Writing to Teach and Inspire
I have had many peak experiences in my life that stand out as ultimate achievements of which I am very proud—after all I have four beautiful children—but there is a special quality to the day I celebrated my first book launch. On that day I was publicly acknowledged as a writer, and I got to read from my book to an audience of my closest friends and beloved family—that day I was more myself than I had ever been before.
An avid reader from a very young age, I started writing when I was 14 years old. My first piece was a mini-novel about a junior high school love triangle in the style of Sweet Valley High. I don’t know exactly when I stopped writing, but right after my divorce I started up again… a beautiful inspirational story set in Nepal about a love triangle of course. I became much more serious about writing nine years ago while on maternity leave and I haven’t stopped since. I have completed a romantic short story, a medical suspense romance, and a women’s fiction novel that won an award from a local writers’ association. None of my fiction work has been published, which made my book launch last year for Being Human that much sweeter… a nine-year long overnight success.
The switch to inspirational non-fiction happened on its own as I devoted more and more of my time to health and wellness consulting first, and then to life coaching, self-care and female empowerment. While my love of fiction still burns in my heart, my deep seated desire to be of service to others is taking my writing in another direction for now. Not forever of course. Just for now.
When my very gifted writer friend Cindy Lamothe invited me to participate in this blog hop, I wondered if there was something different that I could offer. And then I thought about how unique all of our writing can be and I couldn’t wait to invite my other writer fiends along for the ride. Next week, three other amazing writers including: Karen MacIntyre, Paula Cowan, and Moira Hutchinson, will share their unique experiences on their blogs below.
Here are my own answers to Cindy’s four writing questions.
1. What am I working on/writing?
Since September 2013 I have been “working on” my second book about balancing our innate social drives with healthy boundaries. The quotation marks around working on are to emphasise that the work is mostly being done in my own relationships and in researching the topic… there are some words on paper, but very few to date (you’ll understand why when you read about my writing process further on). I am actively blogging on Huffington Post mostly about self-care, on my own blog about personal experiences with being human (intentional pun there) and on Inspiration for Mind Body about my journey on a plant based diet. There are also those fiction novels, sitting on my hard drive, which call out to me occasionally begging for a final edit and publication.
2. How does my work/writing differ from others from its genre?
I use my own unique experiences to flavor my writing and I draw upon the lessons I’ve learned in service to my readers. Sometimes I go deep into science and biology, sometimes I explore the complexity of human emotion, sometimes I try to be funny, and sometimes I use my blog posts just to vent and hope that someone feels the same way too. Mostly I write, just like I live my life, to be of service. I want every reader to walk away feeling that they have learned something either about themselves or about the people around them.
3. Why do I write what I do?
I have a deep-seated belief that we are all much more alike than we are different, and if anything that I have learned can help someone else through the tough times then I know that it’s not all for naught. Because of my various careers over the last twenty years, I estimate that I have heard over 50,000 life stories. Some were tragedies of abuse and neglect, some celebrations of triumph and achievement and all of them had a thread of humanity: both the resilience we are all capable of and the fear of shame and not fitting in with the tribe. I write what I write to send the message that you are okay. You are fallible and you are resilient. You are vulnerable and you are powerful. You are an individual and you belong to the whole.
4. How does my writing process work?
I am a binge and purge kind of writer. I tend to gather information and think about what I want to write for a long, long time before I actually put my hands on my keyboard. I occasionally talk it out with my life coach (who also happens to be a creative genius) just to get all of the kinks ironed out. And then, oddly enough, usually around two o’clock in the afternoon at the end of the workweek, when my head is just brimming with stuff and about to explode, I sit at my computer in complete silence and type for hours. In that flow, I have no concept of time or place, and if my children come in to my office to ask me a question, they will either get an absent-minded yes or their heads chewed off. They still dare to play their odds.
“When you learn, teach, when you get, give.” ― Maya Angelou
Meet my awesomely talented writer friends!
Cindy R. Lamothe is an expat living in Antigua, Guatemala with her loving husband, David and two small turtles. She has earned her B.A. in Communications with an emphasis in Journalism. She is a writer, social media strategist, inspirationalist, and lover of life. Her work has appeared in online magazines and websites including: The Manifest-Station and Sweatpants and Coffee as well as other publications. Cindy’s quirky personality and passion for travel has led her down many strange paths, harnessing her appreciation for beauty and innate wildness. Get to know her on Facebook, Twitter and her personal website crlamothe.com, where she encourages others to let go of fear and live authentically.
Everyone can enjoy a fitter, healthier, and happier life by making small and consistent changes to their daily habits. Karen McIntyre is a personal trainer and fitness instructor who sees 250-300 clients a week. She has ridden the roller coaster of life: survived a brush with cancer, is mother to two teenagers, competed and medaled at World’s in Dragon Boating, and happily married for over 20 years. Let Karen help you find your Fun Fit Life. www.happyhealth.ca
Paula Cowan created the blog Therapist Footprints in 2011, which will soon be released as an e-book about her experiences working as a Behaviour Therapist with autistic children. In her ten years of doing therapy, she was often witness to the profound progress that could be made through special diet and/or other alternative treatments. This served to reinforce her life long belief that there is ALWAYS at least one other option to the limited mainstream solutions in plain sight. It ignited an interest in alternative health and healing which continues to this day.
This year she became Partner and Executive Editor at Inspiration for Mind Body. The site is an ideal fit for her beliefs in a holistic approach to finding and maintaining optimal health of the Mind Body and Spirit. She is a yoga and meditation evangelist, though her actual practice continues to be a work in progress. You can contact Paula through her website Facebook or Twitter
Moira Hutchison is a Clinical Hypnotherapist and Life Coach. Her specialties range from helping people with broad goals such as life planning and personal balance, to specific goals like motivation, overcoming procrastination and self-sabotage.. She has multiple certifications in the fields of energy psychology, hypnotherapy, personal growth, spirituality, and self-empowerment.
Using her own approach – The Get Unstuck Method – she helps people shift from feeling stuck and overwhelmed to being inspired, empowered and actually in control of their lives. To find out more about the services and approach she offers, please visit her website: www.WellnessWithMoira.com or connect on Facebook.