Monday, January 12, 2015

No Limits! Is This Your Year?

Image credit: Fotolia/ © chrisdorney

The Year of No Limits – What does it mean for you?
Missy Tippens

Happy new year, everyone! On my first post of the year, I  wanted to weigh in on our YEAR OF NO LIMITS in Seekerville. When Tina Radcliffe first mentioned this theme, my brain started clicking on what it would mean for me.

I want you to do the same!

What does No Limits mean for YOU? I think this is going to end up being varied and might be very personal for some of you. So today, I’m going to challenge you to think about how you can make this an amazing year.

Some questions to ask yourself…

--When you’re scared or feeling unsure, what/whose voice do you hear in your head? What is it telling you? Do you have someone in your family telling you you’ll fail? Or maybe someone in your past telling you you’re being ridiculous? Or do you have someone actually saying you can do this, but you don’t believe it? Or maybe you’re hearing your own voice.

--What type things limit you? Personal, career, spiritual, emotional, craft, health (physical and/or mental)?

--In what area do you feel most insecure or incapable? Your writing? The day job? Spiritual things? Parenting? Being a spouse/friend/significant other? Handling social media? Promotion? Meeting deadlines? Being organized? Staying present in your “real” life outside writing?

Photo Credit: Crestock/creatista

--Where do you feel weakest in your writing--commitment, drive, energy, creativity, ability, follow-through, establishing habits…?

--Do you dream big enough? Have you put yourself in a box?

So many questions to ask! So many areas to look into. But once you’ve figured out what limits you, I encourage you to come up with a plan to battle that.

 Come up with a plan...

Negative voices? Block them out! Practice positive thoughts. Replace the old ones with new, encouraging voices. We’d love to help do that here on the blog!

Self-doubt over your writing ability? Study in the areas in which you’re weakest. Study your favorite authors and figure out what they do. Also, write, write, write. Practice will make you better.

Photo Credit: Crestock/ kentoh

Personal or emotional or relationship problems limiting you? Get help. Since this can be so varied, I won’t even attempt to offer advice. But if life and relationships are tough, seek the help of a trusted friend, pastor or counselor (whatever is appropriate for the situation). And treat yourself with compassion. I just read an article about how people who give themselves a break, rather than trying to build themselves up after failure, often end up being more successful (my paraphrase). (Click here if you’re interested in the article.)

Health problems limiting you? See your doctor. Vow to eat healthfully and get as fit as you can in your situation. Again, I can’t offer specific advice since I’m not a healthcare professional. But I believe there is hope in all situations.

Is lack of confidence your problem? I can attest that you can work to move past this! Write lots. Get feedback from trusted critique partners or contests or editors. Work to improve. Send your work out there into the world (scary, I know). Then let it go. (If you’re now hearing refrains from a certain princess, it was unintentional!) :) At some point, you have to take a little risk. It’s nerve-wracking, but it will help build confidence, step by step. (For those who are newbies who haven’t yet taken the first step of sharing your work, please see my giveaway at the end of my post!)

Photo Credit: Crestock/ donskarpo

Does negativity cause setbacks? How about bad reviews or contest feedback? Again, you have to tell yourself (maybe over and over, especially if you’re a people-pleaser like I am) that not all people are going to like your writing. Accept that fact right now. It’ll make your life a lot easier!

If you write Christian fiction, do you feel you’re not qualified to write it? I thought that in the beginning. Then I took a Bible study where I studied Moses. (If this is you, go read Exodus right now.) It changed my outlook and made me push through that roadblock.

Do you suffer from a lack of commitment and drive? Then set some goals for yourself. Be realistic but challenge yourself! I imagine you can be a lot more productive than you think you can. Some examples of goals… Get up x-number of minutes earlier each day. Write x-number of words a day. Enter one contest. Send out one proposal. Find a critique partner. Release one indie short story/novella/novel. Take one online course. Read x-number of books in your genre. If you’re paralyzed because you’re feeling overwhelmed, then take just ONE step toward reaching one goal. Check one thing, any thing, off your to-do list. Every step will help motivate you.

Oh! And get this… I just read an article on the Psychology Today website (click here but come back) about how one small victory can flood your brain with a feel-good brain chemical (dopamine) that has been linked to motivation. So set yourself up to achieve (one small victory following another)!

