March Madness 5: Believing in Yourself

Anyone who’s visited my place would understand when I say my garden beds are a little on the wild side. Not in a nice, English country garden style of wildness, but more of a weed-filled, woodsy mess. Even in the middle of gardening season they tend to get neglected and the ferns and salal that pop up in places where they don’t belong, get ignored.

Woods 1


Ferns 1

(Animals that show up where they don’t belong are harder to ignore but I have a ‘live and let live’ philosophy about them, too.)

Bear 1

I’d like the gardens to be more civilized, but I’ve come to accept that moss and weeds are more energetic than I am. More persistent, too.

Years ago a friend gave me a wonderful gift… a set of Celtic-themed garden stones that look exactly right in my au natural space. I have them tucked into special spots around the yard where their messages bring a moment of of reflection each time they’re encountered. Despite a bit of moss, one in particular seems very appropriate for us writers as we move into these last few days of our March Madness — Believe.


  • Writing is more fulfilling when you believe you are an authentic writer.
  • Reaching a goal is more likely if you believe you can.
  • Persisting in the face of discouragement and rejection is easier if you believe in the value of what you’re doing.

Insecurity and uncertainty hound all of us at times. I’ve been writing for many years, but I think I first began really believing in myself as a writer after hearing Robert Dugoni’s keynote speech at the closing of the 2010 Surrey International Writers’ Conference. It was a re-visioning of Aragorn’s rally call, ending with a rousing, “This day we write!” and it resulted in a standing ovation from all 600 attendees. If you need an extra dose of inspiration, consider taking the time to listen to it:

And then head into these last couple days believing you are a writer and you can reach significant goals on this journey if you will keep trying.

Do you believe?


Now… I’d like to give away yet another March Madness prize from our prize arsenal. Today’s winner is…

Girl Parker!

Congratulations! Stop by our goal-setting post, and choose your prize from those still listed. Then e-mail Denise at d(at)denisejaden(dot)com with your choice and we’ll get it out to you as soon as possible.

And if you didn’t win, there are still lots of great prizes to be won, so keep checking in each day. It’s not over until it’s truly over!

Our second-to-last check-in is tomorrow at Angelina Hansen’s blog.

~  ~  ~



Published by Carol

A freelance writer of fiction and non-fiction living on the West Coast of Canada.

27 thoughts on “March Madness 5: Believing in Yourself

  1. Hi Carol –

    I thought I was going to see a raccoon or groundhog in your picture, but a bear??? That’s a little too wild for me!

    March Madness happened for me in un-writerly ways with Mom breaking her hip. Maybe next year. I did reach 40,000 words on my WIP. Only 50,000 to go!

    God bless,
    Susan 🙂

    1. So far, no groundhogs here, Susan, but we do sometimes see raccoons… and bear, and deer, and coyotes…. I live rurally.

      I was glad to hear your mother has recovered well, but yes, our writing sometimes has to take a back seat to more urgent demands on our time. You’ve done well to get 40,000 words done and I have no doubt the remainder will follow soon.

  2. Carol, that’s exactly the kind of inspiration I needed! Right now. These are powerful words. And I do remember Dugoni’s rousing speech at SIWC in 2010. Thanks for posting the sound clip for everyone who wasn’t there.

    1. I’m glad you found some inspiration here today, Helga. The message isn’t anything new but sometimes we just have to hear someone else reiterate it.

  3. I believe.
    Carol, something a little off subject. My friend lost her husband and I was wondering if you’d lift her up in your prayers. Joyce and Johnny were married over 40 years. The service is at 2 pm. Thank you.

    1. I’m so sorry to hear of your friend’s loss, Joylene, and of course I will pray for her. After forty years together, life alone will be very different and difficult.

  4. Hi Carol: I have a wild garden too, but its at a cottage in Northern Manitoba. It would be very nice to go for a walk and stumble across an inspirational stone in the moss. I was at the conference in 2010 and didn’t realize that Dugoni’s speech was available. thanks. I’ll be sure to listen to it.

    1. Hi, Linda. Other stones in the set say ‘faith’, ‘love’, and ‘hope’ — each one a blessing to encounter amidst the moss and weeds (and the occasional pretty blossom, too).

    1. It is, thanks, Susan. As mentioned to Linda, it’s one in a set of four, each one tucked into a special spot. I’ve lost touch with the friend who gave them to me, but I think of her each time I pass one of them.

  5. Thank you, Carol! This is perfect timing for an article on believing in yourself, as I get set to accomplish some mighty lofty goals during the next 7 weeks – 100 contacts each week! I off to door-knock the area around today’s Open House!! Wish me luck.

  6. Love the photos, Carol. I think your garden is lovely in all its wildness. 🙂

    Yes, we are writers and we write!! Listening to Robert Dugoni’s speech now. Thanks for sharing this dose of inspiration!

    Write on, Wipsters~

  7. I love your inspirational stones, and I very much appreciate the inspirational words (and the reminder of the wonderful boost Robert’s speech provided!). Thanks. 🙂

  8. I don’t like gardens to be too controlled. And I love the plants of the northwest.

    This day we write!

  9. I remember that speech! (Also, every year for the last five or so years, I’ve been promising I would do SOMETHING with our garden. This year, I think I’ll just not make the promise…) Been working off my computer today, but still on a manuscript. An older book that I’m really enjoying.

    1. I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying the work on your older manuscript. Sometimes letting older ones percolate for a while is all it takes to give us a new perspective on what they need and fresh enthusiasm for the task. As for the garden… I’m always full of good intentions but not enough action. 😉

  10. It’s like one editor once told us at a RWA workshop: If you don’t believe in your project, why should we? But man some days are harder than others. Today spent the day at a workshop which always helps motivate me.

  11. I’m enjoying this convention and checking out the writing side of things, when I hadn’t expected to go to many of those. Being here, attending these panels, helps me reaffirm my belief in myself. But my biggest realization was when I passed by the booth of a certain prominent six-week writer’s workshop and realizing, no, I don’t need that. (Not counting the money and time cost.) And that I’m okay with it. I may not be perfect, but I definitely feel ready to be submitting, and confident in myself, especially when the representatives were pitching the workshop/intensive to me. It was a very empowering feeling.

    Mostly I’ve been attending panels and enjoying the convention. A lot of it has been for fun. But I also love making the connections I’ve made so far, and seeing the old friends and acquaintances I look forward to. It’s been such a wonderful weekend, with its own brand of madness, and exactly what I need right now.

    1. I’m content for it to be “au natural” most of the time. We have a church barbecue here every summer and that’s the one weekend when I’d like to have things look less natural and more cared for. 😀

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