Rip off the mask, tear down the walls. Show the world my beautiful, vulnerable self!

Archive for the ‘guidance’ Category

Dream Given Guidance

Dream About Change

https://www.flickr.com/photos/prestonrhea/5236270625/in/photolist-8YHfQ2-4X1dP6-P58XGS-dmtrwi-2pMKC-nC1YD-QxGsf-q4rWqa-8HeDZc-o8pVg-8mXR4g-o7nP7c-8jQqTQ-bPxsQc-dJusGN-78jLU7-98LY1P-dYGYNq-cgtYSu-cgu1F7-7rMJ9R-6z6KQA-6VuMG-6Jfxqk-4bbwMg-dmtxds-9Rf6xQ-v8gDMa-9PqETD-4MsUzv-ptUKap-a2BfLR-4UtU1B-4UtSun-5dBS8k-7eGxtr-7nUbqa-7nUbW8-fBZ3S4-5M1h3P-8DYirc-8E2uBh-6r2V98-7oFgff-7oBon2-7oBpbn-7oBoG6-7oFfRo-vPhUL-jk3BYpI’ve learned to pay attention to my dreams, especially when they’re particularly vivid and a section remains in my mind long after waking. Sometimes they’re precognitive, telling me of something yet to appear. Other times they’re telling me to get in touch with someone who is having a tough time. Often they provide guidance, though it’s usually in a form that forces me to ferret out the actual message.

Recently I dreamt of driving down a narrow, winding road in a vintage sports car (think 60’s Camaro or Firebird). All around me, cars were crashing into each other or flipping end over end above me. Somehow, I’d either get to a spot and pass by before a crash happened or I’d stop in the nick of time. I was in a kind of safe bubble amidst chaos.

In the last few weeks, I’ve spent more time alone, and been somewhat disengaged from the frenzy of the people I’d been running with dance-wise. I’ve found my own rhythm, going out when and where I wanted to rather than following the pack. In truth, I enjoyed the sense of belonging but only for a little while. I’m not really a pack animal and enjoy my peopling in smaller groups. I’ve even been known to isolate in the middle of a crowded dance floor on more than one occasion.

Alone but not Lonely

This dream that stuck in my head for hours was a not-so-subtle reminder to appreciate my personal “cone of silence” that sets me apart so I can do the things I want and need to do for my writing and my business. I was guided to an activity and a lifestyle which often requires solitude for a reason.

I learned how to isolate in the midst of chaos because my purpose requires time spent alone in order to manifest. It’s not that I’m anti-social. I enjoy my social time. I just don’t need as much of it as the people I was running with for the last few months.

But I had to find my balance again. It got lost in the whirlwind of gatherings until I pulled back like a turtle into her shell. The dream told me I have my alone time any time I want it. I need to determine the right amount of together time now while achieving the goals I’ve set one task at a time.

A Not-so-Subtle Push to Be True to My Dreams

It also showed me that in some ways, I was being pushed out of the social scene because I follow someone else’s lead only when it’s what I want to do. At the moment, my old “pack” has a self-appointed leader and her efforts to push me out have been less-than-subtle, though from where I sit, rather amusing as well. Mixed signals and garbled directions in the dream highlighted the efforts of someone who was trying to delay or prevent my arrival at some sort of gathering.

The problem is, while I seldom choose to be a leader, I’m rarely a follower either; and then, only because I want to join in, and choose to let someone else make the plans. This isn’t the first time someone wanted me gone because I refused to play by their rules. What they don’t realize most of the time is I’m oblivious. I don’t even realize there are rules in place, or if I do, I don’t see how they apply to me.

A Time for New Choices

In some ways, I feel I should explain my withdrawal to a couple of people. But in the dream, I trusted my own guidance, even if it wasn’t entirely reliable (the car had a hand-held GPS I stuck insecurely in a cup holder in the steering wheel), and offered no explanations.

