Tag Archives: writer’s life

My Path to Healing

Hi Epic Dreamers!

This is kind of a part 3 to the last two posts I wrote, but I didn’t want to call it “Attaching Self-Worth to Achievements part 3” because we aren’t talking about worth or achievements. Instead, I’ll be sharing the steps that helped me to take a step back from this idea that I was only as worthy as the things I achieved.

This post will make sense even if you haven’t read the previous two, but if you would like to read the posts leading up to this one, here are the links.

 

In these previous posts, I share how attaching my self-worth to my accomplishments caused a tremendous amount of difficulty for me to do the things I love (mainly writing stories).  I also explained how this damaging belief that I was only worth what I accomplished came from my family and the way I was treated as a child.

Because I don’t want to leave you all on a sad note, today I’m going to wrap up these series of posts by sharing some things that are helping me heal.

It is my hope that they will be a guide to helping you to move past any damaging beliefs so you can become a more authentic version of yourself.

 

Recognizing who and what caused the damaging habit/belief

For me, the deeply engrained belief that my worth was attached to checklist of achievement came from being raised by narcissistic parents who were incapable of seeing me as anything more than an extension of themselves instead of an individual with separate wants and desires from their own.

Mika in Arendelle — Okay can we talk about how freaking awesome the...

I was given the message that I was only “loved” when I did something that helped them in some way. I wasn’t love because of who I was– their daughter–I was “loved” (given displays of affection) because of what I gave them (an ego boost or tasks I did for them).

It isn’t until you’ve recognized the reason for the belief that you can do something about it.

 

Gather information

If your self-sabotaging belief came from childhood (which most, if not all, do) then it is helpful to spend some time learning about what exactly it was that you went through, rather than simply knowing your childhood was rough or that something just didn’t feel right between you and your parents or siblings.

Gillian flynn GIF on GIFER - by Silverweaver

I’ve spent the last year or so learning about narcissistic traits, affects of being raised by a narcissist , CPTSD, dissociation, and other topics like those.

I’m not going to say much else on this topic, because I think it would be better to let the experts do the talking. 😉

Crappy Childhood Fairy

Dr. Tracey Marks

These are the YouTube channels I’ve found most helpful in learning about these topics. If you’ve been in a relationship with a narcissist, had an emotionally-abusive parent, or any kind of toxic or abusive relationship, I highly recommend spending some time with these wonderful, insightful people.

 

 

Limiting contact with toxic people

If you realize that a person or group of people are at the root of your damaging belief, then it might be time to put some space between you and them.

I’m not saying that the moment you realize your friend/dad/grandma treats you in a way that is toxic that you should unfriend them on Facebook, block their number, and refuse to speak to them if you happen to bump into each other. But I am saying that, for me, learning to put emotional and physical distance between me and the people who were at the root of my self-sabotaging belief was the only way for me to begin healing.

Heal GIFs | Tenor

This may not be the case for you. You may be able to talk to the person who unknowingly caused you heartache and make changes in the relationship so that it can continue without compromising your well-being.

Sadly, this is not the case in my situation. I had to learn the hard way that there wasn’t any reconciling the relationship, and found that keeping my distance was the healthiest thing I could do.

The reason for this isn’t to be mean or spiteful. It is to protect the progress you’ve made. It is difficult–maybe even impossible–to grow and heal if you keep subjecting yourself to the very thing that made you broken in the first place.

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Putting distance will look different for everyone. It could mean going to events with the person, but not sharing anything personal with them. It could mean only speaking to the person over the phone, where it is easier to make a get away if they begin to speak to you in a manner that isn’t healthy.

I’m not saying that once you put some distance between them and you that magically everything will fall into place and all you unhealthy beliefs/thinking patterns will go away. It is like this quote from Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, “Shame started as a two-person experience, but as I got older I learned how to do shame all by myself.”

But if you are trying to cultivate self-respect, self-love, and self-worth, keeping people around who continuously plant the opposite in you is counterproductive.

You can’t grow a plant if you keep allowing someone to trample all over it. You can’t grow emotionally if you let someone continue to stomp out the work you’ve done.

