A Marriage of Words

,

Writing is Art, a craft where the writer marries words to create stories. 

Another royal marriage descends upon us in a matter of days.  The news is full of updates on the pending nuptials of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.    Whether you want to hear it or not, you can’t seem to avoid it.  The world loves a reason to celebrate, observe and/or pass judgement, and there is nothing like a British royal wedding to provide the perfect spectacular complete with pomp and ceremony.

Now, thinking about the upcoming wedding, made me thinking about how marriage is similar to writing.   A writer is a conduit to bring words together; similar to a wedding ceremony where the right words are united through love, and their joining together is a celebration.   This is the art of writing in motion – the writer an artist with a pen; like a conductor with his baton bringing the players together to create a symphony. 

Personally, I love to write with a fountain pen.  I love the flow of the ink, like the flow of the words.   The loops and strokes form the letters, then the words and together they dance on the page like a wedding minuet. I derive much personal pleasure from this process.  Even when I cross out the words that no longer fit, or insert new ones, it is satisfying to witness the words merging and the story taking flight.

Each word on each line is written with love from the heart.

Some words create a gentle harmony, whilst others come together with great energy and power generating a tumultuous roar; emulating the coupling of two souls.

OK, perhaps I am becoming a little theatrical with my writing here, but that is the joy of wielding the pen.

The writer is a matchmaker – he/she brings together and marries the right words with consideration and love.

Love knows no bounds – and words are the same.   Some can easily be tamed and will always maintain a subservient role, and yet others will demand centre-stage.  Some create balance and calm, whilst others revel in generating chaos and turmoil.  

Chose your words carefully and they will serve you well.   Bring the right ones together and they will elevate your stories and carve an amazing adventure for your readers.  Take time and feel for the right words, bring them together with consideration and love, allowing them to marry together to create a love affair on the page.

Writing truly is an art, a craft that any writer needs to practice.  Some days the story will flow and on others, nothing trickles through.  As writers we are mere channels for the muse to provide us with the story, our job is to catch the words and marry them together to recreate the story to take the reader on a journey and ensure the experience is a rich and rewarding one.

 

 

The WRITE Word TV Show – click here to watch

The WRITE Word Podcast Show – click here to listen


Sign up for our twice-monthly newsletter and receive your special “SNEAK PEEK”
of my upcoming novel “The Naked Knitting Club” due out later this year.

Writing – It’s a Marathon

,

Writing a Novel is a like running a Marathon

I recently watched the London marathon, and as ever I am in awe of everyone who participates, particularly on such a hot day. It is not for the fainthearted, and as much as I would love to say that I have run a marathon, I am just not prepared to do the hard work to get there. It takes months of dedicated training to work up to running the 26 miles course. You need to have a determination of steel to push through and keep your legs going. If you have taken part in a marathon, I want to take a brief moment to applaud you.

The nearest I have come was a few years ago I did a 10K run for charity, which also took in part of the central city route of the marathon. It was also a blistering hot day and the heat was a killer, you could feel the heat reflecting off the road. In the end, I was thrilled to complete the run just under the time I was aiming for – all my hours of training paid off in the end – and I have a shiny medal to prove it!

Watching the runners and thinking back to my own training schedule, it reminded me how it really is similar to writing a novel. Writing a good novel takes a lot of dedication and determination, and you need to keep motivated to get through the “walls” and get it done.

My Writing Goals

I am just over halfway through writing the first draft of my novel, and I will admit that I was overwhelmed when I realised that the average fiction book is somewhere between 60,000 to 80,000 words. That is a lot of words to write.

To help me face this daunting task, I opted to split the book down into 4 parts. This has given me milestones to achieve and by breaking it down into smaller chunks, it makes it a little easier for my head to deal with. This is a technique I used regularly with my coaching clients to make it easier for them to keep moving forward one step at a time, and like any journey, take enough steps and you will get to the finish line.

