Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Living with Joy as a Writer By Judy Christie

Since writing my first novel at age 50, I’ve learned that living joyfully is a choice. Some days the path may be challenging, but I’m certain God doesn’t want me to whine, worry and be swamped by fear.

A few guidelines I try to live by (with gratitude for shoulders to cry on when I falter):

  • Don’t give in to Murphy’s Law, the negative mindset that says whatever can go wrong will go wrong. Expect good things, and know you’re strong enough to deal with disappointments and setbacks.

  • Sit down and write. One of my biggest joy-stealers is beating myself up for not writing – and then doing everything but writing. Embrace a schedule that works for you. Work steadily toward your writing goal, blending it with other priorities in your life.

  • Be thankful. On our worst days, we have many blessings. While I haven’t heard from Oprah yet and folks tell me the publishing world has been turned inside out, I am grateful for all that’s going right in my life and for encouragement from many.

  • Say “no” to certain things on your schedule to say “yes” to others. Slow down. Distractions are a dime a dozen, and they suck joy right out of you. Choose carefully what you put on your calendar.

  • Encourage others. Send a note. Read a friend’s book, and let her know how much you enjoyed it. Do something nice for someone God puts on your path. Whine less, and praise more.

  • Keep your writing in perspective. I remind myself that the plumber who was in our attic in August, the guy who repaired our roof and the waitress at my favorite café have hard jobs, too.

  • Have fun! Enjoy life, instead of slogging through each day like you’re in quicksand. Make time for things you enjoy with people you love. Give me a flea market, a movie with my husband or a couple of hours in the porch swing, and I’m refreshed.

  • Know that tomorrow is a new day. God’s compassions never fail.

I’d love to hear about your writing journey.
May your days be filled with joy!

Judy Christie’s new novel, The Glory of Green, comes out this week. Book 3 in The Green Series, it is about a big-city journalist who runs a small newspaper in the town of Green, La. Judy also writes the nonfiction Hurry Less Worry Less series, and her first YA novel, Wreath, will be released in fall. For more, see www.judychristie.com or visit with her on Facebook.

Today Judy is giving away THREE copies of The Glory of Green. The Glory of Green officially releases today and is book 3 in her series by Abingdon Press. Book 3 follows Gone to Green and Goodness Gracious Green.

Just leave a comment to be considered. Winners announced in the weekend edition.

And don't you just love Judy's writing tagline?

Hurry less. Worry less fiction.


Krysten said...

What a great way to look at the writing life. I like the praise more comment. So often we get caught up in stuff, we forget to let other people shine and let them know they did a good job.

Cathy Shouse said...


I decided to sneak a peek before going to bed and I'm glad I did. These are great reminders. I'm needing to make some decisions about a child's schedule so I appreciate this. It's easy to overbook kids these days, especially with sports. Moms aren't the only ones overbooked.

So, after penning your first novel at 50, how long was it before you got "The Call?"

I'd love to win a book.

cathy underscore shouse at yahoo dot com

Helen Gray said...

Coffee will be ready at 4 a.m.

Excellent reminders, Judy. Thanks.

Hubby and I are always reminding one another to not take our blessing for granted.


P.S. Not only has blogger returned to its original mode, but it's more effifient!

Amber S. said...

This is a great post, Judy! :)

Thank you so much for the reminders to just write, to be thankful, and to slow down. :) It's so easy to clutter our lives--I do it so well...

This past Saturday I went to a Woman to Woman Conference at Corban University (the school I attend), and the guest speaker was author Robin Jones Gunn. She also reminded us to seek to do just what God would have us do in each day, and when we've done in a day what we need to do, go and take a nap! :)

I'll be posting more about the conference on my blog soon if anyone's interested:


Thank you again, Judy, and I'd love a chance to win your book! What a sweet cover! :)



Camy Tang said...

Judy!!!!! So great to have you in Seekerville!!! I love your first point about being positive--if I give in to a negative mindset, it seems like things that happen are ten times worse than if I stay positive.


Renee Ann said...

Thanks for this sweet post, Judy! I appreciate all your encouraging tips, and I'm glad to hear 50's not too late for a writer since that's just a few months away for me :) . . . Would love to be included in the drawing for your book. Thanks! reneeasmith61 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Tina Radcliffe said...

