Sometimes inner guidance sounds more like a whisper than a growl. It might stalk you from behind a flowering Camellia bush and distract you with red blossoms. It might tap you on the shoulder and then run away. It may wonder how many times or in what ways it needs to tell you the same thing before you’ll take its advice. But if your inner guidance is anything like mine, it will be patient—and it won’t give up until you receive its message. It will attract a variety of experiences designed to help you, though you may interpret them as obstacles instead of opportunities.
Even before reading Brooke Warner’s Green-Light Your Book, part of me—the part I consider my Wise Self—wanted to publish my memoir with She Writes Press. As I read Brooke’s book, my conviction only deepened. The problem was, another part of me, the one I’ve come to know as my Insatiable Ego, threw a temper tantrum and demanded external validation in the form of a traditional publishing deal.
Meanwhile, I devoured Brooke’s book, which I read twice, all the while nodding my head in assent, my gut resonating with empowering messages about creative partnership, sisterhood, and more.
I listed the pros and cons of publishing with She Writes Press in my journal. My enumeration of pros was long—a download from my Wise Self. The cons consisted of two demands and perceived needs: conventional compensation (payment) for my writing in the form of an advance and royalties, and a yearning for legitimacy as an author. “Legitimacy is an inside job,” my Wise Self said. It also reminded me that the financial picture under the traditional model isn’t so clear-cut anymore, especially with traditional publishers cutting secret hybrid deals and authors in both camps having to pay for publicity. “Besides, this isn’t about money for you,” my Wise Self said.
That was June. I completed my memoir a couple months later, but wasn’t ready to sign with SWP or to shop it elsewhere. I was in limbo.
In October, my memoir serendipitously fell into the hands of an agent who read my manuscript twice and seemed eager to discuss my book with me. Our conversation left me frustrated and confused, however. The gist of her feedback was that my book was fantastic but not right for traditional publishing. She had a whole host of reasons why, and over the course of the conversation told me that my book was too good for traditional publishing. What did that even mean? The upshot of this interaction was that I sent my book to two readers. The first said, “I’m sorry to say I am not the right reader for you.” The second, Gayle Brandeis, a writing professor and award-winning author of Fruitflesh: Seeds of Inspiration for Women Who Write and other books said, “I love this book, and as a writer/dancer/seeker who has struggled with the swing between self-doubt and grand dreams—resonated with so much of it.” She told me that I wrote with honesty and heart and offered a couple constructive suggestions for improvement. Gayle’s comment about self-doubt and grand dreams struck a chord. When I followed up and asked her if the central problem in the story was clear, Gayle said, “The problem felt very clear to me: anxiety and your desire to heal it (even before you knew what it was) seemed to be at the heart of everything in the book.”
I was grateful Gayle “got it” and also for her succinct articulation of my memoir’s spine. But I was confused to receive such different responses to my work. Months earlier Brooke had said the book was done. We had discussed beta readers. “Won’t everyone have their own opinion?” I asked. “Couldn’t that be confusing?” Her response was “yes” to both questions.
My next step—publishing—nagged me. I know many authors who take the time to get feedback from multiple beta readers. And most of the SWP authors I’d spoken to had shopped their books to agents and publishers before choosing partnership publishing. Others, like SheWrites.com co-founder, Kamy Wicoff, turned down a traditional publishing offer from one of the Big Five after she ran numbers and believed she’d make out better financially publishing with SWP. But even she’d made the effort to shop—and she was a co-founder in the press with Brooke. Aside from Brooke, a publishing expert, none of the authors I’d spoken to had gone directly to SWP without shopping elsewhere. Was I crazy for wanting this? Did this mean I was giving up on myself or on my writing? Or, could my resistance to signing with SWP be an opportunity to heal old, destructive thought patterns? Maybe. Probably.
In November, I learned that the SWP author retreat was opening its doors to five members of the She Writes.com community. I jumped at the chance to go, and the experience didn’t disappoint. Brilliant women authors, a gorgeous desert setting, a lovely resort, and stellar author education provided a delicious experience filled with camaraderie, learning, and fun. How many publishers do this? None that I’d heard of! It was wonderful, but my prickly ego still wasn’t ready to sign with SWP. It was holding out for an old fantasy of traditional publishing, dangling a carrot beneath my nose. The problem was, I didn’t want to shop my book.