Prepare Like a Pro

In a recent interview with Susanne Mueller we talked about her coaching book being born out of her participation in an ‘Iron Man’ event and 15 New York marathons, and in the interview we learn about the parallel between her training for sporting events and her writing her own book ‘Take it from the Iron Woman’. (Listen to the podcast episode – Meet the Author: Susanne Mueller)

Currently, I am working on Part 3 and to help me, as I must admit I do feel my energy and enthusiasm starting to wane – I have now subdivided the section further into months. As my novel covers a 12-month period, it helps me to think about the comings and goings along the timeline for each month. I am still not 100% sure how I will structure the final book, but right now this makes sense to me, and, after all as the writer, it is my prerogative to decide how I tackle the writing of it.

I will admit that I am a big fan of the “Word Count” tool; it has become my best friend (although on some occasions a foe). I write a bit and then like to check and see how many words. Right now my focus is on getting the word count up and the first story draft completed.

Next Steps

Once the first draft has been completed, it will then be time to shift into the editing stage. This is the process I am dreading. I have never had to edit before and will have to engage support for this task. This is the stage to critically go through the draft with a ‘fine tooth comb’, adding and deleting to make the storyline flow, ensure character continuity and accuracy. I know that there are sections which will need to be re-written to incorporate the “show don’t tell” way of writing mentioned in an earlier blog post.
(Blog Post – ‘Show Don’t Tell’)

As I am writing the book in the 3rd person, I have opted to include parts where the main protagonist is thinking to herself and I need to make sure these are clear for the reader to follow.

Once I am happy with the overall story and editing completed (as if a writer will ever be 100% happy), the book text needs to be carefully proofed for grammar, spelling and typos.

At this point in time, I will be delighted to hand it over to my publisher for a professional cover design, and layout for both e-books, such as Kindle, and the paperback version.

The Book Marketing Journey is Only Beginning

At this point you would think the journey ends when the book is birthed – but no. This is where I change my writer hat over to become my book’s personal ambassador. Marketing is as important as the writing. This is time to start telling the world about your awesome book, get people to know about your book and where they can purchase it. It is a time to show your baby off and get people talking about it – buying and reading it.

Writing a book is a long game – it takes time, diligence, determination, focus, drive and a whole dose of belief to make it through to the finish line… and even then, I would suspect that most writers would already have started on their next book. It really is a labour of love and you need to be passionate about it.

 

 

 

The WRITE Word TV Show – click here to watch

The WRITE Word Podcast Show – click here to listen


The form you have selected does not exist.

Use Your Senses

,

Use Your Senses to Write

We are human beings, we use our senses to connect and understand the world around us. We HEAR – We SEE – We TASTE – We SMELL – We FEEL… and our readers also wish to engage their senses when reading a story or book.   Therefore, as a writer we need to tune into all our senses as we write.

SOUND

Allow your reader to listen to conversations and dialogues, and even to eavesdrop on a character’s internal monologue.  This allows no holes barred access to the reader to get to know the character, how they think, how they talk and build the understanding and connection between reader and character.   The words that are said are one layer to the complexity of a character.

Also include background sounds, and noises – this creates the backdrop to a scene and helps to paint the picture in the reader’s mind.   Additionally, something as simple as a character’s choice of music will add another layer to their personality and by doing so will give the reader a little bit more to build their own image of the character.

SIGHT

When writing the writer needs to be very clever in their choice of words to convey an image to the reader.

Description is key, but needs to be written in such a way to SHOW the reader and allow an image to clearly form in their mind’s eye.   This is an important part of the craft of writing.   A writer is a painter with only words as his/her medium – it is a gift, but also a skill that can be learned through reading and regular practice.

You need to paint a picture with words – and this is truly the art of writing.

TASTE

Imagine sitting down for a fabulous meal and you can only look at it while your companion enjoys the subtle spices, the textures and the exquisite flavour combinations.  Now, allow your companion to share with you the experience purely by words – what details would you want to know.   It is the same when writing, if your character is dining in a fine restaurant or has just taken a bite of a ‘gorilla brain burger’ – your reader needs to be sharing that experience too and get a good sense of the taste.

To do this, you as a writer need to work at explaining in the written form, so that readers may also savour the experience along with the character in the story.

