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A couple of years ago, I was listening to a talk or podcast in which the speaker said something about not feeling the need to convince anyone of anything. The concept got me thinking and led to my new motto, “It’s not my job to convince you.”

To me, this means there are people who will resonate with our ideas, beliefs, knowledge, or opinions and those who will not. …

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Before the pandemic, I was away from home five nights out of seven. I was busy attending networking, volunteer, or social events, or maybe teaching a class, or giving a reading or presentation. My days were full, as well. Too full. Even before the lockdown, I could feel myself wearing out, but I loved everything I was doing and I believed it was all important, and it was.

Then the pandemic came along, and we were all forced to slow down. I hated that. There were days I’d stare out the window wishing I could get back out in the…

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When I first started writing for a living, I worked for several local newspapers and small magazines. I wrote mostly feature articles, often history related. It was not uncommon for me to spend 8 hours on an article for which I was paid $25–50. $75 if I was lucky.

At the time, I knew the pay was far too low for the work I was doing, but it was industry standard in our area, and I figured I needed to pay my dues. Besides, I loved my job. Slowly, though, it dawned on me that even the writers who’d been…

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When I was in college, I worked at a popular Mexican restaurant. Every Friday night, I’d watch my friend who was a cocktail server maneuver around the packed lobby delivering drinks to customers who were waiting to be seated. One day I asked her, “How do you carry those trays of drinks through all those people with no accidents?”

“Easy,” she said. “When I worked at a breakfast restaurant and had to carry full cups of hot coffee, one of the waitresses told me, ‘Never look at the cup.’ That’s the trick.”

In other words, if you have faith in…

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How many times have you been told to “focus on the positive” or “look on the bright side” or “count your blessings?” All of those things are important, and I try to do them as often as possible, but what happens when a negative thought or reaction creeps in? If we believe too firmly the advice above, we find ourselves feeling guilty or ashamed of our negative thoughts, and that brings our energy down even further.

That’s what I experienced this week. Something happened that was all kinds of good, yet my immediate response was to feel a bit slighted…

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After a year of pandemic isolation, you would think I’d have had enough of silence. As someone who is always “in her head,” I feel like during all this alone time I’ve cycled through just about every thought a person could have related to our current predicament, not to mention the state of the world, and the future of all of humanity.

So, imagine my surprise when I was reading The Soul-Sourced Entrepreneur by Christine Kane and recognized myself in her passage about “input addiction.”

“Input demands the incessant, knee-jerk activity of ‘checking,’” she writes, and goes on to explain…

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My book club recently reached a full consensus about a book: none of us liked it. In fact, four of the ten chose not to finish reading it. The conversation about the book was entertaining because whenever there’s agreement, people can speak freely, and some of their comments about how much they disliked the book were actually pretty funny. The writer in me, though, felt the need to defend the author now and then. Of everyone, I was probably the one who came closest to liking the novel. …

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I just finished a World War II novel called Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys. Then I started watching the Masterpiece show Atlantic Crossing. People ask me often how after 30 years of researching, writing, and speaking about World War II, I could still be so interested in the subject. “Don’t you get tired of it?” they ask.

But how do you grow weary of a subject that encompasses the full range of human experience and emotion? A time period that brought out the absolute worst in humanity but also the best? …

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I’ve written often about hope in this blog. As you know, I believe it’s nearly impossible to sustain a life in the arts without it. And hope is certainly what continues to get us through the aftermath of 2020. Interestingly, it is my relationship to hope that has undergone the most change for me in the past year and led to what I hope is the most growth.

My ever-practical husband often says to me, “Now, don’t get your hopes up.” He might be referring to a raise he might receive or a trip we might be able to take…

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I got my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine this week. I was both excited and nervous, which is exactly how I feel about the concept of life going “back to normal.” For a year now, I’ve complained bitterly about pandemic-imposed isolation, boredom, separation, and loss. I’ve longed for the things I miss, like eating in restaurants, listening to live music, or going to a party. I’ve learned to tolerate–but have never gotten used to–the feeling of one day bleeding into the next. I’ve grown to love and hate my own company. …

Teresa Funke

The world needs an army of creative thinkers, and you’re one. Ignite your inner artist/“Bursts of Brilliance for a Creative Life”

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