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I haven’t forgotten about Q&A Sunday this week. I’ll be answering a new question on Friday!

Q&A Sunday: Family Opinions

When I read this question from Aliana, I laughed. It’s definitely a topic that has come up more than once!

What do your family and friends think of your writing or your stories?

Well, there are a lot of answers to this question. My parents are supportive, but have absolutely no interest in my books. My mom doesn’t read a lot of romance and my dad doesn’t read a lot of anything! My sister tried to read one of my books and said she couldn’t get past the fact that I’d written it. My husband doesn’t read my stories either, but again, he’s a huge supporter for me.

My kids, of course, don’t read my books, but they love to share what I do with people. I’ve told them I write love stories so that’s what they tell everyone. It works! Plus, it’s inspiring them to write and tell their own stories. Which I regret at times, especially when my daughter’s imagination runs away with her…

whoppers_boxShe told her kindergarten teacher, after she was home sick for a week, that she was out of school because her daddy had been shot and killed. She gave them a name and the teachers spent all day online trying to find an article about the shooting. When I picked her up that day, the teacher was understandably concerned and asked me about it. It became a joke for the rest of the year and even won her the “Whoppers Award” at the end of the year for the best whopper of a story.

I wish I was joking!

My friends though, well my friends are fans! I have a lot of friends who follow me on Facebook, read all my books, and are on my newsletter list. Of course, not everyone enjoys what I write, but many of them do enjoy my books.

I think the biggest thing for me is that whether my family and friends read my books or not, I know they all believe in me and are proud of me. That makes a big difference to me.

Thanks so much, Aliana, for your question! If you have a question, send me an email (mary (at) maryethompson (dot) com) with Q&A in the subject, or post it in the comments below, and I’ll answer your question right here on the blog!

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Q&A Sunday: Daily Goals

This time of year I always feel like I need to pick up my game. Push for more. Increase my production and make one final push for the end of the year. Jeannie’s question definitely highlights that!

Wow, with a sometimes hectic lifestyle and trying to be a full time writer, do you have daily goals such as completing a certain word count per day?

I have all kinds of goals, yes! At the beginning of the year I set lofty, and some not so lofty, goals. I break those down into quarterly goals and concentrate on them little by little. At the beginning of each quarter, I look at what I need to do in the next three months and start plotting things on my calendar.

The biggest thing for me is always writing. My goal is 5000 words each day. I don’t always hit it, but I try! When I have other things that I want to do, I finish my writing first.

nano-crestNovember is National Novel Writing Month and I’m pushing myself. I have plans to write 97,000 words this month. If I make my goal, I’ll have written one novel, one novella, and finished one other project. I’m tired just writing it out!

But I have my plan. I know what I need to work on each day. I have my appointments and my days off and my schedule. I’m not sure if I’ll write 97,000 words this month or not. If I write half that many I will almost win NaNo. I know I’ll win this year (which means writing 50,000 words). But I feel like I win every day because I get to write for a living!

Thanks so much, Jeannie, for your question! If you have a question, send me an email (mary (at) maryethompson (dot) com) with Q&A in the subject, or post it in the comments below, and I’ll answer your question right here on the blog!

Q&A Sunday: My Younger Self

As always, you guys come up with some pretty amazing questions. This one from Vicki was enough to bring tears to my eyes…

If you could travel back in time and visit your younger self, what message would you give yourself?

I don’t like having regrets. I made my choices in life and I can’t change the past, so there’s no use regretting it. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t things I wished I’d done differently.

I stayed in a job I hated for years because I couldn’t see a way out.
I started a new career I wasn’t positive about because I listened to the advice of others.
I didn’t take care of myself when I was younger because there was no immediate threat to my health.

The list goes on. And on. And on.

engagment-party-mary-and-alex-2_1024But if I could go back (that’s me and hubby at our engagement party over 13 years ago), I’m not sure I would change anything. Everything in my life has brought me to where I am, and I love my life. Yes, there are things I’d like to change today, but changing my past would mean I’d change my present, and I can’t complain too much.

What message would I give myself though? That’s easy.

Live every day with love.

What do I mean by that? That’s a little harder.

There are a lot of different kinds of love. If we all live our lives with love, the world will be a better place.

Love yourself, for me, means taking care of myself but also accepting myself and loving me for my imperfections as much as my perfections.

Love others means caring about the people around you. Your family and friends, of course, but also the people you don’t know. For me, that means yelling at my kids less and forgiving that jerk on the road who cut me off (instead of swearing at them!).

I’m fortunate that I love my job, but I spend too many years in a job that was destroying me. When I was fired, three months before I intended to quit, it hurt, but it set me free. I know I wouldn’t have actually left on my own. I would have been too scared. I’m very lucky to have a job that makes me happy.

Loving God, because I’m Catholic and God is an important part of my life, means accepting when He tells me no and listening to His guidance. I’ve struggled at times with my career and my religion being at odds, but I honestly feel God has told me I’m in the right place. I love that I have His support, and I try to thank Him for that on a regular basis!

There’s a lot of violence and hatred in the world right now. I do my best not to bring it home with me, but I know I’m not nearly perfect. Focusing on love every day makes my life so much happier and I know would have made it easier at times too. Hopefully I can listen to my advice going forward, even if I can’t actually go back!

Thanks so much, Vicki, for your question! If you have a question, send me an email (mary (at) maryethompson (dot) com) with Q&A in the subject, or post it in the comments below, and I’ll answer your question right here on the blog!

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Q&A Sunday: Lessons Learned

My kids are off school tomorrow so I sort of forgot today was Sunday! Sorry about that!

Vicki has a new question for me today, one that tugs at my heart…

If there was 1 lesson that you want your children to learn, what lesson would it be?

There are a lot of lessons I want my kids to learn. I want them to be better than I am. Happier than I am. Healthier than I am.

One lesson is tough. But there is one thing that I think is important. Maybe the most important thing I can teach them.

img_6163Always be yourself.

It’s hard to say this is the biggest thing, but too often people aren’t true to who they are. People try to be someone else. We want to make others happy. We give in to peer pressure, we do things we don’t want to do, we have regrets.

But if we’re true to ourselves, those are fewer and further between.

We tell our kids all the time they can be anything they want to be as long as they aren’t doing something illegal. I want my kids to have jobs that they can excel at, but I want them happy. I want them to follow their hearts. I’ve been keeping a list since they were even younger of what they each want to be when they grow up. A few of the options they’ve come up with so far are…

Teacher
Firefighter
Marine biologist
Princess
Farmer
Rock star

And the list goes on.

If they decide that’s what’s right, I’m all for it! As long as they are true to themselves. They will find real happiness if they do things for the right reasons, for their reasons.

It’s not always easy, as a mom, to let them make choices I don’t agree with, but they’re making their own choices. And that makes a big difference to us!

Thanks so much, Vicki, for your question! If you have a question, send me an email (mary (at) maryethompson (dot) com) with Q&A in the subject, or post it in the comments below, and I’ll answer your question right here on the blog!

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