January 8, 2021

by Julie Glover

When my husband read the first draft of the first novel I ever wrote, he asked about my protagonist, “Is this you?”

That’s hardly the only time that question has come up. How much of our real lives and personalities go into the characters and world we writers create? Our readers, including friends and family, may suspect we’re largely putting autobiographical stuff on the page.

After all, aren’t we supposed to write what we know?

No, It’s Not Me

I can assure you that Annie Lewis—whose story has yet to be published, but someday will be—is not me. Nor are any of the other characters I’ve constructed in more than 20 novel and short story manuscripts.

And I’m not alone. Other authors say similar things:

Making fake biography, false history, concocting a half-imaginary existence out of the actual drama of my life is my life. There has to be some pleasure in this job, and that’s it. To go around in disguise. To act a character. To pass oneself off as what one is not. To pretend. The sly and cunning masquerade.

Philip Roth, Paris Review - The Art of Fiction No. 84 (theparisreview.org)

I write fiction because it is a beautiful place to hide.

Jami Attenberg, Stop Reading My Fiction as the Story of My Life - The New York Times (nytimes.com)

Fudge is based on my son, Larry, when he was a toddler. A very interesting child.... But that wasn't a serious look at him.... Peter and Tootsie are from my imagination. At least, I think they are.

Judy Blume, Judy Blume Interview Transcript | Scholastic

Make-believe and imagination are what fuels most of our characters, plots, and stories. That’s why it’s called fiction.

But Real Life Inspires

What we read, hear, experience, and do often provides the inspiration from which stories grow.

For instance, the idea for my young adult novel, Sharing Hunter, came from me thinking about the success of TV shows like Big Love and Sister Wives and my interactions with teenage girls (mostly through church youth groups). All that came together when I posed this question: What if two girls shared a guy in high school? And then I had to figure out how on earth to make that a believable scenario!

Not only that, one main character of that novel, Chloe Fox, began as a composite of three people I know in real life. Whenever I got stuck with What would Chloe do? I simply imagined what her real-life exemplars might do and went from there.

Cecily von Ziegesar, author of The Gossip Girl series, said it this way:

I use my experiences as a kind of foundation, and then I elaborate extensively on them. I'm always saying that my books are not autobiographical because they're not. I can't choose any one scene and say, "Oh, this is exactly what happened to me!" I just use little snippets of things as a starting point!

Interview With Gossip Girl Author Cecily von Ziegesar - Cum Laude By Cecily von Ziegesar (seventeen.com)

Letting real life inspire and inform us helps us write believable, compelling stories.

Real Life Gives Perspective

Take any well-known story—from the fairy tale Cinderella to the legend of Bloody Mary—ask ten different writers to write their version, and you'll get ten different stories. Because our personal biographies influence how we see the world, what aspects of any story attract us most, what real-life ideas inspire us, and how we craft the words.

In that sense, fiction is autobiographical, in that we can’t help but bring who we are to what and how we write. Even what we imagine is different depending on our backgrounds, personalities, and more.

I like the way author Alice Munro said it:

The stories are not autobiographical, but they’re personal in that way. I seem to know only the things that I’ve learned. Probably some things through observation, but what I feel I know surely is personal.

Go Ask Alice | The New Yorker

Surely, our best stories are personal. They represent who we are, what we value, and what we wish to share with others.

Mine Real Life for Story Gold

If an author wishes to write their own lives, autobiography and memoir sell well! Go for it.

For those of us writing fiction, we should know when and how to let real life creep into our stories. Here are four ways to mine your life for story gold.

  • Let real-life people inspire characters.

Just as Judy Blume and I did in our books—oh my goodness, did I just equate me and Ms. Blume in some way!—someone you know in real life can be the launching point for your characters. But as you continue to write and knead the story, the character will likely come into their own.

For many writers, our creation ends up feeling almost as real as the live person who inspired them, with their own unique ways.

  • Tap into your emotion.

Authors often hearken back to how they felt during a personal experience to write effectively. Maybe they didn’t lose a loved one in the exact way their character did, but they know what loss feels like and how grief takes its toll. Maybe they didn’t have the scathing breakup they describe in their novel, but they recall rejection and loneliness. Maybe they haven’t found The One yet, but they know what it is to desire and love.

Whatever the story situation, we write more compelling scenes when we let our true selves and emotion seep onto the page.

  • Know your passion.

What moves you? What themes do you long to get across? Your personal passions can help you determine genre and characters and story ideas.

