#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller
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Charting my course

First, however, this week’s contest winners are: Kristie Beckman and Joanne Packham.  Congratulations, ladies–you’ll be receiving your signed books soon.  As always, for those who did not win, there’s a new round going on right this very moment.  All you have to do is comment.  Winners will be notified on next Monday’s blog.

Now, on to other things.  :)  For the last several weeks, I’ve been making and keeping charts–this is a version of a to-do list–wherein I list and check off the things I hope to accomplish in a day.  Examples: regular exercise, writing my Morning Pages–(for the benefit of the probably miniscule number of readers who don’t already know, this is stream-of-consciousness journaling, a total of 3 handwritten notebook pages, as taught by Julia Cameron in her legendary book, The Artist’s Way)along with a number of other things, obviously including my own fiction writing.  The experiment began when I read a book about forming good habits and decided to get my act together, in so far as possible.  :)  In all of our lives, there are a few definite things we know for a positive fact are good for us.  Knowing what these things are is one thing, obviously, and actually DOING them, well, quite another. 

Have I been 100% successful?  Far from it.  But my personal blessing/curse is that I am as stubborn as all get out.  And I am Lael-determined to establish certain chosen habits.  Some squares on my chart are checked off every day–exercise being the most notable of these.  I get out of bed, usually before sunrise, and I climb on my handy-dandy exercise bike, fire up a podcast or some lively music courtesy of my I-heart-radio app, and I start pedaling.  Many mornings–this one being a prime example–I REALLY don’t feel like getting on that bike.  I start thinking I’ll do it later, I’ve got all day, I need more time to wake up, yada-yada-yada.


49 comments to “Charting my course”

  1. Dennis
      · October 6th, 2014 at 2:57 pm · Link

    Hang in there Linda!!

  2. Ruby Norwood
      · October 6th, 2014 at 3:15 pm · Link

    Congrats Kristie and Joanne!! Linda, hang in there because I am sure you will get that chart to a 100% check off before you quit. Have a good week!!

  3. Diana E.
      · October 6th, 2014 at 3:19 pm · Link

    Congrats to the winners this week.
    Linda, we just have to keep on keeping on!

  4. Lois Rotella
      · October 6th, 2014 at 3:28 pm · Link

    Congrats ladies. Linda you are doing good. I do not ,ake a list bit get up with a purpose in mind and try to accomphish it.

  5. Deborah Rae Nelson
      · October 6th, 2014 at 3:29 pm · Link

    Good to hear that you found The Artist’s Way helpful. I read it and felt it was excellent in theory, but that it would be too time consuming for me. Instead, I’ve started consistently sketching in my sketchbook journals–more pictures than writing.

    Good luck with the exercising. I find that getting up early, pouring a mug of coffee and getting on my treadmill without question, works. I have all sorts of entertainment on the treadmill, depending on my mood:
    * Read books (mostly art books)
    * Listen to audiobooks
    * Watch streaming entertainment
    * Watch DVDs

    Weight lifting augments the treadmill for muscle maintenance and flexibility.

    Gosh I wish you luck. The exercise sure pays off in the long run for energy levels, maintaining muscle and weight management. It’s so worth it for emotional balance too.

    • linda
        · October 7th, 2014 at 5:51 pm · Link

      I couldn’t agree more, re: exercise and it’s many benefits. As for keeping a sketch journal, well, I think that certainly makes sense and serves the same purpose. Thanks for sharing a wise insight.

  6. Laura Ann Harris
      · October 6th, 2014 at 3:42 pm · Link

    Keep going with the exercise Linda. Don’t give up!

  7. Kelley Morrow
      · October 6th, 2014 at 3:49 pm · Link

    Congrats to the winners! Linda, I believe wanting and knowing we need to do more and do better is half the battle, so like Diana E. said we all have to keep on keeping on! God Bless and I still can’t wait to have that next story in my hands!!!

  8. Ginny
      · October 6th, 2014 at 4:03 pm · Link

    I enjoy your your little chats. I am not able to do all you do but you make me want to try and do what I can. I am 85 and have a lot of health issues. Heep up the good work.

  9. Therese Lopez
      · October 6th, 2014 at 4:04 pm · Link

    Congrats to the winners, you are very lucky enjoy your book. I have a to-do-list too but it’s funny how I never seem to finish that list!!! Maybe I should put less things on it. Have a great week Linda.

  10. Brenda I
      · October 6th, 2014 at 4:07 pm · Link

    I admire your determination with the exercise. It is very commendable. I thought about walking this morning but I wanted to finish reading a novel instead. I did get some exercise when I went shopping in the mall. Enjoy your day!

