Joy

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Joy happens whenever we are even remotely happy. The difference between happiness and joy is that happiness is the emotional elevation of delight over time, while joy is happiness you feel in the moment.

A little more on the word Joy:

WIKI

  • A feeling of extreme happiness or cheerfulness, especially related to the acquisition or expectation of something good.
  • Anything that causes such a feeling.
  • Luck or success; a positive outcome.
  • The sign or exhibition of joy; gaiety; merriment; festivity.

Dictionary. com

  • The emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation
  • A source or cause of keen pleasure or delight; something or someone greatly valued or appreciated:
  • The expression or display of glad feeling; festive gaiety.
  • A state of happiness or felicity.

So, Now that we have the meaning of joy out of the way, let’s take  a look at some more aspects of the word and how you can find more of it!

Kinds of Joy:

So what kinds of joy is there? Well, I listed some I could think of here, enjoy!

Kinds of Joy

Image by xxolgaxx from Pixabay

Small~  Those joyful moments that are happening in the current moment.

Reminiscent ~ The delightful moments we remember with fondness and/or wish to pass down to our children and grandchildren. Examples: Rainbows, Fireworks, Ice cream with crunch/sprinkles.

Inner ~ Moments that come from within, those times when you make yourself happy, finding inspiration inside yourself.

Connective ~ The happy moments gained when in the presents or by interacting with others.

Outer ~ Moments of delight while out in the word, hiking in nature, deep in the city, experiencing what/where you love.

Large ~ Larger events/experiences that bring you pure delight.

Benefits of Joy:

There are always benefits to the emotions we feel and joy is no exception. So what are the benefits of joy? Let’s take a look:

Experience Joy
Image by Igor Link from Pixabay

Well, experiencing joy just plain feels good, which leads to other reactions such as laughing more often, experiencing even more joy, and really joy is just how we are most often. At least, I hope you are.

Having joy in your life, like so many other emotions creates a healthier you, you know all those endorphins and whatnot that are released? (I don’t get technical, so bare with me) Your body becomes healthier because you are in a good mood.

And speaking of being in a good mood, experiencing delight and happiness,  like smiling can attract you to more people which could benefit you if you were trying for a specific position or job. You never know what a little joy could show your potential employer or yourself for that matter.

There is nothing more important than the connections we make with others and your joy could inspire that, not to mention motivate others as well as yourself,  and form better connections with those around you. With just a little joy, others around you will see you as someone they can communicate with, someone they can trust, someone they look at and want to know what you’re taking to be so uplifting.

 

Finding Joy:

Now that we’ve talked about the benefits of joy, let’s move onto how you can find joy. In my opinion, you can find joy in any place and in any situation. (Well, maybe not every situation or place, but pretty close.)

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Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Health

Even your health can bring you joy, let me tell you how:

  • Self- Care ~ As with any area of your life, self care is important. Keeping yourself healthy and moving is going to bring you more joy than you could possibly realize. When you’re not feeling tired, breathless, or worn, you’ll realize that taking care of yourself will bring you more joy than that bowl of ice cream. Trust me, I know! Chocolate is my weakness.
  • State of Mind ~ Keeping your mind in the right state is also important and can bring you joy. When you’re not concerned about every little thing, your mind is free to let all the joy of the world enter and fill you up.
  • Focus on You ~ Take some time for yourself. Do something for yourself, whether it’s taking a walk, a nap, a long soak. Free your mind and relax your body, release the tensions of the day. Have some fun. You choose!

Emotional

Well, joy is an emotion, so use it!

  • No Waiting, No Worrying ~ Don’t wait for joy to fall in your lap, it’s not going to.  Go out and get it! Look for it wherever you are. Seek it in the things you see, the things you read, the events you participate in, even the smells. It’s up to you to see joy in things that may not seem like there’s much around. Trust me there is!
  • What Makes You Happy ~ People are always telling you to ‘Do what makes you happy’, well, I’m going to tell you the same. What are you waiting for? It’s never going to be the right time, get going and be happy! Draw, learn a new skill, rock climb, whatever it is, do it!
  • Appreciate the Small Things ~ Look around you, no, really look! See all those small things, yep, you know which ones I’m talking about. ALL OF THEM, even that half used eraser still has some use out of it. Appreciating even the tiniest things can cause joy. You could not have that eraser when you’re searching everywhere for one! Yes, you appreciate that small broken eraser because it was there when you really needed it and it’s also a memory because your son decided to pick it up and talk to you through it!

Connections

We connect with everyone around us, whether we are walking past them on the street, they are part of our group (family, friend, co-worker, etc.), or we see them on a screen, watching our favorite characters. We all connect with someone in some way…

  • Laugh ~ Everyone has that one person who makes us laugh, whether we are hanging with a friend, watching a particular movie, show, video, listening to a podcast… You get my point. When we need happiness, we have places we look first to cheer us up. Where do you go first?
  • Love ~ Love comes in many forms. If you love music, play it, sing it at the top of your lungs and jam out. Love movies, watch your favorites. If you love being around people, see if you can get together. Do what you love and see those you love to experience more joy.
  • Relationships ~ As I mentioned above, like right above, the relationships you have with people can bring you happiness. Just think about it. I bet you can think about that one person and they put a smile on your face. Who is that person and can you go see them to experience that thing called happiness that makes joy last longer?
  • Positivity ~ Find those things that create positivity within your life and keep them around. Now, I’m not you, so I can’t tell you what those things are, but you do, so go get them and make certain you see them every morning and whenever you need some joy in your life. Surround yourself with positive people and things (pictures/memories/etc) that create positivity in your life.