Each of us makes choices every day; from moment to moment. One of those choices is whether we’ll lead or follow. While some are following, and I’m going my own way, those are choices. Our roads may take different directions for awhile, I’ve watched too long to miss how they come together again at some point, maybe to travel side by side for a few miles before separating again.

If the dream offers any guidance, it’s saying it’s time for me to head off on my own for awhile. I have some thinks to re-think, writing to do, and plans to re-evaluate. The components of an active social life aren’t conducive to the large blocks of solitude I need right now in order to reassess my direction. The roads I must travel aren’t clearly defined. Some don’t even make sense right now; to me, much less to the outside world.

Exclusion is Often A Universal Head Slap

It’s taken me a long time to learn being excluded from something is often the best thing for me. It means I’ve lost sight of my purpose, and the Universe is giving me a swift kick in the rear so I’ll remember what’s important. I also know someone who expends a lot of effort trying to control their circle will eventually kick the current members out when they find someone more appealing and malleable. They’re no different than someone who cheats on their spouse. They may take up with someone new, but eventually, they’ll cheat on that one too.

A part of me wants to point out what’s going on to those involved, but to what purpose? The best case would have others see me as a whiner; the worst, as bad mouthing a perfectly lovely person with false accusations. Instead, I’ll follow the advice in the Power Path School’s October forecast regarding relationships:

If your role is one of being rejected or not finding love or not feeling supported, then rewriting that script will give you a new role of a character that is much loved, highly successful and supported at every step. What does that do to the other roles? They are no longer the villains in your life that victimize you, but people who love and support you. So, this will change your relationships with those around you. You will need to start seeing them as having different roles and the more you see them in their new roles, the more they will actually manifest those new roles in your rewritten story.

Not everyone will accept their new role in my script, any more than I’ve accepted the role created for me in theirs. It only means we’re not in each other’s next chapter, but have somewhere else we need to be. My rewrite might cause a few completely new characters to appear. Who knows? My stories and characters tend to write themselves most of the time. I don’t see that changing any time soon. Who and what I need will be there when I need them, or they need me.

Finding the Gratitude in Change

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I’m grateful for dreams that force me to think and re-think.
  2. I’m grateful for opportunities to flip my script.
  3. I’m grateful for people who make me feel unwelcome so I can go on to bigger and better things.
  4. I’m grateful for inspiration that comes from unexpected places.
  5. I’m grateful for abundance; inspiration, motivation, challenges, love, friendship, joy, solitude, productivity, projects, peace, harmony, balance, health, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

 

About the Author

Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, ghostwriter, and an advocate for cats and mental health. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. Her mission is to Make Vulnerable Beautiful and help entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author or in her new group, Putting Your Whole Heart Forward

Grabbing Inspiration by the Throat

When Passion Hits, Pay Attention!

If you haven’t noticed yet, I’ve once again changed the title of my blog. It all started when I decided to go back to my basic purpose which is to share my own life lessons and inspirations as a means of supporting other people. I realized that the Leap of Faith I took was really only a small part of the whole.

On the subject of life lessons and inspirations, I am finishing Level 6 of John Assaraf’s “Winning the Game of Money” today and my own inspirations keep coming. The Neurogym community on Facebook is especially helpful as there are insights, support, wins and supplemental material on the Facebook group page. This morning, Mark Robert Waldman posted a video to show us how to find our true passion. Several things stood out for me: Writing, Philanthropy, Animal Welfare and helping people in general.

I Get My Best Ideas While Meditating

I followed up the exercise with my daily guided meditation and made a point of remaining mindful. (The Level 6 Innercise ends with a few minutes of rainfall which typically relaxes me so completely that I fall asleep). As I floated along on the sounds of music, bird song and rainfall, I had what I consider an important epiphany. I should be using my writing to help animal welfare groups promote, not only themselves but the issues concerning animals as a whole! It’s a subject I am truly passionate about and a topic on which I could and have written endlessly, so why not put it to good use by helping the groups who are out there on the front lines? Whether it’s TNR or helping their local areas become completely no-kill, or educating the public to the long-reaching effects of rat poison on our wildlife, someone needs to write the stories, so why not me?

