I had been practicing for three months. The composition was perfect – three horses running across a field, manes and tails blowing in the wind.
I worked out all the colors. The strokes of my practice blackboards fairly flew – I could almost hear the hoofbeats on the ground and an occasional whinny. I did exercises so I would be able to squat while drawing.
The big day came. I Madonnari – the annual chalk festival outside the old Spanish mission in Santa Barbara. My debut – my very first chalk festival.
I crouched down, chose my background colors and started drawing. The greens of the field, blues and white for the sky, yellow for flowers.
I began drawing the first horse – a glossy black one. The next one, white. And the last one, brown. And then…I reached into my chalk box and there was no brown! I moved my hand around in the box – no brown. What to do?
I outlined the horse and decided, Ok, whatever color chalk I pull out will be the color of the third horse. It was….
Title is a prompt from Ina's Weird Prompts™. More stories on this theme in the book Stories From The Heart, vol. 3.
Story © Flo Selfman, PR Consultant, Proofreader-Copyeditor www.WordsalaMode.com, Immediate Past President (2003-16), IWOSC – Independent Writers of SoCalif www.iwosc.org. Reprinted on InaTheMemoirCoach blog with permission.
All were looking for a way to figure out how to really get going on a book they've had in mind, but somehow have not been able to bring to fruition.
We spent time with each person, reviewing reasons why one or another of the books banging them upside the head weren't really taking shape. Turned out, it was usually more than one book each person had been thinking about, sometimes for years.
Does this sound at all familiar? Have you got three or more books you've started to write, put down, picked up again maybe once a year? Have other books jumped up and demanded you tackle them, now?
You are not alone! Ask yourself these questions:
Think about your answers. The solution to which book to start with should become clear. My main point is this. Put your focus on one book at a time. That does not mean the other books won't intrude and want to make themselves heard. Be kind to them. Write down a few notes that they're whispering in your ear, put them in a separate file, and then go back to the one you have selected to do first.
Then what? Keep writing. On the chosen book! Stay focused. Make dates with yourself to write regularly. Carve out a time. You deserve it! Yes, you can fit in other parts of your life. They're important! But stick with your promise to yourself. Write. Then watch the pages mount up.
If you would like concrete ideas on how to stay motivated, how to keep yourself in that chair, how to keep the focus on one book at a time, and how to make that book richer and a better read, join the workshop I'm starting at the end of July! We'll be working with folks who have picked a book to really dive into. And want to take it to the next level. For dates, times, other info, and sign-up use the button below.
At the end of the Jump Start Your Book workshop, the path seemed clear for attendees. And now, I'm looking forward to seeing progress as these people hone in on the book that makes the most sense to start with. And you, too, if you were not at our June 17 Jump Start Your Book! event. This is a limited seating series, and a few seats are available for those who have not attended but have a book they want to develop further.
Hi, and glad to see you! My new blog features memoir and fiction writing tips for you out there aiming to create enchanting memoirs and flights of fancy of your own; new "Pawprints," those close encounters of the furry kind, by moi; and topical comments as they bang on my head to be written. Plus: videos featuring talented authors I'm privileged to work with, reading live, Coming...your life stories, here. Got one you want to share? Use our form to be considered.