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.

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.

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:

A Note On Writing & Reviewing

Cyana,
I have now encountered four books that I promised reviews on. But I don’t believe in posting bad reviews so I never posted a review.
The last one I promised was so bad that my husband read the beginning and was laughing like a hyena. Sadly, as a fellow author I don’t find it funny. It is tragic that we put so much of ourselves out there, but don’t bother to make sure that our “baby” is ready.
But I also just read a book with a publisher and an editor and was surprised with all the issues in it. You can look for my most recent review here to see it.
Hiring a professional editor is the ONE thing you should spend your money on. I also know a woman who has six books out there. She spent money on a photographer and graphic designer, but her sister-in-law edited the book for free. She said that she’s a teacher so … I guess in her opinion that qualified her. I am a teacher. And I would never edit anyone’s book.
Editors are very special people with an eye for minutia. They have to read the book without sentimentality. Definitely not me. And not my friend’s sister-in-law either.
Also, like it or not, only with years of critiques of our work from professionals can we see all our silly mistakes. We can’t help but be sentimental about our own work.
May you have all that you want and more.
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:

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

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 😉 ❤ 😉

No Place for Self-Pity, No Room for Fear: Toni Morrison on the Artist’s Task in Troubled Times ~ From Brain Pickings

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Brain Pickings remains free (and ad-free) and takes me hundreds of hours a month to research and write, and thousands of dollars to sustain.

If you find any joy and value in what I do, please consider becoming a Member and supporting with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a good dinner:

No Place for Self-Pity, No Room for Fear: Toni Morrison on the Artist’s Task in Troubled Times
“Like failure, chaos contains information that can lead to knowledge — even wisdom.”
BY MARIA POPOVA

“Only an artist can tell … what it is like for anyone who gets to this planet to survive it,” James Baldwin asserted in contemplating how the artist’s struggle illuminates the common human struggle. “War and chaos have plagued the world for quite a long time,” wrote a forgotten defender of E.E. Cummings and the artist’s duty to challenge the status quo, “but each epoch creates its own special pulse-beat for the artists to interpret.” Often, the pulse-beats of chaos that feel most unsurvivable are those which artists must most urgently interpret in order for us to indeed survive.

That task of the artist as a grounding and elevating force in turbulent times is what Toni Morrison (b. February 18, 1931) explores in a stunning essay titled “No Place for Self-Pity, No Room for Fear,” included in the 150th anniversary issue of The Nation.

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Morrison writes:

Christmas, the day after, in 2004, following the presidential re-election of George W. Bush.

I am staring out of the window in an extremely dark mood, feeling helpless. Then a friend, a fellow artist, calls to wish me happy holidays. He asks, “How are you?” And instead of “Oh, fine — and you?”, I blurt out the truth: “Not well. Not only am I depressed, I can’t seem to work, to write; it’s as though I am paralyzed, unable to write anything more in the novel I’ve begun. I’ve never felt this way before, but the election….” I am about to explain with further detail when he interrupts, shouting: “No! No, no, no! This is precisely the time when artists go to work — not when everything is fine, but in times of dread. That’s our job!”

I felt foolish the rest of the morning, especially when I recalled the artists who had done their work in gulags, prison cells, hospital beds; who did their work while hounded, exiled, reviled, pilloried. And those who were executed.

With an eye to the various brokennesses of the world, past and present, Morrison writes:

This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal.

I know the world is bruised and bleeding, and though it is important not to ignore its pain, it is also critical to refuse to succumb to its malevolence. Like failure, chaos contains information that can lead to knowledge — even wisdom. Like art.

Complement with Morrison on how to be your own story and George Saunders on the artist’s task, then revisit JFK’s spectacular speech on the artist’s role in society.

Thank you, Maria Popova, for this timely and helpful reminder that we must never quit, never give up & never give in!

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:

Women, Read This Book Before You Get Married; Men, Read This Book to Help You Understand Women

I signed up for the CourageWorks course & this book was recommended reading. I read it in 3 nights! 31845516.jpg
Although I have little in common with the author in terms of details (she’s still with her 1st husband; I am on my 3rd), there were experiences she went through that are universal among women. And sad to say, but they are becoming common among men now too.
The willingness to keep examining her life and keep working on herself and her marriage was something I found remarkable. I never had kids, but Glennon had three with her husband and she did not want her kids to see her give up on their father (they loved him very much).
One big difference between Melton and other women is that her husband came TO HER. He wanted to work on the marriage. Many men don’t. And I think his love & willingness to NOT give up on her helped save their marriage just as much as HER willingness did.
In most cases, I believe that people can change with someone new, but they seldom change with the same person. Partners get into a dance; they are used to reacting a certain way, so it is very hard to save a marriage where there is betrayal and patterns that need to change.
I admire Glennon for being willing to do it. But I also admire her husband and children for being willing to make their marriage and family work.
Thank you, Glennon, for helping so many women, by telling your story.                               Peace, love & happiness to 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:
http://tinyurl.com/klxbt4y
Her husband made a video for her novel. He wrote the song too. You can go to her Home page to watch it:
https://sherriemiranda1.wordpress.com
Or you can see it on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P11Ch5chkAc 😉 ❤