Timing is important

You may know the song or the scripture it comes from, “…to everything there is a season and a time to every purpose…” this came to mind today when an author I follow posted in her group that “timing is important with books.”Timing is important_2

Yes! With books and so many other things….it has many names, serendipity, synchronicity, the right time (divine timing), and coincidence.

There are so many books that I read at the right time, books that the timing was important. Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher is a memorable one. Mud Vein changed the way I connected with books; I viewed reading and writing from a completely different perspective after that book. (You can read my post love letter to Mud Vein here.)

I first noticed the importance of timing when reading when I was fresh out of college and taking the train to visit relatives in Chicago and to attend my first RWA literacy signing (imagine 500 + authors wall to wall signing books…with all proceeds going to literacy, check them out at RWA.org). Months before this I had picked up one of my favorite author’s new hardcover book (yes, because I was a HUGE fan I splurged on the hardcover!!) I still hadn’t read it. I had tried and tried again and just couldn’t get into it. I thought I was going to have to skip it and just chalk it up to bad writing…


Here I was getting ready for a 5 hour train ride picking out my books for the trip (this is BEFORE ebooks…or at least before devices for ebooks were invented so physical books had to be planned ahead for the trip.) I was ready to try again with the spy-novel-romance book I had been trying to read for months. The night before, I forced (yes, forced) myself to read the first couple of chapters to get myself going.

The train was full and I ended up sitting next to a young gentleman who was nearly as well read as I was (he had just finished reading Tuesday’s with Morrie – one of my all time favorite books) and we chatted for the first portion of the trip (I wasn’t all that excited to get to my book, not at all like me…) he was heading to DC and then off to Germany for some sort of “training” and then he asked where I was headed…but my mind kept going back to the book I had started the night before…hmmm…the hero of my book was a former CIA agent….why would someone take the train from Wisconsin to DC only to fly to Germany?

At this point if you don’t know me, I have a VERY active imagination! So my mind was racing with all sorts of things between the book and the gentleman sitting next to me (whose name just added to the mystery – Sam Adams – yep, he was named after a beer! Couldn’t he have come up with a non-spyish name??!!!) Why did he have to go to DC to fly to Germany? Why couldn’t he fly out of Chicago? And his name is Sam Adams!

After that trip, I realized that had I read that book at any other time I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much. It was the timing of it that made it a book that I ended up loving. It also made my trip all that more memorable. I was unfamiliar with downtown Chicago and I needed to walk from the train station to meet my cousin, Sam Adams, spy in training in my head, offered to walk with me to the corner my cousin specified. He did. And I never forgot his kindness.

I no longer force myself to read books if they don’t catch me. Maybe they will at a different time…a time when I NEED to read it. I also notice books that I am meant to read. Mud Vein kept popping up for me, it was everywhere…until I finally broke down and read it. Then it wouldn’t leave me along for another reason entirely!

But for reading (and with writing too!) there is a time and a reason and I’ve learned just to follow my heart and let the reason figure itself out….

(As I’m finishing this post Miley Cyrus is signing Younger Now, and I think, yes, timing is important. Younger Now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LX2kpeyp80)





Create Fearlessly


“I’m convinced that FEAR is at the root of most bad writing.” – Stephen King, On Writing

Don’t let fear stop you from writing, even if it’s not what others are telling you is selling, or what others might wish you to write. Did you know that Stephen King’s horror stories were initially rejected by publishers? Their reasoning was that no one was buying horror. That didn’t stop him from writing them, he persisted, eventually published Carrie, and went on to become the preeminent horror writer. Then when he wanted to write something outside of the horror genre publishers once again limited King in that they believed no one would want something other than horror from him. Personally, his “non-horror” stories are my favorite. So while publishers were fearful, King was not. He knew what he wanted to write.

Writer’s block doesn’t exist, it’s resistance which is usually caused by fear.

Don’t allow fear to box you in.

Fear is the killer of creativity.

Let go of the fear…get rid of the box…create fearlessly…

Write what you are called to write even if it’s something outside your comfort zone, outside of genre, or out of this world…you might be the next writer to create a new trend or even a new genre. Go for it, you have nothing to lose….

Create out loud ~ Live out loud ~ Write out Loud


Write Out Loud

First Draft_JaneSmiley5

Yes! But only if you WRITE it!! So throw out all your inhibitions, write free, and write fearlessly!! Once you have that perfect first draft, you have all the time in the world to make it so!

#Writeoutloud #nofear #writenow

❤ ❤ ❤



Get Rid of the Box

Don’t try to think outside of the box, get rid of it altogether. You don’t need it. It’s not a guidepost, it’s a restriction.

If you feel you need the box for structure then create your own, with your own style and flair. No one else can be you, no one else has your ideas and creativity.

My Box_3

Get rid of the box or create your own.

Either way, break free…

Create you.

Write you.

Live you.

Be you.

❤ ❤ ❤


It’s Not the Critic Who Counts

I recently came  across a talk that Brené Brown did for a 99U conference in 2013 about vulnerability and how to deal with your critics.

Theodore Roosevelt gave in Paris, France on April 23, 1910, often referred to as “The Man in the Arena” speech, which is the basis for this particular talk as well as Brené’s book Daring Greatly.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Art is: Bravery. Courage. Vulnerability. Love. Art is about all of those things and it’s also about showing up and being seen. But when we’re creating we get scared because we know the moment we put ourselves out there, we’re going to see and hear things that make us question why we made the art in the first place. We don’t want to be seen if we have to deal with the critics.


Do it anyway, make art anyway. “Tell them [critics], I see you, I hear you, but I’m going to do this anyway.” Because vulnerability is also the birthplace of all the things we crave, love, belonging, joy, trust, empathy, creativity, innovation.

“When you armor up [against vulnerability] you shut yourself off from everything that you do and love.”

Brené encourages her audience to shed their armor so that you can create what it is that you are meant to create and reach the audience that you are looking to reach.

“Without vulnerability you cannot create.”

This is why I admire her message so much, when we get down to the vulnerability in art (writing) that’s when we really reach other people. And all that means is that YOU write what YOU want to write, even if it makes you vulnerable to critics, to readers, to anyone, even yourself. When you are authentic and vulnerable and real…that’s when you reach the people you need to reach, that’s when you will be heard.

Make your art, fail at your art and remember, it’s not the critic who counts. It’s you, because even when you fail you do it while daring greatly.

❤ ❤ ❤