Tag Archives: dreams

Part 2 in the 3-part series to Stop the Chaos

Have you completed your Top 5 Priorities for Life? Heavy stuff, right? Good! It should be! Now, armed with our Top 5 Priorities list, let’s set some measurable, realistic goals that will help us achieve that dream lifestyle. Remember, these goals must align with our Priorities, otherwise we may end up with 10 ways to make more money, but forget that we also wanted to build intimacy in our relationships or learn to laugh at ourselves.

State your Priority

Let’s take an easy one from my list yesterday, which happens to be my #1 priority:

Reach and maintain a healthy size 4, while toning and defining all-over.

Find Your “Why”

Why is this priority important to me? Because losing weight, toning up and gaining energy will help me achieve the long-term goals I have and give me the added confidence I need to make some big life changes.

Your WHY is very important – it would benefit you to Write. This. Down. And refer to it often.

Make it Measurable

Well, it’s nice to have a goal weight – but I need to give it a deadline. A reasonable weight loss is about 2lbs per week. So, let’s say I want to lose 10 lbs by Aug 7 and fit a size 6. That would be my goal, it states the “what”  and the “by when.”

Now I need 9 more that align with my *Priorities.

Drop and give me 10!

Currently, these are my Top 10 Goals (NOTE: These will be reviewed and renewed every 4 weeks, so don’t stress about what to include on your list):

  1. By August 7, I want to have lost 10 lbs and be a size 6. {Life Priority #1}
  2. Earn $______ by Feb 28, 2012 through teaching writing workshops. {Life Priority #3}
  3. Earn $_______by April 1, 2012 through teacher workshops and speaking engagements. {Life Priority #3}
  4. Have Half Moon Bay Resort novel ready to query to agents by January 1, 2012. {Life Priority #3}
  5. By November 1, have our bedroom de-cluttered, repainted and my office area streamlined to promote focus and creativity. {Life Priority #2}
  6. Save $____ per month, so we can take a family beach vacation in December. {Life Priority #5}
  7. Stay true to my weekly planning and prepping nutrition. {Life Priority #1}
  8. Train to walk in the JDRF 5k on Oct 2, 2011. {Life Priority #4}
  9. By July 15, have hall and front closets cleaned out and repurposed. {Life Priority #2}
  10. By August 1, have the boys’ bedroom de-cluttered and organized into “zones” they can maintain to simplify their space and promote creativity and peace. {Life Priority #2}

I’m curious to see what you guys have on your Top 10 List of Goals – and your Top 5 Priorities. Please share with us!

*What happens when something on your Priority list is so far-off, you don’t know where to begin to reach it? Come back tomorrow when we’ll  talk about all the baby steps that lead up to the Big Goals. It’s the Motherlode List…

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Filed under Advice, Believe, Commit to 3, goals, Inspiration, Perseverance, writers

Dreams are renewable…

Dreams are renewable. No matter what our age or condition, there are still untapped possibilities within us and new beauty waiting to be born.
– Dr. Dale Turner

Take this long weekend and retap into your dreams.

They can be dreams of your youth…

When I was young, I dreamt of decorating my basement to resemble a 50’s style soda shoppe

They can be dreams of the future…

I dream of one day traveling the U.S. on one long road trip, stopping in small towns, maybe taking up odd jobs, getting to know the people and creating their stories into novels

They can be dreams reoccurring…

I continue to dream of writing novels as a career and a life source

Or dreams you are just birthing…

I dream of opening and running a Writers’ House, where writers from all ages can join our “home” for a place of inspiration, solitude, camaraderie, workshops, critiques or just to fill their creativity well.

What’s your dream?

When was the last time you asked yourself?

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Filed under Believe

Help for Hump Day

"Looking Up", original drawing by Dave Campbell

“Set your sights high, the higher the better. Expect the most wonderful things to happen, not in the future but right now. Realize that nothing is too good. Allow absolutely nothing to hamper you or hold you up in any way.” ~ Eileen Caddy, Author

  

Where are your sights set? Can you see it in front of you, now, this very minute?

