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Award News!!!!

Today I learned that my third book, A Mountain Man’s Redemption, is an official 2016 RONE Award Finalist!!!!!

A special message for those of you still considering following your own dreams—whatever they may be—know that being a writer was something I wanted to do since first grade. It took me a while, and I had many setbacks on the way, but I’m so glad I stuck with it. Never give up!!

Thank you everyone for all your support over the years!! Your encouragement means everything to me!!!

RONE 2016

Guest Post: Marcela De Vivo

Today’s guest post is by a freelance writer based out of Los Angeles who specializes in articles about a variety of topics. Today I’ve asked her to write about not giving up on your dreams.

Without further ado, here’s Marcela!

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Creative Ways to Keep Your Dream Alive

Your dreams and goals in life are an important component of your well-being and your motivation for getting up every morning. These goals can be family-oriented, financial, healthy or made up of some other tangible scenario that you’re trying to attain within a certain amount of time.

Regardless of the scope of that goal or the time frame that you intend to achieve it in, you need to make an effort on a regular basis to maintain those goals in your own mind and keep them “alive” as you go about your daily life.

Long-term goals (and even short-term ones) can require a tremendous amount of patience before they are realized. While we might be able to stay patient for a time, it’s easy for us to lose interest in the things that we view as only a distant fantasy, that probably won’t ever come to fruition.

In order to avoid having our hopes and dreams die out before we ever get to them, we need to keep a few things in mind that will help us creatively and proactively press towards our goals and keep them burning in our hearts and minds.

1. Planning each day

Even our short-term goals require day to day planning. Having your accomplishments laid out for you every morning is the best way you can attack life’s goals and pursuits.

It helps you avoid feeling like you have to do it all right away and gives you a much more concentrated focus as you put in your hours.

Instead of having your thoughts jumping too far ahead, focus on accomplishing what needs to be done today and let that determine how you’ll approach the next day and so on. Before you start your day, write a list of what you want to accomplish for that day only.

2. Keeping your head down

It might not be the most glamorous idea, but keeping your head down and working towards your goals on a regular basis is simply a must when it comes to actually achieving them.

The unfortunate thing about life is that just about every goal works that way. Whether it’s learning something, obtaining a degree, creating a business or building something, it all takes a lot of time and a lot of work.

If you can keep your head down and put in that work, you’ll definitely see the fruits of your labor in due time.

3. Dividing long and short-term accomplishments

Your long term goals will only be accomplished by a series of short-term objectives that you complete one at a time.

These shorter tasks should be divided up somewhere between several months and a year. This will give yourself enough to time to make substantial progress, but not so much that you’ll find yourself pressured or panicked because of deadlines.

These goals can often be major components of your dream, such as saving up for a down payment on a house or accumulating a certain amount of clients for your business.

4. Keep it in perspective

It’s important to realize that your dreams and goals, while good and important parts of your life, aren’t worth every ounce of your energy. Take the time to enjoy the ride there, just as much as you would look forward to when those aspirations are actually fulfilled.

Make a mind map– one for your long-term goals and one for your short-term goals. Creating a mind map can provide you with a more structured approach to achieving your goals.

If you are more spiritual, include daily meditation and yoga practices. There are several benefits for your health if you include both of these activities in your life, including reduced stress and improved weight loss. 

Enjoy the Ride

Every stage in life, no matter how wonderful, inevitably gives way to a longing and desire for the next stage. It’s just the way we’re built.

So, take your time, work hard and enjoy the ride. If you do, you’ll realize your dreams and keep your sanity while working to achieve them.

Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer from Southern California whose writing covers everything from technology to health and beauty; she currently writes content at Fair and Flawless Skin. She is always aspiring to reach a certain goal in her life and does her best to maintain a balance between achieving those goals, work and her family.

Quote Friday

Today’s quote comes from C.S. Lewis…

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.

On a related note, I was interviewed by our local ABC affiliate yesterday about Along the Way Home. The focus of the interview was how I took 13 years to get it published, and how I never gave up even though I got lots of rejections. 

CLICK HERE to see the interview. 

How about you? Do you have any big plans for the upcoming weekend?

Quote Friday

Today’s quote is from Dale Carnegie …

Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished
by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.

Want more quotes? You’ll love this article, “20 Unstoppable Entrepreneurs share their advice for success”. 

Quote Friday

Today’s writing quote comes from T. E. Lawrence…

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible. 

(The formatting and color is coming across a bit weird today so forgive me if it’s hard to read. I finally updated my internet to Google Chrome and everything is shiny and bright and I’m still getting used to all the new features all my usual websites have now)

The “Fun” vs “Business” Sides of Writing

This week has been a bit hectic and I haven’t had the time to write a new post so here’s a re-post from earlier this year…
 
On a related note, the 539 piece Lego house is FINALLY complete! 🙂
 
I belong to a writing critique group and during a meeting one of the members said something that got me thinking.
 
“Christi, all you’ve done lately is revise chapter after chapter of your novel and work on your synopsis, proposal, and loglines. You’re putting so much effort into making everything absolutely perfect that it doesn’t seem you get to have fun with your writing anymore.”
 
He’s right. It is hard work doing all the things needed to get published. Writing and polishing my novel was only the beginning. Creating the synopsis was tedious at best, the pitch sentence took days, and the book proposal, though finished, is still woefully inadequate and will need additional revisions. Don’t even get me started on the query letter.
 
The path to publication is also expensive. Writing conferences, reams of paper, printer cartridges, “how to write” books, membership dues to various writing clubs—all these costs add up quick.
 
Then there’s the social networking aspect to make sure you can actually sell your book once a publisher takes you on. Facebook, Twitter, blogging, building a platform, writing your bio, maintaining an email database and sending out newsletters to every person that expressed any interest whatsoever about your writing, and finally reading, and commenting on, fellow author blogs.
 
Don’t forget about the staggering amount of time it takes for a successful career in writing. First there’s hours, days, years spent in front of the computer researching, writing and revising your own work. Then you’ve got to find and read comparable works for reference and to make sure your own measures up, critique partner manuscripts, and somewhere in there you’ve got to read for pleasure.
 
After all that, when you’ve honed every last word of your manuscript/query letter/synopsis/book proposal/logline/pitch to shining perfection you send your work out. Then comes the crushing blows of all the various stages of rejection. And fighting back the self-doubt. And the niggling fear in the back of your mind of “Am I good enough?”
 
Publishing is not for the weak, and even the most determined writer needs to take a break and regroup from time to time. I am no exception.
 
This last week I decided to relax for a bit since I’ve been working so hard lately. But, during my time off, book two in the series (the sequel to my first novel) continued to wait, patiently beckoning, knowing I can’t resist. The fourth night of my self-imposed “writing rest” found me thumbing through the pages longingly and soon I found myself filling the margins with notes and ideas.
 
It was during this moment when I realized, to an extent, my writing critique partner is right. This is the part that I love the most. As I flip through page after page of my “already written but needing a serious revision sequel” ideas come forth and make their way to the paper with no worries of storyline, word choice, grammar–all the things that slow the flow of ideas.
 
However, my ultimate goal is seeing my book(s) published. And since the “business” part of writing is how they’ll get on those shelves, consider me a businesswoman!