Monday, February 20, 2012

Hard Is Good And Here's Why.

Did I just say that?
I did.

I said it's good, not fun or easy.
So if difficult is no bag of giggles, what's good about it?

Adversity is what brought you to this point in your life.
It's what forged your character, strength and honed skills.
Lounging on a beach doesn't bring you anything,
 but a sun burn and age spots.

Suffering is good for the soul.

Yeah, great.
Heard it, done it, bought the t-shirt.
Blah, blah, blah.

Difficulty alone won't do it.

We must drag ourselves up from the depths battered,
 bruised and bleeding to be transformed.
Definitely not a good time.

Why go through all this effort?
Why not stay at the beach tanning until our skin is leather
 or wallow in self pitty and do nada?

Because we are writers.
And we don't fold, at least, not for long.

We understand the hero's journey and we are on a quest to publication.
Life may kick us in the teeth,
but we overcome by force of will,
 spunk and all the atributes we give our characters.
We are them and they are us.

We are on our own heroic journey.

We've heard the saying that life is hard and then you die.


I say:
Life is hard and then you write!

Countless top selling authors went through
 a dark night of the soul experience prior to publication.

Dickens faced financial ruin when he wrote, A Christmas Carol.
Poe had lost his wife and suffered with drug addiction.
Rowlings was a single mother trying to make ends meet.

Hard in life makes captivating prose and real, heroic characters.
It also makes for a talented writer.
Use that strength and experience.

This week, embrace trials you've overcome
 and let them guide you in a manuscript.

No experience is ever wasted.

Learn from the past and use difficulties to your advantage.
Working through your personal hero's journey
can bring multi-dimensional characters and real heart ache to your work.
Readers love it!

And in the end, when you've lived through hell,
 trudged over blazing coals, and come out with burned tootsies,
 and a unique perspective, use it.

 You are Scrooge, Bella, the Bennet sisters, Katnis, George Baily, and Harry Potter.

And in the words of Winston Churchill during World War  2,

"Never, Never, Give Up."

Sunday, February 12, 2012

What's Love Got To Do With It?

If you write or focus on other creative endeavours--everything.

What if you're not in a relationship?
What if the one you have is tepid to frigid?
Your outlook may suffer, but romance isn't what I'm talking about.

Love transcends sex, or it should.

We can adore chocolate, our pets, sports and people.
We strive to love ourselves,
and what ends up on the page when we reach "the end".
Love comes in many forms.

But is love a choice, or like Hollywood suggests,
we can't help who we love?
What's the truth?

We have little control over who rings our bells.
Attraction and chemistry are part of our makeup.
They happen before we give it thought.
Our eyes meet.
Hearts flutter with anticipation and body parts warm,
before we know much about a person.

That is not love.

Don't get me wrong,
chemistry counts for a lot in a romantic relationship.
But we aren't animals in heat, well, maybe some are close.

I say,  real love is a choice.

Some may disagree, but hear me out.
Love is getting up with a sick child.
Love is going to work to pay the bills.
Love is sharing secrets with a person we know will keep them safe,
and accept us regardless of our struggles.

Love isn't what we can get, but what we give.

Weather we write, paint, throw pottery or fix plumbing,
love can be the core of that expression.
Everything we do carries a piece of who we are and what we feel.
Our intent as we work and create affects the outcome.

Do we choose to reflect love in our lives?

My grandmother always said that her baking was better,
when she thought about the love she had for those who would consume the warm bread.
Love being the most important ingredient.
I agree with her.

This week, consciously focus on the love you feel
for those who will benefit from what you do.
It might be changing diapers or flying a jet aircraft.
What it is doesn't matter, only your affection.

 Jot in your journal your experience,
 how it transforms your outlook and your results.
You will be surprised.

Acting with love touches the giver as well as the receiver.

I'm sending love and support to all of you, my friends.
Blessings to you and success in your life.

Happy Valentines day.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Dump Your Goals. Say what?

No! I can't live without that list staring back at me keeping me motivated.
That's what I said, until asked this question:
What's your passion?

Quick, don't think. First thing in your head will do. I need an answer.
What's your passion?

Have it?
Are you surprised?

When this question was put to a group of friends recently,
one man said history, a woman shared her love of sewing,
and another lived to learn.
They all had one thing in common.
None worked in their passion.
Nope. Not even close.

A few accepted this as an unfortunate fact of grown up life.
Others, shocked by their answers, gained insight.
Slaving for years and unhappy in their profession,
the reason for their lack of fulfillment hit them between the eyes
like a two by four.

Truth delivered with blinding force hurts.

Work without passion is just a job.
And a life without passion isn't living.

I know, bummer.

There's nothing wrong with a job.
It's what pays the mortgage and feeds the kids,
but our souls require nourishment as well.
How did these talented people land in this predicament?


Not true goals.
Theirs were lists handed to them full of should and must be.
What does the world know about your desires and dreams?


Only you own that knowledge.

To reconnect with your authentic self,
toss your old goals and let honest dreams form.
Nature fills a void.

For the next two weeks,
allow your life to take it's course naturally.
You are not allowed to work on your old goals.
Think of it as a vacation or fact finding mission.

If you're a control freak like me,
it's scary to eschew the list and fly free.

Before you shake your head and say I've lost my mind, let me explain.
We are not dumping the idea of running a marathon
or passing the bar exam,
we're only giving ourselves time to reevaluate.
Opening up possibilities.

If the goal is part of you, nothing will pry it from your heart.

Trust the universe to speak and bring your true nature to light.
There's a catch to all of this soul searching.
Once you find your passion, live it.

Record your findings in your journal,
and please share your comments with the rest of us.

Thank you for taking the leap.