Category Archives: lists

Resolutions Update

Why Your Plans Fail –
People are notoriously bad at planning. The worst part is, we don’t even know it. One psychological study conducted asked students to predict when they expected to complete an assignment, almost none gave enough time. Other looks into financial analysts show that few can consistently beat the market.

The real problem is that these planning failures aren’t recognized. People make wildly overconfident projections but fail to notice their abysmal track record in predicting. The question is, what can you do about this?

After reading that, and thinking lately about how journaling actually helped me maintain and assess how committed I was to the New Year’s resolutions, I thought I would update. After all, we are only a few months from the next round.

I think the part I had the most success with has been using the Curves membership for regular exercise. It has had the added bonus of exposing me regularly to upbeat interactions with other women. I’ve gone almost every week for the suggested three times… and got the t-shirt to show for it :) This was a win

More time with the children. Automatically, since the family of origin drain on my emotional resources was closed off, I was a bit better, but that was offset by the fact that I have been very slow to heal from those blows to deep and important inner parts of me. I was not spontaneous, I chauffeured them more places, but did not have more family outingsThis was a neutral

Art. What art? I set up the area- which was procrastinated to a shameful degree. Stocked with supplies- which wasn’t hard because that is the part I have done for years. But nada. Maybe I am afraid – of failure, of facing who I am or the work that is involved or the change in my lifestyle schedule? ( art takes lots of time to produce -for me anyway) This was a total …ok almost total loss

I gardened more at the beginning of the season, but waned as the summer went on. I did accomplish improvement in my garden. This was a mild win

reread ‘Boundaries’ by Cloud and Townsend. Did this in spades, and shared it with others, I think due to Bonnie of Intellectuelle helping me along who was so kind and supportive ( blog friends can be just as valuable in human terms as RL friends – it is just a long distance relationship, but relationship nonetheless)
This was a strong win for me

I put it into win/lose terms because that is how I think of it: overcoming. Gaining the victories of life over negative situations and forces ( within and without).

It is good to see so much green on the accountability sheet, and the year is not done yet, I can still work on those areas that I neglected to make progress. I thank God for His guidance through all this year, His great mercies and continued love. Underneath the wins are the wings.

I’m guilty of some of the 7 deadly sins of writing, are you?

Spirit-Led Writer listed these 7 sins of writing as committed by Christian Writers:

Here are seven “sins” to confront in your writing life.

1. Diversion. Don’t take 200 words to clear your throat. The long preface about getting back to your desk after a summer holiday or a long aside from a recent sermon has to be cut. In a 1,000 word article, it’s an awkward diversion. A reader may work through it in hopes of finding real meat. But in the average, 600 word column, it’s just self-indulgence.

2. Buried Treasure. Don’t bury the gold—put it up front. Let your light shine and put that catchy zinger you planned for the last line right up front where we can find it. The first paragraph is the best place to get your reader excited that you have something to say.

3. Wordiness. Cut, cut, cut. It’s not unusual to get 1600 words from a minister who was asked to hand in 700. This is the cardinal sin of almost every preacher who aspires to a larger audience. Editors don’t have the time (or theological know-how) to identify the material that is priority and remove the dross. Opinion pieces, which are often given to clergy, are some of the most challenging pieces to write for that reason. A good op-ed piece is like a well-packed suitcase—two-thirds of what you want to bring has to be left behind. That precious Scripture verse (proving how erudite you are) will have to go. Excellent prose aims to be taut and incisive. Spare us your impressive knowledge and get to the point. That’s proof of a servant’s heart for your readers.

4. Boredom. Don’t be boring. This could be rule #1, but you’d have skipped it. Nobody thinks they’re boring. But take anything you’ve written and read your first sentence, then ask: does it deliver the passion you feel about this topic? Don’t replace that impulse with being earnest. Surprise yourself. Surprise your reader. Good writing should stop us in our tracks and question our assumptions.

5. Predictability. Don’t be inoffensive, safe and predictable. This is boredom’s closest kin. I’m so disappointed when I read Christian writers that are on auto-pilot with predictable views on abortion, teen sex, all night poker, casual drug use, etc. Reach out to me with some emotional honesty. (My only caution is not to surprise your spouse in print). Even if I think that I know where you’re going, at least challenge me when I get there.

6. Preachy prose. Don’t tell me about religion in your life—show me the life of your faith. I suggest that aspiring writers begin by writing their testimony. All the challenges of good writing will have to be faced and it’s also a story that readers want to hear. But, whatever your topic, avoid extensive quotes from Scripture or keep the references to one or two key places for authoritative support. Too much Scripture will make the reader stumble trying to figure out what you’ve got to say. Never minimize the importance of your unique vantage point. That is what we’re all reading to find out.

7. Tardiness. Don’t submit late. If you can’t be early, be on time. Printing schedules are not flexible. Yes, the editor may be gracious and even edit your overly long article—but it’s probably the last time they will make that mistake. Once you’ve left the impression of an unprofessional attitude, opportunities to get into print will be scarcer.

I found myself crying “Mea Culpa” and lashing my ego with wet spaghetti noodles. The reason I have never had to tightly edit is because I blog.. and the blogosphere has been very forgiving of me. but if we want to improve we have to try to pay attention to what the more experienced are trying to tell us. I’m repenting, but not sure I won’t fall again… habits being hard to break, especially in the throes of writing something in the wee hours of the morning.

Then I guess I will have to read this post over again.

La Shawn Barber has points to ponder

La Shawn Barber’s Corner » Big Blue Balls and Other Stuff has some “points to ponder”.

She asks what our fav ideas are from the list, Bob Larson’s “rules for survival”. So I popped over there. Mine are:

  • 1. Get and stay out of your comfort zone.
  • 3. When you’re ready to quit, you’re closer than you think. this one is so true- I have experienced it too many times on both sides of the equation
  • 5. Focus on what you want to have happen this is one I need to implement- a future rule for me, if you will
  • 14. Solve your own problems.

Those were my favorites, but all sixteen were nuggets of wisdom, some of which I have learned and some I wish I had learned.

I appreciated La Shawn’s observations on blogging in this article – we need to focus on providing real content of some sort, although the viral quality of news item alerts is a valid use of the blog. Sometimes you just want to highlight something, but regurgitated headlines? that is stale before it hits the page, usually. What I didn’t appreciate was her trip to get cake. It made me hungry. And I had to take my own trip to the kitchen…. so much for my good intentions to eat healthy today.

But not to blame La Shawn, I was inclined that way from the time I got up this morning. Resistance was going to be temporary, anyway, the power of suggestion only needed to be feather-lite to tip me over the edge.

So what did I eat I know you are dying to know? I had a slice of cinnamon butter pound cake…ok? With fresh blueberries.
Now you want something sweet and calorific, don’t you?
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