4 Ways Writing Improves Your Relationship With Yourself by K.M. Weiland

I wanted to share something for writers & more importantly, for those who need a gentle push to start writing. This is perfect.    ❤ Sherrie

APRIL 20, 2020 by

4 Ways Writing Improves Your Relationship With Yourself

Writing—especially the writing of stories—is ultimately a relationship with oneself. It is true that we write to communicate with others. Perhaps that is even the foremost conscious motivation sometimes. But communication itself necessitates a relationship, and what we are trying to communicate is ourselves—that unfolding inner dialogue between the Self and the self, the observer and the observed, the unconscious and the conscious, the Muse and the Recorder.

You must have a relationship with your stories before your readers can, and really this is a relationship with yourself. In recognizing this, writing becomes both an investigative tool for getting to know yourself better and a vast playground for exploration and experimentation on a deeply personal level. Depth psychologist Jean Shinoda Bolen points out:

Creative work comes out of an intense and passionate involvement—almost as if with a lover, as one (the artist) interacts with the “other” to bring something new into being. This “other” may be a painting, a dance form, a musical composition, a sculpture, a poem or a manuscript, a new theory or invention, that for a time is all-absorbing and fascinating.

Particularly in this ongoing period of quarantine and isolation, it can be a tremendously rewarding process to use writing to improve your relationship with yourself. Whether you live alone right now or in a crowded house, the one person you cannot escape, the one person who will always be there for you, is you.

Too often, I think we underestimate this person and our relationship with him or her. We’d rather distract ourselves or hang with someone else because limiting beliefs lead us to think this most intimate of all relationships is too flawed, too painful, too shallow. Isn’t this why writing sometimes scares us so badly we can barely sit at the computer? It is also, I believe, why most of us come to the page in the first place: this person within has something to say and so long as this communication comes out in the form of fun and colorful stories, we are willing to sit still and listen in ways we are rarely willing to offer during the rest of life.

The more we learn to listen to the self that appears on the page, the more we will become conscious of the things we are truly desiring to communicate—both to ourselves and eventually to readers. Writing becomes not just distraction, entertainment, or vocation—it becomes an ever-deepening relationship with life itself.

4 Ways Writing Improves Your Relationship With Yourself

Today, I want to talk about several ways in which our writing reveals itself as a relationship with ourselves—and how we can embrace and deepen our approaches to this magnificent form of self-exploration and self-expression.

1. Dreams, the Shadow, and the Unconscious

How can one not dream while writing? It is the pen which dreams. The blank page gives the right to dream.–Gaston Bachelard

From Where You Dream Robert Olen Butler

I don’t know about you, but my actual night dreams are all but useless as story material. They’re an evocative smear of rehashed memories and crazy symbolism. My dream journal, although sometimes revealing, is usually more amusing than anything. More easily interpreted are the revelations I discover in my stories. Even more than my actual writing, my ability to consciously enter what I (and Robert Olen Butler) call the “dreamzone” is a mainline to my unconscious.

Your stories are “out loud” dreams. Even though you may exercise nominal control over their subject and direction, the best of them are effortless blasts of imagery and feeling straight up from your depths. Once your body of work is large enough for you to start recognizing patterns and cross-referencing them with the happenings of your own life, you will be able to mine your stories for some of your inner self’s deepest treasures.

It surprises me that more depth psychologists don’t reference and analyze stories in the same way they do dreams. Although I have always known my stories must offer an unwitting commentary about myself, it wasn’t until the last few years that I began to be able to recognize some unintended, occasionally even prescient, parallels between the things I was writing at a given time and the things that were either happening or about to happen in my own life.

More than that, your stories, your characters, and the scenarios and themes you write about are often revelations of the hidden parts of you—your shadow self, or the aspects of your personality you have not yet made conscious. Hidden emotions, desires, and even memories can surface in our writing, there for us to recognize if only we look. Some of our discoveries will be glorious and magical; others will be difficult and painful. But all are instructive.

2. Personal Archetypes and Symbols

Archetypal stories and characters—those that offer universal symbolism—resonate with people everywhere. Whenever you hear of a particularly popular story, you can be pretty sure the reason for its prevalent and enduring success is its archetypal underpinnings. This is a vastly useful bit of information if you want to write a successful story of your own. But it is also useful because an understanding of archetypes and symbolism can offer you a guide to translating you own inner hieroglyphs.

