Starbuck’s Perspective

Sometimes I just can’t write.

Maybe I’m the only one.

The only one that…

…feels stuck

…feels dull

…feels inspiration-less

…feels dry

…feels…nothing

I hate it when this happens because writing is my passion. It is what I was born to do. It took me a long time to figure that out (coincidentally while I wrote and wrote and wrote…), but – once I did – it just fit. 

And I knew it was true. I was made to write.

So, when I can’t, I hate it. It’s like being trapped in a cage. With no way out.

Except…there is a way out!

I found it this week. At none other than Starbucks. Turns out that what I really needed was a change of perspective. A change of pace. A change of scenery. A block of time where I couldn’t do anything but write…and face the fact that I had been stuck.dull.inspiration-less.dry.nothing.

A Starbuck’s perspective for me.

Maybe another local coffee shop perspective for you. Or a mountain top. Or a bench in a park. Or your back porch. Or your car. Or another state. Or another country.

Whatever works. Starbuck’s worked for me this time. It’s worth the $5 mocha to see the words adding up, the cursor moving furiously across the page, the juices flowing once again.

So…Where do you go when you’re stuck and need a new perspective?

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4 Quotes to Inspire You

Find our previous inspiring blog posts here and here.

Now, on to the good stuff…

1. “Real joy comes not from ease or riches or from the praise of men, but from doing something worthwhile.” -Wilfred Grenfell

2. “Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.” -Henry David Thoreau

3. “It is necessary that you not become frightened of failure.” -Lillian Hellman

4. “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” -Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Question: what wise words have inspired you lately? Link in the comments!

3 Ways to Focus [When You Feel Like You Can’t]

Here are a 3 ways I’ve learned to focus even when it’s the last thing I feel like doing:

1.) Make it fun.

This has got to be the #1 rule. You have to make it fun. I have to promise myself a cup of coffee or tea and something sweet. I have to be in comfortable clothes, in a comfortable place. In those times where it’s the last thing I want to do, I have to “trick” myself into focusing.

For you it may mean getting into your sweats or pajamas, grabbing your drink of choice and curling up on the couch with your laptop. Or it may mean hauling yourself to Starbucks – sometimes being in fresh surroundings makes all the difference.

Whatever you do, make it fun. That’s the #1 rule.

2.) Set a time limit.

Sometimes I think I’ll go crazy if I have to focus for an indefinite period of time. So, I’ll tell myself, “Just focus for 30 minutes. That’s it. Then you can get up and walk away.” Most of the time that 30 minutes turns into a couple of hours.

A timer might work for you or the stopwatch on your iPhone. Fifteen minute increments might be your thing or an hour chunk at a time.

Just give yourself boundaries. Do what works.

3.) Have clear goals.

I’ve learned not to overwhelm myself right out of the gate. If I set clear & reasonable goals, odds are I end up accomplishing more than I thought I would. Completing one goal provides momentum to tackle the next goal. If your goals aren’t clear or they are unreasonable, you will end up discouraged.

Try making a list of your top 3-5 goals. Write them down in order of priority. Make them clear and concise. Make them reasonable (i.e. don’t make it a goal to write an entire chapter; make it a goal to write for 30 minutes instead).

Set goals. Make them clear and reasonable. You’ll be surprise at how much you accomplish.

How do you focus even when you feel like it’s an impossible task? What are your tips & tricks?

Next Up

Following up on my last blog post – No Time Like the Present – I’ve been tapping away on my laptop today.

I’m working on the rough draft of the second book in our Talon Family series. The working title is Winter Chase! and we are so excited to have it ready as a sequel to Tahosa Treasure.

Why is it that the first word is always the hardest to write? It is this intimidating, monster of a thing….taunting me, daring me to try to confine it to the page. That first word knows that it’s the flood gates: once it is on paper, the rest of the words pour out like a raging flood.

That first word is more than mere letters. It is a psychological battlefield, one I must win every time I put pen to paper or cursor to page.

The. That’s the first word. The great hulk that rose over me, telling me I better just give up now.

The day was perfect. That’s the first sentence. The psychological battle has been fought and won. All that for four words???

Yes. But four words that will now unleash paragraphs…and chapters…and a book.

No Time Like the Present

I posted this pic on our Facebook wall this morning. [Head on over and “like” us if you haven’t already!]

I found it floating around on Pinterest and couldn’t help but pin it (it’s actually a clock you can buy; I think it would fit great above my future writing desk 😉 ).

There is truly no time like the present. It will soon be gone. This moment that I have right now, how will I spend it?

I make up so many excuses not to write…it’s time I make up a list of excuse to write.

Here goes:

– I was born to write

– I have something to say

– I have a rough draft of the second book in the Talon Family Series due by the end of November

– I have an audience to reach

– I have the time

What are your excuses for not writing?

Now go ahead and replace them with a list of excuses for writing.

There’s no time like the present.

A Writing Desk

Some day I will have one. A desk where all I do is write.

Okay…and maybe read.

But I will read to write. And this desk will have only what I need to write.

It will face something that inspires me. Anything but a blank wall. It will face a window. Or photos that move me. Or perhaps this:

(credit here)

It would have a vase with flowers. Notepads and pens. My laptop. A photo of me and my love. And that’s about it.

This writing desk would be my place to think, to dream. And to move beyond thinking & dreaming to words.

Words written on paper. Words that contain part of my soul, breathing from the page.

Someday I will have my desk. But for now I will write anyways. Wherever, whenever and however I can.

I realize it’s the words that matter, after all. Not where they’re written from.

A Title Change: Tahosa Treasure

The editing phase is almost complete and we are very pleased with the final manuscript!

One big change that came out of the process is a new title. Tate’s editing team did some brainstorming and we did some brainstorming. I have to say that picking a title for a book is somewhat like naming a child. It seems like it should be easy…but it’s not.

In the end, we decided on Tahosa TresaureWe feel this represents our story well. 

So, that’s the title you’ll be seeing from now on when we refer to the book. It will also be the title to look for on Amazon, Kindle and Barnes & Noble once the book is released.

Next up: we can’t wait to see the cover design and layout for the manuscript take shape!