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“You enter the extraordinary by way of the ordinary.” ~Frederick Buechner

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Journal With Impact: Vocation Vision

Workshop: Six Conversations for Writing Creative Journals

“Never look down to test the ground before taking your next step: only he who keeps his eye on the far horizon will find his right road.” Dag Hammarskjold


So what is calling you from your heart to be and to do? Whether full time, part-time, special time, paid or unpaid, noticed or in the background, long term or short term commitment?

Each person is unique. Each one is a special work of art.  So I’m going to share an excerpt from an artistic vision statement given by Shona Cole for you to apply to yourself as your vocation. Substitute your life where she uses the word art. Take the time to journal your thoughts before you write out your own statement.

“An artistic vision statement should reflect your personality, values and aspirations, outlining the big picture—the direction you want your art to take. In order to create an artistic vision statement, think of how you want to live your life—of ideals for which to strive. Be honest, but idealistic. Think big. Think of things that would sound ridiculous if you said them out loud.”

And as you process through these suggestions think about what you are hesitating to say out loud even to yourself.

We need to know and commit to our personal vision, accept the cost of that vision, know our product, and know the business. According to Brian Tracy, goal setters need a clear vision of the end result, based on your values. “You know what you want and why you want it.”

What kind of  ____________ do you want to be? What do you want your life to look like in five years? “Practice ‘back from the future thinking.’” Tracy suggests you envision it in the future and then backtrack to today. What has to happen to make it real?

Action Steps: Define

1. What is your major definite purpose?

2. What do you need to increase your productivity?

3. What do you need to increase your quality?

1.     Who do you want to be?

Share: What call do you choose?

Read deep, marcy

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Write Now! Workshop Podcast

Great Conversation!

Check out this interview with two outstanding authors. Kitty Bucholtz interviewing Sarah Sundin.

Writing Historicals Set in WWll

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Great workshop opportunity. This book is excellent. And with this workshop you get time with the author. 

April 19
Check it out. This blog post is in conjunction with my upcoming workshop.
April 23-29, 2018, Karen Wiesner will be teaching a workshop titled THREE-DIMENSIONAL WRITING based on her new writing reference Bring Your Fiction to Life: Crafting Three-Dimensional Stories with Depth and Complexity at Savvy Authors
Register: Click the “Register Now” button on the Savvy Authors course page just listed. Cost: Premium Members $25; Basic Members $30 (sign up for free membership here: to qualify for the workshop. Register at least a week before the class starts to receive a $5 discount.
Course description: Applied to writing, the word "three-dimensional" is easy to define as solid, realistic, rounded and lifelike, even living. The hard part for authors comes in translating these concepts into the craft of writing. Writing that is three-dimensional seems to have length (essentially the foundation of a story), width (structure), and depth (the completeness of fully-fleshed-out characters, plots and settings as well as multiple layers and rich, textured scenes).
Your host for this workshop is Karen Wiesner. Many of you know Karen as the author of First Draft in 30 Days and Writing the Fiction Series available from Writer’s Digest Books. Her writing reference Cohesive Story Building was reissued by Writers Exchange E-Publishing in print and ebook formats. She's also the award-winning author of 120 fiction titles and has 39 more contracted releases. She writes in nearly every genre of fiction. In this workshop, she’ll be talking about her newest Writer’s Digest release, Bring Your Fiction to Life: Crafting Three-Dimensional Stories with Depth and Complexity which teaches writers the three aspects that need to occur in order to bring about the potential for three-dimensional writing including three-dimensional characters, plots, and settings; complex, three-dimensional scenes; and multilayered storytelling. This intensive five-day workshop will show authors how to:
-master the three-dimensional aspects of characters, plots, and settings using detailed sketches that define the past, present, and future aspects of each element.
-develop complex opening, resolution, and bridge scenes that expertly lead readers through the fictional world.
-construct helpful aids and utilize tools and techniques to analyze where a story may be lacking dimensionality.
Three-dimensional writing is what allows a reader to step through the pages of a book and enter the world created, where plot and characters are in that glorious, realistic realm that starts with little more than a line and progresses into shape and finally represents solid form. Once three-dimensionality is within reach, all things are possible in crafting a vivid story world that readers will instantly recognize as remarkable.
Find out more about this book

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Journal With Impact: Vocation Production

Workshop: Six Conversations for Writing Creative Journals

“Goals give you a sense of meaning and purpose. Goals give you a sense of direction.” 
                                                                                                                            Brian Tracy

How well do you know your “product”? And what is required to keep a steady flow going according to your purpose? Or what complications might you need to work around? Time? Weather? Costs? Deadlines?

For a Christmas tree farmer one key to their productivity is that the average tree requires six to eight years to grow to maturity. How do they factor that in along with trees per acre? And it is a labor intensive commitment. Could there be a physical deterrent to the long haul?

A landscape artist juggles a broad variety of plants and trees both indoor and outdoor from seedlings to full growth. Each one may have its own unique growing cycle that will need to be calculated into each overall project. How to set up the seedlings for multiple projects to meet deadlines?

Prolific author Karen S. Wiesner shares in her book, First Draft in 30 Days, a multiyear goal sheet that includes contracted releases, uncontracted projects, and uncontracted project (optional). She says, “Your multiyear goal sheet will include accurate predictions as to when you’ll be working on outlines, writing books, researching upcoming projects, and allowing shelf-time for each stage of the writing process.” She is not working on only one project at a time from start to finish, but several possibilities in different stages of development.

