Memories can be healing, revealing, scary, upsetting, fun and a whole lot of emotions in-between. Every experience creates a memory in the library of your soul. When you come to write a memoir and walk into that vast room, you may not know where or how to start. Personally, I think that when you start the journey into memoir the most important thing is that you allow. What I mean by that is you allow yourself to wander through the library and enjoy the process of connecting your memories with new eyes. Also allowing whatever needs to arise in the moment.
Often I am confronted with something that triggers a memory, it seems at first disconnected to the memoir, personal story, book or blog that I am writing. And then just like that, it starts to make sense. In that sense making process, I believe that we can create a sense of freedom.
Everything starts from within. Our beliefs about something seem so deeply ingrained, yet when we explore with new eyes and open our hearts to the message that lies beneath we start to liberate ourselves from self-imposed tyranny.
Now I am not saying you will be jumping for joy when you are reminded of events. You may be happy and equally, you may cry. The important thing is that you allow, acknowledge, accept and then take some small action.
Let me give you an example.
Last night I went to a party, nothing unusual in that, it was New Year’s Eve and a time when people like to get together and see in the New Year. Of course, some don’t, preferring the peace of a roaring fire and perhaps dinner and a film.
The music played, people danced, and the DJ opened her deck so that anyone could request a personal song. There were some songs that I wanted to lose myself in, taking me back to a time when I too would have been on the floor dancing all night.
Two years ago I sustained an injury and stuff like dancing hurts and so to protect myself I don’t. But then a very curious thing happened.
Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs and Woolly Bully came on. And that was it.
Suddenly I was transported back in time to my parent’s parties. I wanted to dance. I asked a friend who wrinkled her nose at my suggestion, and then I was surprised by another friend who I’d thought wasn’t into dancing coming on to the empty dance floor with me. It was wonderful. I wasn’t at this party, I was back as a child twisting and laughing to the music.
When we sat down I told him the story of mum and dad’s parties and how this song made me feel. The conversation meandered into how I’d loved to dance and enjoyed the parties on the RAF camp where we lived. I explained how when the guys I’d danced with discovered who my dad was they freaked. I’d never really understood why. Dad was as far as we knew ‘just’ a fireman.
My tale veered off to a discovery I made last year. I had posted a picture of dad on Facebook. Someone privately messaged me about my dad being a rock ape. Firstly I had no idea what a rock ape was and secondly, I (or mum) hadn’t known he was in the RAF Regiment. When mum and I first discovered this we pondered about how little we had known about my dad. Who was this mysterious man who scared my potential suitors away and who might not have been just a fireman?
This morning when out walking this all came flooding back, only now there were other connections popping up.
So let me explain.
Today I start to edit my book Rude Awakenings. It opens with my first awakening – discovering that my then husband was and had been for all of our relationship living a double life. How little I knew about who he really was.
The song last night triggered off thoughts of my childhood and the discovery that potentially my dad was not who he seemed either. My ex-husband was not who he seemed and in my journey which I share in my book, I was looking for the ‘real’ me.
I am reminded that when I edit I must look beneath the stories and memories that make this memoir and to let whatever arises. It seems to me as we enter a new year and full moon, that this is another call from my soul to release more.
You may think you are just writing a memoir, but in effect as you work on your book you are creating a pathway to inner freedom.
For you to ponder…
We always come back to the core message. A memoir is not just a story, there is a learning point or points in every chapter, which comes back to the core message.
In Rude Awakenings I am on a journey to self-love and self-discovery, this is my books core message. However, as a writing coach, the bigger message for me is to inspire you to have the courage to write your book.
When you think about your core message as you write and edit, what else can you learn about you? Are there any fragments that you still need to let go of?
No matter how you feel about your story right now, there will always be something that pops up to remind you to take note. What are those things? Your reader will probably experience stirrings of emotions as they read – what might they be? Our experiences may be similar but how we process them is often different and we each need to find our way. Just take a moment to consider how your reader will feel as they read your book?
Writing has always been my saviour. When we step beyond the thinking mind and allow whatever needs to arise come forth then I believe we can find freedom.
Freedom comes from inside. When we allow ourselves to write without limitations, we are telling our souls that its ok for it all to be laid bare. In becoming a witness we can learn so much about who we are.
I say write for freedom and edit for your reader. What I mean is write the memories, flow through and with them. Take the time to explore and adventure with what comes up. When you come to edit, you will know what is for you and what is for your reader.
My invitation today is to ask you to reflect on yesterday. What conversations did you have, where do those thoughts take you? Use the full moon to let go of limitations around writing your memoir.
It’s a new year, a new chapter, and if you could give yourself the freedom to write your memoir, what would it be called?
One of my fondest memories is going on a fiction writers retreat. So much so it encouraged me to start running writers retreats and up until recently, I ran these in Spain every year. That is until life got in the way. However, as luck would have it, a good friend of my and client who wrote Breathe Better, Sleep Better was chatting to me about her Ayurveda Sleep Retreat.[easyazon_image align=”center” cart=”y” height=”500″ identifier=”1504367758″ locale=”UK” nw=”y” src=”https://images-eu.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41m5MNAQOAL.jpg” tag=”soulwritersac-21″ width=”333″]
Although my sleep is under control, there was a time when it wasn’t and this was because of an undiagnosed overactive thyroid. Which I did sort out. But after having so many years of insomnia I know what it’s like to be menopausal, not sleeping and a complete wreck. When I first spoke with Anandi about her retreat, my prime objective was to find out what she would be doing and if I could use her learning to help me heal osteoporosis, rather than sleep.
