Creativity, writing

Helping Other Writers

“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.” ― Maya Angelou

by Catherine Evans


Helping others seems like a strange way to work on your writing but please stick with me and let me explain.

Something happens in my brain when I work on someone else’s writing. I’m objective because it’s not my work so I know nothing about it. I’m reading like a reader would, but I’m also reading as a writer looking for flaws. I think about point of view, tense, punctuation, grammar, dialogue, character, story line. I’m conscious of arcs, inconsistencies, structure. I read for so many things and not always consciously, sometimes things just pop out at me. I become conscious of aspects that I may have learned about but previously overlooked.

Often times I’ll be annoyed by something in someone else’s manuscript and then, when I go back to my work, there it is! The exact same damn thing I had been noticing in the other person’s work. By critiquing another writer’s work, I’ve directly helped my own.

You wouldn’t think editing/critiquing someone else’s work would have such an impact, would you?


Ideas for helping other writers

If you wanted to do this, how could you go about helping? There are quite a few ways.

If you know other writers, it’s as easy as offering to beta read for a friend (be one of their first readers, after themselves), or helping a newer author by reading and commenting, often with small changes to help them learn. If you’re in a more formal writing group, you could organize chapter swaps, or judge a contest(s). You could attend a workshop (you never know who you might meet, or what you’ll learn). If you’ve been in the business for a while, you could run a workshop (gathering your ideas together, and trying to present them logically, can be eye-opening!).

Helping other writers doesn’t need such a formal setting either. Over a cup of coffee/tea you can brainstorm plot or character issues, discuss story ideas, talk at length about the industry or your fears or goals or plans.

When you sit and chat, you can go down conversation paths that shine new light on something that opens doors or activities you may never have thought of doing.

Sometimes meeting up for a cuppa can have you writing an article like this — which isn’t something I’d ever dreamed I’d do.

I’ve run workshops other than for writing, and no matter the topic I’m presenting, I learn things from the participants or other presenters. When I attend workshops, I’m there to learn whatever topic is presented, but I also pick up tips from the presenter(s) on presentation skills.

Recently I attended a workshop and the presenter had a marvelous skill at encouraging participants to share their work, something which I had been unable to achieve in workshops I’d run. Right at the start of the workshop, she shared her work by reading it aloud and talked about her experiences writing that piece. She then shared other people’s writing, and quotes from them. All of this was spoken. I had presented similar things, but in a written form. I wasn’t setting the example of speaking my truths, so I could hardly expect anyone else to do the same.

For many years I worked in agricultural research. When I moved into a more senior role where I had to present information to other scientists, I was quite terrified and intimidated. Fortunately, I had mentors who had vast experience.

One looked at me and asked, “Who did this research you’re presenting?” Well, that was easy, he and I had done it. “And who will know any more than you or I?” No one. Since it was the work we’d done and no one else had participated. I presented that talk with much more confidence — until he stood up and asked a question, then I almost turned into a puddle on the floor! Fortunately, it was something I could answer.

That same lesson applies to writing. If you’re speaking about your writing, your book, your process, does anyone know it any better than you do?


What if you’re new to writing?

What if you’re a new author? It’s not so easy to help others when you’re the one needing help. But if you’re in a writing group, there are roles you could volunteer to take on. There may be roles on a committee, administrative roles for contests, meeting organization, tea and coffee making.

When you get in and help, you never know who you may be helping, working alongside, or meeting along the way.

I managed in a contest for a few years. I began in my first year of joining Romance Writers of Australia because my first contest entry came way down the end of the field. The comments I received back weren’t so terrible, and I wanted to know how good the winning entries were. There was no way of knowing that other than volunteering to manage a contest.

I discovered that the entries that were finalists, as well as some further down the scorecard, were at a publishable standard. In fact, some entrants were offered publishing contracts during or soon after contests. I had a lot to learn and a long way to go. I read so many entries and so many of the judges’ comments as a contest manager that it was a brilliant, but steep, learning curve.

Another thing that happened when I was a new author, was that I was paired up with another new author in Romance Writers of Australia — we were called critique partners. In the beginning, neither of us had any idea what we were doing when we exchanged our manuscripts to critique and help each other. We could spot spelling mistakes, we helped each other with things like characters’ names and places, but that was about it. We had completely different writing styles and were writing different types of romance.

It was an absolute struggle.

Then we both began to learn things by attending different workshops or courses, and by going to the annual conference. We learned different things and taught each other by highlighting what we’d discovered in each other’s manuscripts. She learnt about using contractions in dialogue and highlighted all my stilted conversations. Wow! What an obvious thing I’d never noticed.

In the start, our pairing seemed like the craziest thing, yet it turned out to be a fabulous learning experience because by working together, we learned at twice the speed. If you’re in that situation and feeling frustrated, I promise as you each start learning different skills, you’ll end up moving ahead more quickly than if you worked alone.


Writing can be a terribly solitary occupation. Joining with others can give you such a buzz, helping others can make that buzz into real writing energy that can propel your writing career along.

Offer to help, smile, be positive, and watch the energy, and your writing skills, build.


Originally published by Living Out Loud on Medium.


About Catherine Evans

From Medium:

Australian, writer and creator. Inspired by nature and living. Weird thoughts are entirely my own, and I know they’re often not like other people’s!

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Creativity, mindset, writing

News Break Ghost-Rejected Me

Not every Medium writer is permitted to board this gravy-train.


Sometimes the writing life can feel like one big hustle. I’ve got the tattoo on my left leg and the garter on my right. I’m wheelin’, dealin’, writing. I’m holding a wild deuce one day and the next, I’m folding, ready to walk away.

The Jack is my all-time favorite AC/DC track but I don’t always know how to play them fast, I’ve never actually contracted the Clap and I’m definitely not always holding a Royal Flush.

But that’s life. You get to play the full house. Count your money. Then, life plays a card that’ll bring you down. A lot like writing, really.

I’ve played cards on Medium that have earned 37k+ reads and over $2,800 per/article. These pieces continue to create revenue in the long-tail. But they’re the wild cards, and frankly, like many writers here on Medium, I’m feeling the pinch since the platform implemented those changes back in late 2020.

So, what does a writer do?

Flip it or double down?

Flip It

I read about the News Break hype back when the news began to spread across the Medium community like a wildfire. Who could miss that? I checked it out but the idea fell to the wayside until one of my more successful Medium writer friends emailed me. He was heading over to News Break and thought I should too.

Hustle.

So, I applied to be a part of their Creator Program, but it turned out that I couldn’t even get formally rejected by News Break. They ghosted me. Twice.

That was a wild deuce without the wild part.

