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Archive for the ‘resolutions’ Category

Today dear readers, I’m going to share with you some interesting oddball information that you can pass along to amaze and dazzle your friends, co-workers and family. You’re welcome.

see nose meme

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Calling myself a writer these days is a stretch since it’s been a very long while since I’ve actually written anything besides a blog post. Of course I’ve had a very good reason, with my recent cancer diagnosis and subsequent poor mental and physical health as a result, but still, I need to get back in the saddle so to speak.

woman laying on couch

Because my energy has been at an almost imperceptible level, I’ve tried to spend my time reading short chapters and articles rather then getting engrossed in a novel. Yes, I haven’t even had the energy or desire to read, that’s how bad off I’ve been.

But, treatment is going well and I’ve to the worst behind me. So, I’m trying to get back into not only reading, but writing. It’s been hard.

Writers are our own worst critics, especially those of us who strive for perfection. I once read an “inspirational” quote that I tried to apply to my life: If you reach perfection, aim higher. Well folks, that can be paralyzing. In fact, it’s counter-intuitive if you want to publish a book. At some point, that book is going to have to be good enough. I understand that the quote is encouraging us to try to improve and be better every day, but when it comes to a manuscript, throw that advice out the window.

woman at computer

I’ve had a hard time wrapping my brain around that concept though. Good enough.  What is good enough? That means I’m settling right? I’m not trying hard enough? WRONG. I’ve been putting my best foot forward with my writing since the day I typed my first sentence. I attend workshops, read books on craft, watch videos from “experts,” all necessary things to improve my craft. By doing these things I’m trying harder, I’m aiming higher.

Recently I read an article written by Roseanne Bane entitled: “Good enough, may be the best thing for your writing.” Say what? That article started with this quote: “The best is oftentimes the enemy of the good; and many a good book has remained unwritten . . . because there floated before the mind’s eye the ideal of a better or a best.” – R.C. Trench, 1861. I read that sentence a dozen times before it dawned on me. That’s me. I’m preventing my own publishing journey because I’m holding out for something better.

roadblock sign

The article went on to say, “If you refuse to accept good enough, you can’t move on.” That’s right, I’m becoming paralyzed by my goal to reach perfection. I have to allow myself to be more vulnerable, to take more risks and just let my above-average writing speak for myself. After all, not everyone is going to like my book even if it is perfect. I need to remember that I’m not writing for everyone, I’m writing for those people who believe my work is perfection. For every person who doesn’t like what I write, there’ll be at least one person who does.

vulnerable quote

Shortly after I read the above article I read this passage in a book called “The Irresistible Novel,” by Jeff Gerke, which I highly recommend by the way: “It is inevitable that you will encounter people who will say you’ll never get published if you do (or don’t do) X, Y, and Z . . . I hope you understand that these people are merely giving their preferences, their opinions, and their own person brand of paralysis. ” That really resonated with me because I do hear so many differing opinions on what you should and shouldn’t do as a writer. Also, I hear all the things you absolutely should not do and then I read book after book where those “taboo” things occur repeatedly. Say what? It’s confusing. How did they get published if you absolutely should not do those things? Why can they do it, but I can’t?

don't do it sign

Mr. Gerke went on to say: “If you keep letting the “experts” cause you to doubt yourself, you’ll end up in misery.” Exactly! He wrote that “. . . at some point you have to stop being so flexible and just decide how you want to write the thing.” It is my book after all. I like that Mr. Gerke.

I know my manuscripts are better than a lot of books out there on the market, and there are millions. I’ve read several books lately that really should not have been published without another good proofreading or round of edits. I’ve read books with weak plots, boring characters, confusing dialogue. I know my books are better than that.

So, bottom line. I’m going to take a look at my manuscripts with a different perspective. Sure, I have to edit out the bad grammar and typos, but as far as the story goes . . . I’m going to believe it’s “good enough.” I’ve read them umpteen times. Beta readers have read them. Critique groups have read them. I’ve even had editors read them. It’s time to let actual readers read them.

the irresistible novel

It’s time to take Mr. Gerke’s advice – I have to stop being so flexible and just decide how I want to write the thing. Bam. Done.