  11. Judi Schultz
      · October 6th, 2014 at 4:07 pm · Link

    Sounds like you’re on the right track. I need to get more disciplined. Used to do yoga every morning without fail. Then I got a job that has me on the road at 5am and I just don’t have time for yoga in the morning. And I get lazy at night after working all day. But I feel so much better when I do yoga, both mentally and physically so really need to get back to it. Thanks for the inspiration. Have a great day.

  12. Roberta Giordano
      · October 6th, 2014 at 4:12 pm · Link

    Congratulations Ladies ! And Linda so wish I could get up and do exercise I always say I am going to but seem to never accomplish it.

  13. Billie Sanders
      · October 6th, 2014 at 4:17 pm · Link

    I went to visit my grandchildren this weekend. Saw my grandson play soccer. Seems just last week that he was a baby.
    We had a cool, very windy , but beautiful fall weekend.

    Blessings to you all,

  14. Virginia Horton
      · October 6th, 2014 at 4:44 pm · Link

    Congrats to the winners. I try to make myself take a walk about every day. I will walk a mile to a mile and a half because it is good for me. I have an exercise bike but I hate it, would rather walk. I sometime use the bike when its raining or bad but will still try to get the walk in instead of that darn bike. Today I got a walk in between the rain and storms.

  15. Lynn Allen
      · October 6th, 2014 at 5:07 pm · Link

    Keep up the good work Linda, am proud of you. Congrats to the winners!!!

  16. Sandy Hanson
      · October 6th, 2014 at 5:09 pm · Link

    Congrats to the winners!
    Great job Linda! I so need to get back into walking again, I have no excuse not to..

  17. Leanna
      · October 6th, 2014 at 5:15 pm · Link

    I love having to do lists, its always nice to check things off. You feel like you got something done.

  18. Nadine Spradlin
      · October 6th, 2014 at 5:49 pm · Link

    Congratulations to the winners ! linda keep up the good works . & writing .

  19. Susan Stansberry
      · October 6th, 2014 at 6:01 pm · Link

    I truly enjoy your posts. Thank you for your honesty.

  20. kristie beckman
      · October 6th, 2014 at 6:03 pm · Link

    I’m so happy. Thank you again.

  21. Diane Blaser
      · October 6th, 2014 at 6:47 pm · Link

    i also like to make a list of things to do…sometimes for the day or for the week ahead. My problem is that I end up with lists in every room in the house! When it comes to lists I’m obsessive/compulsive!

  22. Marcy Collins
      · October 6th, 2014 at 6:55 pm · Link

    Linda I give you high marks for everything you are doing…I haven’t been doing any sort of exercising in almost a month due to being under the weather and still feeling yuck (yes I’ve been to my PCP) it’s the nasty virus going around that takes its time getting over. You are an inspiration to me and I hope soon that I can start on the path you have chosen.

    • linda
        · October 7th, 2014 at 5:53 pm · Link

      First priority: get well! You definitely SHOULD NOT exercise when you’re ill.

  23. Chris Beaudin
      · October 6th, 2014 at 6:59 pm · Link

    Keep up the good work Linda, it is hard at first to get in the swing of things but after awhile it becomes second nature. I love all of your books and as soon as I see a new one I have to have it. :)

  24. Chris Beaudin
      · October 6th, 2014 at 7:01 pm · Link

    Keep up the good work! It’s hard at first but once you get in the routine it becomes second nature. I love all your books as soon as a new one comes out I buy it.

  25. Crystal Carney
      · October 6th, 2014 at 7:15 pm · Link

    It’s hard to keep to a routine, just hang in there !!!

  26. Rita C
      · October 6th, 2014 at 7:21 pm · Link

    Interesting, I may look into your technique a little more, I am a big list person, works for my brain to get organized.

  27. Joanie gonsalves
      · October 6th, 2014 at 7:35 pm · Link

    Yup what ever keeps you writing lol
    Ty oh gifted one
    Signed. Addicted to LLM

  28. Lizzy Gaasenbeek
      · October 6th, 2014 at 7:46 pm · Link

    Keep up the good work Linda. If this works for you it just might take some time to become a habit and routine. I usually have a list each day, not always written and I know I always feel better at the end of the day when things get checked off. Hope things are going well with your weight and health and fitness goals. I lost 25 lbs this summer and am going to continue to strive for weight loss and better health overall. Take care….By the way, I loved your book “The Marriage Pact”. Excellent job! Just, Lizzy

  29. Darlene
      · October 6th, 2014 at 9:20 pm · Link

    I have just recently started a to do list for everyday things. I feel a sense of accomplishment when I am able to cross something off. I am still having a hard time with the exercise one being marked off every day. I used to be so good but after stopping it is so hard to get back into the routine of doing it every day. I couldn’t imagine getting on an exercise bike right after waking up! That is impressive keep up the good work :)

