B.J. here. Charlie Bear is snuggled in bed this crisp September morning.


Not me. I have something to ask you. Have you ever wanted something so much that you just couldn’t give up?

I started writing when I was 40-something, not really a youngun, but not old either. I had an overriding goal: I wanted to write for Guideposts magazine. In 1996 I submitted a story to the Writers Workshop Contest. They run the contest every other year. In 1998 I submitted again. In 2000 and 2002 I sent my story in again.


I could have ducked under a desk and felt unworthy, hid my face from relatives and friends who asked, “How’s the writing going?”, even railed at the editors for not choosing me. Nope. I reworked that story every contest year and submitted it again.

In 2004 I was chosen as a winner of one of the 15 coveted spots and was brought to Rye, New York for a week to learn all I could about how to write stories for Guideposts.

Have you ever wanted to give up? There have been times in my life when I’ve wanted to. But when I have a burning desire, a goal that I want to achieve with all my heart, and the reasons are right and pure, I am tenacious and determined.


How many of you submitted this year to the Guideposts Writers Workshop Contest? How many of you won a coveted spot? You did? FANTASTIC! You didn’t? THAT’S OKAY…try and try again.

You can check out this blogspot piece I wrote in 2010 for some tips for your next submission (copy and paste into your browser to view):


And keep in mind what Zig Ziglar says:

“It’s a simple truth–anything you do involves risk.
To try is definitely to risk failure, but what is our alternative?
Don’t be afraid to reach for your dreams.”

I’d like to keep you in my prayers. Let me know if you entered the contest and won a spot this year or you’ll be entering again in 2018. Because you’re not giving up, right?

Warm hugs and best wishes,



Have you ever tried…one more time…and won?
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