Tag Archives: writing

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.

protect gifs Page 2 | WiffleGif

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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Attaching Self-Worth to Accomplishment Part 2

In my last post, I promised to spill all the juicy details about why my attempts to write have sucked so much lately. So here it is. (Just so you know, this is extremely different than the kind of thing I normally post…some tough subjects, soul searching, difficult quests and dragon slaying. So, yeah, I guess it is the norm.)

As I said in my last post, I’ve come back from a nine-month sabbatical from blogging (and social media in general). It wasn’t entirely a conscious choice. I was simply burned out from every avenue in my life leading to a dead end and realized that maybe my subconscious, God, the Universe,  was trying to tell me something. So I stepped away from everything to listen. During this time of (forced) seclusion and self-reflection (thanks a lot, Universe, for conspiring against me) I realized that the reason my writing wasn’t going anywhere was because I was holding on to it too tightly.

I was looking at it as the thing that contained my identity–the thing that made me valuable as a person. Deep down, I believed that it was the only thing that made me worth anything.
Spider Man Tony Stark GIF - Spider Man Tony Stark If Youre ...
 
As you can imagine,  this is a very damaging belief. What happens when you realize that you need to retire the story you’ve been working on for months because it just isn’t working? Or you have a case or writer’s block? Or you don’t meet your self-imposed deadline for releasing a new book?
 
It is completely devastating.
 
Because it isn’t just a time of mental block you are experiencing or a learning process that you are working through. When you believe that an achievement is all you are worth, and you don’t “achieve,” it means that you aren’t valuable as a person. You aren’t worthy…of happiness, life, love.
 
This may sound completely ridiculous to some, but to some of you reading this…you know exactly what I’m talking about. Maybe you’ve already had this revelation or maybe it is hitting you just now.
 
Why would someone even have such an awful belief?
 
I know the reason for holding such a damaging belief may be different for all of you, but for me, it came from the environment in which I grew up.
 
My parents weren’t the type to affirm me in my ability to achieve my dreams or even to affirm the most basic need of a child: to know that they have a place in the world and that they are valued and loved.
Animated gif about love in Disney by Private User
 
The message given to me early on was that I wasn’t valued. I was either a burden–an inconvenience–or I was there to serve them. They weren’t interested my interests unless I did something that made them look good…that gave them a way to heap attention and praise on themselves.
 
I wasn’t shown love unless I did something that benefited them. And “love” was quickly withdrawn when I failed to be useful.
 
I wasn’t part of a family. I was part of a business…or perhaps more accurately, I was a part of a machine. I was a part, that if no longer serving a function, would be shoved aside.
 
I never felt that I was truly loved or safe. Life was always shaky ground. I was always trying to guess what would keep myself from being undeserving of my parents demonstrations of affection (because false love is better than none to a child).
 
This damaging game caused deep rooted beliefs to integrate itself into my core being: the belief that I wasn’t worthy of love, acceptance, relationships, or safety. The lesson I learned was that I was so deeply flawed that only by giving people what they wanted could I receive a shadow of acceptance and affection.
 
Best Tangled Mom GIFs | Gfycat
 
With my parents, the amount of affection shown was directly proportioned with how my achievements boosted their own ego.
 So of course,  that sent a strong message that I was only as valuable as my achievements. My entire worth is in what I do and how I am perceived by others.
 
It is a harsh and lonely “reality” to live in.
 
It limits your ability to form real relationships because you “know” if you don’t present a front–somehow figure out what people want you to be and be that–then they will reject you, hate you, criticize you. If your own parents only wanted you around to meet an emotional or egotistical need, why wouldn’t everyone else?
 
This belief also leaves you trapped setting high goals for yourself and alternating between maniacally working to achieve them (because you have to prove your worth, your place in the world) and dropping them in despair because some deep part of you knows you will never do enough to prove your worth.
 
Because, even if you prove your worth to others, no amount of impressive feats will ever prove your worth to yourself.
 
disneyysidekicks.tumblr.com - Tumbex
 
There isn’t an award, a position, or an accomplishment that will make you believe that you are worthy.
 
