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Hearing - Exploring Your Writing Through Your Senses

Artists use their senses. Everything is a playground for the muse. The way the light hits water can lead to a brilliant piece of art or an interesting story. 

A friend and I discussed the insanity of our senses. How we can be over-stimulated, fractured by the sounds, the shapes, and the colors surrounding us. We are in a state of wonder about this heightened awareness and where we take it.

As I write I am listenig to Irish music on a public radio station. Outside my closed door, I can hear the fan as it oscillates in my living room. Out of this mass of sound, one thing can catch my ear. It could be the sound of a baby crying or the distant wail of a fire truck. As a child, I could hear fog horns of the East River. I knew from stories my mother told me that the river was a dangerous place. The sound made me think of a lone ship lost on the water searching for its way out of the darkness. Many years later that sound still haunts me.

What do we hear? Angels singing while listening to delightful music, and other times it is the clanging of bells in our head. Sound surrounds us. It envelopes us, but how can we use it creatively?

Musicians, artists, and writers hear differently. Songs differ in sound from essays.

As writers, we hear as we write. We need to hear our own words. I have a microphone I use to record poetry and prose. The first playback is disappointing. The sound of my voice is at first unpleasant. I sound nasal and seem to swallow some words. But I heard how the poems sounded; where they worked and where they didn’t. I usually would read my work out loud, but hearing it played back was different. I could now use my voice more creatively by modulating it, using inflection, and adding more pizzazz into the words I was speaking.

Hearing my work not only changed how I read my work, but it also changed how I wrote. Realizing how words sounded, I could use them differently.

Writers often talk of finding their voice as if they lost somewhere it. Most times the voice we seek is the one we hear all the time. But we dismiss it because the sound of our voice seems mundane. We want to write great things. We want to hear our work spoken with great flourish. We want to see the moist eyes of moved audiences hanging on the very sound of our words.

Hearing = Listening

Do you listen? Have you blocked out the surrounding sounds with technology? Consider the things you hear; the good, the bad, and the loud can be a substantial source of material for you. We quickly dismiss the ordinary as having no value. It is often this mundane that is the fodder for a wonderful tale. Think about Frank McCourt’s book, Angela’s Ashes. It was a devastating recounting of his childhood. The dialogue was not profound. It was ordinary and powerful.

We hear things and we laugh. A piece of music makes us cry. Surrounded by sound, we can’t help but immerse ourselves in its possibilities. Never underestimate what you hear. Those could give you some excellent information.

Creative writing prompts: Hearing

• We hear snippets of conversation all the time. Cell phones give us opportunities to overhear the personal details of perfect strangers. Don’t get mad. Get creative. Use an overheard conversation as the foundation for some juicy writing. Go take the mundane and make it brilliant with the stroke of your pen.

• Record your own voice: Use your phone, the computer, or a video camera and record some poetry or prose. Do you like how you sound? What don’t you like? Use your voice, modulating it up and down. Try acting as different characters.

• Create a story out of the sound of your voice.

Vision - Exploring Your Writing Through Your Senses

A single eye - green
Photo by Daniil Kuželev
How do our senses influence our creativity? We use our available senses all the time. We touch, taste, feel, smell, and listen. Our creative selves swim in a sea of senses. The question is, can we use this to be our better selves? Let’s start and become keen observers and writers.

At the beginning of the year, we imagine what that year will bring. According to the dictionary vision “is a special sense by which the qualities of an object (as color, luminosity, shape, and size) constituting its appearance are perceived and which is mediated by the eye.”

What if using this special sense, we look at our lives in a novel way? My eyesight is not the best. When I bought new glasses the world came back into view. I didn’t know what I had been missing. Not that everything sparkled; I couldn’t help but notice that I needed to revisit cleaning my apartment. But the fuzziness I had been living with disappeared, and the edges came back into focus. I rediscovered a new sense. I saw the world differently.

