Jill Weatherholt

Writing Stories of Love, Faith and Happy Endings While Enjoying the Journey

Stay the Course

133 Comments

Image courtesy of morguefile.com

Image courtesy of morguefile.com

At the end of 2014, I found myself frustrated and full of self-doubt. When I sat down to write, the distractions took hold and nothing was accomplished. It was obvious I needed to regain my focus. Focus became my “one word” for 2015. Little did I know, when I chose my word, I would cling to it desperately as I advanced in a contest that required me to write an entire book in three and a half months. My limits tested, but I remained focused on the end goal.

As 2015 came to a close, and I thanked God for the amazing events that unfolded during the year, I realized I wanted to live 2016 and the years that follow, purposeful. In order to do this, an unwavering course of action is necessary. If I want to write another book, I will remain determined and stay the course.

Just as in years past, I won’t make any resolutions. Instead, I’ll have one grounding word, my all-encompassing word for 2016 is RESOLUTE.

“It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage that we move on to better things. ~ Theodore Roosevelt.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on resolutions, a single word or phrase. My one phrase for the year is DO IT AFRAID.

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Author: Jill Weatherholt

My name is Jill Weatherholt and I’m a writer. I have a full-time job, but at night and on the weekend, I pursue my passion, writing. I write modern stories about love, friendship and forgiveness. I started this blog as a way to share my journey toward publication and to create a community for other new writers. Raised in the Washington, DC area, I’ve lived in Charlotte, North Carolina since 2004. I hold a degree in Psychology from George Mason University and a Certification in Paralegal Studies from Duke University. My first book, SECOND CHANCE ROMANCE, will release in March, 2017. It's now able for pre-order on Amazon. I was the first place winner in the Dream Quest One Short Story Contest in the Winter 2014-2015 competition. In 2014, I placed second in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest. I was also a top ten finalist in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest in 2012 and 2013. I’m a 2010 and 2012 winner of the NaNoWriMo Contest. I love to connect readers, visit me at jillweatherholt.com

133 thoughts on “Stay the Course

  1. Jill, what a positive and uplifting post – from self-doubt to writing a book in three and a half months! Fantastic!! 😄 Definitely resolute – such great determination and I think focus is all important. Having always made long lists of resolutions since a child, this year I decided not to. If I had to choose a phrase for the coming year, I think it would have to be ‘live in the moment’. I’m a good one for thinking ahead, worrying about events etc whilst doing something so forget to immerse myself in the current activity. Lovely photograph by the way – now wouldn’t that be an inspiring place to write!

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    • Thank you so much for your kind comment, Annika. I struggle with keeping my focus when I sit down to write. I’ve learned I definitely do better with a deadline. I like your phrase for the year. Living in the moment is so important, as we’re never promised tomorrow. Oh yes, wouldn’t that be a wonderful spot for a writer’s retreat? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Jill. You already know my thoughts about resolutions 😉 I know you will stay the course, you are indeed resolute and purposeful and we are all behind you. I am resolute to finish the revision of my memoir, but so far I am overwhelmed with distractions, so I feel like you did at the beginning of 2014. I will remember Roosevelt’s quote, very apt, and also your phrase at the end because my word is ‘Courage’. I need courage to face that fear of failure, that I will never get my book published, that I can’t find my way through. But you inspire me my friend to hold the course, and I thank you for that. And of course, with such a beautiful photo of a lighthouse, how can we not? Sending love & hugs to you and DfD for a productive and peaceful weekend my friend. I can’t wait to read your book/books 🙂 ❤ xo

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  3. Love the word you chose, Jill. I usually don’t make resolutions. Instead, I prayerfully consider what goals I will achieve. But I can see the resolve in your life. You stay the course and follow through on your commitments.

    I needed to see this post today, because my resolve to write has flagged somewhat of late. I’ve let rejections get to me. But yesterday, an article gave me a wake-up call, which has given my resolve a shot of adrenaline. And your post just echoes the need for me to make RESOLUTE my word for 2016 as well.

