Monday, June 28, 2010


In the daily meditation passage I read today in WALING ON ALLIGATORS: A BOOK OF MEDITATIONS FOR WRITERS, Susan Shaughnessy suggests that "stamina is the difference between writers and dabblers." She discusses how athletes and musicians have innate gifts but require stamina to be successful. She makes such a valid point in suggesting that "the need for work and stamina is accepted in almost every pursuit except writing." We, as writers, must take our innate talents, couple them with good, old fashioned effort and stamina to be a "real writer" if that is the path that we chose--or for many of us (I know for myself), the path that chooses us. Shaughnessy closes with these words..."I will accept the need to write steadily, even through difficult stretches. I am in training for the work I want to do."

Let's train like athletes, practice like musicians and produce the words the world wants to read.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Bylines Inspiration

Do you own the Bylines 2010 Writer's Desk Calendar? I do and really love reading the messages from authors as I turn a new page each week. This week, I found particular inspiration from Jane Wenham-Jones. If you've not seen this calendar, it is a weekly planner for writers. As one turns each page, the left page is an author interview; the right, the weekly calendar. This week, the featured author was Jane Wenham-Jones. She spoke about writing when there seems to be no time. The words that really hit me were the following:

"I say if you wait until you've got the time to write, you never will have. However busy you are with kids, jobs and families, if you really want to do it, you just have to write anyway."

So true, so true. An author at a recent writer's conference I attended spoke of the same. Don't wait for the big blocks of time. They just don't happen. Writers write. We just need to do it. Now!

So, now, today, tomorrow and each day forward, let us all commit to want to do it and to do it. Each and every day. Even if it is only 15 minutes at a crack!

If you want to learn more about Jane Wenham-Jones, go to To learn more about or purchase a Bylines Writer's Desk Calendar, go to

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Muse Online Conference

For the first time this year, I've registered for the Muse Online Writers Conference this October. I'm told it is highly beneficial and enlightening and am very much looking forward to participating. I just received an email stating the registration deadline is August 15th and thought I'd pass that information along to you in case you are interested and have not yet registered. After August 16 until September, there will be a $5 late registration fee. Here is the registration link if you are interested:

Join me in this year's conference. I don't think you'll regret it.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


I read a great quote a day or so ago in Trent Steele's Smart Writers Newsletter (go to for more information).

The quote read..."Life is 10 percent what you make it, and 90 percent how you take it." Irving Berlin

As many of you who read my blog know, I have been frustrated with the direction I've been taking my writing life, or lack thereof as it is, in recent weeks. Reading this quote spurred an a-ha moment for me. I get so caught up in the whole of my to-do list that I have difficulty chipping away as I have time. It is kind of that all-or-nothing mentality I get when there is a large bag of M&Ms staring me in the face! If I can't have/do it all, I don't want to have/do any. Not such a good way to go about things--writing or chocolate, for that matter:-) So, as I've just committed to my dear friend and critique partner, Donna, I've resolved to commit 15 minutes a day to writing. In the chaos that reigns supreme in the summer, I feel that is very doable and will, hopefully, lead to more a day. But, if I can achieve that first 15, I'll feel I've at least accomplished something and be in a better frame of mind for the remainder of the day.

So, for me, the what (10%) I make of my writing life and the how (90%) I take it will combine to form a whopping 100+% productive and positive writing life. After all, persistence pays! How about you...any thoughts on the above quote and how it applies to you? I'd love to hear your feedback.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


I am finishing the book WALKING ON ALLIGATORS: A BOOK OF MEDITATIONS FOR WRITERS and saw this quote this morning...

"One of the marks of a gift is to have the courage of it." Katherine Anne Porter

The accompanying meditation talks of making "excuses for deferring the exercise of our talents" and how life, education and family duties can multiply and pull us away from our work. We cannot let it. "There is no other way to write...start now...each day...your gift will grow in proportion as you exercise it...your courage will grow in proportion as you feed it."

Here are the final words to the meditation. I am repeating them to myself over and over today and encourage you to do the same.

"Today, I will write. I will put writing first. I will begin a habit, and watch my courage grow."

Off you go...good luck and happy writing!