I’m sitting on my wrap around porch overlooking the river, in a white Adirondack chair crafted by my handy husband. Notebook in my lap, cuppa joe at my side. Ideas swirling, dipping and weaving on the summer breeze, flowing in me, through me. Onto the paper.

I want to write about the old-fashioned meaning of the word queer, before it became an ugly insult. (I’ve been reading Virginia Woolf.)

I want to write about a black bird with flame red markings on its wings; it settles on the roof of a minivan and leaves a permanent curse on the family within. I want to write about the warmth of the morning sun on my face, the time I waited for Dave to finish an emergency alarm security job as I sat in his company truck, scribbling madly of the insane couple that lived there, the creepy grown boy who lurked about, who was watching me from the woods at that moment.

Of course, I have no wrap around porch or Adirondack chair, though my husband had built one in our previous life. I sit in my cubicle, tapping away at keys before my workday begins. The work that brings me a steady paycheck and the security of health benefits. My dream just at the edge of reality…

Is your dream taking shape, living within you today? The more detailed, the more real, the easier to get over the hump of a Wednesday.

 

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Filed under Believe, emotion, Inspiration

Sometimes life just gets in the way

{photo courtesy of The Work Organizer.com}

{photo courtesy of The Work Organizer.com}

So sorry, readers, for not posting my series “what I learned this week” on Friday.  I actually have about a word doc page and a half of links and other juicy tidbits to share, but I’ll make this Friday (July 24) a double-feature!

What prevents you from posting, or from writing in general? Last week was quite hellish on the day job. Reports due to the big boss, which needed data from several field associates, who were being less than cooperative in getting said data to me on time. And so it goes… Watching travel and entertainment expenses, researching the best long distance phone plans and inexpensive shipping options. Ugh! You don’t want to hear about this monotony, right? Such is the muck that gets my creativity stuck.

domo_screams_150My weekend, however uneventful, was pleasant in that I had a lot of time outdoors. With my two sons. Up and down a hill on bikes, spinning in a grassy field, staring at clouds. Even some indoor activities like creating animations on a Domo website. These are the things that refuel my creativity. What non-writing related activities fill your writing well?

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Filed under Believe, Little Things, procrastination, Rest, writers block

Go ahead and Jump!

“To do anything truly worth doing, I must not stand back shivering and thinking of the cold and danger, but jump in with gusto and scramble through as well as I can.”

Og Mandino, 1923-1996, Author and Speaker

 

{photo coutesy of SparrowsFlame}

{photo coutesy of SparrowsFlame}

We all face fear, especially as artists. There is the doubt whether we are really “that good.” There is the evil little whisper of our inner critic that makes us pause long enough to forgo a unique idea. Or that good ‘ol “common sense” who has a list of excuses at the ready.

Today, my goal of moving out of the cubicle world and into a world of full time writing and teaching young writers is being stumped. How can I commit to teaching an on-going after-school young writers’ workshop in my community if I realistically don’t get home from work until almost dinner time? Are parents and students going to want to come back to school in the evening for this program, rather than a short walk to another class when the last bell rings at 3pm? Can I adjust my day job hours, again? Is that completely irrational, given today’s job market, to possibly jeopardize my steady income?

When faced with the unknown, we paralyze ourselves.  I know I do. I over think, over analyze. Then, you know what happens? Somebody else who has the same idea takes that jump – and makes it.  And I can kick myself.

So, I will muster up the courage and take the next step. Maybe not a full “leaping in with both feet,” but I will make the call, set the appointment and map out my plan with the school. Who knows? It may all work out.

What is stopping you from taking the jump?

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Filed under Advice, Believe, Education, goals, Perseverance, Platform/Marketing, procrastination, writers block

How do you face challenges?

“It is time for us all to stand and cheer for the doer, the achiever – the one who recognizes the challenges and does something about it.”

Vince Lombardi
1913-1970, American Football Coach

 

Are you a doer, an achiever, or do you leave the challenges to someone else to figure out?  You may be missing out on some valuable opportunities. 