 

Create Joy:

You can find joy in many places and in many ways, but what about creating joy, and not just for you, for others too!

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Image by Prashant Sharma from Pixabay
  • Plan ~ When you need joy, well, you never know when you’re going to need it so, gather those things that give you cheer and keep them close for when you need them. Keep that positivity with you at all times. Use a small journal to keep a list of things that bring you joy, add images, photos, phrases, anything that brings you joy and look at it when you’re feeling down.
  • Find Purpose ~ What are you passionate about? Where do you find inspiration? Go after them! Find your purpose! Enough said.
  • Accomplishments ~ Create a running list of your accomplishments, no matter how small, put them on there and see how long your list gets. Enjoy the feeling, knowing your rocking it!
  • Create a Story ~ Not just any story… You only get one life, one story, make it one you WANT to tell people about. Create, dream, achieve!
  • Challenge Yourself ~ Do those things you’ve always been wanting to try, challenge yourself to do something new; find, create, achieve joy in your life.
  • Create Something ~ That thing you’ve been putting off creating, do it. Make the time to get it done. Sometimes you have to literally create your joy!
  • Take a Leap of Faith ~ Don’t try to keep making things work that aren’t; let them go, find a new angle and make room for the new.
  • Create Inspiration ~ However you feel to take this is up to you; find your inner child and let it free, take a walk in nature, pray, create, explore, inspire.
  • Take the Bad with the Good ~ Yep, there are going to be times when you just need to cry, so cry. It’s okay, but don’t forget what you’ve learned here. Grab and hold those things that bring you joy and revisit them often.

 

Final Thoughts

We, as humans find and create joy in so many ways from revisiting our childhood and eating ice cream cones with crunch/sprinkles to creating things that inspire others; from watching fireworks and finding rainbows to reminiscing and collecting what makes us happy. Whatever it is that brings you joy, keep it close. You never know when you’re going to need a pick me up.

 

 

Motivation

With NaNoWriMo just around the corner, many are looking for motivation to get started writing, continue writing, or to even come up with an idea for their project. Today I’d like to go through some ways you can gain motivation for your writing.

But first… you know me, let’s take a look at the word Motivation.

WIKI

  • The reason for people’s actions, desires, and needs
  • One’s direction to behavior
  • What causes a person to want to repeat a behavior

Dictionary

  • Providing with a reason to act in a certain way
  • The reason one has for acting or behaving in a particular way
  • The general desire or willingness of someone to do something.

Motivation may come as inspiration from others, events, or from within you as an individual. In fact, I believe the words inspiration and motivation are connected since inspiration can create motivation.

If you are looking for motivation, you may need to find what inspires you to get that motivation.

So, let’s take a look at what we can find…

Other People

Family and Friends

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  • Your family and friends can be very supportive if they are inclined to be so. They can be encouraging, give you ideas, and provide the support you need to get through tough times.
  • Some may even be willing to provide assistance with thoughts on your work, providing insight and suggestions for your work as beta readers and reviewers.
  • If you have that, you are one step ahead of the crowd and I say congratulations.

Celebrities

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  • Though they have their issues, they provide mentorship and encouragement by what they do to help others. (Let’s not focus on the other crap they do, shall we?)
  • Helping to entertain the sick, donate to those in need and more create the image we search for in people of such wealth and station.

Actors/Actresses

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      Photo Courtesy of Stuart Hampton via Pixabay
  • As with other celebrities, actors/actresses also provide mentorship, encouragement, and proof that dreams of being on the big screen can be accomplished. Their success at creating characters we hate and love encourage us to emulate similar characteristics within our own characters and writing.
  • Whether it be pirates, aliens, those with powers or ordinary people, there are aspects we as authors are able to draw from to create well rounded characters of our own. Watch your favorite movies and really pay attention to the characters, settings, emotions they evoke as you watch and you’ll see that you can learn quite a bit from them.

Business People

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  • There are so many successful people that can provide a word of advice, encouragement, or inspiration that have successfully gained the status of entrepreneur, business owner, or author.
  • Some are even willing to speak about their success and motivate others to do the same. Listen to those who came before, learn from their success and their mistakes. Create connections that will help you on your journey as a writer. You never know when you’re going to need further research on a doctor, bus driver, theater attendant, or baker.

Electronic Visuals

Movies

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  • What could be better inspiration and motivation than those from the creative minds of others. The characters, settings, emotions that are evoked within the epic battles, journeys, and actions in films are all things that create inspiration within people. Providing motivation to continue with your projects once you’re mind is full of new ideas and materials.
  • Movies provide you with every aspect of a story in visual form. Watch your favorites to gain what is needed to complete your current work in progress or finally get started.

TV Shows

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  • Like Movies, these provide more on series inspirations, character development, settings, conflicts and more. Providing more insight to inner turmoil, setting changes, and more. There is so much you can get from watching series on tv that your motivation is just a button away.
  • Go ahead and binge watch your favorite series, but don’t forget to actually use the information you’re gaining from them and get some words down. You’ll never get that book done if you’re constantly watching the television.

YouTube Videos

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  • Need a bit more one on one motivation? There are plenty of videos on YouTube that can provide you with motivational stimuli. Just search for a word or phrase and choose from the videos provided to view what others have to say. Learning, listening or even creating your own videos can provide all the motivation you need to create that story you’ve been striving to complete.