I told myself to be patient. The answers would come. I’d figure it out after the holidays. Maybe then I’d rally around the idea of shopping my manuscript. SWP was an excellent backup plan. I knew if I shopped my book, I’d have to crank out a new proposal. I’d already written a hundred-page proposal prior to writing my memoir. Agents complimented the writing, but tried to pigeonhole me in a way that felt off. At the time, I stopped shopping my proposal and wrote my book instead—with Brooke’s help.
The holidays came and went. I enjoyed a much-needed family vacation in Cancun. I am rested. I’ve had time off, yet I still don’t want to shop my book! I thought this might change with time. It hasn’t. “How long should I shop my book?” This is a question Brooke often gets. Her answer to me was, “How much rejection can you take?” To be honest, I don’t want any right now. I’ve had my fair share. Perhaps I seem like a wuss for not wanting to deal with the rejection shopping entails, but it also takes strength and courage to green-light your book. To say yes to yourself. To ignore the illusion that there’s one right way to publish. Or that one way is the way. Or that our value stems from what we do or achieve rather than being inherent to who we are. We are all worthy. We are all valuable. What I want from publishing is a positive, rich experience. I want to share my work with those who might find it helpful. And move on.
The root of the word author is “authority.” Authors have to be authors of their lives and careers as well as their stories. It is not enough to know what we want. Receiving clear inner guidance, as precious as that is, is one thing, but acting on it is something else. For months everything in my life had been pointing toward SWP, and yet, I hesitated. I lacked the courage, faith, and conviction to trust my inner guidance. I’d been digging up the same pile of bones only to bury them elsewhere in the back yard of my psyche. Well, I’m tired and I’m done with that. It’s time to go with my gut. The stomach has more nerve endings than the spinal cord; it’s known as the second brain. The heart too is an excellent guide. And mine has been murmuring “She Writes Press” for months.
As I write this, I realize my New Year’s resolution is to continue extracting myself from my ego’s gnarly claw and live in the subtle, yet radiant inner guidance provided by my Wise Self. Have you heard the expression “Let go or be dragged”? It’s 2017 and I’m letting go of old, outdated fantasies and moving forward with real-world opportunities. I’m saying “yes” to the dream of bringing my book into the world and ignoring old “shoulds” about how this is supposed to look. I’m going to sign with She Writes Press, and as I write this, I realize this is a victory for me on multiple levels. Many trails have led me to these people and this press, and I am grateful to have found fellow hikers—literary soul mates.
A few months ago, soon after I’d finished writing my memoir, Raw: A Midlife Quest for Health & Happiness, I had the opportunity to share five minutes of my work at a reading. While combing through my manuscript for excerpts, I found myself thinking, Hmm, maybe this writing isn’t as strong as I thought. The writing felt flabby and slow. I found myself tinkering with passages so they’d read better in a shorter timeframe, and wondered if that was okay. In past readings, I’ve mostly read my poems, complete works, each one featuring a beginning, middle, and end.
But my memoir is different. It took time to develop stories in that longer format—time I wouldn’t have in a five-minute reading. I wanted to give my audience the best bang for their buck, to make my reading worth their while. I wanted them with me from the first word to the last. I have been to too many readings where restless audience members pick cuticles, scrimmage inside purses, check iPhones, or stare out windows, all overt cues that they’re desperate for the reader to just finish already. This sucks for writers, but it also means it’s our responsibility to ensure that doesn’t happen.
Every time you stand up and read your work, you’re pitching it. If you don’t grab your audience, and keep them with you, they will not buy your book. I’ve given several readings from my memoir since that first one and here’s what I’ve learned: presenting an edited excerpt of your novel or memoir is a gift for your audience as well as your book! In order to most effectively share part of a long-form story in a short-form (time) venue, you will need to compress, collapse, or cut. You may also need to compose transitions, connections, or endings to create a satisfying, standalone experience.
The key is to view a time “constraint” as a container. Make it work for you in the same way specific poetry forms, such as the villanelle, shape a poem. If you honor the requirements of your reading venue and deliver a complete experience, if you craft your work with a particular reading in mind, you have a much better shot of connecting with and entertaining your audience. If you leave them laughing, crying, or nodding their head, they are with you.
I have a three-ring binder with ten edited excerpts from my memoir, along with a list of others I want to develop. At the top of each page I’ve jotted down how long the excerpt takes to read. Please note: read slower than you think you should. Take your time. Plant your feet on the floor. Let your voice rise from your belly.
