Saturday, June 8, 2019

Learning to Calm Down



June 8, 2019

In ten days it is National Panic Attack Day. No, that doesn't mean that we all must panic together on that day. In fact, it is quite the opposite. This day has been set aside as Panic Attack Awareness Day to shed light on the fact that millions of people suffer from them and to let everyone know that there is help out there. C J Kruse, one of the authors with Absolute Author Publishing House, is debuting his new book A GUIDE TO HOW TO CALM DOWN on June 18, 2019, and his doing his part. He chose that day to launch his book to coincide with the National Panic Attack Day to also bring light to the public about panic attacks and to let everyone know, his book could help.

Over the next ten days, Kruse will be guest blogging on this serious issue and today's topic is Learning to Calm Down Takes Time.


 GUEST BLOGGER


LEARNING TO CALM DOWN TAKES TIME

Very often in our lives, we don’t really understand what is happening to us. We rely on narratives that we’ve built to make sense of things, but those narratives are often inaccurate. However, since we rely on those narratives, we resist deeper thinking. We don’t want to question our simple, boxed-up traditions of belief.

Have you ever noticed that we don’t like being challenged about our political or religious beliefs? When somebody makes a claim that goes against one of our long-held beliefs, we instantly put up a wall of defense.

Well, the same seems to be true about other beliefs -- beliefs regarding our relationships with our families, as well as beliefs about ourselves. The bottom line is, our search for answers rarely is an objective search at all because we don’t want answers that would require us to reshape our beliefs.

We tend to say things like, “Make it simple. Don’t overthink this. Explain it to me in a way that makes sense.” Such statements reflect our resistance to new paradigms. But, if we really want to get better at calming down, we will need a better approach.
We will have to set aside some of what we already know and come to some newer, deeper understandings. Why? Because our limited understandings aren’t really helping us. If they were, we’d be putting marriage counselors and therapists out of a job. There would be no market for self-help books. We would all understand why we do what we do, and have perfect responses for nearly every situation.



The fact that we keep running into the same brick walls over and over seems to imply that we need more than what we already know. And, we will have to step out of our comfort zones to get it.

To get over this hurdle that seems to stand in our way, we will have to dump out what we know about certain things so that our glass is empty -- ready to be filled afresh. And, we should probably expect that the changes we want to make will not come easily. Or, quickly.

The process could be compared to learning how to play a new musical instrument, such as the piano. When you start out on the piano, you aren’t automatically Mozart. You start out as a total newbie, struggling and striving just to learn “Oh when the saints go marching in.”

Many people never learn how to play a new instrument for this reason. Not because they have no musical potential, but because the process is much harder than they expected. It challenges them in ways they aren’t comfortable with. And, they end up quitting.

Ultimately, the reward ends up going only to those who bear through the tough process, fully acknowledging how little they know and how much room they have for improvement. And, if you want to learn how to calm down, you will not be able to rely only on what you already know. And, you can expect the process to take time. 



BECOMING MISS IZZY

The countdown has begun for BECOMING MISS IZZY written by Sue Zook and Mary Lazsarki. This book is amazing as it deals with a lot of social issues that middle schoolers face. Told in a creative a fun manner, this book is perfect for both parents and children alike and I highly recommend that parents read this book with their children so that they can discuss any issues their child has. The reviews on the book are amazing. Published by Absolute Author Publishing House, the book launches June 17, 2019, in both eBook and paperback. Pre-order your copy today.