As artists, we may follow a daily routine. But routines can block other possibilities. We become stale. Our creativity does not blossom. Our words bore us. And the music we play has no feel to it. Goals you wanted to pursue, languish.

You are writing a book on whales, but what really lives in you is a play about your family. Each day, each week, and every year you put the play on your goal list. The struggle is to break out of the safe zone and do what may scare, but also move you.

What can be done? Use vision differently. Don’t create your future based on the old dreams. Discover something new. Visualize an adventure for yourself, one that includes new vistas and new dreams never dreamt before, or the ones you have been afraid to fulfill.

I know what it’s like to live with limited vision. I have my dreams, the ones I hold on to and bring out each year like old memories. It is so hard to part with them. It is easier to hang on to the familiar than to admit a dream no longer has merit for the person you have become. When I search for meaning in outside influences, I know that what I am pursuing may not big enough for me. Like an exercise program, stretching beyond the creative comfort zone seems so hard to do. Even if I am not there yet, I know it is possible. I know it is possible for you too. Follow your unique and beautiful vision to create a wonderfully creative life.

Creative Writing Prompts: Vision

• In a safe place or with the help of a friend blindfold yourself. Experience the world without your sight. How do your other senses come into play? Do you rely on one more than the other? Walk around and touch things. Sniff the air. Explore the world using the other senses.

• Use your ears. How do things sound when you can’t see? If you have an escort, walk outside and feel the air and listen to the surrounding sounds.

• What did you learn? Did you hear, taste, or smell differently? How do things look now that you have your sight back?

• Find five different things each day. As an example, go to work and look at your normal environment. Look at the ordinary things, such as your desk, the water cooler, the stairwell, and then find what is extraordinary about them. What does the ceiling look like? Notice the color of the walls.

• Create a story using your fresh sight. Add as many visuals from your everyday life as you can. Have the story be as visual as you can make it.

Hey baby is that my face plastered all over social media or are you stalking me? by Sandra Lee Schubert

I hate to tell you this--- if you have your photos on Facebook or any other social media site people

will look at them, judge them, talk about them and even mention they saw them to you.

Duh. We are curious creatures, prone to stick our noses into things, get a taste of the grass, the lay of the land. We like to look. There I said it.

If you post things about yourself- people will read it. They may respond and they may share it. It is the nature of the beast. If you are a bit skittish. Don’t like personal stuff shared around the world? I suggest you stick to showing people the family vacation pics via your old slide projector. I am not being mean. You will be happy. Your friends won’t be happy- because, you know, slides. But you won’t feel intruded on at all.

So let me tell you this- one of my roles in life is social media management. I can scan your account and tell a lot about you. I know what you are doing wrong if you are business, or what your favorite food is by perusing your posts. And if any social media manager is worth their salt (or pay) they will pay attention and respond accordingly. Hey, you couldn’t find your favorite ice cream at the local market? I may be able to help you. Want to promote your show? Become my best friend- I will promote the heck out of you. Be patient. I will run out of steam and then someone else will have something I will want to share. At the end of the day, I have your interests at heart. I want to see your art sold. Your music listened to. I want you to have millions of dollars rain down on your head. We/me like to see people succeed. Honest. 

But let me say this... Social media people, like me, can get on your nerves. We are always there. We like your pages. We share your links. We introduce you to other people again- nature of the beast. We aren’t weird. We are working. If you are not used to being promoted it can freak you the hell out. “What they like me, they really like me?” Yes, Virginia, we do. 

I am like a big ole’ puppy. I have a ball and I like to play. So if I, or someone like me, does get on your nerves, just tell us. Nicely. Privately. In-person. In a FB message. Tell us. “You know you freakin’ scare me when you respond at 6 AM with the location of the dress I want to buy.” Or, “you mentioned me six times today- scary.” Listen sometimes our feelings will be hurt, but we understand. This social media game is not for everyone. Being exposed to like a trillion people is nerve-wracking. It can make you feel like your skin is on fire. But most of us just want to engage and play. Again, I have a ball and I do really want to toss it to you. 

