write-what-disturbs-you quote


I imagine you have heard many of the “three guys walk into a bar” jokes out there. This isn’t one of them.

As odd as it may sound I have learned something from each of these three that has changed my life.

One of them is my mentor.

I’ll start with Stephen King.

Anyone who knows me would think it was odd that I would learn something from this well-known author.

I’ve had tremendous issues with fear throughout my life so I always avoided the horror genre.

Before I learned my lesson from him, I knew nothing about Mr. King other than he wrote books I wouldn’t read, and he was wildly famous.

Then I came across Jeff Goins, a writer who wrote about Mr. King in his book The Art of Work.

He talked about Mr. King’s desk.

Apparently, Mr. King bought a ginormous desk and placed it in the center of his study where he worked.

However, over time he came to the realization that he needed to change the desk situation to change his life.

He got rid of the large desk and purchased a smaller one. This smaller desk he put in the corner of the room to change his focus.

In his book On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft he says:

“It starts with this: put your desk in the corner,

and every time you sit down there to write, remind yourself why it isn’t in the middle of the room.

Life isn’t a support system for art. It’s the other way around.”

I took last week off of writing and focused on my family as well as did some soul searching.

This past week I “moved my desk”.

Actually, the desk is in the same place but my laptop that I had been keeping in the kitchen was moved upstairs to the desk. I am already quite pleased with how it is changing how I work.

Thank you, Stephen King, I may need to buy your book.

Life isn't a support system for art. It's the other way around. @StephenKing Click To Tweet

Next up is Howie Mandel.

I have always had an appreciation for Howie.

I think he’s funny.

This year my husband and I started watching America’s Got Talent. We’ve have been enjoying playing our part in the process to help people achieve their dreams.

Last week I was saddened as two acts I loved didn’t make it to the finals and a couple I was not so fond of did.

Oh well, that is how it goes. It is voting. It is the voice of the people.

And it is commonly preached out there that if you want to be successful and profitable you have to make the people happy and give them what they want.

Then what Howie Mandel said to one of the finalists Grace VanderWaal really rocked that message and touched me deeply.

He told her that her world would never be the same again.

He cautioned her that as she moves forward and becomes successful people will pressure her to change. He instructed her to remain true to herself and stay who she is.

Not let the pressure change her.

Those words fly in the face of the marketing message out there.

I needed to hear it.

If you are new to my writing, I had started a blog in 2013 and abandoned it that same year. This past April I returned to it with this post And Then It Was The Next Day.

I was scared and very green.

I have consumed mass quantities of information via blogs, books, newsletters, instructional videos, podcasts, webinars and more to learn and grow in my writing as well as marketing.

I have been so thankful for all the help available. There is so much to learn.

But along with all the help, I also discovered there is much pressure out there also.

I have struggled under some of it trying to do everything everyone has been telling me to do and remain true to myself. I have read and seen so many succeed in ways I have expected of myself but then understood how they have done things differently or have different goals.

But still, that elusive “success” dangles like a carrot tempting and taunting, then condemning even the best efforts, as not good enough.

Enter Howie’s words to Grace.

“Your world is never going to be the same. You must never change.”

meme from http://booksgosocial.com/


Do not allow pressure to steal your identity - stay true to who you are. Click To Tweet

In 2014 I self-published my first book.

I learned as I went.

I had no clue what to do when I began.

I simply started.


“Start now. Start where you are. Start with fear. Start with pain. Start with doubt. Start with hands shaking. Start with voice trembling but start. Start and don’t stop. Start where you are, with what you have. Just… start.”
Ijeoma Umebinyuo

It was a journey to put my story into words.

I didn’t have a book launching plan.

I was terrified to allow anyone to read it.

Promoting it was beyond my ability grasp. It was first released May 7th 2014.

I knew my world would never be the same again.

Since then I have retired that first edition and released an updated version. I have come to understand the value of my story and have begun the journey of marketing. It is now available on Kindle also.

Others have done things much more methodical than I.

I can’t go back in time.

I don’t want to change what I have done, even though the pressures tell me I did it wrong.

It was right for me.

I had no delusions of grandeur to be famous like Stephen King.

That is not why I wrote my story.

Which brings me to Jesus.

He is the one who is my mentor.

From him, I learned to BE loved.

From him, I learned that Grace is a verb.

Grace is a verb. Click To Tweet

I spend time with him, every day and learn something new when I pay attention.

Many people have preconceived ideas of God that I want to shatter. The Pursuer shattered mine.

God loves us, wildly, tenderly and unconditionally. Coming to know that has changed my life forever.


That is why I wrote my story. And that is why I want to get it into the hands of those who need to know they are that deeply loved.

That is why I write here.

That is why I have started my next book…

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.