Or, if just beginning to discover how long your projects might take to reach productivity, try beginning with Shona Cole’s art action plan for a creative life. “When you start out try committing to an hour of art a day. If you think you can get two things done in sixty minutes, for each day pick two things to put on your weekly action plan.”

So what do you want your production to look like? Using Shona Cole’s suggestions over the next week daily set up your design to become one like Karen S. Wiesner’s, regardless of how long it might take to get there. Dream big!

Action Steps:

1. First write down your long-term production aim.

2. Next write down every possible facet needed to get there. For example: time, cost, energy, complications, associates, materials, family commitments etc.

3. Then right down two beginning steps to apply or investigate for each area on your list.

4. Take the first two key components and set up a time frame to address them over the next week. Then assess any positive and negative adjustments you need to make.

5. Take a calendar and choose your end date.

6. Then work backwards filling in all the time factors required to meet that deadline. Adjust as needed.

7. Start!

Share: Which area of your production surprised you?

Read deep, marcy

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Journal With Impact: Vocation Feedback

Workshop: Six Conversations for Writing Creative Journals

“Organizing is what you do before you do something that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.” A. A. Milne

Because, not only does everyone have their own style of organization but so does each project. And whether you are dreading setting up comprehensive files or rubbing your hands in anticipation, there are two main factors to keep you on track. Keep it simple. Keep a backup copy. Remember any form of organization is a tool to get you through your project—and not meant to be a project in itself. Unless of course it will help you decompress on a panic day.

There are so many ways to organize feedback and so many excellent tools on the market that will help with any style you choose, whether by hand or by technical support.

Again, keep the logs, or other methods, as simple as possible. Their purpose is to save you time and not create more work. Here are three possible ideas to consider.

Process Feedback Suggestions

Daily log: list work accomplished, work undone, work not visible, working relationships, potential problems, first thing to do next, and brief comments about your feelings or attitudes.

 Each day take a few moments to read over your notes before beginning again.

Project Log: clarify notes, changes, what worked, what flopped, what needed more time, participants, season of year—anything that could change next time. What dates or quantity expectations MUST you meet? Make changes as needed.

Suggestion: keep a duplicate record. One friend cooked for multi-size groups for various functions. She had a notebook where she not only kept the different sets of measurements for different quantities, but also on each recipe wrote down notes as to what worked—what didn’t—if she had to substitute or any other pertinent decisions. One function, when she prepared a meal for over one hundred people, her notebook went missing after doing preliminary preparations the day before. It did turn up just in time, but was enough of a panic to cause her to begin making a binder copy.

Supplies and Record Log: research, interviews, photos, any repeat material required.

Example: One friend has a large extended family and the gift of knitting. So each Christmas, her nieces and nephews receive hats or scarves or leggings or mittens. To avoid duplicating gifts and also remembering who liked which colors, she writes down each project right down to stitch pattern, needle size, and type of yarn. On a sidebar she keeps track of which relative received that style in what year and what color to avoid duplications. Her family eagerly anticipates their personalized gifts.

Action Steps:

1. Set up these feedback logs and over the next three weeks fill them in whenever appropriate, especially the workday logs.

2. Watch for any positive or negative repetitions.

3. Note how much time you spend on each of them.

4. Do you find that keeping the feedback also helps you focus more clearly on the next day’s objectives?

Share: Which log did you find comfortable and which one did you struggle with?

Read deep, marcy

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Journal With Impact: Vocation Obstacles

Workshop: Six Conversations for Writing Creative Journals

“What’s known but ignored takes its revenge…” Martha Cooley

Recognize Obstacles

James Scott Bell says that we not only need to understand our goals, but also the obstacles in our path, so that we can work around the roadblocks. Then when they try to stop us, we are ready with counter-measures or other routes.

There are three main obstacles for writers: perfectionism, procrastination, and fear. I’m pretty sure they apply to almost all other vocations as well at some level. As we work through goal-setting principles, concentrate not only on the parts you may still need to fill in personally but also, for each step, set up what dilemma you could face. Then note one or two solutions to the problem next to it.

In The Sketchbook Challenge, by Sue Bleiweiss, several artists offer techniques and inspirational prompts to encourage artists to create and explore. The initial challenge begins with three rules, which I think can apply to any creative venture and especially to those of us who are caught up in any of these three obstacles. I’m underlining a few she mentions as emphasis.

            “1. The only way to keep a sketchbook is whatever works for you. Keeping a sketchbook is not about creating a book of perfect pages. It’s about exploring new themes and experimenting with new tools or working with your favorites.
             2. We all have different skill sets and styles, and it doesn’t matter what yours is. It’s not about making your sketchbook look like the ones in this book or anyone else’s.

             3. And this is the most important rule: Have fun with it!” (page 29)

My own sketch skills are pretty much non-existent, so a vocation in this field is not a reality for me. But it is an ongoing project that I can keep just for the pleasure of ideas and capturing themes and then letting those creative insights filter into my other commitments.

Being able to identify and deal with our barriers enables us to strengthen all our levels of work. Look for ways to feed your creative process and recognize your own obstacle cycle.

Action Steps:

1.     Return to your action steps from last week and make copy of your list of obstacles.

2.     Mark which main category they fall under: perfectionism, procrastination, or fear.

3.     Now next to each write down ideas of how to dissolve them from the point of view that the sketchbook rules suggest.

Share: What are your first two steps this week for your priority project? Have they changed?

Read deep, marcy

"The Seeker" Rachel Marks | Content Copyright Marcy Weydemuller | Site by Eagle Designs
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