3 Tips For Being an Effective Writer

If you really want to be a writer, you will take this advice to heart. ❤

A Writer's Path

by R.J.Harrigan

Being a writer is one of the hardest but most rewarding passions to pursue. Unless you’re thinking monetary rewards in which case, be a doctor or something. I kid…not really.

How to be a writer is another challenge. Here are 3 simple tips to follow so you can call yourself a writer too!

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Kellie McGann “4 Reasons You Should Never Write Alone”

I totally agree with Kellie in this post. I was fortunate. The quarantine happened at the exact time I needed an editor. Then I had to get my book formatted & published, then I had to try to promote it in this atmosphere, BUT I can’t wait to get back to having my #WomenWrite meetings! ~ Sherrie (Details about my latest book are below Kelli’s article.)

Imagine the quintessential writer: introverted, glasses, coffee in hand, sitting alone at a small desk, while poking their fingers on a keyboard. Certainly, there’s no writers’ group here—it’s just one person, scribbling away in solitude.

Find Your Writers Group: 4 Reasons You Should Never Write Alone

We all have preconceived notions as to what being a writer looks like, but whatever your idea of a writer, I can bet that one trait is uniform across the board. You probably imagine your writer alone, the Stephen King type, secluded, perhaps in a cabin in the middle of nowhere.

Interestingly enough, being a writer alone is nearly impossible, and after being part of a writers’ group for almost a year, I’ve learned I could never do it alone.

Why You Shouldn’t Write Alone

Great writing is done in community, and besides having more great friends, there are four major benefits to not being a writer alone:

1. Free Proofreading and Editing

Editing is hard. Also, writers are terrible at editing our own pieces.

Regardless of how much you know about spelling, subject-verb agreement, or colons, all writers make mistakes. I’ve even seen errors in traditionally published books and articles, despite teams of editors.

Editors can be extremely expensive. Why spend all that money on an editor if you and a friend could just trade work? You’ll all get better at editing, and it’s free.

No one wants to publish a post or short story with the wrong “bear with me” or “bare with me,” because that could just be bad.

2. Emotional Support

There’s something about commiserating that feels so great.

It’s when someone has the same deadlines and you’re both feeling stuck, so you ask each other, “What word count are you at?” every five minutes. There’s a deep connection made through the pain of writing. Hopefully, your combined misery will turn to laughing, because you’ll have no other choice.

When you have no one to commiserate with, you also have no one to keep you accountable. We need someone to tell us we can do it, because we’re doing it together.

3. Gain Perspective

When you have friends that read your writing, they bring the perspective of the reader. As we write, and even read over our own work, we have author-brain. We’re never quite objective enough to catch all the problems.

When you write, you are familiar with you entire plot and storyline, but it’s easy forget that your reader is not. Having friends read your work reveals holes, inconsistencies, and confusion.

I have a friend who constantly writes controversial blog posts. I so often find myself saying, “Because I know who you are, I know what you’re trying to say, but what you’re writing isn’t what you mean. You sound harsh.” These conversations are invaluable for your writing and audience. Find someone who can give you this perspective before you publish.

4. Networking

A few months ago, I attended the Tribe conference, hosted by Jeff Goins. It was incredible, and if you weren’t there, you should be there next year.

At my table alone, I met a publisher, a writer for Copyblogger, a fantasy writer, and a couple who want to write a book.  While walking around I met a podcast producer, some Write Practice readers, and Pamela Hodges, one of the funniest writers ever (she writes for The Write Practice, too).

Don’t write alone. We all have different gifts. We all have something to give and receive from one another.

Imagine a team of people fighting for you to succeed. These are the people that are going to help you get jobs, further your business, and give you chances.

That’s what happens when we band together as writers, and push one another towards greatness with whatever we have to offer.“Invest in your writing by investing in the writers around you.Tweet thisTweet

Are You Ready to Stop Writing Alone?

The Write Practice is about improving our craft by practicing, and helping one another grow within a community of writers.

The heart of that community happens in Becoming Writer, our online writers’ group, where writers share their pieces every week and give each other feedback and encouragement. We’d love for you to join us!

And we love to build our community here on the blog, too. That’s why we invite you to share your writing in the comments every day—here, you can find your writing community and get the support you need to accomplish your goals.

As Hellen Keller says,““Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.” —Helen KellerTweet thisTweet

Do you have a writers’ group? How do you connect with other writers? Let us know in the comments below.

PRACTICE

Are you feeling stuck? Now’s your chance to reach out with your writing challenges and get support.

