Tag Archives: writing

Internet Sabbath

On weekends I rarely look at email.  My computer is turned off.  Maybe you’ve discovered this if you try to communicate electronically with me on weekends.  My family and real life take front and center. Yes, I may miss important … Continue reading

Posted in Agents and publishing, Parenting with Renegade Rules | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

8 Responses to Internet Sabbath

  1. Heather – I’m an UNplugger, too. Typically I UNplug (cut the umbilical cord to technology) on Sundays because it gives me the “pause that refreshes” for the week ahead.

  2. Fleda Brown says:

    Heather. Those of us who were around long before there was an internet are especially aware of this happening, this hurry and disorientation of staring at the screen all the time, answering email after email. I applaud you for this sabbath. I am still checking all the time, but it is true that Sundays I often don’t have the lid of my computer up all day. It isn’t exactly a rule, but it’s what I do most of the time. You’re encouraging me to do better and maybe I wlll.

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Thanks for offering your perspective, and reminding us all how we once lived (the majority of our lives!) without all this constant checking and screen adulation. It is good to examine what’s good from both BCIE and ACIE (Before the Common Internet Era) and (After the Common Internet Era).

  3. I don’t take intentional Internet Sabbaths, but often on a weekend I won’t get to my computer at all for various reasons: golf in season, family activities or travel at other times. I don’t suffer withdrawal from my computer if I’m away for a day or two. I’ll be going up to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area for a 5-day trip and will rejoice at the silence and simplified living and no computer. Not even a cellphone (which I rarely use anyway).

    I agree the internet is a brain fragmenter and worry that it may exacerbate symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia. The fact that we can expose our minds to exponentially greater amounts of information now than we could 20-30 years ago means we are more likely to forget more things than we used to, just because there’s more to forget. (*Ugh* That’s one of the more depressing sentences I’ve written in recent years. 🙂 )

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Brain fragmenter – yes! And it seems we all have “forgetteries” rather than memories.

Where Ideas Come From

I still remember the salesman who came to my 10th grade class.  He was hawking magazines, I think, for a school fundraiser.  What I remember distinctly were his words.  He lifted a stack of magazines and proclaimed: “Information!  This is … Continue reading

Posted in Starlighting Tips, Agents and publishing, Parenting with Renegade Rules | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

16 Responses to Where Ideas Come From

  1. Emily Plank says:

    This just makes my heart feel peaceful to read. Thank you.

  2. deidra says:

    Once again spot on! here is what happened on our “unstructured” Saturday. As see-saws are a thing of the past. My son came up with the idea to put a really long thick stick through a low lying v-shaped tree trunk. VOLIA an instant see-saw. Later, on the same tree he found and L-shaped stick and hung it over another branch and made a stick swing. Finally (on the same tree) he found two long sticks, he leaned up against the tree. He laid shorter sticks across in an attempt to make a ladder.

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Love your see-saw story! So glad your son’s getting plenty of time to invent and create. And, by the way, where did all the see-saws go? They have certainly disappeared from playgrounds.

  3. Julie says:

    Thank you for the reminder to not only create space in our own lives, but also the lives of our children…

  4. Zane says:

    Love this post, Heather. So, so true. I get my ideas on long walks too. To tell you the truth, that’s half the reason why I wanted a dog again—so I’d have to take long walks every single day!

  5. Thanks, Heather. A good reminder for me to unplug now and then. I do feel overwhelmed by too much input at times. But I’m going up to the BWCAW for a several day solo canoe trip, and will hopefully recharge the ol’ inspiration battery then. I also get some creative thinking done when listening to my favorite music .

  6. Laurie says:

    Heather — “…make space for our own thoughts, dreams and ideas. Some information is good, but too much can drown out our own voice. We need to leave room for IDEAS.”

    I resonate with your observation to my very core!

    You asked, “What prompts your best ideas and creativity?

    I pulled a sentence from a post I wrote in March 2010 that speaks to my thoughts on space: “…space for transformation to occur; space to find new direction.”

    As a minimalist, space is like a compass for me — it points me in the right (and WRITE) direction.

  7. So well said. With so much data to inflow, the creation of data is therapeutic. I’m happy for your kids.

  8. Pingback: Weekend Reads 4.6.13 | Not Just CuteNot Just Cute

Time-creating tip: the “Morning Light”

I started writing a novel last year.  Of course, with two young kids and a day job writing nonfiction, I had no time.  If I was going to get up extra early to write, that precious ‘starlighting’ time in the … Continue reading

Posted in Starlighting Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

4 Responses to Time-creating tip: the “Morning Light”

  1. Brilliant – simply brilliant!

  2. What a good idea. You’re very resourceful, Heather. Luckily for my writing, I don’t have distractions like little children who need my attention. Plus, I can’t put a coherent thought together before 9 am, so I’d never try writing then anyway. 🙂 I can certainly write at 10 PM, however.

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Finding the right time of day is crucial. Glad you’ve found that night hours work for you!

Creative Deadlines

I woke up with a dent in my forehead.  It comes from dressing up as the Headless Horseman for Halloween last night.  Turns out it’s tricky to make your head disappear, ride a cardboard horse, and balance a 10-lb. pumpkin … Continue reading

Posted in Starlighting Tips | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

2 Responses to Creative Deadlines

  1. Deidra Gorgos says:


First Rejections

My very first rejection letter came in 3rd grade.  I’d been writing endless stories by then, and thought I was pretty good.My teacher loved my stories and encouraged me to apply; my parents loved them. I was sure I would … Continue reading

Posted in Agents and publishing, Parenting with Renegade Rules, Joyful Literacy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

6 Responses to First Rejections

  1. I’ll keep trying to get published until I run out of story ideas.

    I think kids today are much to shielded from rejection. One of the most important things about growing up is finding out what you are bad at, as well as what you’re good at. If everyone is told they excel at everything they try, they’ll be too overwhelmed with false choices to make an intelligent career or life choice. That’s why competition is vital to a strong, successful society.

    We want the best athletes to populate our teams, the best teachers to teach our children, the smartest people to figure out the mysteries of nature, the best writers to capture the thoughts and deeds of successful people and to stir our imaginations for what is possible or dreamable, the strongest mentally to do the toughest jobs, the best nurterers to take care of the young, the old, the sick and the weak.

    The only way to do that is gently but firmly sort out everyone’s abilities with competition, grades, achievement tests, art and music lessons, youth sports, etc., where everyone can try activities in a non-critical setting and discover for themselves what they love, like, hate, excel at, or just plain stink at doing.

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Chris, yes, life choices can be overwhelming, and we learn to pick a life path both from good and bad experiences. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  2. Heather – I think of every single “no” as getting me that much closer to my “Yes!”

    I especially resonated with your observation: “Sometimes it’s an answer that propels us forward in new ways.”

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Yeah! Some people call it ‘failing upward.’ We keep on learning and moving forward. Keep going!

  3. Zane says:

    I think we do shield kids from rejection. Actually, I’m pretty sure I have shielded my own two girls—with good intentions—from rejection at times. I like your point about growing and taking risks. This post is helpful for me on two levels: in thinking about parenting my children and in thinking about putting my work out there.

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Letting our kids take risks may be one of the hardest parts of parenting. Somehow it’s easier to take risks ourselves than to allow someone else to risk something and possibly get hurt. Glad you found it thought-provoking! And good luck – every time you put your work out there you can learn something.