1.) Get off social media. Ironic, huh? But we all know by now, it’s at best a waste of time and at worst toxic. Set a time limit. And then cut it in half. Decide you’re main purpose for being there, do what you came to do, and then get back to real life.
2.) Stop giving advice. You don’t have someone else’s answer, and you’re probably making it worse. Give insight, suggestions, anecdotes, but let others come to their own conclusions. It may not be the way you would have done it, or even the right way. But as Gandalf said when speaking about Pippen’s pilfering the Palantir: “ The burned hand teaches best. After that, advice about fire goes to the heart.”
3.) Every work of fiction is fantasy at heart. You’re entering someone’s made-up world, whether it contains elves or espionage or friends who become lovers.
4.) Keep a notepad handy. Even if you’re not a writer. Your best thoughts often happen when you’re not trying. (Most of this list came to mind whilst ironing.)
5.) Write in pencil. Erasers are a good thing. Jesus has a giant one. You just have to ask him to use it.
6.) Every story idea has been taken. Sorry. But the good news is you can re-tell them in beautifully unique ways.
7.) If you can’t do something, let someone else. You’ll never really get that good at something you’re bad at. Allow someone else to use their gifts. Everyone will thank you in the end.
8.) Make space. In your schedule, your relationships, your kitchen cupboards. This can be done by following suggestion #1. Those in marketing know the benefits of “ white space” when it comes to designing ads. Take a look at this list and see how many principles you can apply to your life.
9.) Don’t waste time. If there is wisdom in the old adage: “ When on your deathbed, what activities will you look back on with regret?” wouldn’t the opposite also be true? What would you look back on with contentment? Satisfaction? Pride? Make sure you know what those things are and do them. This is not the same as a bucket list, more of a one-and-done wish list. I’m talking about the every day. The small things that make a big impact over time.
10.) This is not all there is. Hence, why I wrote my book and created the universe from which most future books will be set. There’s more to what our five senses can discern. It’s a mistake to behave as though this life is the pinnacle of existence.
11.) Give more. Fear less. The two are in direct opposition. Whether time, love, or money, giving is risky. But fear is paralyzing. *Advice is not included in this suggestion. See #2.
12.) Forgive. Always. This includes yourself.
SL Dooley writes fantasy that could be true. She looks for adventure all over the world, in her own backyard and between the pages of a book. But she always walks her path with God’s light at her feet. She lives in Texas with her family where she hordes old books and new journals.
What if You Told the Story?
12 Suggestions For Life
X Marks the Spot
Towers and Turrets: Castle Inspiration
Tolkien on Fantasy
Our Fractured Universe