Monthly Archives: July 2013

Chicken Soup For My Soul

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On June 8th 2005 my father died. On September 15th 2005 I, along with my sisters went to see a world renowned medium. My father connected with us and it became an experience that will remain with me for the rest of my life. On January 1rst 2009 while browsing through writer sites, I stumbled upon a call for submissions. Chicken Soup for the Soul was looking for submissions regarding miraculous messages from heaven. I remember sitting at my kitchen table feeling excited and thinking, this is meant to be. I typed my story and sent it on its way. I was so confident that my story was meant to be a part of this book that I wrote down the day in my journal.
After a few months went by I chalked it up to another rejection. After a few years went by I forgot I sent the story.
Long before I started blogging here at Writing Like Crazy, I blogged on Moments to Memories(my first blog). Moments to Memories was all about occurrences in life. My most favorite thing about that blog was that my father often commented. When I want to hear his voice through his words I go back to my original blog and read his comments. When I was writing posts for Moments to Memories, it wasn’t uncommon to be alerted of a comment someone left but as I stopped posting the comments stopped coming.
So, this week when I received an e-mail stating there was a new comment on Moments to Memories I thought for sure it was a spam comment. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read the comment…We are looking for a Maribeth Graham who submitted a story to Chicken Soup for The Soul. I immediately thought it was some type of mistake, I sent that story four years ago.
I was excited but hesitantly so. But sure enough when I contacted the woman, it was me they were looking for.M my story was selected to be part of the new Chicken Soup for Soul book coming out this October.
I was at a low point. I was thinking that my dreams were probably never going to come true. That e-mail was exactly what I needed to keep moving forward. It was as if God heard my doubts and said I better throw her a bone so she doesn’t give up. There is a plan for me. Sometimes when we think there is nothing to come an undeniable sign bursts onto the scene.
We don’t know what will be but if we don’t keep trying it won’t be what it could be.

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Looking At Your Writing Is Like Looking In a Mirror

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There are days when I look in the mirror and think, not bad, could be worse. Then there are days I look at my reflection and mumble expletives while stripping off a closet full of clothes. Nothing I try on looks good. These are usually the days I receive a random compliment, like “Hey, your hair looks good today,” or “Did you lose weight?” And before I know it, I’m skipping through the day with a smile on my face. The image in the mirror looks a little better than it did an hour ago even though I didn’t change a thing. Why? Because someone else helped me see myself in a different light. I needed to step away from the mirror.

Looking at your own writing is like looking in the mirror. Some days you read through your work and think, “Not bad, could be worse.” and then there are days that you convince yourself that everything in front of you is junk and no one is ever going to enjoy reading anything you write. You compare your words and tales to those that have found success much like we compare ourselves to the bodies splattered across the magazines. Some days we feel like we have just as much to offer and others we convince ourselves we will never compare.

Here are a few things you can do before you start deleting your words or ripping up manuscripts that weren’t as bad as you thought.

1. Step away from your work. Return a day, a week, a month later (whatever it takes) with fresh eyes and a clear mind.

2. Read through some old material. This will allow you to see how far you have come.

3. Read success stories. They often touch base on the insecurities the writer felt at one point. Just knowing someone who succeeded once felt the way you do now will help erase the pessimistic thoughts running rampant through your mind.

4. Clear your mind. Do yoga, meditate, take a walk, lie on the couch and stare into space.

5. Grab your journal and write down all of the negative feelings cluttering your mind.

6. Develop your own personal mantra to say. Mantra’s have a way of changing your energy

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