The Writing Process

Honestly, writing can be tough. I officially hit a wall. At first so many ideas came flooding in. Now nothing comes to mind. I recognize this right out the door. A cycle happening naturally. Information overload one minute and a blank page the next. Determined not to let this hinder me, I developed a process. A plan of approach to keep me writing. For during a time of mental calm. An active rest, still working towards the goal, a completed book.

First and foremost, write.

When this fails, because it happens, then I choose from one of the below. Anything to keep at it.

I go over what I learned so far about writing, cross check my work and edit. 

Organize the brain dump information. 

Evaluate chapter ideas and layouts.

Consider my presentation of material.

Analyze my personal craft and what to share.

Not to mention research and reading.

All this meant to keep forward motion despite the struggles I face at times. I look forward to the long road ahead, whatever it brings. Staying dedicated and carrying on.

iammesoryu@wordpress.com

#strengthofairwriting

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The Writers Critique Group

A shuffle of the Tarot cards and I pull the Tower card. Of course, it had to be that card. But it was not a feeling of dread that washed over me. It was more one of uneasy anticipation. Knowing I would experience change that was needed but not quite sure what to expect. Though I remained optimistic. I just had a feeling this was not going to be one of those disastrous experiences, just one of transformation.

Off to the writing critique group I went. First time through the door, having never participated in a group like this before. All the introductions made. Others read their pieces and discussions were had. I sat nervously awaiting my turn. 

The time came and they all sat patiently listening to the dreadfully boring long piece of instructional writingthat I had brought with me. Yeah, it was about as exciting as an instruction manual. Then they graciously began to tear it apart with tactfully constructive criticism. Very kind, and very informative. It became abundantly clear. The meager existence that was my writing was being completely torn down in order to be rebuilt. A Tower moment for sure! 

Yes! Finally! This is what I have been looking for. Those were my thoughts. But being honest there was a time not too long ago that their words would have brought me to tears. This in and of itself is proof to me that the time is right. I am ready and willing to face the hard reality. To learn what needs to be learned, to do the work required and write my first book. It was a humbling moment.

I left that night with a page full of notes, the titles of two books to read, several terms I needed to look up and a smile on my face. 

iammesoryu@wordpress.com

#strengthofairwriting

Books, Books, Books

I recently purchased a ton of books. Literally, twenty of them! Something I see becoming a habit very quickly. Yes, I am now officially a bibliophile. Bound to happen of course. Reading activates my mind in the way I need it to. Sometimes all it takes is a few sentences and my brain completely switches gears. The next thing I know my hands are writing, ideas and thoughts flowing from mind to paper.

Books truly are inspiring. From new information and vocabulary to a great reprieve from my daily tasks. Now that I have started writing my first book, I am diving head first into them more than ever. Though it is true some books have more value than others.

I find myself looking at the “best-sellers” online along with recommended books from those in the craft. It is no surprise that when I first started on this path that I had such a hard time finding good material to read. Titles that come up in the search engines most often are not the best books for beginners. While the book suggestions offered on YouTube tend to be great. Though it can take years, as it did for me, for new witches to make the right connections on social media to come across these recommendations. If they use YouTube at all. Quite frankly what I am seeing is the marketing strategies are letting down new witches. What a disappointment, but really the marketers aren’t in this for the greatest good of the reader. The struggle is real!

Then I learned that the book rankings are based on algorithms. There are paid and unpaid algorithms. The popularity based rankings that are driven by these algorithms are also driven by what books get categorized as. All built around making money and not much about getting the most beneficial reading material in the hands of beginner witches. 

