Vicki Hinze's Blog

January 27, 2015

Penny Thoughts, Vicki Hinze,
Denial of truth you know to be truth
Reveals an ignorance others know to be ignorance.

C2015, Vicki Hinze

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Published on January 27, 2015 22:24
Penny Thoughts, Vicki Hinze,
Denial of truth you know to be truth
Reveals an ignorance others know to be ignorance.

C2015, Vicki Hinze

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Published on January 27, 2015 22:24

Library Edition from Social In Network…

Vicki Hinze, Decisions We Make

Decisions We Make and Why We Make Them


Vicki Hinze


Life requires choices, and choices require decisions.  The decisions we make reflect our character. Who we are inside, and what we deem important.

Making decisions often forces us to step outside our comfort zone.  Things in our lives are rocking along, and wham!  Something happens and it demands a decision.  If it is a decision we want to make, have been looking for an excuse to make, we make it.  That doesn’t mean we make it without any anxiety, but internally we can easily justify making it and enduring the inevitable changes it will thrust into our lives because it aligns with what we want.

It’s when our wants are opposed, when we like the status quo and coasting within our comfort zone, that we find making decisions more difficult.  We know that things will change and we don’t want them to change, or we don’t want them to change the way we believe or fear they will change.

Maybe we fear the unknown, unintended consequences that could result. Or maybe inevitable changes can’t be avoided and we don’t want to be inconvenienced by or burdened with the interruptions that will follow. Or maybe we are so comfortable within our comfort zone that the idea of stepping outside it is a price we consider too steep to pay.

Whatever the reason, our reaction defines us and our situation:

1.  We know the costs of our decision, but we act.

2.  We fear the unknown costs of our decision, but we act.

3.  We know neither the costs of our decision nor the final outcome, but we act. Will this prove smart? The best thing we’ve ever done or the worst?

Note that in all three cases, we act.  What isn’t blatantly evident in these situations is that the action can indeed be to act or it can be a failure to act, which is also an action.

In the first two situations, we act with both knowledge and understanding, and that defines our character because, whether we act or refuse to act, we contribute to that definition of our character because we are not inadvertently “falling” into the situation’s resulting consequences. We are making deliberate choices to act or not, understanding the possibilities and potential results.  That can make us a hero or a villain, or just someone stuck in a bad place with no good choices.

The third situation—where we must act not knowing the costs or final outcome—defines us, too.  More heroic in ways because the outcome is in greater doubt. But be careful not to make false assumptions on what it all means.

Some actions carry price tags that we logically and rationally consider and deem them too steep to pay. (Consequences where others, innocents suffer, for example, or they’re put at unnecessary risk.) It isn’t that a choice to not act makes us bad people or cowards (physical or moral) cowards. It makes us people who have weighed and measured and decided the costs are too high either to ourselves or to others and we choose not to pay them.  Or, we are morally or spiritually bankrupt–cowards–or we are people who simply choose not to pay those costs of taking an action because we don’t want to pay them.


Motivation’s Role in Making Decisions


My point is every decision, no matter how large or small, carries consequences, and only we can set the criteria we consider significant and determine whether or not the anticipated results are a net positive or negative. In other words, it is our motivation for making the decisions we make that determines whether the act of deciding to act or not act and then doing it is brave or cowardly, protective or destructive, honorable or shameful.

We often use social mores or universal emotions to select those criteria, and we often factor in how others will react to our decision to act or not act.  What I mean by that isn’t that others determine our choices, but that we weigh others’ reactions to see if their reactions are the reactions we want from them.  The more influence someone has in our lives, the more weight we give to their reactions to our decisions.

An Example: You Need Advice. What Do You Do?
For example, you need advice. You go to a trusted source. Someone you respect and admire who likely has successfully navigated the waters you are swimming in now. You don’t go to someone you don’t trust or respect or admire. Your motivation is to make an informed, wise decision, and, for that, you seek informed and wise counsel. If you don’t know and can’t find a trusted source, you likely do without others’ counsel and rely on your own judgment.

In basic terms, you don’t ask a brain surgeon how to fix the brakes on your car.  You ask a mechanic who knows his stuff. You don’t ask a liar for the truth. You ask someone you know to be honest. You don’t ask something from someone—from anyone—that you know they are incapable of giving.

