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The Writer’s Den: Journaling, self-awareness and the publishing process

Welcome to the third installment in my new blog series, The Writers Den. Each month there will be a guest post from a special guest author with each author offering something different and informative on a particular area of writing and publishing.

This month I welcome author Hope Atlas who has an insightful piece that will indeed get you thinking. Enjoy.

How I rewrote myself by writing a book – journaling, self-awareness and the publishing process. 

First, I took a megavitamin of self-confidence and self-worth.

AND listened to my quote: Don’t minimize yourself – someone might step on you.

Since the age of fifteen, I have been putting pen to paper, writing my story through poetry, original quotes and memoirs. Writing is my lifeline and my voice.

I used to live in what cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) refers to as all-or-nothing thinking or simply stated thinking in extremes. There was no middle ground: Either I was a success or a failure. I definitely was making my life harder than it needed to be.

Thankfully, through a lot of hard work, I have been able to reduce my negative, all-or-nothing thinking and to start having more positive thoughts.

As someone who uses writing as the vehicle for understanding myself, I have always allowed myself the opportunity to write and reflect on my day, my thoughts and feelings. As I started writing quotes, I realized that they could be used as prompts or “jumping off” points to facilitate my journal writing.

Journaling helps us stay focused on ourselves. Some days I might only be able to write a sentence, other days my computer keyboard keeps going non-stop. When I get stuck, I ask myself why. I try not to worry about spelling, grammar, or whether my writing makes sense.

Nobody can change anyone else and sometimes circumstances can’t be “fixed”; but learning about yourself can help you change. As you begin to journal, you will start to see yourself and your world differently. This is the beauty of life and journaling.

Through writing my book, I have grown in ways I would have never imagined. It all started with Dreams fly by waiting to be caught. This was my very first quote, written three years ago. On that same day I wrote 15 more. Then I kept writing and writing using my quotes as springboards to my journal writing.

I had fun writing the quotes and sharing them with others. I continued my journal entries using my quotes to spark new thoughts. At some point I started to think about writing a quote journal book. The longer I thought about it, the more I did nothing. Then I wrote my quote, Crystals are simply ordinary salt put into the right conditions to transform, and something clicked.

I stopped thinking about it and started looking into what I had to do. That is where – There are many different ME’s – came into play. Many people know me as a quiet, private, behind the scenes person. So, to write a book, in a sense I had to re-write myself! Somewhere lurking inside me, there was another “me” that I had not focused on.

With great effort and again not thinking but doing, I started writing with the intent to publish—which brings me to another quote that is quite apropos to my book: You cannot fail life; revisions are always accepted. And thank goodness for this one! I cannot count (although my book designer and editor can!) how many changes I have made to my book. I was relieved when I hired an editor. I decided to listen to my quote: Don’t walk away from problems – Run towards solutions. I learned a hard lesson – one never should edit one’s own book.

Love is when separate petals come together to form a beautiful flower. I think of my life as having separate petals that when they come together create a beautiful flower. The petals are my family, friends, and teachers from all walks of life, that bring love into my life. Using this quote, I often write about those in my life that create my beautiful flower.

Publishing my book was an unexpectantly rewarding journey that I could not have seen to the end without the support of each separate petal of my flower.

And so my book came together… a compilation of 278 random thoughts about life in no particular order. Some are serious, some are humorous, and some are twisted – just like life!

Most importantly, though, I did catch one dream. I hope you can too. I invite you to use journal writing as your voice and your teacher.

About Hope

Since the age of fifteen, Hope has been putting pen to paper, writing her story through poetry, original quotes, and memoirs. Holding a master’s degree in reading education from Syracuse University, Hope has worked for 31 years in literacy programs. For many years, she also served as a bereavement volunteer, and most recently, she has been involved in community outreach programs. Her writing has been published in multiple online journals.  May 21st marked her book’s debut, My Upside-Down World – Journaling Through Unique Quotes and Writing Prompts.

Discover all that Hope, a.k.a. QuoteHope® has to offer at www.quotehope.com

Like me on my FB https://www.facebook.com/QuoteHope

Follow me on Twitter @quotehope1234

Follow me on my Medium Quote blog   https://medium.com/@quotehope1234 Visit my online quote store at https://www.zazzle.com/store/quotehope

Purchase link Amazon https://www.amazon.com/My-Upside-Down-World-Journaling-Through/dp/1734555300/

Purchase link ebook https://books2read.com/myupsidedownworld-quotehope