I don’t know if it is because they think that my writing is crappy, my topics off-beat, or if it’s that I’m too Australian for an American based platform. Not to offend, but the rest of the world is starkly aware that a good portion of America believes that the sun rises and sets just for them. And I don’t possess the Medium Star power the likes of fellow talented Aussie writer, Tim Denning.

Ghosting is a real thing in the writing world as much as it exists within our interpersonal relations. It’s so real that it’s almost tangible. I have encountered phantoms, ghouls, and doppelganger spooks in this word-slinging landscape. I’ve even bumped into the Ghost-of-Rejection-Past revisited.

Whatever that means.

Whether you’re dealing with other writers, submitting to an agent, a magazine, or a publisher, or even writing platforms like News Break, you have got to be prepared for the ghost-rejection.

It happens to the best of us.

So, how do you handle the ghost-rejection?

Double Down

We can either let the ghost-rejections haunt us or we can grab a stick of Palo Santo and ghost-bust them the fuck out. Life isn’t just a one-round Poker game, it’s a continual shuffle at Earth Casino. The decks, dealers and your hand may vary, but the table is always in front of you.

You can either play your cards or you can let them play you (and oh, haven’t we all been played at some point).

In a recent blog post written by Seth Godin titled, I’m Just Doing My Job, he asks the question: What if you replaced “doing” with “improving” or “reinventing” or “transforming”?

Repeat: Improving. Reinventing. Transforming.

Three of a Kind in my face.



Right away, it connected. I knew he was right. Godin strikes me as a man with much wisdom and life experience. And even though there has been an occasional instance where I might question his generously imparted life-lesson titbits, I knew that he was onto something here.

Thinking about how to apply those qualities offer us the double-down key. Especially when we’re looking Down the Barrel of a ghost-rejection, or feel as if we’re about ready to give up.

Those three characteristics make for a shift in mindset that is both positive and affirmative in reconnecting with your creative fire, remembering in your heart why you chose the writing life in the first place — your Kicker cards.

The game is endless. You’re not always going to be on an Upswing, but you can think about getting All-in with the above-mentioned Three of a Kind.

A while back, I asked another wise man to take a look at an article I had written about the link between creativity and sexuality titled, The Truth About Love, Sexuality & Creativity. It was around the same time that I first started out writing posts and I had been worried about offending readers.

A wise man told me:

“As far as offending and unsettling, you should be trying to do that. People you “offend” are not your readers anyway. Write from your heart and don’t worry about being polite.”

So, I did.

Eventually, that advice paid off and continues to do so. This, despite almost drowning in the wake of the Medium changes and News Break ghost-rejecting me.

Doubling down looks different to everyone but for me, it means playing the Card of Hearts. Ideally, our heart should be evolving — improving, reinventing, and transforming each time we are called to throw the cards down. So when we get up and dust off our pants, our words remember why we started writing back when.

Get back in the game and do your part in making a difference somehow. That’s what a writer does.

We keep writing with heart and taking risks in pursuit of our dreams.

I’ve got the tattoo on my left leg and the garter on my right. I’m wheelin’, dealin’, writing


This post first appeared on Synergy, Medium

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Creativity, Love and Connection, music

Dirty-Love Dozen

A Grunge-Rock Love Journey.


Honestly, I’m not a Valentine’s Day kind of woman. I won’t lie, there was a time when it might have meant something to me. When I fell for the “flawless” romantic Valentine’s Day hype we see in the media. You know, the pipe-dream feeding us the scoop about how important it is to celebrate love on this one particular day of the year. As if those 24-hours could actually determine the authenticity of your relationship. The bigger the bouquet, the bigger the love, right?

Wait. Don’t answer that. It was a rhetorical question and I was really talking about bouquets… hmm…. where was I?

Big love-things and bigger bouquets aside, I could care less about Valentine’s Day now.

In truth, I like to think of Valentine’s Day in the essence of it’s dark, messy and mysterious history because real life love is like that. Love can be dark, messy and certainly as mysterious as the shady origins of Valentine’s Day.

A bit like a Grunge-Rock love journey, really.

Let me explain.

Romantic love is wonderful. It’s an experience most of us want to create in our lives. To connect deeply, soulfully and honestly with your lover is one of life’s greatest gifts because each time we love, we learn how to open our heart that little bit wider.

But as much as love can activate the best version of ourselves is as much as it has the ability to take us on a journey through the dark night of the soul.

An unforgettable odyssey that causes deep reflection and insight, and transforms us into new states of awareness — better people. We learn so much about ourselves through love and heart pain.

How you fold the experience within your inner-sanctuary makes all the difference between inviting bitterness or benevolence into your life.

We don’t need Valentine’s Day to remind us of that. We just need to understand what love means to us, and how far we’re willing to go for that unique, soulful connection.

My Grunge-Rock Love Journey playlist is for anyone who has known deep love and dark pain, and who, despite everything, has fully realized that love isn’t always like a mushy love song or a romantic movie. Love has a dark side that burns a trail toward the light inside of us if we embrace it.



#1 Love Hurts by Nazareth

“Love is like a flame. It burns you when it’s hot.”

Personally, I can resonate with the energy of love and its sweet darkness through this song.

Love Hurts was originally released by the Everly Brothers on their 1960 album, A Date with The Everly Brothers. But when Nazareth covered the track in 74’, the band’s lead singer Dan McCafferty hit new realms of despair with his emotionally raw vocal delivery. Reminding us about the pain of deep love and ardent passion.

Love Hurts introduces our Grunge-Rock Love Journey because the flame burns, magnetizes and leaves a scar on our soul like nothing else.

#2 Heart-Shaped Box by Nirvana

“I’ve been locked inside your heart-shaped box for weeks.”

Apparently, there was much confusion about how Cobain meant this song to be interpreted. Some speculated that it may have been about cancer. Others, thought it was about drugs.

Me? Right away, the meaning of Heart-Shaped Box echoed the power of the feminine. Courtney Love confirmed my inklings when she said:

“You do know the song is about my vagina, right? Throw down your umbilical noose so I can climb right back, umm. On top of which some of the lyrics about my vagina I contributed…”

Nirvana’s omnipresent Heart-Shaped Box reflects the intricate love dynamics between the masculine and feminine energies.

#3 Sex Type Thing by Stone Temple Pilots

“You wouldn’t want me to have to hurt you too, hurt you too?”

Despite thatthis song may have been composed by Scott Weiland with a very dark subject matter in mind, it’s coming in at track three because my interpretation borders along exquisite lust and sexual power.

“I know you want what’s on my mind.”

Need I say more?

#4 Desire by Meg Myers

“Boy, I’m gonna love you. I’m gonna tear into your soul.”

