Friday, November 20, 2015

New Space

So this week's blog is super short...less words, more photos!  My home office was a small space, roughly 7 feet by 10 feet.  With the mossy green walls, slanted ceilings, and a small window, it was more of a dark hole than a writing place for me.

I also had another room in the house, which I have written in before.  It was empty except for a rocking chair (older than me) and my son's hand weights.  I was doing a women's challenge called the #LiveMoreChallenge.  One day the challenge was to redecorate.  I took that ball and ran with it!!

So I turned the very underutilized space into my new writing room....AND I LOVE IT!!!!  I lightened the leftover paint and it's now a bit of a minty green.  I painted the horribly damaged wood floors a satin white, and I added some Goodwill purchases (The two hutches were $50 total and the desk was a $40 steal!!)!!!

This weekend I will be holed away in here with my tunes, my cinnamon candy, and the words pouring out of me....and I can't wait!  I even took Monday off of work so that I have an entire day to just get lost in writing.  Check out my new space!

Before and after!

Plenty of room to create!

hutches full of my china and back issues of Oprah mags!

My inspiration board!

I can workout with a view!

Animals testing the treadmill

Friday, November 13, 2015

Finding My Voice

This week I'm finishing an online challenge to not only enjoy life more but to also love myself more.  The online support group of women has been awesome and some of the group even decided that we don't want to stop this great support so they have started another FB group to continue to encourage each other on our journeys!  It's been amazingly refreshing really.

Reading and sharing with strangers all our fears, doubts, joys, triumphs, and uncertainties has made me feel connected in a way I haven’t felt with some of my friends or family as of late.  I can voice my honest opinion to people and not be seen as being a drama queen, but feel genuinely heard. 

In being heard, I feel as if I've found my voice again….not that I lost it, it’s been in me, but it’s now me letting it out.  It’s also me going inward and deciding what I really want this voice to sound like to the rest of the world.

I realized that my characters have been putting my voice out there for years now.  They have been the mouthpiece for which I feel comfortable saying what my doubts and fears are; what my internal struggles are.  When Avery didn't feel ready to open up…that was me.  When Myra struggled with trusting again…that was me.  And when Noelle said ‘no more’ to a life of being small…that was me as well.

I love writing strong female characters that go after what they want in life, they don’t just sit back and dream and hope…they do, they make changes and take risks and bask in the joy and freedom of going for it! 

I've also realized that in living through my characters that I wasn't totally living myself.  In some ways, I have been inspired by these characters to try new things, to trust, to know when it’s not worth the drama to give your all for nothing in return.  This week’s online challenge helped me see I’m tired of living behind some words on a paper.

 The Amy O’Neill that released FINDING HOME was going for it!  I didn't care what people thought or anything; I followed my passion with abandon and reaped the rewards of making a dream a reality.  Over these last few years, I forgot about that ‘going for it’ and saw it as a job to do.  The passion began to die.

There you have it…no BS, no excuses….I’m realizing it as I’m typing this.  My passion became work and it began to die.  But I don’t want it to die…not at all any more in the least bit. 

When someone asks me about myself I love saying “I’m a writer”…I feel those words in the marrow of my bones, from the center of my soul I feel them.  Not just a romance writer or a chick lit writer, but a writer….an expresser through words, a painter of print….I AM A WRITER.

Yes, I hope to always write romance.  I love the coming together of two people, the fire and fun, the steam and sweetness.  Romance has always been my first love.

But I don’t want to just see myself as just that - a romance writer.  Not at all.  I want to be a writer of women who find their voices, who forge ahead into the unknown, who trust without reason and who believe and have faith that all will work out as it should.

I want to write these women because I am that woman.  It’s taken me 37 years to embrace that I don’t know the future nor can I control it.  And there really is beauty is releasing a false hold on that control.  I don’t know if fans will like my writing, or what I do or don’t post on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram. All I know is that I have struggled to let my voice be heard.  I have stifled my own sounds to please the ears of others and I can’t do that anymore. 

My characters, their stories - MY STORY - need to be heard and felt.  I hope my readers find a kindred spirit in the pages of my books.  I pray my heroines are women they would be proud to call friend, sister, or self.

We all have our own voices and our own ways of getting them heard.  Mine is in my writing….I’m a writer…that is not just what I do but also who I am. 

Friday, November 6, 2015

Wait for it....

I've been a little MIA for the last few weeks on blog posts, and this week I know I've missed several days of Facebook posts....and I'm not even freaking out about it! Yay me!

My personal life has been hectic lately as my wonderful boyfriend of 14 months moved in and we are learning how to co-mingle full time.  It's been an adventure and overall great! I'm learning to let go of some control and truly enjoy having a partner in all's nice to not have to "wear the pants" all the time!

Also in the last few weeks I've had several mind-blowing encounters...mostly when I open up Elizabeth Gilbert's latest book BIG MAGIC.  Wowza!!  Even if you are not a creative type person, I think this book is amazing to read and really made me step back and re-evaluate my writing approach.

Whenever I've been blocked or haven't written it's because I haven't felt my creativity flowing.  I never wanted to 'force' my writing .... but that has been my error.  In my 'sit around and wait for inspiration', I realize that I didn't exactly have the door open for that same inspiration to walk through.  There's a saying that God doesn't call the ready, he readys the called.  In that same mindset - inspiration doesn't come to someone sitting there, it comes to someone doing the work.  How else will inspiration know who's ready to receive it?

In BIG MAGIC, Gilbert states that she feels ideas are an energy force themselves, all around us like air, and just looking for the conduits to come to life.  When someone is ready and open, that idea comes through and comes to life - in art, music, medicine, etc.  But if that person isn't open, the idea continues until it finds someone to let it in.  This idea of ideas being energy also explains how two people, on opposite ends of the world, can come up with the same conclusions in medicine, technology, etc.  Both of those people were open and the idea's energy came through both.

Mozart didn't just sit around and wait for the notes to appear, DaVinci didn't wait for the muses to show, and Elizabeth Gilbert didn't wait to eat, pray, or love her way to several bestsellers.  They showed up every day, some days or weeks or months were trudging through the work, until those magical moments where the ideas came through and they grabbed onto them with all their might and went along for the ride.  You never get where you want to go by sitting still and waiting.

No more waiting.

This weekend I'm moving my office, my current location feels a bit like a cave so there is no wonder I don't go in there much.  After the redecorating it's back to the business of writing...every day....crap or greatness. I'm making a commitment not just to myself but to my craft to put myself into the flow of ideas and give the books and plots swarming in my brain a way to get out and come to life.

Whether it's writing or painting or dancing or creating spreadsheets or running a company....never sit around and wait for the ideas to find you.  Go out there and get it!  It's there waiting on you!

Here is what you missed!