The Limits We Set


Yes, it’s actually five-thirty p.m. here. I was sitting thinking of what to blog about next and listening to No Boundaries by Adam Lambert, and it hit me. I got my new blog idea! I so love it when that happens.

So let’s talk. I love feedback btw so please leave a comment. I’m a green author, so green that I don’t know much really about anything. I do know that unlike in real life situations it takes more than twenty-one days to break poor writing habits. I know that as soon as I think I have something figured out, it’s really not figured out at all. In less than a year I’ve learned by mucking through it. Most publishers love their authors to already know the basics. Well, I just jumped in and decided to write with no formal training. The support of my editor has helped, but it’s my drive to excel and my optimistic personality that work for me instead of against me. The on line classes I’ve invested in haven’t hurt. There are a million

So let’s discuss limits:

The point, edge, or line beyond which something cannot or may not proceed

A confining or restricting object, agent, or influence.

I believe that after we’ve grown up, we become disillusioned. When once our imaginations had no limit or boundary, life and its many different paths have skewed us elsewhere. The magic isn’t as potent. We have lost our je ne sais quoi, that internal spark of essence—our oomph . Through no fault of our own we’ve grown accustomed to dictating verbally or mentally where we can or can’t go, what we can or cannot achieve. In truth we set ourselves up for failure before we’ve even begun. So then how do we realize the dreams we had as children were never actualized? How do we find that missing part of us that’s begging to be expressed?

We have to do like Peter Pan did— go back and find what’s been missing and BELIEVE that everything is achievable if we have the courage and drive to see it through.

We have to unlearn the blind spots in our peripheral vision and know that our self-esteem can blind us to our success. Self prophecy is another limit. If we put ourselves down consistently and lose the drive to go on we lose.

If we stress over hurtles, we lose and have turned friendly fire on ourselves. Not to mention why we write in the first place fades, the joy disappears.

If we don’t look at criticism with subjection, or let the criticism make us think less of ourselves we’ve done ourselves injustice yet again.

So how do we turn that process off?

We don’t set limits to our success

Don’t set specific time constraints on how high you wish to go. Remember it’s a hard business. Some get lucky right away others take the steady incline of upwards of twenty-years plus.

Be proud of the current level achieved and keep plodding along.

Don’t climb on a pedestal that isn’t achievable the instant we want it.

Instead of doubting our talent, we stand firm in the parts we excel in. The rest will come eventually.

For every negative thought we have about ourselves give three positives to counteract the broody mood.

Use our support systems, family, friends, no-not a glass of wine 🙂

Walk away. Realize some days are going to be crappy and on those days if you can’t break the funk, it does no justice to sit in front of a screen and will something to happen. We all have those days.

For each time I can’t  crosses your mind, remember your parents or grandparents reading The Little Engine That Could, or get out a jar and commit money for each time you think it.

Look for the eternal optimist in yourself. If you don’t have it in you, you can rub on me like a scratch off sticker—not only do I smell good, I have enough optimism to go around.

I have met so many wonderful people in the writing community and I’d love to see everyone succeed past the limits they’ve set themselves on. So forget limits. Adam Lambert sung it best “There are no boundaries”

And now for my favorite quote, “If you cry over losing the sun, your tears will make it impossible to see the stars” ~Unknown




About mahalia2010

Mother, Sister, Friend, Author

Posted on January 22, 2010, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 57 Comments.

  1. aubreyleatherwood

    I do believe that eternal optimism can carry you to your dreams.

    • Same here! Thank you for stopping in Aubrey

      • Hi Hales luv,

        What a great attitude to have in this harsh arena (boy are you gonna need it 0 lol). There are so many times we second guess our writing, and many times I read something I wrote and swear a third grader can do better. It’s the nature of the beast.

        I wish you loads of success in your writing career. You’ll go far if you can maintain that optimism at all times.