SMELL

Similar to taste, the reader needs to be made aware of any pleasant or unpleasant aromas. Using the right words to get across to a reader is important.   When you think about the smell of rotten eggs – how do you react?   When you walk into a room filled with a soft, calming perfume – how does that make you feel?

Using the sense of smell as part of the reader’s journey will heighten their link with the story or plot.

FEEL

There are two kinds of feeling –

1) Emotions/feelings
2) The sense of touch

When writing use a mixture of both.   Emotional feelings are easier to incorporate, as you will be constantly writing to convey the emotions/feelings of your protagonist through the story.

However, by including the sense of touch is a clever way to build substance to a scene.   Think about touching silk, or how about an ice-cold glass – these are the extras that really draw the reader into the scene.

Using Your Senses as a Writer

As a writer you need to become much more aware of your own senses and really spend time to study them in detail, as well as considering how you would share the experience with a reader through only words.   The more you practice this skill the easier it will be to include in your writing and add more dimensions to your story – your readers will appreciate it.

Don’t Over Do It

The only word of warning is not too over do it – if you spend too much time on adding so much sensory descriptions you are at risk of losing the momentum of the flow of your story.  Use it to set an important scene and to highlight key experiences that are crucial to building the suspension or for the reader to connect at a deeper level with a character.

Practice makes perfect, and becoming more aware of your own senses in various everyday situations will certainly play an integral part in adding a new layer to your writing – one which your reader will thank you for.

 

 

 

The WRITE Word TV Show – click here to watch

The WRITE Word Podcast Show – click here to listen


The form you have selected does not exist.

Show Don’t Tell

Show Your Reader the Way

As a writer you hear “show don’t tell” time and time again, but what does it really mean?

I must admit that I struggle with this and have been spending some time looking into how I can improve my writing skills and incorporate this more into my book.   It is an adept skill to be able to create an image in your reader’s mind as they read the words you have written.  It really is an important part of being a writer, it is one we all need to master.

OK, here goes….

What is Difference between Showing vs. Telling?

“Telling” is writing a list of facts and information for the reader to read, where as “Showing” provides a background from which the reader can figure out on their own what is happening.

Below is a piece of text written in the two styles: one “telling” and the other “showing”, based on the same image the writer wishes to impart to the reader.

(1) Telling:

The man was 6ft tall and walked with a cane, his hair was white and his face wrinkled with age.  He crossed the road and enter a his apartment block.

(2) Showing:

A man limped across the road, slowly edging his way through the rushing traffic.  At the other side, he turned his face to look back at the busy traffic, and put up his arm to protect his aged eyes from the harsh sunlight. He then ducked down and stepped into the gloom.

The aim is to make the text more interesting, allowing the images to form in the mind of the reader.  Each piece painting a picture using words. The reader is part of the journey, brought into the unfolding of the story and permitted to create their own movie in their heads.

Show Using Dialogue

Another great way to “showing” is through dialogue.  Conversation between characters is a great way to show the reader in an engaging way.

(1)  Telling:

Martha told Philip that she was going to her pilates class in the morning and then she would drive over to meet her mother for lunch.

(2)  Showing with dialogue:

“What are you up to today?” asked Philip, as he sipped his coffee.

“I’m off to pilates class this morning. Mum called last night and I’ve arranged to meet her at Rico’s for a bite of lunch, and then I’ll see,” answered Martha, as she grabbed her gym bag and headed to the front door, twirling her car keys around her finger.

Use Strong Verbs to Paint a Picture

Choosing the right word is key in creating a dramatic picture in your reader’s mind.   Let’s have a quick look:

1)   Mark walked down the street with his hands in his coat pocket.

2)  Mark shuffled down the street with his hands stuffed deep into his pockets, his head hung low.

The right verb will imply so much more to the reader and create a more defined image.

Create a Movie Show in Your Reader’s Head

The art of an accomplished writer is to write a story and allow it to unfold in the reader’s mind like a movie show.   Draw the reader in and keep them engaged, and “showing” is a great way to do this.

Telling Does Have Its Place

Just know that “telling” has its place in writing and you can, of course, use it to provide the reader with important information.  However, add a good mix of “showing” and you will keep your reader’s mind active.  The more emotionally involved your reader is in the development of your storyline, the more they connect with the story.

