the last round of edits.

Although we are in the second half of the year, there is still time to "act" on your new resolutions.  How are yours coming along?  I'd love to hear!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Realm of Magic

If you take any activity, any art, any discipline, any skill - take it and push it as far as it will go, push it beyond, where it has ever been before, push it to the widest edge of edges, then you force it into the realm of magic ~ Tom Robbins

When we push ourselves to our limits, that's where the magic happens.  I started pushing myself back in February.  Since that time, not only have I been consistent with my blog posts but also consistently writing 5000 words per week.

I pushed myself around two disciplines that were causing me stress.  The first discipline was the writing of my novel.  I figured out that my barrier to moving forward was not knowing where the story was going.  I had a brainstorming session and outlined the rest of the novel.  Once I had that in place, the writing came easy.  I wrote 5000 that week.  When I realized I had accomplished that, I did it again the next week.  Ever since then, my weekly writing goal has been 5000 words per week.

The other discipline I pushed myself in was regular blogging.  Yes, I understood that as a new writer I need to write every day.  Yes, I understood that the blog is supposed help develop a platform of followers.  But coming up with a blog topic and doing the post every day wasn't working for me.  In fact, it was stressing me out so bad some days I wasn't even working on the novel. 

So I created a schedule I could work with.  I post four days a week and have created a schedule for writing those posts, much like a "deadline" for my self.  I also figured out cool tools on my blog like scheduling the blogs entries to post on specific days and times. As soon as I'm finished writing the entry, I load it on the blog and schedule the post.  I have made more blog entries in five months than all of last year.  I am on track to have more blog entries this year than all of the last two years.

So now that I'm prepared with better outlines and work schedules, my writing is pushing ahead at warp speed.  My second novel is over 80,000 words and the first draft is on track to be finished within about four weeks. 

I hope you're keeping cool this weekend!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

My Subject Chooses Me

I never had to choose a subject, my subject rather chose me ~ Ernest Hemingway

Once your dream journey is revealed, I think this quote makes the most sense.  Once you find yourself doing what you're supposed to be doing with your life, you figure out that it chose you.

Once I set a goal to write a novel, I began searching for a topic.  I knew I wanted to write historical fiction and then when I was reading a historical fiction novel, my premise came to me.  The premise for my second novel came to me at church one day.  I don't know how or why I was thinking about a scene from a movie, but the music inspired my brain to come up with the premise of the my second novel.

So if you find yourself drawn to something, a talent, a passion, don't be surprised that it's choosing you.  Just go for it!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Real Source of Wealth

The real source of wealth and capital in this new era is not material things...it is the human mind, the human spirit, the human imagination, and our faith in the future ~ Steve Forbes

As I continue to see recessions get worse throughout my lifetime, this quote becomes even more important.  What can you do today to increase your imagination or spirit to make your dreams come true?  Or at least put you on a very solid path by the end of the year?  I'd love to hear!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Measured by the Clock

The hours of folly are measured by the clock, but of wisdom no clock can measure ~ William Blake

When I was in direct sales, one of the most profound lessons I learned was to measure the activities I was completing, not the actual results of my work.  That meant to count the number of phone calls I was making to book parties or the number of people I talked to about becoming part of my time, not necessarily the number of parties I booked or recruits I made.  Measure the activities.

In writing, this has translated into measuring how many words I write each and each week.  If you follow my blog regularly, you know that my standard goal these days in 5000 words.  Following this goal, I will have written the first draft of my second novel in five months, compared to the four years it took me to write my first novel.  By keeping track of my weekly word count,  and notes on why I didn't achieve the 5000 word goal, I have helped keep  myself accountable and wrote a novel in 1/10th of the time it took to write the first one.

So track the activities it takes to reach your goal.  When you keep track of the activities, you will eventually move towards making your dream goal a reality.  What can you start tracking today?  I'd love to hear about it!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Grandchild of Nature

Painting is the grandchild of nature.  It is related to God ~ Rembrandt

I think any dream journey we take is a grandchild of nature and it is all related to God.  And sometimes, that even means that the dreams we choose for ourselves don't get to come true.

I watched the Anthony Robbins episode of Oprah's Next Chapter this week.  I had DVR'd it from some time ago.  One of the most profound lessons I learned was when Anthony Robbins said that sometimes we don't get to achieve the dreams we choose for ourselves so that others' dreams can come true.