Ernest Hemingway

…it may take me a while – I’m a slow bleeder.

I will continue to learn the best ways to do things and implement what fits. Maybe I’ll have book launching plan this next time around.

I still have so much to learn.


What now?

So where is YOUR desk?

Are you dealing with pressure to be something other than what you are?

Do you know how infinitely loved you are?

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  1. I’m so glad we can learn little nuggets of wisdom through many different avenues, wow how we are Loved Danielle , and it sure is an everyday journey of discovery!,We are each so unique, yes we need to be true to what the Lord has purposed and planned , we just don’t have to fit in others molds of what and how they think we should be and do, just loving pursuing peace ,and learning to keep my eyes on Jesus! Your gift of writing inspiration is truly Blessing the body’s of our Lord, Looking forward to your new book ,My desk is in the room I call Rykers room lol there’s his toys , a crib mattress for a nap a huge card board box ,that a lawn mower came in converted to aka tent lol a treadmill, recumbent bike, a rocker, TV , Key board , needless to say the desk is surrounded and hard to get too , maybe it’s time for a move of that desk lol,Love and Prayers

    1. Me too Glenna. It is good to be able to learn from anything and be true to ourselves.
      Thank you for your kind words. Blessings to you!!

  2. Beautiful as usual, Danielle! I’d like to have a few words with whomever is telling you to change! 🙂 Although I enjoy your blog and wish you would post more, I’d rather read the real you. So you post when you like.

    My desk is so crowded. It’s in the room my wife calls “your office,” but I call “The Studio.” (and yes, I pronounce the upper case T and upper case S.) It’s packed with guitars, a piano, a cello, a violin, some bongos and shakers, a couple microphones and a big mixing board. Office indeed.

    My chair is really uncomfortable. I should get a new one, but it makes me try to finish faster. I still feel way more comfortable writing at Starbucks. Something about the commotion fuels me more than the quiet.

    If I spent less on coffee, I might be able to afford a better chair.

    1. Thank you Shayne! I appreciate your help and comments so much!

      And I guess I have to say uh oh! The person you need to have those “few words” with is me 😜 Im ready. Give it to me 🗣👊🏻👍🏻😊

      The Studio eh? You play all those instruments? I played violin and piano as a child. I played guitar as a teenager and young adult. I have thoughts of learning the cello (love the sound) but not sure that will actually happen. I don’t think adding that to my plate now would be a very smart thing.

      That’s cool that you enjoying writing at Starbucks. I’d be so distracted. I do better with quiet. Everyone has their way. And if you’re at Starbucks you use their chairs – drink the coffee. 👍🏻☕️

  3. Just what I needed to read! God’s timing is always perfect. Yes, I can associate with dealing with that pressure to be something other than what you are. I also know the feeling of trying to do everything the way someone told you how it should be done. Then, just as you think you know what you should do, you read some other book or article, or speak to someone else, and it feels like you have to start all over again.

    It feels like we have to give people what they want and we start searching for what it is that they want. Little do we realize that they want what we have to give. We don’t need to go look for it. We just need to be ourselves. Amen to spending more time with Jesus as our mentor.

    This article opened my eyes and reminded me of that. Thank you Danielle. Oh…..and my desk happens to be in the middle of what used to be a dining room, now turned into a study. I’m surrounded by books on book shelves….

  4. You are welcome Jaco and thank you for sharing. You nailed the explanation well. I’m glad we can encourage each other as well as remind one another to continue to learn but to remember to be ourselves. Makes me think of that line from the movie The Lion King “Remember who you are!”.

  5. Hi, Danielle! I’ve been so swamped that I emailed the link to this post to myself to read when I had time. I’m so glad I did! I loved hearing about your journey and believe we all can relate in some way, shape or form. Although you don’t read horror (perfectly understandable), I would encourage you to read Mr. King’s fabulous ‘On Writing’. Since you haven’t read his books, there is one thing you may not know about him: his books sell mostly because of his writing, not his genre. He is, quite simply, a master at evoking a time and place, as well as rich, three dimensional characters. He is also a wonderful teacher, which is why his deceptively simple book on writing is still a bestseller decades after it’s initial publication. It is a wonderful read as well as a thoughtful guide. I read it about once a year to motivate and refresh myself as a writer. I wish you the best of luck on your journey and look forward to hearing more from you!

  6. Hi Steph,
    Thank you for taking the time to do that – send yourself the link for later. I have done that before, frequently. I find it helpful in staying more focused but also not missing things I want to read/listen to. Thank you for the encouragement to read Mr. King’s book. I have just started a goal schedule that includes reading goals so I hope to add that one when I am done with the pile I currently have.
    Thanks again for stopping by – come by again anytime. I’ll be here.

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