Thursday, January 31, 2013

You Are Stronger

Sorrow comes in great waves...but it rolls over, and though it may almost smother us it leaves us on the spot and we know that if it is strong, we are stronger, inasmuch as it passes and we remain ~ Henry James

If you've been on your dream journey for a while, you know how much this is true.  Sorrow, stress, rejections, set backs - it is all the same.  You're going to have them.  If you're in sales, you're definitely going to have a lot of rejections and set backs.  If you're in a creative pursuit, there may be times of creative stress.  And remember, everything is subjective when it comes to creativity.

Whenever I'm feeling the weight of my writing pursuits, I peruse my dream house ideas and that usually gets me out of the doldrums.  Sometimes all it takes is my shear will to succeed and be published.  Other times I just take a look at my Twitterr or Facebook feeds and get some new ideas. 

What do you do when stress, rejection, or set backs come in great waves?  

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

What are your thoughts?

We spend most of our time and energy in a kind of horizontal thinking.  We move along the surface of things... [but] there are times when we stop.  We sit still.  We love ourselves  in a pile of leaves or its memory.  We listen and breezes from a whole other world begin to whisper ~ James Carroll

It's been a busy crazy day and just about all I can do to get this quote posted to the blog. 

I'd love to hear your comments what you think of today's quote?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Feel the Joy

...While working to make your dream a reality, feel the joy of your accomplishment and savor it with celebration and thanksgiving ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach

What a wonderful quote to start the week!  I hope you've been able to celebrate an accomplishment on your dream journey recently.  I am please that editing is going well on my own.

How do you celebrate the milestones on your dream journey?  I'd love to hear!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Take a Look at Yourself

Love means to learn to look at yourself the way one looks at distant things, for you are only one thing among many.  And Whoever sees that way heals his heart, without knowing it, from various ills ~ Czeslaw Milosz

While I've been on my writing journey, I've had a vast range of emotions.  Excitement, accomplishment and guilt only name a few.  Bur during my break in December, I finally realized that I am only a beginning writer with lots to learn about the craft of storytelling and novel writing.  And since then, I've been able to put some projects aside and work on others more productively.

So if you feel that you might be hitting a brick wall, take a step back and look at your progress and where you're at in your dream journey.  Are you just a beginner with a lot to learn, give yourself a break.  Are you a bit more establish, experienced, figure out what was successful in the past and see if you can implement those same processes again.

What "aha" moment have you had about your own skills and abilities lately?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Gladness in the Ruthless World

We must have the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless furnace of the world ~ Jack Gilbert

I hope your 2013 goals are coming along as you wish.  Part of the reason I think that having a vision, goals, and routines in place is because the world is a big, bad furnace just waiting to burn us up and burn us out while we try to accomplish our goals.

But if you're on a dream journey, I think you have make the positivity come through to cool that furnace.  That's where the stubbornness and gladness come in. 

That's the crazy thing about writing.  A good story is built on conflict and tension and there's a lot of rejection.  But through it all, folks are plugging along and publish books.  When my routines work and I fell myself moving forward with my project, that's when I feel the positivity cooling the furnace in the world around me. 

Where do you pull your stubbornness and gladness from when the world is a furnace trying to burn you up or burn you out?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Polar Privacy

Compared with that profounder site
That polar privacy
A soul admitted to itself --
Finite infinity ~ Emily Dickinson

How are your routines coming along this year?  If they didn't work in 2012, have you evaluated why and made some changes?  If they worked in 2012, is there anything you can do to make them better? 

Whenever I've accomplished a big stretch, it usually involved new routines that I had to create and then follow. Nearly a year ago I found the routine formula that worked for me, and that included a shift change at work.  Now I've finished writing a novel, wrote a novel in it entirety, and started a third novel since the end of February last year.

How are your routines coming along for 2013?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Right or Better

Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right or better ~ John Updike

No matter what your dream journey, I believe it certainly does become creative when one cares about doing it right or better. 

No matter what your dream journey, you should be able to obtain books and other reading material to help you on your journey.  I am blessed to have such resources available for writer like myself, aspiring to be published.  In the last six months I've honed my reading schedule to assist with getting better at the craft of writing.

I am on schedule where I read a novel that I want to emulate, a book for research, and finally a book to improve my writing.  Recently I finished reading Writing 21st Century Fiction by Donald Maass to help improve my writing/storytelling.  I am currently reading The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton  because its plot resembles what I'm trying to accomplish with Disappear With Me.  When I am finished with The Forgotten Garden, I will be moving to research for my next book, The Higher Law.