Anandi is an Auyerveda specialist and we chatted about ‘types’ and how this retreat could help me to understand myself better, from another perspective. And as is my way, my desire to go on retreat grew.
When I told her that I had planned a writers retreat in Spain, but was concerned with all of the planning and how little energy I currently had, she suggested that I gatecrash hers and invite writers to come and work with me and gain the benefits of her wisdom too.
This means that in the morning we all get to enjoy yoga and connecting with ourselves and in the afternoon you write.
There are many reasons to go on a writers retreat, not least that you get time away from your everyday life and get some peace and head space to get your thoughts down.
You could end up writing over 10,000 words (or more) if you focused.
Back in normal life, just thinking about writing a book, when there’s a job to be done, kids to feed, a partner to please, a car to wash, shopping, cleaning, cooking and whatever else you cram into your day to day life, brings many out in a cold sweat.
I often hear potential authors say if only I could take myself away from it all then I could…
I get it. When I was living with someone (ok I admit it, I had an annoying husband…) it was almost impossible to write. There were constant interruptions and I watched my precious writing time disappear into the ether.
The best time I ever had during this stressful part of my life was a week away on a writers retreat, where I was shut off from the world with 15 other potential fiction writers. All I had to concentrate on was writing and the odd cooking session (when it was my turn). I felt like a writer, I lived like a writer, I was a writer and I wrote. It was amazing.
It’s this experience (and better) that we can create on this Ayurveda and Writers Retreat in Tuscany. Have a think about these reasons and then make that all important decision to get away and get writing. Once you have kickstarted your book there is no turning back.
If you want to get a book kick-started, there is no better way, than getting away. It doesn’t have to be a retreat (I am of course biased), but it does need to be a place where you can work in your way, to achieve your writing outcomes.
Whichever option you choose, what is important is that you make the time to write and be a writer. Finding your space will enable you to find your flow and your next 10,000 words or more.
What a combination of things to think about, but for me, journaling, writing blogs and books all lead to healing in some way. And when you have a book to market you need to think about how to get it known.
Words are powerful. The words we say to ourselves get interpreted by our bodies and depending on what kind of words you use, you could be healing and harming yourself.
When I was first diagnosed with osteoporosis, the first thing I did was open a brand new journal. A short while later I started another one. One was for the journey, and one is a gratitude journal. The osteoporosis journal was to try and make sense of everything, which included my body, feelings, mindset and things that needed researching. And the other was because I found myself in a low place where nothing made sense, and I wanted to remind myself about the beauty of the world.
The blog for natural osteoporosis awareness was so that I could share my learning and wisdom and in some way help others. This gives me purpose and meaning, which are so important for healing. I didn’t want to write a blog, but it helped me to write my book and create awareness (marketing) in preparation for the launch in October.
I started the book with an idea, my story and a process – a way to create a unique healing plan for your life and for osteoporosis (a chronic dis-ease). Once it was outlined and a few chapters written, I took time out for marketing. This meant:
Then when this was settled, I was back to writing my book.
Each of these stages has given me clarity, purpose and healing. Can you see why I do what I do? This is what you do too.
Think about what it is you have come to Earth to share or teach. Each and every one of you reading this will get some clarity somewhere about what you are doing and the path you are on.
You may be journaling or resisting it, thinking about a book and not sure how to write it or market it. Where ever you are think about these things:-
When you know what your mission, vision and core message are, you can create a strategy (the steps to get you to where you want (and need) to go.
Start by buying a journal, get connected to your heart and write. Who knows where your heartfelt words will take you?
Here is a video about starting to journal as a reminder to embrace the power of journaling.
Have a wonderful day.
I met Kay about a year ago and we hit it off immedietly. Kay always inspires me and when she told me it was time for her to write a new book I imagined that we would see it in about six months. Little did I realise that in just 45 days Kay would get her book Messages of Inspiration written and be ready to launch in such a short space of time. Kay is truly an inspiration.
The idea for this book came to me while I was meditating back in December. During my meditation, I received this massive download and divine guidance to write a book filled with 365 inspirational messages from the Universe to bring inspiration and motivation to the world. Initially, I had no idea how I should come up with 365 powerful quotes but by consulting in my Akashic Records, the beings of the light helped me through guidance to get these messages on paper. I felt so very touched that I was gifted this mission to bring these messages to the world to inspire people that anything is truly possible and that no matter how difficult your life may seem, you can do, be and have anything your heart desires and these messages bring a deeper meaning to the readers to help them stay in awe of what is truly possible for them.
The beings of the light told me the name
Messages of Inspiration is an inspirational and motivational book that is meant to inspire its readers that anything is possible for them and that no matter how difficult their life or circumstances might seem, there is always light at the end of the tunnel and always infinite possibilities available to create more joy, happiness and success in one’s life.
I received the divine guidance to write this book
Conscious people who have the deep desire for more joy, happiness and success in their life. Who have been searching for answers, who want to be, do and have so much more and who know that life has so much more to offer but they simply have not figured out how to close the gap from where they are right now to manifest what their heart desires and creating a life full of abundance.
