Inspired By.

Writing my guest post for Ally this week really got me thinking about relationships. Not just marriage, but all relationships – to people, to art, to work, to a habit, to an idea. We commit ourselves to a variety of different things, in word and in deed, on a daily basis. Don’t you think? And if you really think about it, your actions, your schedule, speak volumes about what you care about most. If you’re looking back on this week and thinking, hmm… that’s not what I want to be committed to, then you’re not the only one.

You may be tempted to spend your weekend as a continuation of your work week, scrambling like mad to finish a project.


You may be tempted to avoid any form of work all together and park yourself in front of your television.


You may be tempted to cling to the period of your life when things felt so much easier than they do right now, when you were a carefree college kid without any real responsibilities.


Put down your smart phone.

Step away from your inbox.

Turn off the TV.

Let go of the if-onlys and the I-wish-I-weres.

Read a few of these links and be inspired to commit yourself to something good. A healthy relationship. A life full of adventure. A habit of learning and going and doing.


She’s Married to Amazement.

I love this quote from Darrell about seeking direction versus wisdom:

“I can seek direction which is circumstantial, or seek the wisdom that will help direct my actions in all circumstances.”

Possibly the most romantic stay-in date that I’ve heard of in a long time.

Rob asks the question: what’s more important, a happy story or one that evokes strong emotion, even if it’s depressing?

Commit to story. It’s A Matter of Life and Death.

Confession: I’m an NPR addict. [Like you didn’t already know that…] This story, like so many that I hear on a daily basis, had me in tears and reminded me of this post I wrote a few months back.

So what are you committing to this weekend, and what are you letting go of?

Happy Friday, friends. [And happy fall.]

Inspired By.

Today I’m thinking about authenticity. Writers have the ability and responsibility to wield words and create meaning. We can construct whole worlds of fiction and fantasy. We can give artistic flair to the everyday human experience.

And so I think to myself: whatever we do, whatever we say, however we act, should be authentic to who we are. A story, however edited and rewritten, should ring true. So I strive to live a life authentic to what I feel, and what I believe to be true. But, by my nature and because I am human, I succeed marginally at best. I get caught up in constructing authenticity. And then I lose it. I give in to the belief that this is what they’ll want to read from me or this sounds better than the way it really happened or if I told them what I really think, they wouldn’t take me seriously.

Do you ever do that, rearrange your thoughts around what you believe people will respond to?

Do you blog for the bandwagon? Post about things that you believe will initiate comments and page views and tweets, or do you blog about things that really matter to you, the writer?

Do you edit your thoughts and words at the expense of your true voice?

Do you edit others at the expense of the truth in their own words?

On the one hand, you write for your audience. You write to give them a thought, a moment illustrated, a word of encouragement, a benefit from your experience. But we have to strike that balance between sharing our gift with others and exercising our gift simply because it is what we are called to do.

I’m convicted by the thought that when we write, we should not just write about writing, but about our lives.

As a very wise professor I know recently explained,

Art is not about art. It’s about everything else.

My blog is a blog about writing, but it is also a blog for my writing.

We can lose that authenticity and integrity for our work in a variety of ways, whether through writing about writing to avoid writing truth, or editing our thoughts and experiences to garner attention.

Here are a few posts from the interwebs that I appreciate for their authenticity.

The best reflection out of the many that were shared over the past week.

What good is a relationship without confrontation and commitment?

Is it right, or does it just feel right? How my generation deals with morality.

These bloggers are willing to share their true stories. I took the plunge and shared mine yesterday. Share yours. The world needs to witness it.

The Bravest and Most Beautiful Affair. [Heard rave reviews about the author‘s presentation on the importance of poetery at Story Conference today.]

And finally, a friend and I are starting a writer’s group in the Elgin/Chicago Suburbs. Are you interested? Join here.

Have a good weekend, friends.

Inspired By.

flowers from jane flanagan
It’s Friday. [And the peasants rejoiced!] I’m feeling a little wilted, unlike the photo above. This week has been out of sorts with an undecided, in-transition, what’s-going-on, how-do-we-do-this office move at work, a bee infestation in my apartment bedroom window that forced my husband and I to set up camp in the middle of our living room so as not to find ourselves exterminated, and a car that’s on it’s last life and my last nerve. To add to it, my mom is still in the hospital [since Tuesday, August 16] and doctors are still trying to figure out the best way to, well… make it possible for her to be healthy outside of it? It’s hard and painful to explain.
Needless to say, I’m tired. I find life exhausting at the moment. Might explain the dream I had Wednesday night and the lack of personal writing and posting around here recently. My head [and my heart] can’t decide if now is the best time to write [time? what time?] or if I am understandably excused from adding that to my to-do list [if not now, then when?].
My soul is surviving on small increments of rest, grace and joy, wherever I can find them. Tomorrow, a group of my favorite girls and I are going to enjoy a day in Southern Michigan tasting wine at local vineyards, snatching up local produce, and surveying what promises to another beautiful sunset like this one.
I know that this is another week of the last several where I’ve complained about “my lot” in life. I’m well aware that I am blessed, that I am healthy, that I am capable, and that many many many other people in the world are not for a variety of reasons. But on the other hand, this space is not an escape for me. It’s a place where I can express my thoughts and feelings and opinions and experiences freely like I can’t anywhere else. So if you’re feeling a little wilted or trampled, or you have been but are now feeling rejuvenated, feel free to share your thoughts. The company is welcome.
Until then, here are a few delightful posts from around the interwebs:
Mandy wrote an encouraging post for me this week about the importance of traveling and finding a job you’re passionate about. That alone is inspiring, but she emailed me today to tell me: she got the job she mentioned in the post writing for a travel magazine! Congrats, Mandy!
Nothing could ruffle her, and that’s why we loved her.
How do you relate? Paintings versus photographs versus blogs versus life.
I really love this blog. Decadent photos and beautiful words.
Eight secrets writers won’t tell you.
Image found here. The flowers are gorgeous, but of course, I’m loving the bookshelves behind it, too.
And finally, this girl is going to share her snark, wit and good grammar with us next week. I’m excited! She started a new series this week, Fat Tuesday, that I’m already addicted to.
What are your plans for the weekend? I hope it’s a good one, friends.

