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Posts Tagged ‘believing in yourself’

Who Am I?

Who Am I?

As a writer, and as a human being, I have struggled with believing in myself and my purpose many times over. Throughout my life I’ve doubted I had what it took to do a certain thing, or be a certain way. I kept thinking I needed more education, more time, more money, more something. I was wrong.

 

What I’ve learned is that what I have right now, today, is enough. The lessons I’ve learned just from living have taught me well. The reading I’ve done have helped educate me. My own intuition is usually spot on. It’s when I doubt my intuition that I stumble and fall. I have been talked and guilted into doing things I knew weren’t right for me. Why? Because I didn’t believe in myself and my purpose enough. I doubted my strength. I doubted any God-given talent I may have. I kept seeking the right fit for me. I listened to others who were also seeking their own path. I learned that’s okay. I learned from those experiences, with some tremendous take-aways for my life and my writing. I met people I would not have met otherwise. But more importantly, each stumble had me righting myself and realizing that my instincts, my intuition, were right. Each time I fell I came away more sure of who I am and where I’m supposed to be. These are all good things.

 

I used to wonder what my purpose on this earth was. Now I don’t. I know, just as I’ve honestly, deep down, always known, that I was born to communicate with others. My writing allows me to do that via the written word. My public speaking allows me to do it via verbal communication with others. My blog, website, and social networks allow me to do this via the written word and the world wide web.

 

Storytelling

Storytelling

When I write, I don’t start out thinking about what message I want to convey to readers. I write to tell a story. I write from the heart. It’s really only after the story is completely written that I realize the message, or theme that tends to run through each story. This theme tends to be one that speaks to the value of love and people. The value of connection to other people and our humanity is what really lies behind each of my stories. I believe we are all connected. I believe we all provide value to each other, and to the world at large. I believe we all teach and learn throughout our entire lives. My purpose, as I see it, is to share those beliefs through any medium available to me. My stories tend to be character driven. I enjoy focusing on the relationships that shape the characters, their conflicts, and triumphs. As I said, I don’t write with the purpose of conveying a hard message in mind. I guess my own innate beliefs permeate my writing on an unconscious level. Once I became aware of this, I was glad. It means it isn’t contrived. It doesn’t seem to matter whether my characters are fictional or based on real historical people. I visualize a story and I wonder who the characters are. I wonder how they would feel in certain situations. I wonder, “what if”.

 

I want to continue living the rest of my life that way. I want to live my life intent on connecting with other people. I want to teach and to learn and to understand as much as I can. I suppose that’s also what fuels my love of travel. For me, travel is about learning and connecting with new people in new places. It’s about discovery, and I like that.

I enjoy sitting in my little corner of the world and writing stories about people and places that might resonate with readers anywhere else in the world. To me, that’s the coolest thing possible.

 

Believing in yourself means listening to that little voice that whispers in your mind. It means trusting that voice and your instincts. When we’re honest with ourselves, we often know, instinctively, what’s right and what’s wrong. We sometimes get an instinctive sense of the character of people we meet. Ever meet someone new and felt an immediate affinity for them? Ever met someone and felt an immediate sense of distrust, or even fear, of that person? That’s instinct, and it’s often the truest piece of feedback you’ll ever receive.

 

Believing in your purpose starts with acknowledging that you have one. It’s about acknowledging that you are here on this earth for a reason. By being honest with yourself, and trusting yourself, you’ll know what that purpose is. Sometimes it takes a very long time to learn to trust yourself. It took me almost fifty years, and still I struggle some days.

 

Writing is hard. It requires the writer to trust that what they are sharing with the world is of value; that it brings something to other people they don’t have, or are seeking. It means accepting the multitude of rejections and keep on going. It means believing that every no is one step closer to a yes, or forging an independent path to getting the stories out there. It means learning, growing, and pushing the boundaries of comfort. It is the greatest leap of faith in yourself possible.

 

Walk Your Own Path

Walk Your Own Path

Whatever you do in life, you determine your own path. You make decisions that affect your future every single day. The beauty is that if you make a mistake, you CAN make a new start. The addict can get clean. The unhappy person can learn to be gentle with him/ herself and love. The person intent on gaining material wealth only can change and choose to re-connect with the people in their lives and give something back to the world. You get to choose your reaction to any given situation.

 

Believing in yourself and your life’s purpose is the greatest gift you can give yourself and the world around you.