Welcome to Seekerville, Judy!

Love your attitude and your reminders. Worth printing up and keeping beside my computer.


Christine said...

Thank you for those reminders. Sometimes I beat myself up for not writing as much - or as well - as I'd like. I need to keep things in perspective to keep the joy.

I would like to enter the contest for your book. I read the first one and thoroughly enjoyed it!

teaching by writing at yahoo dot com

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Krysten, I loved that too!

Whine less, praise more.

Oh man, that's one to post by my computer. Stupid whining. Gets me every time.

And TEEENA, thanks for tweaking Blogger with the tech crew help. Huge thank yous from all of us!

Judy, what a wonderful post, and the book cover looks charming. Abingdon Press always does a lovely job with their books, don't they? Can you share a little about working with them? And are the first two books still available for sale in stores and online?

Thanks so much for being here! I brought along a small-town diner breakfast: Two eggs over, toast, home fries, side of bacon. And drinking Helen's coffee and LOVING IT!

KC Frantzen said...

Judy - this was one of my favorites today: Sit down and write. One of my biggest joy-stealers is beating myself up for not writing – and then doing everything but writing.

SO TRUE for me, as were others you shared.

Thanks Helen for the cawfee. Yum. And Ruthy for breakfast, but I found some grits. ;D

Super reminders all the way around today. So nice to meet with good e-buddies on this journey. GLAD to hear about your successes after 50 (!) and especially that book 3 released TO-DAY! WAHOO!!!

may at maythek9spy dot com

Congratulations - love that dawg with the rolled up paper too. What is his/her name? May sends her BEST greetings!

Edwina said...

Thanks for such a great post and wonderful tips! My husband always says "go with the flow" - in other words, don't get stressed out - just deal with things as they come along. I'd love to read your book!


Debra E. Marvin said...

Congratulations on your newest release in the Green series, Judy!
"Living joyfully is a choice" Amen to that!

Lynda K said...

What an excellent post to kick off March! Your reminders are important ones, and I especially like the potent mix of saying no occasionally and encouraging others.

Thanks for bringing a bit sunshine to the first of March!


Jillian said...

Great post, Judy! "Doing everything but writing" is definitely one of my biggest challenges. Thanks for some great reminders.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Judy. Like Renee Ann, I'm encouraged about your first novel at age 50. I'm well into my fifties! The part of your post about the porch swing made me smile. I've never had one, but I can imagine! :) Please enter my name for the giveaway. Thanks.

~Susan Lee
jcsmlee (at) gwi (dot) net

Janet Dean said...

Welcome to Seekerville, Judy, and thank you for the excellent guidelines to keep joyful as we write. The one that knocked me upside the head was to keep my writing in perspective and remember the plumber, roofer and waitress have tough jobs too. So true!

Your books sound as wonderful as your advice!

Blessings, Janet

Audra Harders said...

Hi Judy and welcome to Seekerville! I so love your tag line: Hurry less, worry less.

I have just adopted a new motto, LOL!!!!

Great tidbits of truth to keep in the front of my brain. I especially need to remember to keep the joy in my writing and my life. It's so easy to get bogged down by senseless distractions.

Gotta nip those in the bud!!!!

Loves 2 Read Romance - Laura said...

Thank you for sharing with us Judy! You gave us some great tips. I like the whine less praise more. We need to remember that no matter what we are going through God never gives us more than we can handle.

Kimberli said...

So true! After a rocky road grew longer, I fell into the negative mindset. It really zaps a person's spirituality and productivity.

Wonderful advice. Thanks for sharing.

JoAnn Durgin said...

Hi, Judy! I'm definitely going to check out your books (but would dearly love to win a copy). In your post today, you've echoed a lot of what I've been feeling and trying to do in my own life as a writer - streamlining (by quitting a part-time job), trying to be encouraging to others by sending notes and e-mails, and scheduling time to sit at the computer to discover all over again the pure JOY to be found in writing for HIS glory. Thanks again, and blessings! jdurgin9587@att.net

Kirsten Arnold said...

Hi Judy,

Thank you for all the great reminders! I definitely needed this post today.


Lorna Faith said...

