#UpbeatAuthors – Following Your Dreams

I cannot remember a time when I did not want to be an writer. Does that make working toward becoming a published author a dream or a goal?

I do know one thing: my children saw me working toward fulfilling this dream. I like think that gave them a positive role model to pursue their own dreams. They watched me cry when I received a particularly hurtful rejection; they celebrated with me when I had a writing contest win; they witnessed the hard work that goes into making dreams come true.

I hope I taught them that dreams are important.

#UpbeatAuthors Don’t Dwell

One of my brain’s favorite past times is reminding me of every stupid thing I’ve said in a social situation (as an introvert, I’m socially awkward, so this can go on for hours!), every mistake I made raising my children, things at various Day Jobs I could have handled better, and so on.

Sometimes I think my brain hates me.

But then it comes up with a story idea. A great story idea. A story idea I love.

And I’ve come up with a method to fool my brain. When it starts in with the “remember the time you said…” routine, I remind it we have a plot problem to think about. We need to write the next scene: what is it?

My brain falls for it every time.

#UpbeatAuthors: Tips for Making It Through Hard Times

A Day Job co-worker and I were talking the other day. We’ve both been through some rocky patches in our lives. Different stuff, but life-changing events. And we both said the same thing: staying in the normal helped.

No matter what happens to you, life continues. Jobs, families, bills. Too often, the grief, the panic, the “what-am-I-supposed-to-do-now?” are overwhelming. One can feel as if one is drowning. I will never forget the waves of helplessness washing over me as circumstances seemed to conspire against me. Nightmares invaded my sleep.

During one particularly trying time in our lives, I said to my husband, “Go to the party, just like you planned. I’m going to my meeting. We can’t stop living. As long as we keep things normal for the children, we prove we’re stronger than what’s happened.”

Yes, people need to grieve. To rant, rave, vent, smash dishes, scream into pillows, or whatever else is therapeutic for that person at that moment. Then take a shower, get dressed, and go to work. Do your normal. Or find a new normal that carries you forward. Keep busy. Scrub your kitchen floor. Plant a garden.

This moment is temporary.


#UpbeatAuthors: Positive Indulgences

I do tend to indulge myself. I can, so why not?

That hasn’t always been the case.

One of my more recent indulgences is attending the (almost) monthly writing retreats at Thistle Dew.  For many years, other obligations prevented me from attending.  Times change. Commitments change.

These writing retreats come in handy. They’re a great way to find intense writing time. Oh, I could take time off from Day Job and stay home to “write”, but writing doesn’t get done. Floors, get mopped, errands get run, laundry is laundered, and so on.  For some reason, the writing is always the first sacrifice.

So I don’t consider these retreats “indulgences”, really. They’re more like necessity.


#UpbeatAuthors: Self-Help Books

I’ve read a lot of self-help books in my time. Most of them haven’t stuck. Oh, there was one–I can’t remember the title or the author–where the author said if one more person/article/guru suggested getting up an hour earlier in order to accomplish whatever it was they were selling, she was going to do damage to someone.  I happen to agree.

I do like SARK’s books. I own several. I’m as attracted to the bright colors as I am to the contents. It was through one of her books that I learned about my favorite self-help book:  Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool’s Guide to Surviving with Grace  by Gordon MacKenzie. Unfortunately, it’s out of print. My local library has a copy.

Here is one of the most important things I learned from this book. “Orville Wright did not have a pilot’s license.”