Plenty of authors become known for the type of novel they write, which comes from their personal passion or philosophy of life.

A novel is never anything but a philosophy put into images…. This secret fusion between experiences and ideas, between life and reflection on the meaning of life, is what makes the great novelist.

Albert Camus, Review of Jean-Paul Sartre, Nausea, in Alger Républicain (20 Oct 1938) | WIST

Even if you write in varied genres, you likely have themes that crop up again and again. For instance, every single work of fiction I’ve written has three takeaways:

  1. You are stronger than you think.
  2. Do the right thing, even when it’s hard.
  3. Embrace humor to get through life.

I’m moved by those messages, so they show up again and again in my books.

  • Throw in interesting or quirky stuff from life.

Some writers set stories in a town where they lived or visited. Some include minor characters they knew, with different names. Some give their main character a habit they have themselves (looking at you, Christina Delay, with your coffee-swigging characters). Some include phrases they’ve heard from friends, family, or—as mystery author Leann Sweeney reported—from the teacher’s lounge. Some fold in a brief retelling of something that happened in their own life.

In my most recent release, a short story from our Muse Island series titled Gryla’s Gift, someone at the holiday carnival opens a kissing booth. In our day and age, I’d be surprised if that’s even a thing. But when I was in high school, a close friend worked that booth at our choir-sponsored carnival (and raised decent money). It was a detail, but a fun one to include that worked with my story.

Add some quirky details to your story, like literary Easter eggs. That’s a fun way to add a bit of autobiography while maintaining your story as fiction.

How do feel your writing is autobiographical or personal? How have you mined your real life for story ideas?

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About Julie

Julie Glover is an award-winning author of mysteries and young adult fiction. She also writes supernatural suspense under the pen name Jules Lynn. Her most recent book is Curse of the Night, book four in the Muse Island series, and her most recent story is a holiday short, Gryla's Gift.

When not writing, she collects boots, practices rampant sarcasm, and advocates for good grammar and the addition of the interrobang as a much-needed punctuation mark.

January 6, 2021

By Janice Hardy
@Janice_Hardy

A new year often starts by declaring your goals and dreams, but a frightful number of writers don’t achieve those goals—or those dreams.

And I was one of them for a very long time.

I’d start every January with high hopes and ambitious plans about what I was going to accomplish that year. Sure, I didn’t get everything done the previous year, but I’d learned from those mistakes, and this year would be different.

Sound familiar?

When 2020 started, I was struggling to fit everything I wanted to do into my already-busy schedule. And then the pandemic hit. Like everyone else, my plans—and those goals and dreams—flew right out the window. The world came to a stop and so did I. Which gave me the opportunity to catch my breath, look around, and realize what had been holding me back.

Deadlines.

I know, that sounds crazy. Deadlines help us, right? They give us a target to shoot for. They let us figure out what we have to do in order to complete our novels before that date.

And that’s the problem.

When you write to a deadline, the only thing that matters is meeting that deadline.

Not the quality of the writing, not the strength of the novel, not your satisfaction with what you’ve produced—just the deadline.

Maybe it's time to stop writing to deadlines.

To be specific, stop writing to self-imposed deadlines. Some deadlines we have to meet (publishers are picky that way), but I’m not talking about those. I’m referring to the ones we make where we promise:

  • I’ll finish the first draft by June 1
  • I’ll publish this novel by end of summer
  • I’ll get all three books of the trilogy out by the end of the year
  • Or whatever your “I need to do this task or I’ll feel like a failure” goal is

Some writers can and do meet those self-imposed deadlines. If you’re one of them, let me ask you—is it everything you knew it could be, or did you rush a few things because you were running out of time? Did you not do something to make the manuscript better that you would have done if you had two more weeks to work on it? Is it “done” only because you had to meet your deadline?

And the real question—were you happy with the finished manuscript?

If the answer is “yes,” then keep doing what you’re doing. This article isn’t for you (grin).

If you answered “no” or you don’t meet your deadlines and feel awful about it, then stay with me.

I’ve imposed deadlines on myself for decades. I’ve arbitrarily decided when a manuscript needed to be done, then worked backward from that date and set my weekly and daily word counts. This seemed like such a logical thing to do.

It didn’t matter if I was capable of consistently hitting those word counts, because that’s what had to happen if I was going to finish the book by that date. If I had to push myself, or write on the weekends, or not spend time with my friends and family so I could finish the book, so be it. I had a deadline to keep. But when pushing yourself becomes the norm, you’re setting yourself up to fail.

