Category Archives: worries

Breathe. Chin up. Begin Again. #IWSG #AMWRITING

[I wrote this post as a member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our worries and also offer support and encouragement to each other on the first Wednesday of every month. If you’re a writer like me and you’re looking for a bit of support, you can click the link and sign up here]

This month’s awesome Co-Hosts feature other fabulous writing friends with me, Natalie Aguirre,Jennifer Lane, MJ Fifield, Lisa Buie-Collard, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor!

Check out our IWSG homepage for recent news and events.  And as always, thank you to founder Alex J. Cavaugh 🙂 

***

I needed an extra push to start writing again.

I recently received editor feedback on my second draft of my work in progress. The nine-page letter sent me on a roller coast of ups and down, smiles and frowns. My shoulders sank an inch with each of the seven main points I realized I still needed to change and consider.

I’m coping. I’m smiling again.  Seven points isn’t all that bad, right?

If your lost and floating someplace away from your words like I am, I’ve found some inspiring writing thoughts to get us both grounded again:

“You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.”
― Jodi Picoult

“Yes,” I can’t help thinking to myself, even though I’m still glaring at the computer monitor.

I think all writing is a disease. You can’t stop it.”
— William Carlos Williams

I’m lifting my rib cage a little higher and a one-sided smile tugs at my mouth. Of course I’ll write and revise. I have no other choice.

“I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.”
— Anne Frank

I’m rolling my shoulders back. My mind begins to race with possibility.

A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.”
— Richard Bach

I’m lifting my chin, and now I might be popping my knuckles and wiggling my fingers super excited, eager to begin one of the seven points at a time.

“Read a thousand books, and your words will flow like a river.”
― Lisa See

Wow! Just wow!

Okay. I’m convinced. I have four whole days of vacation ahead of me.

I’m ready.

How about you?

Facing First Person Demons #IWSG #AMWRITING

[I wrote this post as a member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our worries and also offer support and encouragement to each other on the first Wednesday of every month. If you’re a writer like me and you’re looking for a bit of support, you can click the link and sign up here]

This month’s awesome Co-Hosts feature other fabulous writing friends: Diane Burton, Kim Lajevardi, Sylvia Ney, Sarah Foster, Jennifer Hawes, and Madeline Mora-Summonte!

Check out our IWSG homepage for recent news and events.  And as always, thank you to founder Alex J. Cavaugh 🙂 

***

First person narrative is my favorite story to read. Especially when done well. And by doing well, I mean while I’m reading, I feel myself lying, crying, making mistakes and biting my nails with wrong choices right along with the character.

This month’s IWSG Question asks: of all the genres you read and write, which is your favorite to write in and why?

Young Adult Literature seems to resonate best with this style. Even if the character is a young character, the strifes and struggles are all too human. No matter the world the book builds, Young Adult draws me in. I relate.

And that’s a great story.

A few months ago, I wrote a post on artificial intelligence bots used in marketing. I explored one, and interacted on Facebook with the Bot. It found me a book. I admit, I didn’t buy in, but now I’m reading it. I’m loving it. It’s first person and brilliantly done.

The Young Elites by Marie Lu.

Heard of it?

I highly recommend the read if you like magical worlds, misfits and lots of human struggle.

Happy IWSG Day everyone. My insecurity this month? Polishing up edits. I made it through a second draft, but I keep rereading before the editor gets it. I keep finding more and more places to tighten sentences and describe scenes. How do you know if it’s good enough?

I don’t know. I guess you just have to trust.

A last thought for the day is one by Helen Keller:

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”

Monday Motivation: Dreams. Dream Coaches. Moving Somewhere No Matter What.

In these past few weeks, I have stumbled across a really great show called The Voice. I’m not sure If you’ve seen the show with the four famous judges or not, and maybe you’re a secret addict just like me. In any case, I love the show. I love the dynamics, the talent, and above all things, the promise of taking a gift you see in someone else, and helping them develop it to make their dreams come true.

Last week I watched one of the judges let go of an extremely talented young singer, who was immediately snatched up by two other judges. She had to pick which judge to go with—between Adam Levine and Usher. Can you imagine? Can you imagine being someone trying so hard and having all the doors shut in your face and not getting exactly where you want to be fast enough, and then in a blink, this golden arch appears and just on the other side, two people want to take your hand and bring you through it—to face your dream destination.

Her past coach reminded them: “She wants to be a singer but most importantly, a song writer. Don’t forget that.”

