Archive for category Spiritual Focus

Sowing and Reaping

Walking the Tightrope

If you’re like me you probably have a long list of goals you want to accomplish…this week…this year…this lifetime. That plus keeping up with work, family life and laundry and are enough to fill up pretty much all available time, right? I don’t know too many people who have even a nanosecond to sit around and twiddle their thumbs. (I’m not sure how much thumb-twiddling could be attained in a nanosecond, but whatever percentage of one twiddle is possible is likely a feat enviable by all who are as busy as I.)

If you’re a Creative like me (or even just someone who’s project-minded), you strive to just keep your focus. And once you’ve got that golden nugget of inspiration, you put your head down and just go, go, go – cranking out the work, honing your craft or working toward your goal. And that’s a good thing…usually.

Unless the work becomes all about “me.” It’s a delicate balance, really. I have to walk that tightrope between complete inner focus and making time for the others I share this world with. I can’t give all my time away, but I can’t keep it all to myself, either. Read the rest of this entry »

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Inspiration through…Deprivation?

Two thousand ten was a great year. Including the completion of my first novel and winning National Novel Writing Month on a second book (oh yeah, and having a baby), I achieved many things in the realm of developing myself and my craft as a writer. But I’m hoping to make 2011 much bigger and better. The long list of goals for the year? Oh, I’ve got it. And multiple novels have made the list.

A Bad Case of the “Januarys”

On the whole, Januarys are hard for me. Sure, I like the idea of a blank slate, a pristine canvas on which to start fresh. Right now I can feel like the world around me buzzing in resolutions – diets, exercise programs, renewed work ethics, high levels of dedication and resolve. But my Januarys always end up feeling like a bad case of the “Mondays”…on steroids. I always say that January is the “Monday” of the year. And it never seems to bring motivation. Instead, all I feel is the pressure of three-hundred-and-sixty-five days to not screw up. (If you think that sounds a bit pessimistic, then you’re right. I’ll admit it.) Fifty-two weeks to create something amazing. Twelve months to make a difference in my life and in the world. (I have big aspirations, can you tell?)

But rather than searching high and low for inspiration like my normal posts would suggest, I’m taking another tactic. I’m not looking for the drive that will get me into gear so that I can crank out my goals. Instead, I’m taking the month to work on honing my focus. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Creator’s Image

Amanda Jump

In my early twenties, I began writing about a girl named Sunny in what I thought would be my first novel. I found my inspiration for her name (also to be the book title) from Frank Sinatra’s song by the same title. I loved that song. I listened to it in the car, in my house, and at work – on repeat. That first attempt at a novel floated along nostalgic and sorrowful chords about identity and the fumbling of girlish insecurities in a young woman’s world (though that’s not what the song is about at all). The fumbled attempt abruptly ended – sufficiently absorbed in its own melancholy – on the sunny day it first dawned on me that I had outgrown my own theme. That was when I realized writing a novel would require more than a few whimsical notes of an inspiring song. 😉 Read the rest of this entry »

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