It is the author’s job to forge a link and immerse the reader in the story as it unfolds – SHOW DON’T TELL – and allow your reader to unravel the story.

 

 

The WRITE Word TV Show – click here to watch

The WRITE Word Podcast Show – click here to listen


The form you have selected does not exist.

Silence

Silence opens the door to Creative Flow

It is only in the last year, as I have embarked on my spiritual Soul journey, that I have heard time and time again that to connect with our creative flow, we need to step back, slow down and be open to the Universe.

Now, I don’t know about you, but this sounded extremely strange to my mind.   I failed to see how doing nothing could provide the solutions or insights needed to undertake a task.   I was used to working hard to get things done with the instilled ethos – keep working away to get results.   This new method was alien to me.

However, if nothing, I am curious.   When something is brought to my attention three times (thank you Universe) I sit up and pay attention.  And so it was with this concept, I decided to test the theory for myself.   There was something appealing about easing up and allowing the answers or creative ideas to flow to me. 

So what happened?

Well, I decided that it warranted further investigation and did some further research into this approach.   My findings were quite interesting, and really quite rewarding.

The all-important step was to learn how to embrace the “silence”, and there are 3 methods I tried out:

1) Meditation

2) Mundane/routine tasks

3)  Time in Nature

Calm the Mind with Meditation

More and more we are reading and seeing meditation integrating into our mainstream way of living.  For example, Yoga and many other fitness and spiritual disciplines utilizes meditation.   It has been proven that allowing the mind to enter a quiet state, allows the mind to think more clearly and the body to de-stress.  

 

People who meditate regularly often say they receive solutions or creative ideas in this calm mind state.   It would seem that whilst the mind is clear of all the noise and clutter –  open it to receiving new insights.  

 

Even Einstein proclaimed that opening the mind was the way for ideas to be generate.

The Power of Mundane Tasks

Another way to allow the brain space to work, is to do boring mundane tasks.   Many creative geniuses, including a few well-known bestselling authors, have managed to create great works while still working their day-jobs.  

Many have found that doing routine tasks frees up the creative side of the brain.   Routine tasks occupies the ‘Left Brain’ and creates space for the creative ‘Right Brain’.  I know that while doing ironing my mind goes off on a tangent and soon it is a buzz with thoughts and ideas.   I must admit, as I am writing my first fiction book, I see the storyline with characters appearing in movie-style screens in my mind.    So often doing some mundance household tasks ends up juicing up my writer’s mind.  I just need to make sure I allow time to sit down and write it all down.

Time in Nature

Walking in Nature is also a great way to clear your head and as you focus on the moment, taking in the beauty around you – your mind will use the silence to formulate ideas.    Many creative souls include a walk as part of their daily routine.  

 

My Conclusions

The results have been extremely supportive, and I enjoy the peace and calm each method brings.   I cannot say that one method is better than the other.  It totally depends on the individual.   I find that a mixture of all methods work well – one day I might enjoy a soul-boosting walk, the next a quiet meditation, and even ironing has prompted useful insights.

As the adage says “Silence is Golden”, and it certainly can be for writers.

Make time for SILENCE in your day – you too will be surprised at the results.

 

The WRITE Word TV Show – click here to watch

The WRITE Word Podcast Show – click here to listen


The form you have selected does not exist.

Writing on the Go

Time to Break Free From Your Writing Desk

This week I had to go up to Zürich, some 2 hours by train from where I live in the mountains.   Now, usually when I make this journey, it is often early (and I mean early, I get up at 04.30!), as I normally accompany my husband on one of his days working in town.  The time on the train is usually whiled away listening to an audio book, or catching up on a Netflix series (right now I am enjoying the exploits of Captain Janeway and her crew on the USS. Voyager).

However, this week it has hit home to me just how much work I need to do to get my book ready for release later this year – I have realized to meet my deadline, I need to utilize all available time, and that includes long periods of time away from my desk.

