Find a way

The older I get, the more I feel this way:

I don’t want to hear WHY something can’t be done or WHY an idea won’t work, etc. Find a solution…somehow. If you can’t get through an obstacle, go around it, over it, beneath it, or forge a different path that might take you on a detour but will ultimately lead you to your goals.

Throughout my life, I’ve had people tell me why this, that, or the other won’t work. I was told I wouldn’t make it as a freelancer for more than a year or two, mainly because few freelancers last past that time. I just celebrated 19 years of being a full-time freelancer. It’s not been an easy road, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It’s FREEDOM for me. I DO NOT miss working in a cubicle, surrounded by office politics and corporate bullshit. Nope…that scene isn’t for me.

Second, I was told SUN SIGNS FOR WRITERS probably wouldn’t sell to a publisher because it was a hybrid book, and one combining subjects that hadn’t been done before. Glad I didn’t listen, because I sold it to the FIRST publisher I pitched it to—Writer’s Digest Books, an imprint of F + W Media, Inc. I got a nice advance (for a first-time author) and snagged the agent I wanted, too.

I could give numerous other examples, but you get the gist of what I’m saying. It may take me a long time — years or even decades — to reach goals that I have set for myself; however, I’m tenacious and determined to soldier on despite naysayers or critics. I simply DO NOT CARE what they think.

So I leave you with this: when you make a decision or set a goal, you’ll usually have a bunch of naysayers or critics who will tell you WHY you shouldn’t do it, HOW it cannot be done, or WHY it would be easier for you to give up and go back to being an obedient lemming. Don’t listen to that bullshit. Smile, nod, and do whatever you wanted to do in the first place (like Robert Downey, Jr. claims he does).

It’s your life. You hold the cards. Play them any way you damn well please! After all, (eventual) success is the best revenge, isn’t it?

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Do you NaNo?

Why I’m never sure if I’ll do NaNoWriMo from year to year: I’m a working writer and editor who works for multiple clients. That means I write and edit to support my family (and have for the past 16 1/2 years). Over an average month, I pump out about 2,000 words or more a day (or 60,000 per month, on average, if you count 30 days in a usual month).

In addition to my paying contract work, I also write my OWN stuff, from blogs and journals to books I’m already fiddling with, plus anything else in between…which means even MORE words ON TOP of what I already write for contract jobs.

When NaNoWriMo rolls around, if I attempt to write 50k words ON TOP of what I already write on an average month…well, that’s a lot of writing. And I love writing (which is why I do it), but you can clearly understand why 50k in a month isn’t a big deal for me. I’m already surpassing that just by the words I am writing to begin with…so NaNoWriMo is, for me, an even bigger challenge because it’s that many words over and above everything else I’ve got going on.

What I’m saying is this: you CAN write 50k a month with NO PROBLEM if you just take it as a day-to-day adventure. If you’re not concentrating on, “OMG, I have to write 50k a month!” and, instead, think of it in terms of X number of pages per day or X number of words in a day, it becomes much easier.

And yes, I’ve decided to do NaNoWriMo in addition to my usual writing and editing commitments.  Because, you know, I DO love any excuse to write! *smile*

YOU can do it, too. ADD me on NaNoWriMo. I’m listed as elementalmuse under the participant profiles: http://nanowrimo.org/participants/elementalmuse

Inspire kids — it can shape the rest of their lives!

You know what’s awesome? Receiving a message from your high school journalism teacher — the woman who played a big role in me becoming a professional freelance writer, editor, and published author. Her name is Lana Smith, and she is one of a few mentors in my life who absolutely shaped the person I’d become and what I’d do for a career.

I began in journalism class at Widefield High School (in Colorado Springs) when I was a wee sophomore, went on to become the advertising manager and, eventually, the editor-in-chief for the WHS Gladitorial.

My first paid article appeared in the Colorado Springs Sun newspaper when I was 17 years old. I started writing in elementary school and have never stopped. I was blessed to have teachers and parents who encouraged me every step of the way.

Always support your kids in their passions/interests. It’s *incredibly* important to do so. Hearing from Lana today really made my weekend — and my week!

Because pursuing one degree wasn’t enough, now I’m going for a second!

So, I made a big decision today — a positive one I’m excited about! Once things get settled with our living situation (because I need to focus on my new venture in addition to ongoing writing/editing work), I am going to pursue a degree in psychology. Most likely with an emphasis on Media Psychology, Social Psychology, or Spiritual Psychology (still deciding and checking out programs because I like ALL three of them, though Social Psychology is the front-runner as of now.)

The degree will be done completely online and through an accredited program. This decision takes me WAY back to when I first attended Phillips University and was carrying a second major in psychology. It also dovetails well with my existing University of Colorado education in Applied Communications (my primary emphasis thus far) as well as my minor in Philosophy.

I have some ideas about where I want all of this to lead, but for now I’m keeping mum about them. 🙂 However, I’m SO EXCITED and had to SHARE with you guys! And no, I’m NEVER giving up writing, editing, or teaching online writing courses. As I see it, this is an enhancement for me both personally and professionally.

Reminder: You only have to *start*

“Novices in the arts think you have to start with inspiration to write or paint or compose. In fact, you only have to *start*. Inspiration comes if you *continue*. Make the commitment to sit still in solitude several hours a day and inevitably your muse will visit. ‘I write fifty pages until I hear the fetal heartbeat,’ Henry Miller used to say.” —Erica Jong, Fear of Fifty

Ten daily questions to ask yourself

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To help focus and clarify what’s worthwhile to spend my time on and to strive for more meaningful and positive experiences, here are questions I’m going to ask myself:

1. Will this bring you happiness and laughter?
2. Will you get peace of mind from this experience?
3. Will this advance your purpose in life?
4. Is this in alignment with your personal or professional goals?
5. Will this help you be a better or more evolved person?
6. Will this be worth investing your time and energy?
7. Does this add value to your life?
8. Is this educational?
9. Have you picked a worthwhile battle to fight?
10. Have you practiced discernment and/or restraint?

After considering these questions and the number of “no” responses, I can then decide — clearly and wisely — if investing my time and energy in something is beneficial for me. I will then decide whether to engage, participate or walk away/withdraw. I’m over the halfway point in my life.

Time to train myself to be more selective and discerning about people, events, causes and attention. Must close the circle and separate the wheat from the chaff.

Over it!

When I’m done with something, I’m done with it. When I don’t wanna do something anymore, I don’t wanna do it — period. If I have to keep doing it, I resent it and become hostile. I also turn to avoidance tactics. The more you try to make me do it, the less I will. Forcing me does NOT work — ever. When my mind is made up, it’s made up…and it takes a long time for me to get to this final stage. I give lots of chances. It can take months or years for me to finally get fed up. However, once I’m there, there’s no going back. Thankfully, my husband understands this and supports me 100 percent. He knows when I’ve reached my limit. He doesn’t try to change my mind/talk me out of it. He respects that it’s a decision I have to make for my own sanity and self-respect. Paul, I love you for supporting and encouraging me during the most trying of times. ❤