As I research this more it is easy to see the marketing game determines what books end up being at the tops of the list. Being the reason really good beginner books are then so hard to find. The best interest of the witch is clearly not at the center of it all. Often those new to the craft are digging through heaps of misinformation and never finding what they are looking for. That leaves it up to the wonderful community to steer them in the right direction. True there is something to be said for having to search things out on your own. But I feel it would be good to at least help guide those searching in the direction of reliable information. I hope in writing my book that it will help bridge the gap in some way.

iammesoryu@wordpress.com

#strengthofairwriting

Brain Power and Health

Oh, my head hurts. More accurately my brain hurts. From all the information flowing through it. Thoughts, ideas, brainstorming, the creative flow. It is apparent to me why I have had such a strong spiritualpush to eat well. Literally I have been craving healthy food hard core with a strong desire to detox. Spirit has been nudging that I rest when needed and get plenty of sleep. 

I can see now another purpose for the many lessons of self-care and self-love. Leading up to the present. I am going to need all the energy and mental clarity I can get while in the process of writing this book. It is going to take a lot of energy. I already work a full-time job that is mentally taxing and sometimes down right exhausting. Taping into all those healthy habits I have been learning over the years is a must. Needing more than ever the fortitude to dig deep and carry on. Something much easier done when starting from a healthy place.

Some of my favorite healthy eats for brain power and overall health are: Avocado, Bananas, Spinach, Turmeric, Walnuts and Almonds. Seriously, I can’t get enough avocado.

Another thing I find goes a long way is to simply move around. It is so easy to sit behind a desk for hours at a time. I have found over the years for general health it doesn’t take much. I try to get up every hour for a few minutes. Even if just to grab a drink of water. Thank Odin for my Fitbit buzzing away at my wrist to remind me. Foam Rolling while watching television at night is a great way to get fresh blood flowing in my muscles, relaxing them. And I do my best to go for a few 30 min. walks a week. Yes, grocery shopping counts as I am a woman on mission when maneuvering through the aisles. Keeping it simple and real works. 

I also like to have a piece of Carnelian close by. It is a stabilizing stone that helps bring focus and clarity to my thoughts along with promoting the inner strength needed while undertaking creative projects like writing a book. 

Rosemary is another wonderful aid. I personally find the scent soothing. It is said to assist with cognitive thought as well as healing. I love putting a few drops of this amazing essential oil into a diffuser before I sit down behind my computer.

My Mantra “Healthy Body, Strong Mind, Powerful Writing”. 

iammesoryu@wordpress.com

#strengthofairwriting

Challenges of a new writer

I enjoy the process of processing data. I know, I’m weird. What can I say. 

But as a new writer, finding creative ways to apply this interest of mine, I find myself encountering new challenges. 

One is terminology. In this field, they seem to have their own lingo. Brain dump / Info dump for one example. Same thing, right?! Nope.

Already familiar with the term brain dump from bullet journaling. I do this in my own way when getting my thoughts on paper, creating to do lists, brainstorming Grimoire ideas and when learning or creating educational materials.

I have been in the process of writing down everything I know, random thoughts and ideas for chapters and the book in general including what research I should do. You name it. Though honestly in preparing to write a book it has me wondering what different methods there are of doing this to improve what I am already doing. 

That is when I came across the term Info Dump, and as it turns out is something completely different. It implies imposing loads of information on readers. Information overload. Seeing as I love information and love to share the information I learn, this will be yet another challenge for me to face. How to impart what I want to, without writing 10 books in one?! 

Another related challenge is repeating myself. My first experience in teaching came from face to face, in person instruction, where you often have to repeat yourself. Because well, as my friend and personal trainer used to say. You can say something 99 times and on the 100th time it will click and they will understand what you have said. At this point they will ask why you never mentioned this before! Well, it’s not the same in writing. If it needs going over again they can simply re-read it. The habit of repeating myself is something I have been able to work on over the years. Though I know I will need to stay diligently aware of this throughout the process of editing. 

I am hoping that this weekly blog will help me iron out the kinks. But I also know it is good to have help. For this reason, I sought out a local writing critique group that meets once a month. I went to my first meeting this last week. And wow, just wow. I am glad I chose to do that. I will let you all know more about how that is going in a future post.