The problem with self-imposed deadlines.

The problem with self-imposed deadlines is that they rarely allow for the time needed to do the task well.

It’s the date we want the draft done by, but it’s not reflective of how much time it will actually take us to write that draft. We set our schedules on when we want a book completed, or how many books we want to write this year, or any number of goals, but we don’t consider what we actually need to compete the tasks we set for ourselves.

And most of us stink at estimating how much time a task takes us to complete. That’s not a slight, there have been studies. It’s called planning fallacy, and something like 83% of people don’t estimate how long a task takes correctly.

For example, no matter what past experience has shown you, you let what you hope will happen override what you know to be true. Even if your last three books took ten months each to write, you think “I streamlined my process, so it’ll only take me six months from now on,” because you really want to write two books a year. 

And it still takes ten months.

Or worse—you hit that six-month deadline, but the manuscript was rushed, so now it needs six more months just to get it into the shape it would have been in had you worked on it for ten months instead of six.

A New Perspective

Don’t decide when you want the project finished. Determine how long it will take to complete to your satisfaction.

“Satisfaction” is key here. What’s the point of meeting a deadline with a draft so rough you have to redo the whole thing? (Unless your goal was to write a rough draft, then that’s fine. You are satisfied.)

I know it’s hard. You want to get those ideas out of your head, onto the page, and into the hands of readers. You want your career to start now and not next year. You want to get those next three books out as soon as you can and start building your readership, because everyone says three to five books is where things take off.

I’m right there with you. But this false sense of running out of time to be successful can keep you from that success.

When I stopped writing to deadline, my productivity went up.

I gave myself the time I needed to write the book I wanted to write. And without that pressure hanging over me, I was able to focus and enjoy the process more, which led to better drafts.

A New Option

Here’s a process that works:

1. List all the tasks needed to complete your novel (or whatever your writing project is).

Whether it’s writing a first draft, revising the tenth draft, getting a manuscript ready for publication, or maybe re-vamping your website, the project will have tasks. Some of them will be easy, some of them will be complicated.

No matter how small, write them down. Ten “little things” that each “only take five minutes” is an hour. And odds are they take longer than you think. Which brings me to…

2. Estimate how much time each task will take.

Not the time you think it will take, or hope it will take, or will probably take if you push yourself because you want to get it done by the date I told you to ignore. How much time will it really take?

For example, if you know you’ve never written X amount of words in a writing session, don’t choose X words per session to write because that lets you get it done by that self-imposed deadline. Look at how much writing you get done on average. Track it for a week or two. Estimate based on your worst days, not your best days. That way, you’ll give yourself wiggle room and buffers when unexpected things pop up and you miss a writing session or two.

3. Determine how much time you’ll realistically need to finished your project.

Add it up and compare it to how much time you have each week to write. If you have ten hours a week to write, and your estimates say it’ll take you ninety-seven hours to complete that project, plan for ten to twelve weeks.

Yes, give yourself a week or two extra. 83% underestimate, remember?

4. Prioritize your tasks.

Figure out what needs to happen first and what comes later. For books, this isn’t as critical since you have your process and you know how you like to work. But you might need to research before you can write, or interview people, or outline or world build.

For other writing projects, the most efficient order to work in might not be what you think. For example, I’m launching my JT Hardy website this year, and I thought creating the website would come first. But when I listed out the tasks, I realized it came last. There’s a lot that needs to be done before I build it.

5. Work through your list (write the book, do the project).

This helps you focus, and gives you a sense of accomplishment that will keep you motivated. You’ll see progress without the impending doom of a looming deadline.

6. Stop at regular intervals and evaluate your progress.

Not every book or project goes the same way, and you have no idea what unknown issues might pop up. Check in from time to time and see how the book or project is going.

Do you need to add some time to the schedule? Adjust your schedule as needed, and don’t feel guilty about it. This is why you’re not writing to deadline. You’re giving yourself the time you need.

If you’re ahead of schedule, great! Don’t change it, just keep working. That extra time now might be needed later if something goes off the rails. I did a revision this past fall that was two weeks ahead of schedule until I hit act three—then I used up those extra two weeks.

Final Thoughts

A shift in perspective can make a huge difference in your productivity. You’ll focus on the time you need to be successful, not an arbitrary deadline only you know (and care) about.

Once I stopped using deadlines and shifted to understanding what I needed to do to complete a project, I started finishing more projects. And I was a lot happier with my results.

Now it's your turn. Do you write to deadline? Do you find it helpful or stressful? We'd love to hear about it down in the comments.