On the train I ended up using the time to do a read through of the last piece I had written.   It was great as there were no interruptions and indeed many of my fellow commuters where also working, as many were students.  I managed to make some notes for improvements for when I come to the editing phase, as well as correcting some typos and several sentences that did not read well.    It also helped to refresh my memory all ready to pick up and continue with the next section.

 

Writer’s Café

In town, I had some time to kill before my appointment, so I visit a lovely café near the Opera House in Bellevue, where I enjoyed a coffee and spent just shy of two hours writing.   It was bliss.  I was happy to have company around me, creating a sort of “white noise” around me and I am sure it helped with my creative flow.   Sometimes I get more distracted by the overwhelming silence around me in my mountain hide-away.

Writer Cafe

Next stop, as I needed to stretch my legs and to recharge my laptop, I ended up at a Starbucks coffee shop (yes, we have a few around in Zürich, and I will admit I do enjoy their Cafe Latte).  Knowing where to find that all-needed power supply is a must, particularly if you are away from home for some hours.

Once I was all plugged in, I had a short break to enjoy my Latte and to people watch.   I am inately curious about people and find watching their behaviour and interactions extremely interesting.   In my mind I make my stories about them and who they are meeting and why.   I am sure if some of the people only knew what my imagination was generating, they would be surprised, if not shocked.   This is a great creative “improvisation” exercise, and sometimes it just provides you with an idea you will run with in your future writings.

 

Literary Light Luncheon

After Starbucks, it was time for a light lunch, and a location I often frequent during my days out in Zurich – Jemoli (a high-end department store in the heart of Bahnhofstrasse).   For me it is a safe haven, where I can grab a tasty lunch at affordable prices, there are toilets on hand and it offers another useful place to do more people-watching.   Alas, the only drawback is there are no power plugs.  I guess if they did put them in, then people like me (writers, business people and students) would really outstay their welcome.

 

Creative Progress

In the end, it proved to be a productive day. I managed to write a further 4,000+ words, and read through a previous section, as well as pick up a few character ideas.  Not on only did I boost my word count, but I had a notebook at hand and managed to save a few ‘golden nugget’ ideas before they vanished into the ether.  (One of my top writer’s tips – always have a notebook and pen at hand!)

In conclusion, I found that ‘writing on the go’ was rewarding and quite easy to accommodate with some forethought and a little planning.   I now am wiling to accept that as a writer, I don’t need to be confined to one location. I look forward to my next outing and I would encourage you too to grab your laptop and/or notebook and head out for a change of scenery.  You never know how it might inspire you and encourage your creative flow.

I would love to hear your “writing-on-the-go experiences”.

 

 

 

The WRITE Word TV Show – click here to watch

The WRITE Word Podcast Show – click here to listen


The form you have selected does not exist.

Grammar and Spelling as a Writer

,

Are you a GRAMMAR Junkie?   Perhaps you are a SPELLING BEE?

I put my hands up and will admit, as much as I LOVE WORDS…  English Grammar and Spelling are not my forte.

Dyslexic Writer

This is due, in part, to my dyslexic tendencies – I find that some configuration of letters to be difficult for me to get in the right order.   I often put “i” and “e” in the incorrect order -not because I don’t know how to actually spell the word, but rather when I write or type it, it comes out wrong.

Additionally, there are certain words I love to use, which I have to constantly look up in a dictionary, to ensure that I spell them correct.   I have now found a solution to this problem:  I write a list of these words at the front of my dictionary, making them easy and quick to find.  Otherwise, I found that while writing, I stopped using some words I really liked, and replaced them with words I could spell.  However, these replacement words often fell short in conveying the meaning I was striving for, or lacked the punch to really emphasize the scenario to the reader.

When You’re Not a Native Speaker

I know that for some of you, reading this post, English is not your mother-tongue.   I applaud anyone who has the confidence to write in another language.   It is a daunting task and knowing that native English speakers are going to be reading your work, it can be off-putting.   Well- I say keep going…  don’t be put off!   If you are worried about making mistakes – then enlist the help of a native English speaker to read it through for you and correct any obvious errors.  Be open to learning as you write, and welcome any feedback that helps develop your writing skills.