What all this about decisions leads to is anchored motivation.  It is in your motivation for acting or not acting, for acting the way and at the time you act—or not—that the logic and reason for the decisions made or not made are seated.

If logical and reasonable, whether acting or refusing to act, understanding the motivation for the decision you make leads to comfort with making it. Leads to making peace with having made it. Leads to acceptance of the results—intended and unintended—and the consequences.

I touched on this above, but it’s important and requires emphasis. Not making a decision is making a decision.

Why Not Making a Decision is Making a Decision
 If you (or your character) is a procrastinator, in denial, rationalizing to avoid being forced to take action, avoiding something because it’s easier (on the mind, heart or soul), and ignores the problem or challenge or obstacle, that is making a decision not to decide and not to act. Not deciding and then acting carries consequences, too.

People choose not to act for the reasons stated and more, hoping the problem will resolve itself and they won’t be back -against-the-wall, forced to make a decision they do not want to make.  Recognizing a problem requires you to do something about it or live with knowing you didn’t. This “ignore it and it’ll go away” resolution doesn’t typically work out well because ignored problems tend to become bigger, more complex, and more complicated.  (Handy in fiction, but a source of misery in life.)

Decisions can be active or reactive. They often fall into the following categories:

1.  Active. Events or situations occur that are within your control. In these, you actively choose your course of action for addressing them.

2.  Reactive. Events or situations occur that are not in your control. They are the outgrowth of others’ decisions that impact you.  On those, you reactively choose your course of action for addressing that which impacts you. The decision you make won’t resolve the underlying challenge. Only your course of action to cope with the impact.

Decision-making can be challenging.  It can be overwhelming. But it is always telling.  Character—and characters—are defined by motives, by the way people control themselves or fail to control themselves, by intentions and by the events and situations in which they choose to act and not act and why and how they incorporate their decisions in their lives.

If you’re indecisive, you know the torment and trouble that comes with being reluctant to make decisions. Depending on the significance of the decision to be made, the muddling, worrying, fear of doing the wrong thing–it can all be a relentless burden.  You know that sense of going back-and-forth, of feeling torn and twisted into knots. You know the cold sweat and cold chills that come with the fear of being wrong and it negatively impacting another.

Being indecisive speaks strongly about a person’s character, too, based on their motivation for being indecisive.  To protect themselves?  Not so admirable, but understandable and human. To protect another? More admirable, and interesting—why is the person compelled to do this? Because of past poor judgment or errors in judgment? More human and understandable, making others more sympathetic to the indecision challenge.

Two people who must make the exact same decision can evoke very different reactions in others. One will be beloved and one despised.  Why?  Motivation.

Struggling with Decisions
My point is to chat about decisions because many struggle with them, and many don’t realize how telling their process is, or how much that process reveals about them personally.  In a discussion on this topic recently, I was asked, “Which is worse: to be slow to decide or right when you decide?”

I responded, “That depends. If someone’s swinging an axe at your head, I’d say being slow to decide to defend yourself is a really bad decision. If you want to live, you’d better act—now.  If you’re debating on whether or not to offer or accept a marriage proposal, take your time. Your future insists you be right.”
In other words, not all decisions are equal. They must be weighed, evaluated. We must determine how important something is to us, overall.
We live in shades of gray, which makes decisions at home in shades of gray, too.  Whether we act, choose to not act, act in ways that seem logical and reasonable to us and to others depends on the situation and our motivation. And key factors we consider in deciding are anticipated results, impact, and consequences.

The bonus for us in taking a deeper look at the decisions we make and why we make them is that we better know ourselves and we’re less quick to judge whether someone else’s decision is a good or bad one. We know far more is involved than the surface clutter we see. And we can’t see all they consider. We’re less critical and more empathetic. We decide.

© 2015, Vicki Hinze


Vicki Hinze, My Imperfect Valentine, New Adult novels, Valentine's romance novels© 2014, Vicki Hinze. Hinze is the award-winning, USA Today bestselling author of nearly thirty novels in a variety of genres including, suspense, mystery, thriller, and romantic or faith-affirming thrillers. Her latest release is My Imperfect Valentine. She holds a MFA in Creative Writing and a Ph.D. in Philosophy, Theocentric Business and Ethics. Hinze’s online community: Facebook. Books. Twitter. Contact.