Edited excerpts will serve you well even if you’re giving a featured reading and have thirty or forty minutes. Remember to consider your audience when choosing passages. Your excerpt filled with sex and “colorful” language, however well edited, might not go over so well at a conservative ladies’ luncheon. This may sound obvious, but I’ve seen authors fall into this trap. You may want to share several edited excerpts that feature different flavors of your story, rather than one or two longer selections. Sadly, attention spans are shorter than they’ve ever been, and while a passage might be perfectly paced in your book, it might not hold a listener’s attention. Consider crafting ten or twenty excerpts of different lengths before it’s time to promote your book. You will be surprised what you can do with five minutes, or less. Being ready to go with as many great, edited clips as possible will make the reading part of your job successful and fun!
I’d love to hear your thoughts about this. Have you grappled with the problem of reading a passage intended to unfold more slowly in your novel or memoir? Were you resistant, as I was in the beginning, to edit your excerpts? Did you do it anyway? If so, what was the result?
I attended my first AWP conference and book fair this year, where I feasted on literary and writing business delicacies, along with over 12,000 other attendees. After reviewing over 550 offerings, I selected fourteen panels, which I attended over three days. It was a treat to see SWP Publisher Brooke Warner speak on the panel: “A New Girl’s Network: Lessons From The Movement of Equal Voice,” and SWP editor and Grammergency blogger Annie Tucker, who spoke on the panel, “What to Expect When You’re Expecting A Redline.”
There were many other inspiring and instructive panels, but the very first one I attended—“Book Launch Confidential: Marketing Made Smarter, Not Harder”—covered important topics I’d like to share here. What follows was gleaned from my notes on this session and represent the ideas of panelists Lynne Griffin, Michelle Toth, Eve Bridburg, and Michael Blanding, members of GrubStreet’s Book Launch Lab, a team of writing professionals in Boston, dedicated to bringing community and joy (yep, joy!) to the business of writing.
This process begins with what the Launch Lab refers to as the “Logic Model.” They encourage writers with books coming out to create a marketing plan unique to themselves and their goals, both personally and professionally. In order to do this, they suggest writers get clear about why they write by drafting a focused, intentional mission statement. Questions to help you with this process are: What do you want to accomplish with your writing? Why are you producing books? What do you want to offer, and to whom?
After you’ve clarified why you write, the Launch Lab team asks you to define success for yourself and your writing career. Success doesn’t come in one-size-fits-all. What might success look like if you dispensed with somebody else’s vision of it, which you may have bought into without realizing? Define success on your own terms; honor your authentic self. To do this, explore these questions: How do I want to spend my time? What activities enrich my life? Take an energy inventory. Ask yourself which activities give you energy and which ones deplete you. Also, ask yourself how you will know if you are successful. Define specific goals for your book. Success can be measured in qualitative terms, which are emotional, and may show up as enjoyment, connections, recognition, and learning. It can also be measured in quantitative terms, which bring tangible results, such as books sales, columns, future book deals, job opportunities, reviews, and distribution.
After you’ve explored your mission and defined success, you’re ready to begin your book launch campaign. To start this process, make an honest self-assessment of your strengths and weaknesses. What activities align with your mission statement? Which ones are congruent with your definition of success? Which tasks do you enjoy? If you hate blogging, don’t do it. If you love Twitter, tweet away. If public speaking tickles your fancy, book as many gigs as possible. If teaching brings you alive, do that. Don’t try to do it all—because you can’t. It’s impossible. Pick and choose what’s consistent with your values, dreams, and goals. Know yourself. Just as we can’t be all things to all people in our lives, we can’t follow every expert’s advice about how to promote our books. This is what it means to work smarter, not harder.
In a world where many of us function at a frantic pace, it makes sense to slow down and proceed with self-awareness and intention. It’s easy, as writers forced to wear many hats, to lose sight of what’s important. We are writers first. According to the GrubStreet gang, creative writing matters because it “explores and documents the human condition and creates meaning in the lives of those who practice it. The act of writing can change both ourselves and the world.” This is the promise. Maybe this is why over 12,000 people showed up at AWP’s 2016 conference. The fact that over 550 offerings were presented to attendees speaks to the busyness of our world. Clarity and simplicity, in the midst of all this, is ours for the taking. It’s up to us to back away, turn within, know what’s true, and plan our book launch campaign from a place of self-knowledge, confidence, and connection.
