Categories
Therapeutic Writing Prompts News Publishing

A Therapeutic Journal: Writing prompts to process pain and loss.

Some books need companion journals. ‘The Remains of Burning, words for when what you thought would never happen, happens’, is such a book. Released on the first of October 2020, with the intent of validating the disqualified and consolidating the grieved, it is an offering of words for those pained by lost dreams and relationships. 

And now, to complement this work, a therapeutic writing journal! The purpose of this journal is to not only help readers process physiological and emotional pain, but also to encourage individuals to write the only words that can heal the deepest places within – their own.

What we say about ourselves matters. Therapeutic writing illuminates how we truly feel. It is a way to first explore our thoughts and emotions, and secondly, to find a new language, a new way of identifying who we are. 

Writing to heal is a transformative practice. The page is a place for you; a place to work through ideas, to gain a better understanding of your experience and heal. It is astonishing how dropping negative emotion onto the page can give relief, build self awareness and stimulate growth. 

‘The Remains of Burning Therapeutic Journal’ confronts pain. Through poetry and a series of writing prompts, readers are given permission to write and reframe their personal narrative. They are encouraged to look at events from multiple angles and to recognise their power.

Like the poetry book, this journal is sectioned into three. First, ‘the snatch of flame’ – the shaking, the breaking, the burnout, the death of a dream, the loss of a loved one, the line between before and after. Readers reflect on poetry about loss and are asked to do the brave work of attempting to write what can obviously not be put into words. 

Section two is called ‘the cooling of coals’. It addresses the moments – years after the initial shock of events. Poetry tackles themes such as loneliness, truth, reinvention and letting go. 

And lastly, ‘the value of ashes.’ With courage grief folds into gratefulness. Readers are encouraged to dream again, to think about how they can use their pain to help others and to find joy.

My hope for this journal is that you will discover that you are not alone and all the ways you have grown. Available Soon from Amazon and all good bookstores. 

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Categories
Creativity News Publishing

3 attributes of courage – lessons in following your heart.

Today is book baby’s birthday!!!!

The Remains of Burning’ was published on October 1st 2020, and one year on she is still bringing beautiful people and opportunities into my life. 

Most recently I was part of a give-away with five other authors. The soul that won my book lives in Thailand. We were both ecstatic when ‘ The Remains of Burning’ finally fell into her mailbox. Magic is when the right words find the right reader. She was a gift to me and I, a gift to her.

I could tell you several stories about these kinds of encounters. From Thailand to Jamaica, from Ireland to Canada (Hello beautiful readers from all these beautiful places) my little book baby has spent the last 12 months bringing light. I’ve always felt my call is less about writing popular books, and more about serving the individual. That’s why I write, for the one’s! 

For years I was afraid to write and publish. I had a problem. Cathy Heller says, when we have trouble in our careers, families, finances, or relationships, often it’s simply a courage problem. This means the solution is in stepping up to the plate, being assertive, vulnerable and integral to who we are. 

Courage is the most important component needed to ship creative work. To push my poetry out into the already over-saturated sea of books, I needed to put on my big girl pants, and risk being criticized, misunderstood or worse, ignored. And so, today marks the day I did it, I found my spine, birthed a dream and discovered a few things about courage.

  1. Courage never stops calling.

Just when you find the nerve to do something, another thing demands still more courage. Being courageous is not an event, it’s a lifestyle. As long as we live, courage continues to chant, beckoning us forward, pointing out possibilities. 

First, I needed courage to write badly, then, I needed courage to show my writing to those close to me. Next, I needed courage to spend hours learning how to publish, after that, I need courage to actually publish. Then, I needed courage to market and promote my work,  followed by courage to keep writing. Then, I need courage to publish again, after that, I need courage to invest in a website. Next, I needed courage to start a blog, followed by courage to start a newsletter. And now I have a list as long as my blessed body (I’m not joking) of things I need courage to create and sell. Never satisfied, courage relentlessly wants us to make bold moves.

  1. Courage builds upon itself.

Courage begets courage. One courageous act leads to another. Often we can think courage is about taking one giant leap, but in my experience, courage is the ability to keep on stepping.

