Are You a Dreamer or an Author?

Only a select few can be writers and authors. That’s true, but not for the reasons you might think. Writing and publishing a book doesn’t take much talent, as some reviewers of my books would agree. What it takes is commitment and effort. Writing a book takes good old fashioned work ethic, and the courage to face your insecurities. Aside from that, it’s all just the wiggling of the fingers.

Do you have a message to share? Or just a dream you can’t shake? Here’s how to go from dreamer to author.

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2017 Writing Goal: Commitment

writers workshop

I’m really good at setting a goal and achieving it. Especially a writing goal. Last December I decided I wanted 2016 to be all about writing, actual writing, the act of writing. I wanted a more consistent practice because even when I don’t know what I’m writing exactly, I know good things come from my writing. Even when those good things seem to have nothing to do with writing.

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Take the Shot

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I ran a 5K last month. It was one of those gorgeous October Sundays that remind me why I love Arkansas.

In the romantic amber glow of the early morning, I kept my pace, watching the cows watch me. During the first mile I saw several perfect photo opps– trees, baled hay, broken down fences. In that light, everything is prettier. Slowly pushing forward, I understood why my dad likes to sneak off with his camera before dawn. He catches scenes like this just after sunrise, when the light is like magic, casting everything in hope.

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Case For the Christmas Letter

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My writing career began with the humble Christmas letter. Or, not so humble, as is the tradition. For years I chronicled the noteworthy events of our family at the holidays. I’m not handy with decorative netting, I can’t coordinate bulbs and baubles, and choosing gifts gives me hives. But writing the annual Christmas letter helped me feel the spirit of the season.

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Spiders and Blank Pages

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When I was four years old, we had chickens and I collected the eggs. One morning when I got to the coop, wet up to the knee from dew on the tall grass, I met the Most Terrifying Beast. There was no way the eggs would make it into my pretty Easter basket with that sparkly web and its horrifying inhabitant hanging around.

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Finding Your Voice, Really?

Second Story

I recently spent some time talking with a woman who wants to find her voice. She has stories. She has something to say. She’s not quite sure what those stories are or what she really wants to say.

I know exactly what she means, and I know how creative writing can help her. I know that she will feel fed and encouraged and challenged by a group writing experience. I know she will emerge more confident, more whole, changed for good.

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What I Know For Sure About Writing

second story writer's workshop

I didn’t start to practice the craft of writing until I was thirty years old. But I’ve always been a writer.

Before I could call myself a writer, I wrote. Mostly lists, long letters, and plans. Some stories. I made up a cast of pretend friends, and I talked to myself. Still do. Thank you, bold new world in which I can believe that others believe I’m on some unseen device and not actually engaging with the imaginary characters in my head.

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