Consider your characters. What types of characters consistently appear in your stories? These are likely archetypes that are deeply personal to, representative of, and perhaps even transformative for you. Just as in dream analysis, it is useful to remember that every character is you. The wounded warrior, the damsel in distress, the sadistic villain—each represents a facet of yourpsychological landscape.

I’ve long thought we all have just one story to tell which we go on telling over and over in different ways. I’ve also heard it said that all authors have roughly a dozen actors in their playhouse—and we just keep recasting them in new stories. There’s truth to this. Certainly, I can recognize decided archetypes that perennially fascinate me however I try to dress them up in unique costumes from story to story.

As these patterns emerge over time, I get better at recognizing what they represent. Sometimes I am almost embarrassed to realize how much of myself I have bled onto the pages of my novels—secrets so intimate even Ididn’t know them at the time I wrote them. Chuck Palahniuk observes aptly:

The act of writing is a way of tricking yourself into revealing something that you would never consciously put into the world. Sometimes I’m shocked by the deeply personal things I’ve put into books without realizing it.

Learning to speak the language of archetype and symbol can grant you tremendously exciting perception into your inner self. Stories that you loved when you wrote them, that meant one precious thing to you at the time of creation, can come to offer all new treasures even years after your first interactions with them.

3. Emotional and Hypothetical Exploration

Writing is also, always and ever, a conscious dialogue with ourselves. We put something onto the page; the page—that is to say, ourselves—responds. And the conversation takes off! Jean Shinoda Bolen again:

The “relationship” dialogue is then between the person and the work, from which something new emerges. For example, observe the process when a painter is engaged with paint and canvas. An absorbed interchange occurs: the artist reacts or is receptive to the creative accidents of paint and brush; she initiates actively with bold stroke, nuance, and color; and then, seeing what happens, she responds. It is an interaction; spontaneity combines with skill. It is an interplay between artist and canvas, and as a result something is created that never before existed.

Although we may not be fully conscious of everything we’re saying about ourselves when we first put a story to words, we almost always begin with some conscious intent. We are writing to experience something—perhaps something we’ve already experienced and want to recreate or relive, or perhaps something hypothetical that we wish to experiment with in a simulated way.

Even outrageous story events, such as fantasy battles or melodramatic love scenes, which we know are impossible or unlikely in reality, can still offer us the ability to symbolically create and process our own emotions. When we are angry, we often write scenes of passionate intensity. When we are stressed, we sometimes write horrifying but cathartic scenes or perhaps loving and comforting scenes.

Sometimes emotion pours out in ways that shock us, and when it does we have the opportunity to follow up and seek the root of something true and honest within ourselves that we perhaps have not fully acknowledged.

It is as if we say to the page: “Joy.” And a scene comes pouring out of us and shows a vivid dreamscape of what joy means to us. Or perhaps we simply wish to present a functional scene in which characters act out gratitude, trauma, love, or grief—and what we discover is our own sometimes stunning emotional response. We speak—and the page speaks back.

4. Logical and Creative Dialogues

I’ve always liked the idea of a dialogue between the left or logical brain and the right or creative brain. Both logic and creativity are wonderful in their unique ways, and both are intrinsic to a full realization of each other.

Of first importance is making sure neither the logical self nor the creative self is overpowering the other. Too often, the creative self is beaten down and starved by a dominant and cruel logic that criticizes every word creativity puts on the page. But creativity can also run wild, like an unruly child with no regard for the advice of its logical parent.

In order to appreciate and cultivate a relationship with both these aspects, we must make sure they respect each other enough to carry on a balanced back-and-forth conversation. This can happen moment by moment when we’re in the throes of writing—our creative minds manifesting ideas and our logical minds putting those ideas to words. But it can also be looked at as a larger dialogue in which different parts of the writing process become the domain of one half of the brain or the other.

Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success by K.M. Weiland

I consider the early conception stages—those of imagining, daydreaming, and dreamzoning—to be deeply creative, with very little logical input. Then comes the more conscious brainstorming of outlining, in which I sculpt my dreams and logically work through plot problems. This is followed by writing itself, in which creativity is again brought front and center as I dream my ideas to life on the page. And finally, logic returns to trim the ragged edges during editing.