Awesome perspective! Thanks Judy:) I'm new to the discipline of writing daily...needed that reminder to be careful what I put on my calendar, keep writing in perspective and to be thankful. Everyday:)

thanks so much!

What a cute cover on your book:) Love a chance to win!


Sandra Leesmith said...

Welcome Judy to Seekerville, What great advice. Whine less, Praise more. In my Bible study this fall, that is exactly what we are talking about. We slow our blessings when we whine. Just like the Israelites in the desert with Moses. Even after all God did for them, they continued to whine and complain so ended up wandering for forty years.

Well I don't want to wander around aimlessly anymore, so I've taken up the practice of praise and thanks and am fasting from whining.

So your post really hits right on for me. Thanks and have fun here in Seekerville.

Great coffee Helen smile

And Ruthy the diner breakfast is yummy.

Judy Christie said...

Good morning, friends, and thank you Seekerville!

Visiting with y'all is the perfect way to celebrate the official launch day of "The Glory of Green." Thank you so much for the encouraging comments. I feel as though you're here drinking coffee with me in springlike N. La.

Cathy, you asked about getting The Call after writing my first novel at age 50, and it's a wonderful example of how God goes before us. "Gone to Green," novel 1, sold in less than a year to Abingdon, who was launching a Christian fiction line. No matter what your age, if you want to write a novel, get started! It's a great adventure.

Ruth, I've done fiction and nonfiction with Abingdon and count both teams as dear friends. And, yes, "Gone to Green" and "Goodness Gracious Green" are still available. In addition, "Rally Round Green" will be released this summer.

Amber, I look forward to more on the conference you attended. I love Robin Jones Gunn!

Digging for Pearls said...

This is exactly what I needed to hear today Judy. I'd been beating myself up because I've been unable to start editing my novel - too many stresses in my life right now, along with dealing with upcoming shoulder surgery.

God used your words to bless me this morning. Thank you.

Jodie Wolfe

Jordan said...

This is a GREAT list, and the book looks great too!


karenk said...

enjoyed this posting....looking forward to reading judy's latest masterpiece...thanks for the chance to do just that :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Julie Lessman said...

JUDY!!! Sooooo needed this today, you sweet thing -- THANK YOU!! My husband has been telling me this for years, but I'm not a quick study, apparently.

Like you, I am a BBA -- Baby Boomer Author -- who didn't start writing my first book till after 50, and most days I'm a walking mid-life crisis, it seems!! Every single point on your list is dead-on, and there are days I apply and days I don't, but as the biological clock ticks by, I am reminded more and more to make the most of what God has given me, including the incredible gift of being able to write for Him. Because the Pearly Gates are just not that far away, you know?? Uh, at least I HOPE it's the Pearly Gates ...

One of my husband's most oft-said phrases is: "Cheer up, Julie, you're living the dream ..." :) Now to "enjoy" it!!

Thanks for the reminder!!


Cara Lynn James said...

I'm afraid I often live by Murphy's Law and feel I'm slipping into quicksand! But an attitude adjustment does wonders. These are great reminders.

Judy, welcome to Seekerville! Congratulations of the release of your new book.

Marybeth said...

Judy-- this post made me think about a post I wrote yesterday for She Reads about the verse "We write to make our joy complete" (I Jn 1:4). Here's the link if you want to check it out!
Great job on the post and-- as a recipient of some of your encouraging notes-- I can honestly say that Judy lives what she shared here today.

Kristen Marie said...

I stumbled across your blog from a link from facebook, am so glad I did! What an encouragement. I myself am an apsiring writer in my early 20s and love hearing tips/tricks while I'm still trying to figure this whole thing out.

Myra Johnson said...

Judy!!!! Welcome to Seekerville!!!

(Judy and I were both debut authors in Abingdon's debut fiction line--what fun!!!)

What lovely and much needed inspiration this morning! And great advice all around--sticking to a writing schedule, trusting the process instead of whining about it, encouraging and helping other writers along the way, and always keeping our priorities straight--God, family, work.

Wishing you much success with your next book, Judy!

Whitney said...

I, too, have a problem with the negative mindset of Murphy's Law, Cara Lynn. I call it "The Toast Will Always Fall Jelly Side Down Law of Life." A little longer name, but it gets the point across.

