Hunger is Exciting

 

eat-3795_640 I don’t read my horoscope too often, but it caught my eye yesterday as I looked through the morning newspaper. This is what it said:

If you don’t have nearly enough of what you need, consider this to be a blessing. It’s better to be a little hungry than too full. Hunger is exciting. It causes action.

I thought it was a profound statement that can be applied to so many things in life. It made me think about my writing and other creative endeavors people embark on. There’s a drive inside, like a hunger, which causes a person to create. After you’re done, you want to share it with the world. That’s when the hard part begins. You need that hunger from deep inside to push through and take that next step. It causes action.

Sometimes things are handed to people. It comes too easy. Can they find that hunger or determination? Or is it a little more difficult? Many would love to have the next best seller, the song at the top of the charts or be an A-list celebrity. All the people that made it, how hard did they work to get there? Was it handed to them or did they have that hunger?

I prefer to think they had the drive and took action to get there. It’s not an easy road to travel. So much competition, so many obstacles to overcome.

No matter how you apply the hunger statement to your life, use it as motivation. Never stop driving yourself to want more, make things better. Sure, it’s easy to be jealous of those that seem to have it easy but ask yourself, which way would you want? The easy way…or the tougher road?

After reading my horoscope again, I think I know what I would choose.

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Learn Your Own Way

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I love Fleetwood Mac and their song, Go Your Own Way, is a great anthem. I’ve had a lot of people ask me how I keep my characters and stories organized. When I tell them, “In my head”, I get a strange look.

Some authors make outlines for their stories; others have charts and intricate computer programs. Others have it all in their head. I told this person they had to do what works for them. We’re all different in the learning department.

Everyone learns differently. When I taught I made sure to use as many ways as possible to educate my students. They’re called Learning Styles. Not everyone is auditory–as in the talking, listening student. Some are visual, having to see it to believe it. Others are kinesthetic and need a hands-on approach. Then there are the tactual learners who need to feel things. Many people are a combination of styles.

I had a flannel board and colored chalk, magnets of numbers and shapes in my classroom besides the computers. I guess those things would be considered outdated now with fancy whiteboards and updated computers. I had one student tell me recently he learned subtraction because of my flannel board. He learned in his own way.

What works for you, may not work for someone else. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re doing something wrong or need an outline or notebooks filled with information to do what you want. Learn your own way. Write your own way. Go your own way. Do what works for you.

 

Lights Out

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Recently our power went out three Saturdays in a row. Life as we know it ceases to exist. Everyone panics and prays for it to be a quick break in the power line and hopes it will come right back on. When it doesn’t, your mind switches to survivor mode.

Candles, flashlights, batteries come to mind. Things you don’t give a second thought to in everyday life. Our power has gone out so many times over the years we have it down to a science. Lanterns and solar powered flashlights are stockpiled, even a solar powered radio.

After the big power outage of 2003, now called the Northeast Blackout of 2003, we invested in a generator. We debate when it’s the time to haul it out, crank it up and start using it. Since we lost all our food in 2003, the refrigerators are the first to be plugged in. That used to be everyone’s main concern.

During these last outages, the fridge wasn’t the only thing on my mind. I was disconnected from my world…the computer. Everything I do is on it…my writing, books to read, and my entertainment. I didn’t like the feeling of sitting in the house with nothing to do because everything was on the computer or my Kindle which wasn’t charged.

How times changed! When I was little I thought it was cool when the lights went out and the candles came out. We’d try to place as many as we could around the house. Everyone would sit in one room and talk. We’d decide how many cold snacks we should start to eat out of the refrigerator if the lights didn’t come back on. There were books and board games to entertain us.

Life, at times, seems more solitary than even a decade ago. Maybe the power going out has some benefits. It might be time to tear ourselves away from the computer screen long enough to look around and see what we’re missing. Our whole world shouldn’t be wrapped up in our phones, laptops, iPads or whatever you use these days. It gave me time to reflect, gather the family together after the initial shock of being without power wore off. We talked, shared stories and even cracked open a bottle of wine. Maybe having the power go out once in awhile isn’t such a bad thing after all.

The Fear of Rejection

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I admit I’m sensitive. I get my feelings hurt very easily. So why put myself through the torture of rejection?

The fear of rejection was the hardest thing to overcome after I wrote my first book. When you write, you’re alone in your own little world, happily writing your story. The next step was the scary part—getting it out there. From what I read, you needed an agent to get published and be successful.

Agents are very good at rejection. They have all different ways of saying your book is not for them. They also suggest that someone else may like it even if it’s not right for them. My first rejection letter came in the mail. I read it over and over, letting it sink in. It took a few days to get over but I realized if I was going to get published, I had to take the rejection.

I needed to develop my own personal plan to get over this fear. I had to become my own life coach. I knew I needed pep talks and I was the only one who could do it. I began a list in my head of what had to be done.

The first thing I had to do was not care so much. This wasn’t personal. It’s a business. Don’t take it to heart.

I became my own cheerleader. I assured myself it was okay and I’d live to see another day.

I had to accept the rejection. Most came by e-mail and I saved them all. When one came along, I added it to a folder marked “Queries”.  Read them and move on.

There’s a great song out now from the Disney movie, Frozen. Its title, Let it Go, says it all. Don’t dwell on the rejection.

Imagine my surprise when I finally got an offer to publish my book! I had to read it over carefully because I was so used to skimming the contents for the rejection. If I had given into my fear, I wouldn’t be here now, telling you about my third book in my series, Stealing Time.

I recently read a story about a young girl who went to her mother and asked, “Why bother trying anymore?” The mother went to the kitchen and filled three pots with water. She placed an apple in one, an egg in another and finally tea into the last, bringing them to a boil. The girl didn’t understand why her mom did that. Her mother said it taught something about facing challenging times. The daughter shook her head, confused. The mother explained. The apple went into the water hard and came out soft and spongy. The egg was hard and firm. However, the tea transformed the water into something good, healing and beneficial.

The mother then asked the daughter what she would do when she was faced with the trials of life. Would she be similar to the apple and fall apart? Or grow hard like the egg? Or perhaps, like the tea, turn your trials into triumph, something of value.

The story can be applied to all our obstacles in life. Which would you choose? I’ve always been a tea lover myself.