7:30 am Directional Epiphany

This morning in my quiet time, I felt like I was handed a new map, new orders. At first, I didn’t understand it but now I do. Writing about writing reaches a very limited number of my friends and followers.

I want to reach more people with my message but in recent months, that was called into question. What is my focus? What is my message? What is it that when I start, I don’t want to stop? And even more importantly, if the world really does have something I need, what the heck is it?

Many of you may not know that I have a long history of creating art–thirty years! Shocking, I know. And ten years ago, I laid it down to write. I’ve written my million words, now, give or take and it no longer seemed fitting for me to write about writing. It would be like Joyce Meyers talking about talking. Honey, she has a voice and she’s not afraid to use it, but if you know her, then you also know that is not the focus of her message. Her voice and words and ability to speak publicly are tools in her toolbox.

This morning it was like clicking a download button. It seemed I’d been asking a question and didn’t really know the answer to. A flood of information came rushing in like that wave of warm sunlight after the storm clouds finally pass.

And this is your heads up. You’ve been faithful on this bumpy road, but this is something that gets me all fired up again and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. It means I’ll be posting every week instead of the once or twice a month of before and increasing it to twice a week. Can you handle that? If not, I understand, no hard feelings. But if you can, if you’re made of more durable stuff, are infinitely curious or just want to see what’s up my sleeve, see you next week!

Back on track

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwj-w9_WvPDRAhXGOSYKHV7eCuoQjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.pleinevie.fr%2Fgalerie%2Fj-ai-recu-une-contravention-injustifiee-comment-la-contester-910&psig=AFQjCNFNxD_WLvJZbJG1mChvi3B5ZPYuAg&ust=1486092646972745If you’re wondering how long it’s been since I was on here and posted, it’s been too long. 1 year, 5 months, and 1 day, to be exact, according to Date Difference calculator.
So what was that all about, you ask?

It’s amazing how little things can get a plan completely off-track. And it also speaks to my failure to properly steward my time.

A part-time job was supposed to give me time for writing (while keeping me fed!) and several things evolved making that really difficult. The first was getting up early to go to work. I am not pleasant to be around at 6 a.m. Or earlier depending on the weather. My smile doesn’t even wake up before 9 a.m. (Not good when working with the public.) My internal chronometer works best waking up on its own and I was seriously unable to get up on my own at such an early time.
Secondly, the powers that be kept trying to add more time to my schedule. Going from 20 to 28 hours played havoc with my desire to write when I got home. Then, it was another bump up to keep the insurance. The job turned negative and nightmarish.

Even though I had been diligently writing at night while holding down the part time job or PTJ, I slowly slid into a funk. I needed a radical shift in my life and quite honestly because it didn’t look like I was going where I wanted to go, as fast as I wanted to get there. Cocktails alleviated some of that stress. And then it added another set of problems. What was I supposed to do?

I needed a radical change of scenery. I took a leap of faith and was hired by a different company with later hours and a schedule that we agreed on. Four months later, I landed another part-time gig writing for a website developer. I was gaining traction again.
Over the last year, I took up ghostwriting in addition to my own writing. I managed to finish my first ghostwriting project and my third short story at the same time. With all that’s going on, I’m learning new things. Cocktails have disappeared off the menu. And I have new de-stress techniques that work even better.
And the truth is, I missed you guys. Life is exciting again and I can’t wait to share with you, all the new things I’ve discovered. So, if you forgive me, hop in the car and let’s see what lies ahead!

P.S. here’s the link for figuring out how much time is between dates click here.

Keepers of the Flame

candles-141892_640It is possible for others to minimize your relationship with writing especially if they don’t share your gift. It’s devastating when someone who says they care about you,  attempts to invalidate your passion. Quite often, they’re disinterested or—surprise, surprise—jealous of your ability, tenacity and determination to pursue your dream.
Probably every writer has endured cutting remarks about their writing whether they wrote longhand, typed or had the newest computer set up on the market.

Learning to recognize who isn’t interested in your writing will save you many hours of pain and suffering. Luckily, people in this category can be spotted easily. Below you can view some common remarks.