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Published on January 27, 2015 22:10

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Published on January 27, 2015 06:10

January 26, 2015

A heads up to those who might be interested.  My new release, MY IMPERFECT VALENTINE, is featured today at Free Kindle Books and Tips.  Here’s a link:
If you haven’t yet gotten your copy, you can get a Kindle copy today for 99 cents.
Description posted below. FMI on the book, visit: My Imperfect Valentine‘s page on this site.
Have a blessed day!

P.S. Thanks, Readers, for embracing Essential Life Skills: CourageYou made it a Business Ethics Best Seller, and I’m grateful!


Is it possible to be in love with a man you’ve never met?

Card Shop owner Amanda Jensen admits Jonathan, the illustrator she’s worked with for two years via email and texts, touches her in ways no man has ever touched her. But how does he feel about her?

Having no idea, she’s been dating Bradley. He’s rich and successful, well able to offer her security and a lifestyle that assures she’ll never want for anything, and he wants to marry her. But he does not touch her. Could he ever? Could love between them grow?

Already confused and lacking confidence in her own judgment, a customer’s intriguing nephew, Max, enters her world, encourages her to follow her dreams, and tests her heart, but he has secrets he won’t share for reasons he won’t state. Is it possible to be in love with two men simultaneously?

Making decisions to keep the shop she’s wanted all her life afloat, to settle her confusion about what she really wants in a man, Amanda has more questions than answers. She’s torn and riddled with doubt. This is one time, she can’t afford to make a mistake.

Three men. Three very different relationships. Jonathan, who touches her soul and might or might not love her. Bradley, who doesn’t touch her soul but offers her security and a life free from worries. Or Max, a man who attracts her, supports her, but carries secrets he won’t share.

Amanda must decide. Which man will be perfect for her? Her soul mate? The man with whom she can build her best, most fulfilling life? Which man will inspire her to say, “He’s the one. He’s My Imperfect Valentine?”

Contemporary Romance. Clean Read.
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Published on January 26, 2015 03:25

January 20, 2015

Courtesy Catholic News Agency

vicki hinze, my faith zoneMessages from God and lessons to us are all around. We simply must slow down long enough to see and comprehend them. I’m as guilty as the next of sometimes breezing right past them, but yesterday, I saw a news clip of the Pope in the Philippines that stopped me in my tracks and held me there.

The weather there was awful; rainy and gloomy. In spite of it, six million people gathered and stood in the rain to hear the Pope’s message to them.

In the news clip, a priest in New York said this was the largest gathering of people in recorded history for a single individual. He also said some are calling the Pope a rock star. He disagreed; that many had never gathered for any rock star. All of this caught my ear and had me paying close attention.

Enough attention that I realized the Pope-mobile had ditched its bullet-proof glass walls; they were open. The Pope kissed babies, touched people physically as well as spiritually. And when a little girl who lived on the streets before being taken in by the church asked why such bad things happened to children, he admitted that answer was beyond him, and he hugged the child. She moved closer to him and hugged the Pope so hard, as one would her daddy she’d gone to for comfort. It touched me. Deeply.

The message he delivered was one of helping the poor, of working against poverty and corruption. I didn’t hear it all—just that recited in the clip—but it was a strong message. Yet I believe his strength is in his accessibility. He’s open and genuine, and people react to that and hear his message to them through that perspective.

While I attended Catholic schools early-on, I am not Catholic. Yet I learned a great deal from the Pope in this news clip and I expect as I think about it, and study on my own, I’ll learn much more. So I wanted to share those observations with you. Maybe you too will find something of value in them.

Lesson 1: The Pope is sincere and genuine in his desire to interact with people. He doesn’t come across as a man on a soap-box speaking at them. He talks with them and listens to them.

Lesson 2: He removed the walls from the Pope-mobile. This endangers his life. It makes him vulnerable to the crazies who would kill him. Yet he values his life less than he values the desire to be accessible to people. Those suffering and struggling, those seeking, see this, know it, and respect it. Sometimes the momentary touch of a hand offers reassurance where there has been none. Reminds people that God is, has been, and remains in control in a world gone wild. We are not alone.

