Feature Article: What's Your Story?
Upcoming Appearances & Events: Book Proposals That Succeed Teleclass
Ten Minute Tip: Change Your Story.
By the time you read this, I'll be in Nashville, meeting with clients (and friends) and giving a workshop on writing book proposals at the Loft
. But as I'm writing this, it is Saturday afternoon and downstairs football is on and the family room is filled with people eating nachos and watching Oregon (go Ducks!) beat Nevada. I'm going back and forth between my office and downstairs, watching for a while, and then coming up here to work for a bit.
I love football. And, I still don't understand half of it. Sometimes I cheer at the wrong times. My husband and son have patiently explained the ins and outs of it a million times, and still I don't get it. And, a huge part of the reason why I don't get it, is because that's my story—love football, don't get it. Yet if ever I made the effort to change my story, I'd probably realize that I understand a lot more of the game than I let on. What are the stories you tell about yourself? How do they impact your writing? Scroll down to this issue's feature article as we explore these questions further. And in the meantime…
Love, light, and good writing,
A happy welcome to all my new subscribers this week. In this bi-weekly newsletter, you'll find articles on writing, creativity, self-development and spirituality. I'm delighted to have you here! And for those of you who've been here awhile, but maybe haven't checked out the blog recently here are a couple posts you might have missed:
The Writer's Guide to Happiness
Is it Work or is it Love?
Work Details to Help With Your Writing
Book Proposal That Succeed Teleclass
Check this out: according to Bowker, the company that tracks industry trends, 1,052, 803 books were published in 2009. That's a helluva lot of books. Why shouldn't yours be among them? It should be, and it can be! How? Write yourself a book proposal. The fastest and easiest way to sell a non-fiction book is with a book proposal, and in this four-week teleclass you'll learn how to put one together. Check out more here
What's Your Story?
By Charlotte Rains Dixon
We writers live and die by story. It is how we make our living, and we spend our days (or late nights, or very early mornings) immersed in creating story. And this is true whether we writing fiction or non-fiction, novels, stories, or articles. Because story is at the basis of everything we writers do.
And guess what? It is also at the basis of everything else in our life. From the time we're little children, we create and tell stories about ourselves. When we're kids we share these stories with each other. But as grown-ups we usually end up telling these stories to ourselves. And sometimes we've told them to ourselves for so long that we're not even full aware of them. Then they've hardened into beliefs.
So what are some common stories writers tell? Here are a few that come to my mind:
· You've got to be really lucky to make it as a writer
· The publishing industry isn't buying books anymore
· I don't have enough time to write
· To be a writer, you have to starve
· Everybody knows you can't make any money as a writer!
· Writing is hard
· My writing isn't any good unless it is hard
· I'm not talented enough
· Nobody cares what I have to say
· I’m too tired (old, ugly, stupid, fat, uneducated…) to write
Those are just a few stories that come to mind. I'm sure you have a lot more, and it is definitely worth your while to ponder what stories you live by (and if you think of any particularly juicy ones, just hit reply to this email to share them with me). Because odds are good that these stories (like my telling myself I don't get football) are driving you, not only as a writer, but in your daily life.
What to do about it? I just so happen to have a few ideas about that:
As the quantum physicists will tell you, observation changes everything. So starting to be aware of your stories is a good first step. What are the stories you tell yourself? Make note of them.
2. Write About It.
This is my all-purpose solution to everything, because when you're a writer, it works. Pull out your trusty journal and delve into you story. Pull it apart the way you would in your other work. Dive in there and swim around and record what you find about your stories.
3. Assign it to a Character
. Use your own personal story as one of your character's stories. We write to understand, first and foremost, and turning your own crap into fiction (or even non-fiction) is a time-honored way of processing.
4. Consider All the Elements.
Look at the story you've been telling yourself the same way you'd look at a story you'd tell others: what are the main elements? Who are the characters? What are the themes, the plot, the action? Taking a step back and considering your story this way objectifies it.
5. Write a New Story.
Now decide what story you want to tell yourself. Pull out your journal and write it. And practice telling it to yourself, over and over, until it becomes just as old hat as the story you rejected.
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Writer, mentor, and coach Charlotte Rains Dixon is passionate about helping writers, coaches, entrepreneurs, and creative professionals succeed, achieve, and profit in their careers and lives through writing. Visit her for more tips and techniques on writing—and living—at www.charlotterainsdixon.com
Exploring Your Stories
Have your journal handy. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and let your mind focus on one of your stories. Instead of trying to suppress it, this time let it rip. Watch it like you'd watch a movie. Now open your eyes and write it all down. With this raw material you can move forward and decide if you want to keep this story, or rewrite it. You may want to keep some elements and reject others. The choice is yours, and becoming conscious of it makes this possible.
Recommendation, Referrals, and Ads:
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Charlotte Rains Dixon helps people to prosper in their lives and careers through writing. As a writing mentor and coach, she is passionate about helping writers, entrepreneurs, and creative professionals to be the best they can be. She is a free-lance journalist, ghostwriter, and author. She is Director Emeritus and a current mentor at the Writer's Loft, a certificate writing program, at Middle Tennessee State University. She earned her MFA in creative writing from Spalding University and is the author of a dozen books, including The Complete Guide to Writing Successful Fundraising Letters
, and Beautiful America’s Oregon Coast
. Her fiction has appeared in The Trunk, Santa Fe Writer’s Project, Nameless Grace
, and Somerset Studios
and her articles have been published in Vogue Knitting
, the Oregonian
, and Pology
, to name a few. She has just finished her novel, Emma Jean’s Bad Behavior
. Visit her blog at www.charlotterainsdixon.com
, where you can find all kinds of tips and techniques on writing and creativity.
Images from Everystockphoto.com,