I’d like to introduce Kellie Stone. She started following my blog almost immediately after my first entry. She’s quite the motivator and has accomplished many things in her life. When she contacted me about the interview, I was thrilled to learn that the item she crossed off her bucket list is one that sits on mine…
Bucket List [buhk-it list] – noun
- a wish list of things to do before one ”kicks the bucket.”
Kellie: Well, I’m a forty-something mid-western mom of six who endeavors daily to make life better…or at least more interesting. I’ve done many things (jobs) in my life including, interior design, printing consultant, owned a bookstore, weight loss consultant, makeup artist, wedding planner, jewelry maker, office manager, youth minister, and a few others that I won’t mention. What I found out is there are no “wasted” days if you learn something from each experience. And, yes, I have managed to do that. Currently, I administrate the life-changing blog, Women’s Life Link, where I use every bit of my life experience to help other women find their best path to their purpose and wholeness – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. My newest endeavor is starting a life-coaching business that takes the website’s contribution to women on a one-on-one basis. I am working on getting certified in the spiritual coaching and planning all the details of how it will work.
Melody: I had a hard time getting past the fact that you have six kids. Kudos to you! You’ve led a very exciting life. God has given you many desires and talents to follow through. What is one item you’ve checked off your bucket list?
Kellie: I wrote a novel. It hasn’t been published yet, but I think it might have a chance! I’ve just recently started the final edit that will hopefully make in saleable and not castrate it. =)
Melody: I’ve always wanted to write a book. I can’t imagine what it feels like to be on your final edit! I’ve yet to write the first sentence. When did writing a novel become a goal of yours?
Kellie: Oh, heck, I’ve wanted to write books since I can remember! I used to write children’s stories on my mom’s old typewriter. Boy was that a chore, especially after making a mistake. Can you say White Out? We are so fortunate to have Microsoft Word now. I also took courses in children’s literature that I really didn’t do anything with. It was a good learning experience, though. The actual “write a book” was added to my bucket list about five years ago when I created it. It took me a couple of years before I got serious enough (fearless enough, that is) to actually start.
Melody: Yes, I can say White Out. I remember being sent to college with a brand new typewriter/word processor. Crazy!
Why was accomplishing this so important to you?
Kellie: I am a natural writer and communicator. There are so many stories and characters in my head that sometimes I think they will commit mutiny and escape through multiple orifices if I don’t create a permanent home for them. Also, it is simply a passion that I’ve always had. It was a triumph for me as well because I’d never had the guts to start (and finish) something so detailed and complicated as writing a book. The research alone took forever. As you can see from the photo, it took a lot of materials to get to the last page.
Melody: Was there ever a time you just wanted to throw in the towel and give up?
Kellie: An interesting thing about my book-writing project, I started it when I was in the middle of one of the most difficult times of my life physically. While mostly in bed with chronic migraine and severe hypersensitivity, I was tired of feeling sorry for myself so I started to write whatever popped into my head – not surprised, my first character was a woman with migraine headaches and emotional trauma. Write what you know, right?
The up-and-down physical challenges started to get to me. I actually wrote the first 150 pages by hand because I couldn’t use the computer without triggering headaches and eye strain. Writers need regular break periods, but mine were lengthy at times…days and weeks. I often wondered if it was any good or if it was worth all the time (and pain) it was going to require to complete. A huge turning point was when my husband came home with my book printed out on copier paper. Seeing how much work, how many pages I’d actually written made it more real to me—the big picture.
Melody: Many of us give up just because of not having the willpower to get past the “how do I get started” stage. Add in physical challenges and most would say forget it. What kept you motivated?
Kellie: During one of my “breaks”, I saw an advertisement for a writing contest. It was the Court TV: Find the next great crime writer contest. I was definitely interested in entering my book, but I had a problem: It wasn’t finished. The submission deadline was less than a month away, and I had a whole lot more book to write, not to mention the editing. I’ve always known that I thrive under pressure; this case was no exception. In less than three weeks, I had completed my novel. Now, I’m not saying it was anywhere near the condition it should have been in to be in that contest, but at least the deadline push got me to finish it. I received great feedback and met some people who truly encouraged me to continue my writing.