So, if I know too much about you… don’t take offense. Honey just check your status, because you just plastered your baby coming down the birth canal to the whole world. Check private next time- we’ll be happier. Don’t know how? Well I just happen to know some great social media managers that can hold your hand through it all. If you are still afraid get off Facebook and read a newspaper. Watch TV. I’ll be over here playing with my ball. We can talk by the garden gate later. It will be all right.

#essay, #maximizeyourmessage, #networkingtips, #Personalpower, #Productivity, #successinlife, #tipsforsuccess

Photo Credit: Sandra Lee Schubert

Thank you for wanting to share this post. Please share it with correct attribution. It is appreciated.

All works are the original content of Sandra Lee Schubert.

Works are not to be used except with permission from the author, Sandra Lee Schubert, and with a link back to this site.

Works have been published in more than one location by the author.

Letting Go by Sandra Lee Schubert

“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

People stay in dead-end jobs, loveless marriages never leaving the boundaries of their hometowns. Why is it so hard to let go of things that no longer work? The devil you know is better than the one you don’t know. People are willing to live a mediocre life for the safety it provides. But what if you were guaranteed a positive outcome how would you live your life differently? What kind of choices would you make knowing each one would turn out OK? If you can imagine this different life then envision another life where you are still free to make choices but are unsure of the outcome. Except now you accept the consequences of your choices knowing they could be either bad or good. In this life, you feel fear but take chances anyway. Every day we make a choice. You want to lose weight but eat ice cream. You buy a new sweater knowing the money could go towards paying off a painful debt. Today’s choices may seem wrong, but tomorrow is the opportunity for new ones. Choosing means letting go of the other possibility and what it could bring. ION’s president, James O’Dea in the September-November edition of Shift magazine says this about choice, “Each step has consequences that will secure the status quo, create a new roadmap, or possibly transform old ways in a manner that defies our rational understanding.”

“The harder you fight to hold on to specific assumptions, the more likely there's gold in letting go of them.” ~John Seely Brown, Fast Company

Assumptions: We have assumptions about everything. We live and die by them. My friends and I have had heated conversations about the current political arena. Who hasn’t? We stand strong in our various viewpoints. What surprised me most was one friend. He did not know some really basic facts about the candidate he was opposed to. When asked, he said he didn’t care to know anything. Yet, he had made some profound judgments about this person with the slimmest of knowledge gleaned from only hearing just one point of view. Challenge your assumptions. We go through life and never reevaluate what we believe. The great spiritual leaders ask us to leave the life we are living behind and enter into a new one. Our modern leaders such as Gandhi or Mother Theresa did just that and devoted themselves to living a new and more expansive existence. They were able to increase the circumference of what they previously knew to include the world and in doing so changed the lives of many, many people. Give up your old ways and take on new experiences. Reconsider your values and find out if they support you morally and soulfully.

“Some think it's holding on that makes one strong; sometimes it's letting go.” ~Sylvia Robinson

Letting Go: I have thought a lot about letting go. In fact, it has been forced upon me. In the past many months, I have moved, moved, and then moved once again. Many of my treasured and sentimental possessions were left behind or put into storage. Projects I had hoped to initiate evaporated overnight. I asked a trusted friend what was going on. He told me I wanted to change my life. But my frustration was in my own inability to make these changes. I was literally breaking my ties with the past in dramatic fashion. This string of little losses had added up to a big rethink about how I am living my life. Loss tears something loose. It breaks us open in excruciating ways. Yet it allows for new things to rush in. How do we let go? First, acknowledge the pain of letting go. Loss of any kind can hurt and there is no getting around it. Allow time to adjust to the change. In most situations, we cannot control losses. I cannot will my wallet back into my hands. But how we react to change is in our control. My small losses pointed to larger issues of loss in my life. Take inventory. What is holding you back? Are there areas in your life that you want to change but may be resisting? List the pros and cons of each change. Acknowledge any feelings you may have around letting go. Though some losses are thrust upon us letting go can be something we choose to do.

