Tales of Imagination Never Get Old 

My favorite author sat down every morning to write before the world would awaken and bring with it the duties that made her life vastly different than yours or mine.

She wrote through sicknesses brought by the harsh Canadians winters, sometimes having to sit on her frozen toes to warm them up.

She wrote diligently, in times of grief and desperation, the same as she did on happy and hopeful days.

She beat all odds working against her; she was a woman, from a small town on a secluded island.

She went to become one of the first if not the first Canadian woman to make a living with her words.

She succeeded, in her life time, in doing something many of us writers, fail to do. And she did it all without having the luxury of internet, computers, even without typewriters in her early years.

Whenever I get discouraged I think of her. I have no excuses really.

She was a freelancer about 100 years before the word actually existed. Before she wrote her famous work of fiction “Anne of Green Gables”, she sent out stories written by hand to magazines and managed to make a stable and comfortable income.

At the time of her death she had written 22 books.

I read today that Netflix will debut a “Anne of Green Gables” series this summer.

Lucy sat down in 1905 and wrote the first words to the book that this same series is based on.

2017.

More than 100 years have passed since the idea for her story was formed in her head.

I’m honestly speechless about the whole thing, that’s how remarkable it is to me.

I’ve been struggling lately with my artistic ambitions and I’ve found why.

Some people go through life trying to find out what the world holds for them only to find out too late that it’s what they bring to the world that really counts.

Lucy Maud Montgomery

I really couldn’t have said it better myself.


Have you ever read Lucy Maud Montgomery’s books?

Do you have an author that inspires you?

Let me know in the comments 🙂

*Photo Credit: lovinkat flickr Creative Commons 2.0

Advertisements

Writing Letters to Ourselves

I still have the first letter I’ve ever received.

It was from my best friend when she was away at camp during the summer. I was 8 or 9 I think.

I never went away on vacation long enough to actually write and send letters myself growing up.

As a teenager I wrote letters frequently. We’d exchange them between classes or go home with one.

I’ve always liked the art form. It’s an easy way to share a part of ourselves. There’s no immediate response needed like in a conversation.

Throughout the years after high school I’ve had a few correspondences who sadly all fizzled out.

I could never find someone as long-winded and willing to share as I was.

It’s partly why I started to blog in the first place.

To send my thoughts out to anyone who would like to read them.

I think most of us have lost the habit of writing letters.

That’s something I’d like to get back into.

If, like me, you have no one to send them to, you might want to consider an obvious recipient.

Yourself.

For the month of February I will be writing letters to myself.

A letter addressed to my past self and my future self.

A letter to open on sad days, one to read on happy days.

All sorts of letters, from me to me.

Because it’s the month of love and it should be the month of self-love as well. (or so I say!)



You can join me if you want. Think of it as a writing prompt.

Do you ever write letters? To whom?

Do you miss old fashioned correspondence?

I’d love to know in the comments.

*Photo Credit: Bianca Moraes flickr Creative Commons 2.0

Don’t Let the Mood Swing By?

Just do it.

I’m not sure there ever was a catchphrase as popular in self-help circles.

It seems to be the solution that everyone likes to tote around when they want to encourage people to stop letting excuses in and go after what it is they really want.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of the quote.

I just don’t do it.

I don’t believe in simply doing things.

It’s a brilliant quote, an advice that looks good on paper (and in Nike ads) but it never worked for me.

I’m definitely not the only one.

If everyone was “just doing it” surely the world would be a better place by now.

Book sales and traffic on self-help sites would certainly be down at least.

If you’re reading this it’s proof the interest in knowing how to go after goals and dreams and how to better yourself is not down.

No, a lot of people still want answers. A secret key that will unlock the vault where their motivation and drive has been trapped.

You might say “just do it” is a great advice. The only reason people fail is because they didn’t follow it.

That’s exactly my point.

What good is an advice if no one takes it?

I’ve been in search of a better advice for a while.

I thought I’d start with what keeps me and most people away from “just doing it” day in and day out.

Mood. As in “I’m not in the mood”.

Just because mood is a temporary feeling about something doesn’t mean it should be overlooked.

In fact, considering it’s the number 1 cause for all those “I’ll do it tomorrow”empty promises, we should give it the attention it deserves.

That’s where the Nike motto gets it all wrong.

