Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday Fricassee

Awesome responses yesterday. At the risk of redundancy, I'm going to say it again: I love taking this journey with you.

One anonymous commenter brought up an important question that I thought I'd throw out for our Friday Fricassee: HOW do you get rid of the unauthentic in your life?

Most people can't walk away from full-time jobs overnight.

Most people can't sell houses with too-big mortgages overnight.

Most people can't find their entire Authentic Selves overnight.

So where does one begin? Remembering, of course, that the ULTIMATE GOAL is living your DREAM, not your daily-grind-because-I-need-to-survive.

We can agree that it's a process. Can you share some ideas for realistic, baby-step starting points?

And while you're cogitating, please take a moment to welcome the wonderful Mr. A to Twitter! Finally, after immense pressure from his adoring wife, Mr A has opened a Twitter account and has actually TWEETED.


Be sure to tell him I sent you, lest he get a big head and assume he's growing in popularity all by himself.


Hugs to you all! May springtime TRULY spring for you this weekend! (Well, except you poor, poor folks up there in the frozen tundra...)


  1. YMMV (as with all advice and its ilk)

    I'm not a very spontaneous person. I'm a planner. Dropping my old life cold turkey and getting into debt to buy a mouldering farmhouse in the country sounds very romantic in books, but looms a bit too scary for my reality.

    First, I had to pay attention to myself.

    I sat down and made a list of things that made me happy and things that made me unhappy. (I spent extra time on the unhappy list, making sure I wasn't listing something that I was allowing to make me unhappy rather than a situation I couldn't change my outlook on).

    I found out that living in a big city stifles me. Being surrounded by all that concrete and all those people makes me shrink away and lock myself in my apartment.

    Living in the country (or small town, more like) makes me feel free and open. I go for walks, I notice the seasons, I spend less time waiting for something to happen and more time enjoying the now.

    I like accomplishing things. I love organization and checklists. I love making people smile.

    Based on those lists and the truths I found in them, I got closer to knowing who my Authentic Me is.

    My trick is to treat her as if she were my friend rather than myself. Often, we're nicer to our friends than we are to ourselves (which is just silly).

    "I don't like it in the big city" said myself. "Stop being such a baby! you need this money and this is a good job" I replied.
    "I don't like it in the big city" said my friend. "Have you looked for any jobs in a more rural area?" I replied. "I hate to see you so unhappy."

    So now I live in cute little suburb. I have a great job with a great boss and great pay and I'm able to tuck away a little money toward my dream home. I live in an apartment - a far cry from the dream home my authentic self wants, but I am working toward that goal. In the meantime, I'm getting to know myself more.

    "I'd like to try cooking," said myself. "You're terrible at cooking!" I reply, crushing my hopes. "Last time you made frozen pizza, you almost burned down the house!"
    "I'd like to try cooking," said my friend. "Oh, that sounds like fun! we should find some easy recipe books to get started. I'll help!" said I.

    That's my method. I'm not there yet, and I've got a ways to go. Ideally, I'd like to treat myself as a friend ALL the time, without having to play mind games.

  2. Most of us can’t completely rid ourselves of the unauthentic. Nor should we. Dealing with the unauthentic informs our fiction writing with genuine life experience. If all we ever did was read and write (what a dream!), all we would have to write about would be other books. For me, I’ve founding holding a day job in a field unrelated to writing or publishing is tremendously helpful. The eight hours I spend away from my fiction makes me appreciate and better utilize the precious time I do have to write. And besides, I’m sure even Stephen King and J.K. Rowling have to deal with things other than their writing on a daily basis.

  3. Well, what's unauthentic? Is it just stuff we don't enjoy? In that case, of course you can never be rid of it. But I don't think that's what it means. And I don't think a life-change is necessarily required, just a heart-adjustment. Maybe a person can keep their job, probably not if they absolutely hate it, but it requires an attitude shift. If you put your heart into something, it becomes a part of you, completely authentic.

  4. Here are some great people whose works will help you become more Authentic--who are helping me anyways.

    Dan Miller. Read his blog and listen to his free podcasts. If you want to learn how to move toward the job you want and or for thinking outside the box in regards to your writing career.

    Also another great guy to check out is Stephen Covey for more self-help.

    Finally, Joel Osteen is another one, who talked just a week or so about learning to love the job you have. The opposite of Dan Miller's approach. He has free podcasts too.


  5. Congrats Authoress on getting Mr. A to be a tweeter! Awesome!

    Great questions you've posed here too. I think it hits everybody differently. I didn't fully realize that I wasn't really being me until after my daughter was born. I had this lingering unhappiness around me and when she was born I realized that I didn't want to pigeon hole her as she grew. I wanted her to be free to do the things she wanted to do, since when I was younger, I wasn't.

    Not that my parents were tyrants, they wanted the best for me, but they didn't see artistic ventures as things to take seriously. They wanted me to get a job in an office. To have security. But are we ever really secure? My husband had an office job too, got laid off a year ago and is STILL unemployed, so there's your security.

