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By B. Lynn Goodwin.

Why can’t I get organized, I ask myself. Why do I keep spinning my wheels as I journal?

I remembered the words of Temescal Writers leader Joan Marie Wood, who said, “If you keep writing about the same thing over and over, it means you have more to say.”

Could I be having issues again about whether or not my stories are mine to share?

As a general rule, if it’s my story I have a right to share it, knowing it’s my emotional memory and no one else’s. Besides, that’s a concern to address down the road. Right now, I need to pick a project, one project, and work on it daily until….

Phone 2
Lifeline or Interruption?


The phone rang as I wrote those words. My friend, Suzy, wanted to know if I was ready to meet Eddie, a mixed breed rescue dog that she has to re-home.

I told her my husband had taken my keys this morning, accidentally, and I couldn’t lock my front door. I didn’t think about the fact that she could bring Eddie to me, nor did I think about the fact that she still had a key because she was my Shih Tzu Mikko’s favorite pet sitter. She suggested I drive, so I grabbed my spare car key, put on shoes, and started down the steps. I reached for my garage key. I had none. My husband took the whole key ring.

Fall Foliage

It was a beautiful day, no one was around, and my instincts said, “Take a chance,” so I walked across the green belt under a pristine azure sky. Fall winds rustled the leaves. No one sat by the pool.

I talked with my Higher Power, as I used to do when I walked Mikko McPuppers, and I asked Him for wisdom about organizing my writing.

As I did so, I remembered that I have many projects going and I needed to prioritize. I walked further and the thought that good writing is about finding, keeping, holding, preserving, and deepening love came to me.

I thought of that as I met Eddie, who rolled over and offered his belly almost immediately. I have to consider that he left a few stray hairs on my pants, and my husband has to want him too, but Eddie’s full of energy and life, and I may have met Mikko’s “younger brother.”

Walking gave me a few minutes to focus on a plan instead of self-pity, a state I slide into when writing overwhelms me. On my way back I reminded myself that my writing goals are internal goals.  I have a right to change or postpone them when a beautiful autumn day calls me. I also reminded myself that writing is a part of who I am and there’s a difference between taking a break and abandoning everything.

Like all of us, I need to cast out the shadows of doubt that creep up when everything’s in progress and trust that my work is valid. Sometimes the best solution is simply to do something different, especially if it’s something that lets the love bubble up.

How do you overcome your shadows of doubt?

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B. Lynn Goodwin is the author of You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers, available on Amazon. Her stories and articles have been published in Voices of Caregivers; Hip Mama; the Oakland Tribune; the Contra Costa Times; the Danville Weekly; Staying Sane When You’re Dieting; Small Press Review; Dramatics Magazine; Career; We Care;, Friction Literary Journal, and The Sun.

A former teacher, she conducts workshops and writes reviews for Story Circle Network and InspireMeToday. She’s working on a YA novel and brainstorming a memoir.

She’s the owner and editor of Writer Advice. Writer Advice recently celebrated its 16th year and runs contests for aspiring and published writers as well as sharing useful tips from experienced writers.

For more information, please visit

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