So you want to write a book?

I often meet people who tell me that they’ve always wanted to write a book, or they’ve written one that they’ve always wanted to publish.

I used to be one of them.

I was one of the people that said “If only I had some spare time,” or “Maybe when the kids are grown,” or “If only I knew where to begin.”

I used to languish about, wishing the right time would come or something extraordinary would happen to push me along. Until one day…something did.

While lying in bed watching television with my kids, my daughter said to me, “Mommy. You should write a book about kids like us and call it The Cul de Sac Kids,” to which I replied, “People would be bored reading about spoiled kids like you. If I ever wrote a book, it would be about kids whose lives are really hard.” And that little thought stayed in my head.

Then one day, after watching re-runs of The Golden Girls and Everybody Loves Raymond for the 5,000th time, it occurred to me that I had just spent hours watching television, that I could’ve spent writing that book.

And the next day, after my fourth time scrolling through Facebook, I realized that I could’ve better spent that time researching how to write a book.

Each day that followed contained a moment when I wondered “Why did I waste my time doing that when I could’ve been writing a book?” And with no good answers, at the end of a week, I finally sat down to write. And l kept writing.

And writing was hard.

It was hard to miss out on things that everyone else was talking about.

I’ve never seen the episode of This is Us where the dad died, never watched Housewives of anywhere and I only know Cookie and Lucius from commercials. I don’t even know what game they played on Game of Thrones.

When I decided it was time to be a writer, I had to make sacrifices. And I had to sit down and be still.

I had to put down the remote and pick up the laptop, cease to procrastinate and start to create. I had stories to tell and I had to be intentional about it. And if you want to write a book, you must too.

Start weening yourself from your favorite shows and minimize your scrolling time. Recognize distractions for just what they are…things designed to keep you from reaching your goals.  Be disciplined, be determined and be still.

If that sounds hard, it’s because IT IS HARD!  But if I can do it, you can too.

Stop telling yourself “It was a long day. I deserve to just sit here on the couch all night.” Take time for self-care, but make those lazy days the exception and not the rule.  Your book is not going to write itself.

Why spend time watching shows made from other people’s writing, when they could be watching shows made from yours?

Yes, there will be things that go undone some days…sometimes for many days in a row. But if everyone in your family is full, healthy and content, then those things can wait for a while.

Yes, life is busy for all of us. Today is February 25th. My third book, Forgiveness is Free, was released on January 30th, and I just took down my Christmas tree last weekend because the dog was beginning to think it was real, and peed on it.  But my book is out!!!

You have a story to bring to life. Give birth to it. Stop streaming and start dreaming.

I can’t wait to read it!

2020- The Year of Forgiveness

Happy New Year!!!

2020 is here!  A time of new hope, new habits, new goals and, best of all, a time for new healing.

And I don’t know about you, but I’m ready! It’s time to do more than pump it up at the gym. It’s time to start a real movement. Something groundbreaking and earth shaking.  It’s time to release something long overdue.  It’s time for a forgiveness revolution!

Let unforgiveness out of your heart. Give yourself freedom from the weight of that hate.

So many things are broken in this world, isn’t it time we start fixing them? Make the Forgiveness Revolution your New Year’s Resolution and forgive someone today, before another decade slips away.

April’s new book Forgiveness Is Free, Why Are You Saving It, is available January 30th.

 

This Holiday, Give Forgiveness

The season of giving has begun!

It’s the time of year that brings out the best in us and prompts us to become the bearers of great hugs, great food and great presents.

And as you continue your giving, I challenge you to add a unique gift to your list….one that will bless both you and the receiver, far past the holiday season.  I challenge you to add the gift of “forgiveness.”

It wasn’t for sale on Black Friday because forgiveness is free. It can never be discounted or oversold.  It is one of life’s few treasures that are both free and priceless, at the same time.

And it’s one of the best kept gift secrets ever. You won’t find it on your loved ones’ shopping list because it’s a quiet longing, seldom expressed out loud. But the gift of forgiveness speaks volumes to the heart of the receiver.

And no shopping or shipping is required!

Forgiveness sits on the shelves of our hearts, always in stock, ready and waiting to be given to those we’ve withheld it from. It needs no gift wrap, no card and no special occasion. It just needs its holder to choose freedom from bitterness, open their heart and release it. And when they do, they’ll find that they benefited, as much as their beneficiary, because their heart will be lighter and their life will be brighter.

So, why not add forgiveness to your holiday list?

Spread some around to your family, your co-workers and the neighbor who put up their Christmas lights in August.

Give it to someone, drop the mic and walk away like you just started world peace. Because, in a great way, you just did.

April’s new book Forgiveness is Free. Why Are You Saving It? will be released in January 2020. Follow her blog for upcoming giveaways!

Are you Using your Gifts?

I went to a jazz festival this week and watched in awe, the faces of the musicians as they played. They absolutely loved what they were doing. In fact, one of the group’s leaders said “It’s really unfair for us to call this work. We have so much fun doing it and love it so much, that it’s not right that we get paid to do it.”

Wouldn’t you love to feel that way?  The good news is, you can!

You are tremendously gifted.  Did you know that?

Were you aware that there is something that only you know how to do? And there’s something that you do better than anyone else.

Yes. I’m talking to you.

Your mind is a womb of unborn ideas that could change one life or many. You have solutions that no one has thought of or dared to invent.  There are things that this world needs that only you can provide.

So what are you waiting for?

Do you think your gift is useless, because it’s not tied to a monetary value?

Do you have thoughts like: “I know I’m a good singer, but there are lots of wonderful singers in the world,” or, “I know that I’m a great hairdresser, but beauty salons are a dime a dozen,” or, “I know my baked goods are delicious, but who’d want to pay money for them?”

To those doubts I say:  How will you know if you never try it?

How will the world know how great your voice is if you never sing? How will we know how well you can do hair, if we never see your work? How will we find out your molasses cookies are the best thing ever baked if we never get to taste one?

You don’t have to start out by owning a business. You can start out by giving away freebies. People love free stuff!  It gets your name out there and establishes you as a service to others.  And every great venture requires some investment.

Your great singing voice would be a hit at nursing homes, your hairdressing skills could be showcased during a back to school hair competition, and cookies melt hearts everywhere.

And often life’s greatest pleasures come not in profiting from your gift, but in using your gift to profit others.

You possess abilities that are uniquely yours and talents no one else has.  You may not even know your gift is a gift. But guess what?

Your attention to detail is needed on a Hollywood set. Your color coordination skills are needed on a runway in Paris and your chicken is better than a national favorite that’s closed on Sundays. (Who I will continue to visit until your chicken is available).

If you find yourself thinking “I could’ve designed a prettier dress than that,” or “I could’ve created a better invention than that,” or “I could’ve finished that obstacle course before he did,” then go out and take your place on that podium!

You don’t have to make it your full-time vocation, but get in what you can fit in.  Use your gift for good and you will feel great about it. And, if it makes you money, all the better.

Starving artists may have empty pockets, but they are full of passion. Find yours, breathe life into it and watch your spirit soar.