* * * * * *

About Janice 

Janice Hardy is the award-winning author and founder of the popular writing site Fiction University, where she helps writers improve their craft and navigate the crazy world of publishing. Not only does she write about writing, she teaches workshops across the country, and her blog has been recognized as a Top Writing Blog by Writer’s Digest. She also spins tales of adventure for both teens and adults, and firmly believes that doing terrible things to her characters makes them more interesting (in a good way). She loves talking with writers and readers, and encourages questions of all types—even the weird ones.

Find out more about writing at www.Fiction-University.com, or visit her author’s site at www.JaniceHardy.com. Subscribe to her newsletter to stay updated on future books, workshops, and events, and receive her book, 25 Ways to Strengthen Your Writing Right Now, free.

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Image by David Bruyland from Pixabay

January 4, 2021

By Karen DeBonis

In the fall, I asked my husband to move a rhododendron shrub from a crowded spot between the house and the back steps. It was so tight, I knew he couldn’t get in there to dig without breaking and trampling branches. So, with a deep breath, I lopped off multiple stems with huge buds that would have produced glorious white blossoms next year.

As I mourned the branches lying on the ground, it occurred to me that I had killed my darlings.

But I knew my “Rhody” would thank me by being stronger and more beautiful next year. And I realized that the process of letting go of what we love is itself an act of love.

Isn’t that the perfect metaphor for our writing? Let go to love more.

Treasures I’ve found in letting go.

Later this week, as I do every January, I’ll take a ten-year old accordion file folder from the attic, dust it off, and empty it, piece by piece, into the recycling bin or the shredder. Last year, when I purged my 2010 folder, I came across a stack of my son’s paystubs that had landed in our folder.

My son, Matthew, had graduated from college two years earlier—in the midst of the great recession—and had found and lost multiple jobs in that time. His neuropsychologist told us it was to be expected when children with a brain tumor like Matthew’s grow up and join the workforce. College is structured, the doctor explained, but many worksites are not, presenting challenges for a compromised brain.

In 2010, my manuscript—a memoir about my compulsive people-pleasing and its impact on my son’s illness--had been languishing in the attic for over five years.

I didn’t consider myself a writer then because I hadn’t written anything more the occasional birthday card during those five years. I seldom thought about the book I had been so passionate about before. I didn’t recognize my son’s paystubs as the documentation gems they were. Six years later, I revived my manuscript, so I was ready when I found those paystubs last year.

Had I not intended to let go, I never would have found what was intended.

The Year of The Purge

Last year—2020—was my year of memoir purging.

I’d joined a Zoom critique group of memoirists and membership included submitting chapters for comment. My manuscript was done and, at first, I didn’t want to open it up for comment. But when I reread it for the first time in months, I found all the usual suspects that needed editing:

  • inactive verbs
  • unnecessary adverbs
  • repetitive phrases
  • boring extraneous telling
  • clichés
  • some beautifully written scenes that didn’t move the story forward

I practically wore my delete button bare.

In the process, I opened space for deeper, more introspective writing. I discovered I hadn’t said all that needed to be said. Incorporating some new material helped my memoir became more powerful, more universal, more authentic.

Letting go enabled me to grow.

Some reflections on 2020

My experience in 2020 helped me realize some truths about letting go in the writing process.

  • Let go so you can love more.

The purpose in cutting unexciting or ill-fitting material from your manuscript is to shine a spotlight on the glittering gems that remain. You and your readers will love your book even more (if that’s possible).

  • Let go with intention, and be open to what you may find.

Be purposeful and strategic in your cutting. Can you find ten words you won’t miss on every page? One hundred words per chapter? What hidden gems were left behind? (See number 1, above.)

Further Reading: See Barbara Probst’s post on scene coherence for some great editing insight.

  • Let go so you can grow.

If you are undecided about cutting a passage or section, move it to a different document and live with it for a few days or weeks to see how you feel about its absence. Can you fill the space with better material? Is there something you want to say on the page that you haven’t? Use the opportunity to take your writing to the next level.

I don’t know what I’ll find in a few days when I start pulling papers from my folder. Every year, as more and more household transactions occur online, the attic folders get thinner and thinner. Matthew’s had the same job for two years, and does his own taxes now. I doubt I’ll find any of his paperwork.

And yet, I remind myself…my memoir is less about the growth in my son’s brain, and more about the personal growth of his mother. I’m eager to find more discoveries about that woman from ten years ago, because she certainly isn’t who I am now.