But hey – don’t stress about it too much – many native English speakers don’t even have a great grasp of their own grammar.   As a foreigner, learning English, you often learn the grammar point more in depth than we do.   When I think back to my English Language lessons at school, they certainly did not prepare me in grasping the finer mechanics of my own language.  For example, when I was learning French while living in Paris, my French teacher had to constantly explain the English grammar point before she could teach it to me in French.  She confessed I was not alone, and certainly for her, it was a common issue with many of her native English speakers.

Grammar

Simple punctuation and basic grammar is key.  After all, you wish to construct a sentence that begins with a capital letter and ends with a full-stop.   If you struggle with the basic grammar points, then use some tools to help you.   One great tool is grammarly (www.grammarly.com) – use it to check your grammar and spelling as you write.   Another option is the spelling and grammar checker available in many word-processing software packages.   However, I will say that I have encountered glaring spelling and grammar errors when using Microsoft Word.

If you wish to have a grammar reference book on hand – I recommend the following:

  • Word Perfect – A dictionary of current English usage – by John O. E. Clark     Published by Harrap’s Reference
  • My Grammar and I (or should that be “Me”?) – by Caroline Taggart and J. A. Wines   Published by Mom Books
  • Essentials of English – by Hopper, Gale, Foote and Griffin     Published by Barron’s
  • Eats, Shoots and Leaves – by Lynne Truss    Published by Profile Books

Also, a ‘must-have’ for all writers, is a good DICTIONARY and THESAURUS.   I use the Collins “Dictionary and Thesaurus in One Volume“.   I love using the THESAURUS to find alternative words, thus ensuring my writing is more varied and interesting.   Although, avoid using ‘BIG’ words just for the sake of it – it is pretentious and annoying for many readers.

As a Writer – Just Write

The key thing is as a Writer is to WRITE.   Write every day to hone your skills, and don’t be afraid to use the WORDS you want to use.   If you struggle spelling certain words, make a list of them and keep it somewhere you can readily access, so they are easy to find when you need them.

Remember, the focus is on the story you are telling.  Sure, there will always be someone who picks up a spelling or grammar error – but for most readers this is not a major stumbling block (as long as they are only here and there…).

YOU ARE A WRITER – so make peace with English spelling and grammar, and JUST WRITE!

 

PS.  I am not perfect, and please feel free to point out any spelling or grammar errors – I am always open to learning and improving too!

 

The WRITE Word TV Show – click here to watch

The WRITE Word Podcast Show – click here to listen

 


The form you have selected does not exist.

 

The Business of Writing

,

So you want to be a serious writer, become a published author and make words your tool of choice…

Sounds great and there is a general belief that anyone can write a book.   Well, now with the advancement of technology and the fact that the internet has opened up the world to any budding writer, it certainly is much easier.   Anyone can write, for sure, however the reality is that a serious writer needs to put in the hours and build their following in the virtual and real world.   You need to constantly deliver top-notch offerings to keep your followers engaged – they want to get to know more about you, as well as your work.

It Takes More than Writing

In our modern era, a successful author not only writes great books, but there is the need to invest time and effort to ensuring that the world knows about the book and potential readers are reached.    Writing the book is almost the easy part (believe me there is a lot goes into a writing a well-contrived novel), with a large chunk of time required to keep social media outlets populated.   It is all about attracting, engaging and building a relationship with your audience.   Share with them aspects of your real life; treat them to snippets of your writing; show them that you are a human being first and a writer whose work captures their imagination, inspires them, and makes them laugh and/or cry.   We are all human beings in this world all living our lives and have experiences – and people who tend to be creative, like writers for example, are usually people who tend to live life to the fullest, thereby giving them great experiences to draw upon and inspire them in their writing.   I know that I certainly do this – a lot!

 

Social Media Marketing

Unless you live in a desert or a far-flung star – you are most likely using some form of social media, or at the very least are somewhat aware of it. Social Media is all about connecting people, and this is great for any writer, as our aim is to connect with our readers.  So don’t be shy – start to use it!

