Posted in journaling, Journaling Discoveries, writing

Journaling Discoveries: Self-Forgiveness = More Self-Worth

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I used to be an expert at holding a grudge. I would stand firm in my personal righteousness, because that’s what we are supposed to do when wronged, right? Little did I realize that holding a grudge was actually hurting me and the other person(s).

It didn’t matter if I had a reason to be upset or not, at the end of the day I still felt like crap. In giving my anger and frustration to others, I was giving them power over me. I allowed my happiness and peace of mind to be disturbed by unhelpful emotions.

Yeah, but what about being angry and upset at myself? Because over time, I began to realize that I was far more upset with myself for “falling victim” or getting myself stuck in a bad situation, than at the situation or person that “did me wrong”. I should have known better. Why did I let that happen?

This happens to be an ongoing theme in my journals, but it was this journal entry (see image) that was the first real conscious moment in time that I realized how much I blamed myself for a vast amount of things. In fact, pretty much anything negative or anything that went wrong, I found a way to cast fault with myself.

And I know I’m not alone, this is a major issue that plagues so many people in our world. An inability to see how much we cast blame or throw guilt on ourselves, is a major cause of self-worth and self-esteem issues. And it’s such an automatic process that most people don’t even know they are doing it.

I didn’t until it started popping up in journal entries. After awhile, I started to realize that maybe the reason I wasn’t getting very far in life was because I was pointing the finger at myself too much. How can we step out in confidence and be our best, when we are constantly belittling ourselves?

It dawned on me how important forgiveness is. All forgiveness. The forgiveness of others, and of ourselves. Once I started actively forgiving, my life started to change. All the hurt feelings and old grudges started to heal, and slowly but surely my self-confidence started to emerge.

I still have a long way to go, but I acknowledge the fact that as long as I stay open to forgiving, my life will see even more improvements. Sometimes I have to do daily forgiveness. But that’s what my journals are for, so I can pour out what needs to be addressed.

I do catch myself holding grudges against others and myself from time to time, but I work through them. The important thing is I caught it, and then I do the work to address it. Sometimes a simple journal entry will do, and other times I need to write out an actual letter (that only gets seen by me). Both ways work, and both ways help me release the damaging emotions so I can be open to love and understanding.

My life has become far more peaceful and happy as I have learned the power of forgiveness. It really is true that love makes the world go round. Love really does conquer all (in a very good way).

Note: Image was taken from my book A Writer’s Wings:A Journey of Discovery and Transformation.

Posted in empowerment, journaling, the writing process, writing

Why Journaling is Important to Me

I do not think I will ever find the appropriate words to express how much journaling has benefited me and my life. I began journaling as a way to help my writing process many years ago. I figured if I started keeping a journal of my progress, and jot down ideas for stories, it would be a great help. And it was, but also it became so much more.

It took a few years, but once I started expanding my journaling to all parts of my life (not just as a writing tool), I really began to reap major benefits from it. I started to understand myself on a much deeper level, and it caused me to expand the way I thought about myself and life in general.

Journaling has helped me experiment and work through ideas in my writing and personal life. It opened a door to repeating destructive habits I had not allowed myself to see before, and catapulted me toward living a far more satisfying and empowering life.

With all this in mind, I have decided to start doing a lot more blog posts focused on journaling. I will talk about what journaling can do, many ways in how to journal, and any other journaling topics I can come up with. In fact, I will be beginning a new blog series called Journaling Discoveries.

This series will be where I will take one of my past journal entries and talk about how that entry persuaded me to make certain choices, or helped to change my perspective to understand something better. In doing this, I am hoping to show just how empowering journaling has been for me, and can be to others.

Continue reading “Why Journaling is Important to Me”
Posted in action, beginning, better writing, great writing, how to write, The Writer's Toolbox, writing

3 Ways to Make an Engaging Start to a Story, Chapter, or Novel

How does a writer start a story, chapter, or novel to make it engaging and keep the reader interested? After all, a story can be good, but are there are some key elements to making a story, chapter, or novel stand out? There are actually, and this post will address three of them, and I’ll give some examples of really fantastic starting lines I’ve come across in my reading.

