Monday, October 25, 2010

A guest post by Heather Wardell

Good morning fabulous people!

It is Monday yet again, and I'm sure some of you (or all of you) are feeling the effects of a brand new week. Need a pick me up? I know I do.

Today I'm proud to welcome Heather Wardell, author of Planning to Live, to my blog! In the spirit of a pick me up, she'll be sharing with us her favorite quotes of all time. Pretty perfect right? I'll step out of the way now and let Heather take it away!

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I have a huge list of quotations that keep me inspired and moving forward. It's amazing how much of a difference a few perfectly stated words can make.

I maintain a list of my favorites on Goodreads ( if you'd like to see them all), but here are five of my absolute go-to quotations for support and comfort and the occasional well-needed kick in the rear. I've included a sixth, from my new book "Planning to Live", because I think it ties them all together.

1. "Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
Howard Thurman

This one chokes me up every time I read it. I struggle sometimes with a feeling that my writing isn't 'enough'. Not literary enough, not dark enough, not meaningful enough. But I write what I love reading. I adore books about ordinary women in extraordinary situations. I live my characters. I wake up thinking about about them and go to sleep imagining their lives. There's no doubt that what I write makes me come alive. Rereading this quote helps me remember that's more than enough.

2. "You don't have to feel like it. You just have to do it." 
— Victoria Moran, in her book "Fit from Within"

"Fit from Within" is a great book on losing weight and becoming healthy by listening and accepting yourself. I love this quote because, let's face it, some days I just don't feel like doing. But I know I'll be glad I've done it. So I do it, thinking of this the whole time. I've actually made a picture for my iPhone's lock screen with this quote on it, so I see it many times a day and get the little kick I need.

3. "Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall."
— Confucius

I know I'm not the only one afraid to fail. But the only way to never fail is to never try, and I don't think that's much of a way to live your life. Things will go wrong. Acknowledge them, figure out what you can do differently next time to make the situation better, then get up and go. (You don't have to feel like it. You just have to do it. :)

4. "The miles can build you up or the miles can wear you down, it's all about how you approach it."

— Josh Cox, elite marathoner

When I'm slogging through a first draft that isn't measuring up to my (generally too high) standards, it's easy to feel discouraged and decide I'm useless. Frankly, I decide I'm useless at least once a book. :) But then I remember that "it's all about how you approach it" and I remind myself that I always feel this way, it will pass, and I just need to keep going.

I must also quote my sister, with whom I run regularly, on this one. During a race, I was whining about being tired and she said, "Nobody likes this part! But you just have to do it. And then it'll be done. And you'll be glad." I did it, and I WAS glad, and while she didn't exactly say it in a poster-worthy format it's helped me through tons of runs since.

5. "People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing--that's why we recommend it daily."
— Zig Ziglar

I know I'm not the only one who struggles with "where did my motivation go?" This quote helps me remember it needs to be renewed daily rather than expecting it to just last forever. Remembering why I want to do what I'm doing makes it easier to revive my occasionally flagging motivation.

And from "Planning to Live": "Pay attention to all the lovely little things around you and enjoy them." (Rhiannon Taylor, main character/narrator in "Planning to Live")

Sure, not everything in our lives is lovely all the time. But so much of it is and we just don't notice. Notice. It makes the miles go faster, the tasks seem easier, and the motivation renew itself.

I'd love to know what your favorite quotes are. Maybe I'll find some great new ones for my collection!

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Heather Wardell has been writing full-time since 2005, after careers in software development and elementary school teaching. In her spare time, she reads, runs, crochets, swims, and plays drums and clarinet. While it would be entertaining, she hasn't managed to do more than two of these things at once. She has four novels available now, including one for free download, which can be found at


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