 

Take time for self-reflection 
A huge part of recovery, for me, came through meditation. It was only when I learned to settle my mind and look at my behaviors and emotions through a detached, but empathetic lens that I was able to let go of beliefs that weren’t true.
Alex In Colour
Take some time to look at what is going on internally. Be honest with yourself, but also be compassionate. Take some time to give yourself the comfort that no one else in your life gave you.
If you want to give meditation a try, I absolutely adore the beautiful, meditative music by Mei-lan.

Knowing someone who likes you for who you are, not what you do

First, having just ONE person (my husband) in my life that is able to cut through the crappy self-image that has been thrust on me has been detrimental to being able to heal. Being shown that love isn’t something that is conditioned by what you contribute or by whose ego you stroke has been lifechanging.  I can’t describe the absolute lifeline that my husband has been for me in the last few years. He shows the same love and respect for me whether I publish a book or not, whether I am healthy or not, whether I have a great financial contribution or not. It doesn’t matter if I am achieving or simply being, he doesn’t change his love/respect for me.

Paradise by your dashboard light — and at last I see the light and at last  they kiss...

I don’t think that it was a coincidence that it wasn’t until after he came into my life that I realized how toxic some people/beliefs were and began to heal. (Guardian angels do exist…sometimes they are in the form of people 🙂 )

I realize that everyone doesn’t have a person in their lives like this. I didn’t for most of my life. I wish I could give you a step-by-step guide for finding someone who will cut through the crap and let you know you are worthy of love and connection even when you fail/get sick/have a set back. But a checklist to finding a someone like that doesn’t exist. At the risk of sounding cavalier, I believe that the right person will come into your life at the right time.

If this is you right now, I am truly, truly sorry. My heart goes out to you. I know what it is like to be disappointed by those who should have had your back. I wish I could wave a wand and bring a supportive person into your life immediately.

Conclusion
Am I saying that I am “healed” and never feel the need to compare myself against my accomplishments to see how I measure up in the worth-something-as-human-being department? Absolutely not.
But I am learning to be kinder and more accepting of myself. I remind myself that it isn’t what I achieve that makes me worthy. It is who I am. I am working to be more authentic, more loving, more giving, more forgiving, and more at peace.
Thank you all for reading this quite lengthy post. I hope that thing things I’ve shared inspire you and let you know that you aren’t alone. You are worthy. Worthy of love and peace and fulfillment.
Until next time, keep dreaming.

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Introducing my best Friend

Hi Epic Dreamers! I have some exciting news to share with you. I usually don’t post about my personal life, but this particular event in my life is worth mentioning even if it isn’t writing related.

I’m just going to say it…I got married!

Not only did my dream of publishing a novel finally happen, but a few weeks after, I got to marry my best friend.

I bet you’re all wondering who this guy is and how we met so I’ll tell you our story (and I’ll throw some of our wedding pictures in too).

It all started with The Hashna Stone and this blog. Well, in a way, I guess it started before because Eddy and I went to the same church for years, but we never ended up in the same groups and never really talked. I’d seen him around and I knew his name and he knew mine, but that was about the extent of the relationship.

Eddy found my blog and started reading the chapters of The Hashna Stone that I posted.  He must have been impressed with my fantastic story-telling abilities *wink* because he messaged me and told me that he was enjoying the story.

I was flattered as any writer is when someone shows interest in their work, but I had no idea that he had another reason–besides complimenting me on my story–in starting the conversation.

Over the next month and a half, we sent messages back and forth. I thought he was just being nice–having a friendly chat. Even when he invited me to go skating, I still didn’t suspect a thing.

It wasn’t until he stayed by my side for the whole night that I realized he was interested in more than friendship.

The next day, he asked for my number and after only a week of texting each other like crazy I knew that this guy was going to be my best friend.

In the months that followed, I learned more about him.

He was an amazing, empathetic listener. Being an INFJ, I was used to everyone spilling their problems on me, but not having much patience with listening in return, but when Eddy and I held conversations we spent equal time listening and speaking.

