Skip to main content

Happy Birthday




You're not getting any younger!

As the sun poked through my bedroom this morning, I was reminded that today was the beginning of another year for me. Now, that has been true every other morning, as well, but since today is my birthday, I get my own personal ball-dropping dose of reality. I've been hanging around this planet for a whole 38 years, and I'm still not finished with my first novel! Or my second! And what about all of those magazine articles I was supposed to write?

I'm not going to beat myself up about it: It's my birthday, after all, and I have a strict no-self-flagellation policy on such occasions. I am, however, going to use the opportunity to reflect and celebrate. Would you like to come along?

"May the fourth be with you, too!"


Gifts: We know that each day is a gift. If we take a moment to open up our eyes at how quickly a life can end or take a disastrous turn, we'll see that we should treasure the present. So, how are we treating this gift? Are we pushing it off in a corner, wishing we could return it? If so, you are letting it collect dust. And if it's change you are looking for, it's not going to happen with such stagnation. The gift may not seem perfect, but it's yours to change. You are a creative person, use that creativity to fashion your gift into what suites you best.

Age: Like everybody else, in my mind I'm still 20-something. Thankfully, I'm not 20-something in my brain.
"In youth we learn; in age we understand." --Marie Von Ebner-Eshenbach
I'm pretty happy to be at my current maturity level. I'm at a place where I recognize that many of my insecurities are just a waste of time, so it's easier to let the nonsense go, once I realize I'm holding on to it.
A creative life is filled with days of inspiration, weeks of quiet reflection, hours of frustration. No good can be found from plugging those hours into some kind of productivity spreadsheet to determine if your creative life is up to par. What matters is if you are living your creative life in a way that raises your spirit and expresses your world. You may have a burst of bliss in your twenties, only to have your words and ideas simmer on the back burner for years while you shift your creative focus to other parts of your life-- job, family, health. If it finds you again at 60, don't waste time beating yourself up over wasted time. Just use the moments you find yourself inspired to create. Know that there is a reason your life took you away from the paved pathways of the Official Creative Life. The rocky, un-smooth paths we travel on generate a lot more material.

Count Blessings, Not Years: It's easier to count the "things" you have than the things you do not. And once you start adding them all up, you can see how full of abundance your life really is. As a writer, you may limit your creative blessings to published works, or good reviews-- but look at all of the other blessings in your creative life:
  • You are able to create. Even if some days it feels like a struggle, you still have the ability.
  • You are healthy enough to create. Even if life has handed you challenges, you work around them and do it any way.
  • You have the drive to create. Even if you haven't finished (or started) a project, the drive is steering you toward your hopes and dreams. Without hopes and dreams you would be empty. You are not empty, you are, at this moment, full of life and the potential to write your own story.


In case I miss yours, Happy Birthday!

(Am I the only one that wants to respond to birthday wishes with, "You too"?
"Happy Birthday."
"Oh, thanks. You too.")

Comments

  1. Tina, I hope you have had a good day and will continue to have a good night on your birthday. Happy Birthday! Enjoy being 38. I have 30 years on you.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Favorites:

Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Experience

The popularity of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books is beyond extraordinary. What started out as a multi- rejected book idea has turned into a multi-million dollar book empire. More than 110 million Chicken Soup for the Soul books have been sold. Many of the books have been translated to 40 different languages. I'm proud that my personal essays have been included in some of these books, and I hope to continue being a Chicken Soup contributor.
My Story
I thought I would share a bit about being published in these collections. I'm very happy with my Chicken Soup experiences, and part of that may be that I went into it with little expectations at first. I started with them because I had a few stories that seemed to fit what they were looking for, and I thought I had nothing to lose. Unlike some of the other markets and contests I was looking at, submitting to Chicken Soup could be done at no cost to me, and I didn't even need to worry about a postage stamp, because they had a…

All the Right Ingredients to Writing Advice

Last time, I talked about people in our lives that are pretty sure they know how to be successful writers, because they spent much of their time reading. Sometimes their advice can be a blessing, sometimes just the opposite. It is the same with the plethora of advice available from other writers. Have you checked out almost every book about the writing process from your local library at one time or another? Are your shelves lined with your own copies of "the-perfect-writing-advice-that-will-get-me-published-once-and-for-all"? Are you a member of multiple online writing communities? Do you hold your breath just a little bit when waiting from the critique from that "certain someone" in your writing group?

Yeah. Me too. And I don't think that gaining knowledge is a bad thing. We just have to be careful.


Don't Let Too Many Cooks Create a Recipe for Disaster
I love great food, I savor the tastes and textures of all kinds of cuisine; but unless I have specific, de…

Why Ghostwriting? Guest Post by Kelly James-Enger

Is it Time to Disappear?  Why I Became a Ghost--and Why you Should, Too
I never intended to become a ghostwriter. After all, why would I spend months of my life toiling away on someone else’s book? No thanks. I only wanted to write my own books, and that’s what I did.
I soon found, however, that the life of a book author wasn’t quite what I’d envisioned. I was working long hours, yet making less money than I had before, when I wrote only articles. The reason was simple—the time I spent promoting my books left me less time to write articles and other books, which cut into my income.
            Fortunately for me, I was approached by a nutrition expert about coauthoring her book. I found I enjoyed collaborating with her, but the real payoff came when we finished the manuscript. As the author, she now had to start promoting it—but I was all done!
That was enough for me. I decided to pursue coauthoring and ghostwriting, and “my” next book was ghostwritten for a client. (Typically a “coau…