How do you work smarter not harder? Or have you been trekking the tedious path? I’d love to hear book launch stories of all kinds. Was your launch joyful? Gut-wrenching? Are you planning a launch? What are you anticipating or dreading? Please share your wisdom.
In honor of Teacher’s Appreciation Week, which was May 4-8, here’s a list of qualities some of the best writing teachers share. They may not be the first thoughts that enter your mind when thinking about studying writing, but teachers with the personality traits listed below make excellent writing guides. Don’t settle for anything less. You deserve the best.
1. Student-focused. A great writing teacher is focused on her students and their needs. She puts aside her own issues and concerns to make herself present and fully available to her students. She may share stories from her own life, or even work, on occasion, but if your teacher spends half the time talking about herself or her work, she’s not serving you. It doesn’t matter what she has written, or how famous she may or may not be. The focus should be on you, the student, and your work. Don’t be fooled by a person’s literary track record. Just because a person can write, it doesn’t mean she can teach. Writing is one thing; teaching is another. They require different skills.
2. Generosity of Spirit. A great writing teacher is generous with her time, praise, and experience. She understands that there’s room at the top for everyone, and genuinely wants you to succeed. She creates a safe space in which you are free to express your innermost thoughts. She sees the best in her students, and knows that we all have sparks of genius within. She understands that the right fan can transform those sparks into a creative blaze. A great teacher can be such a fan (double meaning intended). She knows how hard to blow and is also your most enthusiastic champion. She is an expert tender of inner fires—hers as well as yours. She knows we are all vessels, and does everything in her power to help you move out of your own way so that what’s wanting to come through you can. She’s a midwife, standing by to help you birth your writing dreams. She wants the best for you and your writing, and will do everything in her power to support both.
3. Fearlessness. A great writing teacher feels fear, but doesn’t let it stop her from navigating treacherous terrain. She’s in for the long haul. She laces up her boots and guides students willing to climb steep mountains, or dive into deep, murky lakes. She’s an intrepid traveller, willing to traverse hinterlands. She does so by leading with her heart. She inspires in her students a love of adventure, a thirst for truth, and a hunger for knowledge. She understands that fearlessness is not the absence of fear, but moving forward in the face of it. She’s a paradigm-shifter, a frame-changer, a person who understands that fear is the opposite of faith. She believes in you and in your work. She believes in herself, and she believes in life. Not all the time, perhaps, but enough of the time. She’s a grab-life-by-the-balls kind of person, and believes in the power of walking with you to your edge. She has taken her share of leaps.
4. A Fully Loaded Toolbox. A great writing teacher has a toolbox—tricks of the trade—she’s spent decades assembling. These include specific strategies, such as prompts and exercises, she uses in her classes. It also holds the teacher’s knowledge of and sensitivity to strong, creative writing. A great writing teacher is able to make solid suggestions to students for improving their work. Her tools are not one-size-fits-all. She’s adept at customizing them, as needed. She listens closely, can tell where each student is and where they want to go, and knows how to help them get there. She probes the psyche with graceful finesse, and knows what questions to ask, as well as how and when to ask them. She senses when to push her students and when to back off.
5. A Lifelong Student. The best teachers are lifelong students. They never stop studying, learning, and growing. Life is their classroom. They learn from their students, teachers, colleagues, coaches, books, families, and everything else life offers. They walk their talk. They say “yes” to themselves and their own writing dreams, which helps them feel good about themselves, so that they can be good to you!
What qualities do you appreciate in a great writing teacher? Who was your best writing teacher and why? What made that teacher great? If you’re a teacher, what qualities do you hope to share with your students? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Not long ago, a student who has been taking my classes consecutively for the past three years stopped by to pick up a letter of recommendation for a PEN Emerging Voices Fellowship. This same student, during her second year in my class, wrote a novel, for which she secured literary representation last fall. Our class is on summer break and I hadn’t seen her since June. After we took care of our PEN business she shared her growing frustrations with me about her writing career. “I felt like I gave my baby away,” she told me, and then lamented that she rarely hears from her agent and has no idea what’s going on with her book. Unfortunately, for writers lucky enough to sign with an agent, this is not an uncommon story.