Our lives are valuable because of more than a career or certain set of achievements. We are more than a set of accomplishments. We are the love we show, the compassion we give, the lives we change with our presence.
 
I am beginning to accept that and find healing. But just how I did that is a topic for next week’s post. 😉
 
I hope that anyone reading who has had experiences that blinded them to their self-worth is on the journey to healing as well.
 
Has anyone else had a similar revelations later in life like this? Maybe you realized that the self-sabotaging things you do are programs put in place by parents or teachers. Maybe you noticed that you tie your self-worth to your achievements or don’t feel like you will be happy until you achieve certain things.
 
If you can relate, I hope you are on the journey to healing as well. 🙂
Next week, we’ll about the healing process. Until then, keep dreaming!
 
 
 
 
 

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I’m Back!

Well, hello there Epic Dreamers. I’ve missed you all. I’ve missed this blog and writing posts.

I didn’t really mean to take a break from blogging. It just sort of happened after so many times of sitting down to write a post and realizing I had nothing to say. Eventually, I stopped thinking about it and the next thing I know, it has been months since I’ve been on here.

I’ve enjoyed the break after seven years (how has it already been that long?!) of blogging, but lately I’ve been thinking how I miss the writing community here and feeling an internal nudge to start writing again.

I’m here now to announce that I am officially back from my unofficial sabbatical. 🙂

I’m planning on keeping the content the same: a mix of writing tips and short stories. So it’s back to the good ol’ Invisible World you know and love! I’ll be giving you different ways to outline your novel next week in honor of preptober (prepping your novel for November’s NaNoWriMo) and I also have a short story coming up after that (I’ve missed writing short stories).

Hopefully Indivisible World hasn’t been shoved down WordPress’s algorithm tunnels so far that all my readers are washed away. 😀

Let me know if you’re still here with a comment, if you would be so kind. And if anyone has any suggestions for future posts, I would be glad to hear them.

I look forward to chatting with you all again!

 

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How’s Quarantine Life?

How is everyone doing out there? Staying sane? Doing lots of baking and reading and home improvements to keep busy?

It’s strange that with all the extra time on my hands, this is the first blog post I’ve written in the month and a half since things really got crazy with COVID-19. I’m not sure why I haven’t posted before now. It might be a combination of finding other things to do and being at a lost for how to address something this drastic.

I really have no topic for today’s post other than to check in and see how everyone is doing.

I’ve been really lucky and haven’t been affected in a drastic way. I mean, yes, the places I can go have been limited to the grocery store and my apartment complex’s parking lot, but I don’t count that as drastic in light of how many people have lost their jobs, their businesses, or even their life.

I haven’t lost any loved ones and my husband still has his job, so all things considered, I’m doing really well.

I’ve been keeping busy cooking recipes off Pinterest, working on my next novel, and last week I even did a bit of drawing.

Of course there are downsides to being pretty much confined to a 600-square-foot apartment but since complaints about staying home are already all over the internet, I’ll spare you those and tell you what I do like about quarantine.

Of course there’s the obvious. More time at home means more time to read and write. (Any good book recommendations?)

I’m also enjoying not having to rush through dinner. There’s no where to rush off to, no commitments I don’t want to be late for. I can enjoy the food I’ve made and not have to feel stressed or annoyed by all the dishes and clean up that is left for when I get back from where ever we (my husband and I) are headed for the evening.

Which leads me to the thing I’ve enjoyed the most about quarantine, and that is the extra time I’ve had with Eddy. With no commitments in the evenings, every night is like a stay-in date night. 🙂 I will miss all the time we have to play board games, play Age of Empires, watch tons of silly YouTube videos, and just cuddle on the couch when things go back to normal.

That said, of course I do want things to go back to normal (as normal as they can be after something like this).

So now that I’ve shared how I’m doing, how is everyone else? What kinds of things have you been doing to keep busy and stay sane?

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See what I’m up to!

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How I Got Over my Month-Long Writer’s Block

After reading the print out of my first draft, I sat down to start on the second draft…and immediately became overwhelmed.

