Writers’ Wednesday

Welcome to another roundup of tools to help you in your writing pursuits. This week we have had a lot going on here so I’ll be posting another short and sweet list of favorite tools. At least that’s better than yesterday when I was so busy I never even had time to write “Too Much Tuesday,” the irony of which I can assure you did not escape me. So today’s focus is on getting support to come to you when you can’t get to a support group, class, editor, agent, or whatever it is you need help with in furthering your work with words.

Today we’ll talk about magazines. Here are the top three, in my opinion. You can check them out at a local bookstore/newstand or visit their websites or take out a subscription by the issue digitally, or, in some cases, start a subscription and if you don’t like it you can cancel it and won’t be charged for unreceived issues.

Poets & Writers

The Writer

Writer’s Digest

NB—If you sign up for the free Writer’s Digest email newsletter they will send you a PDF—”101 Best Websites For Writers”—that, in my opinion, is well worth signing up for. And of course you can always unsubscribe if you don’t care for the newsletter.

Of the three, The Writer is my personal favorite but each has its own unique flavor and will suit certain readers better than others. Or some people like two out of the three and then there are those cover-all-the-bases types who get all three. Don’t forget to check your local library for copies as well. Sometimes, serendipitously, they even show up on the book sale table. I’d love to hear which publications you appreciate or share any I haven’t featured here.

Happy reading for the sake of writing!

Seeking Perfection

Seeking Perfection.

Writers’ Wednesday

Long day. Late night. Tired brain. But you, tireless reader, shall not be left without something to peruse since I have committed to providing you with grist for your writing mill. I’ll keep it short and sweet. It’s my three all-time favorite books about writing.

Madeleine L’Engle: Herself—Reflections on a Writing Life, compiled by Carole F. Chase

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Anne Lamott

Freeing Your Creativity: A Writer’s Guide—How to write more and better than you ever thought you could, Marshall J. Cook

These gems are time tested classics for me and were instrumental in pushing me past thinking about writing (although I did journal, naturally) to actually writing. I hope at least one of them will be both inspirational and instructive in helping you take the next step in your unique writing journey.

Too Much Tuesday

Some days there is just too much coming at you. All you can do is put one foot in front of the other and do the next thing, and then, as soon as you get the chance, be kind to yourself and take a breather. I know this works because I’ve had to do this many days in my life. Today was another one of them. And yet the frustration is still there with myself, that things have to be so hard. But a very wise friend told me tonight that she found that it was usually from trying to do too much all at once and by just focusing on doing on small thing—a baby step, if you will—at a time, then taking breaks as necessary has worked out much better for her. I really needed to hear that—and I hope some of you will have as well.

Writers’ Wednesday

Are you a writer? If you journal, blog, write poems, lyrics, short stories, fan fiction, columns in your weekly parish bulletin, organization newsletter, or maybe even in your area magazine–if you do any of these things then you are a writer. You don’t have to have published novels, short stories, non-fiction books and magazine or periodical pieces (although if you have, you can mentor the rest of us.) Having said that, I want to encourage my fellow writers–and you know who you are!–to do whatever it takes to write more and see where it takes them. Maybe you’ll be motivated to start a blog. Or perhaps you’ll keep a private notebook of your creative outpouring. Writing, for some of us, is like a love-hate relationship. We love it when we’re writing. We hate it when we have writer’s block. Wherever you find yourself today, or sometime this week, do one small thing to nudge along your writing practice.

Here’s my example. I had another post written yesterday to put up today but then my computer ate it so instead of breaking into sobs and giving up (after all, it was close to bedtime and I do my best writing in the mornings) I just started over with something completely different and this is what came out. Hopefully someone finds it takes them to the next level in using their creativity. After all, if you’re not using it you could be depriving the world of something it needs and very well will make a difference in someone else’s life. I get that we’re all busy and sometimes feel too tired or uninspired to write. Just don’t let life pass you by without sharing your gift with the rest of us because we need to hear from you.

My Mom and National Motivation and Inspiration Day

Happy Birthday, Mom!!!

My Mom’s birthday today turns out to fall on National Motivation and Inspiration Day, a lovely serendipity. Who else but a mom who has always loved you unconditionally, believed in you when you couldn’t even believe in yourself, and encouraged you over and over about all those messy areas of your life—some of which are going to be around for the rest of your life—and who you count among your closest friends, should receive the Motivation and Inspiration crown (if there were one)? Again, Happy Birthday, Mom, and thanks so much for ALWAYS believing in me, being a blessing and encouragement to me in ways great and small, and never giving up on me when I made things difficult for you and Da’ in my younger years.

Who are those that motivate and inspire you in your life? I can think of several in my life, starting with my awesome hubby and teen son. They are both great guys whose choices in life remind me to make better choices myself—both for myself and them and the rest of the world with whom I will come into contact in some way during the rest of my life. There are close friends who never cease to amaze me by helping boost my spirits when I’m struggling with depression or anxiety or whatever other limits my health imposes on me. Their encouragement with my literary “little engine that could” of a blog is also much appreciated. Then there are my other family members who mean so much to me, particularly my folks and my sister, because they know me warts and all and still love me. If that doesn’t motivate me to be the best version of myself that I can, I don’t know what could! I also have extended family who are wonderfully supportive.

Additionally, my pastor, fellow parishioners–with certain ones in mind who’ve gone the extra effort to let me into their lives–along with my bishop are a source of motivation and inspiration not just in spiritual things but in meeting life with courage and grace.  Finally, there are friends flung far and wide who still keep in touch that I occasionally get to hang out with—either in person or via FaceTime or even social media—and their continued desire to remain an integral part of my life at whatever level is such a lovely blessing.

So, on this day when I get to celebrate having such a terrific mom and stop for a moment and think of all the other people who motivate and inspire me—including a good many of them having passed beyond this life, and some I never even met because they lived before me or before I was old enough to have formed an adult relationship with them: various people from the Bible, assorted saints, beloved family members and friends, Madeleine L’Engle, C.S. Lewis, Elizabeth Goudge, Thomas Merton, and Agatha Christie to name a few—I’m grateful that I can remember to be grateful for both my mom and for them every year on this day. I also benefit from the gentle nudge to be the kind of person that mom and the others are to me. Thanks be to God!

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