Other Forms of Motivation

Nature/Everyday Locations

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  • As with anything else; nature can calm, inspire, and even motivate you to complete your manuscript. Other locations can provide what you need for settings. The sounds, sights, and even smells can give you everything you need for your story. It can also provide a way to relax and clear your mind to focus on what you need in order to find that special something for you, whether its in a quiet space or crowded mall. You know you, so do what feels best.

Fantasy/Si-Fi

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  • If you’ve read anything else from me, you know I love going to renaissance fairs. Not only are they full of inspiration, you can always find something there not just by the performers, but those just like you. They love to stay within character and can provide the inspiration you need to get things done. And if you’re like me, it’s motivation enough to be able to gain enough money to go and see all the wonderful acts, characters, even the environment of the fair.

Events/Entertainment

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  • Sports event, hobbies, and others will provide aspects that can be useful within the story you are working on. Sports events, conferences, and more provide settings, conflict, entertainment, interaction with others, and more to gain ideas for your work.
  • When fights break out, those who propose in the crowds, or emotions of those around you cheering for teams or performers can provide so many aspects of your story, you just need to look to see what is there for the taking.

Every Day Life

Needs

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  • What is something you need either for fun or for business/writing. Use that item as inspiration to get done what you planned to accomplish. A new computer, awesome accessory, or other item can be all the motivation you need to complete your goals.

 Wants

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QwertyWriter Keyboard by QwerkyWriter.com
  • What is something you don’t exactly need, but really want to have? Use that as motivation to complete what you need to get done. Keep it posted somewhere where you can see it every day. Visuals are great for keeping things in your mind fresh. Work your way to accomplishment, then reward yourself with that item when you accomplish your goals.

Family

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  • If you have children and/or significant other, they can provide all the motivation you need. If you want to make them proud, wish to provide an income for them/help provide income, or just want to show them you can accomplish your goal, they can be exactly what you need to push yourself to get it done.

Environment

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  • You can pull aspects from your environment as motivation. Where you want to live, the perfect house, and more. If you want to do better than you are or have better than you have, this could also provide motivation to gain what your heart desires.

Do you need motivation? Take a look around you and your life as a whole, you may be surprised by what you find that could proved motivation for your writing.

What motivates you?

Discover

This weeks word is Discover. What does it mean to discover? Well, let’s take a look before getting into some other aspects of the word.

What is Discover?

Dictionary

  • to see, get knowledge of, learn of, find, or find out; gain sight or knowledge of (something previously unseen or unknown)
  • to notice or realize
  • Archaic. to make known; reveal; disclose.

WIKI

  • To find or learn something for the first time.
  • To remove the cover from; to uncover (a head, building etc.).
  • To expose, uncover.
  • To create by moving a piece out of another piece’s line of attack.
  • To reveal (information); to divulge, make known.
  • To reconnoitre, explore (an area).
  • To manifest without design; to show; to exhibit.

 

So according to those Discover is the knowledge, uncovering, exploring or exhibiting of something new or unknown. This is where this word gets interesting. If you think of this word, what comes to mind? Discover what? I’ll be focusing on a few topics that relate to writing and you as a person for this post, so bear with me here.

Writing/Business:

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With anything in life, things are learned, discovered by doing, reading, and performing actions. Nothing is ever found by being stationary… unless it stumbles upon you. Than you are just darn lucky.

Discover Your Purpose?

Are you trying to discover the reason you are here? What to do with your life? What purpose you bring to others?

This is something that you will have to discover 😉 for yourself, but if you look deep down as to the things that interest you, your passions, and your dreams, you’ll find what you’re looking for. This may come to you when you least expect it, during a time you dread or a time you are happiest. Keep searching and you’ll find what you’re looking for.

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My Experience~

For me it was while working in a factory. Something I told myself I would never do… work in a factory or in fast food like my parents. Now working in a factory or fast food, if it’s a necessity isn’t bad, but I wanted better. I wanted to follow my dreams. What were those dreams? Well, up until my fist year in college, it was to be a teacher. When my financing fell through I had to bring in something and off to a factory I went.

While working on presses, I would dabble with stories, create characters, go on journeys that tested the character’s resolve, their strength and their love for others. That is when I knew I wanted to be an author. And yes, I’m still working on that story, but that’s what happens when you want it to be freakin’ awesome. You work and slave to bring it life and then sit on it for ten or so years before picking it up again to find out you have a really good story, but ten year younger you really didn’t have the writing skills you do now. It’ll get published, don’t worry. 🙂

Discover Your Businesses/Work?

As above you’ll discover what you were meant to do, but what about what you were meant to do as a source of income? How will you contribute to the household in a financial way? Now some of you may say, “Kelly, I’m a stay at home mom. I don’t have a job.”

Well, my response would be, “You absolutely have a job. You don’t contribute financially, but you do contribute in other ways.” I would imagine you as a stay at home mom (like myself) take care of the house, take care of the kids, homeschool them perhaps, run the errands, take care of the bills, laundry, and more. You contribute in so many other ways that benefit your household that having a normal job makes no sense.

Now if you aren’t a stay at home mom and you are looking for that perfect position, it’s much like that of your purpose. What interests you? What makes you the happiest? Is it working with children? Working with animals? Working with machines? Making music? Singing? Or are you content in the thought that no matter what you do you are contributing to the human race in some way?