  • What makes you think you’re a writer?
  • Have you ever been published?
  • Have you ever been paid?
  • Your writing is just a hobby.
  • What makes you think anyone wants to hear what you have to say?  
  • You’re still working on that same book?

One extremely close relative refused to encourage my writing. He wouldn’t read it or acknowledge it in any way. When the people we’re closest to can’t or won’t support us, it’s disheartening.  Even worse, when they make you feel guilty for pursuing your craft, disparage your efforts or try to sabotage them. It goes without say that these are not people with whom you share your work or your victories. Spare yourself feeling of discouragement. You don’t have to ditch them as friends (or relatives) but they’re not part of your tribe.candle-1818703_640

Your tribe, your clan, crew or peeps, are thrilled for you. They cheer you on. They want to see what you’ve written lately, or posted or published. They are often writers themselves but certainly, believe in pursuing dreams and passions. Develop a circle of friends with whom you can share your triumphs. When you get a book contract,  your first publication in a glossy magazine published in a national, when you complete your book. These are all celebratory moments. Share them with people who will recognize that and make them special.

Remember that not all people share our enthusiasm, but their remarks don’t make you any less a writer. It’s disappointing and it says more about them than you. This is one of the reasons it’s so important to find like- minded people.

I can’t imagine a life without writing. If you don’t have a cheerleader in your corner, comment below. I will cheer you on. If you’re writing a blog, share the link, I will follow and encourage you. If this is your dream, guard it like a candle flame. Too many people are willing to be the wind and blow it out for you. And if someone tries to put out your fire, even if you’re barely a smoking ember, come back here and let your passion be reignited. No one on this earth will ever see or say things the way you do. Keep on writing. Never ever give up. Your voice is unique. Your story is important.

Please let me hear from you if you! I’m listening.

 

The Care and Feeding of Dreams

Ocean of Dreams Josephine Wall
Ocean of Dreams Josephine Wall

Well, I’d be lying if I told you that I wasn’t more than a little bit proud of getting a writing gig at the very tail end of December. I met with a couple of musicians who were in need of brief biographies, one of them for an imminent website launch. (See the link for the finished bio at the end of this post.)

It was a pleasant surprise to be invited to the CD release party of a new rising singer songwriter. Giddy with excitement, it was all I thought about for hours until I finally arrived at the party location.

There is something really precious about seeing someone so young at the very beginning of their potential. She was hopeful and talented, grounded, gracious and professional. It inspired me, reverberated within me. She had a tribe of people in attendance who believed in her and she had an unwavering belief in herself.

And actually, being there shook up something else in me.

In the recent past, I’d wondered at some of the directions I’d found myself going. Dare I say, not so hopeful, dark, dystopian and even… jaded. (GASP!) I didn’t used to be like that. I never wanted to become that way. My motto used to be, girls just want to have fun. Somewhere along the way, insidiously, that sentiment took a back seat. Living or working in a negative environment can be draining to the point that you’re ready to trade in your dreams for one sunny day.

Life is funny, though, and it seems true nature is always at work trying to reveal who we really are. It’s sad that sometimes we forget and need reminding. And it’s just huge when the reminders come in like joy parade. Encouraging friends, or relatives or acquaintances.

After significant changes in my life a few short years ago, my writing got back on track and I thought my skies looked a lot brighter. I felt happier. Things were beginning to click.

But compared to this new artist, I felt like Dorothy in the black and white world before entering the amazing land of Oz. When I left the party, I felt like I’d been handed my own slice of Technicolor pie. Here, feast your dream on this!!! I remembered another motto I once held dear, Dream Big. It’s free!

Being at the CD release party was like swimming in an Ocean of positivity. I’ve been on a cloud, smiling, happy for a few days and it took me a while to realize, I haven’t been surrounding myself with enough creative, positively expressive people and I miss it. I like being around people who aren’t afraid to dream gigantic dreams, people who are shooting high. They’re so much fun. And, I guess, I’m back to girls just want to have fun.

I’m looking forward to the new year and a lot more creative people to share it with.

By the way, check out the Bio on www.LizzieZink.com. Hope you’re dreaming up a great New Year!