Have you realized you don’t dream big enough? This is where this year’s theme hit me in the gut. I realized I don’t dream big enough, and thus don’t achieve all I can. So I’m going to do my normal goal setting. But then I’m going to add some stretch goals. I’m going to push myself and dare to strive to do more. And most of all, I want to remember Who’s in charge. To remember that God has a good plan for me. For me. Wow. I need to be more confident in that and let Him guide me.

And now, before we jump in with comments, I asked the Seeker ladies what No Limits meant for them. I’d like to share a quote from Audra Harders…

“No Limits gives me permission to stop holding back, to trust my gut instinct. If I'm writing the book of my heart, it's all emotion and feeling, and the end product is completely sigh-worthy.”

 And from Ruth Logan Herne…

I can't believe people intentionally put limits on themselves in the first place! What are they thinking??? Be that baby who takes off running, refusing to crawl because the view is so much better with your head held high!”

I love that. We should all take Ruthy’s attitude!

What about you? How are you going to make 2015 YOUR YEAR???? What does No Limits mean to you?

Please share with us! We’d love to cheer you on.

GIVEAWAY: For any newbies who haven’t braved showing your work to anyone (other than family or best friends--nope, they don't count!), I’d like to offer to read the first five pages of your story for a critique (very gentle, I promise). I’ll draw three names. Please comment and let me know you’d like to be entered! We’d really, really (pretty please) love to have you comment, but if anyone is too shy to ask, please email me at missytippens [@] to enter. (Put Seekers in the subject line.)


  1. Decaf coffee is on for those visiting tonight I'll see you in the morning. :)

  2. GREAT post, Missy!! :)
    Such awesome suggestions for all of us.
    With the Lord's help, I'm going to strive to work hard and make my writing the very BEST it can be this year. And when those negative voices start whispering in my mind, I'll refuse to listen and will keep writing!
    Thanks SO much for sharing this with us.
    Please enjoy the Georgia peach pancakes I'm setting out for breakfast (With warm maple syrup and butter). ;)
    Hugs, Patti Jo

  3. I love your beginning comment - No limits! Last year, the Lord challenged me to have no fear in pursuing His goals. A big challenge, but one He's honoring in so many creative ways. I love your fearlessness in making that statement. We want to be bold and courageous, but the mundane things can hold us back unless we seek His fingerprints in those things, too. My big challenge is to live up to His goals rather than those others might assume for me. I'm blessed to have a super supportive family and am grateful for your blog and it reminding me to give God the desires of my heart, knowing His dreams for writing and all areas of life, are bigger than I could dream. Getting late on the West coast, bless you tonight!

  4. Such a motivating post, Missy! If there's one take away, it's to stay positive. That helps with everything in life! Hope everyone has a great day!

  5. I'm standing tall, hand-in-hand with this "NO LIMITS" theme because most of the dead ends we encounter are of our own doing!

    Nothin' stoppin' us from TURNING THE CORNER and trying something new!


    I'm here, happily on board with kicking self-defeating habits TO THE CURB with all o' youse!

    No Limits. Let's do this!

  6. Wonderful post! hmmm...I'm so bad at following through on goals that I don't like to make them so then I can surprise myself...that sounds a little twisted.
    Well, for sure, this is the year I'd like to sell another book to LIH. So whatever that takes or however long, it's my goal.

  7. Yes!!! Terrific post. Free critiques. Take her up on this offer. Step out!

    You can do it.

    No pain, no gain.

    No risk, no reward.

    NO LIMITS!!!

  8. Patti Jo, I'm so glad you already stopped by and brought breakfast! I was planning to ask for something peachy or with pecans. So I'm thrilled with peach pancakes!

  9. Elizabeth, so beautifully said! You've inspired me to seek His fingerprints in everything. Thank you!

  10. Eva Maria, that's so true. And sometimes I wonder why that's so hard to do? We can be joyful in everything!

  11. Ruthy, you're right! I'm smiling right now, picturing myself actually kicking something to the curb. Or maybe I'm actually picturing YOU giving me a good kick to the rear. :)

  12. Jessica, you can do it! Email me if I can help in any way.

    You know, I can understand your logic on goals. :) But it would be interesting to try testing the info in that article. Start crossing off one little thing on a list at a time. See how that works for you. :) In fact, that's my challenge for you today! And just to get me back, you can make your goal something like: "turn on my computer." LOL

  13. Tina the drill sergeant is here! I love it!

  14. Well, since my one word for writing this year is diversify, I'd say no limits to me is not letting publishers, agents, etc. put a writer in a box and make this only write one type of book because that's where they've found success.