        Hugs, Keta

  2. Hi Hales!

    Excellent post, and very much enjoyed reading it. I have to agree with the post as a whole 🙂

    I too taught myself to write in a way. In way of classes, all I can claim is creative writing in high-school. I read, a lot…all of the time, everything I could get my hands on. When i began to write seriously, I didn’t know a thing, but I learned through drafting my own work, and my editors too picked up on what needed worked, so I could tighten my writing.

    Not setting one’s self with such strict goals for themselves, and loving what they have and working to improve it allows the creativity to flow. At least for me anyways, lol.

    Pure excellence, and cannot wait for the next one 🙂


  3. Hey Kayden,

    Thanks for the great words. Yep, it’s all a work in progress. I feel it’s very important to allow growth without strict goals or shortchanging our small achievements.
    I’m thinking it’ll be a once a month post here! This one just hit me out of nowhere 🙂


    ps I’ve always loved the whole Cheers thing!

  4. Hi, Hales. I thoroughly enjoyed your blog and nodded along with it. Excellent and thank you!


  5. Hey Hales, I loved reading your post today. I remember something, I think it may have been from Stephen King, who said ‘Talent is as common as table salt’. There are so many talented people out there, we all have something to give, but it is the effort that puts wind in our sails. It is taking everything in stride, and getting back on the horse again when we fall off.

    I love that line, “the eternal optimist” in your post, is a good reminder about being one!
    Hugs, Chloe

  6. Ohh Stephen King has another great line 🙂

    Thank you. I used to think my optimism was a bad thing. I can get down sick with it. However I cannot apologize for who I am. I’m just a poppy kind of girl lol.


  7. Hey Hales, Great post and I couldn’t agree more. Here is one of my quotes to live by:
    A man is what he thinks all day long.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson

    I started writing about this time last year and have trudged along, feeling my way, taking on-line courses, etc. Positive thinking keeps me going and I expect to have at least two works published this year. I just have to finish them 🙂

    By the way, I added you to my blog. Happy Writing

  8. I love quotes! Thanks Rach for coming by and leaving a comment. Positive thinking rocks!

    Ohhh thanks for adding me. I’ll add you too!


  9. This was beautiful. Thank you for writing it. “Don’t climb on a pedestal that isn’t achievable the instant we want it.”

  10. Great post Hales.
    Very true and very inspiring.

    another green author

  11. Hi, Hales!
    Optimism is great, and I have it in spades. But after eighteen years of watching person after person publish around me, it takes more than that! It takes grit, determination and good old fashioned cowgirl dig-in-ti-you-die willpower.

    • OHhh I’m a cowgirl too! Gee that is better than being referred to as Bubbles the power girl *winks* I happen to have grit and determination in spades! You’re turn is comin up. I happen to have seen your work 🙂


  12. Hi Hales,

    Great post…Don’t feel bad about being green…we’re all green at some point…Other than my articles written as a Marine, I only have one published work! It’s how hard I drive myself to be published that gets me out there…

    Never let “no” mean “Never” to you and keep blazing your path.

  13. Hullllllooooo whats wrong with a bottle of wine?!!

    Great blog lady!!!

    Such a smart girl…You are gonna do GREAT things! I have known this since day one!!!

  14. Well Wendy Doll….. I guess a bottle of wine is better than the Calribu Lue still recovering from those drinks *shudders*


    See points up to Wendy she is a great example of a supporting friend! She’s not biased at all or even one little bit!


  15. Hi yah Hales!

    >_< Damn, but you make my head swim with your optimism. *winks* Just kidding. Loved the blog, keep it up and you already know what I'm going to say …

    You'll make it there. If any one will/can, you are it.

    You know me, I'm always around to bounce ideas off of. Always up to chatting and goofing off or being that shoulder you need to cry on. Keep the optimism up and you'll get there in no time.


    • *pokes you in the noggin* As my co writer and good friend I’m waiting rather impatiently for you to join me on this adventure…so when you’re ready I’ll be waiting. You have a wealth of talent just waiting to be exposed to the public eye 🙂


      • Well, you’ll be waiting impatiently for a while more. I can’t seem to get my Muse to settle down (And yeah, I know the views that some have about what a Muse ACTUALLY is.)

