That activity—or lack of activity!—aggravates a lower back problem I have.
To counteract the stiffness I develop from sitting too long, I take frequent breaks to walk around. Sometimes I just have a coffee and watch the birds outside. More often I nibble, which is the second biggest challenge I have: nibbling the M&Ms on my desk or the Oreos in the cupboard!
Changes I’ve made include walking outdoors to the mailbox, or just to look at flowers, and changing my snacks to vitamin water and crackers.
Background Music Helps Keep Me On Track
The biggest emotional challenge for me is motivation.
I find that I get ahead of myself and visualize the results before I actually finish the manuscript!
When the weather is nice here in Michigan, I also get distracted by golf. I’m retired from teaching, so my writing schedule is whatever I make it. And I seem to always find a rationalization for golfing… “ it’s nice out today; we should go golfing…”
One thing that seems to work to keep me on track is having background music in my office. It must act as white noise, because I really don’t hear it but I know it’s there.
The Success I’ve Had Selling Books—Better Than I Dreamed
As far as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a writer.
I read Little Women many times, and I always pictured myself as the character Jo, the writer. I wrote a mystery novel when I was in 7th grade!
As I got older, I wanted to write my life story for my children and grandchildren, but I didn’t want a “boring bio.” Instead, I wrote collections of short stories about different aspects of my life. My most recent collection is about my Polish heritage.
The success I’ve had in selling books and earning awards has been astounding – better than I dreamed!
Advice for a Young Writer: Learn HOW to Write
To young people who want to write I would offer these tips:
- learn all you can about HOW to write – not just emails and tweets,
- read – everything and anything that interests you,
- do research and educate yourself on who your audience will be and how to market to them.
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Tina Lonski is a retired English and journalism teacher at the high school and college levels. She is a Detroit native and lives in East Lansing, Michigan. She has degrees from Eastern Michigan University and Michigan State University. Besides teaching, she has been a newspaper reporter and a communication specialist for the Michigan Dental Association, American Dental Association and Michigan Nurses Association.
Tina has published three books, collections of short stories about her life in Michigan: A Transplanted Yooper: Mostly True Stories of Michigan’s U.P.; Barn Raising: Stories of a Vanishing American Legacy; and The Bootleg Buggy: Stories of My Polish Family. Her books have won awards from Michigan Press Women, National Federation of Press Women and Writer’s Digest. Find more information about her on her website.
A Transplanted Yooper: Join author Tina Lonski as she takes you on adventures in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula – the U.P. – in her book A Transplanted Yooper: Mostly True Stories of Michigan’s U.P. You’ll follow A Transplanted Yooper and her family on a memorable ride across the Mackinac Bridge that joins the state’s two peninsulas. Her stories tell of bears in the yard, of ghost towns with abandoned lighthouses, and the unpredictable U.P. weather that includes mountains of snow.
The term Yooper may have started when people from the U.P. began calling themselves a U-P-er. Over time, that became the phonetic “yooper.” Whatever the origin, Yoopers live above the Mackinac Bridge that connects the two peninsulas, and the unlucky folks who live under the bridge, are “trolls.”
Barn Raising: A Tribute to a Vanishing American Legacy: Join author Tina Lonski on memorable visits to barns around Blissfield, the small town in southeast Michigan where she grew up. You’ll follow her to a round barn and a Mail Pouch Tobacco barn. Her stories tell of a scary bull eye-balling her and her sisters and a “mystery barn” with a pile of bones inside.
Tina grew up in an area where farming was the major industry and barns were everywhere, some even inside the village limits. Playing in a neighbor’s barn as a child was like a kid today shooting baskets in someone’s driveway.