Find a blog draft, a chapter you’re unsure of, or a piece you just feel needs help. Or, take fifteen minutes to write a new story about someone who really messed up cooking dinner. Share your writing, old or new, in the comments below.

Then, leave some edits, ideas, or encouragement for your fellow writers. Let’s all grow together!

Kellie McGannKellie McGann is the founder of Write a Better Book . She partners with leaders to help tell their stories in book form.

On the weekends, she writes poetry and prose.

She contributes to The Write Practice every other Wednesday.

“Crimes & Impunity in New Orleans” follows the dramatic story of naive, sheltered Shelly going to “The Big Easy” to prepare for El Salvador, but has no idea she will encounter sexism and witness racism as well as illegal activities by government agents. https://www.amzn.com/dp/B08KMHNNDK
Author, Sherrie Miranda’s husband made the trailer for “Crimes & Impunity in New Orleans.” He wrote the music too. https://youtu.be/7_NL-V9KEi4
Review: Shelly’s journey in “the city that care forgot.”
Sherrie Miranda’s new novel “Crimes and Impunity in New Orleans” puts the reader into a whirlwind of political protests, abusive police, sexist attitudes towards women, and “good old boys” racism in 1980’s New Orleans. Miranda’s second novel follows Shelly, the young northerner, as she quickly finds out that she “isn’t in Kansas anymore” while encountering a slew of picturesque, colorful characters. Reading her book makes you wonder if justice and respect for blacks, immigrants, and women can be reality in America.

Henri Jourdain Critiques My Novel “Crimes & Impunity in New Orleans”!

Having grown-up in a working class background, Sherrie Miranda critically understands that experience, thus making it the background from which emerges Shelly. She is the main character of Miranda’s  last novel, Crimes and Impunity in New Orleans. There, we follow Shelly – freshly arrived in New Orleans from Rochester.  She has come with the prospect of being awarded a photographer’s post in civil war torn El Salvador. Another reason for the move is Shelley’s desire to distance herself from family and home. This new found freedom allows Shelly to discover new inner voices as her life unfolds on many fronts. This process will be present throughout the novel. We find coherence to these multiple selves as we further our reading.

The coveted award is not certain, our main character will be competing with other photographers – if successful, Shelly will direct her camera lens to witness the life of the people in the midst of El Salvador’s civil war.  At some point in the story we are made aware that in her study of photography, she learned how to achieve balance in a picture with positive and negative space. A definition of the latter concept helped this writer appreciate how its application educates the reading of the novel: 

Space, both positive and negative, ties your design together. The intelligent usage of space draws the eye away from focus on negative or positive, and instead uses both to tell a harmonious, coherent, complete — seamless — story.

Transposed to the novel, this insight applies to the characters as well as events – the negative space, together with the narrative – the positive space, produce a coherent story. Miranda, herself a photographer, rendered inherent all these elements in her novel.

The story would not be as enticing if the author’s expert knowledge of the circumstances she brings forth in the novel would not inform the reader with historical elements – the FBI and other secret services’  undermining of the revolutionary movements in Central America. During the 1980’s, the time during which these wars were fought, the US was training paramilitary groups in support of campaigns of terror exacted on the civilian population. These facts brought to the page as textbook lessons might have been tedious. However, Miranda weaves the necessary background details in and out of the dialogue and stirs the latter with such virtuosity, that it lends to the issues an immediate relevance and urgency. Not only does it add a formidable dynamic to the novel, it also keeps the reader on their toes. 

 The story engages the reader in a deconstruction of the events and their impact on her main character. Based on historical events, the novel’s narrative weaves in its fabric, documentary facts which impart the story with veracity and a legitimate socio/political reality. Historical facts invite the reader’s imagination to an analytical inquiry, which is not defused by the fantasy of fiction.

Sherrie Miranda’s talent is best illustrated with her mastery of the dialogue. Throughout the novel many voices converse, and sometimes confront each other, or themselves. The reader is allowed to enter Shelly’s mind, revealing her most intimate thoughts. Shelly never leaves us; she stays faithful to her readers as she never speaks to others without letting us know what she thinks. We grow intimate with her; becoming her confident.  As we pursue our reading we are made to listen to the subscript – her inner thoughts.

It is important to remark that Shelly does not address the reader as if making a confession. In keeping us so close, we become witnesses in her life. Early in the novel we learn of Shelly’s rape. The event as recalled by the protagonist is brought about devoid of gravity. The details coming through later on, reveal the violence of the assault; we are left to infer its consequential traumas. And if we do not, further scenes in the novel reveal the rage it has caused Shelly. A rage which fuels her uncompromising resistance to oppression. 