Thanks for the post, Judy. :)

Please enter me in the drawing:


Vince said...

Hi Judy:

I’m happy you are here today. I’ve seen your book covers in passing and I just assumed they were about environmentalism or politics. “Green” is such a loaded word today.

What does the word “green” mean in your stories and will you tell us why you choose that word?



I’d like a change to win your book:
vmres (at) swbell (dot) net

Linnette R Mullin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susan Anne Mason said...

Thanks for reminding us to choose joy in our lives. Sometimes that's particularly hard to do, especially in the middle of winter. LOL!

This is the time of year I find I need a huge boost - sunshine, warmer temps, something to combat the dreary cold. Well, at least the sun is shining today, even though it's FREEZING!

Thanks for adding your 'sunny' personality here!


Tina Radcliffe said...

Marybeth, Krysten, Kristin Marie and Jordan! Welcome to Seekerville. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Judy, what's next after this series? Or after Rally is there another book?

Tell us a bit about your writing day if you have time!

Mary Connealy said...

A huge part of living with joy, for me, is Seekerville and all the wonderful authors I know.

It makes a lonely occupation into a community.

Great post Judy.

Casey said...

*not an entry*

Judy, thank you, thank you, thank you!! Oh my how I needed to be reminded of this today (and everyday!!). I try to be each of those things, but often that ole Murphy's Law creeps in. Between your post here and Rachelle Gardner's I am ready to go work on my writing assignment for the day! THANK YOU!

And thanks Seekerville for hosting! :D

Judy said...

Mary, you're right! Spending the day with the Seekerville community has given me much joy. It's like a road trip with old friends.

Julie, our lives ebb and flow, don't that? My mother died at age 53, and that's one reason I want to try to live each day to the full.

In writing the nonfiction "Hurry Less Worry Less" series, I've discovered that most of us struggle as we juggle. It'd be great if we could "get joyful" once and check it off a list, but it's a daily journey. Thankfully, the adventure is part of the fun!

Vince, Green's my favorite color, and I like the way it ties in with the growth of Lois Barker, the main character who winds up in Green despite her best efforts!

Debby Giusti said...

I love you, Judy Christie!

You're one grounded lady, and you've got your priorities in the right order.

Thanks for reminding us about what is really important.

Glad you're doing YA, as well as adult fiction. Our youth need authors who understand virtue and live each day to the fullest.

So glad you're with us in Seekerville today.

Mary Connealy said...

Wow weird fun fact.


I just saw an email that included the word therapist.

then .com
therapist .com is also
the rapist .com

I was so afraid.

judy said...

Oops! Julie, delete "that" and insert "they." :) As a former newspaper editor, I wince at my typos!

Tina, my favorite question to ask other writers is "how and when do you write?" Keeping a consistent writing schedule is one of my biggest challenges because, like most of you, I have a variety of other responsibilities.

I seem to do better when I block off writing time on my calendar, which requires lots of planning and unplugging. However, this morning I've been writing the fifth Green novel and have gotten lots done, energized by our conversations here.

I have a quote from author Kathleen Y'Barbo stuck to my printer: "Writers write. Works every time."

How about the rest of you? What's your writing routine like?

Lenora said...

Hello to my dear friend Judy Christie. Would you believe Judy was once my "boss" when I freelanced for the local paper. Our lives kept colliding and now we're good friends. Just had a nice coffee chat with her last week at Starbuck's. I have to tell y'all--read the Green book series--Gone to Green, Good Gracious Green, and now The Glory of Green. It's not about recycling, Vince. This is a grear series about living in Louisiana and falling in love. I love Lois and Chris and I've predicted many times that the movie will include Harry Connick, Jr. and Sandra Bullock as the leads. And me, Elnora, as an extra I hope. And as for Judy, I live by her suggestions. She's helped me a lot in my own writing journey. Whew, just turned in a big book--75,000 words. So I'm celebrating at Seekerville, of course!! Latte, anyone?? Love you, Judy1

Keli Gwyn said...

What a great list of ways to keep a joyful attitude, Judy. I've done my best to enjoy each step on my writing journey. Sure, some are tough at the time, but I've learned from each of them--even those two years I spent in Revision Land. =)

And kudos for embracing your dream later in life. I didn't start writing until I was 46 and will turn 53 the month my debut novel is released.