Choice: What kind of life do you want to live? Every minute we make small choices. Reconsider how you interact with people on a daily basis. Instead of ignoring the person who hands you the newspaper each day say hello and thank you. When faced with the choice between potato chips or salad consider what has the most value for your life. Again O’Dea says this, “We can increase our inner strength to make critical choices for ourselves and for the planet by refraining from cluttering up our lives with too much superficial choice.” When there is a strong value system in place it becomes easier to let go of things that don’t support your higher ideals. In his autobiography, Benjamin Franklin outlined a very specific formula for creating a value system of life changes that anyone can emulate. He listed 13 virtues from #1. Temperance - eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation to #13. Humility - Imitate Jesus and Socrates. Franklin creates a chart for each day of the week listing by initials the 13 virtues he has outlined for himself. Each day he would do a careful examination of his life and puts a mark next to the virtue when he has found fault with himself. He then committed one week to a mastery of each virtue, repeating the process at least four times in a year. He would add or subtract to this list as needed. This formula allowed Benjamin Franklin to work consistently on his life not in an obsessive way but in a constructed manner. From this careful examination of his life, Franklin was able to establish a value system for how he lived his life. Thus allowing him to make choices and to let go of behaviors and things that did not support this system. The result for Franklin and for us is a life full of wonderful inventions and creativity.

 What comes after letting go? Loss affords us the opportunity for new choices. We can mourn the past and celebrate the future. Letting go is the gateway to new experiences. Medical breakthroughs, new thoughts, ideas, and art could not be made if we all hung on to our past behavior and beliefs. Dare to live your life just a tenth larger than you are living it now. Be brave enough to let go of a bad habit, an old resentment or your old self. We can honor that which brought us to this point and still create a new future. Celebrate possibility and let go into a new world.

#creativewriting, #Creativity, #essay, #inspiration, #writer, #writing, #prosewriting

Photo Credit: Sandra Lee Schubert
Thank you for wanting to share this post. Please share it with correct attribution. It is appreciated.
All works are the original content of Sandra Lee Schubert.
Works are not to be used except with permission from the author, Sandra Lee Schubert, and with a link back to this site.
Works have been published in more than one location by the author.

Life at a Crossroads: Daring to live by Sandra Lee Schubert

We plan each day. We start with coffee, a shower, or maybe exercise. We go to work or school from Monday to Friday. Saturday is for shopping and errands. Sunday’s, we wake up late; go to brunch or a church service. Maybe you get up and create art or work nights. A routine affords us the comfort to stretch emotionally and physically without distraction. Routines fail us. Tragedy strikes. We go to work and lose our job. A serious illness strikes a relative. Or we look in the mirror and realize this is not the life we had planned on living.

A Crucial Point

Decisions are normal. We wear blue instead of red. We drop an umbrella in our bag at the last moment. Do you want paper or plastic? Others require more thought. What school we attend. Do we leave a marriage? Should I establish my career before having a child? Situations force us to decide. The longed-for dream house is no longer affordable. We have to decide about a loved one’s healthcare. At this crucial point in life’s journey, the decision we make has long-range ripples. What is the wisest choice? Do we take a risk, or the safer route? Both options require courage and faith that the outcome will be for the best. Whether planned, we are standing at life’s crossroads and forced to decide.

