Emerge Unstoppable in 2011!

Emerge Unstoppable in 2011! That's my mission this year. Join me as I blog about life during divorce, raising a three year old, and the fight to live one's dream of being a writer, a graphic designer, a prayerfully a success at it all.

Monday, May 23, 2011

ABCs for New Writers – J is for Just Write; Edit Later

Okay folks, this should be totally self-explanatory, but let me tell you something, for even experienced writers, writing without our internal editor switched “on” can be hard. You’ve heard of the internal editor, right? That’s that little voice, the angel, or devil on your shoulder that makes you go back to the beginning of each paragraph to read, re-read, and edit it to death before you can move on. That little bugger can make a writer cra-zee!

So here’s the deal, imagine a switch for your internal editor and flip it to the “off” position. Write. Write. Write. If you have to, write longhand. But don’t, let me repeat; don’t edit anything until you write “the end.."

What? You feel like you might lose your train of thought. Your subconscious brain doesn’t forget my friends so you have lost nothing. How do you trick your conscious brain into picking up where you left off? That’s easy. Go back to the work you did the day before (yes, I am making the assumption you write on a daily basis) and re-write, or re-type the last couple of sentences or paragraph where you left off. Then all you have to do is keep going. Cool huh? Try it!

The most important thing is to get your ideas on paper in their freshest, most tender state. That is where all of your emotion lies in the newness of a thought or idea. If you edit before you even get the complete thought on paper then you lose the feelings that drove you to have the thought or idea to begin with. Don’t do that. I want to read about whom you are and what you are feeling whether it’s fictionalized or not. If you don’t feel like you can trust yourself to put your emotions on paper, well, that’s another letter for another day.

So get to it! Close your eyes. Envision the switch. Turn it off. Nice. Now write.

Until Wednesday, I am back and feeling a little more organized and Unstoppable.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Blogcation - Vacation from Blog Duty

Blogcation. Yes, it's a word. One I actually thought I came up with on my own today. However, after further investigation, turns out, I was wrong. Seems many of us writers turned bloggers need time away from their blogs as well.

Laughably, I thought that I could get ahead of posts, keep some on standby for the days that I just couldn't bring myself to write. Ha! Fool I am. After being exhausted by a person who has no regard whatsoever for my feelings, a daughter who wants her way all the time which equals a constant power struggle, and now non-existent work which is leading me to panic over finances, turns out I need a blogcation to pull myself up by the bootstraps and see exactly where I'm headed in all this. In other words...I'm taking a week off.

Faithful readers and friends, I will be back (hopefully) next week with posts to make your heart soar, advice to keep you going, and a hopeful spirit not to be overshadowed by this "life" stuff.

Until then, I hope you have a wonderful week.

Finding my way back to Unstoppable.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Love in Five Parts - Part II

So, if I were to tell you my father was a narcissist to the nth degree could you understand how I love him? What about if I told you my mother passed her codependency on to me, could you see how I love her? How about this…what if I told you I love myself even though I inherited some of both my parent’s character defects? Could you love me too?

It’s a fascinating study in human behavior, this need to love and feel love. What exactly does love do for us? Does it provide wealth, freedom, stability, anything tangible? No. Does it feed us, clothe us, and keep a roof over our head? I guess that depends on your perspective, but not really.

I think love as it is defined (refer to last week’s post – Part I) gives us wings. Oh heck, now that’s a Hallmark card in the making. Sorry. Love gives us the opportunity to put ourselves out there to another human being. We lay bear our hearts, souls, brains to someone else. It’s terrifying and freeing all at the same time.

And what if our way of love is tempered by narcissistic or codependent parents, or both? Then how do we put forth, or even know, what it is we want to give and receive in love?

I learned a lot from my parents, which is what I will share today. This is Part II after all and a fitting place, the first layer of ingredients in our L-O-V-E pie. Sounds kind of dirty, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not!

I have always loved my parents and I think, despite all the hell I put them through, my parents have always loved me. I know they both came from very difficult circumstances in their own childhoods and as an adult I try to grasp every part of that, and how they raised me, in order to more fully understand and love them. Whew!

My father travelled a lot when I was young which I guess left me always wanting for his attention. When he was home he was typically in need of space. Needless to say, I was a busy-body and probably always in his way. But, my dad did a great job at giving me all of the opportunities and benefits he didn’t have as a child. I traveled, attended nice dinners, private schools, and for the most part got what I wanted when I wanted it. Those things did not make up for Dad not being around. I still missed him and that put me in a position to want a man’s love and attention very early on.

My mom, on the other hand, was a doting, caring, loving mom who stood by me through thick and thin. Anyone would want that, right? But, what neither of us got at the time, and I think this is the case of most parents and children, is that I needed to stand on my own two feet, learn lessons the hard way, crack my freaking skull so I’d know not to traverse the rocks of the river in flood waters. You know? So yes, mom was always there but because I had never felt the pain of making my own mistakes, I thought at a very early age that I knew what was best for me.

They influenced me in both extremely positive and terribly negative ways. As an adult I have studied their individual impacts on me and hope that I have learned enough junior psychology not to pass along certain tendencies to my daughter. However, the best ones I pray she will get tenfold, like patience, kindness, a bright smile, a willingness to own up to her mistakes, to give freely of herself. These are the things I want for her.

I will leave you to digest Part II and eagerly await Part III. A cliffhanger of sorts. Until next week, jump in with both feet and tell me about your upbringing and the people who influenced you. Do you recognize what you do today that you adopted from your childhood? Are there things you wish you could change?

Until tomorrow, I remain Unstoppable.

Monday, May 2, 2011

ABCs for New Writers - "I" is for Inspire

For all intents and purposes I mean inspire others, but as with everything, this is somewhat karmic (what goes out comes back tenfold). Why? As you uplift others and propel them forward to follow their own dreams, so too are you moved forward toward your own. Deep, huh? Some day you’ll find that quote in Bartlett’s.

I witness it each day in my own life as well as the lives of my fellow writers. When you are able to share your stories, struggles and triumphs included, the individuals who follow your progress also become ready to try their hand at what they want most out of life. In other words, before you even publish your very first work you can affect lives. Ultimately isn’t that why we become writers, because we want to touch people, to pass on a message, to help them in some small way?

I interpret a writers “voice” in this way. It is the message that one intends to convey not the means by which one conveys it. (Boy, Bartlett’s here I come!) And though voice is a topic for another day, one that you will understand better by the time we get there, it bears weight in today’s conversation. As you share your story, your progress, you develop your voice.

I get e-mails from friends and readers regularly that say simply, “great job!” or “keep going!” Those small messages give me the courage I need to keep walking the path toward my ultimate goal of becoming a published author. The best ones though are the ones that read, “This was just what I needed to hear today. Thank you.” Those words can keep me going strong for days.

Reading the blogs of my fellow writers I see the same messages shared in the comments. In turn, I hear them speak about how friends and followers have inspired them and the circle continues because then I am inspired to share my story with you hoping that you will tell your story…see where I’m going with this. It creates a visual Microsoft might envy for a screen-saver – colorful, dramatic circles of sharing that keep going and going until someone touches the keyboard.

There are so many ways to share your story in today’s digital world. If you are afraid, or don’t understand something, ask for help. You can write a blog, tweet on Twitter, post your story on Facebook or all of the above, all in short bursts of words, that if done strategically, not only inspire others but help develop your platform and grow your audience. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. After all, we’re only at the letter “I”.

Join the conversation. Have you reached others by sharing your story? Would you like to? What would hold you back? What is your favorite comment, so far?

Until Wisdom Wednesday and Part II of Love in Five Parts, I remain Unstoppable.