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Support breeds success

Support breeds success

Over the years, I’ve had to face many personal and business obstacles. Writing has proven to be my most challenging, and rewarding endeavour to date, but it comes with many obstacles and a host of naysayers. For instance, at a family event recently, a well-to-do family member made a comment to my husband about my writing, saying that although he understood my “passion” for writing, cautioned my husband against really believing it would ever be a financially viable venture. When I heard this, I was furious, both because this family member was unwittingly trying to undermine my husband’s faith in me, and because he was demonstrating what I’d encountered several times before with close friends and family; disbelief that what I was doing would ever amount to much of anything financially.

I’ve worked in commissioned sales for over ten years, and I know from experience that this kind of thinking is detrimental to the success of those who work in this type of career. Writing works very similarly; the writer works his/her buns off to get a project published, endures a great deal of rejection and trials, and only gets paid if the book becomes a commercial success. To be a writer, you have to develop pretty thick skin. You have to believe that what you are writing matters and has value to others. You have to believe in yourself as well as in your dreams. This is no easy task.

Snoopy writingThose who are close to writers don’t always understand what we do. They think we’re playing at an intriguing “hobby”, or worse, wasting our time. They don’t understand that toiling for hours upon hours, days, weeks, months, or even years, and seeing little financial profit is really laying stepping stones to success. Writing is like every new business; you have to be willing to invest the time, blood, sweat, and tears to build a brand and fineness the business model. Many writers work full time jobs and write every spare moment they can in order to create the platform they’ll use. The learning curve is tremendous, and in today’s constantly shifting landscape of book publishing, it’s even more difficult.

This doesn’t stop the true writer, or entrepreneur though. What family members, friends, and others who share the sentiments, don’t understand is that true failure comes when we becomes so downtrodden and unsupported, or disillusioned, that we cease trying. The other thing that often happens to writers, is that they fail to understand that writing and book publishing are also a business. If writers fail to understand how the business operates, learn the tools, and utilize them effectively, they’ll become disillusioned and fail to succeed.

In truth, this goes for everything in life. So what can you do when faced with naysayers and obstacles to your goals for the future? First, stop and take stock of where you are in the process. Make a list of all the things you’ve done to get to that point, and where you want to be. If you’re way off the mark, you may have to adjust your trajectory. That’s okay. No road to success is ever without misjudgements, hills and valleys. Your job is to find ways to continue moving ahead in a direction that leads you closer to the goal.

Pushing a boulder up a hill

Pushing a boulder up a hill

When starting any new venture, it’s very easy to underestimate what’s involved. That’s because human beings don’t come equipped with a GPS map to the future. It’s also why most financiers advocate creating a business plan that would address any potential obstacles and force the entrepreneur to pre-think of ways of seeing and dealing with those obstacles.

In life, we tend to move merrily along on our path, until faced with opposition. Only then do we stop and realize that the path we’ve been walking has veered too far to the left or right. The smart person takes stock of the opposition, learns everything he/she can about it, and adjusts the path accordingly by going through it, over it, under it, or around it. Some might also enlist the help of others to remove it from the path altogether, to allow them to continue forward. There are always solutions, but first you have to understand the problem. Same goes for writing. I keep hearing from writers that they’re “artists” and don’t want to do any of the work associated with marketing and promoting their work. They want to let others do it for them, or worse, do nothing at all, believing that if their work has merit, like cream, it’ll rise to the top. This is a fallacy. You have to be willing to step outside your comfort zone and risk taking on new challenges. You have to be willing to accept that others aren’t going to understand you or why you’re doing what you do. You have to take responsibility for ensuring your work gets noticed and demonstrate why consumers want to purchase the product or service. You have to be willing to forge your own path, irregardless of the obstacles.

I recently met a fellow London, Ontario writer, Sunil Godse, who contacted me via the social media, LinkedIn. As a business mentor, he often counsels managers, CEO’s and struggling entrepreneurs about the benefits of learning from their failures, and how to turn those failures into successes. Because of the many stories he’s heard from his clients over the years, he decided to write a book about it, entitled, Fail Fast, Succeed Faster. As a savvy businessman, he knew writing was a whole other animal to his usual work, and so he enlisted, and solicited, as much help as he could get.