There was so much I wanted to add: relationships between characters needed strengthening, story threads needed to be woven tighter together, new scenes added, old scenes revised. The list seemed never-ending.

Because I had pantsed my way through the first draft, I knew that I would have to rewrite every chapter to get it the way that I wanted it. At first, this idea was exciting because I was looking forward to adding in all the fun ideas I’d had while reading through the first draft, but as I began writing chapter one again I got these overwhelming feelings of lethargy. I felt like I was walking in circles—like I’d beaten a game only to have it crash and make me start back at square one.

I realized that I would have to do more than just add in some things and rewrite some paragraphs here and there. I would have to completely rewrite ever single chapter.

Chapter one suddenly seemed more daunting than when I was starting from scratch.

It didn’t help that I had this huge list of things that I wanted to accomplish in the first chapter. There were so many world-building elements I wanted to add, characters I wanted introduced, back stories and tension between characters that I wanted to hint at. Making the list was helpful, but having it loom above me while trying to write the first chapter made me feel more like I was writing a college essay than a story.

So there I was, barley a chapter into my second draft, and the only feelings I had were a sense of starting at ground zero after months of work, and the nagging feeling to make it perfect this time through so there wouldn’t be so much to add in the next draft.

Working on the story left me feeling frustrated and frustration dried up any creativity which might have helped me out…which left me more discouraged and frustrated.

I kept thinking that it was just a faze and I’d snap out of it, but my writing sessions were pitifully unproductive and I started wanting to write less and less.

Finally, I got tired of waiting for my writer’s block to leave me and sat down at my lap top determined to figure out WHY I had writer’s block in the first place.  Everyone goes through times where their writing sessions are sluggish or they are a little lethargic…but a month of no writing? Yikes!

First I figured out everything I wrote above. I realized that I was putting too much pressure on myself to be mostly finished with this story when the second draft (at least for a pantser) is basically just the first draft since the first draft was simply me figuring the story out and serves as more of an outline than a first draft. (Why do I have to be a pantser? Seems like a curse.)

Instead of focusing on all the little details that needed to be added in and trying to fit them in at just the right place with just the right wording, I needed to continue focusing on the big picture and overall flow of the story just as I did in the first draft.

I was feeling bored and frustrated with it because I was trying to get everything set in place and nailed down too soon.

I was allowing myself to get bogged down with the dos and don’ts of story writing—looking at it like a list of boxes I had to check— instead of simply continuing to let the story tell itself, which for me still means keeping those concepts in mind but still letting the characters and theme drive the story.

One of the reasons I love writing the first draft so much is because of the dream-like quality it has for me, the sense that anything can happen, and the excitement of getting to know the characters and world. Writing those first drafts are a lot like smearing paint in colorful blobs on a canvas: anyone watching will see meaningless shapes, but the artist sees the overall picture, including the details he will add later.

I was trying to make my second draft like a math equation: Perfectly formulated character arc + perfect place for back story + every detail given in the “right spot” = a perfect story.

While there are times to evaluate a story like an equation to find what’s going wrong or what aspect could be strengthened, that approach simply wasn’t working for me at that stage. I needed to let surprises happen, start writing without knowing exactly where the scene was going, and begin a chapter without looking too closely at how the first draft of that chapter was written.

In short, I had to pretend that this was the first draft and—to keep from feeling like the first draft was a complete waste of time—pretend that the actual first draft was a messy, overly-detailed outline.

If you are reading this because you a struggling with a case of writer’s block and are hoping for a magic “trick” to help you out of it, I’m sorry to say that I don’t have one. There are so many reasons for writer’s block and what works once to get you out of writer’s block three months ago may not work for you in your current state of writer’s block.

But what helped me get out of this particularly long slump is something that can get you started on writer’s-block recovery even if it doesn’t cure it outright. I had to let go of how far along I thought my story should be—stop looking at it like a puzzle with a thousand frustrating pieces—and look at it as an adventure I get to go on every day. Some days are tough, but some days bring me the most beautiful scenery.

