Advice from Elizabeth Gilbert

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

Inspirational advice for all writers and wannabe writers from best-selling author Elizabeth Gilbert:

Happy National Live Creative Day!

Today is National Live Creative Day, a day set aside to dream, discover, and invent. Consider resurrecting an old hobby, participating in a favorite pastime, or exploring a new passion.

If you’re feeling stuck, here are ten quotes to spark your imagination:

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use the more you have.”
Maya Angelou

“What keeps life fascinating is the constant creativity of the soul.”
Deepak Chopra

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” Albert Einstein

“Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.” Erich Fromm

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while.” Steve Jobs

“The creative adult is the child who survived.” Ursula Leguin

“You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club.” Jack London

“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.” Sophia Loren

“Others have seen what is and asked why. I have seen what could be and asked why not.” Pablo Picasso

“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” Sylvia Plath

Four Hard Choices That Make You Happier in the Long Run

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

A longtime fan of bestselling authors and coaches Marc and Angel Chernoff, I look forward to receiving their daily emails. Here’s some excellent advice for these challenging times:

You need to do hard things to be happy in life. Because the hard things ultimately build you up and change your life.

And, strengthening the mind is the hardest thing you need to do for yourself…

Think about the most common difficulties we as human beings deal with in our lives—from lack of presence to lack of exercise to unhealthy diets to procrastination, and so forth. In most cases, difficulties like these are not caused not by a physical ailment, but by a weakness of the mind.

Just like every muscle in the body, the mind needs to be exercised to gain strength. It needs to be worked consistently to grow and develop over time. If you haven’t pushed yourself in hundreds of little ways over time, of course you’ll crumble on the one day that things get really challenging.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. You have a choice today…

1. You can choose to be present when it would be easier to pick up your phone.

2. You can choose to do a workout when it would be more comfortable to sit around.

3. You can choose to create something special when it would be quicker to consume something mediocre.

4. You can choose to invest in yourself when it would take less effort to procrastinate.

You can prove to yourself that you have the guts to get in the ring and wrestle with life.

Mental strength is built through lots of small, daily victories. It’s the individual choices we make day-to-day that build our “mental strength” muscles. We all want this kind of strength, but we can’t wish our way to it. If you want it, you have to create positive daily rituals—mind-strengthening rituals—in your life that reinforce what you desire.

Note: I highly recommend subscribing to Marc & Angel’s website.

Excerpt Tour: Life On Your Terms

I’m happy to welcome author and life coach Tanya Russell. Today, Tanya shares her new release, Life on Your Terms.

Blurb

What a shame it would be to come to the end of your life and look back and say, “That was it?”

Life on Your Terms is a practical blueprint for how to feel fulfilled while creating the life you imagine. No matter what situation you find yourself in today, there is a bright future waiting for you. Applying the skills and practices in this book will launch you to that place and beyond, faster than you ever imagined possible.

In this practical guidebook, the author compresses decades of lessons learned from her wins and failures as a businesswoman and single mother into actionable steps to achieve the life you truly desire. Once bankrupt but now financially free, her courage, faith and strong desire for something more for herself and her children have driven her to seek out ways to create exactly that.

Don’t live the same day every day and call it a life. Apply these foundational principles and rewrite your future today.

Excerpt

Money Mindset

I wish I could say I learned my lessons quickly but the pain of the loss of my dad and not having a good understanding of finances led me to make some foolish financial and life decisions. At 23 I filed personal bankruptcy. Life was not at all going as planned! So where does one go from there?

This was the beginning of my money mindset transformation. I had some basic knowledge and had read some books on the subject by this time, but I wasn’t following that advice. The trigger and major changes happened at two different seminars that I attended during my 20s.

The most powerful change occurred at a Jack Canfield event. I was sitting near the front, taking in everything he was saying about success. Then he began talking about being a millionaire. At that time, I had mounds of debt and no real plan on how I would ever get to millionaire status! I could barely comprehend the enormity of a million dollars, let alone believe I could attain it.

It was the following few minutes that changed my financial beliefs forever. He went on to ask the crowd what we might be willing to sell one of our kidneys for, or maybe a piece of our liver, and what we thought our left arm would be worth to an insurance company if we lost it in an accident. (FYI the average worker’s compensation benefits for losing an arm in the USA was $169,878 in 2015 according to a 2015 article in propublica.org.)

The final question was about how much we would sell our eyes for. I immediately thought, “There’s no way in a million years I’d sell my eyes for any amount of money!” At that very moment, my belief about myself and my financial value changed. I was already a millionaire! I had a set of eyes worth well over a million dollars to me. It was that small click in my brain that evening that launched me forward.

Believing in the possibility of being financially successful is the first step. Maybe this simple exercise changed your views as it did mine. Or is there some other belief about yourself and wealth that is holding you back?

Purchase Links

Amazon US | Amazon CA | Bookshop | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Smashwords | Kobo | Apple Books

Author Bio and Links

Tanya Russell is a successful multi-business owner and life coach. Her passions are her family, continued personal growth, and empowering others to live their very best lives. Tanya enjoys fast cars, motorcycles and travelling. She is currently enjoying the Okanagan lifestyle in Kelowna, BC, Canada.

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

Giveaway

Tanya Russell will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Find out more here.

Follow Tanya on the rest of her Goddess Fish tour here.

You’re Never Too Old to Grow in Your Thinking

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

Here’s a thought-provoking entry from Joyce Meyer’s devotional, Trusting God Day by Day.