Sexy. Powerful. Incredibly haunting. Ms. Myers captures the bone-deep yearning of desire with a rebellious flare that resonates like the hunger of a new lover.

Track four, Desire brings a demanding contrast of murky-pure revolution to love. Move me from the inside or move on, buddy.

#5 Touch, Peel and Stand by Days of the New

“And now I stand, and I peel for more.”

Sex or drugs? It’s said that song-writer Travis Meeks wrote these lyrics about “the apple in the garden of Eden — you can touch, peel, and then stand with it, but you’re told not to eat it. In the end were gonna do what were told not to do. It just takes time for us to find that reason.”

Some types of love can be a little messed-up, complicated and extremely addictive.

This acoustic post-grunge number packs a sexy feel that for me, embodies that darkly primitive and at times, disturbing connection between lovers.

#6 Tainted Love by Marilyn Manson

“And the love we share seems to go nowhere.”

Tainted Love was composed by Ed Cobb and originally recorded by Gloria Jean in 1964 before Soft Cell blasted their cover into the UK record charts in 1981. Marilyn Manson, however, brings a unique gothic flavor to this track that captures toxic love perfectly.

When love seems to go nowhere beyond a tease, it’s time to run, baby.

#7 Mudshovel by Staind

“And you rip me apart with the brutal things you say.”

I’m not a musician, so I am unfamiliar with correct muso-lingo, but damn, I love it when the heavy riffs drop at the opening of this grungy rock metal number.

It gets me every time.

The brutal way singer Aaron Lewis delivers the lyrics over the pulsating rhythm of heavy guitar is powerfully intense. You can just feel and relate with his torment and pain.

This kickass track will get you moving one way or another through the process of love. Remember to use your middle finger while you’re jamming it at the one who hurt you.

Rage has its purpose.

#8 Like Suicide by Seether

“And it’s the same old trip, the same old trip as before.”

Flowing the toxic relationship theme into this hard rock/nu metal combo, track eight is serving up an audio slice of love-gone-wrong. Like suicide describes the cycle of old games and emotional blackmail which, frankly, none of us need.

For those who’ve known that twisted, player-of-hearts who delights in setting you up to fall and fail, Seether brings enough thrash here to help keep your resolve — we will not be used by love.

#9 Torn by Creed

“Yes, I’m the one who, the only one who would carry on this far.”

Speaking of love, Creed articulates the above-mentioned dark night of the soul perfectly in this spiritual, soul-searching hard rock track.

The thing about loving someone deeply is that it ignites personal change and causes you to question everything. Including all that you believed to be true.

This song is a journey in itself.

#10 Butterfly with Wings by Smashing Pumpkins

“And what do I get for my pain? Betrayed desires and a piece of the game.”

In 1997, Butterfly with Wings won a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance, and has got to be one the most popular and recognizable songs produced by Smashing Pumpkins.

The push-back track. This song sends a clear message about transformation and breaking out of “the cage” — societal conditioning, oppression, cultural expectations…. heart pain. The same elements apply in love because love was never meant to conform, be conditioned (by holidays like Valentine’s Day) or obey “human” rules.

We hurt and then we somehow find our wings to fly a new journey. We discover who we truly are.

#11 Voodoo by Godsmack

“I’m coming back again.”

The constant beat of the drums combined with the percussion instruments in Godsmack’s Voodoo lends a tribal feel that is both hypnotic and sexy, clinging to your hips like a new revelation. That’s what this song does to me.

Besides, they do say that love is like a drug….

Life just showed you a part of yourself that was previously unknown. Breathe in, breathe in — you’re coming back again, anew.

#12 The Chemicals Between Us by Bush

“I’d like to thank, all of my lovers, lovers, lovers.”

The final song of the Grunge-Rock Love Journey is a digitally-effective vintage take about the everlasting bond between lovers and the imprint we leave on each other. Like a tribute to love and connection.

Featured in the popular American drama series, Charmed, songwriter Gavin Rossdale, explains the lyrics as “the differences between lovers.”

Our great loves may not always last forever, but the love each relationship brings into our life experience is an intimate path designed to expand our hearts and teach us more about ourselves — who we are, what we want and don’t want, and the things we do or don’t do along the journey of love.


At the end of the day, I believe that the best kind of love isn’t always supposed to be about settling in your comfort zone. Great love is meant to challenge, transform and free you like a Grunge-Rock Love Journey.


Also published by Living Out Loud on Medium

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Creativity, life, mindset, Newsletter, writing

New Year Energy Revolution

Who and how do you want to be in the world now?


You’ve felt the universal lull lately. The void. In past months, you’ve succumbed to a sense of nothingness. Captured in a loop of indecisiveness. Loneliness or abandonment.

It is as if we’ve all been suspended in vain, waiting for the slightest sign… a shift…. an omen. Waiting to realize the healing secrets of the moon, illuminating a new path.

Haven’t we all been waiting for change?

Transformation is now

Planetary trends and universal energy point towards a new landscape for 2021 and beyond, suggesting new vibrations and energetic frequencies. Meaning great potential and opportunity for a whole new life experience.

“Riding on the crest of a grand conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius, the atmosphere is high minded, hopeful and inspired.”

 Astrologist Belinda Dunn

The 2021 energy-revolution is an artisan time of huge creativity, harmonious collaborations and deep inner-trust, as we die to old ways of being, shed our stale skins and societal imprints to embrace the new and improved.

It is now time to stretch our wings in freedom to make choices from within about who we are, what we want, and whom we want to be with.

Saint Germain said:

“There is nothing that comes into the physical form which is not first perfected on the invisible or higher planes.”

In other words, how you perceive the world needs to be seeded from the inside. That’s what gives rise to a new sense of self and manifestation.

The January 2021 Revolution is about releasing old structures and mindsets that no longer serve us and allowing ourselves to go to the next level; thinking of what and who is most important to us and bringing in something new, better…. evolved.

Let’s celebrate harmonious collaborations, energetic revolutions and co-creation together.

This month, Living Out Loud invites writers to share our deepest dreams and strangest musings. Let us create, see, trust and support each other, and let us get a little wild.


Dear Writer,

Who do you want to be now? How do you want to affect the world? And who do you most want to share your life with during these transformative times?

