Good morning, Seeeeeeeeekerville!
First, a commercial message:
And yes, I want you to run over there and buy it if you haven't already, and there's a BUNDLE with me and Belle Calhoune's book and Rebecca Kertz's book..... CLICK HERE FOR THE $9.99 Kindle Bundle!
And now I return you to your regularly scheduled Bossy-Ruthy program!!!!
I love road trips. I love road trips with people best, because then I can talk and we all know I'm pretty darn good at that. But the road trip of life is a little different.
It's easy to get lost.
It's easy to make wrong turns.
"K" turns are not as simple as we'd like because usually there's some collateral damage from taking the wrong turn. :(
Yield signs are inevitable.
As are STOP signs. I find I'm particularly BAD at stop signs. Go back to the "loves to talk" comment above. (heaves huge sigh and vows to listen more and talk less).
So as we approach life and this chosen career, we need to make use of the rest stops along the way. Check the tires, top the fluids, test the brakes. It's the beginning of May, 2014. We've just finished the first THIRD (1/3) of the year. Are we still on the path we vowed to take in January?
I'm not talking resolutions because we seem to take guilty pleasure out of breaking them. I'm talking the simple lifestyle changes that make us more productive on a daily basis. Let's look at them:
1. Writing daily
2. Keeping tax records in a single spot so you don't have to clean closets and drawers next January
3. Minimizing clutter
4. Saying 'no' as needed to gain writing time
5. Making Your Life an Alleluia
6. Engage mini-reward system
7. Stop whining
8. I mean it, STOP WHINING. Sheesh.
9. Pray unceasingly for others. Check the world news and beg God's mercy on us.
10. Loving what you're doing?
Simple list, right? The first four are self-explanatory, and you know how important it is to prioritize your writing in YOUR eyes for it to happen. We tend to stumble and get discouraged when we write ourselves into a corner... So if that happens, celebrate the "Do-Over"!!!!! Learning how to self-edit, and how to DELETE WHOLE CHAPTERS is part of the game, and seriously, it's good practice for when an editors says "I'd like you to do this, and this and this, and put this here, and change the timeline and then if the hero could have a child he didn't know about, and maybe she has a kitten, that would be great!"
And you do it, so practicing now will help you see what they're seeing then!
#5. Making your life an alleluia.
(Here are four teens from "Enfuego Christian Academy" in the Phillipines with my favorite rendition of this beautiful hymn: Click here for "Make My Life an Alleluia"
This is from one of my new favorite hymns, a beautiful, prayerful song about how we live our lives... If you're not letting the joy of Christ shine from your face, then why not? Making your life an alleluia means grabbing the little joys and celebrating them, sharing them, letting God's love shine through you. If you're doing this, praying ardently with your actions, numbers 7 and 8 shouldn't apply.
By following one rule, you will decrease or negate whining ENTIRELY. There is no whining in Alleluia-land!
Pray unceasingly. That goes back to the beautiful Alleluia thingie, right? If your life is a living prayer, then you just bought yourself time.
Life can be frenetic. I know mine is, the little ones need me all day, and I spend hours before they come and after they go home, writing, editing, making fun of Mary Connealy and Tina.... (remember I don't make fun of Missy online because Missy CRIES.....I can't have that on my conscience.)
But praying unceasingly doesn't mean a cloister or a monastery or a closed, dark room. (Well, it could, but it doesn't have to, that's all I'm sayin'...) It means think about your words and actions... make them Christ-like. Consider your thoughts and the things you do... make them Gospel-friendly. Weigh your choices when you plunk down money.... do you need this or could you send a donation to World Vision or Cross Catholic or the Salvation Army instead?
Minimizing clutter and living simply go hand-in-hand. I see all kinds of people in this biz, on both sides of the ABA/CBA writing aisle, who've forgotten the "live simply" rule of thumb.
Don't forget that rule... It's a good one! And people relate to the "real" us, the person within the author.
#10, love what you're doing.
If you can quit, do it.
I can't. I don't want to. If my stream of contracts dried up tomorrow, I would still write because I waited my whole life to do this. I knew if God gave me enough time on the planet, this was my dream, my goal, and it's come true!!! HOW STINKIN' COOL IS THAT?????????
But if it doesn't bring you joy, if you're not happy writing, if you're not excited to do it, then why do it?
OR.... Do we just need to go back to #7 and #8 and stop whining?????
Because youse know I'm good at bossing you around!
"No matter how far you've gone on the wrong road, you can still turn around."
Wise words. I retweeted them from "Women of History" a group I follow on Twitter.
We are one-third into the new year. We are one-third into the road you've chosen, my friends. But it's never too late to turn around.
And here is a link to the WONDERFUL NEWS I received this week about the sweet book pictured above:
"Link to Ruthy on Publisher Weekly Bestseller List for Last Week!!!!"
James Patterson called to see if we could do lunch because Nora and John were tied up.... I said, "Jim, I'd love to, but I've got to feed the babies!!!"
God bless our readers. Seriously, without readers, none of the rest of this would be possible. I love youse to pieces.
Okay, hey, I've got an Amazon card here with NO ONE'S NAME on it!!! Stop in, grab some coffee or celebratory champagne (provided by Harlequin/Love Inspired offices, thank you Tina and Melissa!!!) and some of those delicious chocolate covered strawberries we made to celebrate at the Yankee Belle Cafe!!!
Oh my stars, don't they look wonderful????