The Fear of Fear 

There is trepidation. The feeling of fear is one of those significant reasons to stay home behind closed doors watching people change their lives on Oprah or Dr. Phil. Fear has gotten a bad rap implying weakness, a lack of mettle. Fear is just common sense. What is it but an awareness of danger? We no longer have to worry about the big bad Saber-Tooth Tiger swiping a wayward child for a noontime snack. However, we have to consider terrorism, pandemics or natural disasters and losing our livelihood. When faced with danger you have some choices — run and hide — a suitable option when faced with something bigger than you. Or get the biggest stick you can find and fight back. Swing that stick and beat back the thing that scares you. Stand your ground — face what’s in front of you and see if it shrivels under your glare. All valid options depending on the situation. Fear is an emotion asking up us to pay attention. Something requires action. Here are some tips:

  • Face the fear. You have heard it before. A minor problem can become a monster if you let it. Look at the problem and brainstorm some solutions. Speak to friends and families — ask their thoughts. Taking some action can help you feel you have power over a situation.
  • Do something different. When faced with fear in the land of unemployment I tried something new and wrote an e-course on writing. I spent my time while laid off creating something instead of just hanging out. I had a choice to live in fear or try something new. That choice lead me somewhere new. Since then I hosted a podcast, wrote a column, articles, and essays.
  • Move your body — Cuban salsa lessons can get you out of your head. Learning to move your body in a new way puts fear in its place. Movement also releases tension. It is hard to face an issue when in high stress mode. Exercise, good nutrition and lots of rest will help ease and curb anxiety. Care of the body can improve your mood and clear the mind.
  • Take some time to reflect. In the middle of a crisis, take time out to be quiet. Recharge your spirit. Try 15 minutes of simple deep breathing or meditating. Take a walk in nature, browse through a favorite bookstore and enjoy some time alone. In addition, reflection helps to look at a situation calmly. You can view it with a rational mind. You might find a problem has more solutions than previously considered.

Above all, respect your emotions. It is all right to feel afraid — we all do from time to time. Faced with a challenge, it is OK to feel the beating of your heart. It reminds you are still alive. 

Crossing the Unknown Sea 

In his book, Crossing the Unknown Sea: Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity, David Whyte recounts a life-changing event at work. In a moment of exasperation, he stuck his head into a meeting at work asking if anyone had seen David. A stunned silence followed by laughter answered him, since he was the only David in the office and he was looking for himself. The ensuing year was about reclaiming who he was and becoming a full-time poet. In a conversation that evening a friend said to him, “You must do something heartfelt, and you must do it soon.” It was a challenge to him to move out of a comfort zone and to do something with real meaning.

Despite reassurances, there are no guarantees. Living is capricious. Nice cars, excellent education and a high IQ don’t mean things will go smoothly. When standing at a crossroads you don’t know which way is the best. One road may mean happiness, another adventure, and yet another means safety and security. It takes heart to be alive. You have both courage and heart; do not be afraid to express either. 

How About Love? 

“We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love; we must meet physical force with soul free.” Martin Luther King, Jr. 

This quote is part of a larger article in which Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote about how he and his fellow peaceful resistors should act towards the white men who were persecuting them. He wanted to change through love, not hate. Not the daisy in the gun barrel type of love, but a deep kind. He followed a path that changed his life and the world. Our decisions may not be this profound, but they still require a commitment. Each day and every decision we can choose how to approach life. Can we have a deeper love influence our lives? 


“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us”. Joseph Campbell. 

Events dramatically change our planned routine. We take a risk and change our lives. We can’t really know what tomorrow brings. Each corner is a discovery. This uncertainty is the thrill of being alive. A friend shared how she met her husband. She walked into a pub, looked around, and was about to leave. A voice called out asking her to come in. She said, “I don’t know what made me turn back.” The man who called out to her was a fireman. She sat across from him and next to him was the man who she would marry. The fireman witnessed her marriage and the adoption of her son. Later he would lose his life in 9/11. On the street near the pub a sign bears the name of the fireman. Each moment bears the possibility for transformation. 

http://www.gratefulness.org/readings/whyte_dsr.htm — An excerpt from Crossing the Unknown Sea: Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity and the conversation between David Whyte and his friend. 

#essay, #creativewriting, #inspiration, #prosewriting, #writing

Photo Credit: Sandra Lee Schubert
Thank you for wanting to share this post. Please share it with correct attribution. It is appreciated.
All works are the original content of Sandra Lee Schubert.
Works are not to be used except with permission from the author, Sandra Lee Schubert, and with a link back to this site.
Works have been published in more than one location by the author.