As writers, we provide a service. We provide information, insight and community.  Depending on your genre, you can provide helpful information  through well-researched and written articles, or tips from your own experiences through personal essays. If a fiction writer, you provide an escape to another world and a deeper understanding of human relationships. Even if your writing only consists of blogging, you can give a glimpse into real world situations and solutions or just a great recipe for leftovers.

Is there a topic you want to learn more about, but can’t seem to find the information anywhere? This is your challenge. Do the research, conduct the interviews and find the audience that would benefit from this information , as well.  You can become the “go-to” expert, building your platform!

Maybe there is an untapped niche in the fiction market (God knows we have the topic of vampires covered!)  What does the world really need to read right now? How can you provide this unique perspective to change peoples’ ideas? You can be the author who started a new topic trend and get known for your unmistakable “voice.”

As writers, we also face our own set of challenges in this career. Do you reach out for support?  Do you provide support when others reach to you? We all have experiences to speak from, so be social in the writing community.  You will gain respect from fellow writers and respect for your own status as a writer.

Know your strengths and use them to assist. Use your talents to recognize challenges and do something about them.

Start here. Give us your current challenge and hopefully someone can provide a solution.

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Filed under Advice, Believe, goals, Inspiration, Perseverance, Platform/Marketing

Food for Thought…

I’ve been feeling quite overwhelmed lately, taking on too much, deadlines seeping in from every corner and that good old “working mom guilt” to top it all off.

And then this quote greeted me in my in-box today:

“You cannot be really first-rate at your work if your work is all you are.”

Anna Quindlen, Essayist and Novelist

So, my goal for today (at least) is to PLAY!  

I invite you to play as well, then we’ll talk about how much fun we had…in tomorrow’s post ; )

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Filed under Advice, Believe, emotion, Fun Stuff, Little Things, Rest, writers block, writing inspiration

What is Normal?

Stepford Wives (movie, 1975)

Stepford Wives (movie, 1975)

Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines “normal” as: 2 a: according with, constituting, or not deviating from a norm, rule, or principle b: conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern.

Hmm…  I’m wondering how many of us creative souls want to be normal? Conforming to a standard?  Sounds boring.

Being different and unique only helps our lives as artists, right?  Our broad outlook on the world and relationships gives us an edge to insight. A different plane of thinking, if you will.

Speaking of “different planes,” I recently had the opportunity to interview Stephanie Riseley, author of Love from Both Sides – A True Story of Soul Survival and Sacred Sexuality.  Here is a woman whose husband died in her arms, and now he comes back to “chat” with her. (You’ll have to tune in here next week to get the whole story!)

Whether you believe in communing with the spiritual world or not, it is not normal, even Stephanie says so. Yet, it is magical. 

And can’t we all use a little more magic in our lives?

Maybe normal thinking for you is holding you back, in your relationships or career. Keeping you from taking a chance on the unknown. Are you capable of breaking free from conformity?

“The possibility of stepping into a higher plane is quite real for everyone. It requires no force or effort or sacrifice. It involves little more than changing our ideas about what is normal.”

Deepak Chopra, Author and Speaker

So, what is normal?

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Filed under Believe, books, Creative Essays, emotion, writers block

Good News x 2

In reading Christina Katz‘s second great writing resource, Get Known Before the Book Deal, I learned that writers should toot their own horn when they achieve little successes. How else would our readers/followers know what we’re up to?

So, taking Ms. Katz’s advice, I’d like to “toot” about my recent successes in publication and contest entries!

Underwired, a KY based women’s print magazine, just accepted my essay “Cravings” for publication in their upcoming June ’09 issue.  I wrote “Cravings” last September, with a different market in mind. I wrote the essay from my perspective on motherhood and our needs to give in to guilty little pleasures. I wrote, rewrote, sent to my writing buddies for critiques, rewrote again and finally submitted to skirt! magazine, who politely and promptly rejected my essay due to “no space.”

Of course it was a minor blow, equivalent to a small crescent shaped shiner under my right eye, but I went down my list of markets and sent the essay out again, this time to Imperfect Parent.  My essay seemed to fit their tongue-in-cheek humor and bold observations on being a parent without losing your identity. Weeks, then months went by with no reply and an updated message on their website stated they were “backlogged” and no longer accepting submissions.  So, I emailed the editor, again, and professionally stated I’d be pulling my essay from their consideration if I hadn’t heard back by a specific date. No reply and off to the market guidelines I returned.

