Weekly Inspiration for Writers
“I don’t understand. Did you not read this before you turned it in? It is completely unacceptable. Go back and fix it.”
That was the nicest thing the teacher said to me in front of the class. Several students looked up to stare. As an honor roll student who gave 200% and never missed an assignment, her reaction stunned me. I was humiliated and ashamed because I hadn’t done better.
Not only had I read and reread my first book report, I had gone to her for help three times. That was unusual for me, but I couldn’t wrap my mind around what she wanted. Each time she dismissed me with vague answers. In 1987, there was no Google to show me how to write a book report. I did the best I could and that was her response.
As creatives, it’s easy for us to be overly critical of our work. While we want to share our best efforts, sometimes we are our own worst enemy. When someone we respect reacts negatively to our work, it can really knock our confidence....
“You’re a what?”
Naturopathic medicine in the 1990s was a peculiar occupation. Few people knew what I did unless I explained. With the rise of alternative healthcare in the last decade, more people are aware of it and have strong opinions regarding the science. Back then, I spent more time writing and educating than I did meeting with clients.
After I left the health field to be a full-time mom, like many working women who give up their careers, I lost what little identity I possessed. When I started my magazine in 1998, it was easy to say, “I am an editor.” I never had to explain.
Perhaps it was the authority or prestige that comes with the title of editor that made me comfortable. Or maybe if I called myself a writer, my seventh-grade teacher would show up and publicly remind me I still didn’t know what I was doing. In any case, it would be almost a decade before I finally acknowledged I’m a writer.
As a lover of words and blank pages,...
If you missed Part 1, you can find it here.
Whether urban legend or real life, somebody knows someone who knows a gal who “followed their dreams” and it turned into a living nightmare. Maybe it was a spouse who quit their job to pursue a business, only to fail and lose the house. The woman who ran off, leaving those in her life to wonder why. Or the college-age kid who went off on an adventure and ended up dead. There’s always a horror story, but someone’s bad luck pursuing a dream doesn’t mean we will have the same experience.
As I see it, there are two kinds of dreams. One is the kid who lays under the stars and has visions of a sci-fi-esque life, meeting aliens and traveling in the vastness of space. While technology is still developing so extended space travel could happen in the next century or two, there’s no guarantee other intelligent life forms are anywhere to be found. These fantasy-based dreams are fun to think about, but not likely to...
Some of us swoon when the hero gets the girl at the end of our favorite books and movies. We squeal over True Love’s Kiss. We giggle at the first hint of love among our dearest friends and can’t wait for wedding season. We love Happily Ever After.
While we dance in the kitchen, humming our favorite tunes, there’s another side to reality: people hurt each other on purpose. They steal, lie, and cheat. Those beloved to us die unexpectedly or after long, painful illnesses. Jobs are lost, reputations are ruined by unfortunate choices, and situations arise, in an instant, to change us forever.
For every happy moment, where our romantic imagination runs free, there is someone standing by with a scowl and a story to remind us that “Happily Ever After doesn’t exist in real life.” Well, yes and no. I believe that maintaining a real, yet objective perspective, is key. But I also believe that you find what you seek.
Remember when you were young and a...
If you read here at the site or check out my videos, you’ll find I talk a lot about “Happily Ever After” and “following your dreams.” Every coach, guru, and motivation speaker has their take on success. Happily Ever After is my version. I want to define what I mean by both so everyone’s on the same page.
First, I don’t want to get a bunch of hate mail blaming me because their wife visited my site, then “followed her dreams” to “Happily Ever After” and ran off with the barista at the local coffee shop. Yeah, no. That’s not at all what I mean or encourage. Thoughtless behavior impacts those we love and have made commitments. It has no place in an intentionally lived life.
More importantly, I don’t want you to think I’m out of touch with reality. Dishwashers break, people get sick, and unpleasant stuff happens. Some of this leaves us very unhappy. Life is not a movie where difficulties are resolved and...
I'm pretty sure this is the sixth "first post" I've written. New projects always get me excited, but this one in particular has me over the moon with glee. See, I've been waiting eighteen years to write this post.
If you've read My Story, you know I've wanted to coach since 2001. But life, integrity, and crazy made me pause. To share this post today brings me to what I help others achieve: living my dream.
Nothing is so sweet as success. I spent the last eighteen months dreaming and working to make them happen. (It's times like this I wish my garden gnome army did more than look cute!) With this launch today, those dreams are coming true.
Every Tuesday you'll find new content here on the blog. I'll be tackling the mechanics of writing, marketing in ways you won't feel like a pushy salesman, and helping you manage behind-the-scenes so you can focus on perfectly polished prose. It should be fun!
(If you subscribe to my monthly email, you'll get subscriber only content and other...
If you're looking for encouragement to start or get help along the way, subscribe to my newsletter. Several times a month I send out ideas, resources, and tips to help you transform your words into hope, discover your unique voice, embrace the calling of writer, step into next level faith, bring femininity to your vision, and create a life that feels a lot like Happily Ever After.
I call it JEWEL - Janel's Encouraging Wordful Expression Letter.
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