Lesson 3: When the little girl asked the question, a lump raised in my throat. How do you explain man’s inhumanity to man to a child? To adults? How do you explain a child living on the streets? Hungry? Alone? It brings to mind a quote: If you condone it, you own it. I don’t recall but give credit to whoever said it first, but I agree with it. If collectively we decided to nurture, care for, feed and protect children, they would be nurtured, cared for, fed, and protected. We’ve haven’t . . . yet. But hope springs eternal.

The Pope could have offered the child a platitude. He didn’t. I respect that. And by her reaction, moving in for that fatherly hug, the child did, too. And that carried not one but two lessons:

Kids can cope with honesty. They sense when someone is being honest, and they react openly to it. There’s no shame in not having the answer. There is shame in being dishonest.
Sometimes all we can offer is a hug. It translates in ways we know and ones we can’t imagine, depending on just how badly someone needs that hug. Kids need their moms and dads. They play different roles in their lives, but both are crucial roles essential to their children.

And, for me, the most significant BIG LESSON from this little news clip was:


It’s not the messenger, it’s the message.


People are inundated with negative news, with hardships and tough times. They thirst and hunger for hope, for assurance that God is here, there, everywhere, and, while we might not understand all that is happening, He understands perfectly.

We want that assurance. We need that assurance. Because we are not just physical and emotional beings, we are spiritual beings, and for many, we see so much that is anti-spirit, we hear and feel the impact of so much that is an affront to our spirits, we find ourselves sinking deeper and deeper into despair even as we live out our day-to-day lives and appear normal.

That message is what drew six million people to stand in the rain to hear the Pope speak. It wasn’t the Pope. He is not a rock star. It was the message.

It was their thirsty spirits stepping out in faith, eager to hear a message of hope.

And delivering such a message, doesn’t require one to be a Pope, only to have a willing heart…✚


© 2015, Vicki Hinze




Vicki’s new book is a sweet romance, My Imperfect Valentine.

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Published on January 20, 2015 11:29 • 3 views
Vicki Hinze   

Vicki Hinze, On Writing BlogWriters are often asked why we write the books we write. I can’t speak for all writers, but I can speak for this writer, and the answer to this question, is both simple and complex.


