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Monday, May 16, 2011

Follow Your Dreams with Heidi M. Thomas

Today we're talking with Heidi M. Thomas, who grew up on a working ranch in Montana. She describes herself as "born with ink in her veins" and went on to follow her dream of writing by receiving a Journalism Degree from the University of Montana.

Heidi’s first novel, Cowgirl Dreams, won an EPIC Award and the USA Book News Best Book Finalist award.
Follow the Dream is the second book in the “Dare to Dream” series about strong, independent Montana Women.
Cowgirl Dreams and Follow the Dream are available, autographed, at http://www.heidimthomas.com They are also available as print and e-books through her publisher, Treble Heart Books, http://www.trebleheartbooks.com/SDHeidiThomas.html  Follow the Dream is also out on Kindle.

Refilling Your Well
by Heidi M. Thomas

What do you do when you feel like you are "at the end of your rope," with no more to give? Writer and artist Julia Cameron writes in The Artist's Way that each of us has a well or a reservoir of energy and creativity that we are continually drawing from in dealing with the stresses and the demands of our lives,

But if we are always taking something out, we will eventually run dry. That's where I was recently. After nine months of intense marketing (and learning about marketing as I went) my book, revising my sequel to submit to the publisher, traveling, taking care of my home, hubby, and two cats, as well as my various writing groups, I suddenly found my well dry. Even though the sun was shining (and that usually gives me lots of energy), I had no energy, no ambition, no creativity and no desire to do anything or go anywhere.

So I took an afternoon off, drove to my favorite beach park nearby and just sat by the water. I watched the seagulls fighting over tidbits, listened to the gentle lapping of the water, gazed at the white-blue cloudless sky and the glittering sea. I read a little, walked some, jotted down a few words in a notebook. I thought a little, but mostly I just "was."

The next day, I awoke with amazement--I had more energy, I could think again, and I was eager to do things again.

I've done this before, and I seem to forget to "stop and smell the roses" when I'm in my busy, frenetic rut. Nature refills my well and helps my creativity.

What do you do to refill your well?

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Thanks, Heidi, for a wonderful article. Lots of luck with your writing!

Please visit Jennifer Gladen at http://jgladen.blogspot.com  on May 18th when she talks to Dallas Woodburn.


6 comments:

  1. An excellent reminder Heidi. As writers, of course, there's no down time. It's all material. But it's important to stop pushing occasionally and just be - experience life, enjoy a moment of pure, un-machiavellian play, and take in. Thanks for reminding us!

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  2. Heidi, thanks for the post. I find going for a walk, especially if it's a place I really love, like the ocean or the woods, will often rejuvenate me. Or reading, or going to the library or the bookstore also help.

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  3. Going for a walk helps me too. Often when I'm "stuck" with a story problem, just getting out and walking a few blocks with "unblock" that problem. It's pretty amazing!

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  4. Like all of you, I too need to take a break from the intensity of writing. When I was still working at an outside job that forced me to stop, but my characters often followed me to work. We had a funeral home and one day taking down chairs after a funeral, the mother in my story at the time and who had so far stubbornly resisted her passive role, let me know what she wanted. I remember stopping, chair in hand, and said, right out loud, "You've been trying to tel me this all along, haven't you?" Thank goodness, everyone was gone to the cemetery.

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  5. Heidi, great advice. Too much work can be so zapping you do need to take a step back and replenish your strength.

    When I feel overworked, I find watching a non-stressful tv show stops my mind from overworking.

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  6. Good advice, Heidi, and it's always worked for me with one exception. If I'm too stressed out with other things that I need to do, I can't relax enough for it to do any good.

    Which is where I am now, and I would give my eyeteeth for something that did work [sigh].

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