The rape happened, and nothing since then has been the same. A baggage, which together with many other unresolved issues, weighs since then more heavily, on the already anxious life prodding the character of Shelly. Its reference throughout the novel reveals the guilt, the shame, and the self-accusatory statements; none of those are an expression of Shelly’s inability to process “the rape,” her voice only amplifies that of a whole society in denial of its own responsibility. For Shelly this social mass includes her family. She remains the only one – in not abandoning herself, she keeps vigil over her own body. Thus awakened nights – unable to sleep. We come to be educated little at a time about the indelible marks it leaves on the victim. It’s a garment on Shelly’s skin – the one she should have worn or should not have worn; “I should have worn pants.” I didn’t wear a slip.

We, the readers, are at Shelly’s sides when she refuses to wear a skirt to better fit the image of a waitress – the men wear the pants.And we know; she was wearing a dress when she got raped. Though she blames herself for it, I shouldn’t have worn a dress, her consciousness has grown in knowing what the skirt portrays in the stereotype apparel making of a “girl.” Shelly’s reflections, those she addresses to the reader, buttress her self-awareness, and ours. 

However earlier in the novel, the reader is faced with a moral conundrum, Shelly doubles down in accusing herself. “I blame myself. But maybe it’s what I needed…. to get me to move my lazy ass out of this place.” Because we want to read the contrary, and the contrary might be what the author wanted us to read on our parkour through her novel. The agency Shelly has mustered to start this journey was a motivator to a new way of acting. The sequence is reversed. As in a literal revolution. Dreaming a path to a new life is what motivates Shelly to rebel and subvert authority. She will not give her authorization to the wearing of a skirt. Not a victim of forces beyond her control. Now bringing the force under her control. Miranda however is a writer – her pen is not didactic. No explanation is needed. The reader is given a free rein to draw their own perspective. 

Miranda brings to bear her experience in growing up, and the working class values she was bound to honor. Those are put to the test as Shelly affronts the hardship of looking for a job with resilience, and wisdom. She will not compromise her dignity, as she will mount a tremendous amount of resistance at the threat to the latter. She loses her job, ready to sacrifice her means of subsistence to save her pride. Her life so far has been tough, she might not have as yet worn their badge, but she is no debutante on that new stage as a revolutionary actor. Yet at times her working class background reveals a rigidity which righteousness puts her at odds with what she is made to hear. Victor with whom Shelly develops an ambiguous relationship at some point exclaims, “We, Central Americans are all liars, I am a liar” “the war, the poverty, and the repression, we have to lie. All the time.” Paradoxically, later on that evening she will find solace in the same roots, those attachments  between labor and land – her family history. She turns to what she learned at home remembering stories she heard from her dad, “…how his mom would tell “stories” to the bill collector” so they would not lose their farm.

What makes the novel stand apart from vulgar fiction is not only that the author’s experience which serves the rendering of a context with authenticity. But more profoundly, Shelly’s experiences feed a passion that the writer skillfully brings to the page. 

Shelly, the photographer, comments on events with the clarity of the camera. The narrative takes us at some point in the dark sordid waterholes of New Orleans where the villains are, this time, the long time settled in the US, immigrants victims of another period of colonialist rule on another continent. The bitterness of their struggle against the English in India, feeds their anger, which they only know how to deflect by exacting revenge. Thus enslaving the progeny of those who enslaved them. With those chapters, the novel takes a fantastic turn. A dystopian adventure which derails the balance of the novel up till then faithful to an immediately graspable realism.

Those chapters deliver a redemption of the main character who because she benefits from the privileges accorded to her white status, must “naturally” also pay for those with an act of glory. It’s a setback in the novel. Shelly is now cloaked in the myth of the White as a liberator of the enslaved. Was that necessary, we wonder. It relegates Shelly to another time, today a distant past; a period hero. She regresses in the role of the Good White who allied with the good police saves the White child from the claws of the evil black man.

Apart from the parenthesis created around that romantic hero, Shelly has been fierce in the use of her privilege as a shield — she is white and young. Her resistance to her boss insisted on her wearing a skirt. She will find another job. Her right out alliance with her neighbours; she hardly can afford the clothes she buys them, but she has more resources. At some point, Shelly uses her foreigner status as a camouflage. Thus pretending not to understand the soldiers’ harassing questions as she steps on the Salvadorian country soil.  She uses her privilege as an English speaker to subvert an illegitimate authority. She chooses not to understand their questions. They let her go. 

