"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
Information & inspiration to hone your craft and increase your cash...Since 2009

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Power of the Wizard of Oz and its Message for Today's Writers!

---Don't you carry nothing that might be a load. Ease on down, ease on down the road.”

Last week, I was delighted to discover that another version of the “Wiz” would air on T.V. for the holiday season. Like a kid, I awaited its arrival as eagerly as a visit from Santa.
Since its original release, (many moons ago), I’ve pretty much watched every adaptation, version, and variation of cast members and story line, of this American classic.
Decades later, as a fully-realized adult, I STILL find this tale magical, powerful, and transformative.
Though the plot revolves around a young girl named Dorothy from Kansas, who through a series of events, loses her way home and encounters different characters and adventures along her journey, the story’s universal messages apply whether you’re from an affluent suburb, or an urban neighborhood.
In fact, it doesn’t matter whether you’re eight years old, eighteen or eighty; it’s very likely that the “Oz” will speak to you on some level. Word! Particularly for those of us who “travel” this life as writers and “dreamers.”
Beyond the elaborate costumes, great sing-along songs, special effects, and entertainment value, here’s the “take-away” for today’s scribes…

1. We all lack courage sometimes, just like the Cowardly Lion.

“Feel the fear and do it anyway.” For writers, the fear may manifest itself in the form of public speaking, or blogging about a controversial topic, or pitching an agent for representation, or having our novel reviewed, or editors’ rejection. Writing makes us vulnerable on so many levels. But the rewards are far too great to let fear keep us from moving forward. “Ease on down the road.”

2. It’s okay to lose direction, like Dorothy.

Despite the detours and road blocks that most of us writers will encounter on the “road to success,” it’s important not to lose sight of our intended destination. Setting short and long-term goals can enhance our experience and serve as a navigational guide to help us go the distance.
Accordingly, here’s a great resource I recently discovered for setting goals for the year ahead:


3. Like the Tin Man, writers need real heart.

Contrary to popular opinion, good writing requires more than a proficiency with words and familiarity of basic grammar rules. If only it were that simple. Writing that resonates with readers, writing that makes a real difference, requires heart. It’s no coincidence that some of the most celebrated and popular song lyrics we enjoy on the radio, often reflect great pain, lost love, transparency, and internal struggle. Think Adele, Dolly Parton, Ray Charles, Michael Bolton.

4. “If I only had a brain,” the Scarecrow lamented.

Today’s scribe has got to have smarts too, to remain competitive, be strategic, provide an informed opinion, and remain profitable. Not to mention, to engage audiences from different educational levels, cultures, and socio-economic backgrounds. In fact, several famous writers are even reported to possess an I.Q. equivalent to “genius” status. George Eliot and screenwriter, Quentin Tarantino are among them. For optimal results, writers should always be well-read, resourceful and open to constant improvement. Did you know that our brains actually crave mental stimulation? Check out these interesting findings on the brain, courtesy of BeBrainfit.com.

5. Positive affirmations can help us to feel empowered and confident.

Dorothy needed only to repeat “There’s no place like home” several times and click her heels to access the “magic” that she already had. To achieve, conceive. Believe in you. And back it up with “self-speak” that is encouraging, consistent and uplifting to unleash your special gifts!

6. There is strength in numbers.

Dorothy was able to go further, and avoid potential danger, with the help and friendships established with The Tin Man, Scarecrow, and Cowardly Lion. As writers we are benefited from the connections, resources, and “back-having” relationships with other writers, blog readers, editors, and those in the creative community. If formed successfully, you never travel alone. Writing doesn't have to be an isolated, solitary journey. According to Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart: “ Individuals don’t win; teams do.”

So the next time you lack courage, lose heart, or seek direction in your writing journey, remember the magic of The Wizard of Oz and these timely tips.

“And don’t you carry nothing that might be a load, just ease on down the road.”




  1. Hi Jennifer - what a great post with the analogies towards the Wiz ... having the courage to move on is essential - not dwell on the might have beens, or the what ifs ... just “And don’t you carry nothing that might be a load, just ease on down the road.” Wonderful phrase ...

    Happy New Year and all the best in 2016 - cheers Hilary

    1. Hi Hilary,

      Lovely to hear from you on this. Thanks so much for taking the time to make a difference.
      I really appreciate your feedback. :-)

  2. I. Love. This. What a great set of thoughts to begin the new year with! Every point well taken and I'm goin' to be eazin' on down that road and coming back here often to get re-fueled. God bless your new year, Jennifer.

    1. Hi Jen, So refreshing to read this post at the start of our magical journey to follow the yellow brick road to wherever it leads in 2016...taking courage and a loving heart along the way with mindfulness of course! Thanks for the links too, going to cruise on over to the goal setting worksheet...happy New Year and personal success to you and all your readers, go well, flow well...Maribel.
      Ps Have you read the book by Jean Houston "The Wizard of Us" - well worth looking it up...and gonna get me some of those darn gorgeous red shoes to click any blues away!

    2. Sue,

      I hope you do. You're a welcome visitor here, and a valuable part of my community. Thanks for stopping by. :-)

    3. Hi Maribel,

      I think you'll really dig the worksheets; there are so many applications. Great having you along my journey here at Pen and Prosper, dear. Thanks much!

  3. I had no idea there were so many parallels! Appreciate the insight to kick off the new year. Thanks also for the links. Glad to be counted among Pen and Prosper's "numbers"! :)

  4. Glad you enjoyed, Karen! Happy New Year--wishing you abundance and joy! :-)

  5. Your analogies are spot on. I think the most important point is "back having" relationships with other writers. You are much appreciated!

    1. You are among my favorite followers, thanks Lin. :-)