I am feeling incredibly inspired by the snippets I catch in a few minutes of uninterrupted TV time. Being a working mom, you tend to move constantly, in all sorts of directions to get what you need to get done, done, and well, I hardly ever sit down and watch TV. But I’ll make as much time for this show that I can. Because wow, it’s helped me keep my own fire burning strong.

Miracles happen. Worry happens too. But if you work and want your dreams, I believe the right doors open exactly as they are supposed to, and how the right people come into your life to help you.

So that’s what I’m doing. I just finished my novel and I am preparing to send it out to the world again. I’m preparing to send it to the publisher who believed in my short story enough to want it out in the world. I’m nervous, but I’m trusting. I’m believing. I’m getting past my fears, and I’m putting my best foot out there because I know there’s no other way than to spread your wings and take a chance. Even if they say no, I’ll still win to some degree. I’ll be sad, but I’ll also get feedback. And no matter what, I will keep going. That’s just what you do if you want to live your dreams.

Monday Makeover: Confessions of a Giant Worry Wart

www.brayola.com

I wake up. I rub my sleepy eyes and walk slowly down the hall to the kitchen. I take my thyroid medication. I fill a cup of coffee and I sit down at my computer, and I worry.

Was I too loud when I woke up? Will my babies stay asleep? What will I write today? My head is so foggy, and what if I can’t feel my characters? What if the pictures I pick are not exactly what I mean?

   What if…

I see my babies. They crawl into bed and beg for snuggles. We cuddle a bit, and suddenly a new string of worries grabs me: what if they don’t always have their health, what if they get sick, or go to school and someone bullies them? What if I didn’t show them the right values? Did I love them enough?

   What if…

I go to work. I sit at my desk sipping coffee. The phone rings. I answer and hang up after making sure the person on the other end of the conversation felt listened to. My brain runs off again: What if I didn’t say the right thing, or I didn’t give them what they wanted to hear? What if I don’t make my personal deadlines for the day, or I don’t communicate well? What if I walk down the hall and I talk out loud or accidentally sing a song out loud that’s running through my head and someone laughs?

I do talk out loud. I don’t know if it’s a mom thing and having two small children where I’m constantly talking out loud and explaining and animating the choices I make to teach my kids important values. I do wonder about what to write and where the creativity will come from. I wonder if I’m saying the right words. I wonder if people understand me. I’m worried about my kids because I see them as the two precious clean slates gifted right into my hands. I wonder about my message every moment and if I’m also asking the right questions.

So what next?

First the mind creates the worries. Then the body reacts. My stomach gets tight. My breath becomes shallow. I could go on with my list, because if I’m not careful, they start to race through my mind again.

Worry is my biggest vice. It sends me into a downward spiral where I over-think the easiest solution, and the funniest thing is, I was born with this vice, and I believe, we can change behaviors. We can teach ourselves newer and better ways to react. It’s hard. It’s not easy and that’s why I’m tackling worry this week as my Monday Morning Make Over.

So what will I do about it?

First thing first: I acknowledge my worries. I tell myself to stop. I take several deep breaths. Sometimes I have to distract myself. I look at quotes. I look at pictures. I smile really big at myself in the mirror. My training in 7 habits comes in handy and I draw out the circle of influence diagram. I’m attaching a link to a YouTube video if you’d like to see how this diagram plays out.

Have you heard of the circle of influence? It’s a really great graphic organizer to get your thoughts out there and map out what you can influence and change.

Movement: I learn by moving. When my stress and worry takes control, I have to do something physical to get it out. I go to the gym. I practice Yoga or Pilates in the living room with my kids. I know I mentioned in my last post, emptying the dishwasher helps redirect my thoughts.

Hugs: Ever not felt better after a hug? Maybe it hasn’t taken away the pain or the worry, but for me, there’s something about a really great hug that helps me find an instant smile. When I smile, my mood changes. I don’t feel distress. That’s why I love to spread them.

Trust: I have found sometimes, by turning over my worries to my prayers, I feel a certain comfort in knowing it’s out there. I feel release. I feel hope. And when my worries slip away at some point because they usually do, I think it’s because He is always up there listening, helping carry the burden right along with me.

Last thing: I talk with my friends. I reach out to the people who love me and can help anchor me back on planet earth. My best friend T helps me, my good friend Tracy. Both of them are practical, and to the point, and remind me to let it go.

I’ll check in on Sunday and tell you how it went! And by the way, here’s a list of some of my tricks and some others to try!