Focus on Creation Not Outcome

2020 smashed all perceived notions of success. Institutions we KNEW were solid suddenly faltered. Movie theatres closed. Even the Big Mouse started their own streaming service and releases its movies on that platform. I don’t see many near-term plans for traditional theatre releases.

Be Kind to Your Inner Creator! © MarekPhotoDesign.com stock.adobe.com

So, what does that mean for your creative project? Will the time and creative energy you put into that novel, screenplay or other art go to waste? Let’s break it down to what we mean by “Successful.”

Financial – Simple. Nobody’s getting rich right now unless you own tons of stock in Amazon.

Conclusion – Everyone is in the same boat. No need to judge your progress by anyone else’s level of success (or failure). The pressure is off!

Fame – Globally, we are inundated with COVID 19 news, the American Presidency, and advertisements for early Holiday spending. Nobody can hear you right now unless you fit into one of these categories.

Conclusion – If you are counting on a huge social media party for your new book (or other artistic project), then there is a big chance you’ll be disappointed.

Changing Your Focus from Outcome to Fulfillment

In March 2020, I and my colleagues were told to work from home until further notice. The USA was on lockdown. We were all stuck at home. No face-to-face interactions with my readers. It’s very difficult to work in a vacuum. We produce art, but what if we don’t know whether or not someone is experiencing what we create? It has been frustrating and depressing. I wasn’t able to write much if at all during those early days.

The pandemic forced me to take a hard look at why I write. It’s easy to tell yourself you create your art for the sake of art. Then a horrible global event happens. Depression sets in. You crack open a bag of potato chips and lose yourself binge watching TV. The blank page stays empty. You no longer experience the excitement of planning for the next book’s release. No one knows if or when things will return to normal.

I can’t stay away from the act of creation for long. This time was different. I began to work on something new. It isn’t part of my book series. Nor is it in my “comfort zone.” This is a new story I am creating with no expected outcomes. I’m writing it, because I am a creator. I must create my art. It is who I am and what fulfills me.

Be kind to your inner creator. Cast out your expected outcomes for your creative projects. Now is the time to get back to the simple pleasure creation brings.

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

World Kindness Day

World Kindness Day is November 13th. It’s a dedicated day to do little acts of kindness for your neighbors. Kindness isn’t expensive. It doesn’t take a grand gesture either.

World Kindness Day 2020 – © Yury Zap stock.adobe.com
Here are three tips to try in November:

1 – Go out of your way each week to do Window Waves with elderly neighbors or those who live alone

2 – Set a goal each day to make at least two people smile

3 – Find one positive thing to share with your family at mealtime

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well. And don’t forget to be Kind. It matters!

A Little Reminder About Respect

Respect Each Other – © stockphoto-graf stock.adobe.com

The dreaded “Political Season” is upon us – here in the US anyway. Mudslinging and nasty advertisements have already invaded social media, radio, and television. Ugh. I hate to say this, but we mustn’t follow the examples of our ambitious leaders on the topic of “Respect.”

Respect is Earned, as the saying goes, but there is basic human respect we must afford one another.

Listener – Listen and HEAR what the other person is saying. Give them the respect they need as they share their opinion.

Sharer – Say your peace. Then respect the other person’s right not to agree with you.

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

Feast Your Eyes on the Full Corn Moon Tonight

Corn Moon Rises over the fields. © Balazs Kovacs Images – stock.adobe.com

According to the Farmer’s Almanac, “when the full moon closest to the Autumnal Equinox, known as the Harvest Moon, happens in October, September’s full Moon becomes the Corn Moon.”

Step outside and look to the skies! It has been a tough summer and a tough year, but good things have grown in the garden of our lives too. Celebrate the Harvest! Feast on the new growth in your life.

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

When Your Life Is in The Mud, Grow Flowers

© ruslan_khismatov – stock.adobe.com

Life can sometimes feel like a mudhole. It drags you down. Each step feels harder than the last. Honestly, how much more can a person take?

© 13smile – stock.adobe.com

Normally, I would tell you to focus on the goal. What is the target at the end of your journey? BUT –

That advice won’t do right now. We must be kind and patient with ourselves.

Take a moment to notice the mud. What is it trying to tell you? Is it trying to help you strip away old perceptions or unhealthy habits?

© DoraZett – stock.adobe.com

Then think about this. A mud or dirt patch can be the perfect place for a garden. What flowers will you plant? Think of the hardy prairie flowers like the sunflower and the coneflower. They grow in the toughest terrain and keep coming back year after year even more beautiful than before. Then there is the Marigold. Its vibrant beauty may only last for a season, but everything has its time.

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

Why I Changed My Mind About Memoirs

History Where You Live – © Tony Craddock stock.adobe.com

I’m fussy about what I read. So many books, so little time. The Memoir and Biography genre doesn’t typically interest me. Self-aggrandizing celebrities and politicians with their pictures splashed on a book cover written by someone else – hard pass. Then I started doing research for my novel about the Santa Fe Trail. My notion of memoirs changed a bit. The most impactful book I’ve read to date is a memoir not written by a sports star, but rather written by a woman living her life in the Southwest during the 1800s.

Land of Enchantment: Memoirs of Marian Russell Along the Santa Fe Trail is an authentic account of a courageous woman who traveled the Santa Fe Trail (more than once) and lived in old Santa Fe. She lived in a few forts with her soldier husband as well. Then helped him build a town in a rugged part of Colorado.

Her recollections make this memoir real for the reader. We share her shock and fear when the wagon train comes across gruesome deaths and other violence against innocents. These accounts, for me anyway, were more troubling when I stopped to consider this isn’t a work of fiction. The murders – witnessed by Marian as both child and woman – really happened. I found myself grieving with her when she experiences tragedy as a young wife. Marian was an extraordinary woman who took on a sometimes-brutal land. She was a true pioneer.

I believe part of the allure of this book for me is the setting. I’ve lived in the Rocky Mountains most of my life. Many times, I’ve traveled across Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada (in a car) passing through the places she mentions in her book. How about you? Do you know who lived in your hometown before it was a town? Seek out the stories that reveal more than one dull paragraph in a history book. You might be amazed by what you find.

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

Share Your Knowledge Share Your Joy

Share Your Interests © DM7 – stocke.adobe.com

The internet is a wealth of information. Some of the information you find is correct and helpful. Other tidbits are flat out wrong. Getting hardcore facts is critical when conducting research for my books. Readers want realism no matter the genre and I, as a writer, want to make them feel as if they are experiencing the story along with the characters. I enhance what I learn from books and historical evidence with human experience.

My current “Work in Progress” is a ghost story set on the Santa Fe Trail at the end of the US Civil War. Historical accounts and facts give the book accuracy, but the human experience comes from enthusiasts of the Santa Fe Trail. I’ve enjoyed watching lectures and travel videos of folks who love to visit destinations along this important route. Living in the Rocky Mountains most of my days, I have the life experience to draw on as well.

Are you an enthusiast in a special topic or historical event? Why not share your knowledge? If you write a blog, volunteer to speak on the topic, or make a video, I guarantee you will find an audience.

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.