The only magic trick that can cure writer’s block is rediscovering that magic that drew you to the story in the first place. Find that spark that ignited the idea—a character, a scene, an aspect of the world—and focus on refining or expanding that character or idea until whatever is blocking your flow is forced to melt away.

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I’m excited to announce that The Hashna Stone has been selected for the book cover contest on allauthor.com!

The winning book gets some pretty sweet prizes, including free advertising.

It would help me out so much if you clicked the link below and voted! My book needs to stay in the top 100 covers in order to go to the next round.

Thanks friends!!! 🙂

VOTE FOR THE HASHNA STONE

More than a Coffee Cup


There is such a cool story behind this adorable mug, and I just have to share it even though this is a bit different from the usually type of blog posts I have here.

It started when I saw a friend’s  (Barb) post on Instagram of her own adorable little coffee cup and I commented, “So cute. I want one,” not really expecting to get one of course, but Barb unexpectedly offered to send me a mug.

See, the mug in her post was sent to her by someone in Canada after Barb had commented on how much she wanted a mug like that. (It has it’s own little story you can read in Barb’s post @barb_ready_writes)

Barb told me that she would find the perfect cup for me and she did!

The cup talks about being courageous and not giving up when you’re being tossed by a storm, and that was exactly what I needed to hear.

For the last two week of so, I’ve been wondering if wondering if I should set this whole writing thing on the side…not give it up completely…just not devote so much time to it.

I’m thrilled with the accomplishment of actually writing and publishing a book and don’t regret the time and money I put into it at all, but I did wonder if that season in my life had come to a close and if I needed to back off on the writing/marketing/Patreon/blog posting (you know…all that stuff that comes with being an indie author).

It can get exhausting and, frankly, I was getting discouraged with it all. I knew that a book isn’t going to be an overnight success just because you put it out there and tell your blogging and Instagram friends about it, but I had hoped that sales would be a little better than they are.

I believe that God can speak through a stranger and his voice whispers through acts of kindness. Barb and the coffee cup she sent reminded me that I shouldn’t give up just because the waters are rough.

I believe that God has a purpose for everyone and I know that writing stories is mine.

Every time I look at this coffee cup, I’ll remember that I have the strength inside to keep going no matter what.

 

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The Hashna Stone’s Publication Journey and What it Taught Me

I can’t believe it! The little story I wrote for this blog three years ago has grown into a 400-page novel with a beautiful cover. I am beyond excited that it’s turned out so well and that I finally get to share it with the world.

Who knew that the choose-your-own-adventure story we played around with would plant the seeds for my debut novel? Looking back on those first few chapters I wrote, I would have never thought they’d turn into a book.

You see, the idea I had for The Hashna Stone wasn’t one of my “real” book ideas. I had quite a few ideas tucked away in my head or in some word documents on my laptop, and they were my real story ideas–the ones I would one day turn into those books I’d always dreamed of writing.

But The Hashna Stone? I was just playing around with it. I didn’t feel it was “good enough” to be a full-length novel, but it was the perfect little story to post on my blog. It was fun, but not complicated. The characters were engaging without being too complex.

But once I was finished posting those small chapters here on my blog, I realized there was more to the story than what I first thought.  I realized that if I dug into the characters a little deeper, thickened the plot, and expanded the story, it would be what I thought all those other story ideas were: book worthy.

It still wasn’t going to be one of my “real” books though. It was just going to be a little something I wrote for the fans that played the choose-your-own-adventure on my blog. I wasn’t going to pay for editing, formatting, or a cover because it was just a fun little project that I had going. I looked at it as more of preparation for when I wrote my “real” book.

Image result for i'm a real boy gif

BUT…after working on it for about 6-8 months and realizing just how much there really was to the story, I didn’t want to put it out there without giving it a fair chance. To have any chance at success, my book would need an editor and professional cover at the very least. The problem was that these things can get extremely expensive. We’re talking $1,000-$3,000 for editing and $300-$500 for a cover.

