Tag Archives: writing

Halfway there.

On October 27, 2017, I read the following article by author Bob Bly.  (Mr. Bly gives full permission to reprint his articles as long as you give him credit.)

I recommend you read the article in its entirety.  Here it is (Actually, this is only part of the article. He swore at the beginning.  A lot of students read my work.  I removed the swear word):


Sometimes internet marketing is a pain.

You work hard on a product, launch it, and nobody is interested.

Now you have to salvage the product either by improving it or bundling it with other stuff.

Continue reading Halfway there.

Begin it.

The famous German writer, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said,

“Whatever you can do or dream you can,
begin it; boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”

I love that quote.  My favorite part of the quote lies right in the middle.

“Begin it.”

I believe that is the key.  Start.  Go.  Take action.  Begin.

It is my job to study Latin, to study Greek, and to write.  There are many, many days I don’t feel like doing any of the three.

For example, writing is hard.  Writing is a bit lonely.  It is easy to trick yourself into procrastination.  It is easy to lie to yourself.  “I just don’t feel like writing today.”

It doesn’t matter.  Who cares how I feel?

Some of my friends and some of my students see what I have done.  They want the same results.  They want to be geographically free.  They want to move overseas to study.  They want to provide for themselves by writing.

But, they forget that I spent 20 years in the classroom.  They forget that I spent 10 of those years getting up at 3, or 4 in the morning in order to study Latin.  They forget that for 20 years, I showed up, whether I felt like it or not.

If you want to be a writer, start writing.

Do not wait for inspiration.  Do not wait for motivation.  Do not wait for the muse.  Just start writing.

If it is your job to write, write.  If your job is something else, you do it … whether or not you are motivated.  You show up to work, and you do your job.

Also, don’t worry about the quality of your writing.  Just start writing. Write bad stuff.  Then, edit the bad stuff.

Remember two things.  First, you can’t edit what you haven’t written.  And, second, good writing happens when you edit.

And finally, remember this.  The time is going to pass anyway. I have dreamed of returning to England for a long time.  It took me 32 years.

Today, my family and I fly to Greece.  We are stopping in London for a day.  I never let the dream go.  In part, my writing brought me to this point.

Do you have a dream?  Copy Goethe’s quote.  Carry it around with you.  Read it.  Believe it.

Most of all, begin it.

“Whatever you can do or dream you can,
begin it; boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”

Have a happy Saturday!
Dwane Thomas

P.S.  I will not be responding to email, messages, or texts for the next several days.  I will be catching up next week.

Carry a journal.

As much as I like the digital tools available these days, there are some old technologies that I just can’t jettison.

I always carry four items when I leave home.  I take my keys, my wallet, my phone, and a small journal.

This is the journal.  I have been filling these little journals for years.  I number them.  40 so far.

I have been doing this for over 10 years.  Mostly, the journals are random collections of lists, reminders, ideas, and goals.  From time to time, I will also include inspirational quotes, or funny things my kids say.

I could do all of this digitally, of course.  However, there is one major benefit to the physical journals.  They provide a searchable record of my life.  At any point, I can grab a journal from my shelf and catch a glimpse into the history of my life, and the life of my family.

Our struggles, victories, ideas, and thoughts are all there.  They are easy to find.

I tend to lose things digitally.  I tend to forget things digitally.  I have tried all of the digital personal production tools.  Most of them are excellent.  I just find that I am more productive with a plain old physical list.  I keep these lists in my plain old journals.

I only wish I started doing this when I was younger.

Try it.  Start keeping a small journal.  You may find hours of enjoyment and inspiration in the years ahead as you look back on your life.

One more thing.  I prefer pocket-sized journals.  This makes it easy to keep one with me at all times.

You will find many options here: https://store.moleskine.com/usa/Notebooks/Journals/C3?lang=en-us

P.S.  I am leaving the country next Saturday.  I will certainly try to post a tip of the week while on the road.  But, I can’t guarantee it. If you don’t hear from me for a while… it isn’t because I don’t like you anymore.  🙂


Happy Saturday!

Dwane Thomas Tip of the Week – March 5, 2016

Find your happy place.

I don’t know how travel writers do it.

I just spent five weeks working from the road.  If I were to grade my performance, I would give myself a C -.  Maybe a D +.

I fell behind on emails, blogs, the word of the day, and new YouTube videos.

As I said, I do not know how travel writers do it.

During our travels, my family and I visited the Charles Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, California.

On the wall, near his re-created studio, was this quote:

I have the feeling that working in the same room is the only guarantee of keeping going.  Somehow, a change of scenery makes working more difficult, but sitting down in the same place each day turns on the creativity.”                                                                               – Charles M. Schulz

I think he is right.  I tried to work from the road… and failed miserably.

Now I am home and I am ready to get back to work.  For the next 8 months, or so, I will be working from the same room.  I hope that sitting down in the same place each day will turn on the creativity.

I suggest you do the same.  Find out where you love to work, and turn on the creativity!


How to write good.

This summer, I read The Loom of Language by Frederick Bodmer.

Years ago, I read Lingua Latina, by Hans Orberg.  I was discouraged with Latin and ready to quit.  Orberg’s book showed up at the right time.  Were it not for his book, I would not be a Latin teacher today. More about that another time.  I guess what I am trying to say is this: Lingua Latina had a profound effect.

For a long time, no other book has had the same effect on me.

Until this summer.

Continue reading How to write good.