Archive for the ‘Mistakes’ Category

Are You a Pond or River Writer?

Are you a river or a pond with your writing? Do you let what you have to say flow out of you or do you keep it gathering inside of you?

A river writer lets what they have to say flow out. A pond writer keeps it to themselves.

I have a confession to make. For many years I was a pond instead of a river. I  gathered all this wonderful knowledge, wisdom and insight and would not get around to writing about it.

Fears and busyness held me back. Fears and questions bombarded my mind. Will other people be critical of my writing? Will I write it right or write it perfectly enough? What if no one even bothered to read it? How can I fit writing into my busy schedule? What will I have to give up to take time to write?

I gathered my stories and thoughts into the pond. The only problem is that it wasn’t flowing out of me to anyone who could benefit from it. When  it gathered in the pond, the writing stagnated. I lost the freshness of the ideas and they became stale.

In the last few years, I’ve started pouring out more. Yet I’ve still held back out of fear of not writing perfectly. 

Well, I’m making a decision as of now. I’m not going to let those fears stop me anymore. I’m going to start becoming more of a river writer instead of a pond writer.

I self edit my writing carefully and believe in doing all you can to write well. However, the flip side of that is perfectionism which can keep you from getting out a good message which can help others.

If I make writing mistakes, let me know and I’ll correct them but I’m not going to let fear of mistakes hinder me.

How about you? Are you going to jump in the river with me? Are you afraid? Here’s 5 strategies to overcome those fears.

5 Tips to Overcome Your Fears of River Writing

1. Begin now. Whatever level of skill you’re at in your writing, start there. Start giving to others with your writing.

Zina, one of my students from my writing course started a blog to encourage those with handicaps.  At one point, Zina expressed concern that her writing wasn’t as polished as she would like. I wrote her, “Zina, you’re having a huge impact encouraging others at the skill level you’re at so keep writing!”

Last year, Zina had 12,000 views on her blog. What if she’d let her fears stop her? So many people would have missed out.

2. Understand the principle of increase. The more you use something the more it will increase. You understand this in exercising. The more you exercise, the stronger you get. You go from strength to strength. The same is true in writing, you go from skill level to skill level. The more you write, the more you learn about how to write, the more you’ll grow as a writer.

 3. Let it flow. Sit down and simply start writing. Don’t worry about whether or not you do it right. Turn off the critical side of you and let it come out. Tap into your right brain instead of your left brain and go for it. You can correct it later but for now, let it go.

4. Grow little by little. Take time to add to your writing knowledge. If you want to learn how to write or write better, take the “How to Write for Fun and Profit” writing course.

If you’ve taken the course, pull it out and review it or read another book on writing. Implement writing tips and continue to learn how to write or improve your writing.

5.  Take responsibility. You have a river inside of you but it’s your responsibility to let it flow out to others. Maybe you’re busy. Most people are. That’s where the 15 minute concept came to be. Don’t wait until you have a lot of time or another season of your life. Grab that pen and take advantage of the small increments of time you have now. Let the river flow, 15 minutes at a time.

People out there need to hear what you have to say. Even if it’s an audience of one, they need what you have to give.

So, jump in the river and let it flow. Instead of a pond writer, be a river writer. Refresh others and you’ll be refreshed.

Go write now.

Share the Gift of Writing!

How about you? What fears hold you back? How do you feel when you’re in a pond instead of a river? What is your experience? Share with us in the comments below.

Image of girls by Admar at


How to Write: How Can You Profit From the Problems in Your Life?

Do you ever get discouraged with your writing or writing business? Do you get down? Frustrated? What do you do?

I’ve written about the fun and creative part of writing, but there is often another part that goes with the writing journey. Today, I am in a funk. I didn’t sleep enough hours last night. I got discouraged because of some technical problems with my website and email program. I have some ergonomic problems that cause my hands to hurt and backaches etc from sitting too long at the computer in an inadequate chair. In fact, I’ve been in kind of a funk for the last week for these and various other life challenges.

Why am I writing about this? Why am I sharing my “negative” feelings? Well, because I want to help you. I want you to know that it’s okay to be down sometimes. It is part of a normal life experience. Like everyone else, for various reasons, you can end up in a pit of negative feelings. You can run into a wall of discouragement especially when you learn a new skill such as how to write, or when you write a book, learn to develop in a new area of creative writing, deal with the grammar gremlin or do the obligatory writing needed for your work.

Compost Bin

We live in a culture that doesn’t like to admit their struggles, and so people have a tendency to feel isolated and believe they are the only ones who have difficulties. This is not good or helpful for you. One time I saw a quote that said, “We learn how to suffer by watching others suffer.” How in the world are we going to learn how to deal with the negative in our lives if we don’t know how others struggle and watch how they overcome the various obstacles they encounter?

What do you do with your negative feelings and problems in life? My friends have a garbage compost for the garden. They throw out all the garbage on the compost pile and then use it to nurture growth in the garden. Then they harvest beautiful, nutritious veggies. Take your depressing life experiences and put the garbage on the compost pile. Recycle it! Use them in a positive way to support life and nurture growth.