Julia E Hubbel ♥ Gerthy Bingoly ♥ Catherine Evans ♥ Jennifer M. Wilson
Wistful writer ♥ Genius Turner ♥ Kate Mackay ♥ Harley Christensen
David Gerken ♥ Kevin Horton ♥ Kevin Ervin Kelley, AIA ♥ Kate Conradie
Cynthia Webb ♥ Elna Cain ♥ Deeksha Agrawal ♥ Rosie Wylor-Owen
Christopher Wills ♥ Clarrisa Lee ♥ George Frey ♥ Matt Lillywhite
Beth Prentice ♥ Kaia Maeve Tingley ♥ Em Hoccane ♥ Ana Ryan
Kara Summers ♥ Michael Grimes ♥ Anna Foga
Albert Heemeijer — Author at Balboa / HayHouse ♥ Surbhi Tak
Ellen McRae ♥ Anna & Ryan ♥ HKB ♥ Amanda Clark-Rudolph

Love & 2021 Revolution,

Kim, Harley & Lexi

#RealLifeNow

P.S. A HUGE shout out to our wonderful writers who have contributed their stories to our little publication this past month. It’s an honor to share your work with the world.


Latest Stories…

Love and Relationships

#LovingOutLoud #Passion #love

Overcoming a Relationship with a Narcissist by Kara Summers

Loose Boundaries and Parking Problems by Melissa Rhoads

If We Meet and You Don’t Look Like Your Pics, You’re Buying the Drinks Until You Do by Julia E Hubbel

Why Couldn’t He Be Real? by Kara Summers

Narcissists Don’t Have Kids — They “Make Babies” by Kara Summers

The Narcissist’s Cat by Kara Summers

“Can You Talk?” by Melissa Rhoades


Real Life Now

#LivingOutLoud

The Promise of Powerful Money Charms by Kim Petersen

How Have You Changed in 2020? by Jennifer M. Wilson

Walking Away From Negative Relationships by Michael Grimes

I’m Going BALD! by Julia E Hubbel

The Top Movie I Watched All Through 2020 by Julia E Hubbel

Wearing Make-Up: An Ongoing Battle With Society by Rosie Wylor-Owen

Humans and Humanity by Catherine Evans

Humans and Animals by Catherine Evans

The 8 Natural Qualities of Exceptionally Cool People by Kim Petersen

How The Four Happy Hormones Can Help Replenish Your Vitality by Gerthy Bingoly

Unearned Cheap Thrills are for Amateurs. by Julia E Hubbel


Creativity

#CreativeLocomotion #Poetry #fiction

My Guiding Light by Gerthy Bingoly

Where The Green Grass Grows by A.j Thomas

Helping Other Writers by Catherine Evans

Not Just a Writer by Catherine Evans

My Words Dried Up by Catherine Evans

The Perfection of Breathing by Catherine Evans

Writing Events and Conferences by Catherine Evans


Published at Living Out Loud on Medium

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Author, Books, Creativity, Science fiction, writing

Is The Current e-Book Era a Second Pulp Fiction Era?

By Christopher Wills

Image from Pulp Covers

In this post I will briefly examine the similarities between the current e-book era and the early twentieth century Pulp fiction era.

Note I am not suggesting e-books are pulp fiction; I am suggesting the current e-book era has similarities with the Pulp fiction era.

What is Pulp fiction?

Pulp paper was made from cheap wood pulp which was widely available in the 19th century. Pulp paper is still used today in newspapers, magazines and yes… toilet paper.

In 1896 the fiction magazine, The Argosy, was published on pulp paper with untrimmed edges and no images inside or on the cover. It was eight pages of serialized fiction. Within ten years it was a weekly magazine selling 500,000 copies every issue.

The Pulp fiction era is considered to have been between 1896 and 1939, although if one includes cheap paperback books printed after the war, one could suggest the era continued until the 1950s. Paper shortages during the Second World War brought a decline in magazine sales and after 1945 new paperback publishers, comic books and television helped the decline in pulp magazines.

In 2004 Sony released the Librie in Japan which is acknowledged to be the first e-book reader with an electronic ink display.

However the e-book era probably started in 2007 with Amazon’s issue of their first e-book reader, the Kindle. The name came from the idea of kindle as fuel to start a fire, so the Kindle was a metaphor for fuelling the love of reading. Wood kindle is like wood pulp – spooky. The first Kindle sold out in 5 hours.

The e-book was possibly invented in 1949 although that was a mechanical device so maybe it should be called an m-book. Another version of an e-book was invented in the 1960s but that was based on an IBM mainframe computer so it wasn’t very portable.

So what are the comparisons between the Pulp fiction era and the current e-book era?

Pulp fiction made it cheaper to publish and sell short stories and serialized fiction which created a boom in magazine publishing, meaning many more people were able to write for a living and many more people were able to access their writing by buying the cheap pulp magazines.

E-books have made it much cheaper to be able to publish short stories and novels which has led to a boom in publishing, meaning many more people are able to write for a living and many more people are able to buy fiction to read.

The staples of early Pulp fiction were the many short story magazines like Argosy, Black Mask and Amazing Stories where writers were paid by the word. Longer story meant more income for writers.

Kindle Unlimited pays writers by page reads which is effectively paying writers by the word. More pages more income for writers.

Pulp magazines and books developed amazing colourful book covers which clearly defined the genre of the stories inside.

To sell e-books one is encouraged to get amazing colourful book covers that clearly define the genre of the stories one is writing.

But one might ask, hasn’t this always been true of books?

No. Go to your bookshelf, or your parents’ bookshelf or a library bookshelf and look at the covers of some older paperback books in some genres. Some are amazing and well designed, but many are not. I looked up James Bond book cover art and discovered a variety of styles. Some paperback James Bond books had no images on the cover at all; they only had text stating the title and writer.

Book covers have always been designed but only in the last thirty years or so have some traditional book covers started to conform to genre styles. Think Chicklit or Mislit. Some genres like Science Fiction and Westerns have always had a genre style image on the cover.

During the Pulp fiction era new genres were created and these genres became established as part of the fiction canon. A couple of examples are Science Fiction and Hard Boiled Detective stories.

Today in the e-book era many new genres and sub-genres have been created and have become established such as Paranormal Romance and Military Science Fiction.

Some Pulp fiction writers were writing huge numbers of words per day; some wrote up to 8,000 words. Imagine writing 8,000 words on a typewriter every day. That must have been before RSI was invented 😊.

Today many e-book writers write a few thousand words every day and some “write” even more using voice to text technology.

This is a bit more productive than the famous quote attributed to traditional authors such as Flaubert, Wilde and Conrad:

“I spent all morning putting in a comma and all afternoon taking it out.”


Some Pulp fiction writers had more than one pen name as they wrote in more than one genre.

Some e-book writers today use more than one pen name for the same reason.

During the Pulp fiction era writers were paid on acceptance for magazine stories and the rates of payment were agreed in advance. This transparency and speed of payment helped with the payment of bills.

