Monday, March 26, 2018

Miscellaneous Monday

How has spring been treating you so far? Many of us here in the U.S. got a good dose of snow last week, greeting the new season with a chilly start. It's inevitable; warmer days will be here before we know it. In the meantime, here are a few links to ease us into spring writing.

Do you have challenges making decisions? Author Susan J. Reinhardt offers her insight and tips in this post, How to Overcome Decision Paralysis. Susan has great suggestions to help us gain perspective and balance.

Sometimes the smallest things trip us up when writing and editing. Author Laurel Garver of Laurel's Leaves discusses their proper use in Editor on Call: Using Then/Than and Lose/Loose. Her examples will clear any confusion right up.

Considering attending a writer's conference in the coming months? There are many benefits, as veteran freelancer Jennifer Brown Banks describes in 5 Reasons to Attend a Writer's Conference this Year. Let us know if you have plans to attend one! :)

Queries. Love them or hate them? They can be a bit intimidating, so I was grateful for L. Diane Wolfe's advice in her recent post, Checklist for a Great Query. Having worked in the industry for years, Diane's advice is always solid.

Other News 

I recently received the Sunshine Blogger Award from Lisa Ricard Claro. Thanks so much, Lisa!  :D If you aren't acquainted with her, Lisa is a long time blogger and author of several books. You can find out more about her writing services at her site. We really do make wonderful friends through blogging, don't we?

And Just for Fun
This is totally off the writing topic, but if you're looking to get the exterior of your home in shape for spring, check out Checklist for Spring: 5 Steps to Get Your Home Ready. Yes, when I'm not writing posts here or doing the nine thousand other things I do, I'm blogging for this local business. :)

Did you get snow on the first few days of spring? What are you writing this week? Have any special spring plans?

Happy writing,

Photo credit: Pexels

Monday, March 12, 2018

The Importance of Saying No

Not long ago, I was asked to help with an upcoming event. My response was a quick and resounding "No". The speed at which I delivered this reply actually surprised me. My style in years past was to hedge and/or apologize. But time and experience have taught me a few things, and it's gotten easier to say no. (I must give credit to my husband too. He sees my stress level escalate and encourages margins.) I felt badly about turning this opportunity down, but saying no was the right choice.

This got me thinking - what causes us to say yes when we should say no?

  • We feel guilty.
  • We want the approval of others.  
  • We think it'll further our cause or career. 
  • We want to help family, friends, community, etc. 
  • We're afraid we're missing out on important opportunities.  
  • We think we can handle it, not fully grasping the effects of another commitment.

Why is it important to say no? Because it offers opportunities to properly align our priorities and life. If we don't, it will affect our quality of life, spiritual growth, relationships, health, and work in a negative way. Many of us are too busy, not allowing enough margins or down time. When we set boundaries by saying no, we open the door to time and possibilities - to think, pray, brainstorm, learn, daydream, recharge, do quality work, and build lasting relationships. More time, less stress - the benefits are obvious.

Saying no sounds good in theory, but what can we do to put it into practice and see resulting benefits? Here are a few things that help me.

Define priorities. What are the non negotiable, must-do commitments? It helps to first fill the schedule with people, tasks, and items that reflect our beliefs and what's most important to us.

Don't respond immediately. While it's courteous to reply to the request, we don't owe anyone an immediate answer. Ever. And if they expect one, that's their problem. Take time to think on it, pray about it, and consider all the angles.

Think about the consequences. Consider how you'll feel once you commit to this new thing. Do you imagine feeling overwhelmed, annoyed, stressed out, and otherwise agitated? Or is this a good fit, something you feel led to do? Is it a long or short term commitment? How will it affect your life and family? It's always better to feel peace versus angst about a decision.

Find your good balance. Sure, there will be busier times, extra favors or necessary tasks for others, interruptions, and emergencies that arise that complicate and clog your days. But what's your bottom line? What has God placed you on this earth to do? Use that as a guide and aim overall for the structure that is the best fit for your faith, family, health, and other priorities.

Set boundaries. If you don't define your parameters and priorities, someone else may do it for you. Defend your space. Allow yourself grace. And guard your time. It's a precious commodity and once it's gone, that's it. You don't get it back.

No regrets. Will saying yes cause you to have regrets over doing it, or not having done something else? Consider how you want to spend the remainder of your life. With whom do you want to spend it? Go and live life. A real one. 

Remember this. When you do say no, it gives you the ability to say yes at just the right time. Who knows what great things are just around the corner! :) 

What would you add to this list? Do you find it difficult to say no? How do you manage your priorities and time?

Taking a week off to catch up on some things. Will return on March 26. Enjoy your week! 

Happy writing, 

Image credit: Pexels

Monday, March 5, 2018

Celebrating Magnificent March

Well, here it is, March already. How is that possible? I've barely adjusted to 2018. Guess that just goes to show that time marches on whether we're ready or not. (No pun intended, but hey, if it works...:) So rather than playing catch up for the year, I thought it best to focus on what's happening this month.

Did You Know?

March 5 is National Cheese Doodle Day. Who knew? But any excuse to indulge, if you happen to like cheese doodles, can be a good thing.

March 7 is National Cereal Day. Do you like cereal? What's your favorite kind? I'll take Multigrain Cheerios, no milk, straight out of the box, any time of day.

March 8 is National Proofreading Day. More than likely many of us will be doing some kind of editing or proofreading that day.

March 12 is National Napping Day. Since it's the day after Daylight Savings, we all might need one.

March 14 is National Write Your Story Day. Who wants to get their story down?

March 20 is National Ravioli Day. Nuff said. I'm in, are you with me?

March 28 is National Black Forest Cake Day. Yes, there's a food theme here. I'm hungry at the moment. :)

Women's History Month

What memorable women in history come to mind? There are so many who made magnificent contributions large and small, not only in their day but for future generations.

Off the top of my head, individuals like Clara Barton, known as the "Angel of the Battlefield", who I did a report on as a 6th grader, stand out. Then there's my long admired favorite Harriet Tubman, champion of freedom, mentioned in last week's post. Harper Lee impressed this high school sophomore some years ago too, after reading To Kill a Mockingbird for English.

The most influential women in my life would have to be my mom and grandmothers. These lovely and inspiring women left a wonderful legacy; they loved my three sisters and me deeply and taught us much.

How about you? What great women shaped your life in a positive way?

A Blogoversary

March marks nine years of blogging here at Write Now. My goal, when starting, was to gain blogging experience. I've gained that and a whole lot more. The best part about it has been making friends with all of you. Wouldn't trade that for anything; you're treasures, all. Thanks for making this such a wonderful adventure!

What are you writing this week? What women were/are most influential in your life? How long have you been blogging? What magnificent things are you doing in March?

Happy writing,

Photo credit: Pexels