The End of the US Book Tour

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”
― Alexander Graham Bell

As I get read to leave the US and head back to NZ, I am am filled with so many emotions.  Humbled at how incredibly powerful the whole trip was and how much love was shared with me.  So very grateful that I had this amazing opportunity. Sad to say good-bye to family and friends here in the US. But so very happy and excited to see my sons and my friends back in NZ.  So many emotions all at once.

I decided to make a video about this, rather than write about it this time. Feeling inspired!

 

 

I’d love to hear how you handle it as one door closes, often waiting for the next one to open. And as always thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it.

Getting Inspiration through Creativity

“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.”

― Joseph Chilton Pearce

I love that quote by Joseph Chilton Pearce. And I’m feeling that a lot at the moment – having to lose that fear – as I see my own stuff out there. This book tour, the interviews, the articles, have forced me to get over that fear of being wrong.  I have to be so out there, so transparent. I have nowhere to hide!

In my latest interview with Sally Hubbard, I talk about getting creative and getting into flow to find our inspiration.

“Being creative is much easier than trying to meditate or spend time just being quiet. Then they get their inspiration and their connection to self and they can be in that flow and get their ideas, their inspiration, their juices flowing.”

I’m going to make this post a bit different – this time instead of writing the post, I will attach a podcast.  The podcast is an interview with Sally Hubbard, creator of Women Killing It!

Women Killing It!

Let me know what you thought of the podcast; and I’d love to hear how you lose that fear of being wrong. And as always thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it.

The Fear and The Hope; The Doubt and The Trust

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”
― Paulo Coelho

So very wonderful to be featured on She Writes Press Behind the Book!

If you don’t know about the website She Writes – go explore it now, it great! What is She Writes?

She Writes is the largest community of women writers online. She Writes is your place to find community, and all of our place to foster it. Whether you’re well published, just starting out, a novelist, journalist, blogger, memoirist, screenwriter, poet, playwright, agent, editor, or publicist, She Writes is Your Community.

Here is a copy of my post featured this month:

The Fear and The Hope; The Doubt and The Trust

For any of you out there that have read other posts on She Writes or just about anywhere else that writes about writing, you will have read about the self-doubt, about fear, and finally as Susan Jeffers describes it, about “feeling the fear and doing it anyway.”

I had a dream of writing  a book for many years; of getting published, of talking about things that I hold so sacred in my heart; but the fear of failure was rampant, the self-doubt debilitating. It took years just to start the process, then it took ten years to write, ten years! I thought that was exceptional. Then I read about all the other writers who took just as long and longer.

I began writing the book that I had been thinking about and talking about for so long because my son Lukas, at age 12, challenged me to.  I felt backed into a corner, I knew I had to put my money where my mouth was or I would feel like everything I had been saying to my sons – “You can do it!” “Follow your dreams!” –  would be empty, a lie.  So I started writing.  I started writing and deleting; and feeling not good enough to write a book and feeling like a fraud.

I’m kind of a quote junkie, often looking for inspiration from quotes when I’m mired in self-doubt. So when I was in that place of doubt and fear, I looked for inspiration.

“Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.”

– Anne Lamott

There were plenty of times when I was in the dark and all I had left of my dream of publication was stubborn hope.  It was not an easy journey.  When I finally finished my first draft about 5 years later, I started looking for an agent.  Oh my God – talk about sitting in the dark with nothing but hope! I had months and months of rejection letters, too many to count, the darkness got darker, the hope fainter.

Then finally, I found an agent in London, I signed a contract and I was over the moon.  Now, I thought, now finally the hard work is over, I have someone else to do my work and get my book out there. It took over a year, lots of frustration and more darkness, but finally my agent was able to land a publication deal with a small publisher in London.  I was thrilled. I celebrated and believed the time had come.

About a year later, after jumping through hoops, working with an editor and inching closer, my agent decided he didn’t want to be an agent anymore, that the publishing landscape had changed too much and was not working for him anymore; so I lost my agent and the publishing contract went with him.  I was back to square one, and I decided that I just couldn’t do it anymore.

Then about two weeks later, while meditating, I heard a small, still voice in my head, the voice said ‘don’t give up.’ I grimaced. What an unimaginative inner voice! I thought of Richard Bach’s quote – “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.”  So I revamped and reworked and wrote some more. Then I contacted an old friend. Her name popped into my head, and I thought it unusual. I wasn’t that close to her, and had not been in contact with her for years.  But we were friends on Facebook, and I have learned to trust things that pop into my head, sometimes not very imaginative, but usually very helpful.  So I messaged her and she messaged back the next day.