Today one advantage e-book authors have over traditional writers is the quick payment of money for sales and the transparency of the amount of money earned.

So there are similarities between the Pulp fiction era and the current e-book era. Some may have concerns that comparisons between the two eras could introduce the idea of e-books being labelled as Pulp fiction.

Let’s examine this briefly. Many great writers wrote stories for Pulp fiction magazines to supplement their incomes and as part of learning their craft. These include:

  • Agatha Christie
  • Louis L’Amour
  • Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • Isaac Asimov
  • Arthur C Clarke
  • Joseph Conrad
  • Raymond Chandler
  • Philip K Dick
  • F Scott Fitzgerald
  • Dashiell Hammett
  • Robert A Heinlein
  • Frank Herbert
  • Rudyard Kipling – Nobel Prize for Literature
  • Elmore Leonard
  • Sinclair Lewis – Nobel Prize for Literature + offered but declined the Pulitzer Prize for Literature
  • H P Lovecraft
  • Upton Sinclair – Pulitzer Prize for Literature
  • Micky Spillane
  • Mark Twain
  • H G Wells
  • Tennessee Williams.

Personally I would not consider it an insult if my name was associated with some of those writers. What do you think?


About Christopher

Christopher has been a soldier, sailor, teacher, trainer and is now a storyteller. He has an MA in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of Winchester and has recently qualified as a Tony Buzan Licensed Instructor in Mind Mapping.

In 2019 Christopher published a 3 book Military SciFi series and will publish a non-fiction book to help writers.

He has a website in development titled Soldier Sailor Teacher Trainer Storyteller at http://www.crwills.com

Social Media: Twitter | Facebook | Amazon


This post first appeared on the ALLI blog on September 23rd 2019

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Creative Writing Energy Podcast, Creativity, Soul, writing

The Creative Secrets of Shamanic Drumming

You’ve got to feel the beat.


“It is of the first order of importance to remember this, that the shaman is more than merely a sick man, or a madman; he is a sick man who has healed himself, who is cured, and who must shamanize in order to remain cured.”
― Terence McKenna

Shamanic drumming is a purposeful soul journey usually undertaken in the company of like-minded people. The experience is intimate and personal, yet it is also qualified by an undeniable element of unification — deliberate togetherness.

Before social distancing kicked in with COVID-19, I was regularly attending drumming circles and learning from my very cool Shaman teachers, Bastian and Tiger.

Each session offered an insightful and unique experience in a profoundly personal way. There is just something about letting yourself go with the beat of a drum, and then connecting your energy with the vibration as it reaches in your heart-space, uplifting and energizing your being in such a critical way that it becomes a part of you.

It’s like smudging for the soul.

After each session, I always left the studio with a renewed sense of creative flow — it’s as if those sacred experiences existed to further open my awareness into my sense of self, which spilled over into my creativity, helping to keep those vital bonds between imagination and reality ignited.

Shamanic Drumming

From Shamanic Drumming:

“Shamanic drumming is drumming for the purpose of inducing a range of ecstatic trance states in order to connect with the spiritual dimension of reality. Practiced in diverse cultures around the planet, this drum method is strikingly similar the world over.”

Shamanic drumming uses a repetitive rhythm that begins slowly and then gradually builds in intensity to a tempo of three to seven beats per second.

Admittedly, it usually takes me a little bit to shake off the ‘real world’ feels and relax into the changed, esoteric-like atmosphere. Though, once we begin, it feels as if I have crossed an invisible threshold into a different realm — one that I am always reluctant to leave behind.

You have to intentionally let go of any inhibitions that may prevent you from benefiting from the spiritual medicine offered by the drumming session if you really want to gain insights from the journey.

More from Shamanic Drumming:

“The ascending tempo will induce light to deep trance states, and facilitate the shamanic techniques of journeying, shapeshifting, and divination. Practitioners may progress through a series of trance states until they reach the level that is necessary for healing to occur.”

What is Shamanism?

Shamanism is universal and not bound by social or cultural conditions. It is the most ancient and most enduring spiritual tradition known to humanity. Shamanism predates and constitutes the foundation of all known religions or religious philosophies.

In essence, shamanism is the spiritual practice of ecstasy. Ecstasy is defined as a mystic, prophetic, or poetic trance. One of the core beliefs of shamanism is that innate wisdom and guidance can be accessed through the inner senses in ecstatic trance. Practitioners enter altered states of consciousness in order to experience direct revelation from within.

Shamanism is about remembering, exploring, and developing the true self. Shamanism places emphasis on the individual, of breaking free and discovering your own uniqueness in order to bring something new back to the group.

Shamanic practice heightens the ability of perception and enables you to see into the deeper realms of the self. Once connected with your inner self you can find help, healing, and a continual source of guidance. To practice shamanism is to reconnect with your deepest core values and your highest vision of who you are and why you are here.”

How it Works

Shamanic Drumming circles come together all over the world with the sole purpose of healing the human spirit as a collective. I think that now, more than ever, the world can use those who have the ability to see beyond the chaos and pain enough to uphold the positive transformations which are bound to take place when the dust settles — that which will rise from the ashes of this prophetic era.

And make no mistake, Shaman teachers and students alike; and those in touch with their spirituality work quietly and tirelessly to help keep the vision and vibrations positive for the future. Regardless of your beliefs, collective consciousness and mindset plays a vital part in the unfolding future — and is there a better way to release the negative tension than pounding hard on something?

A nice thick layer of animal hide?

With thanks and gratitude.

Susan Z from 7th Sense Stories knows about Shamanic drumming and explains how the process works:

“How it works is the healing drum pattern projects onto the body a supportive resonance or sound pattern the body can attune to. This sympathetic resonance forms new harmonic alignments, opens the body’s various energy meridians and chakras, releases blocked emotional patterns, promotes healing and helps reconnect us to our core. The sound patterns also enhance your sense of empowerment and stimulates your creative expression.”

The journey aspect of a Shamanic Drumming circle involves a guided odyssey into another realm; a rumination to the soulful beat of the drums accompanied by other beautiful sounds, the burning scent of incense, essential oils and a dedicated altar.

The practice essentially leads us into an induced trance where boundaries cease to exist and clarity comes calling, as we give and receive from earth energies. It is here that completes the modest, yet significant finale of the entire journey — where secrets abound and creativity unfurls through group Shamanic Meditation.

Healing

The healing power of drums, is, in my opinion, phenomenal.

The drumming has a way of grounding and reacquainting you to your primordial beginnings — when the deep resonating beats strum through your being, you get a glimpse of yourself as a part of the greater whole.

It is a most humbling experience which soothes and heals from the inside out, and also helps to activate your own natural healing powers.

