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We all seem to be rushing around doing our holiday shopping, making lists and checking them twice. Naturally, as an author, I would love for you to buy my books — or work by another indie author. I highly recommend books by Jaimey Grant for the Regency romance lover in your life, and T. E. MacArthur for the steampunk lover.
However, there are a lot of people out there in desperate need. Your local food bank could use a donation, for example. Ditto your local animal shelter.
I am still running my charity drive via Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, an organization that helps people living with this illness in all 50 states.
I am also donating ducks again via World Vision. So many people in developing nations have lost their livestock and livelihoods due to flooding. Ducks help solve that problem. They provide eggs for food (and sales) and ducklings can also be sold for extra income.
Perhaps instead of rushing around to big box stores and standing in insane lines for the latest electronic gizmo or game, a smaller sum can be used to provide help to those in need. Just a little food for thought during this season of giving.
About this author
Books by internationally published author Sharon E. Cathcart provide discerning readers of essays, fiction and non-fiction with a powerful, truthful literary experience.
A former journalist and newspaper editor, Sharon has been writing for as long as she can remember and generally has at least one work in progress.
Sharon lives with her husband and an assortment of pets in the Silicon Valley,California.
Written on October 13, 2011 by admin in Author Inspiration, Writing
Kathleen Ragan, a stay-at-home mother, loved reading stories to her young daughters. She took them to the local library every week to pick out fresh books and made story time an important part of every day.
Kathleen began to notice a disturbing trend. All the books she was reading featured male heroes. As she began to study childhood classics by Dr. Seuss, she noticed the only female characters were negative ones – lazy mothers, gossipy women, or colorless sisters who had no dialog. She then started to study fairy tales and other popular children’s books. There were few featuring girls who were brave, intelligent, or leaders. Instead, the books featured princesses who required rescuing, were evil step mothers, and were wicked witches.
These were not the role models Kathleen wanted for her daughters. She began an exhaustive search for folktales from around the world featuring female heroines. It took several years of exhaustive research including reviewing more than 30,000 stories.
This research led to her book Fearless Girls, Wise Women, and Beloved Sisters, published in 1998. The book features 100 stories from around the world with female heroines and are ideal for reading aloud to children.
Why is this story important to you?
Writing a book is a big job. It requires an investment of time, energy, and effort. In order to finish a book, you must have a passionate reason WHY you are writing that book. That passionate Why will pull you forward and give you the energy you need to complete your book.
Kathleen was passionate about providing inspiring stories for her daughters. Her passion propelled her to do whatever it took to create her book and share it with the world.
What about you?
Use these questions to measure your passion for your current writing project:
1.Do you enjoy learning about the topic of your book?
2.When you have extra time, does it feel like a treat to work on your book?
3.When you share your book idea with others, do you feel excited and exhilarated?
4.Have you clearly identified WHY you are writing this book?
If you notice that you are not feeling passionate about your book, don’t give up right away. You have two options. You can decide to select another topic which feels more exciting. Or, you can make your current topic more enjoyable to write by adding stories, fresh research, or taking a bolder stand.
One of the quickest ways to increase your passion for your book is to have some conversations with your ideal readers. Discover their needs and determine how your book can serve them. Reconnect with your passionate heart for helping others and you’ll find you’ve
Darlene Foster is a Self-employed writer from Delta BritishColumbia. In her words:
“I am a writer, traveler, and dreamer. I am lucky to have a great family and wonderful friends. I believe “a stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet.”
Writer’s Block – Myth or a Real Condition?
Writer’s block is generally recognized as a serious condition among professional writers. Not just novelists, but journalists, performers, songwriters, copy writers and others who write creatively all fall victim from time to time.
First recognized in 1947 by psychoanalyst Edmund Bergler, the term refers to a “condition” that can range from a complete lack of ability to write for years on end to a temporary inability to be creative to one’s satisfaction.
Writer’s block has been described in screenplays, novels, the news and in blogs.
Novelist Stephen King used it as a lynchpin in “The Shining.” Main character Jack Torrance was paralyzed by writer’s block, which eventually led to madness. Or did it?
Was it the lack of ability to write or was the sheer isolation of the Overlook Hotel that led Mr. Torrance to kill? Or, was writer’s block just another bit of fiction employed by King?
I feel that writers too often use writer’s block as an excuse for not doing what, at that moment, does not come easily. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of putting down one word at a time and allowing yourself the freedom to write badly until your muse comes to the rescue. At least this way, you have some material to build upon.
Yes it’s true, finances, family and spousal relationships, the wrong environment and other factors can affect your ability to stay focused on your work as a writer. But if every writer waited for inspiration before putting pen to paper – or fingers to keyboard – there would be little in the world to read. (And a lot of us would be very hungry!)
When I posted my opinion about writer’s block on Facebook and LinkedIn, I received a lot of feedback. Here’s some of what other writers had to say about it.
“If inspiration doesn’t come to me, I chase it with a stick”
“I think writer’s block is a genuine experience. Although given such a label makes it sound like some kind of affliction. I have it myself from time to time … usually when I am stuck on the direction my plot should take. It doesn’t last long. I never stress about it. I write around the problem and return to it later.
“I write full time, everyday, but there was period where I would go to my studio and literally just couldn’t find the words, or a plot to put down. The more I tried the harder it got. I didn’t believe in the existence of writer’s block until then. It ended the same way it began. I went to my studio and just started writing and completed my usual two-thousand words per day.”
“Neurology has proven that when an individual is stressed or threatened, a part of the brain stem called the Reticular Activating System will shift control from the cerebral cortex to the limbic system. Without significant input from the cerebral cortex, the individual is temporarily deprived of the ability to perform nuanced analyses and creative thought. Moreover, the individual is rarely aware of this shift and often attributes the resulting inability to perform her or his usual creative thinking as lack of willpower, character or ability.”
“There is definitely a thing called writers block, but I believe that something in your life causes it. I have writers block, and mine is caused from someone close to me, offering his opinion on my grammar, and English – Over and Over again.”
“I was full of creative ideas and was writing so good. I slowly began to think about my grammar, and correcting it, and finally, all I could think about was my English and Grammar so much, that I had no room in my mind to create a new novel. I now have writers block. “
“Discipline makes me write – sans the mood. Pen to paper and everything turns out alright.”
While I do not claim to have all the answers, I believe that those who stop writing because of “writer’s block” are left with only blank pages, rather than material to improve upon. Some of my best wok has occurred when I have forced myself to pluck out one word at a time. When I find my writing not up to my standards, I rewrite and rewrite until I am satisfied. Giving in to any temptation or excuse not to continue will only leave me with nowhere to go when I return.
For those who suffer from writer’s block, I sincerely wish you all the best. I encourage you to persevere and not give in. Imagine all those who go through life each and every day with physical and mental disabilities. They often overcome their handicaps, and I wish you Godspeed in overcoming yours.