The other thing that kept me tapping away at the keys was the fact that I honestly loved the characters and wanted to visit them. I know that sounds corny, but if I don’t love them, who else will? Currently, my book, Unaware, is safe on my hard drive undergoing minor surgery…again. I do plan to query some agents in hopes of hooking one to represent me. However, even if it never goes anywhere further than my Dell, I will keep writing, always.
Melody: I admire your dedication to writing this novel even if it never goes anywhere. I think that proves that you’re doing it for the right reasons. What advice do you have for people striving to reach their goals?
Kellie: Sometimes the biggest obstacle to reaching any goal is that we look at how big it is and get intimidated—the move the mountain syndrome. Writing a book, running a marathon, building a deck or a business are the kinds of goals that present like monsters when you don’t know how to start. My best advice, in these cases, is to just do something. Get started with a smaller piece of your goal. I wrote one letter, word, sentence, paragraph, chapter at a time. When I saw how easy it was to meet the little challenges, I started to understand and believe that it was possible to finish the big goal. It also helps to be passionate about whatever you’re trying to do. In other words, if you hate fish, don’t go fishing! Find activities that mesh with your inner callings and talents. You will more likely stick to projects that energize you and give a feeling of accomplishment. And, remember, it’s never too late to start something new!
A little story:
A woman (now in her mid-forties) was asked by a dear friend what she wanted to do when she was a young girl.
“I wanted to be a doctor,” she disdainfully replied.
“Why do you say it like that?” Her friend asked.
The woman dropped her head and frowned. “I never was able to finish college because of kids and other responsibilities.”
“Well, why don’t you just go back to school and become a doctor?”
She cocked her head inquisitively. “That’s ridiculous; I’d be fifty-eight before I’d even be practicing medicine.”
Her friend graciously smiled and said, “You know what? You’re going to be fifty-eight anyway…you might as well be a doctor when you get there.
Melody: “Move the mountain syndrome” – I like that. I concur 100%. Your little story is so true. It reminds me of the quote that John shared with us last week by George Elliot, “It is never too late to be who you might have been.”
I’d love to know what other things are on your bucket list.
Kellie: I would love to run a marathon at some point. Again, this is a gigantic goal that will require dedication and definitely some sweat to do. Some smaller, more obtainable bucket-listees include, riding in a hot air balloon, rock climbing, going to Australia, see the Blue Man Group, and have my entire house decorated the way I want it. I think the best way to ensure that you get your list accomplished is to look at it often. Print it out and hang it where you have to see every day. Add some cool, new stuff to it, too!
Melody: You should contact Jessie when you’re ready to train for the marathon. She was my first interview for Motivation Monday and has a great story behind the marathon she ran. If you’re ever in Vegas, I can try to score you some Blue Man Group tickets! I’m going to add the house decorating item to my list. Sometimes I’d be satisfied to have one room fully decorated!
I’d love to know your favorite inspirational quote.
Kellie: My favorite inspirational quote came from my seventh grade English teacher, Dorothy Hicks. She wrote it in my yearbook on the last day of school, and I’ve always remembered it. She wrote:
“Nothing in life worth having comes easily.”
By the way, I plan to dedicate my first published book to her memory. =)
Melody: That’s why I always want to share favorite quotes…you never know which ones will last a lifetime. I look forward to hearing how the rest of your story unfolds. I’m sure that your novel will grace the shelves of stores one day. Be sure to let us know when that happens so we can buy a copy!
If writing a book is on your list of things to do, here are a few sites that will help you get started…
- Top 10 Tips on How to Write a Book Fast
- How to Write a Book – The Blog of Author Donald Miller
- Writing Hacks, Part 1: Starting
If you or anyone you know would be interested in participating in a Motivation Monday interview, just click HERE to email me and we’ll chat.
©2010 Melody G. Fritchley