Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Guest blog post from Zee Monodee, Discipline and Success

Good morning, dear readers. Today I have special guest Zee Monodee talking about how to have it all. Bottom line: you have to want it bad enough. Zee is a great example of never giving up, never surrendering. A woman after my own heart. :)

Hello everyone; my name is Zee Monodee. I am a wife, a mother, a stepmother, a writer, an editor, a critique partner, and I also dabble as a cover artist. Seven years ago, I was diagnosed with malignant breast cancer, a disease that tried to make a comeback some two years ago. I turned twenty-nine this year, and amidst all these roles and setbacks, I have studied eight years through distance learning to earn my bachelors’ degree in communications science.

No, I’m not superwoman; I’m not a heroine; I’m not “brave” or whatever else comes to your mind when you hear the word “cancer.” I’m just a woman, just like you women reading this – and I’m a human being with dreams and wishes and issues and problems, just like everyone else.

In the past seven years, since I started writing, I have completed eight full-length manuscripts and two short stories. I’ve handled countless other manuscripts as a freelance editor (and one-time when I worked as a senior editor and assistant to the editor-in-chief at an epublishing house). Oh, and did I mention I am also a voracious reader who devours some twenty-five to thirty novels a month?

No, too – there aren’t enough hours in a day; I make do with the same twenty-four hours we all get. And yes, since my body took such a blow with cancer twice, I need the sleep. Seven to eight hours a night, otherwise the residual fatigue from the chemo drugs and the radiation treatments can leave me sluggish.

Why am I telling you all this?

Because everyone asks me how I can get all that done. My answer is - how can I not?

You see, there is one little thing we all seem to forget about in this time and age of instant gratification and non-existent patience – it’s called discipline!

Remember when you were a kid, and when you wanted to play when it was time to head to school, your mother would tell you that “there’s a time and a place for everything”? Well, guess what – your adult life is not any different. You are the one responsible for everything you do and don’t do...and discipline helps you get there.

I’m not speaking of a rod and cane type of discipline here. My point is – you owe yourself this dedication, once you decide what you wish to be in your life. When my first marriage crumbled, I vowed that if I ever got married again, I wouldn’t let distance worm its way into my couple once more. When I met this man who came with a three-year-old son in the bargain, I vowed I would not be an evil stepmother who resents that kid for taking some of my man’s time. When I found out I was pregnant, I vowed to be a good mother to this child, never mind that I was certain I would be an imperfect mother at the best of times, and a totally incompetent one at some points. When I started the distance learning program to earn my degree, I vowed I would pass every one of these thirty papers on the first try. When I started writing, I did it with the aim of being published, of being more than a flash in the pan with one pubbed book and endless unfinished manuscripts.

All of what I highlighted above happened in the scope of three years. Yes, I tripped, and fell, and bruised myself and got the scraped knees to prove all that. I wasn’t a success immediately – it took a lot of trial and error to find the “right” spot. I worked out schedules, rolled out routine after routine to find some semblance of order in the chaos. But none of that worked... especially not when I didn’t have the discipline to put myself into one of those roles’ shoes and be what I vowed to be.

It is so tempting to make excuses! Trust me – I know that temptation, and I fall prey to it often. But I also know if I don’t do it (whatever “it” turns out to be at that moment), no one will get it done for me. Nobody would study and pass my exams for me; nobody would bring up my son and then hand him to me on a platter and go, “here’s your boy all reared up”; no one would hand me a coupon that says “happy marriage for 1 month” and tell me to cash it in on the first day of every month; nobody would write the stories I desired to write, and that my publishers were waiting for, if I didn’t write them myself.

So I discipline myself. My day is spread out in such a way that I can dedicate a piece of me to every role I have to play. There’s a time and a place for me to be everything I have to be – when my son is at school and my husband at work, I am the writer that writes. When my boy – and his brother – gets home from school, I am the mum and stepmum they drive crazy with their too-loud videogames and endless fights. When my husband gets home, I am still the mum but that goes a little in the background, because I am then the woman that this man desired to make his wife and with whom he’s wanted to spend the rest of his life (poor soul... I know, I feel for him too...).

Without this discipline, I know I would be at my computer all day – writing, surfing the web, helping other writers with crits and beta-reading feedback, taking on freelance editing jobs often to help my fellow editing crew and take a load off their shoulders. Believe me – I came close to losing it all at one point. I was working as the senior editor/assistant to the editor-in-chief/right-hand woman/ jack of all trades/*insert whatever job had to be done at the pub house here*... and work was twenty-four hours, seven days a week of my existence. I didn’t realize – until it was nearly too late – that discipline is what I owed myself, and what I owed the people in my life.

You, too, reading this, are a writer and a spouse/parent/friend/daughter or son/employee. None of us is just one thing without being another. If this is your reason for not going out to chase your dream, then stop hiding behind this smokescreen – you can do it all... as long as you stay true to yourself!

