My Love Story with Writing- How I Got Started.

I haven’t been faithful or loyal to my writer’s blog. I was trying to turn it into an inspirational blog, but I realized that I was leaving out the most important component. The writing. People ask me all the time how I started writing and how I dedicated myself to writing a book. Before you can even think about publishing, you have to take your ideas and express them on paper (or computer screen). And, writing the book is the challenge most people aren’t ready to meet. It’s daunting. The first page is easy, but it’s a commitment. So, I think I should gear my inspiration to the writing, rewriting and publishing process. I can add some value here.

But, first, let me share my own writing story.

It’s a love story and just like any love story, there are parts where it’s sweet and parts where it is brutal.

It started when I was about seven years old. I loved reading and then I started getting ideas for my own stories. They would be a couple of pages on loose leaf. Over time, it increased until I was filling several pages in a notebook. But, it remained something I did that no one knew about. I wasn’t confident about my stories.

Then, I reached seventh grade and, an English teacher who would nurture my writing held a writing contest. The topic was baseball. I wrote something that was a couple of pages and turned it in with little thought. As he announced the winners, I was barely paying attention because I didn’t expect to win. The other winners were nice stories about baseball, but then the teacher announced the winner and said my name. He asked me if he could read it to the class. I was shocked and embarrassed but intrigued I had never heard anyone read my writing. It was only in my own head.

The story unfolded. The opening described a baseball player stepping out onto the field with bases loaded in the World Series. It described the energy of the crowd and feeling the weight of the bat against his shoulder. His anxiety, sweat dripping down his brow and the wind whipping past him as the ball landed in the catcher’s mitt behind him. On the third pitch, his bat connects with the ball and sends it sailing into the stands. They all round the bases and then they lift him on the shoulders as he comes to the realization that they won the World Series. I was impressed with my own story. I read it years later and could hardly believe an 11-year-old had written from that perspective.

From there, my teacher asked me to share more of my writings with him. He would correct them and give me notes. Then, he would have me share it with the class. I gained more and more confidence in my writing. Before I graduated, he made copies of my final writing and said he would share it with his class as part of the curriculum. I was published, sort of. The same teacher presented me with two writing awards during graduation. It cemented in my mind that I had a real talent. But, I couldn’t let myself pursue it full-time. I thought it was a lofty dream.

I would always return to writing. It was my way of processing my world and, to be honest, the characters wouldn’t leave me alone. I would hear bits of dialogue in my mind and it would haunt me until I wrote. My computer is full of files where I capture soundbites and bits of ideas that just come to me. But, the desire to write a book never left me. It also scared me.

Writing is a great process. It can be fun because you type and the words seem to flow as if you are connecting to a force bigger than you. But, writing also doesn’t care about your attention span, grammar, syntax, or the numbness of your butt after sitting for hours staring at a computer screen. As the words flow, you can lose track of everything. I used to come home from work and write until I would look up and it was time to go to work again. I hadn’t slept a wink.

The one thing I can say is I didn’t just jump to writing a book. I started with short stories. They went from five pages to ten pages and then into the thirties and fifties. I had writing goals. I would force myself to write a minimum of ten pages. Eventually, I started writing a hundred, two hundred pages and, finally, bust the three hundreds. It takes endurance. It’s like someone running marathons. You start out with one mileage, but as you get used to pacing and push yourself harder then you can go further and further. It’s not for the weak. There are days when you have to fight yourself to keep going.

But, that’s the writing part. The writing part is like the honeymoon phase. The real marriage comes in with the re-write. That is where you learn what you are made of and how committed you really are. You end up cutting your most beloved parts of your work because it doesn’t serve your story but serves your ego.

But, that’s for another day…

Never Underestimate the Pain of Another, because Everyone is Struggling

 

Emotion

Emotion (Photo credit: rexquisite)

“Never underestimate the pain of a person, because in all honesty, everyone is struggling. Some people are better at hiding it than others.” ~Will Smith

I think one of the biggest mistake we make is to assume that we know what someone else is going through. Each person is a makeup of varied experiences that make them feel, think and respond in ways that are unique to that person. While there are similar ways that we behave, it’s impossible to know exactly how someone is feeling. Despite all of this, we have this amazing ability to empathize. I may not know exactly what you are going through, but I’ve felt some of the feelings before. This is how we connect.