Have you read some of the classics (even just dating back a few years ago) where the authors take the time to build a relationship with the reader? The stories start at a leisurely pace and it may take awhile to see any real action. That was nice and great, but unfortunately to be a writer in this day and age you have to forego the hand holding and get right into it. You can do the hand holding stuff, but do it while you are hooking the reader.

1. Start in the Middle of Action

One of the best ways to engage and hook the reader is to start in the middle of some sort of action. If you are starting a story or novel, then it should be bigger and more attention grabbing action.

What sort of action? Ask yourself this question. If you were starting to read a new book or story what would grab your attention?

Maybe your character is in the middle of fighting off a mugger? Or maybe your character is in the middle of a car accident. You can even do a smaller action like maybe a student just dozed off in class and smacked his head against his desk. Or maybe your character is driving down a dark road and the gas light is blinking and there’s not a gas station in sight.

How big the action is isn’t nearly as important as the action itself. Start with that blinking empty fuel tank light, or your character dodging a fist, and go from there. Engagement in this way creates interest, and then the details can be filled out as you continue further into the story.

Here’s an intriguing action line that opens the book The English Assassin by Daniel Silva.

Marguerite Rolfe was digging in her garden because of the secrets she’d found hidden in her husband’s study.

Continue reading “3 Ways to Make an Engaging Start to a Story, Chapter, or Novel”
Posted in blog, networking, writing

Blogger Elissa Renee: Loves To Help Others

I ran across Elissa Renee on Twitter last week, and I was impressed with how much she likes to reach out and help others. This sort of thing always makes me stop and take another look, because that mentality really resonates with me.

One of the really cool things that got my attention about Elissa is that she likes to take blog posts, or even whole blogs of others, and create pins and post them up on her Pinterest account. I did not even know you could do that (does that mean I’m woefully behind the times? lol). Anyways I thought it was a really neat idea. I might even do this myself. I might have to dust off my Pinterest account first.

Anyways, Elissa is pretty active on Twitter, so you can have a fun chat with her here. Or you check out her blog. Or jump over to her Pinterest account and check out some really neat pins she has up there of her own and from others’ blogs.

I’m always on the search for fun, interesting, and helpful people, and I was pleased to run across Elissa. I’m going to keep looking and see who else I can find.

Do you know of any bloggers out there (yourself included) you can recommend to me? I am actively creating a network of like-minded individuals that have a message and want to get it out there. Please feel free to post links in the comments below.

Posted in networking, Other Writing Stuff, The Writer's Toolbox, writer, writers, writing

5 Twitter Tags For Writers

Twitter is becoming my favorite place to hang out. I’ve had an account for many years, but it’s been within the last few months that I’ve really started using it. I really enjoy the conversations and the uplifting environment, especially for writers. Here are five Twitter tags that I keep an eye on, and sometimes use myself to help support the writing community.

#amwriting It’s inspiring to see so many people writing and talking about writing in this tag. Sometimes people talk about writing successes, and sometimes writing failures. It’s nice to see both. Writing is such a solitary activity. Much of what we do is never known or discussed, but it’s nice to know that we share the same solitary activity with so many others out there.

#writingcommunity This tag is used for a number of reasons. If a writer needs to ask a question, or get feedback on work or an idea, or just share some exciting news with other like-minded individuals, this tag is perfect. I always love seeking out this tag to get a real feeling of writer connection. It really is the best writer networking tag I’ve found so far.

#writerslift This tag is all about writers helping writers. This is usually used to help writers grow followers, but it can be used to make an offer like reading books for reviews or a place to post links for published works, author websites, or blogs.

#writerslife I love seeing all the different types of lifestyles that writers have. This tag can be writers talking about what sort of writing routine they have, where they write, or just about writing stuff in general.

#pitmad This tag is mostly used three times a year during the Twitter Pitch Party, but it’s great fun to get in on. It’s so fantastic to see so many people either participate by putting up a pitch, or fellow writers who help retweet pitches to get more exposure for the pitchers. Then agents and publishers can like the pitches they want to approach for a potential book deal. The next one this year is December 5th. You can go to pitchwars.org for more information.

Those are the top writer Twitter tags that I keep an eye out for. Do you have any writer Twitter tags you favor? Feel free to post them below!

Want to connect with me on Twitter? Come say hi at @Awesome_Dawn. See you there!