Monday, July 21, 2014

Motivational Monday


DON'T BE 'A WRITER'.
BE WRITING.
(William Faulkner)

Well, what are you waiting for? 

Get writing!

Get painting!

Get dancing!

Get cooking!

Get dreaming!

Get creating!

Get going! Now!

(Boy, did I need this kick in the pants myself. It hasn't been such a great summer for writing or creating. But it's a new day, a new week, and the summer isn't over yet, right? Right!)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Motivational Monday


AS FAR AS I CAN TELL,
A YOUNG ADULT NOVEL
IS A REGULAR NOVEL THAT
PEOPLE ACTUALLY READ.
(Stephen Colbert)

Back in college, I read a lot of "classics" for various courses. I enjoyed some of them - like Lord of the Flies - but others made me want to poke my eyes out with my pen. Still, after graduation, I attempted to keep at it. I wanted so badly to be someone who read literary novels, who quoted famous authors, who was intellectual and interesting, and who sounded…smart.

What was I thinking?

Thankfully, those days are long gone. Now, I am who I am, and I read what I want to read. I still occasionally challenge myself to read something more literary, more experimental, something outside my comfort zone, but only because I want to, not because I think I should

Life's too short to spend it trying to be someone we're not. And it's definitely too short to spend it on stories that don't move us in some way. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Motivational Monday


I WILL NOT LET ANYONE
WALK THROUGH MY MIND
WITH THEIR DIRTY FEET.
(Mahatma Gandhi)

I once had a teacher tell me I reminded her of a sponge, the way I would sit in my desk and absorb what was going on around me. Well, that's all well and good for writing but for me now, for my life now? Not so much. 

I soak in way too much of other people's stuff - their sadness, anger, anxiety, pessimism. I have to constantly fight back against wave after wave of their negative emotions, words and actions. I imagine myself wearing armor. I pretend to put up shields. I give myself pep talks before confronting people and situations that tend to bring me down. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.    

But after reading Gandhi's words, I don't think I'll need to do those things anymore. This quote - so simple, so clean, so clear - is a new mantra of mine. 

Let's not let anyone mess up our minds this week - or ever! Tell them to take their dirty feet and keep on walking. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

IWSG: No More Excuses


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In last week's Motivational Monday post, I talked about how I'm not accomplishing what I set out to do in writing and in life, and the biggest reason is because I am not doing the work. And I have no idea why.

I've got lots of excuses - it's hot, I'm tired, I'm much more easily distracted now than when I was younger, I need to re-watch all of Game of Thrones because I am now addicted to it and cannot wait until Spring for the new season. But none of those are good enough explanations for why I'm not at least coming close to achieving some goals.

So, I've decided to cut back on a number of things in July, one of which is social networking. I'll post once a week - Motivational Mondays - unless something thrilling happens. I'll definitely continue to visit my blogging buddies - it just may not be in as timely a manner as I usually do.

Here's where the insecurities creep in:

What if I put the effort into my other projects…and it doesn't matter? What if I do the work, and I still don't accomplish what I set out to do? What does that say about me, my plans, my goals and dreams?

What if I blog less and lose readers? Lose people I consider friends?

What if, in the long run, this blogging break isn't worth it?

Monday, June 30, 2014

Motivational Monday


CREATIVITY IS LIKE WASHING A PIG.
IT'S MESSY. IT HAS NO RULES.
NO CLEAR BEGINNING, MIDDLE OR END.
IT'S KIND OF A PAIN IN THE ASS,
AND WHEN YOU'RE DONE,
YOU'RE NOT EVEN SURE IF THE PIG IS REALLY CLEAN
OR EVEN WHY YOU WERE WASHING A PIG
IN THE FIRST PLACE.
(Luke Sullivan)

That's pretty much how I feel most of the time. 

And I wouldn't have it any other way.

How about you?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Summer Reading - Part I

My husband showed me this article - "5 Best-Selling Author's Favorite Beach Reads" - and it got me thinking about the books I've read this May and so far - the 26th - this June.

Here are some of my favorites: 

Until You're Mine by Samantha Hayes - this suspense novel kept me guessing. So many twists and turns! And the last line of the Epilogue is fantastic!


*****

The Book of You by Claire Kendal - totally creepy. Made me want to keep looking over my shoulder even though I wasn't the one being stalked. 


*****

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart - this contemporary YA novel took me by surprise with its voice and its style, including the way Lockhart ratcheted up the tension in increasingly subtle ways.   


*****

Bird Box by Josh Malerman - if you're going to read only one book from this list, PLEASE MAKE IT THIS ONE. Utterly terrifying and psychologically intense, it is easily one of my favorites of 2014.


*****

What are you reading - and loving! - so far this summer? Any titles you're particularly looking forward to? Any favorite summer reading memories?

Monday, June 23, 2014

Motivational Monday


DON'T BE UPSET BY RESULTS
YOU DIDN'T GET
WITH WORK YOU DIDN'T DO.
(Author Unknown)

Hmm, so I guess I shouldn't glare at the too high number on the scale when, over the last couple of weeks, I ate way too much Thai food and brownies, and spent way too much time watching Seasons 2, 3 and 4 of Game of Thrones. (Okay, honestly, that last part was sooo worth it!)

And I guess I shouldn't moan and groan about my novels not being on bookshelves, virtual or otherwise, when, um, I haven't actually taken a story from start to finish for longer than I care to admit. 

Most of the time, when other people succeed, it's because they put in the work. It drives me crazy when people are criticized for what they have, for what they've achieved, whether it's money or fame or peace of mind. The labor, the effort, the sacrifice often goes unnoticed…except by those actually doing it. 

I want to be a person who does the work. And if I don't do the work, then it's no one's fault but my own. Not the scale. Not the publishing industry. Me. 

Let's make sure, whatever our goal, that we're putting in the work this week, and always.