Inspired By.

It’s the weekend friends, and I’m pretty darn happy about it since I feel like I haven’t really had one in weeks. I’m about to head out for dinner and a movie with one of my besties, and tomorrow I’m going to a 40′s in the 40′s Party complete with pearls, t-strap heels, fellas in fedoras and 40oz Mickey’s for all. Theme : Keep Calm and Carry On, which is exactly what I’m aiming for right now.
Here are some sweet links from around the web this week:
Inspired by Sam’s book arrangement plus these other clever shelves, I rearranged my own collection the other night, and I’ll be posting photos of it next week in my bookish series!
Another encouraging post for bloggers on common misconceptions and ways to deal with them. Note: the comments are as good as the post itself!
Margaret Atwood’s 10 Rules of Writing. My favorite is rule number 8 :

“You can never read your own book with the innocent anticipation that comes with that first delicious page of a new book, because you wrote the thing. You’ve been backstage. You’ve seen how the rabbits were smuggled into the hat. Therefore ask a reading friend or two to look at it before you give it to anyone in the publishing business. This friend should not be someone with whom you have a ­romantic relationship, unless you want to break up.”

After a post from Jess early in July, I joined her email intervention program and it has really helped scale back my stress during my down time. Now, she’s doing another one for August, and I highly recommend you join the ranks of those that are keeping the office at the office, and home at home.
I’m a firm believer in the Oxford Comma, which is why I absolutely loved this post.
A really interesting [and true to my life] post about Why Our Generation is Afraid to Commit.
Doubt and Devotion? Creativity and Life? It’s All About Balance.
It seems like everyone has their spinoffs of the poster above these days, but this rendition from my friend Kat is my favorite.
And finally, I found this post really interesting, and it has prompted me to ask: how can I serve you better? What would you like to see more of on She Writes and Rights? Guest posts from other writers? More or less of my personal experience? More or less of my poetry? Thoughts on the process of writing poetry? My bookish posts: do you find them interesting or fluffy? Your thoughts are welcome here.
P.S. Looking for a guest posts from fellow writers and creative for the upcoming weeks. I’d love to have you; email me at shewritesandwrites[at]gmail[dot]com.
So keep calm and have a good weekend, friends.

Inspired By.

Picture 2
Hello, dear readers. The weekend is coming to me a day early again, for some bittersweet reasons. I’m making a trip home to Michigan to visit my dear mama, who has been in the hospital since last Saturday. Your thoughts and prayers are appreciated.
That being said, here is my weekly round-up a day early. [I’ve been trying to consistently post these on Fridays, this and last week not included.]
This lovely lady has been sweet enough to leave a comment or two on my little blog, which led me to find her blog, which put a huge smile on my face from the first click. Whether donating to Oceana on behalf of sharks everywhereleaving positive notes on random doorsteps, or giving away her clothes, her Days of Deeds Project is super inspiring.
Among the many things I’m trying to become more disciplined about, prayer journaling and making time for spiritual rest are my top priorities. I found this guest post from Mandy Thompson really encouraging.
My blog is an important part of my life and I want to see it grow, so I’m trying to be more intentional with my content, my social media and my interactions with my readers. Oh, you too? Glad I’m not alone. Some interesting, helpful advice for us bloggers from Vandelay Design: 17 Tips to Get More Exposure for Your Blog and 5 Common Blogging Problems and How to Solve Them.
On the other hand… blogging can be bad for your writing soul. It doesn’t mean I won’t be blogging, but it does mean I won’t write just for the sake of posting it on my blog.
An interesting post on how to talk with young girls.
‘You Look Great’ and Other Lies. I loved this NYT article about what to say to someone who is sick.
And finally, the lovely image above is borrowed from this heralding post for August, my favorite month. Question : what is your favorite month and why? Are you excited for the coming fall or are you sad to see summer go?
So hug a loved one, down an ice-cold drink, soak up some rays.
Most importantly, have a good weekend, friends.