I loved that he was an introvert like me and didn’t need the constant noise and stimulus that most extroverts never seem to get enough of. I was thrilled that he didn’t shy away from deep conversations and enjoyed talking one-on-one for hours. (Which is what totally makes an INFJ happy 😉 )

There were little things that we found that we had in common, like we were both interested in archery (I’d only gone as far as owning a bow and shooting it a few times…he was in archery in high school and went to tournaments). We both loved music and he played the guitar and I played the piano (well, saying that we can play is generous…more like we play around and pretend we can play 😉 ).

But what really made my little writer self happy was that he loved books and had an affinity for fantasy which–being a fantasy author– makes me ridiculously happy. 🙂

He’s been with me through this entire writing-a-book process and was even one of my beta readers for one of the early drafts of The Hashna Stone.

So–to speed this story up a bit–we hit it off right away, he stuck with me and was my support though some of the roughest patches in my life, and three years after we started dating, I am now married to my best friend.

I can’t say enough about this guy. I didn’t believe that someone like him could exist.  He makes me feel like I am the most beautiful, exceptional, loved girl in the world.

If you would have asked me before we started talking if I believed in soulmates, I would have said that I  wasn’t sure if something like that existed, but now I know it does. Something about him called to me from those first few conversations, and we connected so easily and quickly.  It seems strange that I ever lived without him and it feels like I’ve known him for my whole life.

I know this sounds terribly cliché and like romantic drivel when I say this, but I’m going to say it anyway; It feels like my life didn’t truly start until he came into it. Like life was frozen, waiting for something I couldn’t explain, and it didn’t began to thaw until I met him.

I’m not sure how to end this post, since it is so different than my usually content, so I’ll end it with this: I’m one happy little writer. 😀

If you want to see more wedding pictures, follow me on Instagram. I’m sharing a picture every week. 🙂

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Writing Doesn’t Have to Come Naturally

Sometimes it seems like writing comes so much more naturally to everyone else. I mean, Brandon Sanderson can sit and write for 8-10 hours a day and I’m over here trying to keep myself from thinking about the ice cream in the freezer so I don’t get out of my seat for the seventh million time in ten minutes.

After the year and a half it’s taken me to finish the four drafts of my WIP, I feel like I’ve been hunted by the nine riders, stalked by a schizophrenic mole-looking creature who only knows one word (precious), and carried an all-powerful ring that will only make you go stark-raving mad if you hang on to it for too long.  In other words; finishing a book is like traveling to Mordor and back.

(This is me when I finally finish a story.  Yes, the rigors of writing leave your face smeared with dirt and scattered with scratches.  You didn’t know that?)

But before I can celebrate my hard-one victory, I realize that Brandon Sanderson’s book totaled 1,087 pages.  Talk about wanting to crumple up my 419 pages and throw them into the fires of Mordor.

I think I’ll get that ice cream now and eat the whole carton.

That’s it.  I should give up writing.  Let’s face it; Writing is harder for me than everyone else. Some days it takes me an hour to come up with a hundred words because I’m like Kronk in Emperors New Groove.

Okay, okay.  I shouldn’t compare myself to other writers. There’s a lot of talent out there, but that doesn’t make me less talented. Besides, every word I do write is a drop in the vast amount of practice needed to be a successful writer. It’s alright if writing is hard. It isn’t supposed to be easy.  Like Ernest Hemingway said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” 

That’s not painful at all.

Writing is a challenge, and it’s okay to admit that to yourself. You may think that you’re the only one struggling with it, but guess what?

You aren’t.

Want to know a secret? (Okay, well it’s not exactly a secret, but act surprised anyway). It took Sanderson twelve novels before he was published. Twelve of them! What was wrong with the guy? Didn’t he realize that writing was too hard for him?

No, he didn’t. Because it wasn’t. Writing is a process that gets better with time. The more you write, the better you get.

What would have happened if he’d given up after that 12th novel? We wouldn’t have impossibly long books to read, that’s what!

huge book Brandon Sanderson book

(An actual Sanderson novel)

I’m sure sometimes he thought, “This writing thing is so much harder for me than everyone else,” but he didn’t let that stop him. And because he kept going, he is now a best-selling author with more than 20 books and novellas published. The guy is so popular, that his signings can last up to five hours!  (He needs someone to build him a robot arm that can sign things for him. I mean, he probably has to wear a cast after all that).