5 Writing Tips to Turn Your Problems into Profit

First of all realize that profit is not only about money but about personal growth and helping others as well. If you keep this perspective, you can profit from whatever comes your way.

  • Write about it. Journal your negative feelings while you feel them. Acknowledge rather than deny your feelings. Let yourself have them. This is wonderful therapy. If you don’t know why you feel funky or how to get through it, many times answers will come as you write. This can also be great material because as you find your way through the dark tunnel, you can help others find the light too.
  • Look for the opportunity in the adversity. If you are a person of faith, pray and ask for help in solving the problems and wisdom on how to use the negative in a positive way. Anyone who asks God in faith for wisdom receives it.
  • Persist despite the discouragement in moving forward toward your goals. Use the things coming against you to actually propel you forward toward a solution instead of hindering you. “The pressure you feel will drive you to find the solutions you need.” Curt Brown
  • Allow the experiences to carve a compassion in your soul for fellow travelers so you can help them along their life journey. There is nothing like a struggle to break down the walls of pride that often separate us. When you can share your life experiences with others, they profit and you profit. Our shared suffering connects us.
  • Use the lessons learned in some way in a positive way. Learn how to add creativity to your blog writing and write a blog post about challenges you faced and how you overcame them. Learn how to write and write a story using the complexity of your feelings for a character to make your story or novel richer. Write a how-to article or book on how to overcome some of the issues you face.

    Turn Garbage into Dollars

    There are numerous ways to turn your trash into treasure. People will pay you big bucks if you can offer them solutions to their problems. Now I am feeling good about feeling bad. LOL!

Well, this is what I did in the midst of my problems in life. I wrote anyway. Did you get that? Wrote anyway! I had a deadline on a blog post I needed to write so I wrote this.

Go Write Now!

What about you? How do you profit from the problems in your life? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Rubbish Bin Image Grant Cochrane/
Dollars out of Trash Image Scottchan/
Sleeping Woman at Computer Image: Ambro/







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How to Write ~ Does Your Writing Have the Necessary Ingredients?

Does your writing have the necessary ingredients to make it tasty for your reader?

Recently, a friend made some muffins with blueberries and strawberries. They looked yummy. I could hardly wait to bite into them.

My happy face turned to a frown as my taste buds communicated their disappointment to me. The muffins did not follow through on their advertising! They did not live up to their promised appearance. 

My friend either left out some necessary ingredients, mixed the wrong ones or used something that made them taste strange. Additionally, they were bland and definitely lacked some spice or sweetener.Muffin by Serge Bertasius Photography courtesy of ID-100277627

As I reflected on this, similarities to writing came to mind. You can have a great title or headline but does the substance taste good?

Maybe you left out some essential ingredient, or mixed in the wrong thing. Or maybe you whipped up something in a hurry to meet a deadline. Whatever the reason, the result is something bland or even unpleasant.

When you are too hasty in writing something, you can misuse punctuation or misspell words. We all make mistakes in this area. I do too so I am not meaning to be hard on anyone. We need to extend grace to each other.

At the same time, you will want to pay attention to your punctuation and spelling to assist your readers in understanding what you want to communicate.

If your writing is bland to your reader, maybe you left out some of the good stuff like metaphors and similes or word pictures which give spice to your writing. What can you do to be creative with what you have to say?

Learn how to write in a way that draws people in and benefits them

Think of it this way. When you invite someone into your home to eat, you want them to enjoy what you’ve prepared. This applies to your writing. If your writing is in a book or magazine, they have given you that space.

If your writing is on the Internet, it is your living area, your home on the Internet. When someone is in your living space, whether you offer a story, article or blog post, you want your readers to gain something from spending that time with you.

After all, you did go to the trouble of writing it, so why not pay attention to some of those details? Create something tasty and satisfying that your reader can benefit from and enjoy. When you write, ask yourself–how can I make this piece more pleasurable and beneficial to my reader?

Now go whip up something tasty for your readers!

If you want to learn how to write your books, stories or memories or learn how to write better, check out the online writing course, “How to Write for Fun and Profit.”

If you would like ongoing personalized support, encouragement and accountability in learning the craft of writing and getting your writing done, check out “Wise Writers Write NOW!”

P. S. How about you? What do you do to make your writing appetizing? Or what can you do to improve it? Write your thoughts about this post in the comments below. 




How to Write: Learn to Juggle Your Writing

Do you find yourself trying to juggle a number of activities with your family, work and friends? There are all your household and/or work responsibilities and your desire to be with family and friends. Then there is your desire to write or maybe even your need to write because your work requires it. Added to that, you want to learn how to write or learn how to write better.  Additionally, there are all the wonderful activities and resources to explore that relate to writing. Do you drop a few balls as you try to juggle it all?

Recently, my adult son and I went to see a Russian acrobat team. They combined acrobats and comedy. One of them was a clown who did a juggling act with big bowling size balls connected with a rope. My son loves juggling and so we watched with intrigue as the juggler did some amazing things with the balls. We watched the finished act and the perfection at which he accomplished each feat from one degree of difficulty to the next.

I wondered what it would have been like if we had seen him in the beginning. I am sure he dropped a lot of balls. He didn’t start out with this degree of expertise in balancing these juggling balls. Did he stop trying? Read More Here…