Initially, I did not think I would be able to write 365 quotes and I figured it would take me quite a while to finish this book but with the help of the beings of the light and my record keepers, they helped me write these 365 quotes in as little as 45 days.
Not one thing. I was following divine guidance it is perfect in just the way it is.
Being gifted this huge purpose to bring these messages from the Universe to live and how fast it all came about. Now the best part is that it has already been making major head waves even though it has not even been released yet. Many have been eager to sign up for the accompanying email series and just the amazing comments and testimonials I have received so far warms my heart and I know it will touch so very many hearts and impact their lives.
That if you trust in your own abilities and just allow your inner guidance to take over, you can create something so beautiful that is going to change lives.
Don’t wait to write the story that you hold within you. Writing a book is not as difficult as it may seem and there are many who are just waiting to hear your story. If you think your story is not important enough to be shared, let me assure you it is, and even if your story only impacts one single person that is one person you were able to help and make a difference in their life.
We often forget that we are infinite beings, who can do, be and have anything our heart desires but we often get derailed by our negative and limiting thoughts, the illusions we live by that keeps us playing small because we fear change, we fear failure, or we simply don’t think more is in store for us.
If you have had this longing to be, do and have more then don’t wait! Don’t be that person who envy’s others for all that they have, for the great lifestyle they live, for the amazing success they experience, for the joy and happiness they radiate. You too can create this lifestyle for yourself; believe that anything is possible, that you too can have all that your heart desires. Abundance, joy, happiness and great success is not something that is reserved for others; you too can create all the abundance, all the joy, all the happiness and all the success your heart desires.
Be the person who does not let their situation or circumstance determine their life. You can choose to say no to all the struggles, say no to the challenges you may be experiencing and say YES to abundance, say YES to Joy, Happiness and immense Success in your life.
It is also available in a daily email series which also includes an action step to take to get the most out of the messages. Soon it will become available as a workbook, I will use it for speaking and I am thinking about turning it into a retreat as well
So far I have received many opportunities to speak on different podcasts and radio shows, I may be sponsored by the local ballpark for a book signing and I am sure a lot more opportunities will come from it
Your message is meant to be heard, do not hide your gifts, your message, or yourself behind the illusion that your message is not worth sharing.
Wayne Dyer’s book Excuses Be Gone and Believe it before you see it. Lisa Barnett’s book on the Akashic Records and many many others
I was an addict to the romance novels of the old times
A lot of spiritually based books, personal development books and some business building books but mainly the spiritual books have caught my interest
That is a very good question, I tend to work a lot but during my downtime. I love to meditate, read, be out in nature, and just BE
Kay Sanders, known as the Creator of Possibilities is an Intuitive Business Coach, Certified Akashic Record Consultant, and Bestselling Author.
Kay helps conscious entrepreneurs find that missing piece to create momentum in their Business and re-ignite their Manifesting Mojo so they can make a difference in the world, create more freedom in their life and tap into the magic and power of manifesting their heart’s desire.
Why should anyone write a book? Why would anyone want to write a book? Especially if they are disillusioned about life?
Life sometimes doesn’t deal you with the hand you expect. Often you start on one pathway and end up on another seemingly unrelated one. The truth is, at least this is what I believe is that the path you are on is always the right path. It may feel like crap; you may be unwell, unhappy, trapped and in a place that you would rather not be.
Over the last weeks dealing with pain and discovery of things I’d rather not deal with puts me in a place of discomfort. A place where I have to call on every fibre of my being to keep me going. What I observe about myself is that generally, I am the epitome of positivity. Right now I’m positive and I am focused on my health, doing lots of good things, but I feel rubbish, mentally, physically and spiritually. What I know is that because of the kind of person I am that I can find something good to come from it.
When I connect with others in the osteoporosis forums, I am astounded by the stories. My heart is touched by what people endure with what is called a silent dis-ease. That is it sneaks up on you because no one told you that you had to look after your bones. Just like no one told you that periods would hurt or menopause would almost drive you insane.
These brave people (men and women) have stories that could help another person to know that there is hope.
Ok, not all of them will want to write, not all of them will feel like they want to inspire anyone as they battle with pain, confusion and overwhelm. But there will be some who will want to share their stories, knowledge and wisdom so that those receiving diagnoses have a source of wisdom and a reference point.
The case for writing books will never end. As humans, we make meaning from words. We connect emotionally with stories.
You never know where your book will end up and whose heart it will touch.
I decided to write a book about my journey, I just woke one morning and decided that I must share what I learn and how I learn to look after my heart, body and soul in a new way. As I start to plan it out, what is interesting is that I do not know what the ending will be and that doesn’t matter. What matters is how I deal with things so that others can be inspired by that and can consider what their strategy might be.
Write a book and trust that the right people will read your words.
Yeah ok, it takes a lot of work and to write the right book. That’s because it is such a valuable asset. Not just for you, but for the galactic library that we are creating.
Humanity needs words. We need help to find meaning.
When I work with my clients, I often hear ‘wow, this book is not how I imagined writing a book would be. It has gone deeper than I could have ever imagined.’
That’s because writing reaches into the depths of your soul. So just think what will happen when you write your story from a sacred place of divine wisdom. The wisdom you have because of your life’s journey and work.
You have experiences that need to be shared. The wisdom that could help someone else’s life and sanity.
