Monday, July 28, 2014

Motivational Monday


THE MOST IMPORTANT WORDS
WE WILL EVER UTTER 
ARE THOSE WORDS WE SAY 
TO OURSELVES,
ABOUT OURSELVES,
WHEN WE ARE BY OURSELVES.
(Al Walker)

Have you ever spent an extended period of time with people who don't ask you anything about yourself? Or, when you bring up a topic of conversation, they twist it to be about them or they change the subject to something they want to talk about?

It's exhausting, and it can mess with your head.

I'm more of a listener than a talker, and I'm good with that. But after awhile, I feel like all I am is a receptacle for other people's words - for their rants, their complaints, their interests, their experiences. My words find no friendly ear, find no home - they fall flat on the table or on the rug, flopping around like dying fish. I want to stand up and shout, "I am a person! I matter, too!"

But then I start to wonder. Maybe it's me. After all, I've seen the same people who don't ask me one question about myself hold actual conversations with others. It's probably me. I'm not interesting enough or smart enough or funny enough. I'm doing something wrong. I'm social awkward. I'm....

And before I know it, my confidence has left the building.

All because of the words I said to myself. 

Let's not put too much emphasis on the conversations we have with others, on the words they say - or don't say - to us. It's the talks we have with ourselves that are crucial to our well-being and to saving our creativity, our self-worth, our sanity. 

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


CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION

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?