Inspiration of the Self-Reliance 30-Day Writing Challenge

To celebrate Ralph Waldo Emerson's 208th birthday (May 25th, 1803), Self-Reliance urges us to trust our intuition rather than conforming to the will of the majority.

Beginning on May 31st, 2011, The Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance website*** will post a daily prompt. This will continue for 30 days.

This is my unique creation of personal reflection and responses, based on those prompts.

***See link below for the site.

Friday, June 24, 2011


DAY 15

"Do your work, and I shall know you. Do your work, and you shall reinforce yourself."
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Take a moment, step back from your concerns, and focus on one thing: You have one life to achieve everything you’ve ever wanted. Sounds simple, but when you really focus on it, let it seep into your consciousness, you realize you only have about 100 years to get every single thing you’ve ever wanted to do. No second chances. This is your only shot. Suddenly, this means you should have started yesterday. No more waiting for permission or resources to start. Today is the day you make the rest of your life happen. Write down one thing you’ve always wanted to do and how you will achieve that goal. Don’t be afraid to be very specific in how you’ll achieve it: once you start achieving, your goals will get bigger and your capability to meet them will grow.

I’ll begin by suggesting you refer to the DAY 7 blog post, “Dare to be Bold”, in which I talk about my dream to be a published author. 

As I said before, these daily prompts seem to similarly (yet differently) connect, inspiring my writing to intertwine, weave and blend together in synchronicity.  I wonder if this was the intention, or if it’s only my manner of interpretation and creativity.

That being said, also refer to the DAY 14 blog post, “Alternative Paths”, which touches on goals.

Part A of today’s prompt:
Write down one thing you’ve always wanted to do

One thing I’ve always wanted to do is to be a published author, to have, at least, one book published and in the marketplace. 

Part B of today’s prompt:
and how you will achieve that goal (be very specific in how you’ll achieve it)

This is something I’ve been pursuing and working toward accomplishing for many years.  I became most focused on the goal in 2006, when I completed all of the revisions and editing of the children’s book I’d written.  At that time, I researched and contacted publishers, including self-publishing companies.  I read books on the subject.  I researched information on the internet.  I joined the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.  Publishing my book was the main focus of my life at that time.     

While brainstorming with other writer friends, I learned some of the “ropes”; some of which discouraged me and took the wind out of my sails.  That, combined with that fact I was on overload while placing all my attention on this project, caused me to slow down considerably.

I had mailed a submission to a publisher, and was momentarily thrilled when I received a reply, telling me my manuscript had been accepted for publishing.  Even better, was that I did not need to pay to self-publish.  However, my enthusiasm came to a screeching halt, when I learned from a published writer friend that the publisher who accepted my manuscript, accepts everyone’s manuscripts.  Yes, they would pay me, but it may be only a couple dollars (literally).  They did not help with any printing or marketing of the book.  That responsibility would be entirely mine. 

Just recently, during the past few months, I’ve been writing a lot, and am back to focusing on publishing once again – not only with my children’s book, but also with other book ideas on which I’ve been working.

How will I achieve this goal? 
What will I do differently to channel my energy into accomplishing the goal?

To respond to my own questions, I’ll avoid the overload.  Instead of focusing only on this goal, moving full steam ahead rapidly, instead I will maintain BALANCE between this goal and other areas of my life.  Although this will be a priority, I will take time to choose alternate paths, time to “smell the roses”, time to simply live my life.

Specifics ~~~
1.    Baby steps, slowly, gently, a little at a time – bite-size pieces that are easily swallowed, without becoming overwhelmed and burnt out.
2.    Continue to pursue publishing potential of my children’s book
3.   Gather together my best poetry and create a book to pursue publishing
4.   Investigate alternatives, such as self-publishing
5.   Write at least one piece of work (even if brief) every day
6.   When an idea materializes in my creative mind, take creative action quickly to interpret and develop the fresh unpolluted concept, rather than procrastinate, before it becomes stagnant
7.   Continue adding to this action list, while continuing to take action

While I don’t wish to lose sight of my goal, more than that, I don’t want to neglect living my life mindfully in each present moment.  Since discovering the rewards of the NOW, it is my desire to give myself permission to alter my plans and change paths if/when I arrive at a fork in the road that appears to include a new adventure to travel. 

It's not achieving the end result that

really matters.  What's important is

following my heart and soul, enjoying

the journey along the way.

Sure, completing my goal to become a published author is ONE THING I’d appreciate.  But, the journey I travel along the way might be just as worthwhile, if not more.  It’s the writing that satisfies me, and that’s the journey. 

I’m content to share what I write, whether it’s published or not, especially upon receiving positive feedback, knowing that I’ve given a new perspective on life and living, along with some support to help others.

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