Monday, January 31, 2011

Great Start is this for a great start for a new writing week?

"You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great."

Wise words by Zig Ziglar passed along from Suzanne Lieurance recently.

It is, very often, difficult to take that leap and get started on something new. The fear of the unknown can cloud and squash the motivation and excitement before it gets rolling. Don't let it. Just start!

Have a wonderful and productive writing week.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Good Reading

This morning, I was catching up on some blog reading I'd been neglecting a bit. I came across some wonderful things and would like to direct your attention to two. It will be time well spent.

First, Virginia S. Grenier shares 12 pieces of writing wisdom on her blog, The Writing Mama, You can find it at

Next is a monthly ezine by Mayra Calvani and Anne K. Edwards called Voice in the Dark which I had not heard of before. There are book reviews (one is the book of a dear friend, Donna McDine, for her book THE GOLDEN PATHWAY which is what drew me to the newsletter in the first place), interviews (Donna's is there as well--way to go, Donna!), articles and columns, fiction, etc. It is jam packed with goodies and is very easy to subscribe if you chose to do so. Follow this link for the January/February issue Happy Reading!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Learn by Doing

I realize I quote WALKING ON ALLIGATORS very frequently; however, it continues to speak to me on so many levels. The following quote from Sophocles sparked very pertinent words by Susan Shaughnessy.

"One learns by doing the thing; for though you think you know it, you have no certainty until you try."

Ms. Shaughnessy follows these words with a discussion about how action teaches. "Steady writing, writing every day, proves whether or not you can do what you want to do." She goes on further to say something that was a major a-ha moment for me.

"Delay is the trap that few writers wriggle through. But some do. Will you be one of them?" I thought I was the queen of procrastination but, sooner or later, I would get around to accomplishing what I set out to do. But, you know what? I haven't! I spend so much time thinking about doing it, organizing myself and my life so as to make time to do it, but I never wriggle through that delay. There is never any more time to actually DO IT (unless I want to rise far earlier than I already do, that is).

I've come to realize just how there will always be something getting in my way. Planning and organizing for an upcoming vacation, work obligations, kid activities, a great book I can't put down, etc. The list goes on and on. It took a light bulb going off in my head thinking about how quickly summer will arrive (despite the current frigid sub-zero temps), and kids will be out of school for that set of excuses to start clouding my day. My time is now. I'm going to take it and run. If you have some great ideas of time management and taking the bull by the horns to just do it, I'd love to hear them.

Monday, January 10, 2011


I was reading a bit of Susan Shaughnessy's WALKING ON ALLIGATORS this morning as it has been a while since I have. I was thinking about organizing my week and day as the kids are home today with school closed for a snow day. Susan's very pragmatic words spoke clearly to me today. I am very guilty of waiting for the most perfect, opportune time to write and/or tackle writing related activities and do frequently get side tracked when something messes with my best laid (and well-intentioned) plans. Here is what she wrote:

"Are you waiting until your life 'settles down' to write? Lives don't settle down...Writing is accomplished in the midst of all the activity and emergencies of an ordinary life."

So true, so true! I, for one, am very guilty of waiting for the perfect time, with no distractions, no kids, no laundry, etc., getting in the way. But, you know what? There is NEVER a time with nothing to do, nowhere to go. We must, as writers, carve out the time needed and take it, chores be damned.

So, join me today in committing to following Susan's words:

"Don't wait to write until your job becomes less stressful. Don't put off your dreams until the day when tranquility comes along and gives you permission to write. Write anyway."

I will. Will you?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Pondering Goals

Happy New Year! Best wishes for a healthy, happy and prosperous new year to you all!

As I sat pondering my new goals for 2011 this morning, I was catching up on some blog reading. Kristi Holl posted a wonderful set of questions that got me thinking. Kristi suggested really spending some time this week pondering several questions, even journaling about them, to help set reasonable goals which one can attain. I wanted to share them with you in case some do not follow her blog (though, if you don't, you should!). Here is what she suggested this morning:

Take plenty of time to journal these questions this week:

How did I do on my 2010 goals (if you had any)?
What habits contributed to successfully completing any of the goals?
What situations/events/habits got me off track this year?
What worked for me in the past to get back on track?
What non-writing goals (in the areas of health, relationships, day job) would support the success of my writing goals?
What can I do to make the writing more fun (which motivates you to work on your goals)?

I am deep in thought about all of these and know I will set much better goals as a result. Thank you, Kristi!

To read more of Kristi Holl's wise words and thoughts, go to