 I have one writing rule: I will not write a book I don’t love. Why? Because it takes time, energy, discipline, and determination to start and finish a book, and to infuse it with something worth reading. The most important thing I have to share is love for what is in a book. My time is my life. It is important to me, and I won’t waste it on writing something I don’t feel holds value. That’s the simple part of the answer.
The complex part begins with purpose. Why write the specific book? Why write it now?
Most novels begin in a burst of enthusiasm. The fire and desire to write the story is so strong, I just can’t wait a second longer to see the story unfold on the page. But that starts a book. It doesn’t finish it. What does?
Maybe the writer has something to say s/he wants others to hear. Needs others to hear. Something s/he prays others will hear.
Maybe the writer is writing through a dark tunnel seeking light at the end of it, certain if s/he can find a constructive way to navigate a challenge, then others will know there is light at the end of the dark tunnel and they’ll believe that if the character found it, they too can navigate their challenge and find the end of the tunnel and the light.
Maybe the writer looks around and everyone is suffering. Broken hearts, broken spirits, burdened minds. They need lifting, entertaining. They need to laugh, to be reminded that there is good and joy in life. There is fun.
Maybe the writer sees many who are muddled or mired down in a maze of “I don’t know what to do, or I don’t know how to do it,” and s/he needs guidance. Through the story, the writer shows how this character faced a similar challenge and the results of the way s/he handled it. This worked, this didn’t, and why.
Writers explore their truths, meaning, the truth about someone or something as s/he sees it, for a purpose. To entertain, to inform, to guide, to share. Regardless of what you do, shouldn’t something that requires so much from you in life be important to you? And anything that is truly important enough to sacrifice to complete—writing always requires the sacrifice of more than just time—then what is strong enough to make it worth doing? Love.
Love infuses the work with compassion. We write with passion, but also with compassion. Love is responsible. It looks for truth and honesty to share with the reader. It forces us to be fair, to play fair, to offer something.
Let me give you an example. I often write big suspense books, often with a military theme, or terrorist activity. The purpose is awareness and constructive coping in a world that wasn’t a part of our lives much before 2001 when it blasted in our faces and we had a lot to learn quickly. I started writing these types of books in 1994, began publishing them in 1995. The vision on our horizon was clear to me, and I studied and researched and worried and wrote . . . and wrote.
Yet my latest release is a sweet romance, My Imperfect Valentine . Why?
Purpose. Once again.
Today a lot of students are graduating with bleak job prospects. Or they graduate knowing exactly what they want to do, but can’t get funding to take the risks, jump in and do them. Many are torn between doing what their parents think they should do and what their hearts and minds want them to do. Do they take the advice? Follow their own dreams? How does this stop being a battle of wills without alienation from their families?
In the story, I have a young woman who graduated two years ago, took out a loan from her mother, and started her dream: a card shop. It’s struggling, as new businesses do. And Amanda fears her business is going to fail. That instills fear, shame and resentment because she’ll have to endure all those “I told you so” remarks. Can she trust her own judgment? She isn’t sure.
And that uncertainty carries over into her relationships. Her mother is shoving Bradley at Amanda. He’s suitable in her mother’s eyes and offers security. But he doesn’t touch Amanda emotionally. Jonathan, an illustrator she’s never met beyond email and text messages, touches all her emotions. (She writes the verses for their cards, he illustrates them.) But how does he feel about her? She has no idea.
And then comes Max, the nephew of a customer who encourages Amanda to follow her heart. He bombards Amanda’s emotions, but he has secrets he won’t share.
A woman coming into her own, trying to make her way and find her feet in the world, doubting her own judgment is reliable. A woman with three men in her life and no perfect man for her. . . except one of them is perfect for her. But which one?
Sound familiar? That being torn and unsure and questioning yourself?
That’s why I wrote this story. Because so many are floundering yet trying so hard to build good lives and make wise choices. They need to know that we all struggle with decisions and trusting ourselves at times. That we all must take huge risks—in our careers and with our emotions. That sometimes it’s going to work out, and sometimes it’s not. And often it won’t work out as we expected . . . it’ll be even better.
One thing I can tell you. In over two decades of writing, not once, have I heard any writer say they were writing for the money. Yes, writers want and need money to live as much as everyone else. But money has never been cited to me as the primary reason a writer picks up a pen. Why?
Money alone is never enough. Not for a content life. We all, including writers, need more. Contentment is found in quality of life, in purpose.
So that’s why we write the books we write, from my perspective. Other writers will have different perspectives that include their own personal experiences and motivators and purposes.
Regardless of what you do in life, you have triggers and motivators and purposes for doing what you do the way you do it, and even for when you do it. Do you know what they are?
That’s important. Because in those answers for you, you will find recognition and awareness of purpose and your path, and from it, you can pull the determination and fortitude you need for the courage to follow your dreams and have the heart and conviction to make your dreams your reality.
Because this is vital to your contentment and sense of fulfillment in your life, I leave you with this question: Why do you do what you do?
Take time to answer it. Please. It’ll energize you. Rejuvenate you. And clear a lot of your own confusion that keeps you wrestling with your decisions.
 Vicki Hinze, Why We Write the Books We Write, On Writing,
© 2015
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Published on January 20, 2015 05:11 • 2 views

January 15, 2015

Vicki Hinze, My Kitchen Table Blog I don’t care how long you’ve been writing, or how many books you have released, there’s always an electricity in the air on the day a new book is released.  Okay, so part of it is elation, and part of it is anxiety, hoping readers will receive it with the same enthusiasm you release.  Either way, it’s a day of seeing another segment of your writing dream realized.  I thank readers for that.  Readers and mentors and publishers and all who have helped me in the pursuit of this dream, and I’m thankful all of you are here to share it.

I first wrote this story as a novella a long time ago and St. Martin’s Press published it in an anthology with two other stories.  Now, it’s been rewritten and is on its own.  That increases the anxiety a little, but bless my BETA Readers, because their reactions have come in and have been extremely positive and, as always, helpful.

I do hope you’ll enjoy the story!  Here’s a little more about it:

Vicki Hinze, Contemporary Romance, Valentine's Day Romance, New Adult Romance, Holiday Fiction, Bestselling Romance

Contemporary Romance
New Adult Romance
Clean Read

New small business owner Amanda Jensen is living her dream—and struggling to keep it alive. Struggling to save her fledgling business, to find her feet and place in the world, to trust her own judgment in a battle of wills with her mother, who is trying to push Amanda into marrying a man she doesn’t love.

