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Posts Tagged ‘As the Eraser Burns’

Self-doubt is the enemy of many writers. On some days, the Doubters Club includes me. But I work hard to close me ears to that little niggling voice in the back of my brain which says my writing and art aren’t good enough. And I try not to set myself up for other voices to plant the seeds of doubt in my subconscious.

For me, the love of telling a story pushes me beyond self-doubt. The need to create a world from a chain of words or smathering of paint is enough motivation to cancel my membership in the Doubters Club and create.

My advice to writers, illustrators, crafters, and dreamers: Believe in yourself, and don’t let anyone (yourself included) keep you from pursuing your creative dreams.

For another point of view on the crippling effects of doubt, check out a recent As the Eraser Burns blog post from my writing friend, Laura Bowers: Write with the Door Closed Firmly.

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I’ve given up making New Year’s Resolutions! Why? Because I already know with my personality, crazy-busy family life, short-attention span, etc. – I’m setting myself up for failure.

So what do I do instead? I make a list of things I’d like to accomplish in “winter,” before spring greens the forest floor. (And since I’m also a procrastinator, “spring” for me doesn’t really begin until April Fool’s Day!)

I try to keep the list specific and realistic. I do not list “finish a novel” by March 31st, rather I list “write a minimum of 15 minutes per day.” Since I mentioned the crazy-busy life earlier, if I can’t write 15 minutes one day, I try to write 30 minutes the next. I do not list “blog every day,” rather I list “blog at least once a week.” If I blog 2 or 3 or even 4 times per week, I’m surpassing my goal. Hooray!

The way to continue to pursue goals (notice I don’t use the word “resolutions” – it sounds so weighty), is to have small successes along your path. Positive reinforcement helps all of us keep our eyes focused forward, and encourages us to put one foot in front of another. Certainly, the best way to reach a destination.

By the way, I’ll reset my goals on March 31st for “spring” with a new deadline of June 30th. On June 30th, I’ll reset my goals for “summer” with a deadline of September 30th. On September 30th, I’ll reset my goals with a “fall” deadline of December 31st. Then, as the New Year arrives, I’ll restart the process.

By keeping my goal time-frames to 3 months, I can evaluate a manageable chunk of time and adjust for the next 3-month interval. Perhaps I haven’t been ambitious enough, or maybe, I’ve set goals which aren’t realistic in a 90-day period of time. In either case, I set new goals which seem obtainable without being too easy on myself.

Another point of view on New Year Resolutions can be found on the Maryland/ Delaware/ West Virginia Society of Children’s Book Illustrators’ As the Eraser Burns.

How about you, do you make resolutions? Do you keep them?

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As a writer, one of the tricks to drawing readers into your world is to create well-rounded characters. Characters can’t be just two-dimensional sketches, they must have depth and complexity for readers to care about where they’ve been and what will happen to them now and in the future.

Author Stacy Couch does a nice job of examing well-rounded characters in her recent post on the Maryland/ Delaware/ West Virginia Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators blog, As The Eraser Burns.

Readers, which well-written characters do you enjoy?

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