The Powerful Benefits of Shamanic Drumming Healing Include:

  • Reduces stress.
  • Enhances creativity.
  • Improves your concentration.
  • Encourages the body to desire a healthier lifestyle.
  • Makes you feel happier.
  • Opens up acceptance of self.
  • Slows the aging process.
  • It is beneficial to your cardiovascular health.
  • Boosts your overall immune system.
  • Induces a deeper self-awareness by prompting synchronous brain activity and promoting alpha waves.
  • Helps to release negative feelings and emotional trauma.

Shamanic Drumming really does help to connect you with your creative resources as the process cleanses and purifies lower vibrational feelings that may have been dwelling deep within. It’s like shedding the BS and releasing the ego long enough to sense who you really are beneath the crud we so often present to the world.

And what lies beneath is where the magic really begins.


Originally published by Living Out Loud on Medium

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Creativity, life, Love and Connection, relationships, writing

When You Ask Me Why I Love You?

What is your forever answer?

Every now and then, we might wonder what that special person in our lives sees in us, or ponder why it is that they love us.

“I love you.”

Love isn’t a word to be taken lightly, though, at the same it is one of those “habit” words that we so often get used to saying without always putting in the feeling behind the phrase.

Doesn’t mean that we not sincere. Not all at. I think it’s more that by saying those three special words, it somehow helps to keep our faith in each other, even when said mechanically.

Make sense?

I know it works that way for my children, who utter those three words to me countless times on any given day. Yes, I am blessed — there are people in this big wide-world who love me and who I love back with all my heart and then some.

Romantic love?

The last few weeks, love has been a running theme here at Living Out Loud. We have had the pleasure of welcoming and publishing some new writers, and we are excited about creating a loving community where readers and writers can connect and share their experiences and perspectives under one little nook of the web — a space that we share with anyone who wants to join us.

#lovingoutloud #lovebig

Thank you to our wonderful writers who have shared a snippet of themselves; their hearts and souls — the stuff that makes them real. In case you’ve missed out on the latest stories, I’ve bundled them together for you below.

But first…

Lexi’s Wants to Know Your Forever Answer:

Why do you love me?

I love you because….

  • You know everything about me and you’re still around.
  • You piss me off and laugh when I call you an asshole.
  • You instinctively know when I need a hug.
  • You let me be who I am and love me even more for it.
  • You still try to make me laugh.
  • When things get tough, you love me even harder.

What’s your forever answer?

Latest Stories:

#Love

Kim Petersen16 Facts About Love That Might Surprise You

Kim PetersenIs it Love Obsession or Dark Obsession?

Wistful writerTouch More, Love More

Kim PetersenThe Power of Polarity Between Men and Women

Kim PetersenIs There Ever a Time to Deny Real Love?

Kim Petersen: The Seven Sweet Sins of Love

#RealLifeNow

Jennifer M. Wilson: How to be Effortlessly Cool

Kaia Tingley 🌀 We Cannot Force Change

#Technology #Creativity

Kate MackayWhy Education Needs Virtual Reality During COVID-19

Kate MackayDoes Virtual Reality Have a Place in eLearning?

Kate MackayA Virtual Reality Classroom Adventure

Kate MackayHow Can Virtual Reality Boost Confidence in Children?

Kate Mackay: Can Virtual Reality Save Special Need Education During COVID-19?

#Spirituality #Creativity

Kim PetersenThe Creative Secrets of Shamanic Drumming

#Poetry

Harley Christensen: Please — Stop the Madness!


Thanks to all our gorgeous writers —what’s your “forever (or un-forever) answer”? — Julia E Hubbel Jennifer M. Wilson Wistful writer Genius Turner Kate Mackay Harley Christensen David Gerken Kevin Horton Kevin Ervin Kelley, AIA Kate Conradie Cynthia Webb Elna Cain Deeksha Agrawal Rosie Wylor-Owen Christopher Wills Clarrisa Lee George Frey Matt Lillywhite Kaia Tingley 🌀 Beth Prentice

That’s all from us for now — until next time, keep #loving & #smiling #writing & #reading!

— The LOL Editorial Team

Kim, Harley and Lexi 🙂


Originally published by Living Out Loud on Medium

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Creativity, life, mindset, writing

Seasons of Life


Hello friends,

Welcome to the very first Living Out Loud newsletter!

Super exciting.

So, the world is still spinning on crazy as we continue to move through transitional times, but the warmer days here on the Australian eastern seaboard are beginning to renew my sense of hope for the future — how are you doing?

We are moving into Spring on this side of the globe, and the new season brings cool themes like love, joy, hope and rebirth, which fits nicely with the recent launch of Living Out Loud (LOL).

New Beginnings

I’m a huge fan of Jim Rohn and his masterful lessons using the seasons of life.

Rohn:

“Life is like the changing seasons — you cannot change the seasons, but you can change yourself. So, the first major lesson in life to learn is how to handle the winters …. There are all kinds of winters: the “winter” when you can’t figure it out, the “winter” when everything seems to go awry. There are economic winters, social winters and personal winters.”

Pandemic winters…

I don’t think anyone would debate how 2020 has brought along with it a long, cold winter. Rohn was right when he said that we cannot change experiencing the winters, though we change how we deal with them.

“But here is what you can do: You can get stronger; you can get wiser; you can get better. Remember that trio of words: stronger, wiser, better.”

The new decade has forced us to practice more humility than ever before — it’s forced change and transformation on both a global and personal scale.

This year has grounded us so much that many of us are reassessing our lives and really honing in on what’s important.

Love. Connectedness. Authenticity. Heart. Soul. Living Out Loud. Finding You.

With all of this in mind, it’s natural that change will always seem a little daunting as it eventually leads us toward a new beginning.

We want to know how you feel about change and new beginnings, because even though we cannot get in touch in real life, we are still connected here — through sharing our stories that will uplift one another as we embrace change together.

Lexi’s New Beginning Prompts

  • What do new beginnings mean to you?
  • How do you feel about new beginnings — embrace or resist?
  • Opportunity? Change? Trepidation?
  • In thinking about new beginnings, what’s one word that resonates?
  • Send us your article about new beginnings, or pop a reply below.

Now, in case you missed the latest LOL stories, here is some of what went down:

Creativity, Relationships & Real Life Now

Fiction

Poetry


That’s all from us for now — until next time, #BeLove & #RealLifeNow

– The LOL Editorial Team

Lexi, Kim and Harley

Originally published on LOL on Medium.

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Creativity, writing

Can Your Dreams Help You Write Better Stories?

Trust yourself and your dream messages.


