My days are full.
My thoughts are even fuller.
My energy is low.
But THAT’S OKAY.
Somewhere in my adult life, I’ve come to believe goals exist to add purpose and structure. And I’ve whispered, “God, give me strength.”
It’s not just that my greatest aim is to finish ALL the books I’ve outlined, get an agent, keep my blog relevant, write inspiring articles for people who have asked me to contribute to their projects—who do I think I am?! But given that my long-term goal is to leave something of me behind that’s thought-provoking, I’d better KNOW who I am. After all, I want to inspire, mentor, and illustrate how, with a mustard seed of faith, all dreams can be drawn in the sand. Don’t we all want life lived with full intention?
There are times when I do crawl inside my head, after visiting the library, or purchasing a book from my neighborhood bookstore (note: I donate some books I bought to the library), that I don’t want to see closed because of Kindle books, or titles being available through Amazon—and wonder—what separates those successful writers (other than fame and money) from us understudy-mere-mortals?
So the other day when I was tired and running on fumes, I remembered there was a box in the closet. I dug through it and found a random list of notes in a red-leather binder. I SMILED. Me, and my collection of three, 9 x 14 boxes of inspirational-wisdom—are my tools for living, writing, and just be as creative as I can.
Stuffed inside this binder were my scribbled notes and handouts I’ve been accumulating for a long time from seminars, writing conferences, and book readings from successful authors (naming a few) as Walter Mosley and Oliver Stone, and Toni Morrison.
I read them aloud:
- Writing even when there’s no sale or book option on the horizon.
- Never missing an opportunity to write even when it’s junk. That’s why there are revisions.
- Despite a trunk full of rejection letters, NEVER GIVE UP. . .
- Kick insecurity’s ass. Talk about your projects, share writing ideas. Gravitate to like minds.
- Accept criticism and give it back.
- Read a book a month.
- Explore writing in different genres.
- Mentor youths who want to write.
- Make time for family, or you won’t have anyone to celebrate your success with.
- Know that balance is both quality and quantity.
- Keep a journal.
- When the words dry up, take a break.
- Admitting your story isn’t good is committing suicide.
- Don’t compare yourself.
- Believe in yourself.
- Thick skin is your best outfit.
- Don’t write something that you won’t want to read.
- Write a good sentence before you write a full page.
- When you edit to death, all you have is a bunch of meaningless words.
- Stay true to yourself.
- Passion isn’t the same as compassion.
- A good book title gets read and not forgotten.
- Faith and courage go far if you believe in yourself.
- To write well is not a matter of commas, but rather a matter of choice.
Well . . . I’m STILL tired, but not tired enough to quit!