Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Where's your awareness?

Standing in the Southwest boarding line, I noticed this adorable unicorn pin on a passenger's carry-on just ahead of me. She said it was for cancer awareness. Although I didn't say it, my knee jerk reaction was why not focus on health instead?

Too often, I believe as a society we tend to focus on the negative. War, cancer, recession, terror, racism, murder, rape, inequality...and the list goes on. Don't get me wrong. I'm not suggesting we turn a blind eye and go skipping down the street singing "tra-la-la" as if the world was a Disney movie. But all this "war on" cancer, terror, etc. only creates more fear, anger, anxiety, and ultimately more of what we don't want.

Instead, when you witness something negative, take action, but keep the focus on what you want instead. If you witness cancer, hug your loved ones. Advocate health. Eat delicious, whole foods. Move your body. Find a health regimen that nourishes your mind, body and soul. Believe in a higher power rather than the doctor's final word. There are many people who were "sentenced to death" and ended up living long, healthy lives. All because they focused on the love instead.

The same can apply to your daily life and goals. As a writer, I often find myself facing "writer's block." But not because my imagination and inspiration has run dry. Turns out I am the one blocking the words because my focus is on fear and doubt. The moment I bring my awareness onto what I do want -- to write and have fun while doing it -- then the words flow again.

So moving forward, let's follow Mother Teresa's advice. When asked if she would march against the war in Vietnam, she replied, "No, but if you have a march for peace, I will be there."

Show up for what you want and it will meet you there.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

You're the JAM

Oh the life of a writer is an insane roller coaster ride (so you better have a strong stomach and thick skin). A month ago after receiving another rejection on one of my short stories, I found myself plummeting into dark spaces again. The ultimate fear factor: trapped in the land of self-doubt.

Is my writing any good? Will I get an agent? Will my novel sell? Will people even like it? Or will only my mom read my stuff? And the worst thought of all: Will I have to get a "real" job again? *shudder*

I continually let rejections and the slower than tip-toe time it takes for stuff to "happen" get me down that I forget to enjoy the awesome moments. A great writing day (sometimes even week!) where the words just flow. Encouraging feedback from my critique group. Selling my first short story. Getting my first pro-rate payment. And seeing my name and story in print.

My fabulous friend Mo sent me the wonderful card above congratulating me on the publication of my first short story "Mirror Image". A wonderful reminder to be proud of my accomplishments and to celebrate all milestones, big and small (especially just showing up to the page day after day).

So, yes, I AM the JAM! And I will look at this card pinned on my wall any time I slip and forget.

celebrate yourself,