It seems to me that no matter who we are we have many of life’s riches to share. When life touches us in places we didn’t expect we wake to who we are. When I meet and work with women like me, I am often deeply moved by what they have lived through and how they have come to be. Their stories are magical. They are about expansion and transformation. And as their stories touch another, we each change and we become a part of a global transformation.
As we become whole, we can support others to discover their path to wholeness.
We are standing on the edge of an Earth that is crumbling beneath us. A planet that does not wants us – our Mother is fed up with us. We, the human race, the alleged intelligent ones are destroying what was lovingly provided for us.
We are waking up. Taking ownership of our minds, bodies and soul. Eating better food and finding ways to create a healthy body, mind and soul so that they have the essential nutrients to undertake their life’s work. They are treating themselves, the planet and other sentient beings with respect.
There is a lot to learn from people who have been through some not so pleasant experiences
Are you prepared for the change that writing a book will bring you? You may think that you will be writing out your experiences and offering advice and observations. I’d ask you to think again.
Nothing can prepare you for the profound shift you will go through, so pull up your big girl pants and get ready for the ride. You may think you know your story and the wisdom you have come to share. However, planning and then putting pen to paper will change you as you allow all of you to rise.
You won’t be living in the past and going back to your dark place and reliving it. You will be writing from the inside out, but from another perspective. You will be in it yet not in it. As you do the inside work, you can then stand on the outside and see yourself with more clarity and a better perspective.
I warn you writing a book is going to test you in ways you will have never considered. Just when you thought it was time to slow down, more opportunities for personal growth appear.
Never doubt that you are good enough to write a book or think that no one wants to hear your story. Have faith and trust. They will.
We can never truly know what goes on in another’s life. We read comments in Facebook groups and shares on personal pages, but nothing will prepare others for the story you share. These daily snippets do not tell the whole story – they are moments in time. Others cannot be in your body to know what life is like for you when you are in the midst of your worst times.
When you bare your heart and soul, you will feel vulnerable. This is exposing to others the bones of who you are. They will love it, and if they don’t, then they are not your people.
When my life changed again just a short while ago, I was angry, not raging, more of a fed up angry. I stared at the sky and asked why? And then I could see that no matter what my outcome is, others would want to see what is possible for them. From experience, I know that when stories are shared that others will see you in a new light. The light of understanding.
This is a perfect time to dare to be, to heal, be vulnerable, dig out your courage and dare to inspire.
Let’s turn this around. When you read a book, you learn lots of things to support the knowledge that you seek. For example, I am currently knee deep in books about osteoporosis and nutrition. I am learning new things every day and gaining new perspectives on myself. Some of these books are highly technical with lots of biological terms which don’t make them so easy to whizz through, but I figure that as there isn’t a test at the end who cares?
As I learn all of this new stuff and it becomes a part of my bank of wisdom, I am able to integrate this learning into my being. The same applies when you write a book.
As I live my life, read books, write and accumulate knowledge, I learn something new about me.
The same thing happens when you embark on your journey to writing a book:-
Some of these tasks you can and must outsource. Undertake a skills and knowledge audit and see what you can innately do, what you can do with support and what has to be delegated.
You may be surprised at what transferable skills you have.
Do you have a core message? Do you live your life by your values? What is your vision?
Before embarking on writing a book, you need to know what your values, passion, purpose, vision and the core message for your book are. Sometimes we lose sight of these or become disconnected from them. When you start to consider what you would want to write a book, become reacquainted with them and join the dots. You will write a better book.
When you are writing, actually putting pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard you will need to know what the core message of your book is. You do this at the planning stage and so when you write each chapter can tap into that. Then when you are ready to market your book, you can build your marketing messages from these words and concepts.
You will do this based on your values and this will make that vital connection to the heartbeat of another.
Stories move me. Your story will move others. By sharing your stories and wise words which have been life-changing, others will feel humbled, I know I do. We are not alone. People the world over have been through so much, you wonder how they can bare it. We do, we are strong (you are) and we grow, and we know that we are not alone. We stand united in the power of what it means to be human.
I know what it means to experience a life which hasn’t been easy, life can be a tough journey. When I look at my experiences, they pale into mists compared to the horror of what some endure. I am filled with pride for my sisters and brothers. Every story fills a gap in someone’s life.
When you write yours and see the words on the page and consider what it has meant to you to go through your life you will, I believe, feel a deeper connection to your humanity.
Data is good. Information is incredible. Knowledge is powerful. Wisdom is a force you cannot reckon with.
Experiences carry a stronger vibration, than just facts. When you share your experiences, others connect emotionally and make meaning. You are now a person of influence, which brings great responsibility, who can create a lasting impact on others lives and the conscious choices they make.
As you write, you develop a more profound sense of knowing and a depth of wisdom about who you are, your identity and your place in the history of the planet waking up.
We talked about values, now ask what do you stand for? Are you a champion or a leader for something? Do you want to change the world or at least some part of it? Do you want to empower others? What?
You do not have to paint your face, make up a placard and march for your rights, but you might want to. I have, I used to march against animal cruelty. Writing your book will awaken a calling. When I work with my clients, I am often amazed at what else comes out of the book planning and writing process. These people are incredible humans who will make a difference.
This process wakes them up to what is possible for them to create.
The process may tear you apart (not in a horrible way) and ask you to examine who you are.
What I do is create a space for you through writing to be heard. Really listened to. Listening to your heart and soul and letting you know that I hear you.