PatriciaW said...

Hi Judy! Great advice. May I add to that, invest in a pair of earmuffs?

Headphones, or anything else that can block out all of the "noise" about the "shoulds" and "should nots" of being a writer, however well intentioned, will do. This is my determined effort for the year. It's liberating and frees you up to simply write.

No need to include me in the drawing. I'm enjoying The Glory of Green right now.

Missy Tippens said...

Welcome, Judy!! We're so glad you joined us today! Thanks for the inspiring post.

Judy said...

What a fun day! My husband's 93-year-old aunt just called from North Tx. to tell me her copy of "The Glory of Green" arrived - and the print is large enough for her to read. :) She's a delight and sends copies of my novels to scads of people.

Her call comes on top of so many nice comments. Patricia, thank you for being among the first readers of "The Glory of Green" and for your reminder that we need to get rid of the word "should." I try to substitute "could" instead, and that eases a lot of stress!

Thanks, Lenora, for stopping by and saying hello. Wouldn't it be fun to have a movie made about your books? I tell Lenora she'll be my date to the Oscars if she can get Harry C. and Sandra B. to star in a Green movie! Lenora's not only my friend and writing coach but she is a recent NYT bestseller!!!! I am so thrilled for her and know how hard she works!

Keli, congrats on your debut novel. From my experience, there's nothing quite like holding that first book in your hands. I nearly tackled the FedEx guy when he delivered "Gone to Green." And you and I will be Barbour teammates! My first YA, "Wreath," will be published by Barbour this fall. It's about a strong, creative 16-year-old girl named Wreath who is determined to graduate from high school despite the death of her mother. She lives in a junkyard!

Happy afternoon!

adge said...

I agree in not giving in to Murphy's Law. Cheers.

Virginia said...

Ooo, I was just reading the Writer's Market 2011 and there was SO much information on what a REAL writer has to do... it got very depressing. Platforms and marketing and number crunching and contracts...
THANK YOU for this great article! I feel so encouraged! Because it's about the writing, the reading, the friends, and the JOY.

Virginia said...

P.S. These looked so good, I just ordered them on Amazon... :)

Linnette R Mullin said...

Well, Judy, I took your advice and left the house for a while. I ran errands. Not my favorite thing to do, but I made sure I did things I enjoyed as well as needed. Why do I always get the urge to spend money when I'm down? LOL I didn't really get much for me, though. I got some spring clothes for my 5 year old. I bought myself some office supplies! :D Everything was pretty much necessities, but it was still fun. Anyway, I hope you'll throw my name in the hat. I love reading books by writer buds! :D

LR dot Mullin at Live dot com


Tina Radcliffe said...

Hold it, was that LENORA-JUST MADE THE NYT LIST-WORTH that just did a drive by???


Tina Radcliffe said...

I do the same thing Judy. I carve out blocks of time to write. The rest of the time -after work-I revise.

Cathy Shouse said...

I just popped back in and read Julie Lessman's comment. Actually, I misread it. I thought she said "one of my husbands" and was thinking she had more than one husband. haha

Thanks for another great conversation today, everyone!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Congratulations on your successes, Judy!!! And thanks for the reminder to be positive! We do have so much to be thankful for. I love the beautiful cover on The Glory of Green. Those azaleas are gorgeous, and so is the model's dress. The dog is cute too! It's got a LOT going for it. ;-)

My writing journey has had a lot of extreme ups and and downs, but God was with me the whole time. When we go through the storms, he promises to be with us.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

It was, TINA!!!

Lenora Worth was here!!!! And we're so stinkin' proud of her!

You rock, SISTAH!!!! (Did y'all notice how good she looks? Bless her heart.)


What a fun crowd today, Judy... I brought a tray of chocolate Chinese noodle cookies for our evening snacking. Yummy. Delightful.

And fresh coffee and tea so we can relax together. New visitors, help yourselves, mix and mingle...

And of course, as always, there's no cover charge. Unless Mary muscles you by the door but...


That's not SUPPOSED to happen.

Sherrinda said...

I certainly needed this post today. After a terrible day at work, where I even broke down and cried, I came home with a "doom and gloom" attitude. Your post spoke to my heart about slowing down, just writing, and enjoying the process.

