About Me

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I'm a writer and library worker who wears many hats. I believe a good book and a good piece of chocolate are the keys to a happy life.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

I have been putting this off, looking for just the right information to pass on and express how grateful I am for all the blessings of the past year. Then, my father sent me this.

Merry Christmas, everyone! I've been blessed to know you and feel your spirits this past year. May the new year bring the same wonder and joy for all of us.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Finish Line

There’s something about the finish line. It doesn’t matter what kind of race you have been running, seeing that line is a powerful experience. It gives you an extra boost of energy; it fills you with exhausted pride when you cross over it.

Last evening I finished a major deadline. It wasn’t a particularly stimulating project or one that filled with an immense sense of creative satisfaction. Plus, it was a rather large project. I under estimated the amount of my time and energy it would take to complete. I dragged my feet. I questioned the overall quality of my work. Still, though it was not a race I would have volunteered for it was a race I was willing to run. I’m sure I came in dead last, but I finished.

As I went to bed last night, two scriptures began to run through my head that seemed appropriate to the race I’d just finished.

“Do not run faster or labor more than you have strength and means provided to enable you to [write]; but be diligent unto the end. Pray always, that you may come off conqueror; . . .” D&C 10:4-5
“ My [daughter] peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes. Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands.” D&C 121:7-9

I guess one of the overall lessons I’ve learned since I started writing is that there has to be a great majority of priority and goal setting, followed up by a great deal of perseverance.
The fact of the matter is I love to write. This is my chosen profession. For me, it’s kind of like the other professional hat I wear. I’m a mother. Both occupations keep my mind filled with life, love and worry. Both have days where I wish I’d chosen a different path for myself. Yet, when it’s all said and done, at the end of the day when the children are sleeping peacefully and I’ve tucked another writing project into its envelop for shipping, I love what I do.

In fact, many writers refer to their projects as their babies. What we write spends a great deal of time very close to our hearts. Each project carries its own unique challenges and personality. Its progress consumes us; we spend a great deal of time and energy helping it “grow up” beautifully before sending it out into the world. Then, we spend a great deal of time praying that no one calls our baby ugly.

Writing makes me laugh, it makes me cry, it stretches me to the point of exhaustion, it fills me with pride. Kind of like motherhood. Now, back to work.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Art of Procrastination

Why is it that we procrastinate? I seem to have perfected nothing else in my life but the ability to put off for tomorrow, or the next day, those things which should be accomplished today.

Yes, even as I sit here typing this I am procrastinating a deadline.

Why is that? Writing is the thing that I love most in the world. Generally, it doesn’t even matter what the assignment is, I just love the fact that I can sit down at my computer and create something with my words that someone else needs. I do have a selfish streak, I know. There are days when I just can’t write another technical word. I miss the creative side of me that doesn’t pay when I’m bogged down with “real” writing assignments. Still, even when my time is my own, and I can write those projects that fuel my soul, I have a grand tendency to procrastinate.

I think part of it has to do with the negative influences we let into our lives. I put off the task because I’m afraid my best won’t be good enough in some manner. Whether it be money, creativity, what my editor or employer thinks of me, or how much house work I’ve neglected this week, a million little negative thoughts can all jumble together into one big stumbling block of procrastination.

I’ll do it just as soon as I check my email; that assignment I’ve been waiting on may have come through.
I’ll do it just as soon as I give the dog a bath, I can smell her from here.
I’ll start again just as soon as I finish jotting down the thought I had for another project.
I can’t do it now; the kids will be home in 10 minutes.
I’m getting a headache; I can’t look at this screen for another minute.
I just remembered I haven’t balanced the checkbook, scrubbed the grout in the bathroom, or had that oral surgery, for months now. I’d better take care of it while I’m still thinking of it.
There’s a piece of pie in the refrigerator that is calling my name, I simply can’t concentrate until it’s gone.

The list of excuses could go on and on, but I’d really like to get to the bottom of this procrastination problem. It seems the more I put something off, the less energy I have for it. I put it off again and the nasty cycle begins all over again until I dread the very idea of the thing but I have to do it or else. So, dear reader, what is your favorite procrastination tool and your theory about why we procrastinate?

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Another New Adventure

In the past week or so I wanted to upload a video I put together to go with a marvelous Christmas message. My sadly lacking computer skills failed me and it wouldn't upload. So, you missed my very uplifting Christmas message. Oh well. Best laid plans of mice and men and all that.
I am still finding myself knee deep in various writing projects and they are beginning to wear on me a bit- they're starting to take the fun out of writing for me so I'm working on refocusing on the blessings this week.
One project that I've taken on is definately falling in the blessing category. I've slowly been adding my voice to the wonderful contributing authors on ldsblogs.com. You can find my entries at http://discipleship.ldsblogs.com/. It's been a wonderful chance to refocus on the gospel when my writing is currently surrounded by the cares of the world. I appreciate the opportunity they've given me to share my testimony and thoughts.
If you're reading this, take a moment to share: what is the greatest blessing you get from being a writer? I need my cup filled, but I fear there might be a leak at the bottom.