I hear you, and my desire is that the other ears that are meant to hear your inspirational message hear you. Just imagine if someone reading your book gets as much out of it as you do writing it.
When you share your story, you will connect emotionally and spiritually with your readers in a way that goes beyond traditional marketing.
When you pour the undiluted beauty of you into a book, you will examine what you stand for and you will do something to inspire others.
So you think you know what you will be writing about, do you? What I love about this process is that when people write, they make new connections. That might be connections within the text, but it may also be other ways to share their core message.
When I experience, hear, see or read things, my mind goes ping, ping, ping and I see many opportunities and start connecting so many dots. It is exciting.
The same will happen to you as you plan and write your book. These might be a conference, an online course, a cause, a coaching program, a retreat or another book. Who knows?
Leave the portals of your mind wide open and allow the opportunities to gather in the spaces.
This is my favourite. Sisters and brothers supporting each other on this journey called life. Humans allowing, acknowledging and embracing other humans. Stories, your powerful, practical, personal words can transform lives. At a time when the world seems fragmented, we need hope. We need authentic connections. Stories help to create community and words create meaning. When we have connection, community and a common purpose we can create lasting change.
As writers, we can create space for others to recharge their power pack and giving them tools and space to know what is possible for them.
Despite all of your ideal reader planning, you can never know whose hands your book will land in, Nor can you know how it will change their thinking and reason to be. Just know that it will.
It is quite a big step, this writing about yourself malarky which you may not find easy. You will be baring your soul and may be opening yourself up to judgement. Well, I say sod what others think of you. What they think is none of your business, your job is to stand tall and tell your truth. And there is a way to tell your truth that keeps you inside the law, so don’t worry about that.
Please take your life’s experiences, your story, divine inner wisdom, knowledge and skills which have supported your life changes and use them to inspire others. All stories have their place.
Don’t waste your life lessons. Don’t hide behind your disillusionment. We came to Earth to learn and to use those lessons to be a change in the world. If this means that you feel vulnerable so be it – you have a valuable and inspirational message to share.
We are here to live, laugh and love, to be love and to do that we need the courage and confidence to stand up loud and proud of who we are. I have your back, so does the Universe and your God.
Is to write a book, are you up for it?
If writing a book is on your mind, call me for an informal chat, let’s see how we can bring your ideas and wisdom to life.
When you think about how to write a book, what comes to mind? A huge insurmountable project? Something that is achievable, if only you knew how? Yeah, it’s easy to write a book? What?
Just take a few moments to think about what it means to you to write a book and how you feel about that question.
If you have been reading my recent blog articles, you’ll know that I recently received a bit of a shock when I was told that I had osteoporosis and a couple of compression fractures. After spending 16 days in bed, with 11 of them without my precious doggies, I started to think about how could I help other people who learn about this to understand how it is manifested and how to sort through the mass of information to make some informed conscious choices.
My core mission is inspiring people to find themselves and have the courage to write a book so that they can encourage others to know what is possible for them. Was the Universe having a laugh with me I wondered? I certainly found a different way to end the book that I am currently editing – Rude Awakenings. It was supposed to have a happy ending… Although I have changed the ending, I do see it as a new beginning, albeit painful right now.
The dietary changes are playing havoc with my system, but hey whats not to love about detoxing and rebalancing your body? Like the book, I’m dealing with my health, one chunk at a time.
As I was journaling it became so apparent to me that I had to write a book. I have a working title which is Osteoporosis and Me. I’ve already fleshed out a few chapters and actually quite excited.
Writing a book may seem a purely creative endeavour, however, to get to the writing bit you have to plan it and to get to the publishing bit you have to edit and do lots of other stuff like book covers and marketing. All of these aspects of getting your book published require that you use your brain in entirely different ways.
The first thing to consider is how to make any ‘task’ easier.
I’m a project person, so I break all of my big projects down into mini projects with milestones. As I get a part done, I can congratulate myself, and I can take myself off to do something else to take me away from the project. This means for me that when I come back, it feels fresh new and exciting.
We naturally chunk information up, down or laterally so that we can make sense of it. Some of us by the nature of how we like to learn, need to have a big picture before tackling the detail, while others hate the big picture and want lots of detail.
This also applies to your ideal reader. When your reader is searching for meaning in your words, they will chunk up, chunk down and chunk laterally.
By chunking up, you can distract the conscious mind and speak directly to the unconscious mind. Your unconscious mind has all of the answers just waiting to be unlocked. If your book is designed to get your reader thinking and to reflect this is a good technique to employ.
The chunks of a book are:-
Here you are looking at creating a detailed outline. An outline by its very nature is a long list of stuff that makes up your book, broken into smaller pieces, with milestones which makes it easier for you to write around them.
Using a chapter framework means that each chapter is subdivided into sections, which guess what makes it easier to write. You will write your first, draft usually in chapter chunks and then leave it before you start on your edit in earnest. Here’s a video here where I talk about one part of that process.
In this chunk, we also create an editing plan which gives us smaller tasks to do. Also in the editing phase as mentioned above, you are looking at how you can chunk your writing (up, down and across) so that you can connect to your reader’s learning style.
Let me leave you with this if you have tried chunking and it is still not producing the right book, or you find yourself procrastinating, check first if this is the right book. If it is, then, consider what else is getting in the way? If it is not the right book, go back to the planning stage and consider what your core message is and who you want to read it and why? There are more questions and if you want to explore, connect with me and let’s chat.
