Corduroy snuggy thingyame that has fake-fur lining and hood…
It’s 3 degrees this morning and I’m sitting in the sun, sipping tea and writing to YOU! It’s been a while, yeah?
I had a session with a life coach last week and she asked me to journal about my definition of success. Now, I’ve thought about this a lot over the years, but I’ve never sat down and really examined my thoughts around it. You know, teased ’em out.
First up, here’s what fell out of my noggin:
Bucks in the bank
Maybe a few trophies…
Honest to god, if my brain were any more superficial it would be an ice rink.
I had to pull on a wetsuit. I had to crack through the ice and dive deeper. Success is way more than a sprinkle of sparkle and a designer frock. Surely?
So I wrote and I pondered and I chewed my pen and wrote some more.
I spent a long time in the realm of community and connection.
But still I went deeper.
Until I discovered that success is a feeling.
Maybe you already knew this? If so, skip this and scroll down to the cat pics…
Meantime. I realised:
We can choose to feel successful at any time.
Only our brain and cultural (capitalist?) conventions put conditions on success. I’ll be successful when— (fill in the gaps.)
Imagine if we always acted from a feeling of success.
Like, ALL THE TIME.
Imagine if we decided that, from the moment our tootsies hit the floor each morning, we were a successful human just because we’ve visited planet Earth, started breathing and decided to feel successful?
Here’s me. A real live human—being successful.
To my mind, true success feels confident, gentle, joyful, holistic and compassionate.
Success feels eager and satisfied. At the same time. How clever is that?
If we could maintain (and foster) an ongoing feeling of success:
It would be easier to make decisions.
We would be kinder to ourselves.
We would laugh in the face of perfectionism.
We would step away from competitive thoughts and behaviours.
We would stop comparing ourselves to others.
We would be more compassionate.
We would be bolder, more creative and more playful.
Back in the 70s there was a song, Ego is Not a Dirty Word, (cue earworm for Gen Xers)
Skyhooks aside, I believe that success is not a dirty word either.
Success can be joyful, inclusive, generous and SAFE.
So let’s get together, dear reader, and choose to feel successful every single day. See how that impacts our beautiful lives. And the lives of those we love. See how it impacts our creativity too, and our self-expression.
And so goeth my musings for this merry month of May. 😉
(I’m not finished yet, though. Keep reading!)
Little has happened on the homefront. Not renos. No garage conversion. No chicken
How drop-dead gorgeous is an autumn garden??? Honestly, I’m as high as a kite everytime I fling open the backdoor and step outside.
(mini pomegranates, up to our oxters in coriander, would you like some?? Chinese lanterns, healthy, happy, kittehs. Aka a few pages from Cottage Diaries.)
This Writing Life
Teacher teach thyself!
While writing the tutorial materials for my latest course, I had a revelation. I knew what was wrong with an old picture book I’d been grappling with for AGES.
Suddenly, while immersed in the machinations of rewriting, it all became clear!
The story lacked FOUR major things:
A strong narrative arc
A satisfying resolution
A quirky plot twist
That looks like a lot, right?!
But once I saw it, actually recognised it, the rewrite was a doddle.
Within two days I had whipped that little beauty into shape and I can now say categorically that I LOVE it!
I’ve made a quick podcast all about this.
Meantime, if you’re struggling with your current WIP maybe you could learn from my mistakes and look at it from this angle, question it this way:
1. Does it have a strong narrative arc?
2. Is the resolution satisfying?
3. Is there a lovely twist?
4. Are the characters proactive enough?
Of course, when it comes to rewriting, these are just four questions of many. But they helped me and they might help you too!
News from the Duck Pond (My Membership for Writers and Illustrators)
This month we had a freaking awesome masterclass with Elle Steele!
Elle is a five-time Australian rep and gold medalist paralympian. She is also a gifted leader, Self-Belief Agent, cosmic channel and #babewithamobilityaid
Elle spoke to us about the ‘Three Pillars of Self Belief’. (I’ll have some of that, thank you very much…)
Elle also hosted a lively Q&A, talked about her creative writing goals (she’s working on a YA novel) and pulled some cosmic tarot cards for us too. It was magical. We all went out on high.
I LOVE the way the Duck Pond has evolved. It’s so warm and inclusive and supportive. As creators we get so much juice (and staying power!) out of community, connection and companionship.
The Duck Pond will open again in late June for our winter intake. Watch this space (or better still, join my mailing list) if you’re keen to join in!
It is now late afternoon and I must away.
Thank you for sticking with me, dear reader. It’s lovely to be back in the land of the… musements.
Yours in an inkwell
A Little List of g&d Freebies. Choose one, choose ’em all!
1. g&d Crackers. (Booklets of Writing Prompts)
Four days, four booklets; inspiration, ideas, advice and prompts to fire up your imagination, nourish your creativity and get you unstuck. (Come back to these time and again.)
Click here for your girlandduck Crackers, free!
2. Five Ways to Write a Book
Exactly what it says on the tin. Five Ways to Write a Book, a video tutorial with me, Jen Storer! Never let anyone tell you there’s only one way ‘correct’ way to write a book. Major furphy! Hop into this freebie and explore the alternatives. Click here to watch the tutorial.
3. Hey Author! The Transcripts
A nifty go-to booklet of transcripts from my beloved Instagram reels (cos let’s face it, Insta reels don’t last!). Hey Author includes writing, creativity and mindset advice. A gorgeous addition to your creative writing resources. Click here and grab your free copy.
4. The girl&duck Museletter
Basically, one of those things everyone signs up for! My museletters are my love letters from the homefront. Include, This Writing Life, Cottage Diaries (all about my tree change), plus my ponderings on such things as the Tarot, travel, art, creativity and the serious business of play in our everyday lives.
Sign up here and let’s get cozy !