starfish on beachDid you ever have one of those years? 2016 turned out to be a sabbatical from my writing. I have excuses, but other writers manage to write through life problems. I admire them. So, I could give you the litany of woes, but I won’t. Except for 6 weeks in a sling after shoulder surgery, I could have been typing around all the life events that hit me.

Depression can stop creativity. Medication doesn’t always fix the problem. Exercise and meditation doesn’t always make it go away. (Especially when you don’t love to exercise) Of course, have your doctor watching out for these things, but the one thing they can’t give you is a purpose. Negative self-talk sabotages all your efforts to pursue a goal. Here’s some examples:

  • What’s the use?  
  • Who cares if I (insert activity) or not.
  • I can’t make a difference, so why bother.
  • I’m not that good at (whatever it is).  
  • My family/spouse won’t like it if I take time away from them for me.
  • Change is hard.
  • What if I fail?

I’ve said all of the above to myself in the last year, maybe longer. All self-defeating excuses that stopped me.  When I said something negative, a friend asked me, would you say that to your child or a friend? It was shocking to think about self-talk that way. Of course, I would never tell someone not to try, or that they might as well quit, or that they were going to fail.

Change is hard. Maybe I won’t make a huge difference in the world by writing my little stories. I know my family loves me enough to want me to try, even if I fail. Even if my family didn’t support me, I need to pursue my writing because it’s such a part of me. I’m trying to get a handle on time management. That’s a big challenge. So, I am cleaning out my office, and returning to my keyboard. It may take a bit of time, but I am already scheming in Skeeterville. I have a few positive motivational sayings that I like:

  • Do One Small Thing. (my favorite, it gets me started)
  • Nothing changes if nothing changes.
  • No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
  • A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.
  • Avoid negative people as much as possible.
  • It’s ok to say NO.
  • Stop hating yourself for all you aren’t and start loving yourself for all you are.
  • No matter how you feel, get up, get dressed, get to work, and never give up.
  • Count your blessings, not your problems.
  • Don’t ruin a good today thinking about a bad yesterday. Let it go.
  • What you are is God’s gift to you. What you do is your gift to God.

It’s funny how life inserts itself in whatever we do, whether we realize it or not. In Amazing Gracie, I touched on alcoholism with John but Gracie had to face her lack of self-confidence. That was my first novella, I needed to be brave. In Hiding Miss Daisy dementia was the issue. My mother had dementia, so I knew that the progression is not instant. In my short story, A Tale of Two Doxies there was no dead body. It was a dachshund rescue story. I love doxies and that story was dedicated to my two lovely dogs who crossed the rainbow bridge. And, there’s a man in the story who uses meanness to cover his real feelings.

I started 15 Shades of Blue last year, but I’ve changed the motivation of Desi the goat farmer and rewrote the first part of the story. How does a man face that he can’t do the job he’s done all his life? Once he quits feeling sorry for himself, Desi faces that he’s affecting his poor daughter’s life, too. He calls to get on the waiting list at The Friendly Arms Apartments. We all need encouragement, in this story, Clara Sue steps up to be supportive.

Bless you for being here today. I hope you’re striving towards your dreams, too. What you do matters, whether it’s as big as building a skyscraper or as small as calling to encourage a friend.  I hope you stay tuned for more as this story emerges. And I leave you with the  Starfish Story by Loren Eiseley.

Starfish Story

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About TeresaQuill

Teresa writes light hearted cozies set in Skeeterville, Md, a small town with ornery seniors living in an apartment building. Death happens. . . Skeeterville Seniors find out why. Teresa lives in Frederick Md with her personal hero, one noisy parrot, and two needy long-haired dachshunds.

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