And that was just the bare minimum. If I wanted it to look good on the inside, I would need to hire someone to format both the paperback version and the ebook. It was also highly recommended that a book goes through more than just an editor, so I would need to hire a proofreader as well (another $1,000 or so). And I didn’t even want to think about marketing. It would be a waste to spend so much on the book and not have anyone see it, but marketing costs would really put me way in over my head with expenses.

I had a problem.

we have a problem

I’d put way too much work into The Hashna Stone to make it a free eBook that I put out there with a cover I made myself and no one to check for errors but a few beta readers (which really isn’t even a beta reader’s job). But I couldn’t afford all the bells and whistle I needed to give my book the makeover it deserved.

With those facts in mind, there was only one way for me to do this: start querying agents.

Image result for deer in headlights gif

If the self-publishing route was too experiencing, than I would have to throw my book on the all-too-slim mercy of agents and publishing houses.

I knew I’d chosen a tough path that not many authors have had success with, but it was better than letting my book languish away in a metaphorically dusty folder on my laptop.

Fast forward 30 queries later and I still didn’t have an agent.

My lack of an agent didn’t make me doubt the quality of the book. I’d read plenty of authors’ stories and knew that even good books take time to get an agent and it could take me sixty queries to get an agent.

But I wondered if my lack of success was because I was going in the wrong direction. Maybe The Hashna Stone wasn’t meant to have a publishing house dictate its final outcome.

I decided to go back to my original plan to self publish. By this time, a year had passed (full of a lot of events that were unrelated to the book but that forced me to have to put it on hold) and I found myself in the perfect spot for self publishing. I had some extra time on my hands as well as some unexpected funds that would just be enough to pay for an editor, proofreader, cover artist, and some one to format the book.

I have never felt more alive in my life than in those early months after I decided to join the ranks of indie authors. It was a whirlwind of searching for the right people, hours and hours of editing, tons of internet research on self publishing and (surprisingly) having a blast at marketing.

There were a few setbacks along the way but (you know about the cover trouble), for the most part, the self-publishing journey has been smooth–a fact for which I am so thankful. This being my debut novel, there are a ton of things that could have gone wrong.

But The Hashna Stone is a stubborn little thing that wouldn’t let anything get in its way. Not being categorized as a “little story for my blog” by me. Not agent rejections. Not being sat aside and neglected for months because other things in life needed attention.

It knew what it was and wouldn’t let anyone or any circumstance tell it any differently.  It knew it was just as great as any of the other story ideas floating in my head, and it wasn’t going to let me rest until it proved that it was a real story.

The Hashna Stone taught me a valuable lesson: just because others can’t see who you are, doesn’t mean you aren’t that person.

For so long, I couldn’t see the true value in the story, and it wasn’t until two years later, after a lot of hard work and learning, that I’ve sifted though the dirt and found the “gold.”

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Which is another valuable lesson The Hashna Stone taught me. Some things take time to mature to the level of excellence that they were meant to be and as much as you may be tempted to rush the process (publishing it myself without the prep work) or to throw it away and start on something else more “worthy” of you time, you’ll never see the true value of that thing if you don’t stick with it until its process is finished.

If you find yourself in a place where you don’t feel valued, don’t feel talented, don’t think that your goals and dreams could ever be achieved, remember The Hashna Stone and how, even when its own author didn’t see its true value, it refused to give up.

Just because things aren’t working out now, doesn’t mean that you should give up, and just because people can’t see your real value doesn’t mean you aren’t valuable.

The Hashna Stone’s own author didn’t think it was a “real” story, but its joined the ranks of millions of published books out there and proving to me and everyone who didn’t believe in it that it is indeed a real story.

*For those of you who have read about the cover trouble I’d been having with the paperback…Yes, this post means it’s over! I’m so pleased to announce that The Hashna Stone is available as a paperback as well as an e-book.

Want to stay in the loop with real-time updates? Follow me on Instagram! That’s where I did the cover reveal for my book. I share my progress on whatever I’m working on at the time, and Instagram followers will be the first to know about my new book projects. 😉

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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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