She’s the one who told me about She Writes Press.  I had never heard of them, but when I read about them, my pulse quickened.  They sounded perfect. I contacted Brooke Warner and we scheduled a Skype.  She said my book sounded like a good fit for SWP.  I signed a contract and I started working with the amazing team at She Writes.

I still had a steep climb ahead of me, but luckily the climb was accompanied by some truly magnificent women:  Brooke Warner, a power house and visionary; Annie Tucker, editor extraordinaire; and a host of truly talented authors, all so supportive. The fellowship of authors at SWP is fantastic; they are generous of spirit, freely give advice and tips, and always cheer each other on.  I am grateful beyond measure that I ended up in such an incredible publishing house.

And now I am on a book tour with my very own book. This Way Up was truly a labor of love, and an extreme act of faith.  I believed that if I just kept showing up and kept moving in the direction of my dream that the dawn would come. And it did. So I am here to tell all of you – Don’t give up!  Keep moving in the direction of your dream. It is so worth the journey.

 

Check out  She Writes – it’s a great community of women writers supporting each other. If you are a writer or aspiring to be one, join us there!

 

 

 

This Way Up

Thank you Darrell for featuring This Way Up in Snowflakes in a Blizzard!

Snowflakes in a Blizzard

 

THE BOOK: This Way Up:  Seven Tools for Unleashing Your Creative Self and Transforming Your Life.

PUBLISHED IN: April 2016.

THE AUTHOR: Patti Clark.

THE EDITOR: Annie Tucker.

THE PUBLISHER:  She Writes Press

Patti ClarkSUMMARY: This Way Up is a story of healing for women who yearn to lead a fuller life, accompanied by a workbook designed to help readers work through personal challenges, discover new inspiration, and harness their creative power…

Women spend so much of life nurturing and giving to others that when they find themselves alone—because of an empty nest, the end of a marriage, or the death of a partner—they often struggle with feeling purposeless. This Way Up provides a step-by-step way out of this sense of loss and into a life filled with enthusiasm, creativity, and joy.

The book centers on the essential wisdom of introspection and on the importance of following one’s dreams…

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Creative Positive Reframing

“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.”
― Voltaire

Creative Positive Reframing:  Taking limiting beliefs and creatively transforming them so that they become supportive rather than destructive.

This is what I am calling the process that I outline in my book – This Way Up.  So today, the second of August, 2016, I’m letting all of my readers know that Creative Positive Reframing is now *named! (*kinda trademarked, if you will)

The process involves several steps, but one of the central points is the use of questions. We are often advised to use affirmations when we are trying to rid ourselves of a bad habit or in getting out of a negative thought spiral. And it’s a wonderful, helpful tool. However, sometimes if we are using affirmations that do not feel real to us, our brain rejects it, and challenges us on it. For example, if I am struggling to save enough money to buy a car, and I say to myself, ‘I am wealthy and have plenty of money for a new car’, my head will say, ‘that’s not true’ – and then my brain will work to prove that I am wrong.  Affirmations sometimes work brilliantly, but sometimes they don’t; and if they don’t seem to be working on certain problems, there is a body of research that shows that the use of questions instead of affirmations works very effectively. Questions spark the brain’s tendency to work to solve problems. Ask a question and your brain will toil to find an answer, so that your brain is working with you, instead of against you.

I read a great article in Daily Good the other day called Living by Questions.  In it, poet Jane Hirshfield explains:

To ask a good question is a way to carabiner yourself to intimacy, a doorknob that turns only one direction, toward open. A good question can send you on a long journey in rain and cold. It can terrify, bringing you straight into your own fears, whether of heights or of loss or of all the mysteries that never go away—our own vulnerability, the heart’s utter exposure, the capriciousness and fragility of events, of relationships, of existence.

In times of darkness and direness, a good question can become a safety rope between you and your own sense of selfhood: A person who asks a question is not wholly undone by events. She is there to face them, to meet them. If you’re asking a question, you still believe in a future. And in times that are placid and easy, a good question is a preventive against sleepwalking, a way to keep present the awakening question that’s under all other questions: “What else, what more?”

What a stunning description, so, well, poetic!

I will go into more deteail about Creative Positive Reframing in future posts. But for now, I’d like to close with a TED talk – ‘How to Ask Good Questions.’

 

I’d love to hear what you think about the name I’ve chosen for my process – ‘Creative Positive Reframing.’ And any thoughts you have about the use of questions.  And as always thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it.