There are many options to chose from – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc.  Make sure you find an option you feel comfortable with and are prepared to spend the time to work with.   Many people adore Facebook as you can set up a Page for your writer persona, and groups are a great way to connect and interact with polls, live videos, and sharing learnings.   Instagram is great if you are a visual person with images and short videos, and some people, like President Trump, really go to town with Tweets on Twitter.    Find the one that works for you.   Make sure you are comfortable in using the key aspects – if you are a total “technophobe”, perhaps consider roping someone in for support (kids are naturals with technology, perhaps you could persuade your teenage to lend a hand for some reimbursement).  Also, I would suggest that you do some research to find out what social media preferences your ideal reader/fan is using, and how they use it.

Once you are up and running do try to generate two-way conversations – invite input by posting questions or even a poll.

Face-to-Face

Over and above social media, there are other important actions to take to promote your writing/book.  Get up and personal with live event; for example, speak at writer workshops, and when you have your book; get invites to do book readings to groups or clubs where your ideal reader hangs out; or speak to your local bookstore and see if they will stock your book and arrange a book signing.

Be Heard – Be Seen

Additionally, if you can deal with some technical set up, or have someone who can support you – why not consider doing a Podcast Show or a TV Show on YouTube?   Your audience want to see you, get to know you, and hear the interesting things you have to share with them.

If you wish to be taken seriously as a writer you need people to get to know your writing, get to know you and become your “tribe”.   Treat writing like a proper job – do your writing, share your experiences, thoughts, and glimpses of your real life, consistently, and you will be rewarded.

COMMIT to CONSISTENCY!

 


The form you have selected does not exist.

 

Be Careful What You Say…

…because you are listening!

Do you ever think about all the talk going on in your head?   Next time the voice in your head starts up, and believe me it will, I invite you to just listen.

As a certified NLP Practitioner, I spent a long time learning how to change the way my mind operated and learnt some great techniques to shift from NEGATIVE to POSITIVE.   Even now, when I am not focussing, the old “Negative Mind Monkeys” creep back in and very quickly are running a mock trying to make me doubt myself and generally bring me down.   I will start to hear phrases like –

You are not worth it.

You can’t do it.

Who do you think you are kidding – you just aren’t good enough.

Some of you might have heard similar talk in your own head – and what is worse, is that after a while you are literally brain-washed to believe it and actually start to say these phrases out loud.

Seriously, we need to all stop and listen to the voices in our heads and if there are a lot of negative criticisms, recognise them and make a point to start to dig deep and pull out your PERSONAL CHEERLEADER – the voice who supports you with POSITIVE ENCOURAGEMENT.

It is worth working on this and turning up the volume on your CHEERLEADER “head talk” – as this will make a huge difference to your life.   You will become more positive, more competent, have more self-esteem, and become so much happier.

One technique I find really helpful is to write out a MANTRA – a short statement or series of statements, which I read regularly to remind myself of what I really need to be saying, for example:

I am capable.

I can and I will do it.

I have everything I need to be a success.

Go on… start listening today and only speak to yourself using POSITIVE and UPLIFTING words.    WORDS HAVE POWER – use them to your advantage!


The form you have selected does not exist.

 

 

A Story of Love

A Story of Love… or is it a Love Story?

This month my husband and I celebrate our 21st wedding anniversary.  Happy Anniversary Hun, and many more wonderful ones to come!

Our anniversary is in, what many consider to be, the month of Love.   February is the month when many people celebrate St. Valentine’s Day, which we celebrate on 14th February.

So, I thought it would be an ideal time to talk about LOVE, and in particular, to address the topic of LOVE STORIES.

The Word ‘Love’

Let’s start off talking about the word ‘LOVE’ – what does it mean to you?   How does reading it and saying it make you feel?

To me, LOVE is one of the most powerfully emotive words in our language.  Personally, I believe that some people bandy it around so much that they diminish its power.   I use the word LOVE when something means a great deal to me, for example, I love my husband and I enjoy eating chocolate.

Love Story or Story of Love?

Many of us, particularly those of us who grew up on fairy tales, recognise the words LOVE STORY.   A love story is, in my personal view, a fantasy type of love.   It is the dashing Prince riding in on his white steed to save the Princess, they kiss, then ensues a lavish wedding (complete with dress that could rival any of the dresses in the TV show ‘My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding’), and it all ends with the beautiful couple disappearing into the sunset and living happily ever after.   Fairy tales and Disney have a lot to answer for!