A strong point of Miranda’s writing is her acute focus on the language in translation. She leads interesting inquiries in the centrality of context in giving meaning to language. We are reminded of Paolo Freire who made the context the meaningful center of his theory of critical pedagogy, later on put to practice as the structure of literacy campaigns in Brazil, Nicaragua, etc. Miranda helps us in seeing that language is not neutral, but more so carries the meaning of a contextual reality. Language is not bound to a dictionary edited by the White Academy. In a conversation with Victor, she first uses the word “disappear” in the conventional dictionary definition, however she is quick to remind herself that the conflict of war has shaped the meaning of the word disappear, “I forgot that in Latin America, that word means people who the military pick up, and you never see them again.”Toward the end of the novel Shelley asks Keisha, her ex-student now a friend, “What is the worst to bear: Racism, Sexism or Poverty?” And for Keisha to answer, “I don’t know, because I am all three.” Keisha, does not hide but identifies those 3 spears in her identity, as black, a woman, and poor. In her novel, Miranda tackles the intersectionality of those social markers, focusing the lens of her camera on Shelly’s personal history which in no moments is let to die in oblivion. That history serves as the testimony of what has propelled Shelly to dream and shape her dedication to the revolution. Finding in herself a voice of resistance, and the power to subvert authority – thus discovering her own.

“Crimes & Impunity in New Orleans” follows the dramatic story of naive, sheltered Shelly going to “The Big Easy” to prepare for El Salvador, but has no idea she will encounter sexism and witness racism as well as illegal activities by government agents.
https://www.amzn.com/dp/B08KMHNNDK

Author, Sherrie Miranda’s husband made the trailer for “Crimes & Impunity in New Orleans.” He wrote the music too.  https://youtu.be/7_NL-V9KEi4

My radio interview: https://cloudcast.us/drew-schlosbergs-spotlight-on-the-community/author-provides-insight-into-1980s-new-orleans/

Review: Shelly’s journey in “the city that care forgot.”Sherrie Miranda’s new novel “Crimes and Impunity in New Orleans” puts the reader into a whirlwind of political protests, abusive police, sexist attitudes towards women, and “good old boys” racism in 1980’s New Orleans. Miranda’s second novel follows Shelly, the young northerner, as she quickly finds out that she “isn’t in Kansas anymore” while encountering a slew of picturesque, colorful characters. Reading her book makes you wonder if justice and respect for blacks, immigrants, and women can be reality in America.

When you finish reading CIINO, check out SLIES:

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

R.L. Stine’s 10 Tips For Curing Writer’s Block from Writers Write

Writers Write
R.L. Stine’s 10 Tips For Curing Writer's Block

In this post, we share American novelist, R.L. Stine’s 10 tips for curing writer’s block.

R. L. Stine is an American writer, who is sometimes called the Stephen Kingof children’s literature. He was born 8 October 1943.https://52304387b9aebc7ebb419d36f1cefdb9.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

He’s been scaring people all around the world for a long time. He has sold over 400-million books and his books have been translated into 35 languages, making him one of the best-selling authors in history.

His hundreds of horror fiction novels include the Goosebumps series, which began with Welcome to Dead House. His latest book is Garbage Pail Kids: Welcome to Smellville.

Stine has created a writing programme for aspiring authors, which includes the following:

  1. How to get ideas.
  2. How to develop your ideas.
  3. How to get started writing.
  4. How to never have writers block.

He says: “I’ve enclosed all of my best writing tricks and secrets in this program. It is totally free of charge. You may download it and make as many copies you like. I hope it leads to many fun writing projects!”

We found these tips for curing writer’s block (in the programme) on R.L. Stine’s website and wanted to share them with you. Read more here.

He says: ‘I never get writer’s block. Mainly because I do so much work before I start to write.’

