In gratitude to mentors

I have built this blog, and my writing in general, around three action verbs: encourage, enlighten, entertain. If I have done at least one of those three things in a piece, mission accomplished. Today I’d like to share some of what has encouraged, enlightened and entertained me this year.

The INFJ Writer, Firefly Magic, and The INFJ Revolution by Lauren Sapala — These books inspired me last winter to the point where I took the unprecedented step of purchasing an online class, and her “Intuitive Writing” course opened up my work to new possibilities. Sapala works with creative folks who identify as INFJ or INFP on the Myer-Briggs personality scale — introverts, to put it more generally. She helped me better understand the roadblocks I’ve been erecting for years and years in my creative life.

The Write Attitude by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, and Writing Into the Dark and Heinlein’s Rules by Dean Wesley Smith — This power duo of writing business mentors are, each in their own way and together, a wealth of knowledge and experience about what it takes to build a sustainable career with words. These three books gave me a 1-2-3 kick in the pants that clarified a lot of head-knowledge I’d encountered along the way and converted into heart-knowledge and, more important, action.

Plotman to the Rescue by James Scott Bell — This book is chock full of practical advice about storytelling that, again, I have encountered in other places but explained with greater clarity than I’d felt before. The comic-book-style cover and title may be off-putting to some readers, but it got my attention, and that’s job one, isn’t it?

Wishwork by Alexa Fischer, subtitled “Make a Wish, Do the Work, and Watch It Come True” — I ordered this on an impulse after watching Fischer’s video in support of Seth Godin’s new book, The Practice. This short little book is all about how you can do anything if you set your mind to it, complete with a 21-day mind-setting protocol.

The Practice by Seth Godin — If you’ve been following me the last few days, you know I’m currently going through this book, which is a call to action for people who choose the creative life. This post you’re reading is a response to Godin’s assertion, “Our job is to be generous, as generous as we know how to be, with our work,” including acknowledging those who have inspired us along the way, so that you may be inspired along your way. That’s why creative folks create, after all: to share what changes our world so your world can be changed, too. Right?

These are all books new to me this year, but they have built on the foundation I began to build through Zen In the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury, The War of Art and other books by Steven Pressfield, and Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.

I was encouraged, enlightened and entertained by all of these, and I recommend them in hopes you will be, too.

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