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My Experience~

I met and fell in love with such a man. We decided after our son was born that it didn’t make sense to pay someone to watch, care, and teach our children. We were missing out on so much of our daughter’s life already that we didn’t want to miss more of either. What was the point? To help another succeed when we were miserable? That’s when it clicked. Though I haven’t made as much as I would like on my writing, brutal honesty here. I wouldn’t have it any other way. My husband works knowing that what he’s doing is helping others with the products he makes and that’s enough to keep him satisfied until things get better. Are there hard times? Of course. Does that way of thinking falter? Yes, but when you really sit down to think about it. What do you do on a daily basis, that makes you happy you’re doing it?

I get to bring you content that, I hope, is useful, insightful and inspiring while writing stories that invoke the same feelings while being able to raise and teach our children. My husband creates a product that makes building easier and until we are able to fulfill his dreams, he makes the most of what he has.

Think of the questions above and work out what you believe would make you wake each morning ready to tackle the day with the biggest smile because you know that what you do is making a difference in not only your life, but those you interact with or bring benefit to on a daily basis.

Discover New Processes?

What better way to discover something new, than to learn. They say you learn something new everyday. Though that’s sometimes hard to believe, I bet if you looked back on the day you would be able to find something you did learn that you didn’t know before.

When I first started writing full time, I had to discover processes on how to do the things and organize them in a way that I felt I could achieve the goals I set out to do. Now last year I hit every goal I had. I didn’t have many, but I did hit them.

This year, I overloaded myself and let things get in the way of my writing so my goal list is slowly being pushed off to next year, but that doesn’t get me down because I’ve learned and discovered that writing itself, is all about discovery.

You discover what works for you in planning your novels, plotting your novels, writing them, editing them, revising them, and then publishing them. If you are anything like me, you have not only a ton of notebooks on novel notes, but tons more on learning everything you can on the art of writing and I’m still learning.

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My Experience~

I tell my daughter all the time that you will never stop learning. She is the type who feels everything should be easy, that if you want to do something you should be able to do it without having to practice every day to learn to do it. Now she has an exceptional talent for acting. (I am her mother, I can say that, but it’s true.) She doesn’t like the fact that she will have to practice hard to make it as an actress. Imagine her disgust and disappointment when she discovered that you have to continually follow directions and practice your lines until you know them by heart, among other things. Good thing I’ve added Theatre to her curriculum this year.

Anyway, enough about my family; I may not know everything about writing, but you bet your butt I’m still learning and will continue to learn. There is no stoping when you are doing something you love to do. You do what you need to in order to keep going.

Discover New Items/Tech/Utensils?

Ah, here is something I am a complete sucker for. I love new things. Though I find not all of it pertains to me, but I love new things for writing even if I may not use them. I’m always looking for new sites, apps, items that will make writing fun, more organized and the process easier. See, I’m a sucker.

 

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Let me rant for a moment here… I love antiques so imagine my excitement when a new keyboard came out that has the feel and look of a typewriter that’s compatible with tablets, iPads, and desktops! The company is called Qwerkywriter and it is freakin’ awesome… looking. Unfortunately, I haven’t the money to get one… yet. I will though!

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Above is a screenshot of my actual profile from a week ago.

There is also the site 4thewords.com where you can write while going on your own adventure, fighting monster, collecting items and traveling to distant lands. Now who wouldn’t love that? It got me out of a writing slump and I couldn’t be happier!

Now what new tech/apps/etc do you have? Or would suggest? I’d love to hear about it! 😉

Personal:

Discovery into your personal life and yourself can also be a difficult and painful process, but sometimes you really need to look deep within yourself to find out who you really are.

You as a Person?

This is where discovery could get hard. You may know yourself pretty well and have everything figured out or you may be wondering what on earth you are here for. What are you alive for?

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You as a person must look deep within to find… you. Everyone says you should be happy with who you are on the inside as well as the outside. Now, do get me wrong. There are definitely some things on the outside I would absolutely love to change, but I love every part of me. I may not like it, but I do love it.

Heck, I created to beautiful children (with some help from my husband) with this body. I have a mind overflowing with the creation of worlds, characters, events, and more. My life is that of a happy family of four over run by four legged critters. If I look deep down. I love my life and I love me. Do you love you?

Look inside to discover who you are and what you want to be know for, for you.

Your Relationships?

 

Another thing to think about are your relationships with others. This means your family, friends, even the people you meet for a few seconds as you go about your day. What can you discover about those relationships that you might improve on?

Do you smile and greet those you walk by, or are you to busy worrying about other things to take the time to send a smile to someone? It takes two seconds to smile and make eye contact with someone and I believe wholeheartedly that, that one action can brighten someones day.

Knowing that someone took even that tiny amount of time to show a greeting makes me happy to be out and about.

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Family and friends are there for you when you need them, to lean on and take encouragement from. That may not always be the case, but I urge you to work on it. My relationships with some of my sisters were not the best and I realized that I wasn’t putting the effort in to voice my thoughts. I mean, how can they take you seriously if you don’t open your mouth, right?

Since then things have gotten better. Not the best, but definitely better. What can you do to improve the relationships you have? Discover who you are and how you can enrich others with just that… you.

So what are you ready to discover about yourself, your writing, career, anything? Comment below, I’d love to read about it!!

 

 

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Purpose

Lately, I’ve been thinking of the word purpose. What is purpose and why do we need to have (a) purpose?