Understanding how we interact with these two vital halves of personality gives us an edge in honing all parts of our writing. Likewise, in honing our writing, we are given the opportunity to shape these two opposing aspects of ourselves. Very often, one or the other is undervalued or underdeveloped. In learning to respect and appreciate both—and to give both room to properly do their jobs, while maintaining communication with one another—we can refine their presence in our larger lives.

***

In so many ways, writing is the study of the soul. Stories allow us to study the collective soul of humanity. But ourstories particularly allow us to study our own souls, to suss out their treasures, relieve their wounds, celebrate their uniqueness, and share their common features.

Wordplayers, tell me your opinions! How do you think your writing improves your relationship with yourself? Tell me in the comments!

Sherrie Miranda’s historically based, coming of age, Adventure novel “Secrets & Lies in El Salvador” is about an American girl in war-torn El Salvador: 
Her husband made a video for her novel. He wrote the song too:

The World Reflects You

Meta-Thoughts®

Inspirational ideas that may change the way you think.

CHECK OUT INGRID’S NEW BOOK:
The Word Search Sage: Yoga for the Brain

Featuring Ingrid’s Meta-Thoughts®
Available on Amazon.com
http://amzn.to/2k279TO

Like https://www.facebook.com/MetaThoughtsbyIngridCoffin on Facebook

Please do not reply to this email.  To contact Ingrid, email her at indy333@earthlink.net.

Sherrie Miranda’s historically based, coming of age, Adventure novel “Secrets & Lies in El Salvador” is about an American girl in war-torn El Salvador: 
Her husband made a video for her novel. He wrote the song too:

Looking for Readers Willing to Review “Secrets & Lies in El Salvador”

The review only needs to be 2-3 sentences. If you are interested, email me at sherriemiranda1@aol.com. Let me know if you prefer a Mobi or a PDF.

It’s been a bit frustrating as I had three reviews recently that were NOT put on Amazon which is where many look for reviews even if they don’t buy from them. The reviews ended up in obscure places where they’ll never be seen.

The prequel to this novel “Crimes & Impunity in New Orleans” will be out in December.CoverEight_sherrie2015_33

Peace & justice for all,

Sherrie

Sherrie Miranda’s historically based, coming of age, Adventure novel “Secrets & Lies in El Salvador” is about an American girl in war-torn El Salvador: 
Her husband made a video for her novel. He wrote the song too:

An FB Connection tells me how much he loved “Secrets & Lies In El Salvador: Shelly’s Journey.”

51UX4f00CBL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

I can only hope he will post this on Amazon, as well as other places!                               Sherrie

Dear Sherrie,

I just finished reading your novel. I really enjoyed it. What a page-turner. I completed it in only 4–really 3+1/2 days. I continually had to discover what happened to the characters next.

Far from being mere mouthpieces, they were each real human beings with all a real human being’s combination of gifts and flaws. These, possessed more gifts, of course!

Rather than the two dimensional story we all too often learn of on TV or in the newspapers, you made the struggle in El Salvador truly come alive–both the land herself and the people living there.

You wrote a very lovely, poignant and memorable tale. Through seeing my gushy, purple words, you can tell I am absolutely sincere in my words of congratulations.

Warmest regards,                                                                                                                          Michael

Sherrie Miranda’s historically based, coming of age, Adventure novel “Secrets & Lies in El Salvador” is about an American girl in war-torn El Salvador: 
Her husband made a video for her novel. He wrote the song too:

Peace is the beauty of life . . . the triumph of truth.

I especially like this cuz the guy looks trans! 😉 ❤

Sherrie Miranda’s historically based, coming of age, Adventure novel “Secrets & Lies in El Salvador” is about an American girl in war-torn El Salvador:
http://tinyurl.com/klxbt4y
Her husband made a video for her novel. He wrote the song too.
You can watch it on YouTube or go to my home page:
https://sherriemiranda1.wordpress.com

Purplerays

29745076_968675319965384_7965598896051440622_o

“Peace is the beauty of life. It is sunshine.
It is the smile of a child, the love of a mother,
the joy of a father, the togetherness of a family.
It is the advancement of man, the victory of a just cause,
the triumph of truth.”

– Menachem Begin

Text & image source: Return To Eden https://web.facebook.com/SpiritualTruths/

View original post

So why do we look at ourselves this way?