The Myth of Time: Improve Your Life One Deadline at a Time by Sandra Lee Schubert


“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.” ~ Douglas Noel Adams, English humorist, and science fiction novelist

 It has taken me forty minutes to begin writing this column. I had to find the right music to play. There were the writing books to look through. After all, the experts have all done it before me so I can learn from them. I needed water, chocolate, my hair had to be pinned off my face. I checked outside to see if it was raining. I positioned the fan just right since the air conditioner is still sitting on the floor in front of the window. I have a deadline to keep. I am like a runner before a race, pacing nervously, stretching drinking water, getting ready for the starting shot to set me off to the finish line. Let me tell you right off that I hate deadlines. They make me itch, I get cranky and all my bad behavior and methods of procrastination begin to overtake me. I whine. I am an artist I can't create by schedule! It is awful.

 Along the way, I picked up some bad habits about doing things on time. Unlike the commercial that admonishes me to just do it, I will do anything else. So if you tell me how difficult it is to get to your writing I will understand. I am right there with you, in fact, we should go get coffee and talk. We can get back to pen and paper later. Who am I kidding? Life is about meeting deadlines. Whether you like it or not, a deadline can improve your creativity.

 “Goals are dreams with deadlines.” ~ Diana Scharf Hunt

I envy all those people who seem to produce massive amounts of written material. I know two women with full houses of children, pets, mates, and jobs that manage to write books and short stories and articles. They create courses and espouse brilliant life philosophies. I know another woman who is a full-time doctor and an Episcopal priest and still has time to go to school. It annoys me just as much as it fills me with awe. 

The reason why any of us procrastinates is best left to the experts. I can tell you this; action begets action. All the books I have on writers and the writing life say the same thing. If you want to write, you have to write. Studying what others do is helpful to discover what can help you. Each successful writer has a passion for the craft. They live and breathe writing. Stephen King would write on breaks during work. Annie Lamott brings index cards with her to jot down notes. Natalie Goldberg writes as a spiritual practice. Money motivates some, success others, the love of words excites yet another. Regardless of the reason, something brings them to writing every day.

“Get the action habit - you do not need to wait until conditions are perfect.” 
~ David. J. Schwartz, PhD, The Magic of Thinking Big

 I waste time. There are ample opportunities to write. But I restrict myself to a time and a day. As if I could only create during a certain time period. Think of the ways you limit your writing time. According to Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone in their book, Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude, "a motive is the 'inner urge' only within the individual which incites a person to action, such as an instinct, passion, emotion, habit, mood, impulse, desire or idea." Think about what rules you have for creating. What is your motivation for writing? Do you have a desire to make money? Do you have a life story to tell? Or do you just like it?

 “Keep your mind on the things you should and do want and off the things you shouldn't and don't want.” ~ Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone

 A final thought on deadlines

 We live in a fast-paced society where the rhythms of nature and life are trodden upon all the time. Don't use deadlines as another burden but rather a structure to free up more time for the important and fulfilling things in life. My friends could write books as well as take time to nurture themselves and their families. Managing their time allows them to fulfill their obligations as well as their passions.

 “Just as our eyes need light in order to see, our minds need ideas in order to conceive.” 
~ Napoleon Hill

 Writing Prompts - If your writing is not interesting to you, it will not be exciting to anyone else. Take some time to think about what you would like to really write. What makes your heart beat faster when you think about doing it? Write with your heart and meeting deadlines will be worth the effort.

Time Thieves - Look at the things that waste your time. See if you can find 10 more minutes to add to your writing schedule. Add more time as you go along.

Writing with a deadline will help your writing practice. Whether you write privately for your own benefit or for a publisher, set a time limit. Make a decision to establish a time when you will begin to write. Set a goal - as an example - I will write 500 words on any topic. Decide your deadline. It may look something like this: I will begin writing at 10 AM each day, I will write 500 words on any topic and I will complete this task by noon. This will establish a practice for you. It will also discipline you to write no matter what you are feeling on any given day.