Well, as I do with all my words… here is what the dictionary/Wiki tells us…

What is Purpose?

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Dictionary:

  • The reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists
  • Have as one’s intention or objective
  • A person’s sense of resolve or determination

And WIKI:

  • An object to be reached; a target, aim; goal
  • A result that is desired’ an intention
  • The reason for which something is done, or the reason it is done in a particular way

So according to those Purpose is the reason/intention an action or decision is done or created. It could be a goal that you want to reach, a target you are aiming for or your sense of determination to reach that goal or target in your daily life, your business, your dreams and more.

Purpose in Life

So what is your purpose in life? Well, that could be anything from being the best mother, sister, person you can be to everyone to helping as many people as possible in the form of volunteering, through your job, or another avenue.

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What your purpose for life is has to be chosen by you. It’s what gets you up every morning, what excites you, what you enjoy on an emotional level. Your purpose is a plan for your life and helps define your personal goals. It fills you with passion and keeps you going throughout the day.

Purpose in Business

Purpose in your business is centered toward others. What can you do for others? This may take some time to figure out, but like us it matures, develops, and grows over time. It’s like a plant fighting the elements to grow roots and survive the heat of the afternoon sun. Once it gets established it flourishes into something beautiful for all to see.

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Once you find that purpose it will guide you and inspire you to create value for your customers, readers, and others who come along your site, product, or other aspect of your business.

Purpose for You

Purpose is shown through our actions, the items we create even if that is something fun with your children. It’s not something you can buy, or achieve. We must choose it for ourselves, nurture it, form it and grow it into something tangible.

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The goals, dreams, and tasks we try to achieve each day work toward your purpose. In small ways, your purpose reveals itself to you as you go about your day. Pay close attention and it will prosper. Once you have it, it will help you overcome the obstacle you’re facing to move forward with your goals, dreams, and your life.

How to Find Your Purpose

Many would say that your purpose (or purpose for your business) is your calling, what you enjoy, what gets you excited to rise each morning and get enough sleep at night, but how do you find your purpose?

That is something you need to discover for yourself. Look around you at what activities make you feel most excited or at ease? Sometimes your purpose isn’t always on the run, it’s resting and feeling fulfilled with what you’ve done.

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What is it that brings you the most joy? What makes you happiest about life and what do you value the most? Take some time to discover your purpose. Be attuned to what you do daily at home, at work and in your business, write down the things that answer the above questions. What those items have in common may just be your purpose. You will find it, keep searching.

Keep Your Purpose Visible

I read a recent TedTalk that discussed purpose. The author spoke of how he met a young man who referred to an activity his dad created for his boys. When putting a puzzle together, their father would hid the lid and have the boys complete the puzzle without the picture.

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He mentioned that your purpose is like that box top with the picture. You need to reference your purpose in order to achieve the goals and dreams you’ve placed in front of you. So when you find your purpose, keep that picture close and keep it visible.

What is your purpose in life? What is the purpose of your business? Do your goals serve a purpose?

 

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July’s Writing Theme: How Do You Stay Motivated?

If you are like me at all right now, you’ve been struggling to write just a few words. Life gets in the way, things happen, but when you are ready to get back to it; the words just won’t come. So, for this month’s theme we are writing on how we stay motivated. It doesn’t have to be just about writing… How do you stay motivated to exercise, to get that project done, to do anything! Visit my example below and comment!!
Stay Motivated

 

Example: The past few months have been a real struggle for me and I alway seem to come back to the same thing to get me motivated to write again. A group called WordNerds!  They are an energetic, quirky group of women who love writing and offering help with questions. During NaNoWriMo or Camp NaNoWriMo they have virtual write-ins which you can revisit any time on youtube or their site. They answer any writing or book related questions in-between sprints and I am always able to get words down even if its a replay of the write-in. 

Though I am trying something new along with their write-ins. They recommended a site called 4thewords.com which is an online fantasy game where you go on quests, defeat monsters and collect rare items all by writing your novel, short story, etc. I am having a blast with this so far. Check it out at the link above. 

What do you do to stay motivated or to get back into writing after a long break? I’d love to hear about it. Comment below!

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What Can’t You Live Without?

During the last few weeks my husband has been on vacation and I’ve been traveling down to my sisters for watch her children while they were out of town because… I’m an awesome sister.

With all the traveling, I’ve had to cut down access to my work to my IPad and my phone, which got me thinking… If you had to pick on thing, what is one that you could not live without. Let me know! I would love to hear from you. I’ll include my answers here, in green (my favorite color 😉 )

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The One Thing: ___________________________

My Answer: Pencil/pens

Why? What’s special about it: _____________________________________

My Answer:  They are the most versatile utensil. As long as you have something to write on – paper, napkin, journal, flyer, whatever you can find, you can write

I bet you were thinking I was going to choose my IPad… what I have found while traveling the last few weeks is that my IPad and phone need to be charged, sometimes I need WiFi, and that where is going back to basics comes in handy. When inspiration strikes, if you have a pencil/pen you can grab something, anything nearby to write it down on for later contemplation. So, what’s yours?

Ok, not that we got that out of the way, why don’t I make this a bit more fun and give you some categories for other things you can’t live without:

General Item:

A general item you tend to keep handy, just in case…

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Answer: __________________________

My answer: Sweater – I’m the type of girl who can’t go long without getting cold.