    Have a great weekend, Jill! oo 😀

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    • You played a big roll in my accomplishment last year, L. Marie. There were days I was so full of self-doubt, I thought I’d explode, but you said just the right thing at just the right time. That said, I’m thrilled I could return the favor today with this post. Keep pressing on, my friend. You’ve done it before and I have no doubt you’ll do it again. Thanks again for sharing the article. Have a great weekend! ❤

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  4. Great post Jill! I love your word. My word is: Uncommon hope, as in the uncommon hope we have in Jesus when He died on the cross. Uncommon hope that He loves us. John 14:21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” Uncommon hope that we have eternal life in Him. John 10:26-28 26″But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. 27″My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.… Uncommon hope that God is able to do exceeding, abundantly above all that we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20).

    Geared toward my writing, uncommon hope that God is doing amazing things. He is the coordinator and He is leading. I am praying for a joy-filled year full of unexpected amazing God-given things exceeding, abundantly above all that we ask or think. Don’t limit God and what He can do. My motto for the year.

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    • Hey Sally! It’s great to see you. I’m so happy you shared your word here, it’s a perfect choice. Although I’ve only known you for a short time, I think God has big things in store for you in 2016. You’ve certainly stayed the course and you’ll be rewarded. I have no doubt, that the gift given to me last year, was all God. On another note, keep doing your snow dance and enjoy the weekend!

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  5. Wonderful thoughts, Jill. You must have a real feeling of satisfaction on completing your task. I think the word ‘focus’ is something we all can adopt as we start this new year. If we don’t stay focused on the task in hand, we can often find ourselves wasting precious time on trivialities. Well done to you. 🙂 xx

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  6. I’m convinced that the goal behind all goals is “to be happy.” So that’s my focus/intention every year ~> to be happy.

    Have fun this year!

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  7. You’ve had a great year! I don’t chose a word but focus on something positive (I’d like to say I’m focusing on winning that powerball but seriously don’t think that will happen!). I’m hoping for a healthy year.

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  8. You are so inspiring, Jill!! You set your mind to accomplish a goal and you do it, even when afraid. Great word and phrase! I have not felt very introspective or inspired to look within to set goals and wishes. The new year is here and I feel blessed and thankful for everything I have but don’t have any clear goals or resolutions. I am taking it day by day and taking what comes my way. 🙂

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    • I appreciate your kind comment, Brick. You’re more inspiring than you know. The health issues you deal with on a daily bases, wearing a smile, is awe-inspiring. Taking things day by day sounds like a wise plan to me. Have a great weekend! ❤

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  9. And look what that focus brought you–a publishing contract. So exciting!

    I’ve been thinking about my word or phrase. I haven’t fully decided, but I’m leaning toward “balance” or “let it go”, the latter referring to the things I just can’t get done. Never enough time. We’ll see how it goes when I let it go…

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  10. No resolution for me. I guess my word for 2016 is “changes”…..changing little things to eat better, get more exercise and fit back in those white jeans come summer!

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  11. I love your phrase. I may borrow it throughout the year. Keep up the good work, Jill. God Bless.

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  12. Best wishes in the New Year and your writing engagements – you’ll do well, no doubt in meeting your goal. I make no resolutions, only keep trying to move myself forward in a positive and fulfilling direction.

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  13. “Purposeful”, “resolute”, “Do it afraid”–those are all great, Jill. My husband came up with mine the other day–“cheap seats”. I asked him what ‘risible’ meant and he rattled off a perfect answer. Sadly, he saw my amazement and answered, “Every once in a while, the cheap seats come through.”

    I want to be that epiphany in 2016. “We didn’t expect that from Jacqui…”

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  14. I’m recently discovered I’m not a resolution or word girl Jill, I’m more inclined to see what the word was in retrospect these days – life has a way of insisting I go quite somewhere else rather than my intended goal so I decided to go with that current rather than attempting to direct operations. Having said that I like your word and your motto. I also think that ‘having done it once, makes doing it again more plausible’…………. this can apply to anything in life. Including writing and being published 🙂 Or as Siddy says, regarding absolutely anything – ‘I don’t mind’. xo

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  15. Hi Jill! Great post. I did a little staying of the course myself in 2015. I could not have reached my goals without the blessed help and favor of the Lord! That’s for certain. When we are following the course He has set…we can lean on Him and it shall be stayed! 🙂 Hugs and blessings!

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  16. Nice post, Jill. I don’t do resolutions as such. I do goal setting each December and then work to achieve them. I like the phrase DO IT AFRAID. I have operated on the idea that TODAY IS MY LAST.