We talked about the state of publishing, and discussed pros and cons of conventional, hybrid, and self-publishing. We deliberated over how much the business has changed over the past few years, chewed over the closing of bookstores, and analyzed the advantages of owning the rights to your books. We both agreed on the pleasure inherent in maintaining creative control of your work, and noted that even if you’re lucky enough to land a book deal, you still have to hustle and promote your baby while your publisher takes the lion’s share of your profits. In the end, she came to this realization: “I can either lament the way things are or embrace them.”
An hour before this conversation, I’d sat in church listening to a talk about faith. The reverend had asked: “When your faith is absolute, do things always work out?” The congregation immediately responded, “Yes.”
“Maybe so,” he replied. He paused and added, “But then again, maybe not. When your faith is absolute, things work out only when you’re not attached to a specific outcome.”
This reminded me of an old Sufi story about how things aren’t always as they seem:
One day a farmer finds and captures a beautiful white stallion. All the neighbors gather to congratulate him: “How fortunate you are. Allah has blessed you.” The next day his son attempts to ride the horse, falls off, and breaks his leg. All the neighbors gather to commiserate with the farmer: “What a shame. Allah must be displeased.” The next day the solders come to take every able-bodied man into the army. Because the son has a broken leg, the soldiers leave him alone. The neighbors gather to congratulate the farmer: “How fortunate you are. Allah has blessed you.”
And the story continues. It’s clear as the story progresses that no single event is good or bad.
Perhaps my student’s disappointment is really just a stunning opportunity for her to fully embrace and step into her own as the confident, capable writer and entrepreneur I know her to be. “In today’s publishing climate,” I reminded her, “there’s no need to wait for someone else to make your publishing dreams come true. You can do it yourself!”
The Bhagavad Gita, a Hindi holy book, says, “We may never see the fruits of our labor.” But this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t labor. Writing is a labor of love. Why deny yourself its joys and healing gifts? The fruit may be invisible, but if you’re working whole-heartedly, you will definitely feel its sweetness. Look for that. Believe in it.
At the end of his talk about faith, our reverend read a poem called “Do It Anyway,” which was written on the wall of Mother Teresa’s home for children in Calcutta, India. It is a revised version of an earlier piece written by Dr. Kent M. Keith.
People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.
If you are honest and sincere, people may deceive you.
Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today will often be forgotten.
Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.
Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.
I’d like to add:
If you write a book, you may not be able to sell it.
Write it anyway.
If you publish your work, people may ram judgments down your throat.
If you show people who you are through your writing, you may be shamed.
Show them who you are anyway.
Show yourself who you are; this will make God smile.
A few weeks ago I found out I was mentioned in Deborah Siegel’s excellent She Writes Webinar, “Thought Leadership for Writers.”
I was held up as an example of “The Naked Writer,” one of six archetypes of “cutting-edge writers who are thought leaders.” Deborah defines a thought leader as “a trusted source with innovative ideas, who educates, influences, or inspires her audience and furthers discussions that lead her audience to action.” She added that writers who are thought leaders inspire people beyond the page. Deborah did a great job discussing this within the context of platform building.
I was honored to be included among the fine writers Deborah held up as exemplifying the various archetypes. Courtney E. Martin embodied Deborah’s “World-Changing Writer,” a writer whose primary concern is to spread a message. Annie Murphy Paul was “The Educator Writer,” who “loves to educate.” Brooke Warner was “The Business Warrior Writer,” who uses her writing to build her business and her brand. Hope Edelman, “The Topical Writer,” lives and breathes her topic, which Deborah described as a combination of self and idea. Christina Baker Cline personified “The Thinking Broader Novelist Writer.” An extension of the topical writer, this archetype writer thinks of her novel topically and speaks out publicly about her novel’s themes.
Deborah wisely pointed out that many writers’ work spans several archetypes. She created and presented them as a fresh way for writers to think about how to connect with their audience, as “windows into ways of being in front of your ideas.”
The above-mentioned archetypes seemed self-explanatory. But what exactly was “The Naked Writer”? I wondered.
“It’s not what it sounds like,” Deborah told her webinar audience. “The naked writer is a writer who lets us into her process and her vulnerabilities, and her writerly struggles, in public. She writes about writing and the identity of being a writer. She teaches, online or off, and writes to inspire other writers. Her defining attributes include vulnerability (about the writing process) and truth—what it’s like behind the scenes to be a writer.”