Writing about animals is a lot like the food and wine events I’ve been attending lately. It’s all about laying the groundwork and establishing a recognizable brand. I can and have written on a wide range of topics, and have the research skills to write on a great many more. But people have to read what I write for it to have any value to anyone besides myself and a few loyal readers (who I am continually grateful for, by the way).

If I’ve learned nothing else over the last couple of years (aside from living more frugally until my passion becomes lucrative) it is to listen very carefully to the messages the Universe sends me. In fact, ignoring them is done at my own peril because, as many of you have discovered, the Universe is quite insistent about pushing us to follow our passion and purpose. As the recipient of an inordinate share of Universal head slaps, I have learned to pay very close attention, but also to act promptly on the messages I receive.

Wanted: Animal Rescue/Welfare Groups Needing a Writer to Help Promote Their Cause

Thus, I’m actively seeking rescue groups who could use some help getting the word out. If you know of any, please help us connect. We need to be the voice for the animals, and to make it loud, far-reaching and effective.

You may think this post deviates from my desire to help others through inspiration, but, at the risk of launching into a long and passionate testimonial for the people who devote their lives to animals, the health benefits of pets, and most of all, the environmental impact of animal scarcity, I’ll keep this brief. Helping animals helps humans.

Always Remember Gratitude

Thank you, both for reading this post and for helping me help them. If you have any leads for me, you can either contact me via the website or Facebook pages listed below, or via email: shericonaway@pacbell.net.

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for the tools which are helping me find my purpose.
  2. I am  grateful for the network which I’m continually expanding to help me use my passions to achieve my purpose.
  3. I am grateful for new and diverse opportunities to step out of my comfort zone.
  4. I am grateful for the lessons I’m learning and how my mind is expanding with possibilities from my membership int he Neurogym community.
  5. I am grateful for abundance: passion, support, opportunities, ideas, epiphanies, writing, reading, learning, sharing, inspiration both given and received, peace, hope, love, health, philanthropy and prosperity.

Blessed Be

I invite you to visit my Facebook pages, Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author and HLWT Accounting. Please also drop by my website, www.shericonaway.com and check out my Hire Me Page. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!

September 21, 2014 Autumn Equinox-change is in the air

Getting back to what works.

Sometimes we move steadily forward, and sometimes, we need to take a few steps back and rediscover that what worked before is still the better way. Such has been my discovery over the last couple of weeks. Not only have I started pre-making my healthy lunches again to prevent impulse eating, but I’m getting the writing down to a routine again. In the last couple of days, I’ve re-re-re written the first chapter of my book, run it by someone who is giving me editorial advice, mulled over the advice, re-written some and held on to some, and expanded what I’ve discovered is my limited knowledge of my craft. Some rules have changed while others simply had yet to be mastered. Either way, as I write, re-write, get feedback and ponder, I’m moving up the learning curve. It’s a little like dancing where it takes a bit longer to unlearn bad habits before forming good ones.

For example, I’m finding that once I receive some feedback, I need to read it, then step away from it until my natural tendency to be defensive wanes, and I can look at the criticism from a purely objective point of view, seeing the wisdom in some, recognizing that the point I was trying t make didn’t quite come through in others. Only then do I sit back down in front of the computer and strive for improvement. There’s a fine line between taking someone’s advice and letting them write the story for you, and that is the line I am currently treading. I’m also having a bit of a struggle with punctuation around dialogue, but that, too, will come in time.

I also find it interesting that I’m getting a complicated message wherein the text should be lean and mean, yet show the reader a picture, instead of telling them something which could be conveyed in a word or two, though eliciting no visceral response.