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  17. Jill,

    I like the word “Resolute” (my husband would say it makes a good boat name). Determination. Unwavering. Like your word “Focus” for 2015. And being Resolved, even without resolutions, will help you DO IT AFRAID, which we all must do much of the time.

    My word for 2015 was “Prioritize”. I chose it on January 2, 2015, and my father died on January 5. His death and my assumption of the role of executor of his and my mother’s estates required me to prioritize. I had a ready excuse to give up the things I didn’t want to do. And I set basically two priorities for the year—(1) handling family and estate matters and (2) writing my novel. Both got done—the estates are about ready to wrap up, and I published the book.

    But wow, we don’t know what we ask for, do we?

    My word for 2016 is “Truth.” I’m not sure why I want this emphasis. It came up on a Facebook “analysis” of my name, and was repeated in a recent church reading. My hope is that I seek truth and speak truth (and write it) in 2016. We’ll see at the end of the year what difference this word has made in my life.

    Best wishes to you for a Resolute foray into your unknowns.

    Theresa

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    • Thank you for sharing this, Theresa. What you accomplished in 2015, following your father’s death, is amazing. “Prioritize couldn’t have been a more perfect word for you. I still remember your post in which you talked about going through your father’s documents and drinking that Coke. My heart ached for you.
      I believe you’ve made a wise choice with “Truth.” Wishing you the best in 2016 and congratulations on your accomplishments in 2015.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. You certainly proved you are a resolute woman by the way you coped with the immense pressure you were under to finish your book last year. I am sure ‘resolute’ will be a good word for you this coming year as you go forward as a published author. ‘Do it afraid’ is an excellent phrase. Sometimes the only way ahead is to ‘do it afraid’. To not do something because we are afraid – afraid of the outcome, afraid of failure, afraid of pain – can often be a decision we regret for the rest of our lives.
    I don’t make resolutions very often and haven’t made any this year (though I would like to continue to lose weight and eat more healthily – especially as I am going to a wedding at the end of March and want to look my best!). I will continue to ‘hope’ (my word for the year) and take each day as it comes. It is difficult to make plans for myself when I need to be ready to change them at a moments notice because of another’s needs.

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  19. Teddy Roosevelt would approve of your word this year, Jill, and I have a feeling he would stand and applaud your phrase: Do It Afraid.
    So many things we decide to do–and then commit ourselves to accomplishing–require us to face our fears and move ahead in spite of them. Excellent reminder!

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    • Thank you, Marylin. It’s funny, when I think back, I don’t remember when you weren’t around to encourage me. Moving ahead in face of fear is tough, but the payoff can be amazing. Enjoy your weekend! ❤

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  20. You are about to have your best year ever, Jill. I can just sense the pent-up energy on a return cycle. Better buckle up friend. Yay.

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  21. I’ll have what you’re having, Jill 😀

    My resolution this year is to ensure I tell everyone I love that I love them and show that I love them as well! 😀

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  22. Your focus last year certainly paid off. And I’m sure you’ll be resolute in achieving your goals during 2016. I have to admit, your phrase, DO IT AFRAID, threw me off. I had to read it over and over. I suppose you mean, try new things even when they frighten you. My experience is that the fear comes before the doing. Once you get into an activity, you can let the fear go and focus on what you’re doing and enjoy it. Sorry. I guess I’m nitpicking. I’m sure the courage your phrase represents will serve you well.

    Some years, I’ve made long, detailed resolutions on January 1st related every aspect of my life, and the act of writing it all down has been helpful. This year, somehow, I don’t feel the need to make resolutions. I feel relaxed about continuing on my current path.

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    • Thank you, Nicki. I don’t think you’re “nitpicking.” My phrase DO IT AFRAID pertains to my writing. Last year, these words whirled in my mind over and over as I advanced in the contest. There were times that I was paralyzed with fear and unable to write a single word. This phrase pushed me through the fear and forced me to ask myself, “What’s the worst that can happen?” Well, the worst was, I wouldn’t win the contest which didn’t really sound that scary. Does that make sense?
      I’m happy you’re relaxed and continuing on your current path. It’s certainly a great way to live your life.