On the verge of losing everything—her business, her home, her confidence—Amanda seeks the help of the one person she trusts: a bag lady who has stolen “baubles” from her shop since its grand opening. A bad situation gets worse as Amanda finds her heart torn between an illustrator she’s never met and the bag lady’s nephew. But no one is who they say or seem, confusing Amanda even more. Challenges escalate and the night of the Secret Admirer’s Valentine’s Day ball pandamonium strikes.

When the dust settles, will Amanda or her mother win the battle for Amanda’s future? Will her dream business succeed or fail? And which man—mom’s choice, the illustrator, or the bag lady’s nephew—will win Amanda’s heart? Who will she call My Imperfect Valentine?


My Imperfect Valentine is available in digital formats at the following retailers:


beyond the misty shore, vicki hinze nook Download_on_iBooks_Badge_US-UK_110x40_090513 Kobo78x30

To celebrate the release of MY IMPERFECT VALENTINE, Vicki is giving away a new Kindle Paperwhite.  Winner randomly drawn on Valentine’s Day.



Vicki Hinze, contest, giveaway, raffle, kindle paperwhite

For details to enter, visit:




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Published on January 15, 2015 07:46 • 2 views

January 14, 2015

Less Than Creative
Vicki Hinze

Vicki Hinze, My Kitchen Table Blog
It’s January. A time of new beginnings, new opportunities, increased focused–the time to enact plans and move mountains. It’s time to soar.


But sometimes we’re just not capable of soaring, or moving mountains or even functioning. Sometimes we’re standing still and that’s just that.

Boy, has this fact come home to roost this year for me. Typically, I’m so busy in January that it passes in a blur and I find myself wondering where it went. I’m taking off in so many directions on so many fronts, doing all those things I’ve wanted and planned to do in the new year. I ordinarily love January even though I’m a summer person.  Give me a ballgame, a decent chair and a team to cheer for, and I’m a happy camper. But January is different.  Fresh starts, chances, it’s the time we begin or begin again and try new things. It’s exciting. And invigorating, filled with promise and hope.


But for me this January is different. The holidays are but a blur spent sick and in pain. And so they’ve come and gone without the usual joyful gatherings and traditions. Now it’s mid-January and I’m still doing a lot of business things I typically do before the end of the year, and I haven’t firmed up my plans and set them in concrete on paper yet.


I’m an organized person and these lacks could have me in knots, and yet they don’t.  I wondered why.  And I realized that I’m just so glad to be healing and grateful to be here that all the rest seems like small stuff that will sort itself out eventually.  I can’t muster unease or concern. Maybe I should.  I have a new book coming out in two days and I’m way behind on even letting anyone know it much less in doing the prep work I should do for that, too.  But I’m not concerned.


While I bend toward the philosophical in usual circumstances, I find myself bending lower and deeper into it right now.  Those who need the book will find the book.  Those interested will encounter. What needs to be done will get done and when it does will be soon enough.


I’m healing. Not healed. And I’m feeling less than creative. Does that give me a pass to not create?  Normally, I’d say no, it doesn’t. You do what common sense and medical advisors recommend, accept your limitations, and do what you can.  But today I’m at odds and need more.  A pass to not create? No. But a license to postpone creating.  That is acceptable.


When we sit down to create and we have nothing to say, we need that postponement.


When we sit down to create and feel so raunchy we just want to get through it and be done, we need to postpone.


When we create and have zero patience and knock-off every character who crosses us the minute they cross us, we need to postpone.


For the work and for us.


So I’ve learned yet another lesson.  She who wrote an entire novel in the hospital has discovered sometimes it’s okay to be less than creative and to just not be creative. There’s plenty to do without inflicting my challenges onto the work.


It’s not procrastination. It’s not avoidance. It’s not lazy. It’s just a need for a little time to gain some strength, some perspective, some balance.


And so if you’re feeling less than creative, and it’s not any of the avoidance tactics we must nix through discipline, and you have a need to be less than creative for a bit, here’s your license.


Yes, the work will be waiting. No, no good fairy will jump in and do it for you. Yes, you’ll be off-schedule and further behind. But you won’t kill off all your characters in chapter one and destroy the story you’ve been planning for months.  Surely that counts for something, because whatever is making you feel less than creative shall pass.

