Tuesday, April 23, 2013


I don't know about you, but I am a student of quotes. There is so much wisdom we can learn from reading what other people have said. As a writer I am reminded of a classic quote by Louis Armstrong, "You can say what you want on a slide trombone, but you've got to be careful with words. The simplicity of this quote says it all. Words are powerful They can help. They can hurt. I originally saw this quote beautifully framed in the office of my mentor, Erik Isgrig, at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Speaking of mentors, even though I have several mentees, wouldn't it be wonderful to have a mentor today.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

It's All Abouit Marketing

There are so many excellent books that are written that die on nthe vine. Why? Because of lack of marketing. This is especially true of most self published books. This is the first in an series of blogs that will address the complicated world of marketing your book.

The first step is to determine your messaging. What are the three most important things you want to say about your book? This isn't as easy as it sounds. If you like, send me your initial thoughts on the messaging for the book you've just completed or are currently working on. Also include the hight concept. Define in one or two sentences what the book is about. My email address is terrencebrejla@gmail.com.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Say It!

There's one nifty little trick that many writers use but most writers forget to do. It's quite simple. read your work aloud. I have mentee who never met  comma she didn't like. She started reading nher work aloud and magically all the commas fell into the right place. if a comma is in the wrong place it wilkl become painfully apparent when you read it aloud. This is very simkple but true.

Good luvk with your writing.

Terrence Brejla

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Satchmo on Writing

"You can say what you want on a slide trombone, but you've got to be careful with words."
                                                                               Louis Armstrong


Friday, July 27, 2012

Enough is Enough

One challenge facing most writers is how to detrmine if a short story, Poem, or book is done. You hear the same from artists and scultors as well. Show your work to another person. If you have a Beta reader solicit their thoughts, Remember, if one oersoin says you need more material to make it a good mbook, it's only the opinion of one person, Get the opinion of someone else before you decide whther or not it's time tio go on to the next project. If you do, don't look back.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The 12 Most Important Things I've Learned So Far

I am currently going through a lot in my life. Things are really good. Some are not so good. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I have learned in my life so far that really matters. Here’s a first pass.

1.      The more we know about ourselves, the more power we have to behave better.  Humility is underrated. We each have an infinite capacity for self-deception-countless unconscious ways of protecting ourselves from pain, uncertainty, and responsibility, all at the expense of others and ourselves. Endless introspection can turn into self-indulgence, but deepening self-awareness is essential to freeing ourselves from our reactive, habitual behaviors.

2.     Notice the good. We each carry an evolutionary predisposition to dwell on what’s wrong in our lives. The antidote is to take time each day to notice, and to feel grateful for what we’ve got. It’s probably a lot.

3.     Let go of certainty. The opposite isn’t uncertainty. It’s openness, curiosity, and a willingness to accept paradox rather than choose up sides. The ultimate challenge is to accept ourselves exactly the way we are, but never stop trying to learn and grow.

4.     Never seek your value at the expense of someone else’s. Devaluing the person who made you feel bad will only prompt more of the same in return.

5.     Do the most important thing first in the morning and you’ll never have an unproductive day. Most of us have the highest level of energy first thing in the morning and with the fewest distractions. By focusing for a designated period of time, without interruption, on the highest value task for no more than 90 minutes, it’s possible to get an extraordinary amount of work accomplished in a short time.

6.     It’s possible to get excellent at anything, but nothing valuable comes easy and discomfort is part of the growth. Getting better at something depends far less on inborn talent than it does on the willingness to practice the activity over and over, and to seek out regular feedback, the more precise the better.

7.     The more activities you intentionally make automatic, the more you will get done. If you have to think about doing something each time you do it, you probably won’t do it for very long. The trick is to get more things done using less energy and conscious self-control.

8.     Slow down. Speed is the enemy of everything in life that really matters. It’s addictive and undermines quality, compassion, depth, creativity, appreciation, and real relationships.

9.     The feeling of having enough is magical. It rarely depends on how much you’ve got. More is rarely better. Too much of anything becomes toxic.

10.                        Do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do. Your values are one thing you’ve got that no-one can take away from you. Doing the right thing may not always get you what you want in the moment, but it will always leave you feeling better about yourself in the long run.  When in doubt, default to calm and kind.

11.                        Add more value to the world than you are using up. We spend down the world’s resources each day. Life’s challenge is to put more back into the world than we take out.

12.                        Savor each moment, even the little ones.  It all goes by too fast.

Friday, January 20, 2012

How do you pronounce "Brejla?"

I h Ave been getting a lot of mail lately asking how to pronounce my last name. It is Prounounced "Brejla." The j is silent. It's a Czech name that means Eye glasses. A geek in the Czech Repub Lic is frequently referred To qsnanbrejla." Now you know. Terrence Brejla