When something shocking happens in someone else’s life, the people around them say, “I didn’t know there was anything wrong.” That may be true. But, more often than not, people saw signs but didn’t want to acknowledge them. It’s very hard for people not to show their state of mind. We leak it through our words and our actions, but in small ways. So, if you’re not really paying attention, you won’t notice it. Also, people are often projecting their will or abilities on to you. So, if they can handle it, they assume that you can handle it. Sometimes, people can watch someone physically or mentally crumbling before them, but assume that they will pull it together at some point. People often think that time heals all wounds, but time can cause them to fester and cancer within someone. Early intervention can save a person.

So, how does this happen? How do people become walking dead in front of our faces? It’s because we are raised to disown our true feelings if they are negative. The problem is that when you disown the bad feelings, you also disown the good feelings. How many times have you asked or been asked, “How are you today?”

You respond, “I’m fine.” The response is often no matter what your true feelings are, because we believe that people shouldn’t be burdened with our feelings. You may have just had an argument with your spouse. You may have found out you are going to be laid off. Or you could be dealing with financial issues. But, in that moment, you smile and pretend that your life is great and you are in a great emotional state for that person. It is true that you can’t walk around telling everyone your problems, because that won’t bring you sympathy. But, you have to be careful that you share your true feelings with someone. Disowned feelings have a way of showing up in you life in ways that can be destructive. You can sabotage your relationships, health and well-being when you feel like no one cares about your feelings. There should be one person in your life that you can tell your true feelings to who can receive them and allow you to process and feel your emotions. That one person is you. If you don’t allow yourself to feel how you feel, then you are not giving yourself the kindness you need from the world.

Be kind to others because they are feeling things that you may not completely understand. More importantly, remember to be kind to yourself. Whatever you feel is real. It’s real to you and that’s enough to make it worth your kindness.

 “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.” ― Alexandrinus Philo

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

A Positive Way to Deal With Betrayal

“the people you love can surprise you every day… maybe who we are isn’t so much about what we do, but rather what we’re capable of when we least expect it.”― Jodi Picoult

Life is full of surprises. Some bad. Some good. The past couple days have been full of surprises for me. I’ve seen the good that people can do and I’ve seen the bad that people can do at the same time.

I recently moved and I had people show up to help me. It wasn’t surprising that they showed up, but it was heartwarming that they gave it their best effort. Even if you may know in your heart that people love you, I believe that you can give them moments to demonstrate their love. I’ve known a few people who say, “I don’t ask anyone for anything.” I used to be one of them. But, I realized that people need to feel needed and some of them want to show up for you. I didn’t always ask people to help me, because I was afraid of being disappointed. I knew I could count on me. But, what I am learning is that people will show up. It might not be every time, but it’s important to ask. If they say no, then I can do it myself.

The other surprising thing was a disagreement between a family member and my beloved over some of his possessions. We had many ways to resolve the issue which would’ve escalated the situation and created a tense relationship between the two. After sharing his disappointment in the situation, we both decided to let it go. We decided that the items weren’t that important. It’s my personal belief that when you lose something, you gain something better. I convinced my beloved to let the matter go and he agreed.

As we sat down a moment later, I watched him bow his head. I was pleasantly surprised. He prayed for us. He was thankful for all that we received in the help and for our new place. Then he prayed for the family member he had the disagreement with. Not only, did he pray for the softening of his heart, but he prayed for his prosperity. He asked God to open his heart and allow him to know that there is more for him. I believe when you can pray for the people who have done you harm in some way that you lift the burden of anger in your heart.

People can surprise us. We have to remember that we are capable of so much more kindness than cruelty. Do not allow the actions of others to change who you are.

“You can heal yourself when you’ve filled the hole left behind by a betrayal, and you can heal the other person when you sincerely drop the need for revenge.”- Deepak Chopra

 

Enhanced by Zemanta