Pull back the curtain and see how a suspense writer puts the thrills and chills together.


So here I am, staring my thirties in the face, and my life is nowhere close to what I thought it would be. I grew up surrounded by the expectation (both internal and external) that I would be a famous novelist, or, at the very least, a full-time one. Yet, year after year goes by, and not much really changes. I planned to live by the ocean in a warm place that soothes my soul, but I’m still camped out here on the frigid prairies, with no ocean in sight, endlessly talking about moving.

Make no mistake – I have a lot of reasons for not living my ideal life. I was a freelance journalist with my own business for twelve years, too busy chasing the story to write my own. I survived personal turmoil and upheaval, and plenty of it. I write for my day job, so the last thing I want to do with my limited spare time is sit here, at the computer. But you know another word for reason? Excuse. Stephen King was married, with three kids to support, working a full-time teaching job and taking on a driver’s ed gig in the summer, and he still managed to churn out book after book. Anything is possible if you want it badly enough.

Truth be told, I spend way more time talking about how I’m not writing than actually writing. I spend more mental energy on finding excuses than on creating exciting plots and characters. Until I change this and basically get off my lazy butt, nothing else is going to change, either.

Some of you may be wondering how the heck kickboxing fits in. Well, I love Muay Thai. It became a passion for me, much like writing. I’ve been training in the art for nearly fourteen years, and I’ve never once tried my luck in the ring, beyond the odd sparring match. I’ve had an Olympic coach. I’ve had teammates who were some of the best in the world for their weight class. And still nothing. Sure, I broke my wrist three times. I lost coaches, over and over again, for a myriad of bizarre reasons (more on that later). Dojos shut down, life got in the way. It seems there’s always a convenient reason for not doing something you love.

Living well should be easy, but in truth, it’s a hard slog. It’s difficult to consistently eat well, exercise, do your best, be kind to others, give 100%. Another blog I love, Annie’s Eats, is written by a full-time physician who manages to find the time to cook amazing meals and desserts every day (including unbelievable dinner parties for fifty of her closest friends), while raising a toddler and being a good wife and homemaker. I have no idea how she finds the time. I love to cook, but these days my dinners have consisted of popcorn or Chef Barf. I haven’t made the time to exercise in weeks. And my novel? Um, what novel?

It’s easy to start something new. The very newness of it is exciting. I can fully absorb myself in anything for a short time. It’s consistency that’s the bitch. So this blog is basically a tool to keep me honest. I will share my daily struggles here as I fight to make my dreams come true – both inside the ring and out. Sure, this blog is about writing and it’s about kickboxing, but it’s mostly about living up to one’s full potential. I’m sure there’s a lot of people out there who feel guilty about what they’re not doing, and who have no clue how to break out of the rut. I’m one of those people.

If you’re reading this, please tell me about your goals. What would you most regret not doing, or experiencing, or having, if you died tomorrow? And if you’re a guru of motivation, please share your tips! I need all the help I can get.

Thanks for reading!
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  1. Lisa Schultz

    How interesting for me to find your blog almost 4 years after your started it. And not because of this article, but rather your Depression article. Very moving and precise in your thoughts. You write like I do; moreover, you must think/talk like I do, so ultimately it came out in written form exactly the way I would have wrote it! So I’ve just realized that this is a blog, of which I’m not familiar with and read your first “Breaking out of the rut” … which is cool. I could resonate with it. And it/you has given me an idea to venture forward with, albeit Rome wasn’t built in a day, so I suppose I should get on it! LOL My favorite saying is quite long, but it’s a quote from Mark Twain which goes a little something like this: Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

    Thanks for the reading!

  2. J.H. Moncrieff

    Welcome to my blog, Lisa. Yay, I finally have a comment on this post…it only took almost five years. That’s not so bad. 🙂

    I’m glad I could inspire you to follow your own dreams, whatever they may be. And I hope this isn’t the first time I’ll see you here. Please come by again and let me know how it’s going.

    Take care and good luck. Knock ’em dead!


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