When the unexpected happens, I always without fail turn to journaling. I say it time and again, journaling, writing and words have the power to change lives.
Two weeks ago, I’d just emerged from the shower; the dogs were dancing around me, I was singing and playing with them on the way to get some clothes. I reached over and heard three loud cracks. You know the kind the ones that a chiropractor may make when adjusting you. They always sound worse than they really are. Air moving and allowing the synovial jell to move into place – or something like that.
Except this hurt… a lot, I swore, and I cried, and then I remembered to breathe through it. I swallowed some painkillers and called my osteopath. Driving to her clinic my thoughts were, this is good right; my body has made its own adjustment. How clever am I??
My mum has osteoporosis which was discovered in her 70’s, and since then I’ve become obsessed with my spine health. The question I always ask is ‘is my spine straight?’ What I mean by this is it how a spine should be, spines wouldn’t work if they were dead straight.
Back home I carried on as normal and dealt with the pain. But I was pleased that I had another appointment the following week.
My journaling started to change direction. I can tell you as a long-term journaler that I am never surprised when my pen goes off tangents. This journaling malarky is very enlightening.
What came up were initially three words, unloved, unappreciated and unsupported. They looked negative and ugly. I separated the un from the other part and thought about where I was loved, appreciated and supported. Then I went back to the ugly words. I wrote letters to others, a love letter to me, I reflected, and I discovered patterns and ahas.
Then I reframed. I was loved, appreciated and supported. I started to write, and this was incredible. My heart swelled with the love that surrounds me.
We forget the good stuff when the shit is going on.
Look at other words disease and disorder. When you are told you have a disease or a disorder what happens? Your mind goes into some kind of freefall. Take the dis off.
The way I see it osteoporosis no matter how freaking painful right now, is not a disease or a disorder, it is an imbalance in my biochemistry.
We know that there is a mind-body connection, so it is not a surprise to me that these three words (love, appreciation and support) directly correspond to the thoracic spine and probably other areas. And when I consider my life’s experiences and response to those it makes sense. When you look at events, you can see triggers. But of course we forget these, and that’s why journaling will surface them for you to deal with them.
It’s not like someone has you naked on a cold floor and chained to the radiator screaming and beating you until you open your eyes to your pain, yet it can feel like that.
Why do we resist going to the roots of what is causing us pain?
Personally, I didn’t know that I was, I was looking elsewhere at other things. I was focusing on learning how to love me, and I found myself in a place of inner peace and contentment. Which bizarrely makes what I am going through so much easier.
We have to learn our stuff in incremental steps.
After the second treatment the pain escalated and I went to the doctor who looked and said your spine is curved to one side, and there is a bulge, off you go for x-rays.
A few days later I find out why.
I have been at home dealing with a) the news that I have spinal compression fractures and osteoporosis in my thoracic spine. b) pain c) emotions.
Each day is different.
Many of you reading this are on other tough journies. Some of your experiences are incredible. I cannot imagine what it must be like to live some stuff or to be in a country ravaged by famine or war. We find ourselves, where we find ourselves and the human spirit is strong and wise.
Writing is so immensely powerful at a time like this. I’ve researched and journaled my socks off. There is always so much more to learn about ourselves when we open our souls to the pen.
Journaling through the Kubler Ross change curve
I am reminded of the Kubler Ross change curve – which is used in change management and grief.
I have added a load of other words, but you get the drift.
This also makes me think about your stories.
Look at your experiences and journey and if you are thinking of writing a book, go through these stages and break it all down. Write, scribble, use post its or talk on your phone (record your thoughts).
I’ve started a separate journal for this journey (top tip). I like different places to write, and something tells me that journalling about this daily has a purpose.
I wonder how fast any of us moves through this when faced with ‘something’.
Or what kind of people stay stuck in each of the stages? Or why they do?
Or what you call on to support you to help you to move forward?
We are all different.
I kind of feel I have whizzed through this and clearly still exploring as I work with my doctor for the bloods and stuff that I can’t do myself and my amazing nutritionist who will guide me with her strong, powerful wisdom and remind me to breathe and no dogs on the bed.
I am also focused and dedicated to the task ahead.
I never realised how much I want to be alive and to help others with their personal journies and to support them to get their stories out there.
There are so many people in pain and denial, and they need to know that if others can get through things they can. They need useful information and wisdom to find their way.
Journaling will help you find answers
Keep writing and journaling guys it is so powerful to understand you and to help you to get your message out to whoever needs to hear it and that doesn’t have to be the world it could be your family and friends.
So wish me luck with the hairy hounds who will no doubt be demanding treats and licks.
PS: I am very interested in your comments about how you deal with things for a series of blogs – please PM me, you can be quoted or remain anonymous, but I would love to hear your stories and to support you as well.
When does a piece of writing go from being a piece of writing to a piece of writing?
Don’t be. We know that first drafts are often considered rubbish. Every writer, who has ever been honest with themselves will tell you that they feel the same. The truth is that they are often not rubbish, they are in fact pretty good, and as a piece of writing, they just need a bit of tarting up.
Don’t believe me?
Stop what you are doing and write an article, the first 1000 words for your next chapter or a blog. And if you absolutely cannot write, remember this writer’s block is rarely about writing, it is often something else that is going on in your life.
