December 8, 2016

We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.

Buddha

WAVING BYE TO 2016

As 2016 comes to a close, I’m sitting in my office with mixed feelings. I’m wondering if I’ve done everything I can to be a better person. If I’ve pushed myself hard enough, or long enough. I’m not certain I can say I did.

 

books-and-pens

I’m wondering in the remaining days of this year, what else I can accomplish. I’m a person who likes list and I love checking stuff off as I accomplish them. But sometimes I’m so driven by getting things done I forget to enjoy the now, the moment. Maybe next year that’s something I can work on.

There is a long list of people who will not journey into 2017. I’m missing those loved one that did not make it this far into the year. There are some losses that shocked me and others that rocked me. But I still wake up each morning with a heart full of thanks and praise. I’m sure one day I’ll have the answers to the questions I seek.

 

dead-end

I’m hoping 2016 doesn’t deliver any more surprises. I’m not so sure I’ve got the strength to handle anything else. And even as I type those words, I realize how absurd they are. As if I had some control over anything or could deem them so, just by writing them down.

I’ll prepare for 2017 with the optimism that circulates in my soul. And like always I’ll try to see the lighter side of life. And just in case I don’t post again before 2017, I’m wishing you and yours all the best.

LISTIFYLIFE CHALLENGE WEEK 3

Listify Life – LITTLE THINGS THAT MAKE ME HAPPY

listifylife

 

I like to think if myself as an uncomplicated creature. I tend to be optimistic, even in the face of hopelessness and I’m easy to please. I can find happiness in the simplest things.

  • Hearing my children laugh
  • Sunny days
  • Sitting beside my husband
  • Spring flowers and the sound of birds

Flowers

  • Walking the dog
  • Writing a good chapter or a good book
  • Finishing a manuscript
  • A good meal

Dinner

  • A good workout
  • Being with my friends and sharing
  • The sound of ocean waves

Ocean Waves

  • Relaxing with a good book
  • Finding the perfect pair of shoes, or shoes in general
  • Talking to my mother
  • Ice Cream

These are just a few things.  I’m sure I could go on and on. How about you? What makes you happy?

THE RACE BEGINS

It just dawned on me the other day that receiving a publishing contract was only the beginning for me. Now the hard work begins.

 

Added to my daily creative schedule, I have to make time to investigate promotional opportunities as well as pick up my writing pace.  I need to develop stories and write them at a faster pace than the one I enjoyed as an unpublished writer.

 

Writers share a common characteristic with other creative individuals. In order to stay relevant you’ve got to continue to produce. Now I know why singers like Beyoncé and Adele often have two or three songs playing on the radio at once or why film stars do two movies a year.  The public can be demanding. Take a nap and they move on to the next best thing waiting to step into your place.

So while I’m excited about my first offer, I can’t sit back and claim victory. I need to work even harder to build my brand, produce a backlist and understand the industry

I used to think that getting the call from a publisher was akin to crossing the finish line. A place where I would jump around, be happy and marvel in my accomplishment.  Of course I did all those things.  But I also realize it was more like the beginning of the race-the sounding shot.  There is no finish line, that place where I slap myself on the back for a job well done and then take a seat..

 

If I’m lucky and blessed, this is a continuum.  I get do this for as long as I want.  What could be better?

FOLLOW THE LEADER

It’s time to follow the leader, but only if that leader is you. Only you can direct your soul to true happiness.

Over the Easter holiday I had an urge to dye eggs.  Without a single person in my house under the age of ten, it seemed like a ridiculous pursuit. Memories of dunking eggs in brightly colored water and drawing crude or exotic designs on them would not leave me alone.  I even asked several people if they were dyeing eggs.  I intended to invite myself to their festivities.  No luck.  When the urge would not dissipate, I finally listened to my true leader.  Me.  I followed my heart and threw my own Egg-Dyeing Bash.  The only attendee:  Me. Not only was it fun, it was therapeutic.

 

I only dyed seven eggs.  This small gesture forced me to examine how many times I wanted to do something that would bring me joy and dropped the idea because it didn’t conform to some idea of the norm.  I think I’ve learned my lesson. Listen to my counsel, more often than not it will help me get where I want to be.  Is your inner leader whispering something in your ear?