A few weeks before his book launch, he contacted me via LinkedIn and asked if I had a few moments to talk to him about writing and publishing. At the time, I had no idea what his subject matter was, but in the spirit of paying it forward, I agreed immediately. When we finally set up the date and time for a telephone call, I was surprised and impressed with what he’d accomplished so far, and intrigued with his subject material. In fact, I had just penned a blog post earlier that week on the subject of benefiting from failure and achieving success. A coincidence? Perhaps, but in talking to Sunil, I began to realize that he’d approached his book project like a business. He’d researched every aspect of the book publishing industry, worked with a qualified co-writer, hired a professional editor, cover artist, web designer, and after careful consideration, decided to self-publish his book. Honestly, I was impressed and wasn’t sure what I could offer him in the way of advice. In speaking with Sunil, it became quickly apparent that this was a man willing to listen and learn from others. He’d talked to heads of national corporations, new entrepreneurs, and everyone else he thought might have an interesting story or ideas to share. He initiated the contact to perhaps learn something from me about the writing and publishing business, and in doing so, taught me something in return; ask the questions, learn the processes, be invested in doing the task right by hiring qualified people, and ask for assistance when needed.

Bruce Croxon and me

Bruce Croxon and me

When we finally met at his book launch two weeks later, I was again impressed. He used his contacts and financial backing to create a great launch, and invited a truly impressive keynote speaker, Bruce Croxon, of tv’s Dragon’s Den. Both men were ready and willing to talk to attendees as much as needed, and I was pleased to have about 5-10 minutes with each. Again, I learned something from each of them, and enjoyed the event tremendously.

Another on-line friend, Jonathan Gunson, of Bestseller Labs, also wrote an interesting blog post earlier this week that really resonated with me, entitled “The Key to Growing Readership: Your “Writer’s” Voice”. This week Jonathan tapped into the subject of overcoming naysayers, keeping your eye on the goal, adjusting the path where needed, and having faith in yourself, your own abilities and “voice”, and believing in the path you’ve set for yourself.

One other thought; when we support others in their goals, we can strengthen our determination to succeed in our own, and sometimes, learn new ways around the obstacles we face in our own lives. Oh, and when I heard what that family member had said, I understood that they in no way thought they were being unsupportive (not consciously anyway), but boy, did it strengthen my resolve to prove to everyone who doubted my writing future that they were WRONG!

If you’d like to leave a comment, please take a few moments to share some of the obstacles in your life, or business, that you’ve successfully overcome.

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New Beginnings

New Beginnings

It’s always a little scary when thinking of starting something new. I know, because I’ve started, re-started, and begun many new projects. Every time I start something new, I begin questioning whether it’s the right path for me. Is this something I want to continuing doing, and what is involved in starting the new project? I believe in making informed decisions about any new start.

When it’s been a new career path I’ve considered, I’ve done the only thing I know how to help me make an informed decision; research. I look into all the aspects of the new option to see where the road might lead me, and whether or not I think it’s something I might enjoy doing for the foreseeable future. When I started out in real estate, I went on-line to learn what courses I’d need, the cost of those courses, and checked out some of the local brokers to see what I thought of their platform. I then booked the courses, and booked interviews with the brokers I was considering working with, but I asked as many questions as they did, since I wanted my choice be good for both sides.

Once I’d made up my mind, I knew I’d done sufficient investigating to ensure minimal surprises, but of course every new venture comes with some unexpected pitfalls. I mean, it’s impossible to foresee things around every corner. What I’m talking about is checking things out to get a good sense of whether or not I think the obstacles are ones I’ll be comfortable in tackling.

It was the same thing when I transitioned from real estate into residential mortgage lending, and then novel writing. I wanted to learn as much as I could about the business, obstacles, and advantages before making a final decision. I’ve always said I’m a student of life, and life has taught me to be thoughtful and prudent when making choices. It doesn’t mean I may not change my mind later about whether or not to continue in the career I’d chosen, because I certainly have. To me, that’s the other beauty of choice; you can choose to either continue walking the same path, or investigate a new one that seems to be a better fit. I truly believe we create the life we want to lead by the choices we make daily.

I’ve discovered a lot about myself through this process, and I know I need to be challenged in a good way, and I don’t suffer fools gladly. I’ve learned that I’m self-driven and prefer not to have someone looking over my shoulder telling me what to do, and when to do it. I work hard at my chosen career, no matter what it happens to be at the time. I’ve also learned that writing offers me the freedom to do as I wish, when I wish it, and I’m driven to establish concrete working routines to accomplish tasks. For me, writing is the perfect marriage of challenge and tasks. I love it, but it’s taken me over fifty-four years to get here. What I know now though, is that had I not gone down some of the other roads, I might never have discovered what I have about myself, and learned the skill sets I’d need to continue walking this long dirt road called writing which is full of pot holes, hills, and steep drops.