R.L. Stine’s 10 Tips For Curing Writer’s Block

  1. “Don’t ever stare at a blank page or screen! Start with notes, journal entries, outlines, cheat sheets, What ifs. Write something down before you begin.
  2. Know your ending first. If you know where you’re going to end up, you’ll know where to start.
  3. You don’t have to write the beginning first! You can write your first draft in any order. Then you can go back and put it in the right order.
  4. Don’t worry about how the first draft sounds. Just put words down—you can always go back.
  5. Before you write, tell your story out loud. Once you’ve told your story, you’ll have a lot less trouble “telling” it to the paper.
  6. Set a timer for a short amount of time—let’s say 13 minutes. Tell yourself you’re going to write something—anything—until that timer goes off. When the timer dings—if the writing is going well—set it for another 13 minutes and keep writing. If it’s not going well, set the timer and do something else for 13 minutes. Then go back to your writing.
  7. If you’re still stuck, don’t throw away the idea—try changing it a little. Try writing it from another character’s point of view. Try telling the story in another character’s voice.
  8. Still stuck? Look through a magazine, find a picture of a person or place that looks like your character or setting. Write down a complete and detailed description of what you see. Guess what? You started your story.
  9. Set a reasonable goal and reward yourself if you get there. Say “I will write two pages today, then I can watch TV for half an hour.”
  10. Don’t ever stare at a blank page! Start with notes, journal entries, outlines, cheat sheets, What ifs. Write something down before you begin. (I know. This is the same as number one! I’m repeating it because it’s the most important tip.)”

Source for tips: R. L. Stine / Source for image: rlstine.comhttps://52304387b9aebc7ebb419d36f1cefdb9.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

 by Amanda Patterson

If you enjoyed this, you will love:

  1. Simon Scarrow’s 6 Tips For Aspiring Writers
  2. 10 Bits Of Writing Advice From Stephen King
  3. George R. R. Martin’s Writing Advice
  4. Marian Keyes’ 3 Tips For New Writers
  5. Jennifer Egan’s Advice For Young Writers
  6. Peter James’ 7 Top Writing Tips
  7. James Rollins’ 3 Tips For Writers
  8. Chris Bohjalian’s 10 Tips To Help Aspiring Writers
  9. David Baldacci’s 5 Top Writing Tips
  10. Writing Advice From The World’s Most Famous Authors

“Crimes & Impunity in New Orleans” follows the dramatic story of naive, sheltered Shelly going to “The Big Easy” to prepare for El Salvador, but has no idea she will encounter sexism and witness racism as well as illegal activities by government agents.
https://www.amzn.com/dp/B08KMHNNDK

Author, Sherrie Miranda’s husband made the trailer for “Crimes & Impunity in New Orleans.” He wrote the music too. https://youtu.be/7_NL-V9KEi4

My radio interview:https://cloudcast.us/drew-schlosbergs-spotlight-on-the-community/author-provides-insight-into-1980s-new-orleans/

Review: Shelly’s journey in “the city that care forgot.”Sherrie Miranda’s new novel “Crimes and Impunity in New Orleans” puts the reader into a whirlwind of political protests, abusive police, sexist attitudes towards women, and “good old boys” racism in 1980’s New Orleans. Miranda’s second novel follows Shelly, the young northerner, as she quickly finds out that she “isn’t in Kansas anymore” while encountering a slew of picturesque, colorful characters. Reading her book makes you wonder if justice and respect for blacks, immigrants, and women can be reality in America.

This Nonfiction Book Helped Me Write Scenes from My Novel! Sadly, this BS is still happening …

Penguin Books Coming Out Soon

I obviously haven’t read these, but as an author, I like to share books.
And while we’re on that subject, what do you think about me posting short reviews of recent books I’ve read? I can easily find them on Amazon and/or Goodreads.
Let me know!
And keep your eyes open for the prequel to SLIES (see below for more info). It’s titled “Crimes & Impunity in New Orleans: Shelly’s Journey Begins.” It will be out in April.

Books Coming Soon in 2020

In whis ultimate preview guide, discover the biggest new releases coming out in the next few months! From edge-of-your-seat thrillers to swoon-worthy love stories, you’ll be the first to know when your next favorite book is hitting the bookshelves.

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird Book Cover Picture

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird

by Josie Silver

Written with Josie Silver’s trademark warmth and wit, The Two Lives of Lydia Bird is a powerful and thrilling love story about the what-ifs that arise at life’s crossroads, and what happens when one woman is given a miraculous chance to answer them.
  1. The Glass Hotel Book Cover Picture

    The Glass Hotel

    by Emily St. John Mandel

    From the award-winning author of Station Eleven (“Ingenious.” – The New York Times), an exhilarating novel set at the glittering intersection of two seemingly disparate events-a massive Ponzi scheme collapse and the mysterious disappearance of a woman from a ship at sea.
  2. Camino Winds Book Cover Picture

    Camino Winds

    by John Grisham

    Welcome back to Camino Island, where anything can happen—even a murder in the midst of a hurricane, which might prove to be the perfect crime . . .
  3. Eat a Peach Book Cover Picture