After several days of writing the same thing over and over, reading it back, changing things, living, breathing and even eating my words, I find that my flow has slowed to a trickle. The thousand plus blog posts I pounded out for most of the week won’t continue this evening. I have just used up far too many words to find that many tonight.

Writing is definitely hard work, at least the part that comes after the initial writing via stream of consciousness. Trying to massage the words into something that more than five people will actually pick up and enjoy is a great deal more difficult than I’d imagined. Will I throw in the towel, concluding that I was mistaken in my ability to tell a compelling story? Not hardly! I just need to spend a lot of time returning to the proverbial drawing board, and studying up on how to make my work better. Giving up is not even an option, here! I saw a few recommendations for books awhile back and will invest in a couple and work my way through them, coming out better informed and better able to produce a memorable, well-written tale in the process.

I’m wounded, perhaps, but hardly broken.

For tomorrow, I’ll get the mundane tasks out of the way early in the day, allowing my brain to breathe. I have errands to run and shopping to do for my son-in-law who is deployed. There are groceries to acquire both for me and my furry children, and by the time I’ve finished, my brain should be relaxed enough to give the chapter one last pass before tomorrow night’s read and critique.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for the opportunity to see what I lack, and to correct those lacks.
2. I am grateful for setbacks as they only serve to make me more determined.
3. I am grateful for routines. Some of them actually work better than organized chaos.
4. I am grateful that I’m feeling better now that I’m eating a more healthy diet once again. (Taco Bell quesadilla notwithstanding).
5. I am grateful fro abundance: criticism, guidance, motivation, routines, inspiration, determination, love, health, harmony and prosperity.

Namaste

September 20, 2014 In the waning hours before the dark dawn of a new day.

Tonight’s title sounds a bit ominous, doesn’t it? But all I really mean is that I began tonight’s post at 11:57, just before my computer and WordPress will tell me that it is now tomorrow, despite the fact that it is dark as pitch outside, hardly what I would consider the dawn of a new day! As often happens, I sat down to write tonight’s post, my mind a blank as to what the topic would be or what might come from my fingers. But today has been a good day for writing and idea flow, so why should my blog be exempt from such fortuitous energy?

I finally sat myself down in front of the computer, a picture in my mind of the scene I wished to set, and lo and behold, the words flowed! (That was accidental poetry, I assure you. My poetic talents are the stuff of which literary nightmares are made which is why I stick with prose.) Suddenly, I found that ideas where coming so hard and fast, it was all I could do to keep up, much less put them in an order which resembled sensible. Even while I meditated, drove to my Saturday night dance spot, and sat chatting with friends, the ideas still flowed. Thank goodness for the notes function in my phone, else some of those ideas would now be lost in the ether. I’ve learned that if I want to save something that just pops into my head, I’d best jot it down somewhere before it is overtaken by 27 more random thoughts and ideas. Though for some reason, the ones which came when I was trying to meditate managed to stick with me until I once again sat before the computer and got them down. Persistent little devils they were!

At any rate, I believe I resolved my editorial issues with obsolescence, but will know more over the next couple of days. That isn’t to say that I won’t override opposition to my solution, if I feel strongly enough about it. Clearly, the things I’ve re-done, when met with criticism/opposition were not strong enough to justify my full and complete support of their continued existence. Such is the writer’s life. Constantly having to justify our logic in including this detail or that.

I’m also learning that the reader’s perspective, especially when that reader is critiquing my work, is definitely relevant. A reader who read very little as a child will have a very different perspective on things than I, who read as voraciously then as I do now, would. They may have little experience with the type of story I’m choosing to write, so I must take that into consideration when sifting through their critique and suggestions. Regardless of their perspective, I am sure to glean a few gems from what they have to say, and as such, am working hard to keep my mind and eyes open to be sure I don’t overlook anything which might be useful now or somewhere down the line.