What types of books do you read to further your dream journey? 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Our Success Already Exists

Our success already exists on a spiritual level; it's a matter of pulling it into the physical world ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach

There's nothing more I can add to today's quote, except that I hope it's as inspirational to you as it is for me.  I hope you're having a great Saturday and either getting done what you need to on your dream journey or relaxing because the week went so well.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

If An Echo Sounds

I would hurl words into this darkness and wait for an echo, and if an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight, to create a sense of hunger for life that gnaws in us all, to keep alive in our hearts a sense of the inexpressibly human ~ Richard Wright

I've heard Oprah call this echo a whisper in her mind.  Many people hear this whisper or echo, but very few follow what they hear. 

What is whispering or echoing at you this year?  It's the beginning of a new year and you have eleven whole months to accomplish what is echoing back at you right now.

Do you hear an echo right now and then you hear another whisper that says, "but not right now?"  That's fine.  I decided to quit smoking in January but didn't start until April.  That was sixteen years ago.  I also decided to go back to school in January and didn't start until the summer term that year.  I graduated with my bachelor's degree in 2000.

What's echoing back at you this year and what are you doing about it? 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

All Things Connect

Humankind has not woven the web of life.  We are but one thread within it.  Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.  All things are bound together.  All things connect ~ Chief Seattle

As you're planning your goals/resolutions, I hope you've taken into account that everything is connected and that your goals have be connected, too.  And sometimes, things are done in the obvious order.  That sometimes is no fault of our own.

What I'm talking about is what going on within myself.  All last year I was bound and determined that I was going to publish the novel I wrote first and then the second.  After some serious thoughts and meditation, I've faced two fears with the first piece.  The first fear is whether it's good enough.  The second fear was showing growth in my work as a writer.

So there it is.  I've decided to publish the better work first.  After some further time alone, I think I'll have more tools available to make my first project even better.

What I hope translates for you in another dream journey is that sometimes when you think you've planned projects, sometimes it makes sense to shelve some and work on others, even if that is outside your original plan.  For me, this has been an energizing thought this weekend.

When have you changed course and started working on other projects?  I'd love to hear how that worked for you!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

We Do Not Need Magic

We do not need magic to change the world, we all carry the power we need inside ourselves already:  we have the power to imagine better ~ J.K. Rowling

The power to imagine better gets better each time we are creative.  It took me four years to write my first manuscript, largely due to the fact that I didn't plan my novel beyond its premise.  Last year, I sat down and brainstormed the end of the novel after writing two-thirds of it.

Recognizing the power of outlining and planning, I outlined my entire second novel, Disappear With Me.  With that outline in hand, I was able to write the first draft (at 90,000 words)in just four months!  Again, the more creative I used, the better my "imagining" became.

I am now entrenched in editing Disappear With Me.  Even as I work through each chapter I am coming up with new and different ideas to use in the novel.  It's been a wonderful experience.  And when I am done with Disappear with Me, once again I will return to A Place to Call Their Own and continue to massage it.

My point is that as I gain more experience with my writing, I'm becoming more creative.  Instead of running out of ideas, which is my fear, I am coming up with more and more of them.  The same can work for you in your dream journey.  The more ideas one comes up with and implement on your dream journey, the more creative one tends to be.

What have you done on your dream journey that's been a breath of fresh air?

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Soul's Holiday

Solitude is the soul's holiday, an opportunity to stop doing for others and to surprise and delight ourselves instead ~ Katrina Kenison

In December, and sometimes spilling over into January, I like to reflect upon the previous year and develop my goals for the next year.  Sometimes I do surprise myself.

Since January 2, I have been self-editing my second manuscript, Disappear with Me.  My surprise for myself is that I think I'm going pursue it and put A Place to Call Their Own away for a little bit.  It needs some work and I've worked with those characters and their story for five years now.  I think it's time to put them away, focus on Disappear With Me, which is a better story and better written.  Then I'll come back to A Place to Call Their Own and help that story along.

I've resisted this all year long.  A Place to Call Their Own is a simpler story, like most first novels.  Because I wrote it first, I wanted it to be published first.  Then my readers could see the improvement in my writing.  By publishing Disappear With Me first, I am setting some higher expectations for myself and others.  This is very scary for me.  But it's step in the "write" direction for my publishing career at this time.

When you have surprised or delighted yourself lately?  I'd love to hear!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Soul of Humankind

Art is eternal, for it reveals the inner landscape, which is the soul of man ~ Martha Graham

If you follow me regularly, you know that I believe that following one's dreams is the same as pursuing a creative endeavor.  I do believe that following one's dreams reveals the inner landscape, which is the soul of humankind.

If you haven't nailed down your new year's plans yet, I want to let you know it's not too late.  You still have plenty of time to figure out what 2013 has in store for you and what you want to pursue.

