Your work is a gift

Reminder: Comment on the August giveaway post to win THE HYPNOTIST by M.J. Rose and/or ON MAGGIE’S WATCH by Ann Wertz Garvin.

In college I was a design minor, and as such, I was always trying to be as cool and artistic and fashionable as the design majors around me. I failed, miserably, but like the baby sister, I felt special enough just tagging along and being included.

One of my more memorable tag-along experiences was a talk by designer James Victore. He had a raspy voice and a no-nonsense philosophy. He was honest and inspiring and funny. At the end he gave out posters that he had designed, and I took my favorite one home. It currently hangs on my bedroom wall.

Six years later, he’s on YouTube. Every Tuesday he answers questions about the creative life, using that same raspy voice and no-nonsense mentality. There are 33 (brief) videos so far, and I caught up on all of them yesterday. Here are a few highlights:

‎”Success doesn’t always look like what it looks like on the menu.”

“Part one of Inspiration is Work.”

‎”Stop asking permission.”

“Your work is a gift. And if you start thinking like this, start believing this, it actually changes your attitude about your work. And it radically changes what you create.”

“Complaining is not conversation.”

“You’re not lost; you’re searching.”

“Jump, and make it beautiful.”


Happy 30th anniversary to my parents, whom I love dearly and owe everything.

parents-anniversary-then parents-anniversary-now

Ebb and flow

Last night my mom told me that my blog was getting boring. She said this lovingly, of course. And she offered up some good ideas for new features, and interesting topics that I could post about.

(Hey, do accountants’ parents tell them how to do their jobs? Just wondering. No reason!)

(Okay, in fairness, I am not a professional blogger.)

(So… do accountants’ parents tell them how to do their hobbies?)



I thanked my mom and said I’d think about her suggestions — which I will — but I also explained that I’m comfortable with where my blog’s at right now. Yes, maybe it’s “quiet.” Maybe it’s not attracting dozens of comments or likes or retweets. But I purposely don’t define its success that way. I don’t define my success that way.

(I consider that a perk of not being a professional blogger.)

Like the tide, most blogs seem to experience a natural ebb and flow. Rather than chase the waves, I’m going to focus on my edits, on getting my manuscript into tip-top shape so I can wow agents when I’m ready to query. I’m going to figure out how to avoid the sharp wrist and back pains I’ve been getting. I’m going to immerse myself in riveting stories and heartbreaking prose. I’m going to spend time with my friends and family and dog.

Meanwhile, the blog is going to continue doing its thing, even if that thing is “boring” for awhile. I think that’s okay.

Note: One thing my mom suggested, which I’ve been considering for some time now anyway, is bring back weekly or biweekly fiction. I came up with a fun new idea, but I’m concerned about whether or not I can balance the demands of a serial with my editing workload, and also uncertain whether or not anyone is actually interested in reading webisodes here. If you have thoughts — and I promise I won’t be offended if they’re not in favor of this idea — please feel free to share.