TAYLOR’S TIPS for a more productive you…

Dear Friend,

Do you know that saying, “Can’t see the forest for the trees”?

It means that you are deeply involved in a situation, and perhaps focusing too much on individual details, and not enough on the situation as a whole.

And sometimes, as with what happened to me, it can be physically harmful:

I’m washing my face with a washcloth. I’m in a hurry, behind in my schedule for the day, and thinking about a project I’m working on. I bring the washcloth from my face down to my neck and then back up to the lower part of my face. I feel something scratchy, but I keep rubbing my face vigorously with the face cloth anyway. When I move the cloth away, I feel something drop down around my neck. It’s my necklace with a small one-inch gold cross. I look at my chin and see two scratches. One is three-quarters of an inch long and the other is a full inch. And they’re bleeding. Two bright red lines of blood stretch from just underneath my mouth on the left side toward the middle of my chin. 

What was I thinking?

Trouble was, I wasn’t. Thinking that is. I was in a hurry. And my mind wasn’t on the task at hand. Getting lost in my own thoughts was hazardous to my physical health.

Days later it still hurts when I wash my face. They’re still there, those pesky scratches, a reminder to pay attention to what I’m doing.

For me it was a wakeup call. I realized I had been so focused on my own world that I wasn’t paying any attention at all to the forest around me. A significant date had just passed and I missed it. A birthday card wasn’t sent because I forgot. What about being inattentive while driving? Have you ever missed an exit, almost ran a red light?

I don’t want to miss the special moments in life with a loved one because I’m caught up in a character’s latest tangled web, a plot point, or a turn of a page.

I don’t want to become so engrossed in my own world that I cause harm to myself again, or to others.

As I walk my path in life, I promise to look at those gorgeous trees sprouting up around me. They are my projects, my dreams. In fact, I will intently study them, admire them, bask in their glory and growth and work diligently. But I will not forget that even if I invest myself in that for a moment, there are bigger things God wants me to remember. The forest. The beautiful, ever-expansive, filled-with-opportunity forest. And it’s only when I take my eyes off the individual trees that I see it.

Thanks, God, for the reminder.

Happy writing and blessings on your work.

Follow your dreams…


Sunny Side Up: Inspiring Stories for Dog & Cat Lovers is done and can be found on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I’ve been working diligently on the dog book: Charlie Bear: What a Headstrong Rescue Dog Taught Me about Life, Love & Second Chances. It’s been a whirlwind of deadlines (for the manuscript, the back cover copy, the author bio, photos, cover copy, etc.).

SUNNY SIDE UP: Inspiring Stories for WOMEN and SUNNY SIDE UP: Inspiring Stories for TOUGH TIMES are available already, and so is the writer’s group book. And I’m working diligently on that third one, while keeping in mind the forest for the trees!

WOMEN on Kindle: http://amzn.to/tchBTI
WOMEN on Nook: http://bit.ly/uNwVSC

TOUGH TIMES on Kindle: http://amzn.to/oWyIIO
TOUGH TIMES on Nook: http://bit.ly/q7bNTG

If you have an e-reader–great. If not, you can still read e-books on your computer with Kindle for PC: http://amzn.to/dk8GIF

Also still available:
“The Complete Guide to Writers Groups That Work”
Kindle http://amzn.to/qDh28y
Nook http://bit.ly/qZTHIX
In Print through Amazon: http://amzn.to/n3wS5D

What’s Happening…

Drop me an email and let me know if you’re going to be at these wonderful events. I’d love to meet up with you there.

Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference March 30 – April 3, 2012. This premier conference has been geared for writers at all levels: freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior. Rachel, the conference director, has made it easy to find just the right classes to help you to better your craft. Come to Mount Hermon to meet, to learn, to refresh, to pray. http://mounthermon.org/adult/professionals/writers-conference 

Southern California’s BEST:

Antelope Valley Writers’ Conference May 4-5, 2012  Put this one on your calendar and plan to attend. Learn more than you thought possible about the writing world, mingle with others who share your passion, come away rejuvenated and refreshed. Join us. www.avwriters.com

Orange County Christian Writers Conference May 18-20, 2012 This conference has tons of learning opportunities, from intensive workshops, faculty panels, dining with faculty, consultations with those in-the-know, and much, much more. You get to meet these people up close and personal. They’ll share with you their knowledge and expertise. Come with an open mind and learn, learn, learn. www.occwf.org

Blog: www.bjtaylorblog.wordpress.com 
Website: www.bjtayloronline.com

The Forest for the Trees

10 thoughts on “The Forest for the Trees

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  • February 17, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    Hi B.J.; So glad the scratches were not bad and are healing nicely, but have a comment i’d like for you to clarify for me!! I am wondering who the one was that was scratched; the one in the photo, hubby, you or who? surely was not Charlie Bear and the article read like you and the photo resembles a man!! so i am wondering. Please don’t be angry for thinking this way but like to have things i see clarified when i can..
    When i can get my Kindle revived(it died,[ i let the battery die]) i have re-charged the battery but it now tells me i need to connect to “Wireless WI FY”, but i cannot manage to do that, do you or some of your ‘Tech’ friends think you could send me an email with instructions on how to do that?? The kindle instructions are not specific enough for some reason.. i plan on downloading some of the books you have out , especially the “Charlie Bear” ones also some of the others also. I am so far behind in reading until i do not know if ever will catch up or not. Take care of those scratches now and do not let them become infected. Hugs & kisses from us, Beaugie, Piper & Alice; and above all else “Just Take Care.”

    • February 18, 2012 at 6:56 am

      Dear Honey Do,

      Oh, my. That man’s picture! He’s the only representation of a person with scratches on their face that I could find! Sorry for the confusion. It was definitely me that was scratched, but I didn’t take pictures. : (

      Ahhhh….dreaded Kindle issues. Those things are supposed to be simiple, but, drat, they often aren’t. I still don’t know how to do certain things with mine. Maybe google “kindle wireless wi/fi” and see what comes up? Wish I could help you more.

      I supposed while you are not reading as much, the furbabies are keeping you company. Say hi to Beaugie, Piper and Alice from me and Charlie Bear.


  • February 17, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    Oh, my, what a wonderful reminder and it was a CROSS that made you stop and think. Hmmm. Isn’t He good. Hope you’re healed and looking back a little and forward a lot, BJ. I’m trying to stay calm as the furniture arrives tomorrow and the boxes next week…also need to keep my mind focused on what will be when it’s all in place rather than the drudgery of getting it there!
    Best, Roomie

    • February 18, 2012 at 6:53 am


      Yes, the fact that it was a gold cross was not lost on me. I am healed now, but have not forgotten the lesson.

      Best wishes as your furniture arrives and boxes too. It will be like getting presents every time they open the door and bring in another one! Enjoy!

      Hugs & love,

  • February 17, 2012 at 8:57 am

    Thanks, BJ. i needed this today, as well, and quickly sent off a message to a friend of mine whose birthday is today and won’t get a card from me today. i also mentioned Charlie Bear’s ‘novel’ as my very favorite on an a blog yesterday, hahaha

    • February 18, 2012 at 6:51 am


      Love that you mentioned Charlie Bear’s book! I can’t wait until it comes out. We’re in the final stages of completion. It’s exciting.

      Have a great weekend!

    • February 18, 2012 at 6:50 am

      Glad you were touched by it. My pleasure, indeed.
      Hugs & love,


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