Michelle Jenneke Has Fun

Michelle Jenneke has achieved You Tube super stardom thanks to her warm-up routine. It’s easy to see why. She’s hot and having a good time. Kind of a girl next door getting ready to run kind of thing.

Could this type of viral fame be orchestrated? Who knows? Who cares? I do wonder if she resents her athletic skill being overshadowed by her fun-loving personality. She is obviously a dedicated athlete.

Google and You Tube searches for Michelle Jenneke located many versions if her original video. Most have been put to music and/ or slow motion. This one has over 23,000,000 views. Wow!

The Cosby Sweaters interview only has 253,000 views, but is actually one of the first You Tube vids I saw on this phenomena. This is where I drew the name for this blog post. If you watch the entire interview, she talks about falling a lot during practice (but never in a race, fortunately). In all seriousness, I found this to be good advice for life in general.

So, after all the hype, what it takes is practice.


Jodi Thomas Shares a (Writing) Secret

Jodi Thomas presented a seminar called Writing the Best Seller at the Oklahoma Writers Federation Inc conference this year. She is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. If you have the chance to hear her speak, she is informative, entertaining, and keeps the audience involved.

I decided to blog about her session, because it is a perfect fit with my What It Takes category here at www.MoonSaysWhat.wordpress.com.

There is a lot more to her class, but what struck me with the greatest force were her ideas about time management. At one point, she said, “Show me a writer who writes twenty hours a week, and I’ll show you a future New York Times bestselling author.”

This is the kind of encouragement I like, because there is no magic formula or search engine optimization secret. No tricks, just hard work. My rowing coach in college often said, “If it were easy, everyone would do it.”

Yet, I am cautious about things that seem too good to be true. My inner pessimist immediately worried that everyone would follow this advice and there would soon be another million authors flooding the market. But as Jodi continued to talk, I realized that truly writing twenty hours a week is much harder than it seems.

Jodi recommended using a stop watch to track writing time. She said that when she first did this, she realized she was writing less than she thought. (Blogging and writing emails do not count in this formula, by the way.) Understanding what it really takes to write this much each week is an eye opener. Having a plan helps get it done. Having a tracking system helps ensure accountability.

She also emphasized the craft of writing. I took this to mean an aspiring writer needed to do twenty hours of the best writing possible each week. Quality practice is always better than just puking out words.

How many hours do you write each week? How do you find enough time?



18 and Life

I graduated high school, not with honors, but with long hair and dreams. Traveling 2,000 miles (or mules as my smartphone auto-speller suggested) from a small town to Hollywood, CA to attend the Guitar Institute of Technology was a life changing experience.

This was in the days before email. Young and far from home, I believed all things possible. I had been playing guitar for about 2 1/2 years, and though I hand a few lessons, I was mostly self taught.

My most aggressive practice schedule was twelve hours a day, every minute tracked on a kitchen timer. Fifteen minutes to eat breakfast, fifteen minutes to shower, and then I turned on the metronome for two or three hours of scales and arpeggios. Ear training, sight reading, songs, and theory followed. I also had an intense schedule of classes.

At eighteen, I understood how to pursue a dream–all the way, all the time, and with no excuses. I firmly believed that success was up to me and that hard work would pay off.

I still play in a band, though I returned to my first passion, writing. But whatever the dream, work is what makes it happen. There are no short cuts. Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.

I firmly believe anyone can learn to play guitar. All it takes is practice. Notice I didn’t say instruction was necessary. Sure, a good teacher makes the process a lot faster, but I know a lot of self taught musicians.

What is your dream? Are you doing everything you can to make it happen?