        It could be me just procrastinating, or simply my hot Muse refusing to co-operate. Any which way I can’t seem to get passed the first few pages that I write when the ‘mood’ hits.

        Iono. I’ll figure it out eventually, but I’m sure as hell gonna watch you grow and shine and love every bit knowing that you DEF deserve it.

  16. Merc you have your whole life ahead of you to do this lol. It’s actually fun watching you stumble through rl with your first job and life. Since I’m soo old 😉 Thanks for your sweet words! Now if we can get Katishka to buckle down and let her manu go 🙂

  17. LMFAO!

    You are NOT old!!!

    Good lord, are you really that sadistic to enjoy watching my RL? LOL Jk

    And as for Katishka … *snickers* she’ll wait until its nearly perfect in her eyes and we’ll still have to pry her manu free from those long dangerous fingernails of hers.

  18. No I’m gonna hide from her bull whip lol!


  19. Wicked lift Mrs Hales. Makes bruv ken on things more than writing… is much different ta write books than yer t’other? Um, didna ken that. Wicked song, aim ta show me Auntie Spooks the blog.


    • Shamus! You’re supposed to be resting. I’m glad you up and about. Yes it is very different. Spooks should read it, she def should be here with me too! Take care of them lungs!


  20. Och aye, miss, am… as can. *G*

  21. Very well said, Hales!! WTG!


  22. Wonderful post.

    I think eternal optimism is a wonderful thing, tempered with a hefty dose of never-say-die.

    Well, all of that along with trial-and-error. *weg* One thing I’ve learned over the years is that I keep learning. Part of what I learned about grammar and such throughout school got chucked out the door when I started working as a technical secretary, then had to re-learn part of *that* when I started writing online as part of a roundtable writing group.

    Over the past 12-14 years or so, what I found is a wonderful (and some not so wonderful) people until finding a ‘fit’ in two places – one I help run with my friend and writing partner-in-crime, another I used to help run and now just write in/with-the running there isn’t as good a fit for me as with the first (got to know your strengths and weaknesses, eh?).

    Proofreading and editing work has also helped me hone my writing style (and goes well with the ‘a change is as good as a rest’ work habit, well, the fact it pays doesn’t hurt either).

    One thing that I have learned is that I do, eventually, want to see my works in print and I am willing to work at it to see it done.

  23. Good morning Yvonne,

    What a great response. Yes, we do need to know our strength and weaknesses and proofing and editing is a great way to learn. Even if your new you can proof on a crit team and until you have the whole package of skills you can still contribute by looking for dropped words, consistency and plot holes. Then when your grammar is up to snuff and all you’ll rock. Everyone can contribute even if it’s only to offer small help, helpful links or classes you might have seen on some site. Thanks!


  24. Great post, and one I kind of need right now. Not just about writing, but life. Limits were supposed to keep me safe, but that isn’t always the case, is it? Thanks for this post. It’s hit home for me in ways you can’t imagine.

    That quote about the stars…is that from the song? Can I use it? Who do I credit?

  25. Great Jaime,

    I hope it helps you. The quote is unknown. I’ve searched forever for a link to who it came from. When I use it I use it with ~unknown next to it. That way I’m not taking the credit



  26. Great post, Hales. BTW, I love Adam Lambert. His career will be much bigger than Chris Allen’s.

    I learned something here. I shouldn’t set limits for myself, and I did when I told my publisher I would be happy only being e-pubbed. Smile.

    • Hey Sandy,

      I hope they both have big careers. But there’s something to say about Adam and his own personal journey as well as professional The song just popped into my head and made me sit back and think! Yep you did.

      Let’s see how high we can go 🙂


  27. Hales,

    I forget your so new often. I see your name here and there and that’s a good thing. This is a fun post and one we should all think about. Setting ourselves up for failure happens too often in our line of work. You know the comments, ‘I can’t write that.’, ‘I don’t like that genre so I’ll never write it.’, ‘I’m not good enough to… ‘ Explore, let your imagination loose. Be the child you were… well a long time ago and love it.