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  23. A great phrase, reflecting the title of a self help book I’ve never read, but the title of which has stuck with me: ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’

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  24. I love both Staying the Course and being Resolute Jill! Your story is an inspiration for many. This is a tough time of year – the darkest and coldest part of winter which nothing grows or flourishes. Sometimes we humans need to take a break until our own juices start to rise in the Spring.
    That’s why I like being resolute to keep going. You may not accomplish it now, but be flexible enough to accept that while staying the course. xo

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    • That’s great advice, Val. Staying flexible is important, as is being willing to accept things when they don’t go our way. These techniques definitely help us to maintain our focus. Thank you for keeping me centered last year. ❤

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  25. So happy you “stayed the course, Jill. What a wonderful thing… you have written a book! I don’t make resolutions but I do plan to continue to try to live in the moment this year. I plan to continue to rid myself of my anxiety or at least cope with it better. Enjoy your weekend, Jill!

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    • Thank you, Pix! I’m with you on riding oneself of anxiety. This is something I plan to work on this year as well. I guess we’ll can check back in at the end of the year and compare notes. 🙂 Happy Weekend to you too!

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  26. I wish you humongous success for this year, Jill. I’m confident that you’ll make unwavering strides.

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  27. Thank you, Jill, for revealing your word for 2016 and for inspiring the rest of us to do the same. My word is similar to your 2015 and 2016 word in that it is somewhat like a combination of both words: PRESENCE. More and more I’m training myself to be present, not getting stuck in the past and not worrying about the future. I haven’t mastered it yet, but hope to practice it to the point where “being present” comes to me quite naturally, without much forethought. Bless you in 2016, Jill!

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    • PRESENCE is a great word, Irene. It would be nice for that mindset to come naturally, especially when it comes to worrying. My worry time always hits me on weekdays around 2:00 a.m. when I have to get up for work at 4:00 a.m. I’d like to work on that one myself. 🙂 Wishing you and your husband a blessed new year. Best of luck on your latest book!

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Focus surely worked! One blog post a week and eliminating distractions. Going for what you want, Jill. It’s working beautifully. But I have to thank you for your kindness and encouragement for the rest of us. I read the conversation with Sherri with a warm feeling. As well as being determined, you are a very nice lady. Good luck with no. 2 🙂 🙂

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  29. Jill, thank you for this wonderful post. Your Focus really paid off ~ writing your book in less than four months! I don’t make resolutions and I’m not sure what my one word would be. I’m content in every aspect of my life except my writing. Sometimes I’m satisfied with just a writing hobby; sometimes I think I should strive for the next level. I don’t know. Maybe I should borrow from your phrase and Do It Afraid.

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  30. Awesome one word, Jill, and love your phrase, DO IT AFRAID! I’m quite sure you were terrified at the prospect of writing a book in such a short time frame, and yet you conquered your fear! You go, girl! Awesome!! Can’t wait to read it!

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  31. Jill – I love how your one word was the guidance that kept you on track to a positive creation! You have inspired me to make one word a 2016 mantra. The trouble is, I have two favorites. The first is “Relax”, but the second is “Organize.” Now what do I do? I know I need to relax and enjoy life. At the same time, I also have a book idea that requires organizing and I would really love to organize my house. I am not sure the two words work well together though…. Yikes! 🙂 Maybe 6 months of one and 6 months of the other?

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  32. I love this post Jill! You are the manifestation of determination. You put yourself out there and reaped huge rewards. I have the upmost admiration for you and would hope that in 2016, I can follow your lead!

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    • Aw…that’s so sweet, Phillip, thank you. You’ve been around for the long haul and I really appreciate it. You’re a great writer who has many other demands on his time, but you’re determined. Whatever direction you choose, you’ll get there. Wishing you and your family a great new year!

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  33. I can feel your resolution shimmering through this post Jill! I know you can keep going 🙂

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  34. Nice choice. Resolute beats mine which was food but that may be because I was hungry at the time though…I am easily swayed. If anybody can achieve great things it is you my friend, be proud and keep going, you have our support!