It’s not a lifetime license, it’s a required time license, and when you’ve been less than creative for a time, your writer genes will rest and then rise up, ready to get with the program. The important thing is that when they do, you’re ready, too.



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Published on January 14, 2015 02:00 • 1 view

January 13, 2015



  Vicki Hinze, On Writing Blog
Vicki Hinze
Writers are like sponges. They soak up everything around them. What’s said, what’s left unsaid. What’s done, how it’s done, when it’s done, and they attribute motives to why it’s done.  On those motives, sometimes they are right, and sometimes they are wrong.


My point is that writers are not, by nature, indecisive people. By necessity, they can’t be. Because from the first glimmer of an idea, writers must make choices—and writers must continue to make choices constantly and continually, non-stop, throughout the course of a story or a book or an article.


Writers decide who and what goes in, who and what doesn’t, and why every word belongs (or doesn’t belong) on the page exactly where it appears on that page. They know that if space is given, it must be earned, and the more jobs every novel element included does, the more cache it earns. That cache is earned ink and novel space.


Writers know to kill off as many secondary characters as will die.  That it’s only the ones who refuse to die because they prove they’re essential to the story are permitted to live and occupy novel space.


Expressing ideas, thoughts, beliefs, opinions, attitudes, observations—all of these things and more make writing honestly essential. From the heart is a phrase commonly heard as is book of the heart.  Translated to non-writer speak, it means the writer is stripping off the veneer and party faces and boldly expressing the truth of the story as he or she sees it. Readers, of course, are free to agree or disagree, and they do.


That stripping away makes writing an occupation unsuitable for wimps, or for indecisive people.  Because every single thing disclosed within the pages the writer creates reveals who the writer is inside.  Yes, even revelations from those deep and dark places writers don’t like to visit much less talk about.


That writers do it—reveal those secret parts of themselves—whether they’re in the way they structure, craft characters, the themes they choose, their personal author themes, or in the setting details they incorporate or shy away from, writers reveal.  And that, simply put, takes courage.


As events unfolded in Paris, I thought about the courage of those writers. About the threats against them, which admittedly angered me. We tend not to think much about the freedom and liberties we enjoy until they’re threatened, but when they are, and when attempts are made to censor through intimidation, all writers take it personally.


What drove this home for me was a news clip of one of the writers killed.  In an earlier interview, he said he’d deliberately chosen not to have children because he knew he would be killed for what he wrote. This wasn’t his first death threat.  He lived with the courage of his convictions—that he would not be silenced.


There was a writer who knew the costs, deduced he would pay them, and chose to write his truth anyway.


Writers deliberately make themselves vulnerable—emotionally and physically. It takes courage to write without being under death threats. It takes more courage to write while under them. And, whether or not you personally appreciate the art created, we all should appreciate the courage required in those taking on the battle for freedom of expression.  It is not, you see, a battle fought for one man, or any one group, but for all, including all others who write.


Because when one writer folds, all writers lose. And when one writer stands, all writers win.


Regardless of what is written or who writes it, we aren’t all going to approve of or even like it. That’s a blessing really, because if we all did, we’d only need one writer. We are human beings. Diverse. Blessedly diverse, and richer for it.


Yet by virtue of calling ourselves writers, we share an obligation to protect the right to write what we choose, and we must have the courage to do it. With the freedom to do it comes the responsibility of never forgetting that this privilege has been earned and paid for in blood.

The privilege and responsibility, of course, extends beyond writers to all people. Saying what we think, choosing what we wish to do or to not do—all the freedoms we enjoy—weren’t gifts but fought for and won by men and women of courage.


The question now is one of retention. Will we continue in their courageous tradition to retain freedom? Accept our responsibility to it?


This is a question each of us must answer, and the time to answer it is now.




Vicki Hinze, My Imperfect Valentine, New Adult novels, Valentine's romance novels© 2014, Vicki Hinze. Hinze is the award-winning, USA Today bestselling author of nearly thirty novels in a variety of genres including, suspense, mystery, thriller, and romantic or faith-affirming thrillers. Her latest release is My Imperfect Valentine. She holds a MFA in Creative Writing and a Ph.D. in Philosophy, Theocentric Business and Ethics. Hinze’s online community: Facebook. Books. Twitter. Contact.

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Published on January 13, 2015 11:27 • 3 views