Look for something from me later this year. There, I’ve said it. Now, I have to do it. Right? You’ll all hold me accountable?

leap of faith

So, tell me readers, are you perfectionists? How do you know when your craft is “good enough?” What advice resonated with you for anything that created a change for the better?

Word of the day: uglification

Fun fact about me: I didn’t read a single Christmas novel this past year. (I barely read anything for the past 3 months of the year.)

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, January 2018. Photos courtesy Google Images.

 

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morning sunriseIt’s the beginning of a brand spanking shiny new year, full of hope and promise. That means, out with the old habits and in with the new resolutions. Lose weight, exercise more, eat healthier, save more money, blah, blah, blah. You all know the drill. (more…)

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book and quill penI’m generally not a fan of poetry, but I appreciate the art and how so many people can express themselves poetically. Me, not so much. I’m one of those people who, if it doesn’t rhyme, I don’t get it. (more…)

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This video speaks for itself. Just watch it. I dare you not to laugh out loud. (more…)

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Usually I like to “work ahead.” I do things today that will make my life easier tomorrow. Like chopping onions or veggies for dinner or putting together a casserole for breakfast.

food prep

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meme about sitting down

Do you ever have one of those days – maybe every day – where it seems like you go and go and go and finally at 8 or 9 or 10 o’clock at night you realize that you haven’t sat down, except maybe to go to the bathroom or in the car for a few minutes to run a quick errand? It seems to me like I’ve been having a lot of those days lately.  (Yes, I did just get back from vacation and yes, I was on my feet all day – going, doing, seeing. It was exhausting.)

woman looking at watchI don’t know where the time goes every day, but it seems like every time I look at the clock an hour or six have gone by and I’m still on my feet doing this or that. Now I didn’t think running an inn was going to be a walk in the park, but neither did I expect that there’d be more days than not that I rarely have a chance to actually sit down. I even have help now and it still seems like I’m on my feet all day long. Always something to do.

I have an awesome front porch complete with swing, a cozy back porch with comfy furniture, a front balcony with a gorgeous view of the sunset and a back veranda that’s peaceful and private, yet I rarely sit in any of those places. It’s a tragedy really with cooler weather creeping in, too. Those spaces are wasted on me.

Well, not any more. We all need a little more front porch sitting if you ask me. And I for one intend to utilize those places more in the future.

woman sittingI’ve decided that from now until the end of the year, I’m going to try to take a few minutes every single day to simply sit. Sitting has great benefits (in my opinion). A forced slowing of movement accompanied by some deep breaths to purge the hurry out of my system. I may even close my eyes and just listen to, feel, smell my surroundings. A new perspective for a few minutes.

Some of my cyber (and real) friends, blog about great places they go and visit, hikes they take, sunsets at the lake, wildflowers in bloom, which I always enjoy reading about. I’m always envious that they have found the time to go out and do what they love. I’ve decided to be more like them and I’m starting by simply slowing down. By slowing down I’ll be able to focus on peace and beautiful places and enriching my life more with the free gift called nature. Perhaps I don’t need to rush about all the time. Hmmmm.

woman in porch swing

So, who’s with me? Who’s going to carve out a few minutes every day to slow down and just enjoy being alive? Let’s all try to remind ourselves to sit (or get up and move around if you sit all day), relax, take a few quiet moments to reflect on your day or simply enjoy being alive okay? Come on gang! We can do this.sore feet

Word of the day: Felucca

Fun fact about me: My feet hurt all the time. A result of being on my feet all the time no doubt.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, September 2017. Photos courtesy of Google Images.

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So many ugly things are happening all around us. Hatred of our fellow Americans is at an all-time high. I don’t understand why. What happened? Yes, I’m an advocate for, why can’t we all just get along? Yes, we’ll all different, but, we’re all the same, too. (more…)

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Folks, we all know there’s a lot of negativity floating around the world today. It’s everywhere and social media is a super powered magnet for anyone to state their biased opinions without showing their faces to another human being. It’s cowardly if you think about it. (more…)

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lady working outExercise is not my favorite activity. I know it’s a necessary evil and I know there are great benefits to be had from daily partaking in this event. But, I don’t like it. Over the years I’ve tried to find a form of exercise that I enjoy. (more…)

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