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  35. Oh, could I use some focus! Maybe that should be my word for 2016 since I have so little of it right now 😉 Resolute is a great word for you, Jill! Bring on that second book 🙂

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  36. You showed your ability to focus, to stay the course and now, you have the prize in hand fir 2015 success. Don’t stop now, keep the momentum going, Jill.
    I chose on a different bloggers post: “Openness” to guide my days and nights throughout 2016. I like your word: “Resolute.” Not sure about “Do it afraid.” ? 🙂
    You are a gracious, caring and genuine sweetheart. We all are proud of your hard work and accomplishments. I value your thoughts and kind comments. Good luck, Jill.

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  37. Pingback: You Can’t Get Rid of Me … At least not easily #MondayBlogs #knitting #GrandFunkRailroad | 1WriteWay

  38. I like the idea of a word to embody your goals for the year. I tend to write out my goals but I having an overarching theme to your goals is a cool thing and I’ll have to give it a try. Mine would be balance.

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  39. Your word is perfect, and your experience being resolute – inspiring. I’m adding it to my Resolutions for this year. My main word is STRETCH – I want to stretch my mind, my body, my belief in myself, my writing – and keep RESOLUTE while doing so. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Great post Jill, always gaining a lot visiting your site. My word for the year is ‘improve,’ I just want to do things better, nothing elaborate, just adding to what I did last year. Glad I stopped by my friend.
    Blessings. 🙂

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  41. Go, Jill, go! Wishing you continuing success with your writing, and every other aspect of your life. Happy New Year!

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  42. Jill each year we grow, learn and evolve into who we are suppose to be. Wishing you another successful year in writing Im with you on doing it afraid its a great opportunity to push ourselves and learn. Learning is the gift on this journey. All the very best with this new year of opportunities.

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  43. I am still working on focusing. I read an article somewhere about working in the dark, meaning that if nobody ever sees your work or knows about you, you keep going because as a creative person that is what you love to do. This year I am really really focusing on getting my photography out of the “dark” stage and into the world… in order to do that, “focus” is the word. I enjoy your motivating posts and your encouragement! Thanks for being there!!!

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    • Aw….thank you. I’m thrilled to hear you plan to take it to the next level this year, Roslyn. Your talent must be seen by others. I’ve watched you grow over the year and the time is now.
      I almost used focus as my one word again this year. Keeping our focus is a must to achieve our goals. I’ll look forward to seeing what 2016 brings you.

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  44. Every ending hides a new beginning, Thanks for your inspiring words.

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  45. I’m amazed that you could write a book in 3 1/2 months. Maybe I’m just piddling with a goal of 3 years, one year behind me now.

    Resolute is a strong word for 2016. My focus word this year is “wholehearted.” One benefit of blogging is the strength and encouragement I get from other writers: “As iron sharpens iron”! I’m glad we made a connection today, Jill.

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  46. Weirdest thing is that I thought I responded here, but did not. I must have read through Facebook and then got called away from the computer, which is something that happens way too often. I am not sure if I am resolute or OCD. The verdict is still out on that. So happy that you have had such payoff for your hard work and attitude, Jill!

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  47. I’m really impressed by your “focus” in writing a book in such a short time while working at a full-time job. Makes me ashamed of having writer’s block at any time. I think my own mantra will have to be “get over it.” Thanks for clicking to follow my blog. Will see you there now and then.

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  48. I like your word for 2016! Every year, I select two themes, and this year they are “thankfulness” and “exploration.” One year they were “joy” and “beauty,” so I visited a lot of art museums, and focused on objects of beauty, and on destinations or activities that brought joy. The words I choose are not necessarily only related to writing, but I love the idea of having a focus-theme that will feel encouraging when things become difficult!

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    • Hi Carla! I like the idea of having a theme, and you have two…that’s even better. I agree, focusing on our word or theme does carry us through those rough times. Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to comment.

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  49. Jill, your journey in 2015 inspired me. I know it wasn’t easy, but “Do It Afraid” is a wonderful phrase to ascribe to, and I’m going to make it mine for 2016. Last month I decided to commit to finishing the novel I started back in 2009. I signed on with a writing coach through the University of Wisconsin’s Continuing Ed department, with a goal of finishing the manuscript by January 2017. Already the structure and discipline of this teacher have made a huge difference. Her feedback and encouragement have helped me wake up each morning, excited to write again, even with a full time job. I’m making time, not excuses. But I have you to thank for the inspiration. You showed me and all your readers that dreams can come true with the right frame of mind, so thank you.

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  50. Pingback: Why Blog? | Jill Weatherholt

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