It's always a pleasure to get an article accepted for publication. I've slowly allowed myself to share details and insights into my personal trauma from a few years ago. It can be difficult to be vulnerable, but it's also therapeutic.
Trauma stays with you, haunts you, especially as a highly sensitive person. This article discusses the 6 things I wished I knew eight years ago when my life first fell apart.
Read the article here: 6 Lessons I learned about Surviving Trauma as a Highly Sensitive Person
This particular article is close to my heart. I grew up being told I was "too emotional," "too sensitive," "too dramatic." I always thought something was wrong with me. But over the last few years, I've come to realize that emotion and sensitivity aren't weaknesses. They're my strengths. And this article talks about how I will parent my children with this idea in mind.
You can read the article here: 5 Things I Teach My Kids as a Highly Sensitive Parent
I can't tell you how excited I am to share this news. Ok, I can. I'M EXCITED!
Earlier this year, ANWA (the writing association I'm a part of) announced they would be putting together a book on writing, and they were looking for members to pitch chapter ideas to write. I pitched my idea on what it really means to write what you know, and it was accepted. Woot!
And now the book is ready. It's such a beautiful feeling to see my name on the front cover. I'm feel blessed to have been a part of this experience.
If you're interested in writing, get the book! It's chock full of writing advice and insights. You can buy it here: Create, Craft, Critique, and More: A Guide to the Many Facets of Writing
I'm excited about every article that I get published, but this one is special to me. I don't normally write about things as personal as my chest, but I had such an epiphany with a stupid little sports bra that I couldn't resist sharing.
As women in general, we are too hard on ourselves. In fact, as humans, we're too hard on ourselves. We hold ourselves to impossible standards, and we don't have to do that anymore.
My body has stretched to give me twin girls. While the stretch marks and loose skin didn't feel normal or natural at first, I realized that it was exactly what was supposed to happen to my body. That's what our bodies were made to do. How beautiful that my body was even capable of having babies.
So, with that in mind, I'd greatly appreciate it if you took a moment to read my latest article. I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Read the article here: How a $30 Sports Bra Restored My Sense of Self
*Originally written for and posted in the ANWA Quarterly Newsletter*
Being a writer means baring your soul. For some, it’s their entire soul, and for others, it means revealing a tiny piece of a larger puzzle. This can make you feel vulnerable and raw.
Ernest Hemingway said, “There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” It feels like that sometimes, doesn’t it? We let ourselves bleed because we have a truth to share and explore. We bleed to better understand ourselves, our experiences, and the world around us. We bleed because we write. Or maybe we write because we bleed.
The simple act of sharing your writing is opening yourself up to judgement, criticism, praise, or to simply be ignored. It can be painful. It can be soul-crushing. But you know what else it is? Worth it.
Opening yourself up to failure and ridicule is a lovely and painful way to become a better writer. Don’t let your fears or insecurities hold you back from doing what you’re meant to do.
I attended a query letter webinar recently, and I decided to submit mine for a live critique. I knew it needed help, but I didn’t know how to move forward. I needed it to be ripped apart so I could put it back together. There’s always that hope that they’ll tell you it’s perfect. But let’s get real; that didn’t happen.
The presenter pointed out the things that didn’t work, and the attendees all chimed in about what they didn’t like. My face burned, my cheeks reddened, and I had a hard time breathing, but I was taking vigorous notes. It was embarrassing. It was a little humiliating, but it was exactly what I needed to take my query letter to the next level. If I didn’t open myself up to this experience and opportunity, I would be running on that hamster wheel, not knowing what to do next.
But the one experience that has forever changed me was the agent/editor live panel at the 2017 ANWA Conference. Weeks before, I decided on a whim to submit my first page to be read aloud and critiqued. Normally, I would never do something like that. In that moment, I decided that if I ever wanted to achieve my writing goals, I had to start putting myself out there. I had to be willing to be hurt and bleed a little.
When the live panel began, I completely forgot that I submitted my first page. I was sitting blissfully in the audience until the lady next to me mentioned that the presenter was nervous she wouldn’t read the pieces correctly. She explained that ten writers submitted their work, and then it hit me. I was one of those writers.
I thought about flagging down the presenter and snatching my paper. I wondered how I could’ve ever let myself be so foolish. What had I been thinking?
It was too late. I hoped they would run out of time before she got to mine. That didn’t happen. As she read my first page, my insides felt like they would spontaneously combust. I wanted to leave the country, change my identity, and never come back.
Then as soon as it began, it was over. The panel members gave me some constructive feedback, and the comments were glowing. So was I. After that class, a member of the panel requested that the writer of that piece come get his card and requested the full manuscript. Cloud nine had never felt so delightful.
I sent my manuscript, and I waited months and months and months (Did I mentioned months?). They recently declined. It did not end in a contract. It didn’t even end in feedback other than the no. But because I put myself out there, it made me stronger, no matter how weak I felt in the beginning and when I received the rejection. The entire experience reminded me that I am a writer, that I have ideas and stories to share. It reminded me that I am capable.
Kurt Vonnegut said, “We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”
That is the writer’s journey. Don’t be afraid to propel yourself off a writing cliff. How else will you know what you’re made of?
I'm an adjunct creative writing professor and freelance writer, but I dream of being a published novelist. This is my journey.