Monday, June 21, 2010

Following Yonder Star...

In the past, I've blogged a lot about the power of positive thinking, but haven't touched much on the following words of wisdom from Terry Pratchett in his book, The Wee Free Men:

"Now...if you trust in yourself..."

"...and believe in your dreams..."

"... and follow your star..."

"'ll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy."


This has been brought home to me rather sharply lately. Now, mind you, I did trust myself, believe in my dreams, etc., and that paid off. However, it only partially paid off, because I also wasn't learning and working hard enough. (Hence, my now 3 "ok" reviews, as well as seeing much better cover art than what I've produced - created by people who have spent years practicing their craft.)

Now, I still completely believe in the power of positive thinking and visualization, but I've also come to realize that I need to back that up with real elbow grease as well. Lots of practice to become better at what I want to do, and not just sit around thinking it will all be magically handed to me.

NYT Bestselling author Jennifer Ashley kept a blog in the years just before she was published (and during the years that I remember her from the Desert Rose RWA when I lived in Arizona) all about her doubts and struggles while trying to get published. She has since moved on to blogging about what it's like to make a living as a full-time writer. I went back and re-read some of those posts the other day, and found them inspiring - and enlightening.

In other words, I got a necessary @$$ kicking. ;) (Which has actually been going on for days, as you can see from my "back to the drawing board" post.)

So, once more I'm taking stock of what I still have to learn, where I need to improve, and trying to force myself to get my act together and produce some quality work. Not just sit around and daydream about it.

In what areas are you trying to improve?


  1. I am trying to improve in the area of "write faster." As you know, this has sort of been my main goal for years now, LOL.

    Seriously, though, great post! Perfect timing! And I'm totally checking out that blog.

  2. I need to check out her blog too. I'm going to write a post soon (maybe next week) about positive thinking vs. working hard and learning. I definitely agree with you.

  3. LOL, Natasha. That's been my goal for years, as well, but somebody keeps moving the goal post on me. ;)

    I look forward to reading your blog, Edie. :)

  4. I am simply focusing on writing every day. It doesn't have to be fiction and it doesn't have to be work on any of my pending story ideas or projects-in-progress, although it can be. I'm just focusing on getting words on the page...or screen, as it were.

    I'm writing poems, essays, SYTYDC recaps...whatever. Through this process I am focusing on improving my word choices and economy.

  5. "Through this process I am focusing on improving my word choices and economy. "

    That's a good idea, Travis.

  6. What am I working on? Don't laugh, but I'm currently studying interesting, abandoned arts, looking for treasure and ghosts and bigfoot and writing, and... well, I'm working in getting a few hours sleep every now and then, Kate!

    Nice post, by the way. I like the idea of putting muscle behind out efforts.

  7. That sounds very intriguing, Rick. :)

  8. RKSO -

    Nothing - repeat - NOTHING comes easy or free.

    You can be the worlds expert on any subject of your choice. Unfortunately, it takes more than one lifetime to attain that distinction.


  9. I'm working on believing that what I write is not unpublishable crap. I guess in the big-picture sense that translates to professional self confidence.

  10. Well, Avery, I can promise you that what you write is not unpublishable crap. Just because the publishers may be slow to catch on, don't give up. You are a great writer!

  11. I'm working hard on improving my daydreaming skills, but I keep running into opposition, or dare I suggest, even outright sabotage from my own brain.

    I sometimes see myself on a sun drenched beach, with a gentle breeze wafting my bellybutton lint to and fro, as the redheaded, freckle faced girl who has skipped barefoot through my dreams since puberty dances joyfully up to me and says, “Hey buddy, has any of youse seen my Lotrimin?”

    Evil imagination.

  12. Fleece... LOL. And just... ewwwwww.... :)

    Ya know, there's something vaguely "familiar" about that voice... have we meet before?

  13. I decided I needed to adjust my art biz this year--either adjust it or give it up. Fortunately my changes have worked in my favor. I'm in the black for the 1st time in 3 years!

  14. That's great news, Lana! And you totally deserve it.

  15. What a timely reminder! Thanks for the link, will have to check out that blog. I can use all the positive thinking I can get. Once you taste a bit of success, no matter how small, I think you want more. And yet, at the same time, there's more stress on you to do better, sell more etc. Not sure that ever goes away but it sure can mess with you if you let it.

  16. Good to see you here, Selena - thanks for stopping by. :)

  17. Isn't it amazing how sometimes an @$$kicking is some much more positively therapeutic than a gentle stroking?, I'm not advocating literary S&M, but heh, if it's working......

    Glad you're back in the saddle and trying again! :)

  18. Hi, Mohamed - thanks for stopping by! :)

    Yes, I'm afraid those butt kickin's just keep coming - and they are much needed.


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