Tag Archive | Motivation

Got Those Steadily Depressin’ Low Down Mind Messin’ January Blues

(With apologies to Jim Croce)

I’m hearing, from friends in real life and friends on Facebook, a lot of people experiencing lows in the first month of January. Emotional exhaustion, outright depression, crankiness (my department. I’m really, really good at it right now), the desire to hibernate until April – I’ve heard them all this month.

January sucks. Apologies to those with January birthdays. You are the few bright spots in a month that otherwise sucks ass. I speak from many many years of sub-zero temperatures, early darkness, nasty slips and falls that have left me with permanent back issues, and frozen boogers.

calvin frozen boogers

Not fun.

It doesn’t lend itself to motivation, to be sure. I’m essentially grabbing myself by the scruff of the neck to get to work here.

cobweb keyboard

Except for writing comments in a mortgage file and the New York Times crossword puzzle, I’ve not written much.

However, nothing is going to get done unless I make myself get up and do it. When you are comfortably wedged in a rut, it’s difficult to dig yourself out. It’s familiar, no effort required, and now with all the different series you can binge watch, time is easily wasted. “Wake me up when the Patriots are on.” (It’s January. 13 out of the last 14 years, they’re still playing in January)

Time, however, is something you don’t get back. And you never know how much you have left to you (unless you’re Steven Wright. “I know when I’m gonna die because my birth certificate has an expiration date.”)

So, if you’re lying (NOT LAYING. LYING) there in your fuzzy jammies, or stretched-out yoga pants and thinking of the fifteen different things you could be doing, pick one. Do it. Get out of the rut.

Don’t let suck-ass January win.

Pep Talk

I am stressed out right now about a bunch of different things.

(I’m still selling books through the Buy Now up topside. If you use it, that will help not only alleviate my stress, but it will also get you some quality reading material. I promise).

This is not going to be a terribly organized blog post (and let’s face it; I know zippity doo dah about layout, coding, embedding, all the things that make a web page sing and dance. I work in words. I am good with words. So, you get…words) because it is a collection of things to buck me up and keep me going.

strong women

This is me. (And this is also Elizabeth Gardner in my books. She stands. She deals)


Sara Evans Born to Fly

This song was put on a mix CD for me about my great ambitions for myself. The CD also included “Rainbow Connection,” “Chasing that Neon Rainbow,” “The Eagle and the Hawk” (because I like eagles and hawks), lot of country. I remind myself; I was born to fly.



Kelly Clarkson Stronger

I swiped the post for my Facebook page. Someone who’s been through hell posted Ms. Clarkson as a response.

whedon wisdom

I WANT the big moments. I can see, feel, taste, touch, and hear them (not so much out of the right ear. The ACA will make it affordable for me to get that fixed, but I digress)

I listen to psychics, people who talk about the Law of Attraction (Yes, “The Secret” but not in its slick form. Deride it all you want, I got a different takeaway from it). One of them is “Abraham” through Esther Hicks. On one of her CDs, “Money and the Law of Attraction,” she (or Abraham) says that if you don’t like the way things are in your life, tell a different story. So, I literally (and that is not a word I toss around) sat down with my medium of choice, words, and re-wrote my current story as  I want to see things happen. That was two days ago. The things in that story? They’ve started happening.

Yeah, You’re Gonna Hear Me Roar


As for the sense that I may be going nowhere in a hurry and even losing ground:


You’re gonna hear me roar.

Advice? You Want My Advice?

No, seriously: someone left me a comment (and I accidentally deleted it. I cannot apologize enough) who asked me what advice I would give a “newbie.”

Really? You’re asking me? Wow. Usually, I get “shut the hell up.”

diana nyad

Let’s go to my girl, Diana Nyad.

Over 35 years, she has tried to swim from Cuba to Florida. She has been defeated by seasickness, jellyfish, and tides in the past.

Not this time. She made it. No shark cage.

never give up

There’s the biggest, baddest best piece of advice I have to offer.


dory just keep

Just Keep Swimming video

They were amused over at Diana Nyad’s Facebook page when I posted that video on there.

In my case, I wrote my book 12 years ago. I sent it out to 20 publishers and literary agents. All passed. I went back, rewrote a few things, deleted a few more, resubmitted, got rejected some more. BUT, the speed of technology change that makes your nifty swell smartphone obsolete as soon as you sign the two-year contract worked in my favor: e-books were invented. Print on demand got affordable (actually FREE if you don’t buy all the add-ons). Amazon started to court independent authors with Create Space.  Facebook, Goodreads,  and Twitter were invented so that an author could get the word out about a book without requiring a publishing house’s help in marketing (BTW, I have an ace up my sleeve in terms of an outstanding design team for things like cover art, promotional materials and even re-arranging my business cards with an annoyed sigh. Cover art grabs, Newbie. If you have a high school or college nearby with a graphic arts program, they may be able to help you out for low or no price) . I’ve even done a book signing: I rented space at an art gallery. I picked up a Square credit card reader for my smartphone so that I can take card payments (and the fact that I could prompted some impulse buys). These advances have made it possible for an independent little team (I have an editor,  a business advisor, and a legal/design team) to publish books. I kept swimming.


aka “See Rule Number One”

So why did you sit down with an idea, copious amounts of coffee (or Diet Coke. Or Red Bull), and perhaps a pad full of scribbled notes? Why did you stay up waaaaay past your bedtime because you had to “get this down because they’re talking to me and I don’t want to forget this” (When characters start doing and saying things without your authorization, you are on the right track, my friend)? Why do you periodically get up, walk around and talk to yourself because you’re trying out dialogue (Yes, I do this)?

When I find myself thinking “Aw, Man, this is just too hard” I remember that Jane Austen, the Brontes, and Tolstoy didn’t have typewriters, let alone  a laptop, Word, and a backspace key (my favorite friggin’ key. Delete, delete, delete). Hell, Tolstoy wrote War and Peace in longhand and that thing’s the size of… War and Peace. He was an obsessive re-writer and I’ve heard that his editor had to engage in tug of war to get his manuscripts from him. Nine drafts. Of War and Peace. And I want to whine over 100,000 words. I’ll shut up.

write for yourself

You are your first audience. Eventually, if you please that audience, others will join it.

Don’t worry about what’s selling, what other people might think; that’s how we start getting cookie cutter culture. Harry Potter was rejected all over Creation but once he was a hit, then we got wizards and extraordinary teens doing supernatural things (like Percy Jackson or the Mortal Instruments gang). “Twilight” hit and we now find our culture up to our necks in vampires. Your story about a hedgehog that becomes Donald Trump’s hairpiece could be the cause of another cultural fad.

TR on critics

I’ve found a lot of critics who will happily tell you what to do and how to do it (and especially what you’re doing wrong), but lack the sand to undertake your project themselves.

(Mamas: time to cover your kids’ eyes. yeah sure, like they’re reading this)

Fuck ’em. I’m part of the Author’s Forum on Goodreads and someone posted the topic “Why Do We Write?” I forget what I wrote. I know in one response, I quoted the following:

why i write

Someone decided he didn’t like my answer and replied with “Why not write for God’s glory?”

Newbie, should your story about the ambitious hedgehog run into similar critics, cordially invite them to “write your own damned story.” Do it with a smile.

The bottom line, Newbie?

1) Never give up

2)Write to please yourself

3) Be fearless

4) Never give up

And one of my favorite all-time quotes from Henry David Thoreau:


I wish you the very best. Now, go write.