Know that you have talent, are original, and have something important to say. - Brenda Ueland

Monday, January 30, 2012

Mastering the Art of Living

A lot of wisdom and joy packed in this poem by James Michener, which I read at Christina Katz's blog.

Master in the Art of Living

A master in the art of living

draws no sharp distinction

between his work and his play,

his labor and his leisure,

his mind and his body,

his education and his recreation.

He hardly knows which is which.

He simply pursues his vision

of excellence through whatever

he is doing and leaves

others to determine

whether he is working or playing.

To himself, he always seems

to be doing both.

- James A. Michener

"Make yourself unavailable to anyone except your own imagination."

Great post about how to stop preparing to work and get to work.

And when should you begin? You already know the answer to that: the time to start is right now.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Bring Your Own Weather to the Picnic

Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, interviews author Harlan Coben. She asked if he had a happiness mantra:

I have two mantras.

One I’ve already typed twice before: “It’s all about balance.” Family, writing, health, friends, surfing the web—whatever. They all need to be in balance. If I’m not writing well, I’m not happy. If I’m not spending enough time with my family, I’m not happy. If I’m not connecting to friends or if I don’t work out enough... You get the point. Everything has to be balanced. Nothing should be an extreme.

My second mantra is more basic: “You bring your own weather to the picnic.” My kids roll their eyes at this one, but there is no question that attitude can go a long way.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Fuel for Brilliance

Excerpted at Jane Friedman's blog from the book UNCERTAINTY: TURNING FEAR AND DOUBT INTO FUEL FOR BRILLIANCE by Jonathan Fields:

We are often terrified of getting answers to those questions we don’t want to hear. This aversion to being judged, to being told something doesn’t measure up, leads you to cut creative quests short or, worse, never even begin.

That alone is a tough enough challenge for the creative soul who typically spends a good chunk of time pining for acceptance.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

You are exactly where you need to be

Read this fabulous post by Kathryn Trombly.

As a writer you are really a translator–a storyteller of life and this experience.

It doesn’t matter what you write, novels, articles, press releases, web content, grants or non-fiction pieces, everything is, and has, a story.

Through your words you help others to understand the ups and downs of life. Those moments of pure bliss and bitter heartache.

You teach others a little more about love and relationships. About finding and sometimes losing ones dreams.

You remind them that while everyone has their own unique journey through life, no one is every really alone.

But you have to live your own story.

You my friend, have to experience the peaks and valleys, the sadness and happiness, the fear and faith of everything in life.

So live.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

We're In It For the Joy

Another great post from Victoria Mixon:

Writing is using the written word to reach into the fog of invisibility that shrouds our every waking moment and retrieve the primal experience of being alive.

Meaning in writing

From How to Find the Meaning of Life Through Writing, by Victoria Mixon, author of The Art & Craft of Fiction:

So when we have accepted that there is meaning to our lives, and sought that meaning through this extraordinary craft that is our chosen tool for revelation, and faced that meaning in those ephemeral moments of brilliance in our writing, and accepted our inevitable thwarting at its hands (which thwarting, I’m afraid, really is inevitable), we come to understand something.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Don't Write What You Know

Fantastic essay by Bret Anthony Johnston.

Maybe we’re afraid that if we write what we don’t know, we’ll discover something truer than anything our real lives will ever yield.

A resolution of sorts

When I choose to read blogs, I'm going to read more about books and reading and less about writing and plot structure and getting an agent and the publishing industry.

More about what made me love writing to begin with, which was stories.