Dr. Caroline Leaf, a leading brain scientist/learning specialist and committed Christian, notes in her teaching on the brain: “The Word and science believe that the mind and the brain are one.” The way you think is voluntary—you can control your thoughts. I want you to give your brain a new job and begin to teach your mind to work for you instead of against you.

One important way to do this is to make the intentional decision that you will begin to think positively. I realize your brain won’t be able to fulfill the new role completely overnight. You may be asking it to undergo a radical transformation, and that will take time. So, give it a little grace, but determine that with your diligence and God’s help, your brain will go to work for you instead of against you and become a powerful, positive force in your life.

I like what Dr. Leaf says—that the human brains takes “eighteen years to grow and a lifetime to mature.” Don’t miss this point. Although every other organ in the body is fully formed when a person is born, and simply gets bigger, the brain actually takes a full eighteen years to be fully formed. After that, it continues to mature until the day a person dies. This means, no matter how old you are, your brain is still maturing. This is great news because it means you do not have to be stuck in any old or wrong thought patterns. Your brain is still maturing, so you can still mature in your thinking.

Source: Trusting God Day by Day, pp. 149-150

On Exploring Creativity

It is never too late to explore creativity and launch second, third, and fourth acts in life. Here are three strategies that have helped me on my writing journey:

Listen to the God (or Goddess) nudges in your life.

If we choose to stay open, we will receive messages from the universe. And I’m not referring only to angels, butterflies, and other winged messengers. There are clues in our lives that point to what will bring us joy.

Continue reading on the Soul Mate Authors blog.

Instead of Fearing Change, Get Excited About Progress

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

Tuseet Jha shares the following wisdom on the Tiny Buddha blog:

In that moment when we are facing or going through a lot of changes, we have the opportunity to recognize and get excited about the progress we can make, but instead, we often choose fear.

When we focus on the excitement of progress, change feels a lot less scary and we feel inspired to take action. Because like survival, curiosity is one of our greatest instincts. We get energized when we imagine fun new possibilities and focus on what we can control to create them instead of worrying about what’s out of our hands.

Next time you’re faced with a change you didn’t choose, instead of asking…

Why me?
What did I do to deserve this?
Why now? I am not ready for this…

Ask yourself:

How is this pushing me to progress?
What new experiences and opportunities will this bring?
What can I do to be ready for this?

It’s all a matter of perspective. Viktor Frankl, the famous Holocaust survivor understood this better than anybody else. In his book, he writes:

“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

Source: Tiny Buddha Blog

10 Excellent Tips from Chuck Wendig

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

In his informative guide, Damn Fine Story, New York Times best-selling author Chuck Wendig shares 50 storytelling tips in the Appendix. Here are ten excellent tips about character development:

1. Characters are not role models, and stories are not lectures.

2. We care about characters we understand, so it’s your job to make us understand your characters.

3. Characters must earn their victories.

4. Characters also earn their failures and losses.

5. If your characters are getting in the way of your plot, good. Let them. They are the plot. They are the subject, so let the tale unfold in their wake, not in their absence.

6. Likeability is less important a factor in your characters than relatability. It’s not about wanting to sit down and have a beer with them; it’s about being able to live with them for the breadth of a whole novel. Forget liking them, but do remember that we have to live with them. If all else fails: Just make them interesting.

7. Characters must make mistakes. But they cannot only make mistakes. They must have triumphs, too. A story isn’t an endless array of failure and disaster—we must have some sense of success to understand why success must, above all else (and against all odds), not be lost. Further, characters who only make mistakes become intolerable to us. We start to actively root for their failure if we cannot see in them the potential for success.

8. The best villains are the ones we adore despite how much we hate and fear them. We should adore them, and we should understand them.

9. Characters don’t know what the plot is. So don’t ever expect them to follow it. We can feel when characters are forced from their own program because authors are overwriting them with the Plot Program. It feels gross. Characters only know what they want and what they’re willing to do or lose to get it.

10. Characters are more interesting when they are smart and capable instead of dumb and pliable.

Source: Damn Fine Story pp. 218-225.

Writing as Restoration

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

In a recent post on Writers Unboxed, author KL Burd shares his perspective on the restorative powers of writing. Here’s an excerpt from that post:

Writing has the power to restore, not only within your life but the lives of others as well. That’s why our words, our art, our craft is so powerful. It can be used to tear down or build up. It can be used to enslave and entrap. To inspire and set free.

There are two ways that you can bring restoration through your art. The first is to write your story. It can be fiction or nonfiction, but there’s a certain freedom that comes from putting your story to paper and letting it burst forth into life. You open your world to others and invite them in. There’s healing in knowing that you are not alone.

The second way is the same as the first:

Write your story.

This time, however, you have to go to the place where your human skill and imagination collides. You have to take whatever hope you have, be it small or large, and cast it — like an anchor — into the future. Take your imagination and dream up what your story can be, what it will be. Use your imagination to create your future reality.

Read the rest of the article here.

Honoring My Inner Sloth

For too many years, I subscribed to the busy bee myth: Complete all given tasks and start on tomorrow’s To-Do List. That was my modus operandi for the first fifty years of my life. Or, more precisely, the first forty-nine years, seven months, and seven days.

All that changed with a diagnosis that came out of nowhere: Inflammatory Breast Cancer, Stage IIIB. To be truthful, my body had tried to communicate with me many years before the diagnosis. Persistent colds and bouts of bronchitis. Slow-healing bruises. Bone-crushing fatigue. Determined to soldier on without taking advantage of sick days or lazy weekends, I chose to ignore those whispers. But I knew all about them from the Oprah shows.

Continue reading on the 2021 Authors Showcase here.