    So between not wanting to limit my daughter and realizing this past year that there are no 'sure things' I think that's what really started me on the path to stop thinking about being my authentic self, but really doing it. I still have my office job, but more and more am getting to live my authentic life.

    I love reading about everybody else's experiences too! How cool!!

  6. Taking the opportunities when they come. Like it or not, opportunities to become and live your authentic self present themselves to you all the just don't have the courage to take that leap. Think about many times have you made excuses to NOT do something that you wanted to do? We are so settled and comfortable in taking the 'easy' route. Moving onto what we really want is HARD WORK, and not just financially or physically.

    You have to give yourself emotional freedom. You have to trust yourself enough to TRY. I think people are so afraid of failing at what they really want to do, they'd rather not even take the risk.

  7. I take opportunities wherever I can get them. And (as I work towards shifting from a job I love to the career I want) I remember to put myself first when it matters.

    Thanks for yesterday's post. It could not have been more timely, as I've been hammering out exactly what sort of career path I want to take. :)

  8. Living your dream can be done for sure. I’ve done it, but I’m in my fifties. My husband and I sold up and bought acreage in the country, not far from the ocean. To save on cost, we built the whole house ourselves, every brick. My husband let me draw the plan, so of course I added an office. But we had to make sacrifices. It’s not hard. We were married and had two children while we were still teenagers, so life was tough, but we worked hard to pay off the mortgage as soon as we could.

    We never bought a new car. We always bought a reliable old one for cash, and drove it till it died. I said ‘A’ car. One of us had to use public transport. (Sacrifice.) I’ve always been a bargain hunter, but as soon as the kids left home, I became thriftier. I bought most of our clothes in vintage shops or thrift stores. You get great gear that way. Even psychedelic hippy pants. LOL. We grew all our own veggies and I gathered cuttings to grow plants. But the biggest tip of all is NEVER use bankcard to buy a bargain. We don’t use it at all, except for emergencies. If you can’t pay cash, DON’T buy it. That money could go on your mortgage, then you can retire early and live your dream. Don’t buy things you’ll never use. Don’t cook food if you’re not going to eat it. Use leftovers to make something else.

    Find a job that you love, something that helps your writing. I chose animal care from home. Animals inspire me. I don’t consider that work. I feel privileged to care for them.

    I left school at fourteen, married at seventeen, and I had two children by the time I was eighteen. Lucky for me, I had a thrifty husband who kept a tight reign on the finances and he became a brickie by trade. I used to be a spender when it came to things for the kids, plus I loved fashion. I bought clothes, shoes, bags, cd’s. I love music. But one day in my mid-thirties, I decided I really wanted to give up my boring jobs and horrid bosses. My husband and decided to set our goal to pay the mortgage off quicker.

    Just think, the less time spent on shopping, the less time you’ll spend at a mundane job and the more time you’ll have to write. You can buy all the clothes, bags, shoes and cars you want when you have that best seller.

    I love living in the country, caring for animals and writing every day. My next goal was to get my grandkids to live near us, and that’s just happened too. Now, I have to find a way to stop eating peanuts and chocolate, and to get rid of the extra pounds I’ve gained from writing. LOL.

  9. Yes, well, some of us don't get to choose to take the authentic out--we're laid-off and coming back to our authentic selves is thrust upon us by coincidence. But when that happens, we can either fight it or embrace it--I'm embracing it, baby!

  10. I worked like mad and saved enough money to take time off to work on my novel - because I knew I couldn't actually finish it while working long hours at other jobs. And it paid off.

    What's crucial, I think, is just believing in yourself and what you do.

  11. I think one of the best ways to start living the "dream" of being a published author, is to be a published author. Stop saying "what if" and instead ask, "why not."

    Put the work out there on Kindle. Publish on Smashwords and have your ebooks at Sony, Kobo and Barnes & Noble. Publish a paperback at CreateSpace and invest the $39.00 for the pro plan and get distributed by Ingram and Baker & Taylor and find your books at Books a Million.

    Living your dream is much riskier than keeping it safely tucked away in your imagination. Unless your work is as bland as pablum, some people will hate it. (Trust me, I know that first hand.) The darts will come and they will hurt, but the pain reminds you that you're not on the sidelines any more.

    You're playing the game at last. Dart wounds and all, it beats the heck out of waiting for someone else to give you the golden ticket.

  12. I am fortunate. I am living my dream. We live in a modest home which we can modestly afford. We are down to earth with no interest in possession, (well, except for my husband, snowmobiles, boat and camper.) I do not care about my looks...well, that's not true, I care, but I feel how I feel/look on the inside counts. No fancy clothes, no fancy make-up, purses, shoes and so forth. And I'm perfectly happy and accepted by all. If they can't accept me the way I am, I honestly don't care. I look for the good in everyone and lead an optimistic life. I set my expectations so low I am rarely disappointed, and I am usually pleasantly surprised. I get great joy from helping others and accepting all people. Life is good!
    Lindsey Petersen