    Eat a Peach

    by David Chang and Gabe Ulla

    The chef behind Momofuku and star of Netflix’s Ugly Delicious gets uncomfortably real in his debut memoir. David Chang lays bare his self-doubt and ruminates on mental health. He explains the ideas that guide him and demonstrates how cuisine is a weapon against complacency and racism. Exhibiting the vulnerability of Andre Agassi’s Open and the vivid storytelling of Patti Smith’s Just Kids, this is a portrait of a modern America in which tenacity can overcome anything.
  4. The Women with Silver Wings Book Cover Picture

    The Women with Silver Wings

    by Katherine Sharp Landdeck

    “With the fate of the free world hanging in the balance, women pilots went aloft to serve their nation. . . . A soaring tale in which, at long last, these daring World War II pilots gain the credit they deserve.”—Liza Mundy, New York Times bestselling author of Code Girls
  5. The Red Lotus Book Cover Picture

    The Red Lotus

    by Chris Bohjalian

    A twisting story of love and deceit: an American man vanishes on a rural road in Vietnam, and his girlfriend, an emergency room doctor trained to ask questions, follows a path that leads her home to the very hospital where they met.
  6. Girl Decoded Book Cover Picture

    Girl Decoded

    by Rana el Kaliouby and Carol Colman

    In a captivating memoir, an Egyptian American visionary and scientist provides an intimate view of her personal transformation as she follows her calling—to humanize our technology and how we connect with one another.
  7. Redhead by the Side of the Road Book Cover Picture

    Redhead by the Side of the Road

    by Anne Tyler

    From the beloved and best-selling Anne Tyler, a sparkling new novel about misperception, second chances, and the sometimes elusive power of human connection.

    Buy now from your favorite retailer:

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:

2017 – Read the best of ADVENTURE Novel Stories from around the world:

Thanks Parajunkee.com for this Book Review Checklist! Now can we, Authors, get some reviews? Pretty please?

Book Review InfographicLearn the story behind: Publish “Crimes and Impunity in New Orleans.” and help us meet our goal. @indiegogo
https://igg.me/at/CrimesImpunityNOLAnovel/88562
Sherrie Miranda’s historically based, coming of age, Adventure novel “Secrets & Lies in El Salvador” will be out en Español very soon! It 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 😉

Charlotte Hunt”Tips of How to Move in Courage – What is Fear?”

TIPS OF HOW TO MOVE IN COURAGE – What is Fear?
Home Vision TIPS OF HOW TO MOVE IN COURAGE – What is Fear?
Originally posted on her blog on Feb 12, 2017 (See below for more info)
WHAT IS FEAR?

A four-letter word has killed and put more people behind bars than guns. It has brought down more marriages, led to more suicides, and ruined more political careers than any winning candidate’s votes in history. It has caused more losses, bailouts, buyouts, greed, prophecies, predictions, name-calling, blame switching, finger pointing, and downright lying than the greasiest hands on Wall Street.

This four-letter word has cut off more potential, closed the door to more possibilities, and clamped shut down more great plans, inventions, ideas, and creativity than one could ever imagine. That same four-letter word daily steals away courage to dream for more toward a life that matters.

One of the greatest dream stealers that prevent us from stepping out on our dreams and visions is fear. Fear stops us in our tracks. Although fear can be our friend that warns us of impending danger, more often it is an enemy that attacks through our assumptions, beliefs, thoughts, and of course, the unknown road ahead. It tells us not to move forward without evidence, that danger truly exists or will overtake us. It gives us that queasy feeling that something is not right or is strange.

What is fear? “Fear is the anxiety or unpleasant concern we have in anticipation of something we perceive as danger or discomfort. It is anything we perceive as an assault to our comfort, safety, or control.” http://www.Merriam-Webster.com Fear-motivated thoughts are all about “I can’t,” “I’m not able,” and “I’m not good enough.” While we certainly have fears and phobias of the things, people, or situations in our path, more often we fear the negative feeling we will experience because of that thing, person, or situation in our path.

For example, let’s say a woman named Mary wants to write a book about her life but she is fearful that people won’t like it and others will be angry that she told secrets that happened in the past. Mary is not afraid of writing the book, telling her story or even the people who will read the book. Her fear is the possible rejection, disappointment, and feeling of failure she will experience by others if she moves forward in writing the book.