All that felt true. But there was more. I liked being classified as naked, because it felt like a fundamental truth about who I am and why I’m here. Nakedness, in the sense of seeing—and accepting myself as I am—and allowing my authentic self to be seen by others, has been a recurring theme in my life. I have been blessed with the gift of transparency, though at times it has felt like a curse. In my writing, and in my life, I tell it like I see it. I strip naked. Not because I’m an exhibitionist, but because I’m a healer.
You cannot heal what you cannot see. You cannot clear what you’re unaware of. Your negative habits and behavior patterns have their way with you—until you become conscious of them. You must first see them. Once you realize what’s going on, they dissolve. It’s like shining a light on a shadow. The light of awareness makes the shadow/pattern/habit disappear. So I keep trying to illuminate my foibles, scars, aches and pains, and try to remain naked, in order to know myself better, and live my life as fully as possible.
My poetry book, Secrets of My Sex, has been called bold, honest, vulnerable—and naked! And “Messa Road,” one of the first poems I ever wrote, and the one I think of as my signature poem, is about an innocent striptease I performed as a child, in which I literally allowed myself to be naked, and suffered decades of shameful consequences as a result.
When it came time to design the cover for this book, my publisher said, “If you’re going to call it Secrets of My Sex, and since some of your poems deal with those issues, let’s consider a female nude.”
This raised a feminist red flag.
“I know it’s kinda blatant,” he said, “but so what? That’s the whole point, isn’t it?”
Then he had an “even better” idea: “Do you know someone who is a good photographer?” He asked. “Maybe it should be you on the cover.”
“Oh my God,” I said. “You’re outrageous! My naked body—on the cover of my book?”
“No, not your naked body. Just part of your back. The top. Maybe just your shoulders, something that suggests nudity.”
The thought of me appearing semi-naked on the cover of my book was nauseating. “I’m no spring chicken,” I told him.
“Oh phooey with that spring chicken nonsense,” he said. “Sexy is in the eyes. And the head. Do the pictures, and then you can think about it. But do it. Go for it.”
I asked my girlfriend, Maxx, a professional photographer, to photograph me. I’d always loved female nudes, especially in Renaissance paintings and sculpture. As a younger woman, I had secretly wanted nude portraits of myself, but could never justify what seemed like an indulgence as well as an unnecessary expense. But now I had a reason to do it. I sensed the experience might provide a unique opportunity to fully accept myself. I also knew that if I wanted to write and publish my work I’d need to release shame and give myself permission to be vulnerable.
The photo shoot challenged me, mirrored on the physical level what I was being asked to do psychologically in writing and publishing such an intimate book. I was being called to accept and celebrate myself. There was no room for negativity or embarrassment. No time to hold anything back. I was saying “yes” to myself on every level. This was both scary and exhilarating! And humbling.
I ended up not using any of those shots for my book cover, because I found another image taken when I was younger, which wasn’t a nude, but which my publisher and I both loved.
After the photo shoot Maxx mentioned that she thought I seemed totally comfortable in my own skin. It didn’t feel that way to me. I felt like I still had a long way to go on the road to self-acceptance.
My current writing project, a memoir, THE RAW YEARS: A Midlife Quest for Health & Happiness, is taking me to the next level. It’s about how I went from being sick, miserable, and thinking I was a failure, to living the life I’ve always dreamed of, but didn’t dare live—until I said “yes” to publishing my first book! Writing, and overcoming the tremendous inner and outer obstacles writers face, is part of this story. But it’s also about the challenges of choosing love over fear, breaking bad habits, and taking personal responsibility for my success and joy. It’s about creativity, personal empowerment, true healing, transformation, raw emotions—and raw food.
Will it inspire writers? I hope so, but I’m also hoping it’ll inspire fellow seekers of health and happiness to open their hearts, heed the stirrings of their souls, pursue dreams, listen to inner wisdom, honor themselves and their gifts, have faith in their vision, practice exquisite self-care, take responsibility for their feelings, cultivate consciousness in service to issue resolution and personal peace, and take an active role in the transformation of our planet by healing their own lives!
The best way I know how to do these things is to show up naked—repeatedly, shamelessly. If you’re a writer wanting to tell your truth, showing up in this way is a valuable practice. How do you show up naked in your own writing?