When I first heard those words in the episode, I was a bit shocked and disappointed.  I ended up watching the two hour episode over a two day period in bits ad pieces, so I watched that segment of the show and went on about other business.  When I returned to the episode and watched the rest of the message, it made total sense to me. 

You see, when your dream doesn't come true, sometimes it is to allow other people to achieve those dreams.  What made sense for me was thinking about an old dream of being a direct sales dynamo.  Through direct sales I learned about daily sales routines which includes making contacts, talking about your business, and meeting people who will either buy, have a party, or sell with you.  In writing all of this translates to writing every day, using social media to build a platform, and talking about my writing as often as I can.

Although, at an earlier point in my life, I dreamed of becoming a direct sales dynamo with a large sales organization, it wasn't in the cards for me.  I didn't have the drive and focus to achieve all those daily routines at the time.  All the lessons I learned in direct sales, I've applied to writing.  Again, I write everyday, I make contacts through my blog, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media outlets.  As soon I my first novel gets published, I'll start more promotional and marketing routines. 

So whatever you do can be the grandchild of nature and related to God.  Sometimes we see our paths clearly and start making dreams come true.  Sometimes, through the pursuit of other dreams, our eyes are opened to our true destinies.  And most of the time, the early lessons we have learned can be applied to the true path we're meant to be on.

Did you start on one path, but found a different dream journey that seems a better fit for you? I'd love to hear!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Milking a Cow

All the really good ideas I ever had came to me while I was milking a cow ~ Grant Wood

After I decided that it was time to start writing my first novel, A Place to Call Their Own, it took me months to figure out what I would write about.  I found my inspiration while reading on a rather ordinary day.  It was late spring and I was trying to get some early sun.

For my second novel, Disappear With Me, I found some inspiration from an obscure part of movie that I was watching, but it wasn't until I was sitting in church one day that the story came to me.  The music, the lesson, the environment of the day just grabbed me.  I ran home from church that afternoon and started putting together the rough outline for the novel.  That rough outline is now nearly forty pages long and I am probably eighty percent done writing the initial draft.

My point is, along with the quote, is that inspiration can come from anywhere.  Inspiration and ideas about your dream journey can come from anything that you observe and experience, you just have to open your ears and hearts to take in the experiences being presented.

What ideas have you had lately that came to you in some ordinary environments?  I'd love to hear!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

An Inner World of Strength

Here's to understanding that power comes from an inner world of strength and peace undisturbed by any other or anything on the outside ~ Jill Badonsky

Getting up each day and accomplishing both my exercise goal and my writing goal give me the power I need to get up each morning and get cracking on those goals.  I know for me, if I don't get my workout done right away, I probably won't do it. 

There used to be time that if I didn't get my writing done first thing in the morning, it didn't get done.  Now, reaching my daily word count goal has become so important to me that if I don't get it done early in the morning, it gets done at some point during the day. 

I get my power to achieve my goals through the achievement of the daily routines that I have set for myself.  I don't ever want to feel lethargic like I used to, and that feeling helps motivate me to exercise each day.  My daily word count and bragging rights help me achieve my writing goal. 

You'll receive your power and strength from a different source, whatever you find that motivates you.  And only you can figure out what it is that helps you get up each day and work on your dream goals.  And only you can figure what motivates you to do it when you're dog tired, but know that you must work on your goals or your dreams won't come true.

What is a motivating factor for you?  I'd love to hear!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

We Must Discover it for Ourselves

We don't receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us ~ Marcel Proust

I have been blogging for two years now.  If you've been following me you know that I subscribe to a basic five steps for success:  Create a Vision, Set Goals, Develop Routines, Define Boundaries, and Find Friends.  You also know that recently my daily mantra for achieving my dream of becoming a published fiction author has been WWRR, which stands for Workout, Write, Read, Relax. 

And nearly every personal story I tell you ends with, you have to figure out what works for you and your dream journey.  Just recently, I learned an editing trick that has helped me get past a hurdle and back on a productive editing track.  But again, I had to discover it for myself, try it for myself to see if it would work for me. 

That's the beauty of our dream journeys, they are all individualized and up to each one of us.  You may be following me because you're also looking to be a published author and we may have some similar thoughts, feelings, and obstacles in our process.  But only you can figure out what works for you in your journey, and vice versa.