Reward yourself when you meet a deadline. Take a long walk; listen to some great music or just dance around the house. The benefit of meeting a deadline is how accomplished you will feel. Enjoy and write away!  

Writing, hashtagDeadlines, hashtagPrompts, hashtagCreativity, hashtagProductivity

Photo Credit: Sandra Lee Schubert

Thank you for wanting to share this post. Please share it with correct attribution. It is appreciated.

All works are the original content of Sandra Lee Schubert.

Works are not to be used except with permission from the author, Sandra Lee Schubert, and with a link back to this site.

Works have been published in more than one location by the author.

Personal Power: A Short Guide to Getting it, Keeping it, and Giving it Away by Sandra Lee Schubert

Getting It:

Who doesn’t want to feel powerful walking down the street or into a room full of strangers? What is personal power? By its simplest definition, power is the capacity to perform or act effectively. Personal would mean pertaining to or coming from a particular person. So personal power is the ability of a person to act effectively. That is easy enough. I know lots of effective people. I know when I am good at something it is very satisfying.

The ability to produce a result makes you a more desirable person. The salesperson that brings in the most business. An effective government can make its citizenry content and more supportive of that government. When you can achieve things you are a happier person. Knowing action brings results makes you more willing to take chances.

You may not be one of the lucky people born with an innate knowledge of their power and gifts. If you are not now effective how you can turn that around? It is the cumulative effect of trial and error that will help you develop your power muscles. You can’t operate at 100% all the time. You may fail 90% of the time — but that 10% is what knocks the ball out of the park. The trick is to have the 10% become the most effective you can make it.

Taking a chance and deciding an action increases your effectiveness. It also means learning and growing from the mistakes you make. Fine-tuning the process at each step helps you to create better results. Increasing your decision-making muscles will lead to better choices. You take on bigger projects, make better decisions, increase results, and your effectiveness. This is a nice personal power roll you are on. But how does this apply to your life?

Stop wasting time. Spend less time on relationships and careers that don’t support you. This can sound dry and unemotional. Yet it is the opposite. Let’s say your goal is to be a wonderful artist — but you like TV. It takes self negotiation. One hour of TV per night and the rest of the time it is all art. You work on your art and can treat yourself to a TV break. Relationships improve when you are no longer interested in superficial interactions. Personal power is deciding to be fully engaged in living your life. No holds barred.

Keeping it:

Personal power is a big seller. Do an internet search and you will find all the ways you can get it. Buy a book, a ten-week course, or a five-module virtual program. I walked across fiery hot coals to get a little personal power. Sometimes a teacher gives you exactly what you need. Let me be clear — I am not knocking the seekers or those who want to lead you to the golden gate of power. Avoid the carrot on the stick that keeps you just seeking and not living.

I had a column on writing. I read books on how to write better, different, and how to sell that writing. I can get caught up in the reading of “how to write” and forget to do the work of writing. Knowledge is only effective after you take action. Strike out on your own if you are going to find and keep your personal power.

You can falter. Even the productive person can expect a time, a time when there is no inspiration. The trick is to not view this time as a setback. There is an art to nothingness. When you are in a personal power mode, view these periods as a time to reflect and take stock. Do a life inventory. Think about future goals. Do some research; take classes — learn a new skill. The opportunity in a fallow period is to rest, rejuvenate, and learn. The quest for and maintaining personal power shouldn’t be a competition for the most, but for the best that you can attain.

Giving it away:

Become the teacher. Who doesn’t want to sit at the feet of a wise person and gather needed knowledge? A mentor is a wonderful asset to the person struggling to know who they are and how they are going to achieve what they want. Once you have learned how to be a successful person, consider sharing that knowledge. Write a great inspirational book. Open up your studio and invite school kids over. Give them paints and help them discover color. Discuss creating. You can abuse the power you have or use it to help others. The choice is yours.

