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Posts Tagged ‘Advice’

Last week, I started making a few life changes–small ones, just to get in the groove–and they turned out to be good for me. The first was taking a few moments a day for myself. It sounds crazy, but I wasn’t even doing that before! I stopped working a tad earlier than usual and actually got to watch a movie! Granted, it was over several days, which isn’t ideal, but still–a movie!! In the middle of the week! For a gal who rarely watches television (except for Masterpiece Mystery and Castle), this was a very big deal, let me tell you!!

Also, I started eating better. I didn’t go on some crazy diet or halve my food intake, but my new eating habits include less grabbing stuff on the go and more sitting down to eat properly. It seems like such a little thing, but it was enough of a change for me to notice the way I feel.

I started editing the first third of my current WIP–for some reason, I really like to have the themes of the first third solidified before I keep writing–and it’s going pretty well. More on that this week.

And I got some good news from my publisher–more info to come when I can share!

I’m really writing today to ask if you think the Monday giveaways are going well. I started the whole Monday giveaway thing as a way to share all the awesome books and goodies I received at RWA this year. I’ve made a small dent in my pile, which is currently arranged on a giant 5-foot-long dresser, but I wanted to get your thoughts on whether I should keep going. There are tons of places I can donate the books, but I’d rather they go to people who are interested in reading them. Drop a line in the comments and let me know whether you think I should keep up the giveaways!

Even though there’s no giveaway this Monday on my blog, I am doing a Goodreads giveaway of two rare paper copies of Long Simmering Spring, so please join me there and sign up if you’re interested.

Thanks in advance to everyone who leaves a comment!

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Carpe Diem!

Yesterday, I was dashing around madly, driving my kids to and from school, play, and home, running errands, working, emailing, doing copious amounts of paperwork, talking with my editor, writing (or trying to), and finalizing my copyedits for DEEP AUTUMN HEAT. “I swear there aren’t enough hours in the day!” I muttered, as I wolfed down my pathetic lunch of egg-and-cheese-on-toast while standing over the kitchen sink.

But wait just a minute. There is a way I can have some extra hours. Twenty-four, to be precise, because this year, there is an extra day.

Today!

As I’m sure most (if not all) of you reading this are aware, today is leap year day, the extra day added by the-powers-that-be as a corrective measure, because the Earth doesn’t go around the sun in exactly 365 days. There’s additional time each year, and so, to prevent everything from going out of whack, every four years, February gets a little something extra. A full day to work, play, live – do whatever.

So there’s my extra time, right?

Well, sort of. As usual, I’ve filled the day with work, meetings, and other sundry affairs. But I plan to seize the day – to take a little bit (a few hours?) of time for myself. Because at the rate I’m going, I’m probably going to get the chance only every four years. Better grab it while I can!

What are you going to do today? 

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The world lost a great visionary last week.  I’m talking about Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple.  One thing I’ve taken away from his life was that he was up, he was down, but he never lost sight of what was truly important to him – following his dreams.  It sounds trite, but they’re words to live by. 

I had the chance to read his 2005 Stanford commencement speech.  Two passages really resonated with me.  The first one was this one:

“You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”

And the second passage is this:

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

Even before Mr. Jobs died, I was thinking about this and how it pertained to my own life.  This was the very thing I had struggled with and am still struggling with.  Following dreams versus sticking to the straight and narrow.  It’s cold comfort that others are struggling with this, too.

Earlier in the week, I had met up with an old friend – a friend I hadn’t seen in five years.  She’s a professional editor – a very well-educated, well-spoken professional editor who is now teaching journalism at the university level and trying to figure out what she’s going to do for the rest of her life.  She mentioned that she wanted to get back to her novel, which she’d shelved for a long time.

I then proceeded to launch into an (unasked for) pep talk about why she should finish it.

“Writers write,” I said, “and you are a writer.”

I think I was saying this to myself as much as I was to her.  Writers write.  Follow your dreams.  Don’t listen to what other people say.  Listen to that inner voice telling you what you need to do.  What you want to do.  It’s right.  It’s always right.  You love it.  You can’t not do it.  Take a day job if you need to make ends meet, but focus on the ultimate goal:  the writing.  Writers write, and you are a writer.

I hope she listens, if not to me, then to herself.  Because I know her heart is telling her the same thing mine did:  write and don’t look back.

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