What about you? What will you purge and welcome in 2021?

* * * * * *

About Karen

Karen began writing twenty years ago after her eleven-year-old son was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Those early pages are now a real-life medical mystery about a mother who must overcome her toxic agreeability if she's to save herself and her son. The manuscript is currently in submission for publication.

A happy empty-nester with her husband of thirty-seven years, Karen lives and writes in upstate New York. You can find out more about her journey at www.KarenDeBonis.com.

December 30, 2020

By Fae Rowen

I’m pretty certain 2020 didn’t turn out like you thought it would. I usually pick one word as a focus for the new year, but 2021 is going to require THREE -- Hope, Edit and Love.

I’ve always known that without hope there would be little reason to fight life’s challenges. Hope gives us the fortitude to last just a bit longer when hanging on in the face of miserable conditions. Hope that tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, the worst will be behind us and we’ll again be happier.

My 2020 Experience

I was on track to update my first release, P.R.I.S.M. Book One, by the end of September in anticipation of releasing its sequel, PRISM 2: Rebellion, before Halloween. By Thanksgiving, I’d planned to release Keeping Athena. All of these had been edited at least four times already. My only job was to go through the text, approving the final copy edits.

None of those releases happened, but a lot of other things did—to my friends and to me. As the days passed, I lost hope about meeting my self-appointed deadlines. When each one slipped by, I felt like a failure because I couldn’t work on the required edits. My head just wasn’t in the game. I struggled to maintain my exercise routine because I knew that after my injury, my physical health was important for success in all endeavors. Even though I couldn’t walk as far, I walked three days a week. I completed my Zoom workouts with my trainer, though my slower speed often allowed only 2 sets instead of my usual three in the hour.

Though they weren’t as good as before, my physical workouts gave me hope that one day I would fight my way back to where I used to be. I’ve parlayed that hope into beginning work on the final edits for those two new books. There’s an outside chance that one (or with a miracle, both) will be up on Amazon before the end of the year.

Imagine you’ve got two books totaling nine hundred pages of edits, and you’ve just finished an edit of another over four-hundred-page book. That fourth book that I hope to publish in April? It’s finished, just requires a couple more rounds of, you guessed it, edits. Makes you want to run right into your computer and plow through pages, right?

Luckily, my wonderful developmental editor, Tiffany Yates Martin, published a book titled Intuitive Editing. You can listen to a podcast with her here. Her book came out at just the right time to help me regain hope as I began what seemed like an eternal slog through over a thousand pages to edit. I’ve learned so much from working with Tiffany, but her book reminded me of points I haven’t yet mastered and encouraged me to stay in the game.

While in the middle of the edits I took a week-long virtual intensive class with a view toward the next book that I hope to publish in the late spring of 2021. Learning new information that could be immediately applied brought new meaning to hope and edit. The eight-hour-a-day virtual classes brought the love of writing back.

For why do we go through all we do to write our stories, if not for love? Love of writing. Love of story-telling. No matter what genre you write, you won’t write for long if you don’t love “the work.” It takes thousands of hours to learn to craft a saleable book, thousands more for a best-seller. That’s a lot of time after a day job and life’s requirements. Time that could have been spent (before Covid) with friends and family or recreation or a number of other enjoyable pursuits.

So there you have it. Hope. Edit. Love. Three four-letter words passed on to me for 2021 through the literal, and not so literal, fires of 2020. Perhaps they can help you re-focus your energy for the new year.

What word (or words) will help you thrive in 2021? Let's talk about them down in the comments!

*  *  *  *  *  *

About Fae

Fae Rowen discovered the romance genre after years as a sci fi freak. Writing futuristics and medieval paranormals, she jokes that she can live anywhere but the present. 

Punished, oh-no, that’s published as a co-author of a math textbook, she yearns to hear personal stories about finding love from those who read her books, rather than horrors of arithmetic lessons gone wrong. 

A “hard” scientist who avoided writing classes like the plague, she now enjoys sharing her brain with characters who demand that their stories be told.  Amazing, gifted critique partners keep her on the straight and narrow.


PRISM 2: Rebellion

She’s the best pilot on her prison world. He’s heir to Earth’s largest conglomerate. What could they possibly have in common? The engagement ring he gave her before he returned to Earth.

O’Neill isn’t sure if the Earther will return to her. She’s been a little busy defending herself against the First Law of Prism.

