Showing posts with label fear. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fear. Show all posts

Friday, March 25, 2016

More ABCs for the New Writer - F-J


If you are a new writer and you missed the A-E tips be sure to review them to get you started in your writing career.


F is for fear. 


It can be scary to begin a new endeavor. It's normal. But if it paralyzes us to the point of not moving forward, we will never be a successful writer.


Questions to ask yourself:

  • Are you trying to be perfect? Nothing is perfect. 
  • Are you afraid of rejection? What one publisher rejects, another will accept.
  • Are you afraid of change? Me, too! You have to do it anyway. Watch what happens
G is for grammar.

Brush up on your grammar. A poorly written cover letter or query tells all. Be meticulous or else you may find your article or transcript submission passed over.


Thanks to the internet, grammar help is one click away.This site gives you 10 websites to assist you.


H is for hook.


To get your reader's attention and hold it, you've got to hook them with the first sentence.


Whether you are writing a book, magazine article, or resume - that first sentence is critical.


Start with a question, use descriptive words, or make the reader curious with some missing details.

  • Do you want to get in shape without going to the gym?
  • Swirling, sparkling snowflakes appeared to fall in slow motion under the yellow glow of the street lamp.
  • The air was thick with rotting garbage. We were afraid to find out what was behind the vine covered door.
I is for inspiration.

Sometimes we reach for the stars when there is no place like home.


What I mean is there is plenty to write about in your own life. You may not be aware of it.


My daughter is a photographer. When she met with the owner of a wedding site, the conversation revealed what her passion was: photographing children and families. It's not that she couldn't do weddings well, but she never realized what really inspired her and she had been doing it all along.


What are your experiences? 


What do you enjoy doing? 


Start out writing what you know. You will be amazed how effortlessly the words flow!


It doesn't stop there. In time, your interests will broaden and you will learn more about what interests you. I recently decided to take an online course on resume writing. I had done a few in the past for myself and family and enjoyed doing it. When I first started writing 4 years ago it wasn't in my mind. Recently, a resume job was posted on one of the job boards and it got me thinking. I live in proximity of 4 colleges. Advertising would be a breeze. And oh my goodness I like writing resumes! So, here we go!


J is for job boards.

As you work consistently, you are sure to connect with successful writers and authors online. I am thankful for them directing me toward reputable sites.

Freelancewriting.com is one of those valuable sites. Here is where you will find some tried and true job boards  to assist you in looking for freelance work.

Looking at job boards every day is part of a good routine for a successful writing career. I am amazed at the need for writers. It never ends. You are sure to find something you can do. Even if you are not sure, go for it anyway. You will feel accomplished as you regularly apply for jobs.

Next month we'll look at K - O. Stay tuned!

Please leave feedback in the comment section if you are a new writer and have tried one of my tips that have helped you.

