In preparing the introduction for my newsletter and deciding on the subject of my five-minute writing tip, two June holidays caught my attention. June 1 has been designated as Dare Day. It is defined as a day to challenge someone, even yourself to push the envelope, take a risk; it's a call to action day. Procrastinators and weenies step aside. Yep, this is a day for me. If you've read my recent musings, you'll know that I'm staying the course to make some positive and productive changes in my writing life.
After twenty-five years of writing and telling myself financial success wasn't necessary and that knowing a few folks read my books and enjoyed them was enough. And those folks, by far, are the best aspect of my success. Having someone tell me they love my books, plots, and characters, is enough to make a plethora of days.
But I've been in denial telling myself that financial success wasn't important and that if I focused on the money, I'd be greedy and selfish. Where did that idea ever come from? I can guess, but I won't go there.
The point is that with financial success comes opportunities to share my ideas and creations with others. Being a teacher by profession, sharing my knowledge and experience is a joy that resonates deep down. Seeing a light bulb go off in someone's head as they listen to my ideas, knowledge, and experiences, is priceless.
Having some extra bucks in the bank allows me to do this more often. It also allows me to support causes I believe in. I've always donated a portion of my royalties to various groups, but the more I earn the more I can share.
Where's the writing tip in this? Simple:
Life is good and so is a sweet bank account.
Now comes the second quirky June holiday that caught my attention. June 18 is Panic Day. Wanting to make changes is one thing. Making them is another. It's like taking a giant leap of faith and when that time comes, it's exciting, but terrifying and panic, for me, sets in. But with my changed way of thinking, the panic doesn't last long because my faith is stronger than it's ever been. In situations like this, I always ask myself, what's the worse that can happen? I'll be out some money.
What's the best that can happen? I'll have enough money to save the world.
What usually happens is something in the middle. And that something is pretty darn good too.
Visualize the End Product
When deciding on the subject for this monthly five-minute writing tip, I scanned the list of bizarre, special, and unique holidays in May. The holiday that caught my attention this month was Garden Meditation Day, celebrated on May 3. I don't have a garden, but my home is surrounded by trees, flowering plants, a bay, and mountains-so my neighborhood is my garden.
I started meditating daily a couple of months ago. It's part of my effort to shift gears, change my way of thinking, and make items on my writing bucket list a reality. I have so many works in progress that it's been hard to concentrate on completing any of them.
Meditation was suggested in a book I'd read, so I decided to give it a shot, even though I wasn't keen on the idea. But it was easy-I don't have to go anywhere or buy anything. I bookmarked a meditation link, put in my earbuds, let go of random thoughts, and focused on my "vision." That vision isn't my works in progress, but the end result of what I expect to gain from them once they are completed.
What quickly resulted were negative thoughts poking me like the devil's pitchfork. I realized that nagging negativity was the primary reason I was having difficulty focusing and making decisions. It didn't seem to be important to understand why this was happening, but doing something about it sure was. And so I began working on releasing negative thoughts. After a few weeks, the clutter in my mind began to clear and nighttime negativity lessened.
As I focused on what was important to me, I learned that faith in myself was weaker than it should be, and so more work ensued. Soon it became less arduous and more like a pleasant daily ritual. Then, things really started to happen and I felt myself moving in the right direction. Exciting opportunities seemed to rush at me like asteroids. Was this a good thing? Had I opened a Pandora's box? Was the fear I felt natural or unhealthy? Again, I had to calm my mind and take faith-meditation to another level. I had to let go of fears and doubts, hush negative voices, and surrender to something bigger than myself.
Some days it's easy, others it's like wading through mud. But looking back on the past two months, I'm happy with the progress I've made; and looking forward to the next step.