“All you can do, is all you can do.”

This is my new favourite quote, included in a newsletter I subscribe to, quoting David Farland, a writer and writing instructor.

Most people I know have some sort of goal, whether that be a long-term or short-term goal. I spent last weekend in the company of Becca Syme, an American author of cozy mysteries, but also a writing coach and the talent behind the Better-Faster Academy. Becca kindly held a workshop here in Australia, which I attended alongside my good friend, Jane Hinchey (I am a big fan of her Ghost Detective series), and twenty other author friends keen to improve their craft.

I love clouds as much as I love our view. A good proportion of the year we get this finger of cloud work its way up the channel.

Becca is one of those beautifully generous and extremely knowledgeable people who has great passion for her work. Throughout the workshop, Becca stressed again and again, that there is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to our writing, how we organise it, our productivity, and how we plan it all to ensure we get it done. By completing the Gallup Strengthsfinder® you arrive at the workshop knowing your core strengths and the order of the 34 strengths, but not really sure what to do about them (unless you have worked through them before).

While we learn truckloads from others around us, in any profession or life in general, because we are all different and unique, in the end we need to do what is best for us. While we mostly learn this through trial and error, Becca explained that by understanding and harnessing our specific strengths, we can use this knowledge of ourselves to plot, plan, write, edit, market, work, and live BETTER, and get to our goals, FASTER.

My Top 5 strengths are Learner, Achiever, Input, Intellection, and Individualisation. In a nutshell this means I like to learn, gather information, think, and achieve. Of course, we dug a lot deeper than this, and I still have much to learn, especially as the order of the other 29 strengths influences how I can get the most out of this knowledge to do better, faster, but, this is a start. I have already nutted out some strategies that I will keep working on.

A couple of hours later, the sun was helping to dissipate the cloud.

However, work and life continue to put hurdles in my way. Hence my new favourite quote – All I can do, is all I can do.

I do try to do all, but then I sit back (lie down 🙂 ), and flap the world past.

Juggling has led to struggling of late, so Becca’s workshop was the perfect opportunity to legitimately intellect, while I inputted, and learned, to help me achieve (see what I did there, haha).

I’ve got my writing conference trip to Las Vegas zooming up (November) much quicker than I would like. I am hoping that deadline kicks my achiever butt to get Jimmy’s story done.

I was truly fortunate to also sit down with Becca and Jane over a meal and some wine, and talk through an issue I was having with Jimmy’s story. I can say ‘was’ because their wisdom and expertise in the cozy genre, helped me climb over a very large speed bump that stalled my way forward at a critical point. It took them about five nanoseconds to find the solution to my problem, when I have been on the I-don’t-know-what-I’m-doing roundabout for the better part of a year! It really does help to reach out. Who knew 😛 . I owe them big time.

So, while I continue to juggle my responsibilities, Jimmy is screaming at Raven to solve the mystery. I’ll use the developing knowledge of my strengths to drive me forward, but in all honesty, I’ll do all I can do.

Snuggle up close to those gorgeous fur babies, or cozy rugs, and enjoy your latest read.

Ta da! A lack of wind and the cloud is almost gone. I love our bay.

Till next time,

Susanne and Maya. xx