We have all been there — ensnared in the middle of a cinematic dream that feels so real you think you’ve actually experienced it, even after waking. Maybe it was a nightmare that left you in a chilled sweat, heart racing. Or if you are anything like me, you’ve awoken deeply disturbed following a dark lucid dream. On the other hand, perhaps you’re fortunate enough to have returned from a romantic liaison with your favorite rock star — we should all be so lucky. Right? At least in our dreams.

Sigmund Freud believed that our dreams were the gateway toward unlocking the unconscious mind. Indeed, interpreting our dreams has long been an important technique used in psychoanalysis.

From Frontiers in Psychology:

“According to Freud, sources of dreams include stimuli from the external world, subjective experiences, organic stimuli within the body, and mental activities during sleep. Empirical evidence has supported some of these assertions. The self-organization theory of dreaming posits that memory consolidation, emotion regulation, and reception of external stimuli can contribute to dream content; hence, dream content can contain important information about the dreamer.”

Very interesting. But what exactly are dreams?

Basically, dreams are images and imagery, thoughts, sounds and voices, and subjective sensations experienced when we sleep.

Although science knows what dreams are, just like our imaginative mind, dreams essentially remain a large part of the great mystery of humanity, continuing to intrigue and enchant us.

We all dream.

And through our dreams, we discover a limitless realm of warped realities and private fantasy worlds. We dream about people we know or don’t know; or those who we’ve yet to meet or haven’t seen in eons— dreams even offer the dead a medium by which to make contact with the living.

Our dreams are mystical, orchestrated or disorganized glimpses into sacred secrets and repressed desires. Conjured from the inner-most parts of our minds to embody unusual and strange situations; peculiar feelings; a recalling of events. To forcing us to face our deepest and darkest fears; to premonitions of a future yet to unfold.

Dreams are our link into an alchemistic dimension — they are a convoluted part of us in some way. The sweet labyrinthine in our mind.

There is no limit to what the mind can experience during a dream, and there isn’t always sense or reason to what you end up dreaming about. Sometimes we remember them. Other times, we forget. Some hold significance and are meaningful. Others, are more like a random jumble of meaningless imagery with an underlying feeling.

That’s what makes our dreams so utterly fascinating.

Dream Theories

Scientists have hypothesized six major theories in attempt to explain why we dream. Jodie Tyley provides a brief summary in her article; The Six Leading Theories on Why We Dream.

Here’s a quick rundown…

  • Encoding our Day — Dreaming is an amalgamation of what we have seen in the passing day. Our brain has passed through so much information since its last sleep, dreaming is a way of it deciding what to keep and what to forget.
  • Emotions — Dreams could be tied to our emotions. If you’re feeling happy, you’ll have a more positive dream and if you’re stressed you may have a nightmare and so on. With less to think about at night, your brain processes slow down and your emotions come to the fore.
  • Emotions II — Conversely, some believe that your dreams are usually the opposite of your emotions. If you’ve had a hard day for instance, you’ll have a happy dream to lift your spirits.
  • Completely Random — Some say that rather than having any sort of function, dreams are just completely random impulses that happen while we’re asleep and aren’t meant to make any sense at all.
  • Memory Reboot — You may have only briefly glanced at something while awake but when you’re asleep your brain will investigate it further.
  • Freudian dreams — Freud claimed that when you were awake, your unconscious (urges, desires, wishes and dreams) was suppressed but when asleep, your primal impulses gained the chance to express itself and that is what dreams are made of; our unsuppressed and unconscious desires and dreams.

Personally, I’m down with Swiss Psychoanalyst, Carl Jung’s ideas about why we dream, he said that dreams reveal more than they conceal. Jung rejected Freud’s theory of dream interpretation that dreams are designed to be secretive, disbelieving that dream formation is a product of discharging our tabooed sexual impulses.

Jung’s dream belief states that dreams are a natural expression of our imagination and use the most straightforward language at our disposal: mythic narratives. His dream theory is still thriving in contemporary psychoanalytic circles.

“This mythic world of Jung’s is the realm of the archetypes, which are the universal energies of every human who is not only in conflict with society but also with him or herself.” — Ryan Hurd


If driving conflict is one of the most vital components of storytelling, then imagination is the foundation on which all stories balance — great storytelling lies first and foremost within the mystical realm of an author’s imagination, followed by their skill to execute their vision to story.

What comes out is what’s on the inside.

Reading a story is like entering someone else’s secretive world; a rare revelation into an author’s mind —hidden parts of their soul and snippets of their dreams spill onto the page for us to devour. What comes out is what’s on the inside. I’m certain that someone like Wayne Dyer once said something similar, only he was referring to our reactive impulses toward the outer world.

The thing is, the same is true about our dreams and words — written, spoken or otherwise — and every facet of our manifesting lives, experiences.

The Writer’s Dream World

I have dreamed of circumstances and events that have come to pass. I’ve dreamed of a love and a tender touch I may never feel. I’ve received visitors and messages from the long and recently dead; and I have dreamed of scenes and characters that are now forever inked in my books.

Dreams are a precious gift to a creative soul. As writers, we can learn to use the mysterious time during our sleep to connect with our creativity and the deepest parts of our imagination.

Did you know that some of the world’s most prolific writer’s have dreamt of their most famous creations?

Author of Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus, Mary Shelly famously dreamt of monsters the evening before she sat down to write the book which became the blueprint of Gothic horror. And authors like Steven King, Stephanie Myers, H.P Lovecraft, Charlotte Brontë, and Robert Louis Stephenson have reportedly told of their slumbering bouts of inspiration that made it into their creative projects.

But why are dreams so creative?

From How sleeping and afternoon naps make you more creative:

“Sleep and dreams are some of the most researched aspects of neuroscience and psychology, but still some of the least understood. The ideas behind dreams and creativity come from the function of sleep in memory and the fact that, while we are asleep, our brains are free from the usual sensations and can, frankly, go crazy.”

Is it just me, or does the notion of getting a little a crazy in a way-too-serious-world sound appealing — even if only in our dreams?

Prince might have agreed. I wonder if his dreams influenced his very unique and fearless creative gifts he gave to the world; his very memorable legacy…

Aside from getting dream-crazy with funk-rock musicians, our dreams can open our minds to major creative breakthroughs and new ways of thinking. They are a manifestation of our experiences, inner-most thoughts, desires and troubles; and with a little TLC, they can help us tap into our imaginative minds to create scenes and characters in our fictional worlds.

Create With Your Dreams

Our dreams are fleeting. In general, the more time that has passed since you woke up from a dream, the more difficult it will be to remember what that dream was about. Keeping a dream journal is a great way to record what happens in your mind while you are sleeping so you don’t forget those little creative dream-nuggets when they come calling.