To be sure, in just the last week, I have learned a great deal, including the realization that the seeming compliment about my editorial abilities was probably not a compliment at all, but the speaker’s attempt at humor because he was unimpressed with my contribution to the read and critique. Even when I’ve had several books published, there will always be those who are unimpressed with my work, and that is very much their right. It is also my right to refrain from taking what they say to heart, so we both leave happy.

For now, the biggest lesson I’m learning is to listen a lot, take a few notes and walk away a little wiser. Then, take what I’ve learned and try to implement what will make my own work better. At this point in my process, I do not expect rave reviews over what is clearly still a rough draft of the final product. What I do expect is honesty. If I let my feelings be hurt by someone who is notably unimpressed by my first serious efforts, I am not only following the wrong path, but I’m taking their words personally. The topic under discussion is the words I’ve put on paper, not me as a human being. And while I’m on the subject, what others think of me as a human being is really none of my business. They are entitled to their thoughts, no matter how unflattering they might be to me. I only have a problem if I start believing those unflattering thoughts!

One lesson I have learned very well is to look myself in the mirror several times a day and remind me how special and wonderful I am. I might, at times, also accompany my words with a “You’re looking especially good today!” despite the fact that I know full well that appearances are merely illusions. But as I immerse myself in the mindset of “Author”, why not also immerse myself in the mindset of “You look Mah-velous, Dahlink!”

There was a song in the play “The King and I” which has taken on new meaning for me lately. In the song, she sings “Whenever I feel afraid, I hold myself erect, and whistle a happy tune so no one will suspect I’m afraid.” It goes on to say “…the happiness in my tune convinces me that I’m not afraid.” That pretty much sums up my current attitude. I convince myself that I am an author or I’m worthy or any number of things, and before I know it, I have risen to the occasion. Not only that, as I, like a butterfly, emerge from the cocoon of disbelieving, I find that my energy is better, my posture improves and I just feel taller, lighter, stronger…all of the things which go along with the self-portrait I allowed myself to grow into.

Confidence is a funny thing. In order to have it, you have to be confident, but to be confident, you must have confidence in yourself. Rather a Catch-22 if you ask me. What is happening in your life at a particular moment might not be the best confidence booster, but the key, I believe, is not to focus on what is going on in the moment, but on what you expect to be going on in another moment or two. In other words, you create a reason to be confident and the confidence itself will follow.

Thus, I am confident in my ability to be a successful writer/author, and abracadabra, it is done! Try it yourself! You’ll be amazed at the results. All you really have to do is believe!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful that I have learned to believe.
2. I am grateful for criticism as it teaches me about what I’m doing as well as more about myself as a person. It’s all in how we respond to suggestions for improvement, regardless of how they might be wrapped.
3. I am grateful for a wonderful night of dancing with my friends.
4. I am grateful that the words have begun to flow more readily, and that I realized I needed to take a couple of steps back to allow the blocks to clear.
5. I am grateful for abundance: inspiration, creativity, friendship, love, support, imagination, confidence, harmony, peace, health and prosperity.

Namaste

September 18, 2014 How we handle adversity as we evolve.

Crushing blow, or golden opportunity?

As we move through our lives, learning lessons, filling our virtual tool box, experiencing the gamut of emotional ups and downs, we are also, as I’ve mentioned before, evolving. As I ponder the last few days when it became apparent that the rewrite of my book was going to be a far larger task than I’d envisioned (ignorance is, indeed, bliss!), I recognized a few changes in myself which, without this little setback, might never have caught my attention. These changes have a lot to do with how and why I was able to walk away from a job that paid well though it was killing me slowly inside, to take a wild chance on the unknown. I realized that I had to reach the point where I could handle rejection and even complete and brutal critical opinions of my work without taking the criticism as if my entire being were in question. A point where seemingly stupid things like the number of spaces after a period were even worth doing anything more than correcting the problem and moving on. A point where I could weed through the criticisms and understand that we all have are our own perspectives, and I do NOT have to completely adhere to that of someone else, but can still find great value in what they’re willing to share. Until I had evolved enough to get to that enlightened state, I would let my emotional attachment to the words on a page prevent me from learning and growing.

