As we get ready to look ahead into February, I see that January is dying a quiet death. There’s not a lot new to report. This week’s question, of course, is up and ready for your answers, and the new featured excerpt is up. My HubPages friend, Eric Dierker has been laid up in the hospital and rehab for a while and is now getting back into the swing of things. I featured a piece from his regular Sunday Sermon series which you can read each Sunday on HP. Welcome him back, and let him know how much you appreciate him.
It’s been hard finding quality time to write lately. A few minutes here. A few minutes there. Marisol is moving along very slowly. The projected publishing date is set for sometime in June so I better get moving.
In the meantime, carry on with what you find to do. There’s a verse in the Bible that say,s “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” The tragic death of basketball legend Kobe Bryant at the age of 41 reminds us all that we aren’t promised tomorrow. Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it now.
We’ll get back to sharing some writing tips soon. Until then . . . Carry on!
As a self-published author, I’m involved in every aspect of my books from start to finish. That includes not only the written word, but the marketing, cover design, layout, etc. It can be time-consuming but also very rewarding.
But writing isn’t my only passion. First and foremost, I am the pastor of a small church in rural Central Pennsylvania, and it is my joy to share the story of Jesus with anyone who will listen.
I’ve found over the years that these two (writing and pastoring) can often go together. Whether it’s the spoken word or the written word, God’s Word can and does go out the same. So, I have something special for you at the beginning of the new year and decade. You just need to grab it and go.
Because I so strongly believe in what I write, I’m making available to anyone a free copy of my book, Storming Heaven’s Gates, a book on Christian revival. This is not a fiction book, but I do believe it will be helpful to anyone that desires a closer walk with God. Just send me a name and delivery address and it’s on its way. Please don’t order from the Books and Resources page as this will charge you at checkout. Send the information to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I do not share email addresses and your information is safe. You can also use this address to communicate with me about anything.
No doubt, there will be other freebies throughout the year, so stay tuned. I hope you’re enjoying the start of 2020. It will be what we make it. Until next week.
On this Monday morning, early in this new decade, I’ve been thinking about what holds me back – not just in writing although that’s certainly included, but in life in its entirety. Coming in at Number One is a lack of time. But wait a minute! We all have 24 hours each day to deal with, right? So the problem must not be time. It must be me. How do I spend the time that’s been graciously given to me?
I guess it comes down to organization. Is my time organized? As I always do, in the beginning of each year, I bought myself an organizer where I can track my work, set my goals, and it even has a section where I can write in rewards for myself once the tasks are completed.
That’s all fine, but there is one problem. I don’t have time to keep it up. Also as I do every year, I end up trashing the organizer because it’s never up to date. My intentioins are good, but my commitment, not so much. I suppose it goes against every rule. I suppose it makes even less sense, but I really do accomplish more without a plan.
Another thing about time – I’ve reached the point in my life when I can look back and realize I’ve spent 75% of my life. If my lfe were divided into seasons, I would definintely be in winter. More days are behind me than are ahead for me.
So the next question is, am I satisfied with the spring, summer, and fall of my life? It doesn’t really matter. The question that is important is, whay will I do with my winter?
Maybe the better question is what are you doing with your season of life? What is your worst enemy? Perhaps it is also time. Maybe haunting memories of a failed past? Could it be fear? A fear so strong it actually stops you from moving forward. Is laziness your enemy? It could likely be something else, but deep inside you know what it is. It’s time to bring it to the surface and deal with it. Add that to your Day-timer.
Well, I’ll leave it there for this week, and see you in seven. Have a great one!!!
There is only one January 6, 2020. This is it! Go for it!
Time continues to travel on. And so do we. The new question is up. Give me your thoughts. The featured excerpt is up as well. We’ll begin the year with a taste of Nikki Khan’s writing in her piece, Life Is Blessing – a short Story. She’ll give you much to think about.
Now, let’s move on. Ever have a problem getting your writing into gear? If not, you’re a rare breed. Most of us have, but did you know that neuroscience can aid you in your quest for words? Here are some things that might help.
Learn to make writing fun. Visualize the future.
Often, we think of writing as something we should do. Unfortunately, should can lead to negative feelings. Most likely, should will cause you to feel less like writing. By applying neuroscience we can retrain the brain to look forward to our time at the keyboard.
How does this work? Quickly make a list of as many positive things as you can that will take place when you’re done writing. Maybe consider these:
How will you feel when you see your book published or hold it your hands?
What opportunities might it open up for you?
Will you win prizes? Get a contract? Think BIG!
I’m told that envisioning future success releases dopamine into the brain that gives us a sense of happiness, thus we are more motivated.
Create a trigger to form new writing habits.
To develop good writing habits, we can use triggers to our advantage. Think about the things you do without thinking. Here are some examples and how to implement them.
When I get home from the school run, then I’ll do 30 minutes of writing.
When I have my first coffee of the day, then I’ll write 500 words of my article.
When I get home from work, then I’ll spend 45 mins on my book.
The neuroscience behind this – when you fuse together an action, you do regularly with an action that you want to do more of, you strengthen the neural pathways in your brain.
Break your writing into small steps
Have you ever failed at a new habit? Maybe a new fitness routine at the gym? Maybe a new study habit?
Why did you fail? You may be surprised to learn that fear can be at the center of failing. The new habit may be too ambitious or even too complicated. Such feelings can trigger the amygdala – the fear portion of the brain. The result likely could be putting off or delaying the exercise. You might even be overwhlemed by it. So what can you do?
Show up at your desk once a day at a set time and even if you don’t do any writing – reserve that time solely for writing and nothing else.
Write for 10-15 minutes each day and slowly increase the time the over the course of two weeks.
Produce a piece of freewriting every day (an unblocking technique where you splurge your thoughts without judging or editing).
Write in a journal every morning or evening.
Get a timer and find somewhere you can’t be interrupted, set it for 25 minutes. Write. Then, take a five-minute break. Set the timer for another 25 minutes.
So you’ve turned off the fear factor. Now, turn on the pleasure center of your brain. Reward yurself for a job well done. Small rewards will trigger the pleasure center of your brain, and by doing so, will strengthen the writing habit even more.
Ask yourself, what small reward could you give yourself after your next writing session?
Don’t make your reward too big or too tiny, make it something small that you would look forward to receiving (or eating!) after a writing session.
Be sure to reward the effort you put in, not the quantity. There is a big difference.
Well, there you have it. Go into 2020 flying, but don’t burn out. Pace yourself. Set reasonable goals, and keep plugging away. 2020 looks to be promising year. Have a happy one.