    I've learned after having a book line close on me for the second time, writer's need to diversify their writing.

  15. Thank you Missy, you should have been a shrink.
    I can't enter the drawing because I've been "out there" for a while, but what a nice thing to do.
    I liked the quote from Jeremiah 29:11 which I guess is my life verse, although it's hard to pick just one.
    I feel good about 2015. As a writer, 2014 was good to me. Or should I say (YES I SHOULS), God was.

  16. Morning Missy, Great post and kick in the behind for me. I got a taste of best selling with our Christmas anthology and so I'm dreaming BIG. Best seller. No Limits.

    But my biggest endeavor this year is to listen to God BEFORE I act. This saves so much time and energy. chuckle. I know it, so why don't I DO it?

    Great prizes today.

  17. PATTI JO, Bless you for those Georgia peach pancakes. They are yummy especially with the warm syrup and butter.

    You must freeze or can tons of peaches when they are in season. The season here is August. Is that when they are ripe there?

  18. Rose, I'm sorry about two lines closing. I have a writer friend who jokes that every line she's ever written for has closed. You just never know!

    I'm glad you're thinking ahead and planning to diversity!

  19. Kathy, I think that's my life verse too. I keep coming back to it over and over. I used to have it scrolling as my screen saver. :)

    Others of you out there… What's your life verse??

  20. LOL, Sandra. Yeah, that sounds like a good plan! I can totally relate. :)

  21. Great thoughts and ideas, Missy. All of you ladies' posts are always so encouraging and motivating. :)

    At this exact moment I'm not feeling all that limited, but I know there will be seasons when I do. What a great post to come back to in those times!

    Happy Monday. :)

  22. hi Missy
    thanks for this post. my one word for this year is WRITE. not very spiritual... but uber necessary for me because I REALLY relate to the overwhelmed feeling that paralyzes me. just do one thing, which for me is, write. I need to tackle my R and R one step at a time because honestly, the editor (Shana Asaro) was spot-on with her commentary of my submission.

    Baby steps... and I'm on unsteady legs right now. Thanks to Seekerville though, to provide the hugs, support, and kick in the ol' keister to keep moving.

    I would love a chance at a critique. Thanks again for this post. I need to re-read it and figure out how I'm sabotaging myself so I can take the steps to stop it.

    In case I haven't said so recently...Seekerville is awesome!!!!

  23. p.s.
    my life verse is Psalms 139:13-14a... the whole, knit together in mother's womb thing, along with all the plans God already has made for me.
    the Jeremiah verse is sort of my booster verse.

  24. I think I am my biggest road block. I have always felt I wasn't good enough (at whatever) I always feel like people are judging me and that makes me afraid to put my self out there. I am getting better at that, though. (It took going through it with my son to recognize what had been going on in my own life) So I got brave and sent in my first page for the SOLD! blog's first page critique, but they stopped doing them before they got to mine! It was scary even to hand my parents my 1st flash fiction (my mom and dad and sister are the only ones to have read it) or put my 2nd flash fiction on my author blog (but it's only had 18 views and the only comments are my parents and aunt!) So I will throw my name in for your drawing of a critique. I know it needs to be revised since I started it a year ago and have grown in my writing since then. I have set a goal of 9000 words a month which for me is a lot more than normal and I've found that writing every day or almost every day makes writing easier (go figure!) No Limits means not standing in my own way! I am an author, I am an author, I am an author... My life verse has always been Phil 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" Okay, time to go back and crawl under my rock.

  25. Thanks Missy. It's off topic but can I just say here that 'One Perfect Gift' is a very sweet little Christmas story that everyone should read! OK - no limits. I can identify with Audra's quote. Sometimes I have to pretend no one will ever read what I am writing in order to get it written the way I want to. It's the only way to let the emotion pour into the writing. Wave hi for me to my Atlanta kids.

