Saturday, May 29, 2010


Three of the stories I have written are for very young children. Those stories need illustrations. At first, I thought I would be able to get my husband to illustrate the stories for me, as he is very gifted at drawing and at creating computer graphics. However, having him illustrate the stories for me has not worked out.

Now I have two choices. I can either pay someone else to illustrate my children's stories, or I can illustrate them myself. I may, in the end, have to resort to having an artist illustrate my stories for me, but first, I am going to try and illustrate them myself.

There is one problem with this plan. I am not very good at drawing. In fact, I am so terribly awful at drawing that it would be fair to say that my drawing resembles what it's meant to be as much as a bee resembles a dog, which is to say, not at all.

So what am I to do? Should I just give up? Maybe. But not without trying first. Children's illustrations do not need to be complicated. Simple but cute drawings can sometimes be just as enchanting to a child's eyes as more complicated and elaborate artwork. I just need to do a little learning (I hope).

I am going to spend a little bit of time each week attempting to draw. And I will share those drawings here. Hopefully, each drawing will be an improvement over the last. And hopefully, those of you reading this will give me honest (but not cruel) opinions on my progress.

I recently read an article that stated that, because drawing uses a different part of our brain than writing, even if we are not very good at it, the act of drawing helps to stimulate our creativity. Maybe doing a little drawing will help inspire me to write a bit more of my novel, as well as hopefully giving me some illustrations to use for my children's stories.

It's never a bad thing to learn new skills. And, no matter what happens with these attempts, it's never a bad thing to try something new.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Back To Writing

My story's characters are getting to be really annoying. They keep nagging me to get back to writing about them. You see, I've taken a little bit of time off from writing my story in order to work on some other projects, and now all I seem to be able to think about is my story and how much I need to write the next chapter.

New ideas keep coming to me for the storyline, and my characters are getting antsy to live out the rest of their story. So they are nagging me. They are calling to me. I take my dog for a walk in the park and he starts barking at what appears to be nothing, and I immediately (in my head) start placing a similar situation in my story to introduce one of the new villains. I watch my daughter playing with another young kid who starts getting a little rough with her, and, as I watch her put him in his place with skill and confidence, I picture one of my characters behaving in a like manner. No matter how hard I try to set aside my story, the characters in it won't let me leave it. They're even invading my dreams at night!

So enough time has passed now, and I know I need to get back to the story. My other projects can be set aside for a bit and now my story will get my attention again (even though it never lost my attention, just my actual writing of it).

So what makes you keep writing your book? What is it that keeps you from setting it aside and getting on with the rest of life?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Having The Courage To Dream

(also posted at Skinny Dreaming because the content is relevant to all types of dreams)

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What does the word mean to you? I’m not asking about anything related to electricity or turning your washing machine on. In regards to you as a person, what does the word empowerment mean to you? Do you feel empowered? Or do you feel weak and helpless?

The reason I am asking this is because so many of my friends seem to be embracing the idea of being powerless about making changes in their lives. They have dreams, but they feel as though everything is against them achieving those dreams and that they have no say in whether or not they can make those dreams a reality.

I hear from them, over and over again, phrases such as, “I wish...”, “I can’t...”, and “If only...” I never hear positive phrases such as “I will...”, “I can...”, and “I am...” But in speaking in the negative tones that they speak in, they are, in fact, ignoring any power they have over their own situation. In not even considering the chance that they can do something to change things, they are making themselves helpless. But they don’t have to be helpless, and neither do you.

What is it you want from life? Is it to lose weight and get fit and healthy? Is it to write the next blockbuster novel? Are you unhappy in your current career and want to change it? Do you want to earn a better income or take a trip across the world? Nothing is out of your reach! What do you dream about doing? Tell yourself that you are going to do it!
Wouldn’t it be great to empower yourself? Wouldn’t it be great to feel strong and capable and in control of where your life is heading? Wouldn’t it be great not just to have the courage to dream but to have the courage to grab for those dreams too? The only things that stand in the way of your dreams becoming a reality are the limits you place on yourself. And you can remove those limits with nothing more than a thought!

The first step is to have the courage to dream. Make a list of the things that you really want in life. What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? Write it down! Have you always wanted to take a vacation in Ireland or Hawaii? Have you always wanted to own your own house? Do you want to lose weight or build up muscle? Are you a banker but always dreamed of being a teacher? Write it down!

The second step is to believe that you are capable of achieving that dream. Sounds simple, right? The good news is that it really is that simple. Believe in yourself. Believe in your abilities. Tell yourself you are strong, capable and even fearless if the need arises. You can do this. You will do this. You will make your dreams come true. Get rid of that negative little voice in your head that whispers to you that you can’t do it, you’re not strong enough, it’s too hard and all of the other negative words. Just ignore it. You know, deep down, that you can achieve your dreams, so follow that deeper inner voice and believe in yourself.

The third and final step is to decide what steps you need to do to achieve your dreams and then take those steps. If you’re dreaming of becoming a novelist, then you need to start writing. You need to set aside time every day to write. Maybe you need to fine tune some of your writing skills so taking a class would help. If you’re dreaming of being a teacher, then you need to get the requisite training and degrees, even if it means taking classes after work while you continue your current job. If you dream of taking a trip to Europe, then you need to find out what it will cost you and start setting aside money from each paycheck. If you dream of owning your own house, then you need to clear your debts, clean up your credit history and save up the deposit. If you want to lose weight, then you need to find out what diet and exercise plan will work for you and you need to start doing it. Fit in exercise every day. Eat less junk and more healthy food. For whatever your dream is, you need to start working in the direction of making that dream a reality. Stop defeating yourself with negative thoughts and empower yourself, not just with positive thinking but with your actions.

You might be asking yourself why I care whether or not you reach for your dreams. I care because I used to feel powerless. I used to feel like all of my dreams were just out of my reach and that there was nothing I could do about it. I used to feel as though I wasn’t strong enough or good enough or capable enough to make my dreams a reality. But all along, I was deceiving myself into inaction. And I don't want anyone else to go through that, to live through feeling helpless when there is no need for them to feel that way.

When I finally started to take charge of my own inner voices, when I started to tell myself that I could achieve my dreams and when I started taking the steps that were necessary to get to my goals, I began to empower myself. And one of those dreams has already come true as a result. And now that I know that anything is possible, that I am capable of making my dreams come true, look out World!