"Have you thought about writing your family history, but found yourself stuck from the start? Writing a family narrative can be a daunting task, but Karen Jones Gowen found a way to bring her mother's story to life." (Homespun Magazine)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Learning and Doing

I love those two words. They mean you can accomplish almost anything you want if you learn how and then commit yourself to doing it. I could even be on Oprah if I learn the rules and do them. I could have my books in the local Costco warehouses if I wanted to. (I've learned the rules there, but I choose not to follow them, so it won't happen and I'm ok with that.) Same with Oprah-- I know what it would take and I don't want to pay the price.

Too often we think we CAN'T do something. What we really mean is we can't do it by OUR rules. My rules for getting on Oprah would be to do nothing much special and then Oprah calls me and offers me an all-expense-paid trip to Chicago to appear on her show and listen to her tell me how wonderful the book Farm Girl is and that all her fans must go right out and buy a copy.

Those would be my rules and clearly it won't happen. Also, my rules would involve me not having to talk at all because I would be petrified. So yes, I'd just sit there in a new outfit and red shoes and listen to Oprah wax poetic about how wonderful Farm Girl is. That's all. Those are my rules! Not going to happen. Because Oprah has her own rules for getting on her show, as well she should. She isn't a multi-million-dollar industry by accident.

Think about the things you want to do. Have you learned the rules? Are you operating by the rules at play or by your own rules? Because if you want to achieve the goal, you must DO as well as LEARN. You must play by the rules of the game at hand.

This last year I learned how social media works and I entered into the fray. (Just joined Twitter but not Facebook, no not ever!) I learned more about story structure and I'm doing it with my current work in progress. (Course my editor says my character-development is suffering but I can fix that.) I learned a few other things, too, but why bore you with my entire year in review lol?

What new things have you learned and done recently?


  1. I've learned how to sing harmony, something I've always wanted to do. I've learned social media, to some extent. Couldn't get the hang of Twitter, though. I kinda like Facebook - seems friendlier, but Twitter is supposed to be better for networking.

  2. Karen, I'm not on Facebook. 3 blogs and Twitter are enough for me. Oh and don't forget how you learned to lose weight and keep it off! Something I have learned but don't do. Here's my rules for losing weight: Putter around the house, drive everywhere, eat sugar daily in any form available, sit A LOT and in the summertime sometimes consume an entire watermelon while standing over the kitchen counter.

    Wonder why those rules aren't working for me to get into a smaller size pants lol?

  3. I'm learning to play by the rules, but only the ones I can live with. Good for you for knowing who you are and what you can and can't live with.

  4. I'm making a lot of connections, or you might say re-connections on Facebook. I just don't do all the Farmville sort of stuff. Maybe I'll get the hang of Twitter, but I'm not going to spend hours a day on it. One blog is time-consuming enough. I do want to write a few more books before I die!!

  5. Interesting post, Karen, so far this year I have entered the world of blogging and I have learnt a lot about writing and more importantly, writers, since I started.
    I can so visualise you on Oprah's sofa, keep the dream.

  6. I have learned that I have no ability to regulate my portion sizes. One serving of pasta is a platefull, regardless of the size of the plate. Will I take this newfound knowledge and loose 10 pounds? I haven´t yet decided. Recognizing that knowing and doing are two separate things is very empowering. It is now your choice to do or not to do.

  7. Karen,
    A new bit of original bling for you tomorrow at my place

  8. I learning to free myself and follow my path.
    The one I waited about 30 yrs ago and was talked out of! SO, I am going to get busy, produce some items and send them off to magazines and see if i
    get published. What is no, just another dare to
    try, try again! Be proud of what you have accomplished. We do have to follow some rules, but we have to do what is right for us! Red shoes... Nice!!!

  9. I'm not sure that CAN'T is always a bad thing to think. Over the past few years, along with learning not to blame myself, I've realised that there are things I'm never going to be able to do - things that are a lot more basic than getting on Oprah. And now that I've stopped trying to reach for them, I'm more content. ~Miriam

  10. I guess the blogging thing is my Learning and Doing. I've been ever hesitant simply because of its presumed popularity. I guess I have a persnickety streak about following the crowds.

    But I do enjoy writing and blogging, with a few constraints, provided that vehicle.

    Then again, I don't Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or do any of the social networking stuff. Not so much because of the crowds, but I just lack the desire.

    Thoughtful post...okay, made me think.

  11. I just learned that your blog is fun to look at. I would like to come back. Interesting stuff.

  12. I've learned that there are times when I seriously into Oprah, and other times when I can't stand the thought of watching the show. Hmm, I may be having slight strokes blocking the Oprah sensors in my brain. I have, however, included Oprah's magazine into my glossy pages addiction. Its an 'at will' thing.


I don't post very often, but if you leave a comment I'll know someone is out there reading. And then I will post more! Bwa ha ha!