July 30 2002 Roadblocks

ROADBLOCKS

This week, I was inspired by a motivational calendar on my desk that came from my church. It said, “Be aware of roadblocks in life. Ask God for direction.” Now, I am not going to get into a religious treatise here, because this is certainly not the forum. I would, however, like to talk about roadblocks in general.

In my mind, there are two kinds of roadblocks. The kind you impose on yourself and the kind imposed on you by other people and other events. You can choose to let them sit there, blocking your path, or you can move around them and get on with things.

SELF-IMPOSED BLOCKS

A friend and I were discussing the other day how some people get so afraid of success that they purposely sabotage their careers. Oh sure, they still make sales, but they never reach out of that comfort zone and strive for more.

Think about it. Are you in a comfort zone right now? Working for an editor or a publication who likes your work and never makes you try harder? Are you scared to take that chance, spread your wings and reach for more?

If you weren’t, I’d be seriously worried about your mental health J However, in order to be all you can be, as the Army would say, you need to reach past your own mental blocks and try for more. Don’t let fear or a flicker in self-confidence keep you from reaching your goals. Don’t let the fact that you don’t know how to write an essay, or you’ve never written a mystery, keep you from doing just that – if it’s what you really want. LEARN how to do it. ADMIT you don’t know everything. Take classes, study other writers, read books, join lists. WORK at being a better writer and those wings will spread all on their own.

EXTERNAL BLOCKS

Many of you probably have family members who wonder why the heck you write. Maybe you already have a great job that pays well and this writing thing isn’t paying you beans. Maybe your parents or significant other or heck, your dog, is telling you that you can’t write well.

Who do you believe?

That’s the simplest question I’ll ever ask you. You believe YOURSELF. Don’t listen to the naysayers. They could be jealous, or simply misunderstand who you are and what is important to you. If you get a bad editor, or a nasty publisher, or even a bad agent (BT, DT, not doing it again), then MOVE ON. Don’t use that as an excuse to settle for less or to change career paths.

Montel Williams often says, “Mountain, get out of my way.” He is a strong believer in the power of self to move mountains and make things happen. His career is testament to that ability. He doesn’t let anything -his race, his background, his MS—get in his way. He moves on and moves forward.

There are no roadblocks that aren’t conquerable. Think about that for a minute. There really aren’t. If you don’t have a computer, hand-write your material. If you don’t have hands, use your toes. If you don’t have toes, use your voice. If you don’t have a voice, try telepathy.

If you don’t have confidence in you—get some. Write yourself notes, have long talks with yourself, read your horoscope if it helps you feel more powerful. In short, do what you have to do in order to achieve that dream of being published.

I’m going to say it twice, just to be sure you heard me: There are no roadblocks that aren’t conquerable.

Simple as that.

Until next time, may all your words be good ones,

Shirley

CHEERS, CHAMPAGNE AND CHOCOLATE TO:

Deanna Lilly, website designer extraordinaire on her conquering of her own roadblock. Give her a big cheer and a pound of chocolate for deciding to further her education and return to school. I am cheering for her!

Winners of the first Bookmark Giveaway: Carla Spoon and Carol Preflatish! Send me your snails, gals, and I will get a signed bookmark in the mail to you ASAP.

Next week, I’ll give another one away by random drawing and also give one to the first person who sends me either a Cheer or a Question for next week’s newsletter!

Shirley

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