Let it flow. It is when it flows from the heart that you get the pure essence of what you are trying to say.
Ok. It may be messy, clunky, not your best piece, but the truth is you got it out and now you have something to work on, and that is good, right?
But you may wail, how do I make it into something worthy?
Reflection. Silence. Nothingness.
Your desire to fiddle and meddle is strong when you want a perfect piece of writing or a perfect something. I can remember going to a painting class my impatience destroyed my painting. I will admit it was a pretty dull landscape and my full attention was not in the class, but even so, I fiddle and to much hilarity, it was seriously binable. Don’t let your writing suffer in the same way.
The magic comes when you leave well alone and go and do something else. In those other moments, connections are made. Sit in silence, go for a walk, meditate, breathe in emptiness and wallow in nothing. For any kind of writing, I get my best ideas in silence.
The seemingly aimless activity of doodling or scribbling allows you to go into a meditative state. Even better colouring a mandala with a keyword or message written on the sheet is a powerful way of unlocking your unconscious. Try it and keep a pad of paper by your side, you will get lots of aha’s while you create colourful patterns.
I love delving into a good bit of fiction when I am writing as it allows me to explore ways in which others write. Losing myself in the art of story and fantasy is delicious, as is a bit of trying to work the plot out. In fact, I am somewhat obsessed with reading because I want to know what happens next while guessing what the twist is. This helps as my mind is allowed to escape from what I am penning and explore.
While cogitating on your novel challenge myself to a bit more creative meandering. Bring to mind your ideal reader – what do you know about their characters, culture, where they live, eat, do, wear, what systems and processes they have in place, how they communicate, etc. Then let go.
So that’s the creative meandering over, and it’s time for some work.
When you come back to your writing piece, read, reflect and rewrite. Look for repeated words, long sentences, ways in which you can bring your writing alive. Don’t settle for what you have, know that alchemy is about transformation. When you remove the elements that don’t work, add in words that sparkle and take time to ponder, the dots will as if by magic join together. Use something like Grammarly which will cause you to stop and think about your writing with its helpful comments like ‘you have a squinting modifier’ or ‘a dangling preposition’, and it will certainly tell you that you have overused words.
You have to be your best critic because if you don’t, someone else will.
Persevere, it will be worth it. However, remember there is a time to let go of being perfect and publishing. Being a critic is one thing, letting go of critical judgement is another. Critique, do your best, publish and learn. Yes, you will miss something. Yes, the Grammar Police will spot a no-no. But here is the important thing – you wrote, you reflected, and you brought your writing alive in the best way that you could. Congratulations.
Writing is a muscle, and the more you do it, the better you get, and like those pretty yellow shoes that you fancy, not everyone will love it.
If the writing bug is calling you and you would love to be a part of a group where we cover, journaling, creative life writing, plus memoir and personal story come and join The Writing Zone. In the Writers Lounge, you will be supported and have lots of fun.
PS: There are mandalas and writing prompts galore in The Writing Zone.
Journaling has been a part of my life it seems forever. At times of deep personal sadness, I have journaled my way to clarity and sanity. It’s a habit that I am deeply grateful for. The way I journal has changed, as you would expect. In my early days, there was an outpouring of stuff so dark it would block the sun. I poured out my heart and soul. I wrote prose and short stories to help me to make sense of the horror story I found myself in.
As time went on, I created journaling exercises which help me to make sense of this sticky stuff. The stories made me laugh as each person met a rather unpleasant end and life was viewed with a greater understanding.
What I found was that as long as I was writing in some way, I was journaling. That might be in one of my many journals, via a blog or in a book. It didn’t seem to matter if it was with my pen or on my computer. But what helps me most is journaling with pen and paper and don’t get me started on the kind of journal I like to write in or my fixation with pens…
The benefits of journaling as well documented and if it’s something that you have never tried, and many people do resist, create a ritual of buying a beautiful book to write in. Start with merely observing life. You will find that as you write, your muse will take over and other thoughts will tumble out.
I’ve discovered many an idea for a chapter or book through journaling.
Here are 7 reasons to start journaling. There’s something very satisfying about getting words onto paper and giving yourself time to think.
As you write in a journal you become more aware of what is really going on around you. When you reflect what you have written you see things more clearly. I find that when I am confused about something, it’s best to drag out a journal and write it down. I also ask some questions, leave it for a day and I usually find the answers come to me the following day or whilst I am walking the dogs.
Life clarity is a key ingredient in your book. Why? Because when you are writing a memoir or personal story, it helps if you can make sense of what is going on and how that relates to your story.
For the cost of a pad of paper (ok a beautiful journal) and a pen, you have a trusted friend and confidante who will not criticise you, tell you what to do, call you names, think that your ideas are nuts, that this book will never sell or any number of things. Your journal is a silent witness for you to share your innermost thoughts and emotions.
As you write a book, you will often find your stuff coming back up. When you journal at the same time it will help you once again make sense. Plus when ‘who am I to…’ comes up, you can dig deeper to find out why.
One of the things that I have discovered is that once I have journaled and the words are etched on the paper, they are out of my head and subsequently I can see things from another perspective. There is something cathartic about journaling and getting it all out that really helps to let things go. I also walk after writing and that grounds whatever is going on.
