Short and Sweet Advice for Writers

Here - it's for you!

Here – it’s for you!

Today’s post will be short – just two tasty morsels of writing-related goodness:


A Secret Source of Inspiration

I subscribe to way too many email newsletters. I read hardly any of them. There is one, however, that arrives in my inbox daily and is so brief that I can usually read it right from my email program’s preview pane without even opening the actual email. The Great Work Provocation emails arrive compliments of Michael Bungay Stanier, the author of a neat little book called Do More Great Work, and leader of the team at Box of Crayons.

Although the “provocations” are written for a corporate audience, I find that they are just as applicable to any creative endeavor. By interpreting them in the context of my own work, I squeeze all kinds of inspiration out of them. Here, for instance is today’s email:

box of crayons

Doesn’t that make you think? Doesn’t that put a little more perspective on your day?


A Wee Bit of Advice

trapeze readyThe other tidbit I’d like to share today is this: Every great accomplishment in your life begins with one tiny step.

You will take hundreds of thousands of steps to reach the one which will change everything, but even so, it’s that one step that will make the difference and set you firmly on a new path or take you past a hurdle

Last night, my daughter and I attended our second trapeze class in two weeks. We had “flown” before, but it had been nearly a year since the last time we’d climbed up to platform, gripped the bar, and taken that one, tiny step off and into the air. I am not a daredevil, so – believe me – trapeze flying is not something that comes naturally. In fact, each time I find myself twenty-four feet up and preparing to launch myself out over the nets, I wonder what the hell I’m doing up there. My heart beats like a rabbit’s the entire time, but I jump anyway. I take that step, and then … I’m flying!

Today, I’d love for you to not only think about what baby step you can take to move you closer towards your writing goals, whatever they are, I’d love for you to actually take that step. It’s only a little one … just one foot in front of the other, the easiest thing in the world. What step can you take today?

I took a tiny step this morning. After spending part of yesterday afternoon (and evening) perusing (over and over again) the latest workshop and class offerings from Grub Street, I registered for two evening workshops. I’ll figure out who will hang out with my daughter and other logistical details later. She’s already excited for me, (“Mom, it’s like we’re going back to school at the same time!”) and I didn’t let fear make excuses to keep me from stepping off the edge of the platform.

And that’s a good thing. Because you can’t fly unless you take that one step. My form may not be perfect, but I’m working on it, and that’s the thing that matters.

trapeze catch
Jamie Lee Wallace is a writer who also happens to be a marketer. She helps her Suddenly Marketing clients discover their voice, connect with their audience, and find their marketing groove. She is also a mom, a prolific blogger, and a student of the equestrian arts, voice, and trapeze (not at the same time). Introduce yourself on facebook or twitter. She doesn’t bite … usually.

Cupcake Photo Credit: Symic via Compfight cc

29 thoughts on “Short and Sweet Advice for Writers

  1. Love that you’re taking trapeze class with your daughter. My daughter and I started Polish classes yesterday. Not as daring as trapeze but quite daunting. As we looked over the 2 page pronunciation guide and the complicated masculine/feminine rules, my daughter got discouraged. But we decided to take the leap, starting with this first little step.

    I’m beginning a new writing project and I was just thinking how far I have to go. It’s so easy to get discouraged before you even start. Thanks for the nudge forward!

    • I’d say Polish class is very daunting! Good for you (and your daughter). And what a great thing to tackle together. Do you have family or travel plans related to the class?

      Good luck with your new project!
      Happy to be a nudge. 😉

  2. Just what I needed to get me through the daunting task of rewrites. Yesterday I was feeling discouraged, knowing I would have to overhaul my book (yet again) and wondered if I was up for the challenge. But encouragement helps immensely and next week the house is mine again (hurray for a new school year!). I like your conclusion. As far as I’m concerned, perfect form is for Greek statues.

    • I like your take on perfect form. 😉
      And – YES! – yay for the new school year!
      Though I will miss having my daughter around, it will be good to get back into our regular routine AND get some quiet work time back.


    • So true, so true.
      Daring is a theme that I’m always dipping into. Life is so much more interesting and rewarding and expansive when you dare.

      TKS for stopping by. Always nice to see you. 🙂

  3. I love that your daughter is so supportive of you. It speaks volumes about your relationship with her. The fact that she digs the idea of you both going back to school at the same time is endearing. Whether it’s taking trapeze lessons (awesome) or writing/marketing workshop (also awesome), you’re showing her that we never stop learning. It’s a great life lesson. Cheers to you!

    • Hi, Kam!
      Thanks so much. That means a lot. My daughter and I do a LOT together (what with her being an only child and me being a single mom), and I feel so lucky that she is such a smart, brave, and fun girl. Honestly, if it weren’t for her encouragement (and begging), I never would have tried trapeze. So, I guess I have her to thank for that. 🙂

      PS – Enjoying the “Fight Like a Girl” anthology. Great fun and a great message.

      • Thank you for reading “Empower: Fight Like a Girl.” And flying must be an empowering experience! It’s wonderful you and your daughter are sharing it. I bet you’ll both look back and cherish this time.

        Looking forward to your next post! Cheers.

  4. As an only child of a single mom I’m inspired to push my mother more to try more things together! Your post has really inspired me and I am going to take the step to commit to writing more frequently and consistently and really stepping out and pursuing some of these classes I am always researching! Thank you! looking forward to reading more from you 🙂

  5. You are already very accomplished in “steps”! The step I’m trying to take is to break away from article writing sites which haven’t profited me and which are going down for the count like flies this year, so I can spend more writing time on my blogs and my manuscripts. The writing sites are so addictive but not greatly productive, and all your “stuff” disappears when you do, unlike a book, or an album! Thanks for the inspiring read!

    • Great step! Ownership of your content is so critical – especially on the web where things sometimes still feel a bit like the Wild West. Good for you for identifying what types of writing projects are valuable (and not) so that you can focus your efforts accordingly. Good luck!

  6. Pingback: Blogging and Writing Revised | Live Life in Crescendo

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