Final thoughts:

Personal power is a skill we develop. You can be born knowing you are powerful or come to understand that you are. Buy a book if it helps. Take a course. Be authentic in your choices. Remember, power comes from you. Use it wisely and it will serve you well.

Personalpower hashtaginspiration hashtagsuccessinlife #howto

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All works are the original content of Sandra Lee Schubert.

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Works have been published in more than one location by the author.

PhD by Sandra Lee Schubert

We talked about things, the book. I told you I could not understand what the fuss was all about. I didn’t really like her writing anyway. How about the other one? The one who people think is so smart. I said she is nice and all. But I had a roommate who was getting her PhD who could not boil an egg or iron a shirt. I taught her all that. It’s not the PhD that impresses me, it is the ability to love. I said all these things, stupid things to keep talking, to keep my brain alive. I’ve got wild beasts caught in my throat you know. I have to keep talking to let them out. Ever wondered why all those old people talk all the time? Man, we must keep moving our mouths… move those beasties aside. I told you before when I go on and on about some petty thing the conversation I am having is not the conversation I am having. I am trying to get to something caught deep inside. If I told you all of it, I would have to start screaming. I would scream so loud and so long. I would throw my head back and scream until the last of the words left my body. I would fall on my hands and knees and beat the ground with my fists until it broke open. Satan himself would wake up to see what all the fuss was about. Instead, I sit here, and I tell you PhDs do not impress me; it is the ability to love.

Photo by Jan Kopřiva on Unsplash

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All works are the original content of Sandra Lee Schubert.

Works are not to be used except with permission from the author, Sandra Lee Schubert, and with a link back to this site.

Works have been published in more than one location by the author.

A wild woman at heart. I write. Poetry. Essays. Articles. Courses.

On Writing by Sandra Lee Schubert

I could leave this world behind. I would crash if I wanted. Spinning me out of time. Instead, I say, “You must write, girl.” Take your pencil. Scrape some lead across the paper. Lick the lead off the white. Lick between the lines.

Oh, God. Tongues are so useful, sinewy, and primed for exploration. If one could prod between a verb and an adjective, lick the flavor from a word, would an orange taste the same as a word lobbed around the tongue? I don’t know.

Can my tongue feel the delicate line words rest on? Does each greenish-blue line have a texture different from the stark white of the paper? Could I pluck them like a musical instrument? Or would the lines feel like the thread I run through my mouth when I prepare to thread a needle?

If words were a meal.

If novels were a banquet.

If poetry were a dessert, both bitter and sweet. If I licked each word from the paper would they satisfy me? Or do I remain hungry?

I want to lick the posters on the subway. Taste the salt of a thousand hands, the thickness of each letter rendered. My tongue might take a chance on the deep well of the U in Tom Cruise’s name. Would my tongue tingle with excitement over the title of an adventure movie? Would a love story melt like warm chocolate over my tongue and down the sides of my mouth?

Have I become dreamy with the prospect of licking the vowels in your name? The thought of running my tongue over your hyphenation- spelling you with each flick of a capital letter. Does betrayal taste as sour written on parchment? Would I get more from rice paper? Can a fountain pen give words more flavor? Would a flair pen delight as well?

I dreamt of you writing a song on the white of my torso, your mouth creating rhythm and harmony over the crest of my well-rounded hip- each word flayed the flesh and I was well written.

You told me I tasted like whiskey on a chilly day, burning your mouth with music.

Oh, I lick the lead from the paper and swallow words in bits and pieces. Can I ever be satisfied?

#writer #prosewriting #writing #creativewriting

Photo by Raphael Schaller on Unsplash

Thank you for wanting to share this post. Please share it with correct attribution. It is appreciated.

All works are the original content of Sandra Lee Schubert.
Works are not to be used except with permission from the author, Sandra Lee Schubert, and with a link back to this site. 
Works have been published in more than one location by the author.