Thank you! May you be blessed!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Oh, Sherrinda, praying for your peace of mind! Sending you hugs.

Jan Drexler said...

Thanks so much for the post, Judy. Like everyone else has said, it was very encouraging!

I'm also starting my writing career post-50 - for me it's just the perfect thing to do now that my youngest is getting close to graduating from our homeschool. All this creative energy has to be used somewhere :)

Please enter me for the book - it looks intriguing...


Judy said...

It's been a beautiful springlike day in N. La., and I'm having such a great time in Seekerville. Nice to read that the snacks are coming out! Thanks, friends, old and new. What a great community -- and how much we all need each other.

The comments about Murphy's Law remind me how tough some days can be, but I know God watches over us. And, thankfully, we get a fresh start tomorrow. (One of my nonfiction books, btw, is "Goodbye, Murphy's Law: Whatever Can Go Wrong God Will Make Right").

Enjoy your evening!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Judy, it has been a total treat to have you in Seekerville. We love you and your inspiring, upbeat approach.

No more lurking...we expect you to chat with us often now that we know you!!

Judy said...

I'll try not to lurk! And one of these days my photo will pop up, and I won't be faceless in my comments.

Pam Hillman said...

Thanks for such an encouraging post, Judy!

•Sit down and write. One of my biggest joy-stealers is beating myself up for not writing – and then doing everything but writing.

Amen, sister!

Pam Hillman said...

Mary, I shared your therapist (I'll never look at that word quite the same again!) observation with my son's girlfriend, and she also informed me that RACECAR is spelled the same way frontwards or backwards.

Not quite as shocking as your word, but interesting, nonetheless!

Vince said...

Hi Lenora:

Please tell us the title of your book on the NYT list. Also the book you just finished at 75,000 words. That seems too long for a Love Inspired. Is it?

Also, you have to admit that “Gone to Green” is a very topical title!

BTW, I read a wonderful book by Shirley Jump that takes place in Louisiana and just loved the location. I’m hungry for more. Is there great cooking in the ‘Green’ books? That’s important. : )


Sandy Elzie said...

Great advise! Thanks for your insight.


Cindy W. said...

I do love your tag, Hurry Less Worry Less. I believe if we all lived by that phrase, we'd all find more time to spend in the joy of life.

Would love to be entered to win your book! Thanks for the chance.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.


Sheila said...

Love your post! I'm glad I read it today. So often I berate myself for not writing, but then when I am writing I feel guilty for not doing everything else that still needs to be do. I really need to keep things in perspective. want[_]adventure[_]writeatyahoodotcom

Julie Lessman said...

Wow, Judy, I totally relate because we have more in common than I thought -- my mother died at the age of 53 too! And, yes, it does make you get with the program when you reach the age your mother died.

And, Cathy??? Are you kidding?? I can't handle the one I have, much less more than one ... uh, or maybe I should say he can't handle the one he has ... :)


Rita Monette, Writer said...

Loved your post, Judy. I didn't start writing until I retired at age 60. Five years later, still working toward publication. I do find joy in writing, and when I'm not, I'm thinking about writing and revising. The only stealers of my joy are those rejection letters. But I only let them take it away for a day, then I'm back reveling in the joy of my story!

CarolM said...

Dropping in real quick because the book looks good =D.

Living joyfully is a choice. What a great reminder!

carol at carolmoncado dot com

Melanie LeGrand said...


Thank you for your words of encouragement. I really needed to hear them today!


Judy said...

Had to stop back by the Seekerville neighborhood and say "hi" to those of you who posted last night

Think I left a couple of questions unanswered: Yes, there is good food in Green, La., including lots of meals at the Cotton Boll Cafe and recipes at the end!

Lois Barker's dog, Holly Beth, was a gift from the town's mayor. The mayor's dog is Sugar Marie, who bit Lois on the face in the first chapter of Goodness Gracious Green!

Julie, amazing that your mom and mine died at the same age. My wonderful mother's love and guidance and early death help me keep life in perspective.

Happy Wednesday, all!

Pepper said...

Sorry I'm late, but what an encouraging post. Thanks, Judy.
congrats on your wonderful books. What a fabulous start!!!