Our fears stem from our anticipation of something happening. We anticipate negative and terrible things that might happen or things we have heard about, seen through the media, or read. Fear makes us think that something bad or negative will take place, when the truth is we don’t know what is going to happen. Most of us have not been insulted or booed in front of a stage audience, but that does not stop us from going into a panic if we are called to give a lecture in front of thousands.

Fear is always designed to offer a false sense of safety and comfort. It gives the impression that if we stay away from whatever that perceived fear is, then we will be all right, safe and pain-free. The catch is that in that false safety there is also limitation, discontentment, and limited growth. Fear has no wisdom and fear has no truth.

Often we fear not because of the reality of a situation but because of our anticipation of what could happen in that situation. In short, our fears cry aloud that we are not in control of something, and that is not pleasant at all.

Why do we fear? Part of the answer is that we have inherent fears placed in us for survival purposes. Without being taught, our stomachs begin to feel queasy and our heart beats fast when we are on the edge of a cliff or facing a roaring lion. Our bodies alert us to clear and present danger that we should flee from or resist.

Fear conditioning is why some people fear new adventures or certain types of dogs while others embrace adventures and run to dogs as if each were their personal pet. It is why some fear dreaming, hoping, or trusting for a life that truly matters and others boldly go where others dare to travel.

In other words, we learn to fear through the experiences and events that shape our lives. We don’t wake up at age 28 or 50 and suddenly become fearful of asking for help or sharing an imperfection in our lives. We learn through time and experience to fear.

We learn fear from being told that we will be hurt or fail if we try a certain act or take a chance in doing something. We learn to fear by being rejected by someone and feeling the pain of embarrassment and shame and decide we will do whatever is necessary to prevent that type of pain again. We learn to fear after believing years’ worth of lies that tell us our past mistakes and harms have disqualified us from doing great things and achieving new heights.

THE POWER OF FEAR

We fear many things, and we always hate what we fear. While painful, sometimes it is easier and safer to believe we will fail than to believe we will succeed. We fear being alone, being hurt by others, being abandoned, and the feeling of not being lovable. We fear failure, rejection, making mistakes, not being good at something, having to depend on someone, showing our imperfections, and the feeling of not being worthwhile.

We fear taking risks, walking into the unknown, taking chances, and the possibility we will not have control. We fear not fitting into a certain group, being different, not agreeing with others, and the feeling of not being acceptable.

We also fear dreaming, hoping, sharing our dreams, taking risks, and wanting more because in the back of our minds we hear the whisper, “What you long for will never happen, at least not for you.” We anticipate our inabilities, failures, and disqualifications before making a first step in reality.

All too often, the conditioning we receive is based on false beliefs and negative circumstances that leave a message that something is lacking in us and to hope for anything but the easily obtainable will always be out of reach.

Neale Donald Walsch coined the acronym FEAR as False Evidence Appearing Real. I would like to coin the acronym for Fear as Failure Equally Applied to Reality because we often create that as fear’s definition.

More than being false evidence, fear to a great many people equals failure, mistakes, and lack of success. Our fear comes from the assumption that something we will do or a dream or action we will take for the future will result in a failure and mistake. That fear of failure becomes a reality we apply to our lives and avoid it at all costs. For some, dreaming is a risk of failure that is too big to take. That is the power of fear. That is failure equally applied to reality.

STEPPING ON THE BACK OF FEAR

Fear is not the real problem or the enemy: Fear is no more of a problem standing in the way than a person who harmed someone in the past is a true obstacle from moving forward. The fear feels strong, just as the memories and pain of the past feel strong. However, we have the power to choose reality over feelings and truth over lies. We also have the power and choice to make fear a problem or use it to prompt us forward in courage.

Fear is not the real problem. Believing that in order to dream we have to be fearless is the real problem. Fear is a simple emotion that is an indicator of something. The only power fear has, like any other emotion, is the power that we give it to make choices in our lives.

The goal in moving forward is not about getting rid of fear: Imagine the owner of a company deciding that he needed to change his eating habits. Each day he entered the building’s doors to see employees eating in the company dining area. When he rode the elevators to his office, he noticed people chewing gum, drinking soft drinks and enjoying things that were not on his diet plan. When the company owner passed the break room to enter his office he saw the vending machine filled with snacks and treats.

One day, the owner decided that the only way for him to move forward was to rid himself of his perceived problem. He went into the office the next day and had all food, drinks, and vending machines removed from the building.

That action does not make too much sense. However, we often believe similar thoughts regarding fear. If we could just get rid of the problem, then everything would be all right. If we could only get rid of fear from our lives or stop fearing then we would easily grab hold of our dreams and goals.