Sweater with a cup of hot chocolate… even better!

On your desk:

The one thing one your desk that doesn’t include your computer, keyboard, mouse or other electronic…

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Answer: __________________________

My Answer: Griffin Candle: What better inspiration than an item from your chosen genre? He sits on my desk and watches me type everyday without a word, but ever encouraging.

The one electronic:

Ah, here’s the electronic… what is the one you can’t live without?

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Answer: __________________________

My Answer:  I guess I would have to say my iMac – I purchased it last year and I’m loving it! It has all my projects, graphics, social media, plans, etc all in one place and even if it can’t travel. I know my stuff will be there when I return. 

Social Media:

With all the social media outlets out there, which one could you not live without?

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Answer: __________________________

My Answer: I would have to say Patreon, not only can I post blog posts, it’s an easy way to offer more to readers, fans and audiences for their support while still providing awesome content.

Music:

What type of music or music platform could you not live without while working?

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Answer: __________________________

My Answer: I usually listen to Pandora while I work and my favorite channel to listen to is “Song of the Lonely Mountain” from The Hobbit. My genre is romantic fantasy adventure, so it fits. 

Snack:

What is one snack you can’t live without while working? or do you not snack while working. I’m always snacking on something… I guess my brain associates writing with food so I’ve now got a few healthy snacks on my desk while I write.

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Answer: __________________________

My Answer: Oh, this one is a bit harder, I really love something with pieces I can just pop into my mouth and keep working. What I’ve been choosing lately is cereal. Fruit in the Middle Mini Wheats. Love those! 

Writing Utensil:

What writing utensil can you not live without? Mechanical pencils? No. 2 pencils? Colored pencils? Black pens? or my personal favorite… Colored pens?

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Answer: __________________________

My Answer: Well, here is something that doesn’t take any thought whatsoever. Colored Pens! Yep, I am one of those people who gets excited when she receives pens as a stocking stuffer, colored pens – even better! 

 

Have others to add to the list? Comment and let me know so I can add them and give my answers! Go ahead and comment, I would love to hear your answers.

Patreon Benefits

Patreon Benefits For Authors and Writers

Nothing is better for Authors and writers than gaining the support of their readers. Whether that is liking posts, reading their books, writing reviews, critiquing their work and more. Let’s talk about another platform that you could be utilizing to support your favorite writer, author or creative entrepreneur. Yep, I’m talking about Patreon! I’ve noticed that quite a few artists and creatives have begun to use Patreon for various reasons:

Communication ~

As with blogs, social media and websites Patreon connects with them all to offer another platform to communicate with fans, readers and audiences from all over.

  • Not only do they provide a way to keep readers up to date with posts, it also allows you to create additional content for those that become a patreon of your page.
  • Connect your website and social media sites to provide more ways to find you and what you are posting.
  • One thing that I love about this site it the fact that you can provide an Intro Video, giving your readers, fans and audiences a face and personality to go along with the person they are supporting.
  • There is the ability to provide additional information with adding graphics and video into your posts.

Community ~

Community is an important part of any creatives repertoire. With Patreon you can build a community with others just as amazing as you!

  • Like, comment, follow and support others like-minded creatives who love the same things as you
  • Or ones who don’t! Inspiration comes from everywhere
  • Communicate with creatives in your field such as graphic designers, cover artists, marketers and more!
  • There is no limit when you are surrounded by others who are working toward a similar goal.

Linking ~

Patreon, like many other sites allow you to connect to your other sites for better conversion rates and communication.

  • Link your website (and don’t forget to add that on your posts along with your author page)
  • Link your social media (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Twitch for gamers)
  • Don’t forget you can add links in any of your posts!

Patreon Extras ~

Man, did I forget to mention the rewards… and more?

  • If you visit most patreon pages, the right hand side is a column of rewards for becoming a patreon member. You could receive anything from Patreon Only posts to free goodies and more!
  • Also, if you are an Author, you can offer a reward section for early releases or sneak peeks of your work!
  • There are many things to provide as rewards
    • Sneak peeks
    • ARC
    • Short stories
    • Author Merchandise/Swag
    • Coupons/Discounts
    • And more!

If you are thinking of starting a Patreon page (or supporting a journeying author) check out Patreon or My Patreon page to find out more.

My 2018 Goals

It’s getting to be the end of the year and I’ve been working on plans for next year.

While thinking of what I really wanted to do with my business and how I want to move forward with my books, I find myself realizing that my goals from last year were… well, dull. Though they fit my business there was really no depth to them and to the business itself. If I want to make writing my career, I need to be more specific and defined with my goals for my business and my books.

My thoughts here are to keep myself accountable to my goals and my business by publishing them for others to witness. I did come a tad short from my goals last year as my fourth book will be published by the end of January. I realized I pushed myself to do to much without a team to keep me focused and motivated as far as my business is concerned. So without further jabbering from me, here are my goals for 2018.

Books

Publish 3 Novels by 12/31

  • Though my goal last year was to publish four books, I have written four, but will be unable to complete the last as the holidays and the need for much required rest has taken presidents since I have stretched myself further than I can go within the last few weeks. So for 2018 I have reduced my number of published novels by one to give myself the needed rejuvenation required to keep motivated and productive throughout the year.

Read 12 Books in Genre by 12/31

  • With keeping up with reading I have surpassed my goal for this year and will repeat it for next year to keep the inspiration and imagination flowing. What better way to stay creative that to read those who have come before you?