Sherrie Miranda’s historically based, coming of age, Adventure novel “Secrets & Lies in El Salvador” is about an American girl in war-torn El Salvador:
http://tinyurl.com/klxbt4y
Her husband made a video for her novel. He wrote the song too.
You can watch it on YouTube or go to my home page:
https://sherriemiranda1.wordpress.com

Purplerays

29792069_1793227440727569_2654657338021117871_n

“One does not walk into the forest and accuse the trees of being off-center,
Nor do they visit the shore and call the waves imperfect.
So why do we look at ourselves this way?”

~ Tao Te Ching

Art by Jennifer Smith
Text & image source: Rivers in the Ocean https://web.facebook.com/RiversInTheOcean/

View original post

Good News about the Film “The Boys Who Said No!”

Good news about the film- and a request!
Boys Who Said NO! – C Colorado Jones to youshow details
boys-logo 3.jpg
Judith Ehrlich, Director
Christopher C. Jones, Producer
Bill Prince, Co-Producer
Robert Cooney, Advisor
Steve Ladd, Advisor
Lee Swenson, Advisor
Robert Levering, Advisor
C. Colorado Jones Productions
P. O. Box 14008
San Francisco, CA 94114
[415] 812-8692

ccoloradojones@yahoo.com
http://www.boyswhosaidno.com

May 10, 2017

Dear Friends and Fellow Resisters,

We’re writing to share some good news with you – and a request!

The good news is, thanks to your support, director Judith Ehrlich is in the studio now with our chief editor working to craft a 90 minute rough cut from the many hours of interviews, archival footage, and music.

We are also excited because as part of our research for the film we found that reputable scholars concluded draft resistance had a significant impact – causing the collapse of the draft system and was a big factor in ending the Vietnam War.

With a broad “resistance” movement growing once again, telling this story on film is more important than we imagined when we first started production. If nonviolent resistance could stop a powerful military from carrying out an unjust war, imagine what nonviolent activists today can do!

There’s also some good news on the fundraising front. We were recently awarded a $75,000 grant! This is our biggest single contribution to date, and solid confirmation that the film is an important and timely one.

While that grant moves us closer to completing the flm, creating a high-quality documentary film requires substantial funding, especially in the last phases of production. The expenses alone associated with securing necessary rights and insurance are projected to be $88,000.

Thanks to you and 800 others, we have raised the majority of our budget – over $300,000. Now, to finish the film and begin distributing it we need to raise a final $200,000. We know we can get there!

Here’s our request of you:

In this last critical year of production, please consider making
a significant contribution to help us complete the film.

Can we count on you?

We are very grateful for your support to date! We could not have gotten this far without you.

On behalf of the BOYS film team, thank you again for your generous support — both your dollars and your far-reaching vision!

For peace, justice and equality,
Christopher Jones, Producer
Bill Prince, MD, Co-Producer
http://www.boyswhosaidno.com
P.S. – Remember that every dollar you donate to the film is tax-deductible and will reduce your tax dollars supporting Trump’s military buildup!
Donate online with a credit card. Or make a check out to the Resource Center for Nonviolence – RCNV – and send to PO Box 14008, San Francisco, CA 94114.
P.P.S. – Should you need more inspiration to make a donation, here’s a private link to preview a recently rough film segment on resistance actions at the Los Angeles induction center:

vimeo.com/211762647 Password: BWSN_LA

boys-logo 3.jpg

Sherrie Miranda’s historically based, coming of age, Adventure novel “Secrets & Lies in El Salvador” is about an American girl in war-torn El Salvador:
http://tinyurl.com/klxbt4y
Her husband made a video for her novel. He wrote the song too. You can go to the Home page of her blog to watch it:
https://sherriemiranda1.wordpress.com
Or you can see it on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P11Ch5chkAc 😉

Creative Courage for Young Hearts: 15 Emboldening Picture Books Celebrating the Lives of Great Artists, Writers, and Scientists

I don’t usually post links but there is so much cool stuff here, I had to share it! It’s about Children’s books & the art in them. I have never seen so much beautiful art in one place! And yes, I have been to many, many museums in my lifetime! ENJOY!