‘Courage is nothing more than taking one step more than you think you can.’

Holly Lisle

The more I step, the more courage I have to keep stepping. The more I write, the bolder my words become. The more I try, the more I want to try again. I plan to look back at my thirties and forties and say, ‘I can’t believe I was afraid of that.’

3. Courage creates an expansive life.

Courage has given me many surreal moments; times so amazing and joyous, it feels like they existed in a dream. Last weekend I spent some time writing them down. After I read and re-read the list, I could not help but say aloud to myself, ‘Wait, did that really happen?’ ‘I never dreamt that I would be there, doing that, with them.’

If you want a life better than you ever imagined, wonderful stories to tell your grandchildren, lists of beautiful dreamlike memories, then courage is the way.

I have learnt that I don’t need to be busy to have a big life; I just need to be brave. For me, bravery looks like backing myself, trusting the flow, trying again, being vulnerable, facing rejection, seeming to be a fool, taking risks, and following your heart. Courage starts with affirming ‘I am courageous’ even when I’m shaking in my boots, and ends with no regrets. Courage has always taken me to a spacious place that oddly feels unknown and like home all at once.

So here’s to ‘The Remains of Burning‘ one year on. I birthed a book baby and book baby birthed courage in me.

image of a poetry book
The Remains of Burning.
Categories
Publishing

3 Things Indie Authors wish everyone knew about Indie Publishing.

Firstly, let’s define independent publishing. A hybrid between traditional publishing and self publishing, indie publishing is when a writer hires professionals to assist them in the making of their print/digital/audio book. The indie author not only creates the content but also becomes the creative director/manager seeing the project through from concept to sales. 

To some, taking on the role of creative director/manager does not suit them as they wish to only write. However, the days of simply writing a manuscript and turning it over to a publishing house to do the rest are gone. Even traditionally published authors have to market and promote their work. Nevertheless, traditional publishing has its appeal, particularly for those who do not want to do the hard work of producing.

Before I started publishing, I held restrictive doubts based on a mixture of fear, incompetence and pride. I was afraid of embarrassing myself; of failing publicly.  I was worried that I would not be able to learn and execute skills needed to complete and produce a quality product. I was concerned about adopting the stigma that sometimes follows independent and self publishing.

As I became more educated, these doubts lost their power. Slowly I began to see that independent publishing was not only possible, but also the most beneficial for me. If you are already an indie author, you are familiar with the benefits. You know that often the decision to publish independently is based on the fact that indie publishing outshines other publishing options when it comes to 3 things.

1.Creative control.

Personally, I desire not just to write poetry books, but to create them. I want to make the final decisions when it comes to book size, cover design, typesetting/interior design, and creative marketing. As an indie author having creative control means I can create the books I dream of  creating to serve my  targeted audience without the need to gain permission or  please gatekeepers. I can choose who I wish to collaborate with, building the right team of creatives to make my vision a reality. For those writers, who have felt contained creatively, indie publishing is a dream. 

2. Profits. 

When it comes to profits, Independent Authors benefit from full ownership of rights and higher royalties. They have significantly higher profit potential as they can  create numerous products from one manuscript. For example, print books ( paperback, hardback, large print, workbooks) , ebooks, audio books, translations, merchandise, radio plays, podcasts, apps and other online experiences can all be made by turning the same content into multiple streams of income. Indie’s can also decide the price of their books, when to offer discounts, whether to set up pre-orders or run patreon campaigns offering book extras for loyal readers.

3.Time. 

Being able to publish multiple titles per year, indies publish fast to market. This is liberating, as compared to a traditional publishing, which on average takes  between 9 -18 months to publish one book. With the exception of international best sellers, most trade books have a 3 month shelf life and trade publishers are often unwilling to reprint more copies if the book has not reached a certain number of sales in this time. Indie authors have the power to rebrand and market their books over and over bringing in sales long after it has first been released. 

It is important to assess what kind of publishing is best for each project. When it comes to my poetry, indie publishing has proven to have been a great decision. If you would like to know more about indie publishing/book creation I would love to help you. I encourage all who have a ‘book dream’ to go forth and create.