So, you can imagine my elation when the editor of Underwired replied via email with a “Congratulations! We’ll see you in print…” Not to mention the attached contract that spelled out payment and rights for my publication of “Cravings.”

The lesson in this? Keep moving forward. Don’t lose momentum, don’t lose your faith or your focus. Your essay may be personal to you, but editors have a job to do and though they may appreciate your wit or tone, it may not fit for their publication.

My second “toot” is about another exciting email I received a few days ago, in regards to my fiction entry for the 100 Words or Fewer Writing Contest.  This email said I was at the top of the mountain where the air was thin. My entry “In Father Brannigan’s Room” had made it past two levels of judging and is now in the running for 1st, 2nd or 3rd place! 100 little words, crafted so carefully, rewritten about 20 times, paragraphs cut and pasted in different order to achieve the maximum effect of “wow” in such a small space.  And I deliriously wait,  with little oxygen.

Who thought after writing for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) where every word counts and even contractions are banished to maximize  number of words, I’d be able to cut out prepositions, articles and adverbs to ruthlessly minimize word count and tell a full story with less than 100 words. An achievement in itself. I’m proud to have even accepted the challenge.

And when the winners are announced in mid-June, I’ll be back to “toot” some more (hopefully!)

Keep writing and submitting my friends! And please share your successes here and EVERYWHERE!

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Filed under Advice, Believe, contests, Creative Essays, emotion, Inspiration, Perseverance, Platform/Marketing

“There ain’t no free lunches in this country…”

“…And don’t go spending your whole life commiserating that you got the raw deals. You’ve got to say, ‘I think that if I keep working at this and want it bad enough I can have it.’ It’s called perseverance.”

Lee Iacocca, Businessman and Former CEO of Chrysler

Love this quote. I think we all have our moments of the “life’s unfair” attitude. But seriously, how would we know our true passions if we didn’t hit a bump or two (or ten) on our way to success?

Perseverance is the path that we must take to develop and live our true passion.

What struggles or speed bumps are hindering your writing goals today (this week, this month)?

I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed in my day job as an Executive Assistant to the Regional V.P. This drags me down, body and mind, for any creative work I had planned for the evening.

I’ve also been procrastinating tedious technical work I need to get done to move forward with my young writers’ summer studio plans for June. And I’ve been putting off a rewrite of an article that should have been finished by now.

Distractions in the form of Facebook, Twitter, Blog surfing & commenting keep me from moving towards my goals, as well. These social medias are excellent tools, when used correctly and in moderation, so as not to take up all of your “working” time.

Perseverance rounds her head again when I sit in my day job cubicle, or in traffic going to or from said job. I know I can’t get different results from doing the same thing. Perseverance is what will blast through those bumps of distraction, overwhelming feelings and procrastination. The innate desire to write and teach full time as a way of replacing my current income  – that big carrot dangling in front of my nose is what will get me through one more day, week or month. To success. To my goal.

But dreaming and wishing and musing is all a bunch of fluff if there is no action behind it.

I learned the other night that just by speaking about my goals of teaching and the local organizations and schools I plan to contact lit a fire under my ass. Talk about it!

I have decided to open my MS Word doc’s ONLY when rewriting or crafting a rough draft of an article. Email and the internet as a whole is too tempting for me if opened in a tab at my bottom toolbar. Set up blinders to focus and blast away distractions!

The technical issue I’m having that is holding back my next steps for my young writers studio is the time to figure out adding a Paypal button to my writelikeCRAZY blog for easier payment of tuitions.My husband, with his knowledge of all things techy, said to ask if I needed help. Well, I asked, I delegated. Get more info to get past the procrastination (or delegate a task you don’t want to do!)

Please share your bumps and how you’ll use perseverance to get over or around them!

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Filed under Advice, emotion, goals, Organization, Perseverance, Platform/Marketing, procrastination, writers block