  26. Now, I'm expecting lots of great books to be out there for mr to read this year. After all, NO LIMITS!!!

  27. Great post, Missy! Thank you for sharing and for reminding us that with God on our side, we can do all things.

  28. Missy, excellent post! Good to look at myself and see where I am limiting my production. And what changes I need to make to foster No Limits. Onward and upward, with God's help.


  29. Patti Jo, thanks for the peach pancakes!


  30. DebH, that's a great one word as well as great way to push forward! Baby steps are good!

  31. Great post, Missy!
    I used to limit myself with negative self talk. It wasn't until I decided I WOULD be published someday, (not IF) that things started changing. I was confident that when the time was right, my books would be published and so I didn't worry as much about every little rejection.
    Plus I found visualization extremeley powerful. Every day on my drive to work, I would imagine my book cover. Of course the real cover looks nothing like the one in my imagination, but that's OK!
    NO LIMITS indeed! Within the last 6 months I have had 3 books come out!
    You all can do it, too!

  32. Becky, no crawling under rocks! :) I'm glad you commented!

    You know, I think CindyR gave good advice: pretend no one is reading your work. That way you won't think of anyone judging it.

    You can do this! And yes, keep repeating your mantra. And keep writing.

  33. CindyR, thank you! I appreciate you reading.

    Loved your idea to pretend no one is reading! I need to do more of that. Just let it flow out of me.

  34. LOL, Marianne!! You're so right!! :) :)

    Mary Hicks, Amen!

  35. Good morning, Janet! I hope my post gets all of us thinking of changes we can make.

  36. What great encouragement for the new year!

  37. Sue, I love that! Visualization is a great way to make change. I'm so excited about your books!

  38. Sherri, I'm glad it was encouraging. Thanks for stopping by!

  39. Missy, I enjoyed reading your post. The No Limits theme is great and one I need to take to heart. Lack of confidence is probably my biggest stumbling block and what limits me the most. Lack of discipline and persistence is right up there, too.

  40. Missy, what a wonderful post for a Monday, especially the Monday of the second full week of the new year. Last week felt like catch-up, trying to get us all back on routine. But now we have a fresh, new week! Too often, I hold myself back and let other "needs" get in the way. Well, writing is a need as well! (Can I get an amen? :-) ) Thanks for the shot in the arm!

  41. Rose, I agree. We used to let things happen to us because options were limited.

    That's no longer the case, so write away! The box is broken!

  42. What an upbeat post, Missy! When I saw the theme for the year, I loved it. You asked some great questions for me to consider. Last fall was a challenging one. I didn't get done what I'd hoped to on my story.

    I find that I am limited when I don't the next step to take or how to begin. I get overwhelmed, and then I just stop. This is very limiting! :)

    So, my goal is to not stop at overwhelmed and to figure out the next step forward. Just the next one. And then the next. And then the next.

    Thanks for great things to consider for this year, Missy!

  43. Becky, go get 'em, Tiger! We've all felt that way, and the only way to get beyond it is to just keep on keepin' on!

    No limits. :)

  44. WOW! A real kick-butt post, Missy! If you weren't also so NICE about your kicks-in-the-rear, I'd almost think you were channeling Ruthy or Tina!

    I think the absolute worst limits are those we impose upon ourselves, and next to those, the ones we wrongly allow others to impose on us. So taking control of our own attitude is the obvious first step, starting with silencing those negative voices!

    And I don't care how long we've been writing or how many contests we've finaled in or how many books we've published or how many 5-star reviews on Amazon, self-doubt will always, always find a way to creep in.

    I'm really going to try to take this NO LIMITS attitude to heart this year. Can't wait to see what happens!

  45. Sandy, I hope we can help encourage you to overcome!

    Small steps…small steps…


  46. Meghan, YES! I'll give you an amen. I've found I get grumpy and/or depressed when I don't write.

  47. Jeanne, It's so easy to get overwhelmed when we don't know what to do next or even where to start. I've been there! The worst for me is dealing with clutter around the house. Or sometimes I can't get my head around a story.

    You're mission for today (should you choose to accept it) is to figure out the first baby step. :) Email me if I can help!

  48. Myra, I think you're right about doubt creeping in. I wonder why that is?? Maybe it's just the nature of writers and creative types. Or do you think everyone does it? (I'm trying to picture some big corporate executive.)

