Self Discipline Versus Freedom

Sun Setting, Peaceful Time of Day

I promised a Thursday blog, but I didn’t say what time … did I?

Yesterday, as I dragged away from a 12 hour day at my  computer at 10:30 PM, I decided to approach Thursday by relaxing over my “do list.”  However I am a disobedient child, not to anyone else, but to myself, and today, when I planned to do some catching up on bookkeeping, I am writing. Yesterday, my list directed me to write, so I worked on the books.

Most folks don’t want to be backed into a corner by others. But me? I resist my own efforts for a disciplined approach to accomplishments.  There are a multitude of classes and books covering goal setting and motivate behaviors.  Goal setting to me, feels like a trap.  Self discipline again.  And there sits my trusty timer, smiling at me. I do know it works for others, so I’m not knocking the concept. We are each unique.

Forgiveness and love begins at home in my own heart, toward myself.  And it’s working.  I am relaxed today, and in five years no one will care about my “do list” including me.  The deep creative part of me is stirring amidst this peace.  The writing improves.

In a prior post we discussed the subconscious response to positive thinking.  Folks talk about “wanting to do something” and “believing you can do something” and both are important. It is getting to the “wanting with your whole heart” and “Believing with your whole heart” that is difficult.  We have constructed barriers or fences for protection. Michael Hague, writing teacher extraordinaire,  calls it living in our identity, but once we are brave enough to break through, we can live in our essence.   So if something in the subconscious is more powerful, the half truth must be overcome and the barrier removed.

I have a tight fisted grip on freedom.   What does freedom mean to you?   And I’d love to hear what you think about self-discipline, not mine, but yours.  Grin.

October Writer’s Conferences Swamped my Brain

My office is cluttered with data, notes, business cards, and wonders retrieved from the ECWC  and the SIWC.  I am juggling a one night per week Novel Writing Class, part of the Western Washington University Extension (no credits) taught by Laura Kalpakian … and the effort to organize the material from the two excellent writer’s conferences.  Once organized, I will return and pass on light bulb moments.  Once I’ve reviewed and logged the data into my brain cells, perhaps my cranium will stop throbbing.  I’ll return this weekend.

In general terms, writer’s conferences have great value for writers.  We experience contact with experts, agents, editors, publishers, other writers, both hopeful beginning writers and writing experts, all with the goal to further the production of good writing worthy of a reader’s time and money. Ideas and ideals are shared.  New friends found. Helping hands full of encouragement, waiting.  My money jar for next year’s conferences is getting ready … a little here and a little there.  Maybe I wont miss money during the year … maybe … and will be glad to have it when a conference rolls around.  Let’s keep those pencils moving.








SIWC Conference Begins Today

Diana Gabaldon at SIWC 2009

Packed and ready for the Surrey International Writer’s Conference.  Except for one last minute detail.  SIWC offers a Blue Pencil session. A well known author reads your first three manuscript pages and together you discuss it.  I signed up with Diana Gabaldon, the author of the Outlander series.   I’m scrambling with a quick revision. See you all after the conference.



Writer’s Conferences

Mount Baker WA

Labor Day 2010 is history and two writer’s conferences are on the horizon.  Three weeks until the Emerald City Writer’s Conference in Bellevue WA, and in the last week of October, the Surrey International Writer’s Conferences.

The anticipation builds as each day draws closer and the lists for preparation are building.   The conferences work better for me if I do some preparation beforehand, and one of those preps is to decide what I expect and want to get out of the expense, and the time spent.

I outline a daytimer type of calendar page for each day of the conference, with the workshops I wish to attend marked, 1st & 2nd choice, and a ‘maybe’ marked for taking a needed recovery break if it becomes necessary.  I look forward to contacts with writers and other professionals involved in this business.

Have a great week, all.

Writer’s Tracking Spreadsheet by Laurie Ryan

Members of GSRWA have access through the email loop, to shared experiences, tools, hints, education, and motivation from other writers.

Pirate's Promise, by Laurie Ryan

Laurie Ryan, a romance and women’s fiction author who writes sensual stories of real-life characters thrust into extraordinary situations, shared her exceptional spread sheet with all chapter members.  The spreadsheet is available on her website, a free download for use by any writer.

I experienced almost immediate motivation in two ways.  I could visualize the progress in the revision of my manuscript and  the time/effort required to finish it by the target date.   The data removed the shadows of doubt “that I’ll never get it done in time” and lightened the pressure load.   Additional benefits provide data for planning deadlines, information to give to agents and editors, and evidence of writing efforts for tax purposes.  I suspect that if we are not deducting expenses yet, if sales occur, it may be possible to go back a year or two. but consultation with a tax expert would be necessary to provide more reliable information.

Stolen Treasures, by Laurie Ryan

This exceptional tool has two tabs at the bottom of the sheet.  One is labeled “Instructions” and the other is the sheet itself.  Be sure to read the brief instructions  first.  The sheet is write protected in any area where fooling around with it would destroy the formulas set up  to provide the data calculations.  Folks who are not yet familiar with spread sheets would find it easy to use.

As a thank you to  Laurie Ryan, I’ve included the covers of her two latest novels.

Have a great week everyone!

Back to the Manuscript Revision

My WIP (work in progress) binder is open, back on the desk, pen in hand, (well, obviously not quite) ready to continue revision.

I posted the first two paragraphs on  Christine Fairchild’s blog & await teaching  on what & how to correct/improve.  When I read it after posting it, the writing presented a great opp for Christine to teach me—and others—how to improve!  Ahem.

I look forward to an on-line class given by Christine Fairchild, August 11 through 17th—instruction on how to make dialogue pop.

Eleven days in July full of family fun—daughter (not telling her age) and granddaughter (age 9) from Juneau Alaska, and Granddaughter (age 19) from Austin, Texas. Today, this old house echoes silence—as the occupant level has shifted—back to two folks (not telling our age either) and one chocolate lab.

Writers in our local (Seattle) GSRWA are gearing up to attend one or both writer’s conferences this month, the first is next week, the Pacific Northwest Writers Association Conference July 22-25, and the other the RWA National Conference July 28-30. Wishing you all safe travels, inspirational & educational workshops, meetings with editors and agents, and a harvest  yielding benefits to your writing careers. And a host of new friends.

Y’all know I would attend with you if I had a fairy godmother! Instead, I’ll send wings. Bon Voyage!

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