In short, I realized that it wasn’t until I learned, not only how to find the lesson in adversity, but also, how to turn it into an asset, that I was ready, on an emotional level, to take the plunge into the creative world for which my heart truly yearned. Not only am I now able to absorb the lessons, I’m also able to recognize when it’s time for me to take a couple of steps back, assimilate what I’ve learned and disconnect it from anything personal, whether it be from me or someone else and their perspective. I have my friend, Judy to thank for helping me connect the dots today. While one person might see a word or phrase from their own perspective and experience as wrong, that doesn’t make it so. But I also have to take the time to gain at least a rudimentary understanding of that person’s perspective and how it developed. Ultimately, I reach the same conclusion, no matter what the situation: neither of us is wrong, we’re just different, and isn’t diversity what makes the world so interesting?

A new perspective is simply an opportunity for us to change our own perspective and bring in the Laws of Attraction.

So, this latest little hitch in my giddy-up gave me pause for a moment before I had to ask myself: “Just what is it you want? Where do you want to go and who do you want to be?” and the answer came back loud and clear: “I want to be a writer, a published author. I want to be a teller of tales which will entertain, a sharer of experiences that will inform, and perhaps help someone better handle what I had to learn on my own.” The first step towards realizing that goal (aside from revising my first novel, of course) is to believe in myself; more, to believe that I already have my heart’s desire. So I set up my Author page on Facebook, something I’d been putting off until I truly believed it was so. I created a signature for my email, announcing to myself and to the world that I am, indeed, an Author/Blogger. As Judy so aptly put it, I am embracing my goals as if they already exist. I am already grateful for those who have helped me achieve those goals, and for the lessons I learned along the way. I love what I’m doing, the life I’m living, the lives I’m touching.

Here is where the Universe puts its two cents in.

As I am loving and embracing and expressing gratitude, the Universe comes along to add its own little touch to the mix. Suddenly, my accounting workload is increasing, slowly, at first, but noticeably. As I look more closely, I realize that it is just the cushion I need while I take the time to get this first book into shape so that it can truly be successful, rather than a rush job that falls flat. The extra accounting work will give me more time to write. I know that sounds contradictory, but if I don’t have to depend on the writing to pay the bills for now, I can actually devote more time and energy to doing it well and doing it right.

Returning to the original topic of this post (assuming I ever stay on topic anyway!), as we learn and grow, as we become less influenced by what other people say and think, as we learn to take the guidance without taking it personally, we open ourselves up to opportunities we couldn’t even imagine earlier in our learning cycle. Above all, we learn that dreams really do come true, but they will, only when we truly believe that they already have!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for my heart’s desire, my career as a writer.
2. I am grateful for the people in my life who challenge, support, encourage, constructively criticize and ultimately, just believe in me.
3. I am grateful for having emerged from my shell to expand my social connections.
4. I am grateful for the time and the space to write what I need to, and revise until it is worth reading by the masses.
5. I am grateful for abundance: love, encouragement, motivation, ambition, confidence, guidance, opportunities, fortuitous events, harmony, peace, health and prosperity.

Namaste

September 17, 2014 Harsh Reality

I put my baby out into the world and she’s already learning that she needs to step up her game.

I write well, or so I’ve been told. I knew there would be a lot of changes once others saw my work. I just didn’t realize the magnitude. So now, I step back, take a deep breath and do my best to do right by her.