Remember, fear is just a simple feeling of indication. It has no power and cannot make any choices. Fear is not the problem so there is no need to be rid of its deeds. Resisting fear only strengthens it.

Instead of giving time to a mere feeling and offer it power, try simply walking in courage that is moving forward in spite of fear. No one who has ever achieved great things or accomplished big dreams was noted as being fearless. The greatness of their character was that in spite of fear, obstacles, their pasts, and other dream stealers, they continued to walk in courage fighting to reach their dream.

Eight Practical Tips

The Prevention magazine article,

(Chillot, Rick. “What are you afraid of? 8 secrets that make fear disappear.” Prevention, May 1998 v50 n5 p98 (7).) offer these tips for dealing with everyday fears:

1. It doesn’t matter why you’re scared. Knowing why you’ve developed a particular fear doesn’t do much to help you overcome it, and it delays your progress in areas that will actually help you become less afraid. Stop trying to figure it out.

2. Learn about the thing you fear. Uncertainty is a huge component of fear: Developing an understanding of what you’re afraid of goes a long way toward erasing that fear.

3. Train. If there’s something you’re afraid to try because it seems scary or difficult, start small, and work in steps. Slowly building familiarity with a scary subject makes it more manageable.

4. Find someone who is not afraid. If there’s something you’re afraid of, find someone who is not afraid of that thing and spend time with that person. Take her along when you try to conquer your fear — it’ll be much easier.

5. Talk about it. Sharing your fear out loud can make it seem much less daunting.

6. Play mind games. If you’re afraid of speaking in front of groups, it’s probably because you think the audience is going to judge you. Try imagining the audience members naked — being the only clothed person in the room puts you in the position of judgment.

7. Stop looking at the grand scheme. Think only about each successive step. If you’re afraid of heights, don’t think about being on the fortieth floor of a building. Just think about getting your foot in the lobby.

8. Seek help. Fear is not a simple emotion. If you’re having trouble overcoming your fear on your own, find a professional to help you.

*Taken from “Dream Madly, Pursue Wildly, Trust Completely” available at http://www.charlottehunt.com

Have a great day until next time.

As always, if you have questions, comments or suggestions feel free to email me at charlotte@charlottehunt.com

Take care

Charlotte

Dream Madly, Pursue Wildly, Trust Completely

Copyright © 2017 by Charlotte D. Hunt All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by any means – electronic, mechanical, photocopy, or otherwise without written permission from the author except for brief quotations in printed reviews.

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 😉 ❤ 😉

I got back from the La Jolla Writer’s Conference last night. Already getting caught up with politics. I must stop! My current & next book have the messages that need to be told.

I understand people’s frustrations with the election, but we must do whatever it is we do to make a difference in the world. The writers, both published & unpublished, at the writer’s conference seem to get it. One woman said most of us only heard the negative statements that Trump made. This is likely true, but on the other hand, why did he make those negative statements?

My roommate (at the conference) is upset because the people she knew who voted for Trump would not admit it & therefor would not say why they voted for him. They did not want to explain their rational.

Other than that, we stayed away from politics. We have important work to do! We have to get our work out where it can be read or viewed by the public (in the case of screenwriting). That’s the way writers make a difference in the world.

And the authors and writers who presented at the La Jolla Writer’s Conference definitely ARE making a difference! Jonathan Maberry has published 29 books, as well as hundreds of articles. Laura Taylor is an expert at helping other writers get published. Andrew Peterson’s “Nathan McBride” series is allowing readers to understand the complexity of our nation’s involvement in other countries. Peterson also gives books to vets & their families.

There was not a second during that conference that I wasn’t connecting, learning or feeling the importance of getting our work out to a reading audience. Thank you to the Kuritz family for organizing this amazing event AND for making it affordable! You can register for next year’s conference (Oct. 27, 28 & 29) for $295 before Dec. 15th. http://lajollawritersconference.com/registration/ As of today, the registration for 2017 isn’t up yet, but it should be there any day now. If you don’t live in San Diego & feel the hotel is too pricey, you can always do an AirB&B for Friday & Saturday nights.

IF YOU ARE A WRITER, AUTHOR OR HOPE TO GET THAT BOOK OUT OF YOU ONE DAY, YOU WILL NOT REGRET ATTENDING THIS CONFERENCE. IT IS THE BEST INVESTMENT I EVER MADE. In fact, I likely would not have finished & published my debut novel if I hadn’t gone to LJWC. I look forward to meeting you next year!51UX4f00CBL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_.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:

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