Sure, we shouldn’t be controlled by our feelings but pushing them aside clearly doesn’t work and when it does, the struggle is real.

I believe there is value in exploring the feelings that makeup our “I’m not in the mood” mood.

Feelings are often seen as a nuisance. A human weakness that ultimately will be our demise.

Feelings indeed have a lot power. They can make us fail in achieving everything we want.

I say “they can make us succeed and get everything we ever dreamed of”.

If only we harnessed their power for our own good.

Whatever we feel facing a task at hand, even negative emotions, there is a way for them to be useful.

I learn about myself everyday facing all the emotions that come with not wanting to do things.

It turns out, I do want to do things.

Once I connect with myself, I can do better work than I ever would if I “just did it”.

What do you think?

Are you a fan of “Just do it” or do you think feelings have a place in motivational speak at all?

Tell me in the comments. I’d love to know!

*Picture Credit: Lydia flickr Creative Commons 2.0

Same Same But Different

I’ve always been a good girl.

Sweet, agreeable, kind. Quiet.

Those are the adjectives used to describe me. I have no problem with using them to describe myself either.

I’m generally a nice person and most of all I want to be a nice person.

That’s the core of who I am.

However, if I’m being honest I have put on layers that hide this truth at many points in my life.

Sometimes I forgot to be nice to others.

Most of the time I forgot to be nice to myself. 

I may have said or done the wrong thing and disappointed people I love throughout the years but I’ve definitely let myself down.

I let myself get focused on what I should do or shouldn’t do. I waited too long to go after my dreams because I didn’t think I deserved them.

I’m here to say this:

Even good girls get it wrong sometimes.

There is however one thing that we are great at and that is forgiving.

I forgive myself for all the times I insisted on staying the same.

The good parts of me will always be there even if I’m not the exact same.

I’ll just be same same but different.

The updated version of me.


Have you dealt with guilt about always being the same version of yourself?

Have you forgiven yourself? If not, what’s keeping you from doing it?

I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments.

*Photo Credit: Alice Barigelli flickr Creative Commons 2.0

I Wasn’t Always a Tea Drinker

I had my first cup of tea at age 18.

It started out as a once in a while thing. My boyfriend at the time would brew me some cheap English breakfast type tea. He topped it off with a good dose of milk and a very bad dose of sugar.

Throughout the years I kept on having tea on the regular with him and occasionally by myself.

Although our relationship ultimately failed I remained a solid tea drinker. Only minus the milk and sugar.

I like my tea pure.

If you’re not a fan of tea or of reading about it, don’t worry, this post is not really about the hot beverage.

It only so happens that it’s one of my daily rituals. Tea is my companion. It’s there when I wake up. When I want something to drink with my mid-afternoon cookie habit.

Most importantly it’s there to soothe me when I’m trying and failing to write.

I talk a lot about dreams and reaching goals on this blog because I’m focused on mine.

Being a successful writer is what I dream about.

On some days, like today, when I’m tired and I need my tea even more than I usually do, I wonder how I will make it.

The truth is just like I didn’t become a tea drinker after my first cup of tea, I won’t become a writer by writing occasionally.

We become what we want to become by the actions we do everyday. Our little rituals.

So when my spirits are down and I don’t want to go on, I do this:

I drink tea and I remind myself I wasn’t always a tea drinker.  

What are some of your little rituals?

What rituals would you like to start doing this year?

Let me know in the comments 🙂

*Photo Credit: Ton Tip flickr Creative Commons 2.0

Blue Monday 2017, Money Talk & Self-Love Magic

Today is Blue Monday 2017. As if we didn’t already have enough with Friday the 13th this month, now we have to deal with what is apparently the most “depressing” day of the year.

Surprisingly only one of the two days is surrounded by a superstitious cloud. January 16th 2017 (today) is a bad day because mathematics say so.

Yes, really.

nintchdbpict000292596711.jpg
Credit: The Sun

I don’t know about you but I didn’t know these variables were a barometer of my mood until now.

All jokes aside, the silly idea of Blue Monday may have been thought up by some PR company but it still deserves some recognition for underlying something a lot of people, including me, do deal with at this time of year.

I’m talking about the dreading feeling that the new year will unravel to become a lot like all the other years where things didn’t turn out exactly like you wanted them to.