Butterflies

Butterflies

I still get the butterflies in my stomach, and I still tend to second-guess myself while I’m in the investigation stage of any new project, but once I’ve made up my mind to do something, I dive in head-first. I immerse myself in the work, the learning, and how-to’s, and I love the challenges that come with it. I give any new venture my best shot, and I’ve learned to be patient for the rewards. Hint; I’m not a particularly patient person by nature. I prefer things get done or achieved today, not tomorrow, or the tomorrow after that. Still, as my family knows, I’m a work in process, and that’s okay.

One of the things I do when stymied as to which way to turn before tackling a new project is to allow myself the time to mull it over. I’ve learned quick, impulsive decisions aren’t always the best for me, and if I allow myself to just think things through, I’ll come up with the right decisions for me. It comes down to listening with my gut, and using my instincts to tell me what’s right for me. It’s while I’m thinking things through that I do the research part. For instance, I’ve begun doing more public speaking on motivational topics, in addition to my writing and publishing talks. since discovering a love of connecting with people one-on-one, sharing my personalal story of triumph over the fear of failure, and inspiring others to go after their own dreams and goals.

When beginning a new book, I do the same thing. A story line or plot will start to form in my head, and so I’ll write a few short points about it on my computer (at my age, memory can come and go, so it’s best if I write it down somewhere). Then, I’ll let it all simmer while I continue on with the current project. I’ll do a little research into the subject matter, then let that simmer a bit as well. Now, I’m not talking about a long time, I’m talking a few weeks to perhaps just over a month. Once I decide I’m ready to tackle the new project, the excitement begins to rise. I begin to envision the characters, their struggles, and how they feel about certain situations. It’s like a movie that plays in my head, day and night, until I HAVE to write it.

The writing feels good, the words typically flow easily, and I get lost in the story. Once it’s ready to be published, I begin to get anxious again. Will publishers and/or agents see the merit in the story? Will the public enjoy the characters and get drawn into the plot? I’m nervous as all get out, but at some point, again I have to trust my gut. I remind myself I’ve dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s, and with the aide of my publisher, I’ve done the very best I can. My stories are released like an offering to the waiting readers, and I hope they enjoy my work, and perhaps find some small take-aways from it; whether because it gave them some enjoyable entertainment or respite from their everyday, they could relate to one or more of the characters, or it made them think about something going on in their own lives.

Come Ride With Me

Come Ride With Me

I’m a communicator, I always have been. I believe my job, as a writer, is to have sufficient faith in myself and my stories to release them into the hands of readers around the world, and believe I’ve succeeded in some of the above goals. After the release of a new book, I start another one, and the cycle begins again. It’s a never ending carousel that goes round and round, but when it stops to take on new riders who join me on my journey, the ride gets even better, because it’s shared with others.

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A leap of faith

A leap of faith

We’ve all had to do it. We’ve all had to face our fears over something, look into the abyss, and leap anyway. At least I know I have.

Every time we venture beyond the known we risk rejection and disappointment. Knowing that shouldn’t stop us, but often, it does. We worry we won’t be accepted or liked. We are concerned we’ll look foolish, or worse, ridiculed. When does that fear start? We aren’t born with that fear. Babies don’t worry about these things, they are taught them. Life experiences teach us to fear the unknown.

I still remember, as a young child, going to a new school and being terrified everyone would look at me and make fun of me. In some ways, it makes no sense. I looked and behaved relatively normal, so there was nothing for anyone to reject. But I feared that rejection anyway. I clung to my mother’s leg, loathe to go forward and face my shyness. I wanted my mother to stay and pave the road for me. I wanted her to be there to stop the unkind words another child might say to me, or the potential harshness of a teacher whom I didn’t know. Of course she couldn’t stay. She had a job to go to, and she knew I had to find my own way. She was right. I made friends quickly and easily, and moved on without a backward glance, probably before the lunch bell rang.

So many times over my life I hesitated to take that leap of faith. I thought I had to have faith that others would be kind and respect me. I thought I had to have faith that God would protect me. What I’ve learned is that I had to have faith in all these things, but more importantly, I had to have faith in myself. Without that faith, none of the others mattered. No amount of pushing or pulling would make it possible for me to move forward.