To me, a STORY OF LOVE is a completely different kettle of fish.   It is set in the real world, with real people.  People, who have good days and bad days, who work long hours, who wake up with mascara smudges, and get overwhelmed on occasions with life.   They don’t necessarily have perfectly toned abs, spout romantic poetry, nor do they all drive a Ferrari and live in a huge mansion with a pool and polo paddock out the back.

Indeed, the large majority of us are regular people going about our daily routines and getting on with it as best we can.   Now, that’s not to say that each regular Jane or John don’t have dreams, and some of them can be whoppers.   Some will achieve those dreams and others may not.  Anyway, that’s another story.

Back to our STORY OF LOVE…   

I used to believe in the LOVE STORY fantasy version of love and wished and waited for my handsome Prince Charming to come along and save me from my mundane life.   Then the reality hit me that this was not going to be the case.  My Life depended on ME getting on with it, and so I did.   However, along the way, I set the intention for LOVE to come into my life, and I asked the Universe, at the right time, to find me someone kind, loving, supportive and a true friend and companion.

I forged on with my life, and it was filled with flitting romances, until my late 20s.   I had lived in London and Paris, bought my own home and had an incredible job.   However, at that time, I also was in a difficult relationship with a rather unpleasant guy.   He was controlling and manipulative, not a nice guy at all.  My first reaction when he asked me out was to say “NO”, but being the kind person I am, I gave him a chance.  (Note to self – LISTEN TO YOUR BLOODY INTUITION!!)   I am not going into the sordid details here, but let’s say it has taken a lot of therapy to put the ordeal behind me.

Anyway, I finally managed to remove myself from his clutches, and to say I ‘strongly disliked’ (I am avoiding using the word HATE here, as it such a powerful word too and has too much negativity associated it with) men at that point was an understatement.   I managed to pull my life back together, and it was at this point when I had totally given up on finding ‘Mr. Right’ and resigned myself to being a spinster on my own. But, hey ho, the Universe had other plans.

It was on a night out with friends when I met my wonderful husband.   I literally picked him up on the street in the town where I lived.   It felt like the Universe, with all its wisdom, pointed a big sign at him with the words ‘PICK HIM’.   Hand on my heart that is truly what it felt like to me.

All my other romances never even made it past the six-month mark, and most of them felt like really hard work.   Since my husband and I have been together, I can tell you that the time together has flown by.   Now to me, we have a true STORY OF LOVE – our marriage has had its fair share of hard knocks and we survived; we have lived together through the upheavals of moving to and living in four different countries; we have many common interests and we enjoy cuddling up together on the sofa in front of the fire (the joys of living in a Swiss Chalet) with a glass of wine, watching a movie.   A STORY OF LOVE is about two people’s hearts connecting and the two of them working together to face the ups and downs of life.

He is my partner-in-crime, my rock, my travel companion, my personal chef, my supporter, my friend – but most of all, he is my LOVE.  We are a TEAM.

Look for Your Own Story of Love

I see too many young, and a few older people rush into relationships and marriage because they think they are in love.   In reality, they are in love with the idea of the LOVE STORY.    Rarely do these unions work out, because they have neglected to look for all the special qualities to make a LIFE LONG STORY OF LOVE.

Being in LOVE with someone is hard work.   It takes give and take on both sides, with a good dose of compromise (in balance), a lot of compassion, and you need to be big enough to say “SORRY” (and mean it) when you mess up, and be able to dig deep to FORGIVE the other person when they get it wrong.   With LOVE in both of your hearts, you will find your way together.

If your own LOVE STORY didn’t work out, don’t give up – we all deserve to find someone to star alongside in our own STORY OF LOVE movie.

Are you looking for or living the LOVE STORY, or are you ready to commit to finding your own STORY OF LOVE?

PS   I also want to add that make sure you start by enjoying a STORY OF LOVE with yourself first.  It makes life a lot more straightforward when you love who you truly are!


The form you have selected does not exist.