The next time that you think writing is only difficult for you, be glad that you aren’t Sanderson in an arm cast.

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Growing as a Writer: Read!

If you want to write, you have to read. There’s no getting around it. Writing without first reading is like trying to paint a watercolor without having ever seen one, or trying to compose a song without every hearing one. If you want to get a sense for the style and genre you want to write, you have to first explore it by reading.

If you’re like me and the whole reason you started writing was because you loved reading, then you’re probably thinking that reading isn’t going to help you grow as a writer: you already do it. But I’m not just talking about any type of reading. There are two types of reading that will really boost your writing skills.

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1. Read books on writing

While reading fiction is useful in learning the craft, there are just some things you aren’t going to absorb subconsciously by reading fiction. You can get a sense for the kinds of things that done in a story and the kinds of things that are expected in your genre, but sometimes you need someone to just tell you.

You can see from reading a story, that the characters change from the way they were at the beginning of the story to the way that they were at the end, but you may not notice all the subtle ways they were changing in the middle of the story or the way the author artfully set the character in situations where they were forced to confront their flaws.

Image result for elsa hurting anna gif

 

You may have a pretty good handle on the flow of dialogue from all of the fictional conversations you’ve read, but not know the tricks authors use to get inside their characters heads to make their dialogue authentic. You may know that a plot is needed for your novel, but be lost when coming up with one.

The list goes on and on.

Sometimes we really just need someone who’s done this novel-writing-thing before to tell us how to do it.

 

2. Read books outside of your genre.

Remember when you were a kid and you would skip around from mysteries, to literary fiction, to comics, to manga? You didn’t know what your favorite genre was, so you didn’t limit yourself.

For some reason, when we get older, we stop exploring. We know what we like, so we stick to that–especially if we start writing in a certain genre. We think that we need to accumulate a vast knowledge of every book ever written in that genre so we can write the best (name of your genre).

While it is wise to know the ins and outs of the genre you’re writing in, it can actually stifle you to only read in that genre. This is where we fall into the danger of using over-used tropes of that genre such as the old-man-with-a-grey-beard mentor character or the chosen-one-whom-the-prophesy-spoke-about-will-save-us-all plot.

Image result for the chosen one gif

We need to read outside of the genre we write to give us fresh ideas, to keep us from using what’s already been done, and to give us new ways of looking at things. And who knows? You may decide to write in a different genre.

Do you read a lot of different genres or do you stick to the same one? I tend to read a lot of fantasy (both high and all the sub genres) because that’s what I write. Yes, I’m guilty of this too. 😉 I do love a good historical fiction novel too.

Speaking of reading…my book is coming along nicely and it looks like it will be out in August! So put The Hashna Stone on your reading list because it will be available soon! 🙂

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The first 20 to become patrons will get their name mentioned in the “thank you” section of my book. This is regardless of which tier you select. That means you can get your name mentioned (which is something only the highest level patrons get) for only $1. Yes, one dollar will get your name in my book!



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Advice for Teen Writers

It’s hard when you’re a teen and adults aren’t taking your aspirations seriously and everyone is trying to talk you out of your goal to one day publish a novel.

I’m here with a pep talk and some advice I wish someone had shared with me when I was a teen writer. 🙂

 

 

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The first 20 to become patrons will get their name mentioned in the “thank you” section of my book. This is regardless of which tier you select. That means you can get your name mentioned (which is something only the highest level patrons get) for only $1. Yes, one dollar will get your name in my book!


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Announcing Some Changes

Hey Epic Dreamers!

It’s been two weeks since I’ve posted an actual blog post with actual written words, and I wanted to let you guys know that I’m not turning this into a video-only zone. 😉 I’m still going to be posting good old regular blog posts, I’ve just been so busy starting the YouTube channel and Instagram account (not to mention editing The Hashna Stone) that I haven’t gotten around to writing a blog post.