  30. Dixie Hadley
      · October 6th, 2014 at 9:47 pm · Link

    I wish I was only half as motivated as you are. I know exercise has multiple benefits but I always find something else to do first and then before I know it the whole day is gone –and I didn’t exercise. Well maybe tomorrow will be the day I get started. I do make this of things to do regularly and I feel such a sense of accomplishment when I check things off. Gee I could add exercise to that list and I’d probably be real happy when I could actually mark that one off each day. You are an inspiration to many of us. Thank you and have a wonderful week. Congrats to the winners.
    Dixie J. Hadley

  31. Denise King
      · October 6th, 2014 at 10:17 pm · Link

    Congratulations to the winners.Have a great weekend Linda.

  32. Jessica Alcazar
      · October 6th, 2014 at 10:41 pm · Link

    I only wish I could be as motivated as you. I also make a list every morning, but sadly, I never get to cross everything off. :(

  33. Jo-Ann Baker
      · October 7th, 2014 at 7:22 am · Link

    Keep it up! Its hard when you know you should an its so cold and just want to stay under the blankets. lol
    I keep doing the best I can.
    Have a wonderful day :)

  34. Dixie Hadley
      · October 7th, 2014 at 9:08 am · Link

    Another new day and I hope to accomplish everything I have on my new list .

  35. Anne Sines
      · October 7th, 2014 at 9:30 am · Link


  36. Joyce M.
      · October 7th, 2014 at 11:14 am · Link

    You are doing great. Keep at it.

  37. Lea Williams
      · October 7th, 2014 at 12:23 pm · Link

    I am not that stubborn however I have established a morning schedule that screws up my day. Do my bible reading and journel and then read the paper. It took me A L”O”NG time to get it established though. Write in my greatful list before I go to bed. Isn’t this “Indian Summer” we are having just a real blessing. Have my tulips and daffy bulbs planted. Blessings to you expecially today.

    • Lea Williams
        · October 7th, 2014 at 12:24 pm · Link

      I mneAnt screws up my day if I don’t do it.

  38. Dixie Hadley
      · October 7th, 2014 at 2:22 pm · Link

    Gee the day is half over and I still haven’t exercised :-(
    I had company for 4 days and when they left this morning I made my list of “to do’s”. I have almost completed my “Catch Up List”. My reward tonight will be finishing Big Sky Mountain. I love to relax with a good book in the evening. I love all your stories. As soon as I finish this book I’ll be out looking for another one.

  39. Dotty Weis
      · October 7th, 2014 at 2:52 pm · Link

    I have found the only way to exercise on a regular basis is to do it the minute your feet hit the floor LOL

  40. Dixie Hadley
      · October 7th, 2014 at 3:53 pm · Link

    I wonder if I can count turning the pages of one Linda’s book’ s as exercise :-) If that’s the case then I do exercise ever night.

  41. judy
      · October 8th, 2014 at 9:56 am · Link

    Congrats to the winners.

    • Dixie Hadley
        · October 8th, 2014 at 10:47 am · Link

      I have only a few pages left to read in Big Sky Mountain then off to pick out another one to read. Maybe I’ll be the lucky winner next time. Yippee, wouldn’t that be a hoot :lol:

  42. Dixie Hadley
      · October 8th, 2014 at 10:56 am · Link

    It was so overcast here in Young harris ,GA last night and then it rained and blew so hard that I couldn’t really see anything. But I’m glad you were able to see it. Hope the three of you got in a good nap after you early morning adventure. H :wink: ave a great day and good news at WW. :wink:
    I didn’t get to finish Big Sky Mountain last night, so I’ll excerise my fingers turning pages again tonight. At least i have skinny fingers althought the rest of me could use a little more work :lol:

  43. Judith Davis
      · October 9th, 2014 at 12:10 pm · Link

    I just recently started reading your books after a recommendation from my local used book store. I have been a Debbie Macomber reader for a while and so I was told if I love Debbie that I would definitely love you….. verdict is….. I DO!! I just want to go out and buy more of your books. I love reading them. So everyone else that I have been reading has been put on hold for your books!!! THANK YOU for sharing your gift of writing with us. My life has been blessed by your books and look forward to many more books in the future!!

  44. sue Leech
      · October 11th, 2014 at 10:39 am · Link

    Hello Linda or is that Howdy,
    I just wanted to let you know our reader’s group just done a nice discussion on you and your books and YOU my friend have gained some new fans and I wanted to share this with you. Sue Leech, 1273 Strahan rd. New Columbia, PA 17856

  45. sue Leech
      · October 11th, 2014 at 10:41 am · Link

    Forgot to say the BIG SKY series are the books we were chatting about. Sue

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