Fear of writing

Fear of writing

One of the reasons I held off starting to write, really write, a novel for so long was fear of the unknown. What if people hated it? What if what I wrote turned out to be crap? What if I failed? What I had left it for too long and was too old to start over? Or perhaps even more scary, what if I succeeded? What? Wait a minute, I want to succeed, don’t I? Of course I do, but succeeding also heralds change, and change can be frightening. Remember the old adage, “Be careful what you wish for; you just might get it.”

Writers are forced, by the very nature of the craft, and the industry, to face our fears on a daily basis. Rejections abound with every query and rip at the self-confidence. Less than stellar reviews can undermine the writer’s belief in themselves. Staring at a blank page every day, or picking up a story and trying to craft something others will relate to and enjoy, is daunting in the extreme. Then there’s the marketing and promotion aspect of this crazy business. Daunting isn’t even the word for it. In today’s quicksand world of publishing, even the pros aren’t sure which way to turn. Publishers, agents, and editors are increasingly shy of taking on new talent. Book stores are closing all across North America daily, and shelf space is at a premium for those that remain open. Self-publishing is gaining increased notice and acceptance, but the time and learning commitment to produce good quality work is huge, as are the chances for failure or success.

At almost every chapter reading/book signing I attend, someone asks me how I conquer that fear and go out and do what I do every day anyway. How do I know that what I write will be accepted? How do I conquer my fear of public speaking? The answer is simple; I don’t. I don’t conquer the fear, I move through it. Every writer out there who puts their heart and soul on the line and publishes their work, does that. Every actor who stands before an audience or camera, does that. Every athlete, does that. Every man or woman who truly believes in the cause they fight for, does that. Every soldier who enlists to stand up for their country and countrymen, does that. In fact, every person who faces whatever fears might hold them back in their daily lives, but goes out and does what needs to be done anyway, does that. It’s not rocket science.

Crossroads of Failure and Success

Crossroads of Failure and Success

Do you fall sometimes? Yep. Do you fail sometimes? You bet. Will others criticize or misunderstand you? Perhaps. But the upswing can be huge. Even if we fail, are criticized, or misunderstood, if we’re smart, we’ll learn from it and grow. If we succeed, we accept change and look for new challenges. We experience more of life and learn more about ourselves and our possibilities. Hopefully by facing our own fears, we become more understanding of other’s fears.

Fear is instinctual self-preservation, and it’s necessary to life. Without it, we’d blunder into all kinds of dangerous situations and put ourselves in harm’s way. I’m not advocating that. What I’m advocating is taking a realistic look at your fears and determining whether or not the required action to overcome it would enhance your own or another’s life in some meaningful way. If so, you might just want to do what Tony Robbins advocates and “walk through the fire”. You might be surprised what’s waiting on the other side.

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Indecision

Indecision

If you are a writer, or a reader who has a curiosity about writing, you might understand this dilemma. You see, I’m experiencing a bit of a conundrum in my writing. Having just sent off the draft edits for the sequel to my debut novel, I’m faced with that dreaded, “what next?”.

 

I’m torn between starting a new series based on the two previous books right away, or taking on an entirely new project in the romance genre, but very different than the first two. I already have ideas for both, but wrestle with which to tackle first. I’ve even considered writing the two simultaneously, but I’m not sure my old brain can do that.

 

The truth is, both hold equal appeal, I’m just not sure how or where to start. As a woman who has passed the age of fifty, this type of situation has happened many times before in my life, separate and apart from my writing. So I acknowledge the need to stop for a bit and let my heart lead the way. Unlike my personal life, if I make a wrong start, I can simply put the current work aside and make a new beginning.

 

But wait, isn’t life like that too, to some extent. We’ve all heard of people who’ve made some pretty horrendous mistakes in their lives, and for a variety of reasons, chose to take a different path to find the peace and happiness they seek.

 

Years ago I divorced my first husband and chose to seek my future without him. It was one of the most difficult decisions I’d made up to that point. I was barely thirty-two years old and the mother of two young children. I had no job, and things at home had reached a melting point. I didn’t know what my future would hold as a single parent with very limited financial resources, but I knew I had to make a new start for myself and my children. The relationship wasn’t a healthy one, and rather than stay, I chose to take on a new direction. I made the right choice.

