I started a post I never published called “I’m Breaking All the Rules” with these words.
Everyone says if you want to succeed, you need to focus. Focus your time. Focus your energy. Focus your goals. Focus your brand. And I get that, I really, really do. However, focus has been one thing I’ve struggled with because there’s so much I want to do. So much I love. So much I want to be.
A part of me has resisted choosing, and maybe that’s why I’m not “successful.” I don’t have a dozen books published, or half a dozen for that matter. Maybe I won’t be a best selling author, or sort after writing teacher, or ever win a dance competition because all of these things need dedicated focus, and that’s okay, though deep down I long to be successful at everything. But I also don’t want to have to choose what to focus on because if I did, I fear a piece of me would be lost. So I know I’m breaking all the rules on how to be successful in my chosen field, but then again, I’m also redefining what it means to be successful.
Change doesn’t have to be something you fear. It is all in your perspective. It can actually be a blessing. I have been through so much change these last 5 years, so much so the thought of changing from my Samsung to an iPhone scared me. What would the learning curve be? Would it be worth it. Would I regret it? As with any change, you need to get so tired of where you are before you can take a chance and try something new.
Many of us never get tired enough and would rather continue the struggle instead of stepping out in faith to do the work it takes for a better life. The thing is, to change, you have to really want to change.
Sometimes the Best Ideas Come at the Last Minute.I wasn’t planning on doing any big teaching event this year. I worked hard in 2016 launching my new website and promoting my writing and homeschool classes. I made new friends, taught awesome students, and had some success. I gave it my all, and it just wasn’t enough to make ends meet. So I thought it was time to focus on other things in 2017.
New beginnings. That’s where I’m at in my life and career. I’m rethinking the old and realizing the past does not define who I am. All my past failures, mistakes, mishaps don’t matter. They’re in the past. All I have is now, and what I do NOW will determine my future. So I choose to disappear my past, start over from nothing, and embrace the possibilities in my life and career. I invite you to do the same and see the difference starting NOW can make in your life.
In fact, I’m so committed to the NOW and creating new possibilities in life for myself and those around me that I’m launching #ProjectPossibility.
I believe we lose focus and get off track in life when we start to step out of the moment and worry about tomorrow. #ProjectPossibility is about being present to what is NOW, and enjoying and living in the moment as we move toward creating possibilities for our future.
Won’t you join me here and on social media starting January 1st- December 31, 2017 for a year of creating new possibilities for your life every single day. This 365 day journey will transform your life and those around you. It’s going to be an amazing ride!
The last few years have been filled with pain, letting go, and healing. But nothing has been more freeing than the last tumultuous year. On my birthEve, I wanted to reflect on my growth and share some of the important lessons I’ve learned. In no particular order:
- Trust your gut; sometimes first impressions are dead on. Listen to your heart. It knows.
- Give people a chance. Learn how to come from nothing, yet don’t ignore and brush off those little inconsistencies. (See #1)
- Be committed and not attached. Attachments are all about you and what you want. Commitment has the other person’s needs in mind despite what you want.
- Don’t sacrifice yourself just to hold onto someone who doesn’t care if you stay or go.
- You are powerful. You are okay alone.
- People will break their promises and let you down. But love anyway. If not for them- because they need it- than for you!
- Healing is a process and takes time. Sometimes you have to make stupid mistakes and stupid decisions all while “knowing” they’re not in your best interest in order to get to the place of healing you need to be.
- Change is inevitable. Don’t hold onto anyone or anything too tightly.
- Love fiercely. Forgive often. Cry when you must. Then dry your eyes and count your blessings.
- Doing your best is always enough.
- It’s okay to grieve and feel sorry for yourself every once and a while. Your pain matters.
- It’s never okay to hurt others when you are hurting, but it’s inevitable. So apologize and restore the relationship no matter if the person you hurt hurt you first and has never acknowledged your pain.
- Learn from everything. Regret nothing. Do better next time.
- A year from now will be my past. Only I can choose whether it will be better or worse.
- I can only be responsible for what I do. Even if I’m so “obviously” wronged, I’m still responsible for how I react and treat people.
- God will provide. It may not be when or how I want, but it will be enough.
- Stepping into the unknown is scary. But it’s also exciting.
- There’s always someone hurting worse than you. Go find them, love them and your pain will disappear.
- Don’t be so hard on yourself. Really look at what you’ve done. What you are doing. You are amazing!
- The best is yet to come. How do I know? Because I choose for it to be the best!
Too many voices tell me what to do. How to act. Who to be.
I am overwhelmed.
“That’s not good enough.”
“Who do you think you are?”
“No one cares about you.”
“No one wants you.”
Soon the voices become my own , and I’m not sure what is the truth and what is the lie.
It doesn’t matter. I believe them all.
Those of you who listen to the Teen Writers Publish! podcast will be happy to hear that we’re pushing forward with a new season. Ron and I have been discussing whether or not we should continue. He took a new job, I’m looking for a full-time job. He got signed with a literary agent for his middle-grade series, I just published my Release the Novel in You course for teens and I’m teaching the course at several teen conferences this fall. You get it. Life is busy and it’s not that we’re not getting downloads or that we don’t enjoy it, it’s simply a matter of time. As writers, we must choose carefully how we spend our time, right?
So we’ve made a few changes. We’re getting back to the basics and just recording via Skype. No more Blab or Google Hangouts, though. We’ve also done away with the website, opting for the simple site provided by Libsyn, which you can find here: http://teenwriterspublish.libsyn.com/. You can leave your comments and questions there as well.
It’s our hope that simplifying the podcast will ensure that we continue to post regularly. We took a long summer break, but now it’s time to get back to work. Teen Writers Publish! is a podcast for ALL writers especially, teen writers and adults who write middle-grade and young adult fiction. Each podcast will include instruction on writing craft and specific nuances of the children’s market (sorry teens, you’re technically lumped into the children’s market).
You can find us on Apple iTunes or the Libsyn website.
And thanks for listening!
Sometimes I take a look back over my shoulder and wait for nostalgia, for some emotion to rise. I see things that have changed in my life and things that have not changed for others who are in, or were in my life. I think about my past. Things I used to have like the comfort of my big home and no financial worries. I think about who I was, a person always in emotional turmoil, trying desperately to create peace, but not knowing how. I think about my relationships, especially with people who are no longer in my life.
This summer I had the privilege of teaching my “Discover Your Temperament” classes to an inquisitive Beaver who always had to know what was happening next, an adorable Otter who always wanted to do what was next, and a Dog who at first I thought was a Lion. These three K-2nd graders stole my heart and tried my patience, however, because I was assessing their “temperament” to draw out their strengths and help redirect their behavioral weaknesses, I stuffed my Lioness and pulled out the Dog in me.
National Novel Writing Month is just around the corner, and I’m excited to bring you new videos, webinars, and blog posts to help you prep and be a successful writer in November. I’m also planning a NaNoWriMor retreat so stay tuned and email me for more details in you’re interested.