“We gain strength, courage and confidence every time we look fear in the face. We must do that which we think we cannot do.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt

April 12th, 2015

Day #12. I used to think I couldn’t do any of the things I wanted to do. I had thousands of thoughts on the subject of how scared & stupid I was. But then I discovered that 99% of our thoughts are negative nonsense, baring a ridiculous relationship to reality. When I stopped taking my doubts & fears seriously, I found myself doing things I’d never dreamed I could do. The more I did, the more I believed I could do. If it’s true for me, it’s absolutely true for you!

“All the world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming.” ― Helen Keller

April 11th, 2015

Day #11. People who overcome great suffering & great odds hold us all in their hearts. They show us what’s possible. They remind us that, when we want to give up hope, we don’t have to. They inspire us to keep going. They inspire us not to stop until we’ve fulfilled every single dream we have in our hearts.

“Sometimes waiting is the hardest thing of all.” ― Luanne Rice

April 10th, 2015

Day #10. From time to time, I dream of being on the NYT Bestseller List, winning a pulitzer or buying a beautiful house. And, of course, for any or all of those things to come to pass, I’ll just have to wait. Patience has never been one of my virtues. I don’t pace myself. Boxes of chocolates don’t last long in my hands. I don’t like to wait. But, of course, there are many things in life we have to wait for. Sometimes we wait for years. But, so long as we take care to love the life we have, to nurture & appreciate it, then waiting becomes exciting instead, as exciting as the countdown to Christmas.

“Nearly every glamorous, wealthy, successful career woman you might envy now started out as some kind of schlep.” ― Helen Gurley Brown

April 9th, 2015

Day #9. I waitressed for 12 yrs before getting published & for a few years after that! All the while, I made the mistake of comparing myself, unfavourably, to those writers I admired. Frankly, I still do. After all, I don’t earn enough to buy a house yet. I keep writing because I love it & because I’m still an apprentice. Being a novelist, like any profession, is a marathon not a sprint. And most artists/actors/singers/entrepreneurs have schlepped their way to success over at least 20 yrs. It’s wise then, when you’re in the early stages of your chosen vocation, not to compare yourself to those who’ve already crossed the finish line.

“Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.” ― Ella Fitzgerald

April 8th, 2015

Day #8. I believe in love & inspiration. I believe in passion & true desire. I believe that if a person follows the gentle urging of their heart then they’ll find success doing what they want to do. Now, it might take many years & it might not bring great riches, but then that isn’t the point. Wanting to be wealthy is quite a separate thing from wanting to do the thing you love. Babe Ruth said he’d play baseball for food stamps. I feel the same way about writing. If that’s how you feel about what you want to do, then you can’t go wrong.

“I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life – and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.” ― Georgia O’Keeffe

April 7th, 2015

Day #7. I once thought successful people weren’t scared. I thought they achieved greatness because they were far braver than me. I thought they had special reserves of fire I’d never have. I watched enviously, wondering how they were so blessed with courage & why wasn’t I? Then I met a few & found out I was wrong. These people weren’t without fear, they simply didn’t let it stop them. And this, of course, is very the definition of courage: to be scared & not let it stop you.

“I don’t wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that. Your mind must know it has got to get down to work.” ― Pearl S. Buck

April 6th, 2015

Day #6. I used to believe in the capricious, creative muse who’d strike when she pleased. I believed I had to woo her, that all conditions had to be right to write. I don’t anymore. If you wait ’till you feel right to write or live, you’ll be waiting forever. If you want to achieve any artistic endeavour you must also be willing to work even when you’re not in the mood. Then, when a flash of inspiration strikes, you’ll be there to catch it.

“Don’t give up the search for happiness because you’re afraid of getting hurt.” – Martha Raye

April 5th, 2015

Day #5. We’re all afraid of getting hurt. So we step lightly around love & into life, holding back our hearts. Yet, the more we hold back the less happy we are. In protecting ourselves from hurt we hurt ourselves in the process. A few years ago I learned the best way not to get hurt is to reach out to everyone & for everything. Sometimes the highlight of your day can be with a total stranger. Sometimes a life opportunity comes along in an utterly unexpected way. If you have many eggs in many baskets, when you’re faced with the occasional rejection, you hardly notice it at all.

“Some people look at a puddle & see an ocean of ships.” – Zora Neale Hurston

April 4th, 2015

Day #4. It takes vision to be successful at anything. You need to see beyond the limits of what you believe to be possible. To see the building before it’s been built, the book before it’s been written. Starting at the beginning of anything, staring at the blank page, can be intimidating. You question if you’re capable of doing what you dream of doing. You look at yourself & see a puddle. But oceans of ships lie within you. You simply have to keep looking until you see them.

“It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.” Eleanor Roosevelt

April 3rd, 2015

Day #2. Wishing is essential. It’s the whisper of desire in our hearts. But, wishing is not enough. At some point action must be taken. If you wish to be a writer, you must write. And re-write. You must contact agents. And, if plan A doesn’t work, you make plan B. It’s not enough simply to write & wish for something wonderful to happen. Wishing takes as much energy as action does. So, once you know what you want, don’t waste energy in wishing, channel it into actions that’ll make those wishes come true!