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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Following my dreams and bringing you closer to your goals!

The dream house is pretty big, but I'm up to something even bigger! You see, I've always had a lot of big dreams in life, not just for me, but because I've always wanted to help people. I can remember writing in my journal at age 13 about a tough situation I was going through and saying, "I don't know why I'm going through this, except that maybe it will give me the strength to help others so they don't have to." And that's been a theme running through my life.

My dream home in the mountains isn't just about me wanting to live in the mountains. The truth is, I have ulterior motives. Once upon a time, a long time ago, I thought it would be cool to have my very own retreat center, where I would host retreats and teach people about a variety of things. I'd also have guest teachers and other fun things to give people rest and rejuvenation. I remember one time, calling my pastor and leaving this super long message about how I wanted to help with retreats at the church and all these great plans I had. He never called me back, and I never got the opportunity to help with church retreats. At the time, I figured I must not be ready for such a big challenge.

Time went on, and the dream never left me. I even fell in love with a number of retreat centers for sale. Of course, at a million dollars, hubby was not eager to support the endeavor. :) I told my friend Camy Tang about my dream, and she said, "why don't you just start your own retreats at other places and when you build a successful track record, you can get a loan to build your own retreat center?" I thought about it, but I never managed to get it together. But the desire never left me.

So what does this have to do with you and your dreams? I think, in a lot of ways, we all have the same things holding us back. I doubted myself in a lot of areas, and I used them as excuses to not move forward on something that had been calling me for a long time. Often, we look at the practical things, like with my house,  and see how it's virtually impossible, so we don't even try.

Which is why, as I am following so many of my other dreams, I've decided to take the big step in following this one as well. I have created a retreat for writers. I'm taking the advice I've received and starting small, but my goal is to grow so that eventually, tucked on my beautiful mountain property, there will be a place for other writers to come and find respite. But for now, we'll be hanging out at a hotel, and there, you will be able to find rest.

I specifically created this retreat based on my experiences at retreats, but also based on what we as writers need. I saw other writers struggling in their careers, and I understood that pain. It took me twelve years to get published, and it wasn't for lack of skill as a writer. I see so many perfectly talented writers who can't get ahead, and it's a shame, because their work deserves to be read by others.

So why, then, if talent isn't the issue, are so many people not succeeding as writers? It's like there's an invisible switch inside them that seems to be turned to the "off" position. I know, because I had that problem. And I also learned to re-set that switch. Which is what I want to help others do.

Honestly, I think we get caught up so much in the business of writing that we forget the joy of writing. We forget the love we have for the written word as we find ourselves torn between the artistic side of writing and the business side of writing. We are overwhelmed by the expectations, deadlines, pressures, goals, edits, and marketing. And what we need is space to play. To relax. To rejuvenate.

But here's the thing... we all say, "yes, that sounds good, and I totally need that." But we never make the time for it to happen. Instead, we promise ourselves we'll take better care of ourselves, and then we never do. I created this space so you can keep that promise to yourself. I created this space to keep my promises to myself.

The retreat is called Nourishing the Writer's Spirit, because your writer's spirit deserves to be nourished. It needs to be nourished. And as we nourish your spirit, you'll discover the dreams buried inside you, and find the strength to move forward on them.

I believe every writer needs to have the time and space to nourish themselves. Which is why I think every writer needs to come! If you're in a place where you feel depleted, or are struggling with where you're at in your writing career, you especially need to give yourself this gift.

You can find registration info here:

I'd also really appreciate it if you shared information about the retreat with other writers you know. We spend so much time learning about craft and career, but we don't take the time to learn about something equally important- nourishing ourselves. I'm also happy to come to your group and talk about these topics.

Whatever your goal or dream with your writing is, I know you can do it! And I've love to help you get there.

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