What have you figured out recently that you could only figure out for yourself?  I'd love to hear!

Sunday, July 8, 2012


Here's to the festive occasion of having an ice cream soda in the summertime ~ Jill Badonsky

We've been in a heat wave for at least a week and it doesn't look like it's going to break until next week.  That means it already feels like the dog days of summer, and it's only the beginning of July!

How's your summer going so far?  Is it everything you've dreamed for this year?  I sure hope so.  My summer is coming along just fine.  I am enjoying my mornings before I go to work.  I'm getting more writing done than I have in the last four years.  And I got to a job I absolutely love in the afternoons.  And there is plenty of time for fun and relaxation on the weekends.

How is your summer going?  Are you full steam ahead on your dream journey or stalled because of summer activities?  I'd love to hear!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Arrested for Kindness

If you were arrested for kindness, would there be enough evidence to convict you? ~ Unknown

On your dream journey, if you were arrested for the amount of sharing you're doing with others, would there be enough to convict you?

I am so grateful to have been apart of a few organizations where sharing of ideas was promoted and, really, a core value.  U.S. Bank was a wonderful organization for sharing of ideas across the country.  I was also involved in direct sales (Tupperware, Avon) where the sharing of our success with others helped us grow our businesses and become more successful.

And that's the purpose of my blog.  I hope that if you are also a writer working on getting published, you are finding some solace in my stories of my own challenges with that goal.  If you are on some other goal journey, my hope is that you find some solace on our parallel journeys.  I hope you're finding some transferable ideas that help you on your dream journey.

If you follow me, are you a fellow writer or are you on another dream journey?  I'd love to hear!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

No Guilt

Here's to the occasional bliss of doing nothing and not feeling guilty about it ~ Jill Badonsky

There are days when I stress out about making my weekly word count goal.  There are weeks when I look at my schedule and think, how can I possible get all that done without stressing myself out??

And then I run across this quote and think to myself - RELAX!!  I have written consistently since the week of February 24.  I have maintained my regular blog posts and my social networking contacts have grown...If I wanted to take some time off, it would be just fine for me to do so.

But only I can make that determination in my own dream journey.  And only I can tell myself it's ok to take a day off and then convince myself not to feel guilty about it!

So look at your progress in your dream journey, are you able to do nothing one day and not feel guilty about it?  I'd love to hear!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

See Your Soul

You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul ~ George Bernard Shaw

If you really love the arts, you definitely understand what Shaw is saying in today's quote.  I definitely relate to characters, stories, and settings that speak to my soul in books, film, and theatre.  If you are in a creative pursuit, like I am, you know exactly what it means to see your soul and have it come through in your creativity.

It doesn't always need to be a creative goal that helps you see your soul.  When you set yourself a goal, sometimes it takes everything you've got to achieve it.  And that's when your true soul might be reveled.  I also call it figuring out that which you're really made.  For me those two goals were quitting smoking and finishing my degree.  And now, more is being revealed as I complete my first two novels.

Whether it's a creative goal or a business/career goal, if it stretches you enough you can see your soul in your work.  In today's rough environment, that's a good thing. 

What soul enlightening lesson have you learned in your dream journey lately?  I'd love to hear!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Art is the Only Way

Art is the only way to run away without leaving home ~ Twyla Tharp

Have ever got lost in a good book?  A favorite movie? These are both forms of art and it is so easy to get lost while enjoying them.

Have you ever been so busy at work that you got lost in your day and before you knew it, it was time to go home?  I mean in a really good way, where you enjoy what you're doing and the day goes by quick.  That can also be art, the way that you complete your day to day tasks.  And that's the art it takes to accomplish dream goals sometimes.

Prior to February of this year, some of the tasks I work each day to grow my writing career seemed to be so ordinary that sometimes they bored me.  I mean, in addition to WWRR, there is Twitter, blogging, and research to do.  But all of that is changed.

And I can't tell you exactly what's changed.  I do know I have a new work schedule which means I'm getting all those activities done at different times during the day.  I also figured out a blogging schedule that works for me, so that has eliminated all stress that this chore used to cause. 

I guess after four years of constantly revising my routines and boundaries, I've hit a stride that is super productive for me and helping me get further along in four months than I have in four years.  The balance seems to be art form in and of itself.

So let yourself get lost in the art of making your dreams come true.  You wont' regret it.

Here's to a great week and a super 3Q 2012!