Celebrate the Independence of Being You

Happy Fourth of July! To celebrate the holiday, I’ll share a few lessons from a delightful new book that I’m reading titled Exactly Right: The Conversation Your Heart Has Been Waiting For.

First off, let me say that writers are probably the most prolific collectors of self-help books around. Ask my friends! Perhaps I should be ashamed but I have boxes and boxes. Why? I think it’s because of the demands of the profession; you feel as if you must be a perfect person if you are a writer.

The reason I’m loving this little book is not just because it’s co-authored by my friend, Kevin Courington.  It’s because it gives you the freedom to “Erase” those fears and judgments that keep you from achieving your dreams. By letting go of the negativity, you open yourself up to the “magic and miracles” all around you. What a lovely thought!

An example of this idea at work is evidenced in my recent attempt to plot out my second novel, tentatively titled “Born Again, Dead Again,” which is also set in Yatesville and features my reluctant hero, H.T. I’ve been feeling a little stressed recently because my plot line  wasn’t progressing as quickly I had hoped. In fact, last night I struggled to fall asleep and actually woke up at 2 a.m. That’s when I took the authors’ advice and decided to give up control, at least for now, and just enjoy the process of writing. And the most amazing thing happened — I felt liberated. And I’m now enjoying the experimentation that comes with not resolving every single loose end!

I’m already on page 31 but the book is very thought-provoking and deserves a careful read. I’ll share more as I go along, but I’ll close with one of my favorite quotes from the book. Not surprisingly, it’s also penned by my favorite writers, Mark Twain. It reinforces one of book’s central premises, that we are the major obstacles to our own success. “I’ve been through some terrible things in my life,” says Twain, “some of which actually happened.”

Happy Fourth! Let yourself BE yourself.

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