Sometimes we have a dialogue running through our heads which is not useful. It may be that you are spending a lot of time writing your book and your partner is overstepping your boundaries. You feel torn, you want your book and you want to give them your time. It can be useful to write down and observe what is really going on. To dig deeper and see if there are any repeating patterns, where for example, you do not truly value what you are doing and that you allow others to break your boundaries.
Journaling will help you to uncover this stuff and you can practice the healthy conversation that you not only need to hold with your heart you can practise the one with the person stepping on your desires.
Write about what is going and then hold the conversation, looking at all perspectives on paper. Then write what you would really like in an assertive way. Several things happen. One you have already had the conversation so it’s easier the second time around. Because you have had time to reflect you can really consider your language and think about what you want from the conversation, without blame. You may find that there is something deeper that you need to deal with and can put plans in place to sort that out.
As with the above, it could be that you start to see repeated patterns of behaviour or types of conversations that are never resolved. As you read and reflect these become obvious and allow you to decide how you want to make changes. There is something quite ‘amusing’ about witnessing yourself doing the same things with the same results. Now you can give yourself a doh and find ways to break the pattern. It also reminds me of why I am doing what I am doing and confirms that I am on the right life path.
When writing a book, you will find that, for example, if you are procrastinating why. Writer’s block is never about writing, it is always about what is going on in your life.
When you write you will start to notice your vocabulary increases. The way in which you write and think starts to come out and before you know it, your inner voice awakens. Not only that the way in which you solve problems changes.
Your memoir or personal story does deserve to be told. Where better to find your inspiration that inside your journal. When you are stuck for ideas, look in your journal.
Your book could change someone else’s life. It will definitely change yours. Here is your special mission. Go and find a set of four beautiful journals. Check out the quality of the paper. Feel them, smell them and ensure that they want to come home and share your life with you. Keep one for your book ideas and one for life, make up something for the other two.
Start writing today. Start with these writing prompts. You never know where this adventure may take you. I hope that you find inspiration and decide to write a book.
It’s strange how things take off, isn’t it? I am sure that when Dr Cliff Arnall who first conceived of Blue Monday didn’t expect the current reaction to it. Back in 2005, he came up with a formula for calculating the most depressing day in the year. It’s no wonder that we perceive it as a melancholy day. It’s three weeks into the New Year, and most peoples resolutions will be down the pan. Motivation will be peaking, most probably not in the right direction.
What if instead of feeling down, we could look at blue Monday as a way to review the book ideas and plans that you conceived?
I find that writing helps to keep me on track, no matter what. When you write, you make an unconscious connection to your inner wisdom. So ok, things may feel like they are off key, but with a bit of writing and reflection, you can get back on track. Blue Monday is a perfect day to review how far you have come and if your writing plans need tweaking.
Go back to your businesses core message. This is a video that I did as part of a complimentary training series.
Grab a pen and paper and take some time to work out what the mission, vision and core message for your business is.
When you have your vision, you can set strategy. As part of your strategy will be your book. So… does this book that Blue Monday tell you is not the right one, fit with that vision?
Yes, of course, it does.
However, take a moment to reflect and think about the vision for your book and then work towards the books core message. Still on track?
Smart marketing aside, what’s not to love about blue. Dark, light, powder, bright, royal, mystical and calming. The colour of the sky or the deepest sea and a colour to lose yourself in. A colour which symbolises:-
Blue to wrap it’s arms around you to create inner peace and outer confidence. Use blue to connect to your throat chakra and learn to speak your truth, communicate and spread your inspirational message.
Forget blue Monday and create a fabulous week of colour.
Take some time to work on your core message. Practise writing your mission, vision and core message and then reading it aloud and get comfortable with it. Put on some music, get in the zone.
Visualise it and frame it in blue. Eat blueberries with ice cream to celebrate.
Orange is one of my happy colours. Today smile at strangers, even if they scowl at you, in fact especially if they frown at you. Do something creative, like pen a short story. Soak some oranges in something yummy and eat them with ice cream and chocolate.
“Some think love can be measured by the amount of butterflies in their tummy. Others think love can be measured in bunches of flowers, or by using the words ‘for ever.’ But love can only truly be measured by actions. It can be a small thing, such as peeling an orange for a person you love because you know they don’t like doing it.” Marian Keyes
What do you have planned for orange Tuesday? Reflect how much happier you feel at the end of orange Tuesday, rather than Blue Monday.
What a glorious colour. The fire of red and the calm of blue. Put some lavender in a diffuser and enjoy the relaxing, calming smell as you work.
What about kicking off your day by reading this brilliant poem by Jenny Joseph.
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit.
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old and start to wear purple.
Don’t forget to go out in your purple hat today. Reflect at the end of the day, how many conversations or strange looks you got in your purple hat.
Get out in Mother Nature and spend some time revelling in the beauty of the day. Think about something you would like to grow and sew the seeds of your idea now. What have you been thinking about birthing? Today is the day to take action. Try this my book exercise if you need some inspiration.
Today is the day to wear your lucky pink pants today. Superpants equals super protection. Feel tickled pink all day and that everything is going your way, even if things go slightly bonkers. Bring your inner child out to play and have some fun. What tickled your pink today?
Your choice for Saturday and Sunday? What do you fancy for the weekend? What activities go with your colours.
Over to you… How was your week? When you started writing on Blue Monday, what came up and then as the week progress and you gained clarity, how did you feel.
You see when you look at Blue Monday through a different lens with a pen and journal by your side, perspectives change.