Articles · Michele's Books

I Give…Up or In

amrwrestlingI feel like I’m living in the funky, murky, no-man’s-land of writing lately. On the one hand, I’ve been fighting discouragement…big time. On the other, I’ve been giving thanks for having been given yet another book contract. But most of the time, I’m landing somewhere in the middle of giving up or giving in…to writing.

This morning guess what I found in my Inbox? A terrific post by literary agent, Steve Laube, which I completely identified with…read below his wise words to all writers who want to give up.

Next, read a lovely review that was posted on this weekend…which made me want to keep writing and give in and give it all I’ve got.

Yes, I frequently live in that funky, murky, no-man’s-land along with every other writer I know.

Steve Laube writes —

Is it common for an author to hit a wall of discouragement? To feel as though they’re working so hard for so little? To question why they’re doing this?

Unfortunately it is quite common. Doesn’t mean it aches any less. Sort of like getting old…everyone does and it aches, but it is a common malady.

I recently read a blog by a writer in the general market who wrote, “Why am I doing this? I work so hard for so little money.”

It truly comes down to whether your calling is stronger than the frustration and anguish of the writing process.

In some ways it is like the life of the writer. If you cannot not write then you know where your passions lay. If you can put it aside and write when the inspiration strikes, then you are a hobbyist and should treat writing as such. I find this separates many in this profession rather quickly.

The author replied a day later with this:

“I had two dark days, for whatever reason. But yesterday afternoon, wouldn’t you know, those dark hours translated into my writing in just the way the manuscript needed. I’m learning that the work of writing and the love of writing are a bit different. I love having written! And I could step away from it for a time, but writing will always woo me.”

Maggie Harding, reviewer for writes —

ONE SIZE FITS ALL, Michele Howe’s latest book, is designed to help women enjoy life to the fullest, regardless of what challenges life has thrown at them.

Millions of self-help books are bought each year by people looking for answers to specific problems, ranging from anorexia to xenophobia. It is always encouraging when the book you’ve chosen for your particular problem not only gives you new insights but also affirms some of the steps you have already taken. Whether your goal is to simplify, amplify, de-stress, motivate, or in some other way improve your quality of life, ONE SIZE FITS ALL provides some unique perspectives that will help you move forward.

Howe has demonstrated that her own “aha” moments have been instrumental in helping her write hundreds of articles and 12 books that are geared toward helping people discover their own potential and inner strengths…their own perfect size.

“Whether your goal is to simplify, amplify, de-stress, motivate, or in some other way improve your quality of life, ONE SIZE FITS ALL provides some unique perspectives that will help you move forward.”
One-size-fits-all is a catchy phrase that women, especially those who are traditionally built, often find laughable. In selecting the title for this book, Howe demonstrates her talent for choosing the precise words that will best communicate her ideas. And while one-size-fits-all may be a stretch when it comes to clothing, universal truths do exist for all. Applying these truths will help us to improve the quality of our lives while making life more pleasant for those in our immediate circle and, perhaps, even for the world. For example, the choices that a person makes will affect the quality of his or her life. Simple but true.

Howe uses the principle of the persistence of Helen Keller to illustrate how a person with disabilities can become an inspiration to millions because she would not give up until she learned to communicate. Being both deaf and blind seemed like an insurmountable barrier, but motivated by her teacher, Anne Sullivan, Keller became an icon for those with disabilities. Her choices greatly affected the quality of her life and the lives of many others.

Howe presents nuggets of wisdom in a way that makes them clear and memorable. Her writing style is concise without being terse, friendly without being folksy. She shows her appreciation for how busy most of us are and gets right to the point in each of her 50 bite-sized chapters. These chapters can be used as a study guide for small groups, choosing a topic to discuss each week. Or it can be used as a daily devotional that is sure to give you some interesting ideas to think about during your day. One could also scan the table of contents and pick a topic that seems relevant. Whether you choose “Feeling Pulled in Every Direction (With a Little Help From Your Friends)” or “What’s Eating You?” you are sure to find many insights based on Christian principles.

However, we must keep in mind an important truth: information does not equal transformation. Unless we use what we have learned, it won’t help us make better choices. And, as another wise person said, “If nothing changes, nothing changes.”

Reviewed by Maggie Harding on February 13, 2013

I wonder what you’re facing today that makes you want to give up or give in to?


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