I mean, how often does that happen anyway. 

At this point no one even takes resolutions seriously. Everyone expects others to fail. Heck, we don’t even expect ourselves to succeed. That is if you’re being honest with yourself.

It has become a joke, a running gag because let’s face it, we’d rather laugh than cry about it.

Still, it pinches our heartstrings a little when we’re in private, looking at our reflection in the mirror.

I read in a survey that only 9% of people say they succeeded at keeping past resolutions.

It’s fair to say that most of us can put a number in for Q= time since failing our New Year’s resolution.

Which brings me to my next point; the money variable.

Nobody likes to talk about it but fact is apparently 8 out of 10 Americans are in debt.

I am. And chances are, you are too.

Weather is for sure a part of the equation too if you live in the North.

The point is there seems to be a lot of things weighing down on us at this time of the year.

I’ve sure felt it these past few weeks in my personal life. I thought I’d take the opportunity of this very special day (Blue Monday) to ask myself and you this:

So what if all the variables in our life are negative values?

Does it mean we can’t change the result?

Life isn’t a set formula. When things don’t go our way we can always include new variables.

If, like me, you’ve never liked math maybe it’s time to give it a shot.

I do believe there’s a variable that can change a lot of things.

(S)=self-love

I think Mickey would agree it’s sort of magic.

I’m personally working on quantifying it and I won’t let myself have a Blue Monday.

I hope you won’t either.

What do you think?

Have you been letting the January blues get to you?

I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments.

 

*Photo Credit: JD Hancock flickr Creative Commons 2.0

5 Things Writers Do When They Have a Bad Day

We all have bad days. I think it has something to do with being born human. Or just living on this planet.

Then there’s good days that turn into bad days.

I have a lot of those as a writer. I may wake up feeling fine and at peace with myself but as soon as I sit down and start to write, it happens. My joyous disposition turns sour when I take a long hard look at my words on the page or their lack there of.

Bad writing days have a way of becoming just plain old bad days.

Writers, can you relate?

 As I was having one of those days recently where the muse just wouldn’t pay me a visit, I thought to myself “Shouldn’t I have a some kind of back up plan?”

I didn’t so I devised one.

Here is my 5 steps formula to make things better:

By the way these tips might help you even if you’re not a writer. (at least I hope so, ha!) 

1- Write something. 

While you may not be able to get your words down for a specific project doesn’t mean all hope is lost. Try working on some fiction if you’re stuck on an academic paper or an article.

Stuck on a story? Write an article on the mating rituals of bonobos if you want to. (I won’t judge)

The point is, give your mind something different to tackle.

If nothing works, journaling about your feelings is always a good option.

2- Don’t write

I have an uncanny liking for contradictions. What can I say?

In all seriousness, sometimes the best antidote to solving a writing problem is rest. The perfect word you’ve been looking for all day? It will probably come to you after that nap you’re avoiding taking.

3- Go to the library

This one is an no-brainer. If there is one thing all writers like, it’s most definitely books.

Being surrounded by thousands of them is always inspiring for me.

Choose a good novel or two and read. Time spent reading is never lost.

A change of scenery plus a good read is sometimes all it takes to get back on track. If not it’s at least a solid start.

4-Watch TV shows

If your mind is tired from all those pesky words, a good story packed full of suspense TV show or movie is a good option.

A story is a story no matter what form it takes.

Your brain will get some rest but your imagination will likely be sparked.

5-Draw, paint, sculpt, do scrap-booking…

I don’t know about you but as a writer I sometimes feel like I’ve pigeon-holed myself into one art form.

The truth is my creativity should be explored in other ways.

Even if it’s just 30 minutes coloring in one of those trendy adult coloring books, at least it’s something new.

Stimulating your brain with a hands-on activity is a sure way to quiet your thoughts. Especially that nagging writing critic living in your mind.

And if it doesn’t work, well you’ll have a nice piece of art to hang on your wall that you can look at next time you’re having a bout of writer’s block.

Bonus tip: Drinking excessive amounts of tea curled up in bed with your cat is always a good idea.

There you have it; all my tips and tricks to make a bad writing day, an at least tolerable day.

What do you do when the muse fails to visit you?

If you’re not a writer, how do you manage bad days?

I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments.

*Photo Credit: barbara w flickr Creative Commons 2.0