A lot of what I’m hearing sounds a great deal like the copywriting course I started and have yet to finish. Show, don’t tell. Grab the reader’s attention right away. Know your audience. Sadly, I didn’t get this kind of information in the creative writing courses I took. Yet, as it is presented to me, I understand the value in all of these suggestions. Those who’ve already made the Best Seller list can be a little sloppier. But those of us who are just trying to get noticed, and sell a few hundred books have to follow the rules. It’s no different than any other undertaking. You have to prove your value before you get to make a few rules of your own.

Every learning experience has value and builds on those which came before.

The first thing I’m learning is that the birth of a first novel is a long process which is often frustrating and tedious, but it is also a huge series of life lessons. I am being called upon to not only take my writing to a whole new level, but to learn new skills and be extremely cautious about accepting information without running it past several other sources first. I’ve gotten conflicting information on everything from word count to small house publishers to writing style to selection of genre. A year ago, it would never even have occurred to me to know my audience before I even started writing. Now, I’m learning that it’s just as important as it is when writing ad copy or sales letters. Either way, you’re trying to sell something, and to do that, you have to tailor it to the people who would be likely to buy it. It doesn’t mean that your target audience will be the only ones you ultimately entertain, it just means that you have to start somewhere. It makes total sense now. But then, my hindsight was always perfect!

Thinking about how my daughter keeps telling me how much she loves it, could it be that my target audience is really people like her? If so, I’m going to have a devil of a time defining that target audience as my daughter is not typical of anyone or anything. I don’t think I could fit her into a particular group if I had to, unless it was the nonconforming, marching to her own drummer, late bloomer kind of place. Her tastes are eclectic to say the least. As well as I know her, she still surprises me often. She loves Harry Potter and hates Twilight (both of which my initial pages were compared to, and not in a good way!). She’s a Whovian and loves animated movies. She reads Michener and Poe, Rowling and McCaffery and everything in, around and in between. She’s studying Culinary Arts and Marine Biology and makes friends with people from eight to eighty. How in the hell do you quantify that???

What I’m taking out of my initial feedback, though, is this: I need to identify my target audience so I can tailor my writing to their tastes. I need to show, not tell. In other words, what I deem descriptive is not even in the same galaxy as where I need to be. “The house was painted a sunny yellow with white trim and boasted a wrap-around porch.” is clearly a real yawner. Instead, I need something like “Standing on the corner like a cornflower abandoned in a fallow field, the brightly painted walls were framed by posts as straight as soldiers in snowy uniforms which marched all the way around the structure, creating both a cozy place to wile away an afternoon and a look of refined elegance.” Is this my excuse to use 100 words when 10 would do? I don’t know, but I will be learning!!

At any rate, I have to give my brain a rest before tackling this again in the morning. All I can say right now is that I have a lot to learn, and my book won’t be hitting the stands any time soon! But I will persevere.

I forgot to mention that I’ve created an Author page on Facebook. You can find it at https://www.facebook.com/SheriLevensteinConawayAuthor . Feel free to drop by, like it and leave a comment. If you have a page, let me know where to find it so I can return the favor.

My Gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for guidance, even when it means I don’t know nearly as much as I thought I did.
2. I am grateful for a good night’s sleep to put things back into perspective.
3. I am grateful for a thick skin which I’m going to be needing more and more if I want to succeed with my writing.
4. I am grateful for patience. Also a valuable commodity with a career which is creative.
5. I am grateful for abundance: love, guidance, patience, harmony, peace, creativity, flexibility, prosperity and persistence.

Namaste

September 15, 2014 I wrote, I edited…now what?

There was a time when I would write and write, keeping my precious babe safe within my own arms, and perhaps, those of a select few. That moment has passed.

So I wrote the first 50,000 words of the novel in less than 30 days. I wrote the next 18,000 words in the next couple of months, then spent about 6 months editing, fleshing out, and reworking the rough draft into about 98,000 words. Now what?

In truth, I took a few weeks off, visited my daughter a couple of times, read a number of books by some of my favorite authors, and just took time to breathe. But one can only sit and breathe for so long before it’s time to get back onto that superhighway we call life and make something amazing happen!