At this point I am overwhelmed in a great way. Encouraged that working through all these challenges will serve to help me become a better writer. I look forward to the growth it will bring.

iammesoryu@wordpress.com

#strengthofairwriting

My Biggest Fear and Hope

With a desire to keep this blog real I want to share with you my fear and hope.

I guess it would be easiest to start with what my fear is not and why. It is not wondering if I will be able to write this book. Or if it will be good. Or if I will do the topic justice. I believe I can do this, I will do this. Don’t get me wrong, it has not gone over my head that this is a huge undertaking. By stating this I am in no way saying that I know everything there is to know about the basics of witchcraft from my nearly 4 years of practice. Not even close, there is so much to learn in the fundamentals alone. I look forward to learning much more by leaps and bounds throughout this process. What I am saying is that I have the confidence and ability to do this, to guide others with what I have learned and am learning in this process.

This is a huge part of who I am, it is what I do. Let me expound on this. In Martial Arts, as soon as I advanced from the first belt level I assisted teaching that first level class before I took my own class. With each advancement, I helped with all classes each day that were before mine. Until I became a full-time instructor.  In my mundane job, as soon as I was an experienced analyst I applied myself and received a promotion into a position that helped others learn what Iknew. And now witchcraft, I have been practicing about 4 years and feel it is time to write the book I have been thinking of this whole time. A book about two things I am very passionate about, witchcraft and a need for developing a foundation in any given area of learning.

So, ability, that is not my fear. I would say my biggest fear is judgement. A shadow aspect that I know I will be working on with the writing of this book. I fear that those who came before me, those who have written witchcraft books, those who were born into the craft or even who have been practicing a long time will negatively judge that I am writing this book or what I write in it. Being a book for beginners written by someone who is fairly new herself. 

Of course, I know I should not feel this way because I know I can do this. I feel called to do this. I mean no disrespect to those who have come before me. I am simply part of the next generation emerging. I do not expect or need everyone to like my book. I value that all come from different backgrounds and are entitled their opinions. It takes all types. If I help just one person I will have accomplished my task. I know what is needed because they are questions I had a hard time tracking the answers down for myself. I have the unique life experience to write this style of book.

That all being said, my biggest hope is that I will be able provide the information in a way that speaks to the new generation of witches in a comprehensive way while sparking enthusiasm in the craft. Whatever form that takes for them. Written by someone who can still so closely relate to the place in their path that new witches find themselves in.

iammesoryu@wordpress.com

#strengthofairwriting

The Value of a Book

Being at the beginning stages of writing a first book brings up a lot of questions.

Why a book?

What value would I get from writing a book?

What do I have to offer?

What value will it bring to others?

To answer these questions, I feel a little insight into my life would be beneficial. I have been fascinated with writing since I was a child but did not have the confidence to put thought to paper. And through a combination of many things including environment and circumstances, at a young age I came to believe I was stupid. When I realized that I was in fact not stupid, far from it, I then spent my teenage and young adult years crawling out of that mental hole. I quickly developed a passion for learning. Anything and everything that caught my attention. I became a sponge. (Yes, it should come to no surprise my astrological sun sign is Sagittarius).

Later in life, November 2015 to be exact, I embraced witchcraft. I have been through so many major transformations in life and within myself and continue to do so since that time. The value this book gives me is to embrace and enjoy who am and where I am at in my life’s path right now with confidence. Having a sense of strength and self in the wisdom I have gained so far on this journey.

I have discovered over the years that I am an inquisitive learner. A self-starter, a problem solver who loves the challenge of putting all the puzzle pieces together. And I love to share what I have learned. Because, well, I learn, then I learn deeper and gain a sense of purpose when I teach what I have learned to others. Due to this I have developed a strong desire to help others going through similar circumstances or with similar interests to learn and succeed. 

My hope with this book is that it will help others. That they will find value in what guidance I am able to give. Knowing there are others out there who have been where they are now. And that in some way it will help make their path a smoother and enjoyable one. 

iammesoryu@wordpress.com

#strengthofairwriting