On Earth, Jericho Montgomery finds that Gatfield Montgomery, the man he’d thought was his father, has signed an engagement contract for Jericho to marry. He defies Gatfield and returns to Prism—to the only woman he’s ever loved.

If you like fiercely independent characters willing to fight for what they believe in, a world with a unique society, and surprises, you’ll love Fae Rowen’s latest science fiction romance.

December 28, 2020

by Tasha Seegmiller

Happy last Monday of 2020!

Most years, there are people who are offering suggestions on how to reflect on what was accomplished, how to plan for a “better” year ahead. I have been one of those people. Seriously, the resolutions I used to set were ri-dic-u-lous.

But I’ve been doing a lot of work this year, on myself, on my valued relationships, on identifying when someone is trying to get something from me versus working toward something with me. And while I am not the first person to talk about the necessity of keeping our eyes on our own path, I do want to have us take a minute, in this typically quieter time of the year, at the end of a tumultuous everything, and be honest.

Grab a notebook, open a new doc, and write your unfiltered, honest answers to the following:

1. Did you write as much this year as you thought you would?

(This one’s pretty much a yes or no…) (remember honest and unfiltered)

2. What allowed you to do so?

OR...What prevented you from doing so?

3. How did all that was 2020 help or hinder you?

  • Did your mental capacity and/or health seem to be in the perpetual chute of Chutes and Ladders?
  • Did you have people when previously you didn’t?
  • Did your energy shift in regards to what was required for your job/day to day life/making ends meet/worrying about loved ones/____________, etc.?

4. Does writing nurture you?

I’m anticipating at least ten minutes to answer those questions, if you are giving yourself time and space to be honest with yourself.

And I’m going to be very honest here: the flipping of a calendar to 2021 isn’t going to magically create a shift to what was (sorry…). I don’t want to be the Debbie Downer of WITS, yet I find it is better for me to be very aware of reality and plan for the worst. In America, politics will shift and still be politics. We have a vaccine for COVID and it’s going to take a long time for everyone to get to the point where safety is the new norm. Economies are dodgy, schools won’t really be consistent for a bit, and while we’d all like to look to the sky for the superhero of our preference to come in and save the day, real life is nuanced and hard and complicated.

If you answered no to #1 above, if you look at all the reasons you didn’t, do you have the capability to change any of that moving forward? Do you maybe need to change what you are expecting of your writing, of yourself?

If you have traded writing for sewing, painting, reading, etc. are you at a point in your life when writing isn’t nourishing you like it used to? If you are not under contract/using writing as a form of income, why are you trying so hard to write right now (if you say, “Well Shakespeare wrote King Lear…” that’s the wrong answer).

Do you need to get real honest about how you are spending your time and WHY? If someone asks for shows to binge and you scroll through the comments having seen all of most of them, is that because you are rewarding yourself for a hard day, or are you numbing yourself to the world around you? What has happened to your phone usage? Do you feel more connected to the people around you?

Now stop.

Close your eyes and take a full, lung-satisfying breath.

What do you feel in your neck and shoulders? When you're thinking about how you’d like to progress through 2021 with all the things, but especially your writing, does what you want to accomplish feel honest and true, in the deepest part of your soul, heart, and gut? Does it feel like something you think you should want to do but don’t?

This isn’t fast work. Answering these questions won’t magically make you able to write better or rise earlier to get words in or provide more peace of mind and energy.

Answering these questions will give you a minute to reconnect with the truth within you. To remember what it means to sit with your authentic self. From there, start asking other questions:

  • What is my favorite excuse (real or perceived) for not doing what I want?
  • How do I really feel about how I’m spending my time?
  • What are the things I cannot change/modify/reverse about my reality?
  • Where do I have some choice?

Congratulations. You made it to the last Monday of 2020.

There has been a lot to process, and each of us had different things. Feel your feelings, have an honest conversation, get grounded today, this week, and revisit this again, as you feel yourself numbing or spinning. Just as no one had the answers for how to get through this year, no one has answers on how you need to proceed, except you.

And I believe in you.

Did any of the questions above particularly resonate? What are your favorite ways to reconnect with your authentic self?

*  *  *  *  *  *

About Tasha

Tasha Seegmiller believes in the magic of love and hope, which she weaves into every story she creates. She is an MFA candidate in the Writing Program at Pacific University and teaches composition courses at Southern Utah University. Tasha married a guy she’s known since she was seven, is the mom of three teens, and co-owner of a soda shack and cotton candy company. She is represented by Annelise Robey of Jane Rotrosen Agency.

Top Image by iXimus from Pixabay


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