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Back on track


8th December 2015

It is so easy to lose perspective when reality sets in.  You might have noticed some of the posts lately seem to suggest that possibility, well let’s be closer to the truth and say it has reflected a certain I would not say negativity but a loss of confidence definitely. There is so much to consider. I thought about it quite a bit after Alison’s last post.  She asked what happened.  A simple question but one that it appears is a hard one to answer easily yet she brought back positivity just by asking so maybe we don’t need to answer anything. Questioning, and losing confidence is a major part of anything we do in life but letting these things prevent you from moving forward is when it becomes a problem. 

I think it is normal to have these doubts.  In fact it reminded me of why I began this blog.  I had sat on the idea for a long time afraid of what I could say, would say, how I said it, was I worth listening to and goodness knows how many other thoughts. Realisation appeared one day in the form of someone in the mirror (Me) and the person looking into the mirror (surprise, surprise Also Me) telling the other to stop being so self-involved and concentrate on what you would be giving if you went ahead instead.  The conversation went something like this:

Also me:  What do you mean by self-involved?
Me (said in a profound manner):    Nothing much except that everything seems to be about you.  If you are so worried about how you sound and seem to others then isn’t the value negated of anything you do.
Also me (quite taken back and feeling defensive):  I say! That’s a bit harsh, don't you think? Please explain!
Me (replying in a profound manner):  Well, what do you want to achieve?  You obviously have expectations or you wouldn’t be making the effort.  So, what do you want?  A pat on the head? Some sort of validation for perceived cleverness?
Also me (slightly miffed at the other’s tone):  No! Yes! No! I don’t know!
Me (agitated and aggravated):  Well, you should know so which is it? Now you, please explain!
Also me:  I wanted to build an audience for the magical day I published and I don’t know about the rest. I wanted to, I don’t know how to explain this but I wanted to make other people out there with the same dreams feel they weren’t alone.
Me:  Well shut up then and start paying it forward.
Also Me:  What do you mean? Can’t you speak English? Do you mean the film?
Me:  Exactly!
Also Me (a little hesitant):  I am not totally sure I get it.
Me (totally exasperated): Voice your doubts, describe the journey, share ideas on how to do things, interact with other authors with reviews.  Go big, forget the three and go for broke. Your audience is made up of readers but readers also have their agendas and need to feel valued.  Give by talking, by recommending others and their work, and maybe, just maybe it will all come back in ways you can’t imagine.

Well suddenly it all made sense and I kept repeating Paying it Forward, Paying it Forward like a mantra until I sat down and started doing it.  For those of you that haven’t seen this movie then do yourself a favour and see it but don’t expect an academy award film although I personally love it.  Subjective is the word of the hour, the day and forever I think. Do expect however an academy award concept because that it has in abundance.  In short the concept involves doing something nice for three people for no other reason than doing something nice.  Those three people each do something nice for three other people.  Notice the numbers are starting to build? If you continue the process imagine where you might end up?  Of course the film is about specific good deeds but is it so wrong to apply it to writing and readers and thus to the blog?

And then I realised I had already been doing some paying it forward.  I always write reviews.  Good or bad is not as important as writing them.  It helps build a writer’s status and gives invaluable feedback.  I am not saying I am good at it but I try.  I have also written to authors over the years to let them know they are appreciated, and I have always tried to find ways to share information and to learn from others. The difference now is there is a platform, and this platform is shared.  I wanted more voices not because I didn’t trust mine but because it meant we could give more.  Kay and Alison were the first of the paybacks I have received where writing is concerned.  

The need to learn more and meet others and exchange information led to my meeting them. Coming together with them has added a huge dimension to my life. It improves my thoughts, sharpens my perspective and gives me insight into two great minds. They make the blog so much better with their input and personalities.  With luck they will make an impact through their books as well.  People need to know they are not alone in their fears.  Voicing them as we often do in our posts is sharing on a most personal level, and we hope it inspires others even in the smallest way. Do we hope it eventually inspires them to buy our books?  Of course we do but it is just a drop in the ocean to feeling we may be doing some good out there just by doing what we love – writing. I am excited to hear from others, we all are and have met some great people along the way.

The payback for me personally has been overwhelming in the last few weeks.  My beautiful cousin and wonderful writer Angie Rega (see her web page on the front of the blog) sent me invaluable information about query letters over Facebook whilst she was on sabbatical in Paris. Writers are incredibly generous people. Gavin Austin, who allows me to call him a friend, sends me links to some wonderful poetry and yes some of them are his, and he sends links to some very helpful ways to improve writing in general and to publications.  Two brilliant authors, Lindsay J Pryor and Jacqueline Rhoades (both websites are listed on the front of the blog) offer help and advice that literally (nice use of the word) blows me away and makes me so grateful I chanced upon their books.  I welcome their help but just the pleasure their books have given me over the last few years is enough. The blog will be doing pieces on these people in the near future.  I am so proud to think that a feature on them will actually be on our blog that I can’t wait.  We also hope to showcase others.  Sharing doesn’t interfere with our work.  It makes everything better, it enhances.
       Writing is multi-faceted and problematic on its own from writer’s block and rejections and countless others things that want to get inside our heads and kick some heavy duty bowling balls around without us adding to it.  The thing is, we know the pitfalls already, so why worry now and not later as each problem comes up?  One of the best things about working with two other people, and having so many others around us is that it grounds us, brings us back on track. It makes the insurmountable surmountable.  I think this may be the key to success; in fact I am sure of it.  Relying on others to support you is strength, not weakness as long as you are willing to support them.  Offer first and it comes back to give such joy that I sometimes think I am dreaming.

Until la prossima volta,

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