Read 6 Books NOT in Genre by 12/31

  • This I have not kept up with this year, though I have read a few books not on my genre. I intend to keep reading so that my creativity is at it’s max for Inspiration as well as continued education on the industry.

Organize a group of Beta readers for my books by 4/30

  • There are some parts of being an author that I have really slacked on and wish to remedy as soon as I’m able. This area would be one of them. I plan to gather a dedicated group of people who would like to receive ARC of my book to read and reply with suggestions. I am offering this to anyone interested, and you could be the first. Click HERE to let me know you are interested.

Find an Editor I connect with by 6/30

  • Here is another that I am in need of. I understand the importance of hiring a professional editor and funds have not been enough to accommodate this need. My hope is to remedy that this year and hire a professional editor to edit my books to create a better reading experience for my readers.

Organize a Critique Group who enjoys my genre and will give productive feedback by 3/31

  • Another area that has been lacking this year. I would like to find like-minded people interested in the same Genre to participate in a critique exchange for our stories. Here is another opportunity to find a critique partner. Click HERE to find out more.

Create and Implement Street and Review Team for Books by 4/30

  • One more item to participate in: My plan is to create a Street Team and Review Team for my Novels as they become available. If you would like to be a part of that when the time comes, Click HERE!

Communication

Post 26 Blog Posts Every Other Week in 2018

  • My goal is to provide you, the reader with insightful and useful information throughout the year. Have a topic you would like me to elaborate on? Comment below and I will add it to my list!

Be More Communicative on Social Media and Online: Comment on Posts and in forums, Post advice, comments, thoughts and questions on social Media.

  • Another goal is to provide more communication with you, my readers; with advice, encouragement, and more.

Business

I’ll keep these as a list as they don’t nee much explanation:

Grow Business by 25% by 12/31

Create New Products and Useful Printables for Readers and Writers – 2 by 12/31

Start Using Video in Marketing by 6/30

Create/Participate in 2 Big Events for Readers: Haha, I have thoughts, but what’s the fun in ruining the surprise here! 😉

Create 100 total items for store by 1/31 and continue with 5 more per month after January. Visit my store, FictionJourneys!

Try out New list of Marketing Ideas and record results.

Revamp Webpage and Pages by 3/30

Extras/Other

What better way to keep up with your skill than to lean more about it?

Complete 3 Educational Courses by 12/31

Schedule Time to Work on Drawing and Take Art Classes (Once a Week)

How About You?

What are your goals for 2018? 

What things do you want to get done this year? Care to share to keep each other accountable? I’d love to read what your thoughts are. Comment below!

21 Ways to Beat Writer’s Block

You never know where or when inspiration can strike, but when it doesn’t you feel as though you have lost all hope of finishing that novel you were so encouraged, excited and enthusiastically forging on to create until you hit that snag. Now you are stuck and you feel like nothing you do will inspire, encourage, influence you to continue that journey. Your characters are forever locked in limbo as you try your hardest to figure out where they are supposed to go from here. Beat Writer’s Block with suggestions below.

21 ways to beat writer’s block to forge on over the mountain!

Pinterest

If you are having trouble with your writing. Try looking on Pinterest! This platform has a wealth of images as well as writing prompts to keep your imagination flowing on the journey. Take a look at my boards for some inspiration or create a search of your own!

Vision Board

This is something I would like to do at some point. It can be done with a bulletin board or on the computer. Collect pictures, quotes, notes, etc for your story to keep the plot, characters, setting, etc in your mind as well as in your eye view. I guess I have done this on Pinterest, but not on an actual bulletin board!

Nature/Trip

Sometimes it’s good to clear your mind to create a new rush of inspiration. Walk through nature, just take a walk or go on a trip to clear your mind, or possibly find more inspiration if your story has scenes in the woods or travel to a similar local to your settings. What better way to get ideas for your setting than going out and experiencing it for yourself!

Family and Friends

This may seem like a stretch depending on whether your friends and family support your writing or… think you are crazy. Go ahead and put your idea by them and see what they are willing to give you as to ideas and thoughts. If they are total against helping you, go ahead and use them as a character in your next novel. 😉 You will have a live person to take characteristics from and you already know quite well.

Others

Perhaps there are others that support you, friends, a teacher, mentor or even your children. See if they can give you some thoughts on where you are stuck, ideas, conflict and more. Create a party out of it and have each person give their favorite character, setting, theme, etc. You never know what will come out of all that information!

Dreams

If you are like me, you will have plenty of inspiration for stories provided by the dreams you have while sleeping (or even while you are awake). I may not use all parts of my dreams, but I have and will use sections of them. Now I keep a journal next to my bed so I can write them down when I wake up. I will refer to it when I need inspiration, a character, setting, conflict or any other part of the story I’m in need of inspiration.

Read (Books in Genre/Books on Genre)

Reading as well can give you ideas, thoughts and inspiration. Read similar books in your genre or even book on your genre. Something in your reading could spark your imagination to create the perfect story!

Music

I usually have music playing as I write. Whether it’s Christian Contemporary, Country or Disney (My kids love that station on Pandora) something could catch your attention to use in your story.

Listen to Your Characters

I have heard that your characters can dictate where and how your story plays out. I for one totally believe this to be true. In my latest book, “Raylynn” I originally started out with my main character as a secretary for a large company, but as I continued writing, it turned out she wanted to be a nurse so that’s what I stuck with.

