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Career Coach: Seconds Please

As the year comes to an end, Pamela reflects about the need to be happy in all the things you do

By Pamela Kleibrink Thompson

It’s the end of another year.  How will you celebrate?  The comedian Brian Regan points out that many people go crazy filling the air with yelps and hollers and joyful noise and fireworks to celebrate the one second when the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve.  As Regan puts it, “Can you imagine if somebody knew how to celebrate every second of their life with that kind of zeal?”

That got me thinking about how I spend the seconds of my life.  Am I celebrating every moment?  Living as many seconds as I can with zeal?  Are you?  Are you spending your time doing something that fills you with joy?

As we enter the holiday season, take a few seconds to reflect on things you enjoy.

Do you revel in the fabulous novella of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, A Ghost Story of Christmas? Do you like sharing the story of How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss or Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric A. Kimmel?  Do you like writing your own holiday stories? Do you like making homemade cards that show off some of your art skills? Do you observe holiday traditions like making  cookies?  Share what you enjoy with someone you love, if not in person then maybe via Zoom.

What makes you happy?  Resolve to do more of those things in 2021.

It’s true that we may not have the energy to revel in every second of our lives, but we can certainly muster enthusiasm and a positive attitude in everything we do.  Years ago I traveled to Hays, Kansas, and met a woman who had as much sparkle in her eyes as the antique crystal chandelier she polished in the restaurant where we ate lunch.  She knew all about the history of that chandelier and took pride in her work.  Do you have the same passion in your daily tasks?  Or do you view it as drudgery? 

The attitude is up to you.  As you go about your day, be joyful, just because you get to work towards your dreams and you are alive.  Do everything with passion and zeal.  You’ll be amazed at how enthusiastic you’ll feel.  And you’ll be surprised at how many more seconds are truly worth celebrating

Pamela Kleibrink Thompson is a creative career coach specializing in helping writers succeed.  She is a freelance writer with bylines in more than 124 different publications. She also recruits for companies in visual effects, animation, games and design.  She speaks at schools and conferences about how to create a career you love.  To reach her for private personalized career coaching, recruiting or speaking engagements, email PamRecruit87@gmail.com.

Applying the Stanislavski Method to your Writing
by Pamela Kleibrink Thompson, Creative Career Coach

I've had numerous jobs in my life and one of them was as a reader at NBC. I was the first person to read scripts and novels for the development department. My job was to assess whether the story and characters were worth developing into productions.

One of the biggest problems with any story, whether for television, film or print, and regardless of the length, is that of a writer including extraneous characters. One way to avoid this is to apply the Stanislavski method to your writing. Konstantin Stanislavski developed a method to train actors to create believable characters.

Stanislavski’s Seven Questions     

  1. Who am I? Start with the basics and then fill in the gaps with your imagination
  2. Where am I?
  3. What time is it?
  4. What do I want?
  5. Why do I want it?
  6. How will I get what I want?
  7. What must I overcome to get what I want?

Who am I?
This question reveals the evident nature of a character at the beginning of the story.  Other characteristics will be revealed during the course of the story, but this is where we start.

Where am I?  What time is it?
This is the context in which the character exists.

What do I want?  Why do I want it?  How will I get it?
This is what drives or motivates the character--a goal and the means by which the character intends to achieve it.

What must I overcome to get it?
The obstacles that prevent a character from reaching a goal are what provide conflict in the story.

If the writer cannot answer these questions, the character is probably unnecessary or needs to be more fully developed.

Pamela Kleibrink Thompson is a career coach specializing in helping creative people. You can reach her at PamRecruit87@gmail.com  

Career Coach: In Praise of Thanks
by Pamela Kleibrink Thompson

"Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die, so, let us all be thankful." — Buddha

In November it’s a tradition to celebrate Thanksgiving in the United States. In other countries Thanksgiving is celebrated at other times of the year. I’ve written about giving thanks before and it’s worth repeating. Not enough people say thanks. And most don’t give thanks often enough.

This Thanksgiving count your blessings, not your calories.

Wherever you live, there is much to be thankful for. Make a list of your blessings.  Here are a few things I’m thankful for:

  • My husband and daughter.
  • My dad and sister.
  • Health for myself and those I care about.
  • Organizations like the Idaho Writers Guild who provide a community of support.
  • My readers, those who follow me on Twitter (PamRecruit), and those who are friends on Facebook or connected with me on Linkedin.
  • Teachers in my past like Emma Gilmetti, who gave up her lunch hour during my senior year in high school so I could learn French; Charles Grande who showed me he cared and wanted to learn from me; and Carole Scambray, who tried to teach me the importance of deadlines, though at that time I didn’t appreciate getting a B instead of an A because I turned my paper in late.
  • My daughter’s teachers, like Matthew Schroeder, who inspired her and motivated her to get up super early for school. Her first class, U.S. History, started at zero hour (6:50 am).
  • Friends who encourage and support me.
  • My career coaching and recruiting clients.
  • Blue skies and changing leaves.
  • Colleges and art schools that have allowed me to share my experience with their students.
  • Freedom to choose who to vote for.
  • Those who worked hard for women's suffrage.

Another American holiday in November is Veteran’s Day. I want to thank all those who have served and are serving the cause of freedom. Their families deserve thanks as well.

What is on your list? Who is on your list?

Take the time this month and all year to give thanks to those who help or support you, whether it’s a family member, friend or colleague. If you have a job, thank your boss for hiring you, and taking the risk of running a business. If you are a business owner, thank your clients and vendors for helping you to stay in business. If you are a boss, thank your employees for their contributions to your business and for their efforts.

The right words can give someone a lift. There’s nothing more powerful than a sincere compliment.

Being grateful can have a powerful impact on your life. Studies have shown that grateful people are happier and enjoy better health. In her book, Thank You Power: Making the Science of Gratitude Work for You, Deborah Norville writes, "Practicing gratitude, acknowledging the blessings in your life, and making it a point to recognize those good things, will positively change your life. You will be happier, healthier, and better able to handle the stresses of daily life simply by saying thank you."

Make appreciation a regular daily habit all year and you’ll notice a difference in your life as you affect others around you. More praise can make a world of difference and can make a different world.

Resources: Thank You Power: Making the Science of Gratitude Work for You by Deborah Norville, published by Thomas Nelson, 2007.

Pamela Kleibrink Thompson wants to give thanks to the many people in her life who are making a difference simply by being positive. She is a recruiter and career coach for creative people  and speaks at colleges and conferences. You can reach Pamela at PamRecruit87@gmail.com

Go to the NEWS ARCHIVE to find these past articles:

Career Coach: Declaration of Independence

Graduate to a Good Life--Fatherly Advice and Wisdom, by Pamela Kleibrink Thompson

Willamette Writers 2020 Conference is Going Entirely Online

Career Coach: My Mother's Five Commandments, by Pamela Kleibrink Thompson

Titles for Title 1

Thanks to the sponsors of the Idaho Writers Guild

 Rediscovered BookshopMill Park Publishing



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