If you have already planned your new year's resolutions, I hope the ten days of the year are going as well as you would like.  This is the day when most people give up on any resolutions they did make.  I am happy to report that after a long break during the holidays, I am back on track with editing. And after getting back into the swing of editing, may be publishing my second novel before the first to give me some more time for another round of editing/reworking.  We'll see what the New Year brings.

Are you still "on track" with your New Year's goals?  I'd love to hear!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

This is Life Itself

This moment is your life.  It is the process of living, the journey, this is life itself, and we often wish away our lives by focusing only what tomorrow could, should, would bring ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach

Sometimes I get stuck on our dream journey..  Sometimes I can get caught up in "some day when..." I forget that there are little steps to take today to make the "some day when..." come true.  I have to remember that no matter what is going on, I can always take a small step towards my dream journey each and every day.

What are some "small steps" you've forgotten about lately?  I'd love to hear!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Never Have a Dry Spell

I have never had a dry spell in my life, mainly because I feed myself well, to the point of bursting.  I wake early and hear my morning voices leaping around in my head like jumping beans.  I get out of bed quickly to trap them before they escape ~ Ray Bradbury

With the New Year, it's a good time to examine your routines and make sure they are working for you.  It took me quite some time to really hone in on the "morning energy" that I need to write well.  Nine months ago I even changed jobs and shifts so that I have weekday mornings free.  I keep to morning writing routine on the weekends as well.

These new routines have kept me on schedule with my blogging and writing and editing projects.  I have to admit, being out of routine has really messed up some of my writing this last week, but now that I'm back to work, I'm back it regularly and with some renewed vigor.

So are your routines working for you?

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Open Your Heart

The possibility for rich relationships exists all around you -- you simply have to open your eyes, open your mouth, and most importantly, open your heart ~ Cheryl Richardson

No matter what your dream journey, the going can be lonely sometimes.  Sometimes I feel like I'm the only person trying to write a novel and be published in today's publishing world and no one else has had the struggles writing that I have.  Hah!

The cool thing about today's social network society is that there are millions of other writers to connect with on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, you name it.  It's nice to be able to build community and gain insight from others who are doing the same thing that I am doing. 

Again, no matter what your dream journey, you should also be able to seek them out on the various social networks.  Like the quote says, you just have to be open!

Do you have any New Year's Resolutions around social networking this year?  I'd love to hear!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Life that is Waiting for You

We must be willing to let go of the life we've planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us ~ Joseph Campbell

Happy New Year, once again!  I hope your year is starting off the way you want!  Mine sure is...

This is a great time of year to examine your life and determine whether you're missing out on anything.  Traditionally it's the time of year most individuals and organizations review their goals for the upcoming year and start working towards them.  And that's why today's quote seems so appropriate.

I let go of the life I had planned five years ago when my partner and I moved from Denver, Colorado to Bella Vista, Arkansas.  I knew that I wouldn't live in Colorado for my entire life, I just didn't realize it would be so soon before I left.  It was during the employment transition that I started writing my first novel.  Five years later, I've written two novels and have started a third.  I'll be looking to publish the first two this year.

So if you're struggling in your dream journey, see if you can determine if there's anything you haven't let go to make it happen.  Maybe there's something you're holding onto that is preventing you from having the life that is waiting for you?

What are your New Year's Resolutions/Goals?  I'd love to hear!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Only Reason One Does is That One Can't Help it

The only reason one paints is that one can't help it.  It's a function like any of the other functions of the body...One paints for oneself:  otherwise, one would commit suicide...The artist gets a peculiar sensation from something he sees, and is impelled to express it and, he doesn't know why he can only express his feeling by lines and colors ~ from Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maughan

Happy New Year! 

I chose the above passage from Of Human Bondage because I just read it over my holiday vacation and it struck me as remarkably true.  Like I always do with my quotes, you could substitute the word "artist" with whatever dream journey you are taking.  The references to drawing/painting can be substituted with the actions that you do in your dream journey or regular occupation.

I hope that each and everyone one of you that read my blog regularly have found your dream occupation and are on your path to achieving those goals.  Last year was a banner year for me and reaching my goals.  Not only did I become a more consistent blogger, I finished my first novel.  I finished A Place to Call Their Own in March and used the momentum to start and finish a second novel, Disappear With Me.  Both novels are in the editing phase and should be ready for publication later this year.

If you have not found your dream yet or have not acted upon it, I encourage you to start exploring your options.  Even if you only make a tiny step towards your long term dream vision, I can't tell you how good it feels to reach those small benchmarks.

I surprised myself so much last year, that I had to think about even bigger goals for 2013.  I have settled on publishing both novels that are completed and finishing a third novel that I have started, The Higher Law.  Those are my writing goals for 2013.  And now that I've made them public, I'll have to follow through, right?

What are your goals for 2013?  I'd love to hear!