 

Love rules

Love rules

Years later I met my second husband and fell in love. He had three teenaged children and by then my own children were teens. That made five teenagers that we were considering putting together as a family. No, insanity doesn’t run in my family; it seems unique to me. I didn’t know what the future would hold in this proposed new scenario, and I could see the pitfalls ahead. But I was in love with this man, I cared very much about his children, and so I followed my heart. Now, we have five grown children and five incredible, beautiful grandchildren. It certainly hasn’t always been easy, by a long shot, but I’m happier for having my husband and our combined children than I ever was alone. Together, we’ve created a family that bickers, and loves, much as biological families do. I made the right choice.

 

When I was fired from a job as a medical office administrator for standing up for myself against another staff member with more seniority, I came home devastated. I cried, ached and felt such shame for being fired from a job I’d taken pride in. Then my husband asked me if I’d ever wanted to do anything other than work in an office, as I had since I was seventeen. I was stunned. No one had ever asked me that question before. I took it seriously and really thought about it. I was forty-one years old, the kids had mostly grown and gone, and I was in a new space in my life. I’d always wanted to get into real estate, so I told him I wanted to take the required courses, obtain my license, and go with my gut. Keep in mind here that I hadn’t even finished high school, having foolishly quit school two months before graduation in order to marry my first husband. The thought of taking an extensive course and begin the formal learning process again was daunting, for sure. It was also exciting. I completed that course, got my license and thoroughly enjoyed selling residential real estate for the next seven years. I made the right choice.

 

After those seven years, I was tired of long days and nights and little time away from work. I realized I had started missing out on so many family functions and important personal time with my husband due to work requirements. I’d gotten disillusioned with real estate sales and the sometimes cut-throat attitude of so many of the agents I’d encountered. I’d also met some wonderful co-workers and clients whom I truly enjoyed. But I was unhappy, so I wondered again, “what next?”.

 

After serious consideration, and in talking with family and friends I trusted, I made the decision to move into residential mortgage sales. It seemed the ideal fit based on my years in real estate and my basic knowledge of mortgages etc. I still wasn’t sure it’s what I should do, but I went ahead and took the courses to obtain my license and went to work selling mortgages. I should have listened to my gut instinct. I’d grown weary of commissioned sales and had only shifted the focus from real estate to mortgages, with little to no real change in the type of work I was doing. After only three years I was left dissatisfied and unhappy with where my career was going.

 

So it begins

So it begins

I remembered my husband’s question all those years ago about what I wanted to do with my life. I had always wanted to write, but had put it off. It was such an “out there” thing to do, and I was afraid to tackle the commitment I knew it would take. I hummed and hawed. I agonized and chewed it over for weeks. Then one day while I was off for Christmas break, I decided to just go for it. I went upstairs to my computer and sat down and began to write a story I’d been mulling over, along with my indecision. Approximately eight hours later, I came downstairs beaming. I hadn’t written anything stellar, and most of it I would later re-write completely, but that wasn’t the point. The point was, I’d crossed a line. I’d taken hold of an old fear and once again chosen to go with my gut feeling. By the time I came downstairs from my office, I knew I wanted to be a writer. I had my, “what next”.

 

It’s been three more years since then, and during that time I continued to work. Last November, with the release of In The Spirit Of Love, my debut novel, I already knew I’d found my place, so decided to quit my job and write full time. In truth, writing is where I probably should always have been. I’ve learned so much this past year, and the years before it. I’ve learned to trust myself and listen to my instincts. I’ve also learned that, just like in writing, I can choose my path. If it isn’t right, I’ll stop, listen, wait, and go with my gut.

 

I know I still have so much to learn, and I’m still not sure what I’ll do regarding my next project, but that’s okay. What I do know is that I’ll keep writing. In movies I’ve heard characters talk about the possibilities “tomorrow” holds. I think of Gone with the Wind and Scarlet O’Hara, who vowed to go home to Tara and figure out her future. I think of Little Orphan Annie who sang brightly of “Tomorrow”, and I think of all the songs and films and talk shows that encouraged me take chances and dream big. It isn’t even all about “making it big” (although that would certainly be nice). It’s about finding myself and my true passion and letting it lead me to new experiences. I guess what’s next for me, is simply to write.

 

So, what’s next for you? What dreams or aspirations have you followed up on, or wished you had?

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The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

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