https://www.brainpickings.org/2015/04/13/picture-book-biographies/

Sherrie Miranda’s historically based, coming of age, Adventure novel “Secrets & Lies in El Salvador” is about an American girl in war-torn El Salvador:
http://tinyurl.com/klxbt4y
Her husband made a video for her novel. He wrote the song too:    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P11Ch5chkAc
San Diego Book Review gave “Secrets & Lies in El Salvador” 5*s:
http://www.sandiegobookreview.com/secrets-and-lies-in-el-salvador/
An article about Sherrie Miranda and her debut novel:
http://www.thestarnews.com/entertainment/war-torn-el-salvador-is-setting-for-cv-novelist/
An article about the writer’s group Sherrie Miranda started:
http://southbaycompass.com/the-scribes-south-bay-writers-have-their-own-group/         Here’s a great interview by Fabricio Correa:
Meet Author Sherri Miranda
An interview by Fiona McVie on her Authors Interviews WordPress blog:
https://authorsinterviews.wordpress.com/2015/11/18/here-is-my-interview-with-sherrie-miranda/comment-page-1/#comment-5917
The San Diego Public Library’s 50th Annual Local Authors Exhibit featured Sherrie’s novel:
http://online.flipbuilder.com/tyny/sair/#p=64
GoodReads Author page:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13490857.Sherrie_Miranda

Honoring the soldier & the vet … British Television Show: “Call the Midwife”

I just watched the 3rd episode of the British show “Call the Midwife.” The show takes place in 1950’s London. I was quite surprised to see how well the Brits treated their elderly veterans. The story is from a memoir of a midwife who stayed with the nuns and (mostly) helped babies be born (at home, most of the time!). The protagonist, a very young & naive midwife, just loves the gentle man whose legs she had to wrap a few times a week. He fought in the wars (WWI & II, I assume); his family is all gone. They died during the blitzes. (Perhaps that is the major difference: we haven’t had a war on our land since the civil war.) And when she sees his invitation to a luncheon honoring the soldiers, she decides he must go & she will take him. It brought tears to my eyes, seeing the respect & honor the old man is shown. mezzanine_349.jpg.resize.800x450.jpg

Having worked at St. Vincent de Paul Medical Clinic (for the homeless), I can tell you, these men, these vets, OUR vets, do not get that kind of treatment here. They are homeless, or they are living sadly in homes for the aged. (My apologies to Gov. Brown, who had some beautiful homes built in recent years) They don’t get invited to fancy luncheons where the young soldiers are dressed in their dress blues; they aren’t saluted. They are usually just regarded as crazy old (or more often, sadly, young) men. And now, women get to be treated like that too. One female vet has been on the streets with her child here in San Diego for years. 18160942_1665759890398247_587022536445788160_n.jpg

There are other beautiful stories here, like the husband, whose wife bares a black baby & the father falls in love with the boy on sight. Imagine that in 1950’s America!

Anyway, I just had to post about this as I was in tears throughout the show. These midwives & nuns were not the typical stereotype that many have; they were kind & generous people working with their hearts on their sleeves. If you ever get a chance to watch an episode, do watch. You might be surprised!  😉 ❤

Peace, love & respect for all, esp. our soldiers,                                                                           Sherrie                                                                                                                                             Sherrie Miranda’s historically based, coming of age, Adventure novel “Secrets & Lies in El Salvador” is about an American girl in war-torn El Salvador:
http://tinyurl.com/klxbt4y
Her husband made a video for her novel. He wrote the song too. You can go to the Home page of her blog to watch it:
https://sherriemiranda1.wordpress.com
Or you can see it on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P11Ch5chkAc 😉

Holstee Manifesto, plus an article about Joseph Campbell’s “The Power of Myth” – found on Brain Pickings

I wrote to Maria Popova, writer & editor of Brain Pickings. I explained that allowing us to repost her articles would give us great copy to share, as well as expose her work to a wider audience. I hope that she decides to allow this!                                                                              Here’s a great article about Joseph Campbells’ book “The Power of Myth.” He talks about “Finding Your Bliss.” Enjoy!  😉  ❤                                               https://www.brainpickings.org/2015/04/09/find-your-bliss-joseph-campbell-power-of-myth/.                                                                                                                                                     Holstee’s Manifesto is below:

holsteemanifesto.jpg

Sherrie Miranda’s historically based, coming of age, Adventure novel “Secrets & Lies in El Salvador” is about an American girl in war-torn El Salvador:
http://tinyurl.com/klxbt4y
Her husband made a video for her novel. He wrote the song too. You can go to the Home page of her blog to watch it:
https://sherriemiranda1.wordpress.com
Or you can see it on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P11Ch5chkAc 😉