Friday, April 1, 2016

How do you Rejuvenate your Writing Soul?

By facing the problem and moving forward.

This fall, I had to confront this type of problem when a health issue had plagued me for more than a year. I was miserable. I tried to deny its existence. However, when  I no longer could take it anymore, I gathered up my nerve and went to see my primary doctor who prescribed a medicine. I took it for almost a week, but after the pill gave me every kind of side effect mentioned on its side-effects sheet, such as dizziness and foggy vision. I called the office and they referred me to a specialist.

I eventually ended up seeing a woman doctor. One remedy she tried did not work for me thus that left surgery.

“Surgery,” the word hung on my lips. I had never had an operation. My hospital experience included four stays to give birth to my four sons. 

So fear struck me and I sought other avenues, which included a visit to a chiropractor. He was a nice man and tired his best, but my problem had deteriorated to such a point that this did not work.

A friend urged me to get a second opinion. I took her advice. The smiley doctor came in and examined me. His recommendation was the same as the first doctor's. However, this visit was very important since he relayed information about my long-term prospects. This frightened me and I returned home, calling the first doctor’s office to schedule the procedure.

February first was the day of my reckoning. We also face those days in our writing. What should I write and will this story sell? Is there enough emotion to make this novel moving and compelling? And, in nonfiction, have I made this information interesting?

As with my decision to do surgery, we also must confront our problems and see how  to move forward with our desires. In order to fulfill these, we seek recommendations from those in the field as well as our readers. This also means enlisting fresh ideas, rewriting and fine tuning our work. We do this because we know we are in control of our fate so we edge forward with our next great idea.

Where we will end up we do not know. However, if we do not take the plunge we will not know the outcomes just as with my surgery, I moved forward and can say I am no longer in misery. I again can enjoy life. Praise God!

So proceed forward. What do you have to lose? Nothing. This is your road of opportunity thus do not squander it. You never know what lies ahead. That alone should keep you moving onward. God bless.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Go Create

In the movie, "It's a Wonderful Life," the angel tells George Bailey, “You have been given a great gift.” Yes, you do and, if we are people of faith, we are called by God to not squander those.

In this picture, you see what I made for a romance group’s Christmas party where organizers challenged each member to bring gifts they created.

Some may not think my creative juices were that great, but I am proud of what I made, especially since many of the items I used came from materials my deceased mother had. To make the eyeglass case, I used her felt and sewed a flower she made onto the case. The small notebook I decorated with Mom's felt and a cross I had on hand along with trimming the book with rickrack. The larger notebook I adorned with my Courtships and Carriages bookmark and again trimmed the book with pink rickrack. I  would never describe myself as being "crafty," but I was proud of this achievement.

Be proud of your achievements, too, even though it is difficult at times. Readers have no idea how much work is required to produce a piece of writing we call our best. 

I recently wrote a nonfiction account about my husband’s mother – a mother he never knew. He never knew her because as a toddler she was committed to a mental institution. I had developed this article after attending a conference this fall. I submitted it to a publication, however, officials did not believe it was quite right for that publication. I am not giving up, though, I am going to submit it elsewhere. Never give up! Remember not everything we create is going to appeal to everyone. I will remind you that there are people who do not like Stephen King's work even though he has been successful and admired by many.

This gets me thinking about my craft items. I wonder if the receiver of my gifts liked it. I hope so but in reality it does not matter. What matters is if we like what we created. If so, smile and move forward.

Rejections are part of life. There are some people who never will like us, but rejections of any form are difficult to take. However, what we need to do is to persevere.

I market my book at a lot of craft fairs, and I can tell you responses vary from “I liked that book” to “I liked your other book better” to no comment at all. Some readers like  stories without much substance while others like substance. It is in the eye of the beholder. When people do make a comment about your book, it means two things -- they either did not like it or they have not read it, yet. I can testify to the latter since my bookcase still contains Bill O’Reilly’s book, Killing Kennedy, and he has had two books released since then.

However, remember no matter how discouraged you get (and we all do) salvage the fun and satisfaction of a finished product you created and loved. Now, GO AND CREATE! God bless, and it is good to be blogging again after a few months absence.