Change of Environment/Scenery

Like with Nature/Trip above, sometimes a change of scenery or atmosphere is all it takes to renew your creativity. Go to a park and watch parents and their children as you write, a coffee shop/cafe and people watch, sit in an arboretum and listen to nature, or just go into a different room in your house. Even the slightest change can create a massive flow of inspiration!

Brainstorm

Sit and brainstorm different ideas for the part you are stuck in. Creating a list of ideas can sometimes flesh out new ideas and creative plot twists. Keep the list around and on-going for all your projects. They may come in very handy!

Inspiring Quotes or Pics

I keep boards on Pinterest for Inspiring quotes and pictures for the genre that I write. I also have different boards for different stories that I am writing and that I plan to write so that I can refer back to them as needed. Take a look here!

Play a Game

Playing a game could create a whole new creative situation for your characters and theme of  your story. Plot twist anyone?! Clue and Shadows Over Camelot are two of my favorite. I love fantasy and Sherlock Holmes. One story I am writing is a young girl. Her job as a private investigator leads her on a journey to reclaim what is hers, but she also has a secret that may ruin everything. Keep your eyes open for “Summer Storm” (Title is still in the works, I’ll update as it becomes finalized.)

Keep a Journal

As with your dreams, try keeping a journal to write down your thoughts, any thoughts. Thoughts about your day, what you are working on, how things are going, your dreams, everything. Any and all information can be useful when writing if you use it to further the journey of your characters and story.

Change Writing Materials

Every once in a while it may become useful to change your writing materials. Change from your computer/tablet to pen and paper. It may come in handy for your thoughts as well as your eyes to take a break from the electronics.

Change The Time of Day

Change the time of day that you write. I recently changed from writing in the morning to writing in the evening due to scheduling issues, but I realized that I do much better in the mornings. So I will be re-organizing my schedule to compensate and will stick with the morning hours.

Change Scene You are Writing

Don’t feel that you need to write from one scene/chapter to the next. Try moving around your story and writing what you find interesting that day. Just remember to keep some sort of organization to your writing so you know where that scene is supposed to go. Programs like Scrivener and ywriter are great for this.

Re-read Favorite Book/Story/Scene

Re-reading your favorite book, story, or scene can create imagination to flow like crazy. Try to relate the scene to your own story: How could it fit in? Could you use the idea as a plot twist? The setting? Ask yourself ‘what if’ questions to create a flow of prompts and choose the best one!

Use Reward and Create a Challenge

Think of a reward, a good one and create a challenge/goal for yourself. Nothing gets your creative juices flowing like a good challenge/goal. Once you meet the challenge/goal allow yourself to receive the reward. No cheating now! Get the challenge/goal complete and receive your reward!

Attend a Function Related to Your Work

I love fantasy and romance. One of my favorite places to go is our local Renaissance Faire. There is nothing better than seeing your imagination come to life to create ideas and the flow of creativity!

Keep Your Energy Up (Healthy, Exercise, Water, Sleep)

Just as the title recommends: keep up your energy and do it the right way. I’m not saying cut out ALL the junk. I am a dark chocolate lover after all, but try to create a routine to stay healthy, motivated and active. I started a routine of writing in my journal, exercising and working on my stories every morning and even my husband saw a change in me. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water and get plenty of rest. Grogginess does not help the creativity flow!

Keep journeying on and do what is best for you. How do you beat writer’s block? Comment below to keep the list going!

My Favorite Writing Quotes

Every writer has that one favorite quote they come back to in times of need. Whether they are having an off day, they have no motivation, or want an encouraging word from someone who has been there. There are so many who have come before and many that have provided encouraging words and phrases (even if they didn’t realize it at the time) to help those who come after (or alongside them).

Here are some of my favorites:

Authors are of a unique breed. Find new ways to create familiarity in the things that are new as well as create a sense of newness for things that are familiar as you write.

Even the smallest shift in perspective can bring about the greatest healing. ~ Joshua Kai

Healing can come from the smallest shift. You never know when it will hit you, but don’t worry, it will!

Maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything. Maybe it’s about unbecoming everything that isn’t really you, so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place. ~ summersaldana.com

I love anything that talks about your journey. Travel the path and become what you were meant to be!

Strength doesn’t come from what you can to. It comes form overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t ~ 2BY10.com

Do the things that you think you can’t and see what you can really do! You will realize there really is nothing you can’t do.

I think writers are too worried that it has all been said before, but not by YOU! ~ Asha Dornfest

Write the story from you and people will love it because it was you who wrote it.

Use whatever you can to make a good story great. Even things from personal experience. You never know, books may hide an authors deepest secrets in the form of a journey, experience, or thought. Don’t judge! Author’s are providing a unique story for your entertainment.

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart ~ William Wordsworth

Heart is where most of your thoughts and ideas come from, right. You write from your heart, use it well.

Writers see the world differently. Every voice we hear, every face we see, every hand we touch could become story fabric. ~ Buffy Andrews

Writers use everything and anything at their disposal. We are a unique type.

A good story makes you want to live in the story. A great book gives you no choice. ~ Author Unknown

Don’t give your readers a choice to live the story. Create a story that will pull them in.

A writer is working when looking out the window ~ Author Unknown

There is nothing a writer can not use, so use everything!

This last one is my all time favorite:

 

What better way to encourage children than with bravery and heroic courage…

What is your favorite Writing Quote or Phrase? Comment to encourage others!