TIPS FOR WRITING A NOVEL
By Dr. Melissa Caudle


One of the most frequent questions I get as an author is where do I find the time to write and publish four books a year. Frankly, my first response is, “I don’t” know. I just do.” Then when I reflect on it, I realize that I have established an author’s mentality of writing, editing, and marketing. Oh, no! What? To be an author includes two other areas besides writing. Yep, an author must also edit and market their book. So, how do you find the time when your raising children, have a full-time job, you’re a soccer mom, or in my case a swim team grandmother who attends my grandson’s swim practices five times a week and swim meets one time a week, babysits my only granddaughter, help to take care of my mother who just got out of the hospital with pneumonia, a wife, and yes, work as I am one of the senior editors with Absolute Author Publishing House? Ouch. How do I find the time? Great question. That’s when I decided to highlight tips for writing a novel and publishing it during a chaotic lifestyle.
1. Set a Writing Goal – I function very well with goals by setting them. I know as an author that I must author my next novel, edit a novel from someone else, and market not only my books but others as well as I have a Fiverr gig to help other novelist market their books. There is only some much time in a day to do all that. Instead of letting the massiveness burden you, let it give you energy within your goals. I work from home, so it is especially important that I establish a routine to fit in everything that I need. When I wake up, the first thing I do is to attend to any of my emails that came in with questions, etc. After that, I create my ‘To Do’ list for the day and slot out the amount of time for each. I often work ten hours a day, but I make sure to take breaks, stretch, eat, and exercise. Believe it or not, this works.
I realize that most of you don’t work from home and have a variety of duties and jobs that fill most of your day. That means you must set your goal for writing, even if it is only 5,000 words for the day or thirty minutes a day of writing. Find your time. If you are a morning person, get up an hour early, and write. I know schoolteachers who write during their lunch breaks or stay after school for an hour to write in the peace and quiet before they go home. You will find the time if it is important to you.
2. Set a Deadline – When I write, I set a deadline for when I want my book to be published, and most of the time, I stick to it. Yes, the deadline is self-imposed, but if you want to be an author, you must treat your writing as a business with deadlines. Otherwise, it will be exceedingly difficult to complete your book.
3. Establish a Blueprint – A novel’s blueprint is the outline of your story. I was a screenwriter first before I was a novelist. In fact, the novels that I am writing are from my screenplays, so I think that I can move faster through authoring a novel because I have already clearly defined my characters, plots, arcs, subplots, resolution, etc. I authored a book for screenwriters called JUST BEAT IT. What this book does is shows a screenwriter how to use a beat sheet to formulate their blueprint. I now realize that this same method applies to novelists, and if you are stuck, you might want to consider purchasing this book and learn how to use a beat sheet. Planning your novel will go a long way to help you keep on your deadline goal.


3. Treat Your Characters as Real People – When you can visualize your characters, you know their background, and what makes them tick, it is easier to write about them. Take your time to develop your characters. As crazy as this may sound, make up a complete biography on them. Where did they grow up? What schools did they attend? What kind of relationship did they have with their parents? What makes them sneeze? What is their deepest fear? What is their favorite color? Are they allergic to anything? Keep developing about two hundred questions on each character and get to them like they are your children.
4. Write in the Correct Format – Writing a novel and formatting a novel are two different things. The biggest mistake I see authors make is that they write in Word and never set their page size, margins, indents, etc. They send me a manuscript to edit that is about 125 pages, but not formatted to an industry size such as 5.25 X 8. They don’t know how to use page breaks, section breaks, or how to mark for Table of Contents. When you learn how to do those things, the look and feel of your manuscript not only looks different, but it looks like a book and not a senior English class creative writing project. Moreover, believe it or not, it is very motivating. I always write in Microsoft Word. Maybe I am old fashioned, but I can’t stand some of the other software because they are cumbersome. It is up to each author to choose the software they want to write their manuscript, but please format it correctly before you write. There are many templates out there, so find one.
5. Edit When Appropriate – Authors are quirky, I know because I am one. When I first start writing a chapter, I never edit it as I write it. I just write. After I finish that chapter, I run it through Microsoft Word Review, Grammarly, and then ProWritingAid to clean it up. However, I don’t do the deep edit on character development, plot structure, etc. My goal is to at least after the first draft to have a clean copy. Once I complete the first draft, I always order a printed paperback copy to proofread. I like to hold a book in my hand to edit. I have my pen ready to mark any mistakes and find plot holes. Then I return to the manuscript and make those changes. Then start a deep edit using Word going through it chapter by chapter. Then, I rinse and repeat. I usually go through four to five proof copies in paperback and make modifications before I send to my editor. Yes, although I am an editor, I hire editors. I am too close to the subject matter to edit my own, and so are you.
6. Commit to Persevere – Never ever give up. You can do this!

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