  49. To me No Limits means disciplining myself and not waiting for my muse. Great post, Missy!

  50. Thanks for sharing, Cara. That's a good point. We can't wait around until inspiration strikes. :)

  51. Hey, I have Japanese Hibachi chicken for lunch (if you don't mind leftovers from my Sunday School class's belated Christmas dinner last night). :)

  52. Thank you for the encouraging post. Every year I say this is going to be my year. Maybe one year I'll follow through on that - shooting for this year!

    I'd love to be entered into the drawing for the critique. Thank you.

  53. Myra, that's the spirit! I feel a chorus of LET IT GO!!!! coming on!!!


  54. Almost 300 MILLION people have watched that video over the last year.

    About 1,000,000 of those have been kids in my house, LOL!

    Oops, I was in normal person mode!!!!


  55. Hello, Missy! What a great, encouraging post to kick me back up! No limits means finishing my second novel. I WILL finish writing it, as I am really bad at editing as I go, which means my output is slow. On the other hand, my first drafts are very solid.

    I would LOVE to be in a drawing for the critique. This current story hasn't been seen by ANYONE, and all my others have only been read by my husband and one or two close friends.

    Have a wonderful day!


    I LOVE what you said about the article on the Psychology Today website about how one small victory can flood your brain with a feel-good brain chemical (dopamine) that has been linked to motivation."

    WOW, I never thought about that, but that is SO true!! One of the things I have realized for a long time is that if I get depressed, the first three things I need to do are 1.) Pray, 2.) Put lipstick on and fix my hair, and 3.) Get busy doing something productive. That #3 fits right in with what you said about "one small victory," and it really works!!


  57. Janda Anne, this WILL be your year! See, I've got you practicing positive self talk. :)

  58. AUDRA SAID: "“No Limits gives me permission to stop holding back, to trust my gut instinct. If I'm writing the book of my heart, it's all emotion and feeling, and the end product is completely sigh-worthy.”

    WOW, Auds, it's like we are on the same wave-length here, girlfriend -- I concur COMPLETELY and, in fact, that's what my post on Wed. will be somewhat about -- not holding back on writing the books of my heart ... AND my soul!!

    Great minds, my friend ... ;)


  59. LOLOL Ruthy!! I bet you do hear that ALL THE TIME. I can't imagine. But thankfully, I love the song!

    And you'll laugh at me, but yesterday I got the very end of the song stuck in my head. I kept walking around humming that little, "The cold never bothered me anyway."

    Oh my. I could NOT get it out of my head!

  60. Stephanie, thanks for sharing your No Limits with us! You know, it's tough to move along quickly while working and re-working each paragraph, line, word. But I do know people who write that way and it really works for them. Those final clean drafts would be nice! :)

  61. Julie, that's true! You know, something in the article mentioned just making your bed. (I may be mixing up my articles.)

    But lipstick and a fixing our hair can go a long way to making us feel better! Or gosh, how about taking a shower and putting on something besides sweatpants? LOL (Talking to self, here) :)

  62. Julie, I look forward to your upcoming post!

  63. What an encouraging post, Missy. For me No Limits (which, honestly, makes me a little nervous) equals freedom. That's a huge leap for me, but I'm game to shake all the negative stuff off and go for it. I come from a world of naysayers and when you've grown up with that it's really, really hard to shut out those voices. I've succeeded some of the time, bit it always amazes at how easily I fall back on occasion. So No Limits 2015 here I come. Woot! And this blog helped me finally pick my one word. Been wrestling with that for two weeks. Have finally settled on Encouragement.

  64. Kav, good for you!! I hope we can be encouragement to you. You're one of the most positive people I know, so I hope you can find that positiveness in the voice in your own head. If not, just replace it with Ruthy's voice shouting orders to you in her NY accent!! :) Or if she gives you a headache, we can round off the edges a bit with someone else's voice. LOL

    (Dodging Ruthy's arrows now) :)

  65. The brainstorming session I had this weekend was energizing.

    I wanted a really sweeping story but as I wrote along my hero started acting all macho and over-protecting and my heroine got all feisty and furious and attracted to the monosyllabic heroine, by turns.