    I love your quote. It fits what we do and how we need to appreciate all that happens to us, even if that happening isn’t as much fun as we’d hoped.

    Oh, my fave quotes:

    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming — WOW — What A Ride!

    Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders and says: “Oh Shit! She’s Awake!”

    Have an awesome day!

    • Jude,

      How wicked. I love the Satan shudders and says “Oh Shit! Shes Awake!”

      I did that a few weeks ago, got all upset because I couldn’t relate to a particular genre. Found out it’s more for personal reasons than professional. That makes me think good Lord I need Dr. Phil!

      No just need to try it out. If It doesn’t come across as real to me I’ll know I need more research or to let it drop!

      Thanks for coming by,
      We haven’t chatted for quite some bit. 🙂


      • I told someone it’s like I have follow me dust lol. I am everywhere. But I love it. I have a high affinity for people just as I do for reading and writing.


  28. Denise Golinowski

    Hales, enjoyed your blog. It’s a sad fact, but we do tend to put limitations on ourselves all the time and in all areas of our lives. Sometimes, they’re good–don’t step off that ledge, don’t drink and drive, don’t say something before you’ve thought about it–and sometimes, they’re not–don’t take a risk, don’t reach beyond your norm, don’t push the limits. And then when the world or life smacks us down or hands us a disappointment, we jump right back saying, see! they were right! But, we have to remain true to our goals. Ah, goals–a double-edged word that infers a limitation (the end) but offers limitless opportunity (the trip). I’m delighted that you ARE pushing your limits, pushing your boundaries, learning and expanding yourself and your world. I’m right there with you and it’s gonna be a wild ride!

    • Denise what a great response! Goals can be double-edged. I like having a vague short list and a vague longer list just for pacing but not locking myself into a specific box.

      My New Years Resolution for Writing is to grow more this year and keep ploddin
      My personal is to be a better Mother, Fiance and friend. I find that by doing that instead of pinpointing something I’ll forget it makes me more well rounded!

      Thanks for coming. It’s sweet to have people by my side. It’s gonna be one hell of a hellacious ( My new scrabble word) ride



  29. My mom use to read me the Little Engine that Could, too. “I think I can, I think I can.” I’ve been saying that to myself here lately. Its still a good lesson on perseverance which I think we all need. 🙂 Especially me.

    Good post Hales.

    • Hey whoot! My mom wasn’t alone then. I wrote it than was thinking hell what if no one else had this read to them? I still have a beaten down copy of it. Got it in a box when I got my things from my moms house after she passed. It tickled me pink 🙂



  30. Damn darlin, that is a hell of a read. Very inspiring and something I think I’ll make Kail and a few others read. Hell might make it part of the company policy, we pick up all sorts with self esteem and motivational problems.

    Damn good


  31. Thanks Jake, It crosses over to other aspects for sure. 🙂 I’d love to have more readers

  32. I’ll never stop dreaming. You remember what my favorite saying is…. “It is said that necessity is the mother of all invention and I say if necessity is the mother of all invention then within each of us lies the ability to necessitate a solution to every situation we face. Therefore imagination and ingenuity are key to our success.”

  33. THanks hon. It’s so good to see you!

  34. By George! Its me!

    Oh Hades – what a beautiful blog! I enjoyed the article and the simpicity of the looks!

    Oh, and it didn’t hurt to have Adam Lambert at the end. Eh-gads, that man is hot!

  35. LOL George only you! Thanks for stopping by

  36. Thanks Keta,

    I hope I stay optimistic. I’ve been this way for thirty some odd years. Maybe that means it’ll stick. I can’t wait to grow by leaps and bounds, as I’ve seen some of my favorite authors do!

  37. Great post, Hales. I will live by those owrds. One of my favorite songs is Impssible Dream from the musical, Man of La Mancha.
    ‘nuf said.

  38. Ohh I love that musical and Oklahoma and Rent is my Favorite!

  39. Great blog, Hales – agree with you on every point! 🙂

  40. Thanks Tina! This blog will be one that can be referred to at any time for a pick me up!

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