 Image courtesy of  Naypong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

~~~

After raising and homeschooling her 8 children and teaching art classes for 10 years, Kathy has found time to pursue freelance writing. She enjoys writing magazine articles and more recently had her story, "One of a Kind", published in The Kids' ArkYou can find her passion to bring encouragement and hope to people of all ages at When It Hurts http://kathleenmoulton.com








Sunday, November 10, 2013

Writing, Fear and Yoga

Though it may look like the writer isn't doing much, sitting for hours in front of a laptop, the brain is heavily engaged. The work is often emotionally demanding in the extreme, taking us places that we're afraid of but need to go, and forcing us to look deep into the black hearts of our deepest fears to uncover reality in our characters and situation.  It takes great courage to walk the difficult path of the artist, and often the effort is physically exhausting.  Fear is always tracking you, and the closer you are to reaching your writing goals, the more intense and insidious that fear can become.  Fear is a great shapeshifter, looking like block, like the need to research, like being too busy to write.  It can stop your story in its tracks just at its most critical point.

My latest work in progress (WIP) is particularly challenging, taking me to dark recesses of the past, exploring notions just beyond my intellectual capabilities, and forcing me to rethink what I know about fiction.  Every writing session is hard.  That's how I know I'm on the right path - because it it were easy, I wouldn't be pushing myself, growing, or moving my skills to a higher bar.  So how does one cope with this fear in all of its incarnations?  How do you push through it towards completion?

My biggest ally against fear is to move my body.  Exercise of all kind helps, but for me, there's nothing quite like either swimming, or doing yoga - two forms of exercise that have a mental impact on me - helping to clear my vision, work out intellectual problems with my stories, and teach me to cope with fear.  Both swimming and yoga are what I call breath practices.  They involve engaging your breath and using the breath to propel and lengthen the muscles.  Being quite small boned, I tend to get cold easily and it's often too cold to swim.  I don't much like heated indoor pools (the chlorine doesn't agree with me), so I tend to do quite a lot of yoga.  Yoga is amazing for writers.  Here are three reasons why yoga is a natural ally for the writer:
  • It helps teach us to see writing as a practice, rather than an end point.  We keep moving along the writing path, growing, changing, and pushing towards wisdom and expression.  It's not possible to fail, no matter how hard it is, when you have this perception. 
  • It teaches you to breathe. Ah, breath.  How simple and yet how powerful. Breathing is the perfect antedote to fear.  I first found out how powerful it was when I was in labour with my first child, screaming in pain.  An angel of a midwife came to me and taught me to breath slowly, deeply, with my full body and I calmed down and got to work. I've turned to breath again and again in times of stress, strive, and fear, and it never fails to remind me of the transience of each moment and the need to work, calmly, through the panic. 
  • It teaches patience.  Sometimes the right words take time to come.  You have to keep showing up, doing the exercises, stretching, breathing and working towards the vision. 
About my writing work, yoga teaches me to see my writing as work that has to be done - a responsibility and positive impetus rather than a vanity (another manifestation of fear). So next time you're struggling with the dragons of fear - call it what you will: block, self-doubt, other priorities, "no-time", try taking a 30 minute yoga break and see if that doesn't help. Breath through it. Even when it hurts. Then back to work. The world is waiting for you to change it.



Thursday, March 21, 2013

Travelling an Unfamiliar Highway


Recently my husband and I travelled to Santa Maria Island, Florida.  While renting a car in Tampa, I was surprised to discover that we both could drive without an extra charge.  My husband is usually the designated car rental driver, so it’s been years since I have driven a rental car in a new city.  A friend of mine invited me to have breakfast with her in Sarasota, a 50 minute drive from the island.  I had two options to make this happen.  I could ride with her to Sarasota, but that would mean I couldn't get to the beach that day; or my second option was to drive myself in the rental car.

My mental process was something like this.
Hmm…maybe I should ride with her….I don’t know where I'm going…I don’t know all the gizmos on the car….it would be easier.

Then I stopped myself. 
Drive the car…stretch yourself….move out of your comfort zone. 

I drove the car. It turned out to be a relatively easy drive to Sarasota and my spirit was fed by the conversation along with the Spinach Eggs Benedict.  I managed to get back to the Island in time to spend the afternoon on the beach.   More important, I was willing to do something that made me a little uneasy. 

Every time we are willing to step into an unfamiliar environment, our personal world becomes a little bigger. Each time we decide not to do something because it's a little difficult and choose to stay in our comfort zone, we shrink the perimeter of our lives.  

This applies to all areas of our life. 

So what does it mean to you as a writer?  I think it is easy to find your writing niche, your writing comfort zone, and stay there.  It may be a particular genre or style.  Maybe it’s fiction, or non-fiction. Where is the territory you are afraid to explore in your writing?  For me the anxiety provoking zone is poetry.  Today, I choose to stretch my writing limits and make my writing life just a little bit bigger.

Driving down and unfamiliar highway
Not sure which way to go
Lost in a writer’s life.

Mary Jo Guglielmo is writer and intuitive life coach.  For more information check out  www.donorth.biz   or folllow her at:

http://facebook.com/DoNorth.biz  





Monday, October 8, 2012

F.E.A.R.

False
Evidence
Appearing
Real

I’ve suffered insomnia at times in my life and I know that fear can raise its ugly head during the wee hours when you are between awake and doze. You are most vulnerable then and negative things keep running through your mind in a continuous loop.

As writers, we all experience this to some degree at various stages of our work. First it might be “I can’t come up with an idea.” Then, after a great start where the story flows effortlessly, there is that sudden stop and “Oh no! Where do I go next? What if I can’t finish the story?” The fear seems real.

After you finish the story and polish it to a high sheen, then fear sets in again: “What if I can’t get it published? What if nobody likes it?” Any small word of critique becomes that F.E.A.R.

OK, say your book gets published and after the happy dancing and celebrating calms down, then next phase of fear sets in. “What if I’m a one-shot wonder? That was just a fluke. I’ll never be able to do that again.”

I’ve been there, done that—all of it. Fear is destructive and counter-productive. We all need to confront that Fear and talk it down. You know you are doing the best job you possibly can, and you WILL finish that WIP, and readers WILL like it!

Think positively, take the next step, and persevere. Don’t let fear rule your writing life.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Fear

We all deal with fear whether we are conscious of it or not. As writers, we can deal with the fear of failure and rejection. Mark Twain once said:

                  Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.





Courage is a decision – not a feeling. It looks fear in the eye and decides to move forward anyway. It doesn’t have to be a determined march either. It can be simply putting one foot in front of the other.

Fear paralyzes. We understand the one who becomes “frozen” with a fear of heights. Writers can become frozen, too, and not move forward.


                              ~




Some fears that can stop a writer:
  •     Manuscript rejection(s)
  •     Lack of encouragement
  •     Comparing yourself to other writers
  •      Lack of confidence in your voice or craft 
  •      Overly sensitive to critiques
  •      Lack of freelance employment 
  •    Failure
The only way to be successful is to keep going no matter how you feel or what your experiences have been. If you give up, how will you know if the very next assignment or query may be your breakthrough?

Writers must learn to believe in themselves when no one else seems to. Chances are you write what you love. Keep going and don’t give up! Someone out there needs to read what you write.

Can you list some fears you may have had and how you dealt with them? Or fears you are currently dealing with? 

~~~~~~~~~

Kathleen Moulton is a freelance writer and nature lover. She is married, has 8 children, ages 10-28, and has been homeschooling for 25 years. You can find her passion to bring encouragement and hope to people of all ages at  “When It Hurts” http://kathleenmoulton.com/


Photo Credit: Pattys-photos / Foter / CC BY

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