    And it was a fun book and would be fine but I wanted a bigger over arching theme for the three books.

    I think I found it and it is big, in fact so big I'm a little scared to tackle it.

    And that makes me determined to do it. limits, right?

    It'll still be romantic comedy with cowboys, fear not.


    Oh my stars, as if.

    My sweet, melodious, slightly-drill-sergeant voice should be construed simply as what is necessary to get the job done.

    Hey, that's how Yankees roll! Kav, I love that word and Missy's spin on it because you are one of the most positive people I know, and I haven't ruined you yet!!!!

    GO US!!!

  67. MISSY, good advice about fixing our hair and lipstick. I work out of my home on my Day Job too, and I've found if I make an effort I feel more professional. It's a fact I hope to take to full-time fiction writing, When Ever.

  68. Great post Missy!

    My lack of establishing good work habits limits me.

    I have 100 things going. I can write consistently for about month before something else swoops down and takes over. I'll work like a mad woman on the new thing until something else take over. Over and over again. Then I start writing again, for about a month. This pattern hinders me constantly.

    Anyone else like this?

    Lately it's been real tough.
    My parents are both having health problems and need a LOT of extra help.
    Our anniversary was Sunday and we're leaving tomorrow to take a quick trip to Denver. Returning late Wednesday. (Wanna Get Away cheap fares.)
    My daughter is getting married tonight.
    Found out today my daughter-in-law is being induced tomorrow morning. (And yes, we'll be on plane instead of being at the hospital...)

    It's not normally THIS busy but it's hard to concentrate on plots and characters. I need to learn to write through the hectic times if only a couple hundred words/day. No excuses.

    You motivate me.

  69. Missy, great blog for a New Year!!!

    No Limits!

    New beginnings...books, direction, career-goals, opportunities. I'm excited about 2015!

    Can't wait to see who will be the first Villager to sell this year! Woot! I'm feeling the going-to-contract vibe!

    Be sure to share the good news--any good news--with our Seekerville family!

    Missy, I really, really like your comment about having STRETCH goals. I'm going to jot down a few that will make me stretch, as well. Great tip that goes with our NO LIMITS theme for the year. Thanks!

  70. Mary, I can't wait to see what your big overarching theme is! I'm glad you're not feeling limited. We'll love watching you pull this off!

  71. Kathy, I have to give credit to Julie for that one! (see her comment). :)

  72. Connie, how exciting!! Weddings and getaways and babies!!

    Yes, it would make a huge difference to remain consistence. Personally, I write much better when I know I have a whole day at home. But how often do we get that?! I'd suggest figuring out ways to write in little snatches of time. Maybe even if you have to do it with a pen and notebook. I sometimes plot while driving (beware, you on the roads!) and will tell Siri to leave me a note to remind me of plot points. Although, Siri taking dictation can be pretty hilarious when you read it back later. :)

  73. Debby, you're right that a new year can give us a whole new attitude. :)

  74. Okay, I'm picking myself up off the floor now from where I fell there laughing over Ruthy's "sweet, melodious voice."


  75. No Limits! Seriously- we need to Power Up about this! I've got some big writing commitments for the next two months. I've set up a writing office at my dad's house as an escape. It's going to be fun!

    *and please put me in the drawing! Thanks for the challenge Missy!

  76. Jana, how fun to set up an office!! Definitely a good start to jumping in on those goals. :)

  77. Missy, I could list numerous ways I've sabotaged my writing since I started pursuing publication, but I won't. I can't change the past two years, but I CAN change the way I move forward. From this point onward, I will great each day with the knowledge that I have NO LIMITS! This is my year!

    Thank you for the wonderful post.

  78. Wow, Missy! This is the kind of post you must read a few times and print. Excellent!
    Sometimes I think I have ADD, so my goal this year is to remain focused on God's path for my life. I will ignore distractions!

  79. Rhonda and Jill, y'all just picture me with my pom poms cheering you on! :)

  80. Oh Missy! I found my one word in the Psychology Today link --- self-compassion. What a terrific eye-opener both that link and your post are. Thank you.

    And calling all newbies -- please enter for Missy's critique. I won one a bit more than a year ago, and it was wonderfully constructive and encouraging. DO IT! :-)

    Nancy C

  81. Nancy, you're so sweet! I'm glad it was helpful.

    And I'm glad you found your One Word!! I love it, too.

