June 29, 2012 by Dina Wilcox
Now that the book is finished, it’s time to fill out questionnaires for the publisher,
so they can design covers, recommend fonts and paper, and get to work on marketing strategies.
It’s a funny thing, but ever since the days of law school application packets, I get stopped by the face of a blank form waiting for me to fill it in. I always say the thought of a questionnaire freezes the blood in my veins.
I signed with the publisher a few months ago, and now I’m overdue for telling them about myself, and about my book, Why Do I Feel This Way? What Your Feelings Are Trying To Tell You. The questionnaire is pages long, filled with big blank boxes for my intentions, my plans, my dreams, and oh my how I’ve been avoiding it. I have all those things, of course—plans, dreams, even preferences—and I know very well what they are—but to explain them on a form? Yikes!!
I’ll have to call a lot of friends to support me to get this job done in the next couple of weeks.
So, think of this as my SOS—
Got advice? Thanks!
Category Uncategorized | Tags: good friends,questionnaires,writing a book | No Comments
June 27, 2012 by Dina Wilcox
The manuscript for Why Do I Feel This Way? was finally finished. It was time for a test-drive.
I sent it to three people, each carefully chosen for having a different perspective. I waited nervously for their reactions.
One “loved it”; he wants to make a movie of it. Another said she found a lot in it for herself, and “Wow,” she didn’t know it was so “big” in its scope. The third really liked my stories, and the strong, clear sound of my voice. I asked for criticism and got some very thoughtful responses. As I returned to my writing table to re-write some sections, add subheadings and re-read and edit some more, I found a dilemma: How much should I follow the advice of my readers?
I’m certain it’s a quandary for every new author. Barely confident that you have produced the best book you are capable of, you wonder how far to go. How do you know when to stop trying to meet every reader’s preferences? When do you know it’s time to call it your book, for better or worse, and go with your own decisions? It seems every part of this process has its challenges, its unique opportunity to teach me something about myself.
When I re-framed the question—Should I trust myself?—I easily found my answer. It was my old, familiar answer, the one I keep finding, and re-learning.
Life doesn’t come with a blueprint for every situation. In the end, it always comes back to me, standing pretty much alone with my own truths.
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June 25, 2012 by Dina Wilcox
This may sound crazy, but it’s true. Although it took me a few days to know it.
I wanted to be done, to send it to the publisher and be finished with the tinkering. How do you know when you’re tinkering too much?
Finally, I had a good talk with myself, stern and pointed: Isn’t this your book, the one you have been loving and nurturing, caring for, now, for nearly four years? Yes!
And then I saw it, like a frustrated lover: I don’t have to do anything. Of course. I can stop any time, walk away, declare it’s over.
But I couldn’t. Loving means I will stay, will return to tinkering, if that’s what it takes. I will put into this relationship whatever I have to give, whatever it takes to make it work. That was my promise at the start, and that is my commitment now.
So I’m back at my computer, with my newly printed pages. I start reading. Six hours later—six hours of touching and stroking, of passionate embraces and heated arguments, hours I do not notice passing—I look up again, sated and complete. Chapter 8 is ready to fly. Chapter 9 steps up to the dock, waiting to see what tomorrow will bring.
Category Uncategorized | Tags: love affair,relationships,tinkering,writing | No Comments
June 17, 2012 by Dina Wilcox
Last post, I told you about my friend helping me get right back to my excitement and confidence about my book–Why Do I Feel This Way?– almost ready to publish.
Here’s how it happened–and how it can happen for you!
It’s no mystery, and yet, it is a bit of the miraculous: our brains do it!
When we talk with other people, our brains are connecting. Somewhere along our evolutionary history, connections between humans started happening. Who knows why? They just did, and because they seemed to help us thrive, nature adopted connection as a human characteristic.
Connection helps us trust one another, instinctively. So that we can live together in community. So that our species can survive.
So, when I talk with my friend, I trust him. He asks me questions that help me “see” how I’m feeling–underneath all my pretenses and fears about succeeding and being good enough to deserve success. We all have these feelings. They’re just part of the human condition. They’re not fatal flaws or judgments against us. If you can talk with someone you trust, you can reveal those hidden feelings about yourself, and then YOU CAN DECIDE HOW YOU WANT TO ACT ON THEM. You don’t have to be led around by old feelings that only stop you from going after what you want for yourself NOW.
And here’s the best part: The more you choose to take yourself back to a positive mindset, the more neurons your brain creates to support that as your new default posture. It’s a great unscientific experiment!
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June 11, 2012 by Dina Wilcox
While working on re-writes of the last chapter of my book, Why Do I Feel This Way?
I learned something so startling that I just have to share it.
Over the last four weeks, life’s been pretty hectic, and not a lot of fun. I found a bedbug in my favorite chair, which meant we had to strip our apartment bare and keep EVERYTHING in sealed plastic bags for 14 days while we were fumigated. What I didn’t know until last night—-two days after my housemate and I finally put everything back together again—-was that, along with everything else that got cleaned out, my excitement and confidence in my work were gone too.
With the support of a very good friend, I got them back last night, and I was reminded of how fragile we humans are. Oh I know we pretend we’re not, but all that does is keep us from knowing when our positive feelings have gone AWOL. My brain was so focused on getting me through the awful ordeal at home that it stopped reminding me how happy my book makes me. My work became less real, and I was feeling no excitement at all. My friend asked me a bunch of questions, all designed to get me free of my just-ended yucky experience and then, there they were, my happy and confident feelings about what I love to be doing with my life.
I have to work at being positive. We all do. It’s not hard, and we can get there surprisingly quickly—-but it doesn’t happen automatically and it doesn’t sustain itself for long. Automatically, our brains are always on the outlook for threats to our wellbeing. They’re so vigilant that we have to remind ourselves, deliberately, that there’s more to life than just playing it safe. Tomorrow, I’ll tell you how my friend got me back there.
It’s great to be back!
Category Blog | Tags: bedbugs,brains and happiness,confidence,excitement,exterminators,fumigators,good friends,wellbeing | 1 Comment