Showing posts with label writer's life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label writer's life. Show all posts

Make Your Dreams a Reality with 15 Minutes a Day

I had every intention as I flew out to Las Vegas for a conference this week to squeeze in some writing time on the plane--instead I slept.  I needed the sleep, since I had stayed up late the night before helping my husband with a project.  I can get off track and let other people's priorities trump my own desires.  If I let this go on too long, I loose sight of my own goals.  When that happens, I reassess my goals and carve out some time in my schedule for my dreams.  I use this new found time to take small action steps.   
It’s easy to get caught up in the belief that you don’t have enough time to pursue your own dreams. Most writers I know have a day job and a full life.   They struggle to squeeze in writing time and believe they don't have the flexibility to write more.  Unfortunately, this belief can derail a writing career even before it begins.  Jennifer Lawler, author of the Dojo Wisdom series, discusses how a martial artist trains each day, even when he is old and disabled.  He accommodates his life for his art.  One of my critique partners is a lawyer with a full time job, two active young children, a wife and he still manages to write one hour a day.  How does he do it?  He gets up at 5 a.m. each morning.  He accommodate his life to his art. So how can you accommodate your days for the life you want to dream into being?  Even 15 minutes a day will begin the process of transformation.  Why?  Through those daily 15 minutes, you are informing your subconscious that you are committed to your goal.  You will be amazed after a week of allotting only 15 minutes how much you can accomplish.  Build it into your routine (e.g.  shower, coffee, 15 minutes). If you are ready to change your life, you will find the time.So this week start with small actions steps and create the habit of pursing your dreams.  This step may lead you to dreams more magnificent than you could have ever imagined. 
Mary Jo Guglielmo is writer and intuitive life coach. In you live near Chicago, check out her latest workshop:  Give Wings to Your Dreams.
For more information check out:  

Moving Out of Your Writing Comfort Zone

My husband loves to wash dishes.  It’s not one of my favorite chores.  I like scrubbing sinks.  He doesn't seem to notice the scum at the bottom of the sink.  We have found a comfortable division of household labor. Generally we’re both responsible for chores we enjoy, or at least we’re able to avoid the ones we hate. 

Writers aren't always that lucky. There are many aspects of a writer’s life, and most writers spend a majority of their time in the role that is in their comfort zone.

Here are just some of the pieces of the process.

    • Generating ideas
    • Research
    • Writing the first draft
    • Revision
    • Submission
    • Marketing

The list could go on….

I recently heard Linda Sue Park, Newberry Award winning author of A Single Shard, talk about the role of Writer vs. Author. She felt marketing, speaking engagements and other promotional activities required her author’s hat, and the actual writing called for her writer’s hat.  She seems to have balanced both roles well.

I like the early stages of working on a manuscript.  That’s my sweet spot.  My critique group keeps me moving through the revision process.  I realized I needed to push myself to submit my work.  The realization alone was not going to make it happen for me, so I have allotted 2 to 3 hours a month for that piece of the writing process. 

Where’s your sweet spot and where do you need to push yourself?  Once you know where you need an extra push, schedule it into your writing life.  Amazing things happen when we move out of our comfort zone!

Mary Jo Guglielmo is writer and intuitive life coach who has helped writers achieve their goals. For more information check out   or folllow her at:  

Travelling an Unfamiliar Highway

Recently my husband and I travelled to Santa Maria Island, Florida.  While renting a car in Tampa, I was surprised to discover that we both could drive without an extra charge.  My husband is usually the designated car rental driver, so it’s been years since I have driven a rental car in a new city.  A friend of mine invited me to have breakfast with her in Sarasota, a 50 minute drive from the island.  I had two options to make this happen.  I could ride with her to Sarasota, but that would mean I couldn't get to the beach that day; or my second option was to drive myself in the rental car.

My mental process was something like this.
Hmm…maybe I should ride with her….I don’t know where I'm going…I don’t know all the gizmos on the car….it would be easier.

Then I stopped myself. 
Drive the car…stretch yourself….move out of your comfort zone. 

I drove the car. It turned out to be a relatively easy drive to Sarasota and my spirit was fed by the conversation along with the Spinach Eggs Benedict.  I managed to get back to the Island in time to spend the afternoon on the beach.   More important, I was willing to do something that made me a little uneasy. 

Every time we are willing to step into an unfamiliar environment, our personal world becomes a little bigger. Each time we decide not to do something because it's a little difficult and choose to stay in our comfort zone, we shrink the perimeter of our lives.  

This applies to all areas of our life. 

So what does it mean to you as a writer?  I think it is easy to find your writing niche, your writing comfort zone, and stay there.  It may be a particular genre or style.  Maybe it’s fiction, or non-fiction. Where is the territory you are afraid to explore in your writing?  For me the anxiety provoking zone is poetry.  Today, I choose to stretch my writing limits and make my writing life just a little bit bigger.

Driving down and unfamiliar highway
Not sure which way to go
Lost in a writer’s life.

Mary Jo Guglielmo is writer and intuitive life coach.  For more information check out   or folllow her at:  

Time to Stop Writing!

How many times have you heard the expression “Writers live a solitary existence” (or words to that effect)? 

The fact of the matter is, most writers need to be alone in order to write. A quiet place, free of distractions from well-meaning family and friends, is one of the most important tools in a writer’s arsenal. But what about when you’re not writing? 

What writers also need is to find lives beyond their desks and computers. After all, fresh experiences feed the creative process. If we do nothing but sit at a desk all day, staring at a blank page or a flickering screen, we soon run out of ideas. 

Here are just a few ways you can rediscover the world beyond your desk: 

1.    Pick up a new skill by taking a course--and not online. Sign up at your local community college. Learn to make crème brulée or find out what an f/stop is and how it’s used.

2.    Go for a walk in the park, taking your time and taking in your surroundings with each step. With each visit, you’re bound to find something new.

3.    Make a lunch date with a friend. Try a restaurant that neither of you has gone to before. And order a dish you’ve never tried before, either.

4.    Join a bowling team or a book club or some other social group. Shy around strangers? Drag a willing (or even slightly unwilling) accomplice along for moral support.

5.    Now here’s the really scary option. Go on a date! If you’re married, make a date with your spouse. Just give yourself permission to take the evening off and have some fun.

The best part is, you don’t have to write about any of it when you get home. But you can if you want to. Better yet, repeat any of the above and/or make a new list of things to do. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination--as a writer, you have plenty on which to draw.


Betty Dobson is an award-winning writer of short fiction, essays and poetry. She also writes newspaper and magazine articles but is still waiting for those awards to materialize. In the meantime, she continues to run InkSpotter Publishing, which is always open to submissions and queries.

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