  82. Sandra Leesmith, sorry I'm so late replying about your "peach question" LOL!
    Usually our Georgia peaches are ready to pick in July.
    On a "typical" year (without super wacky weather, haha) we can have strawberries in May, blueberries in June, and peaches in July! Wish I had all those growing in my yard*sigh*.
    Hugs, Patti Jo

    1. Patti Jo, those are my 3 favorite fruits, thus my 3 favorite months. :)

  83. Missy - fantastic post! I'm trying to stay focused this year - both personally and professionally. I've got some BIG goals in mind and this is the year of no limits.

    1. Terri, that's great! You can stretch with me. :)

  84. Great motivational post, Missy. Just the thing to clear out the cob webs of yesteryear and look forward to 2015 with a new outlook.

  85. Missy, thanks for this post. No limits. A great way to positively navigate through 2015.

    One thing I love about my local writing chapter is once a year, published writers take time to help us unpubbed writers with a critique. I am so thankful for the two published writers in my chapter who have read my work.

    I'm dreaming big this year. But I'm also trying to concentrate on improvement so I can become a better writer.

    Thanks, Missy, for this great post (and please, don't enter me in the critique drawing. As much as I love getting critiques, I want someone who has never shown their work to anyone else to win this fantastic opportunity.

  86. Hi, Missy! Thank you for challenging us to take a hard look at what limits us! The way you tackle these fears helps make them not nearly so scary! :)

    I think my main problem is lack of...well I don't know exactly. I dread writing sometimes. --Okay I feel like a criminal for having said that, now, but I do. I love it, but I dread it some days. Part of it is how emotionally taxing writing has turned out to be. Besides wanting to nail the right words and emotions, I expect a lot of words each writing session and I expect the draft copy to be fairly clean and logical, but it doesn't always work out that way. I want to push myself to do more.

    When I think of the obstacles others have to overcome in order to write, I have no excuse for not writing more, faster, better. But some days I wish I could forget I was a writer and just read all day. :)

    Okay, now that I've spilled that and everyone thinks I'm kooky, I want to say thanks for the encouraging post, Missy! I'll figure this one out, it may just take some in-depth soul-searching. Hmm. Maybe it's my inner editor or something.

  87. Tanya, the authors at GRW are fantastic!! That's where I really learned to write. The first time I did the March workshop (now the Gin Ellis workshop), I thought my heart would beat right out of my chest when I sat down with Ann Howard White to talk about her critique. I nearly passed out! Oh, and the other unpubbed writer with us was Anna Adams, who sold not long after that! :)

  88. Natalie, you're not alone! And not kooky at all. I think the fact you feel drained after writing is a GOOD thing. That means you're leaving everything on the page. No one would read your writing and not feel. So YOU'RE DOING GOOD WORK!!

    But hey, I totally get wanting to just go read! LOL

  89. It would appear that my lifestyle is clearly NO LIMITS. Sometimes I have to stop to catch my breath. Pretty often, actually, as I'm not getting any younger. Life is too short to do everything I still want to do and I am past 65. I'm not exactly a newbie, having self-published, but I sure would like to have your gentle critique on the story I wrote for Speedbo last March. And when I take time to read, I always enjoy a Missy Tippens tome.

  90. Dee, it sounds like you're an Energizer bunny like Ruthy! :)

    Thanks for stopping by!

  91. This post hits home. I let so many things limit me. Even though this story never leaves me and I know I'm supposed to write it, I don't. It gets bigger all the time, but I let it steep on the back burner of my mind, putting everything else ahead of it.

    I think I need to find a balance. I am supposed to write, but I am also supposed to be a wife and mother. I know so many of you manage these duties, and more, beautifully and successfully.

    I lack the commitment to devote my free time (such as it is) to writing. I occupy myself with other things, and later realize I missed a perfect opportunity to spend some time with my characters.

    My pages have been seen by a few (I believe Tina is one), but it's been a few years, and I'd love to get them out there again.

  92. Andrea, it's so tough when you have young kids. When I finally sold, 12 years after starting writing, I was thankful that it happened when it did--when my kids were older. I know people publish with young children all the time, but I don't think I would have done it well. God's timing is perfect!