Since the whirlwind of publishing and YouTube has entered my life, I’ve decided to make some changes regarding the types of posts I write.

Book reviews

For the past year, I’ve been posting book reviews every third Thursday of the month, but I’ve decided that I don’t feel comfortable writing honest book reviews now that I’m publishing my book. I feel like any negative reviews may make me look like I’m just trying to trash competition. I could be completely wrong about this, but I’d rather not look like a catty author who thinks everyone’s work is beneath their own. 😛

I’ve also been too busy with all my new pursuits to read much, so I might find it hard to have a book to review. I might post a book review every now and then if I really enjoy the book and think it deserves some love, but except for that, I’m retiring my monthly book reviews.

reading book gif

Posting every Thursday

I don’t know how long I’ve been posting on this blog on Thursdays (probably since the Ice Age) but Thursdays aren’t going to work anymore since that’s when I post my videos. I’ll still post my YouTube video on here, so there will be a post on Thursday, just not a written one.

My regular written posts (like this one) will be published on Tuesday mornings. At least for now. 😉 I’ll try it out and see how that works for you all.

 

Growing as a writer posts

I am still going to be posting tips on how to grow as a writer this year. Don’t worry, I haven’t abandoned that too. I’ll be posting  them on the last Tuesday of the month.

 

Taking a break

Between making videos, looking for someone to format the book, searching book covers, working with my editor, researching self-publishing, starting a new Instagram account, and plotting my next novel, I’m running about like crazy. As much as I like to think that I’m Wonder Woman and can do everything I want to do in spite of the fact that I need things like sleep and take breaks for food, I really can’t hold myself to impossible standards. In short: I need a break!

wonder woman

So, I am giving myself a break every third Tuesday of the month. And no, I refuse to feel guilty about it. 😉

 

Here’s what the new schedule will look like.

1st Tuesday: Poem/flash fiction

2nd Tuesday: Writing Tips/ Just Chatting

3rd Tuesday: Break for me!

4th Tuesday: Growing as a Writer

(And every Thursday I’ll post a video, so you’ll actually be getting two posts a week instead of one.)

 

New look for the blog!

If you’re are reading this in an e-mail or the WordPress reader, you may want to switch over to my site because it has a whole new look! I’ve been thinking about changing the theme for a few months now, and thought, “Why not? I’m changing everything else. Might as well make all the changes at once.”

My old theme didn’t allow widget sidebars on the sides of the home page, and I didn’t like how whatever was set for the header would take up the entire screen so all you saw when the site first loaded was the Invisible World logo. This new theme takes care of these things and also shows the entire post instead of just thumbnails so you don’t have to click to read the post. (I know clicking is so difficult and wanted to save you from that taxing effort :P.)

I also added a tag cloud so it will be easier to find topics and navigate posts. I hope you all like the new look.

 

Phew, I think that was all! I’m so excited about all these new projects. I can’t wait until The Hashna Stone is ready for you guys (which looks like July or August), and I’m loving making videos. I hope you all are enjoying the videos too!

Before I end this post, I have to say one more thing; It feels so good to be talking with you like this again. I’ve missed writing posts and the interaction with you all. No matter how many other social media platforms I try, this will always feel like home. I just love you guys!

Okay, I’m done being sappy. Until next time Epic Dreamers!

Before you go though, tell me what you think of all these changes. Do you like the new blog look? Have you had a chance to check out my YouTube channel (because it is pretty cool, if I do say so myself :P)? Any thoughts on the changes with the time/content of my posts?

 

 

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The first 20 to become patrons will get their name mentioned in the “thank you” section of my book. This is regardless of which tier you select. That means you can get your name mentioned (which is something only the highest level patrons get) for only $1. Yes, one dollar will get your name in my book!


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Beta Readers 101: Beginner’s Guide to Beta Readers

Hey Epic Dreamers!

If this is your first time sending your book off to beta reader, you have a lot of questions.

  • How do you find them?
  • What exactly is it that they do?
  • What even is a beta reader?

I’m going to answer these questions in 5 minutes, so you can get back to those beta readers. 😉

 

 

 

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