Keeping a Dream Journal will:

  • Help solve creative problems
  • Help you control lucid dreams
  • Help you to better understand your thoughts, creative ideas and emotions
  • Improve and strengthen your memory in general
  • Provide new perspectives and insights on a current creative project
  • Offer you actual scenes for your book
  • Provide a sense of creative direction

It can be helpful to fall asleep with your intentions set firm by talking to your inner-self and asking for creative direction. We often take our final thoughts to sleep with us, so choose them intentionally.

Whether you jot down a few quick takeaways during the night, record a detailed dream scene, or even sketch down your visions, you’ll be surprised at what your subconscious mind reveals and how you can incorporate your mystical dream elements into your creative work. It’s like turning an internal hidden lock and working with another part of yourself that is very much available to you.

Dreams can help you write better stories.

You’ve just got to trust yourself and your dream messages. Added bonus? By keeping track of your dreams for creative purposes, you may even discover something new about yourself. Maybe, you’ll even want to get your “Prince” on and get a little dream-crazy while you’re at it.


Originally published by Publishous on Medium

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Author, Creative Writing Energy Podcast, Creativity, writing

Bringing Yourself to the Page


Life is a series of thought-provoking moments, eliciting our emotions and imprinting our psyche. Life is creation in-action. No one gets a free ride. We all love like crazy; maybe feel pangs of hate; take a deep breath before a leap of faith, and sometimes we get hurt — we learn and grow through pain. We sing with angels and rejoice with heart — we bleed, break and scar. Whoever ever said that life was easy, huh? It’s not. And neither is sitting with your emotions to confront your deepest truths.

Consider what Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Carl Jung had to say about the meaning of life:

“The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, to avoid facing their own souls. We meet ourselves time and again in a thousand disguises on the path of life. Real liberation comes not from glossing over or repressing painful states of feeling, but only from experiencing them to the full.”

Hmm… that explains a lot. I may have just had an epiphany.

Moving on.

If, as Jung suggests, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being, then the expressive use of a pen may surely help pave the way toward enlightenment.

Yes?

How about using your writing in a more meaningful way — as an outlet to document and sift through your human experience — and then bring what’s on the inside to the page?

“Who looks outside, dreams’ who looks inside, awakes.”

  • Carl Jung

I’m talking about the deep, convoluted feelings that make you tick and drive purpose in your life — there’s a wealth of experience and lessons learned buried in your past. Use those little wisdom-nuggets.

Writing emotional responses evoked from our experiences is a great asset to writers. It’s the perfect outlet to work through your emotions, drive home your beliefs about the world, and then incorporate them as an important theme in your stories.

Right? Every great book brings an authentic message delivered with its underlying story theme. The way I see it, story theme gives us the opportunity to spread change to the world in our own small way.

Like layering up the good stuff.

It’s the reason you probably started writing in the first place.

The fact is that you are a complex creative-creature with many layers and depth. No one sees the world in quite the same way as you.

You view life through the fluidity of your unique perspective as you evolve, change and reach for new experiences.

Don’t be afraid of what’s deep inside.

More from Jung:

“Sometimes you have to do something unforgivable just to be able to go on living. We only gain merit and psychological development by accepting ourselves as we are and by being serious enough to live the lives we are entrusted with. Our sins and errors and mistakes are necessary to us, otherwise we are deprived of the most precious incentives to development.”

Sounds delicious, does it not?

Making mistakes and doing something that may be considered unforgivable might sound absurd to some, but I think it sounds more like living your truths.

I also feel as if more of us need to embrace the flaws that make us who we are instead of feeling ashamed about them  Imagine if we could drive home that message in our stories? Or something similar?

Sweet glory.

Bringing your flaws and unique worldview to the page by exploring your inner-most emotions, perspectives and feelings is a gift not only to yourself but to others.

Think of it like this: You are the flesh and blood; the tangible and malleable. Yet, you are also a part of the mysterious — the light and the dark. Which ultimately means you have so much of the rich stuff to offer through your words.

Your emotions are your greatest muse.

“Everything begins with words — our stories, thoughts, messages. Each word has its own vibration, too. It is these vibrations that create the reality that surrounds us. Words create more than just stories; they inform our universe, our lives and our reality — and they teach us. Through creating words, I have managed to reacquaint myself more fully with my soul and to live a more authentic, love-driven and passionate life.”

– From Creative Writing Energy

Other benefits of exploring your feelings through writing:

Clarity

By expressing yourself and communicating complex ideas in a much more effective way, you will discover more about yourself and learn how to honor it by bringing your deepest truths and beliefs into your work.

Eliminates stress

Emptying your mind through writing helps to eliminate stress. Capturing those moments, developing and working through your ideas produces a ripple effect; since not only do you declutter your mind, but it is also a process of rationalization — story themes right there.

Productivity

Writing activates neurons in your brain and gets you set to face the day. Serious writers have demonstrated that setting goals or systems in their daily writing habits significantly increases the possibilities of achieving them.


Some fellow writers swear by starting their day with a little self-reflective journaling. Journal writing your feelings teaches you about you and helps to strengthen your writing skills and find your voice.

It also encourages greater self-awareness.

“The only meaningful life is a life that strives for the individual realization — absolute and unconditional — of its own particular law.” — Jung

Writing down what you have in mind regularly — your dreams, worries, fears, deepest desires, is a viable path toward self-realization.

Writers often use snippets of their self-reflections in their work because it’s important to create characters that feel real to our readers. Well, I know that I tend to lean on my past experiences and feelings when tapping into the essence of my characters.

“Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your writing.”

– Gustave Flaubert

So, if I’m feeling a little like:

Frustration

I might use the edge to help drive story conflict. You know, inject some attitude into my words. Helps to release the tension too, by the way.

Then I take it deeper, spinning my characters with sass and diving into the gritty, dark, even profane.

Heartache

Even better. Well, maybe not so much for me, but my character’s benefit from my soul-crushing pain. Lucky them. The fact is that words created from an aching heart have a way of bringing depth and authenticity to the page.

Real feelings mean readers will relate to, care about and resonate with your character and their world because everyone has been hurt in some way.

Love

Need I say more?

We can’t get enough of the love-stuff. It’s where alchemy and magic abounds.

Personally, I spend more time than I probably should contemplating the concept of love and exploring its meaning, and I’m not even a romance writer, per se. Regardless, love always winds its way into my writing. Every time.

Love affects us all. It’s the universal language we all know and understand, and bringing it to your story creates real-world feelings and connection.


Go on, give it a try — dig deep, unravel yourself from the inside out and let your emotions be your greatest muse.


Originally published by Living Out Loud on Medium

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