Zee Monodee
Stories about love, life, relationships... in a melting-pot of culture
Zee is an author who grew up on a fence - on one side there was modernity and the global world, on the other there was culture and traditions. Putting up with the culture for half of her life, one day she decided she'd stand tall on her wall and dip toes every now and then into both sides of her non-conventional upbringing.
From this resolution spanned a world of adaptation and learning to live on said wall. The realization also came that many other young women of the world were on their own fence.
This particular position became her favorite when she decided to pursue her lifelong dream of writing - her heroines all sit 'on a fence', whether cultural or societal, in today's world or in times past, and face dilemmas about life and love.
Hailing from the multicultural island of Mauritius, Zee is a degree holder in Communications Science. She is married, mum to a tween son, & stepmum to a teenage lad.

Check out Zee’s latest release in the Corpus Brides romantic suspense/espionage series, out with Noble Romance Publishing.

Before The Morning
. . . is a time of great darkness. . .

A trained killer with borderline sociopathic tendencies:
Rayne Cheltham traced out her life's path when she was twelve: she would marry her best friend and bear his children, and in the process, stifle the restless edge in her. When he vows never to marry, she gives in to the darkness and becomes a clandestine agent—until the day he walks into her world again, and her carefully fabricated façade crumbles.

A former cop burned by life and his personal demons:
When Ash Gilfoy meets a woman who reminds him of his childhood best friend, he starts upon a path that leads him down into an abyss once again. The day Rayne waltzes back into his life, he knows she is his second chance, and the one who will save him.

Each thinks the other is their redemption . . . until they discover how deep the other's edge of darkness goes
No one knows Rayne used to be a spy and an assassin, and no one knows why Ash left the police force. The secrets between them make them sit on a keg of gunpowder with a lit fuse in their hands. Neither knows what 'normal' means now, especially Rayne, whose whole life is built on a lie. Truth is threatening to explode in their faces, and that is not the only menace they have to face. Someone is out to get Rayne, and she must disclose her past before it is too late.

Can Rayne and Ash survive all that's thrown in their path? Can they hang on to the last thread of their relationship, and can they emerge, still together and still alive, in the morning after the deepest darkness?

Watch the book’s trailer at and grab the book at this address

And check out Zee’s other works:

WALKING THE EDGE (Corpus Brides: Book 1): Currently FREE - A romantic suspense novel, wherein an amnesiac woman is on the quest for her forgotten memory... Escape from London all the way to Marseille, France, and discover the secrets, deceit, danger, & the powerful love, she uncovers during her search!

CALLING HOME (A Destiny's Child Book): A heart-warming romantic tale of a cold and reserved forensic pathologist, the riotous tween that lands into her life, the chaos of motherhood... and the prospect of love, with the handsome (and much younger!) village doctor next door!
ONCE UPON A STORMY NIGHT (1NightStand): On the paradise island of Mauritius, British billionaire Lars Rutherford isn’t looking for a woman, & corporate law executive Simmi Moyer isn’t looking for a man. But when a matchmaker pairs them together on a blind date, both face open doors towards a future they refused to contemplate... until now.

Contact Links:

Facebook & Goodreads: Zee Monodee

Twitter: @ZeeMonodee


  1. Thanks for having me over, Siobhan! You're a darling! xoxo

  2. Zee what a great post!!! I applaud you for all you do. While i don't know what it's like to go thru cancer...i do have 4 kids, 3 of my own and a step daughter and most days, life just gets in the way but you are spot on...discipline. If i didn't carve out a time for me and writing along with all 4 kids at different times and a hubby whom I adore, I just wouldn't get it done. I know there are many many of us out there in the world but it sure is nice to hear a story of another every once in a while...thanks for that inspiration:)

    1. So it's not just me who's a stickler for discipline! LOL - lovely to find someone else sharing my perspective. And too right - if you don't carve out your time, you can be sure you won't get any! :)

  3. Wow Zee you are a champion! Thank you for sharing your inspiring story with us. I'm off to find my self discipline now ... I know it's here somewhere ...

    1. Lol, Amanda! I'm sure your self-discipline is there somewhere. Coax it out with some chocolate, maybe...? *grin* XOXO

  4. Hey Siobhan and Zee :)

    Thank you so much, Zee for such an inspiring post. I've bookmarked this page and will refer to it often!

    All your books sound absolutely wonderful!

    1. April, you're too sweet! Thanks, girlie! XOXO

  5. Great post, Zee. I'm trying to do it all, but some days it's harder than others as I'm sure you understand. All the best!


    1. Thanks Jessica! Lol, on most days, I wanna throw in the towel, and just go hide somewhere (preferably a spa!). XOXO

  6. Great post, thanks for sharing. It's nice to read the comments too, and know we are all in the same boat.

    1. Thanks Bellina! It heartened me to read the comments, too. We are indeed not alone! :) xoxo


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