Movin’ on with a little help from my friends.

Very gently, I began soliciting readers who might give me constructive criticism, not so much on grammatical issues, but on content, flow and whether I have something going for me, or need to return to the drawing board. Slowly; possibly due to my own hesitancy about baring my baby’s soul; I found people who were willing to read and critique my work. But I think the real turning point has come in the last few days. First, I found a friend of my daughter’s who has been doing some editing and was willing to take on my “child”. But the real opportunity to get the heck out of my comfortable, safe, rejection-free mausoleum came tonight when I finally bit the bullet and attended a Read and Critique with a local writer’s group. They had some great advice while refraining from ripping the whole first chapter to shreds. I also got a taste of what each of them was working on, and definitely felt like the new kid on the block! But as I tell new dancers, we were all beginners once! One lady offered to read the first three chapters and be brutal, if need be, which, right now, I really do need!

As I know that this is the right direction for me to take at this point, I’ve already RSVP’d for next week’s session, and am going to block it out on my calendar for awhile. This is a group of people who were once where I am, and who are encouraging not only the experienced, published writers, but those like me who are just starting out. Not that I haven’t written for most of my life, but until my blog, the bulk of it was for my eyes only.

Fledglings must learn to fly, and the first step is usually pretty frightening!

I know that if I’m really going to make a go of this massive career change, I have to leave the nest, the comfort zone behind, gather my courage, leave my ego, and just take those first stumbling steps which will ultimately send me airborne! Surprisingly, it wasn’t as nerve-wracking as I’d suspected, sharing even a small piece of my “baby” with strangers. I realized that they’re not out to smother her or my desire to write, but to help me make her stronger, better and above all, more marketable. I’m sure they’ve all certainly made their share of false starts, and are willing to share what they’ve learned with others. Heck, I may even learn that I’ve categorized it incorrectly, and that will also be helpful. I will be the first to admit that there’s far more about the publishing industry that I don’t know than that I do. (Although I did get a very nice complement about my editing skills). Now, I have the opportunity to learn what works, what doesn’t, how to find a publisher for my particular type of work, and who knows what else?

If it sounds like I’m very excited about this next phase, I admit, I am. But I’ll also have to admit that I’m very pleasantly surprised. I wasn’t sure what to expect tonight, but it was an excellent beginning to a new learning experience. Even better, at least three of the people who where there have published, and I will be able to read what they’ve written and sold! How great is that?

Even more amazing than my experience tonight is that I managed to stay on topic for quite a long spell before the ADHD kicked in. It does happen occasionally, when I’m really excited about something. The hyperactive energy is channeled into my excitement, I guess.

As one thing led to another, I mentioned that I was an Empath, because it was an explanation as to why a particular piece resonated with me. Speaking with the author of the piece afterwards, she revealed that she, too, is an Empath, and asked me what I’m doing with it. I had to admit that my one foray into healing wasn’t entirely successful (though it did give me the courage to quit doing work that was sucking me dry in favor of work I loved, even if it wasn’t fiscally responsible in the short term). I realize that the place, the time and the question were put before me intentionally, and will end up devoting considerable to finding a better answer to the question, even if it means leaving my comfort zone in yet another direction.

Both information from my daily Tarot readings and just gut feelings lately have indicated rapid and massive changes. I think what I’m seeing right now is just the tip of the iceberg as to what those changes will be and more, where they’ll be taking me. If only my memory and my fingers can keep up with my imagination. In fact, I’ve already decided to do the NaNoWriMo challenge again in November!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for opportunities which turn out even better than I would have imagined.
2. I am grateful for successful people who are willing to help others find that success.
3. I am grateful for new learning experiences.
4. I am grateful to have found people to edit my first work.
5. I am grateful for abundance: health, happiness, love, motivation, imagination, guidance, hope, health, harmony, peace, meaningful work and prosperity.

Namaste

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: