Competiveness is taking the fun out of writing

This is what I have been experiencing lately. I have many writer friends and I am so thankful for a supportive community of like-minded people. But this is what I have lately been experiencing. Whenever I am around my writer friends the discussion is always what people are working on and how many are getting published. Well, of course, what else would writers talk about? I am writing regularly, but I haven’t been published in awhile. I have been sending out submissions and receiving regular rejections. It kind of amazes me because back in the 1980s and 1990s I got published often. I think I am a better writer now, so the constant rejections have me a bit baffled. But no matter, I have developed a thick skin over the years. My present real concern is that I feel a sense of competition amongst myself and my fellow authors, and this feeling is taking away the fun of writing. I feel I have to keep up with my colleagues, and I don’t like this feeling. Does anyone else feel like this?

Featured Reading

Sunday March 12th at Koffi in Rancho Mirage two o’clock. Author Judith Fabris will share excerpts from her new novel. Carol Mann and Lynn Centeno will share their collaborative project All Ways A Woman featuring poetry from Carol and artwork from Lynn. An open mic is also included. Come and enjoy, listen, participate, buy a book! As always, your host: moi.

Finding Time to Write

Seven months ago I took on a part-time job just to earn some extra money and supplement my pension. I like the job, don’t get me wrong, but boy oh boy, does it cut into my writing time. I have been hearing for years that most writers get up early in the morning and write. Well, I have never been an early bird, in fact, I hated getting up at 5:30 when I was a teacher. But, this job has afforded me a blessing. Because I was experiencing less and less time to write, I finally said to myself: “Okay, self, you are getting up earlier and going to the computer!” Why am I doing this to myself? Because if I don’t write I feel that I’m not accomplishing anything. Even though I do tons of stuff, writing is the only thing that makes me feel like I am fulfilling my purpose. My writing doesn’t even have to get published; I just have to write in order to follow my bliss.

So, I have been doing just that this week, getting up earlier and sitting down to write. The brain is so much clearer in the morning, before all the things of the day pile up. It has worked! I wrote a poem this week that I am sort of satisfied with and I sent off a submission to a journal. I am no longer feeling that my Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (the days I work) are just filled with work and not anything else.

Do you realize people, that if you  wrote just one poem a week you would have fifty-two poems by the end of the year? Enough for a manuscript.

Keep writing my friends!


time allocation

Many of us find it difficult finding the time to write, especially if you have a job. I started a part-time job last August; it’s only 15-18 hours a week but it really cuts into my writing time. Lo and behold! The topic of our general meeting of The Palm Springs Writers Guild yesterday addressed this subject. Three speakers addressed the issue of time management. We were even given time sheets so that we could better organize our week, making sure we set aside time for writing. The time sheets break down the day into one hour slots. I just finished making our my time sheets for the upcoming week. Let’s hope it works! Let me know if it works for you.

keep several journals

Journaling is not only a great way to chronicle your life experiences, but can also be a great inspiration for poems, memoir pieces, and short stories. I have several different kinds of journals, each with their own particular purpose. I have my “life journals” that I have kept for decades, starting with the first journal I ever received on my thirtieth birthday. Since then there is  the journal for my thirties, one for my forties, one for my fifties, and now my sixties. But I keep other journals as well. I have one journal in which I reminisce what I refer to as “magical moments”. Some of the entries include giving birth, the first time I heard The Firesign Theater, and that night I slept on the cliffs at Las Piedras Blancas. I have another journal in which I remember people who have made a significant impact on my life. Another journal is for “things.” In this one I write about material objects that have meant something to me, such as an Irish wool scarf a former boyfriend bought me, the Japanese vase I inherited from my mother, the two feathers from my love bird that I keep in a special little box. Then there is the journal for significant places, places where I have either lived or traveled. I even have a journal my daughter gave me entitled One Line a Day. In this one you write just one line on what happened that day. The journal chronicles five years of one liners for each day of the year. Now, in light of all this you must be thinking, “My God, how does she find the time to write in all of those journals?” Well, I don’t write in more than one a day, and sometimes I may even go weeks without writing in any of them. The quantity does not matter. What matters is the recording, not only of our unique lives, but to accumulate a plethora of material that can inspire your writing.

Happy writing!



A Thanksgiving Thought

I first saw this on Facebook.

Ten Ways to Know you Have a Wonderful Life

  1. you have clean clothes
  2. you have a good heart
  3. you will eat today
  4. you have clean water
  5. you have shelter
  6. you have people who care about you
  7. you have people you care about
  8. you have faith in a higher power and that higher power could be you
  9. you have family or had a family
  10. you have friends