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Writers, Don’t Let Doubt Stop You!

There comes a time in every artist’s journey when crippling self-doubt sets in. It’s an agonising period where all your hopes and dreams become overshadowed with fear. But before you scoop out the ice-cream and take cover in your bed, vowing to never write again, try a few of these techniques.

Keep track of your success.

When we’re gazing over the yawning expanse of our final destination, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with everything set before us. After all, there is no guarantee of our success. However, taking a look over your accomplishments will offer a glimmer of hope, proving that you can excel at what you set your mind too. Did you ever imagine that you’d write a novel?

Turn to your community.

Sharing your problems can help to alleviate them. Maybe you choose to turn to a blog post like this one, or to connect with like-minded individuals at a writing group, or through your social media. Just knowing there are other people who battle with the same demons may be enough to take the edge off. Remember this is a normal issue, it’s a universal fear, and it’s going to get easier.

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Don’t let fear be the driver

Acceptance in any situation allows us to relax into the moment and let go of our expectations. Easier said than done, however, if you can learn to live with the uncertainty, the doubts and fears, you gain back control to steer your life in the direction of your choice. Whenever I’m crippled by doubt, I work on releasing it by moving forward, redefining my goals, making small steps. Before you know it, the resistance will disappear and you’ll be gliding side-by-side with your creativity.

Take care of yourself

Sometimes, doubt comes at a time in our lives when we have internal and/ or external stress. Learning to listen to yourself, asking for help, or simply knowing when to slow down can be the greatest act of self-love. During those hard times, I choose to read, not only to escape the world but to have it redefined in words that often mirror my trials and tribulations. Reading is wonderfully cathartic and equally as important as writing, so I don’t have to feel guilty about taking time out.

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How do you combat self-doubt? By sharing your tips, you’re helping the writing community, so don’t be shy, you know I love hearing from you.

Thanks for stopping by, until next time, Much Love.

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© Author Lorraine Ambers and http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2019.

 

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Ten Steps… Stop Daydreaming and Start Growing your Business

We all have aspirations of becoming more successful, of being more fulfilled? Have you always romanticised about being a writer? Or about finishing your novel? Maybe, like me you hold onto the possibility of being published. But here’s the catch, dreams won’t come true by fantasising about them. No, you have to put in the work.

Some of you are wondering, but how? Where do we start? Well, I’m here to guide you through the process – read my Ten Step Plan to get you on track. It’s time to be brave, battle through your fears and start taking action towards your dreams.

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  • Commit – This should come as no surprise, but the next step in your plan is to actually commit. You’ve pictured the end goal, held the dream in your heart, filled notebooks and Pinterest boards with your ideas; the next move is to make a promise to your self to start. If your vision hasn’t taken off yet, then there is obviously a level of difficulty to it. Not to worry, the following steps will help.
  • Plan – Well done, the hardest part is beginning. We’ve all heard that person who constantly talks of setting up a business, or writing a novel, or converting their loft into a studio. While they have committed to the idea, they have yet to make any plans. And that’s what you should do, write it down, create a course of action and make sure it logically supports the envisaged dream.
  • Study – What? Why? I hear you groan. If it’s a necessary skill to your business, then committing to learning everything you can about that industry is vital. As a writer, I studied by attending a creative writing course, and now my skills are worked upon by reading, writing, editing and working with Critique Partners. Maybe you need to touch up on you marketing skills, or research Platform Building, or discover your Target Audience. Whatever the issue, there will be some form of developing and growing your skillset.
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  • Practise – This is where the ground work begins, building the foundations as you being to cultivate your dreams. Get dirty, get bruised and tumble into self-doubt; and then dust yourself off and climb back on that metaphorical unicorn, ready to chase your dreams over the nearest rainbow. Never give up, because you never know how close you are to making your ideas blossom into reality.
  • Action – Finally, it’s the moment you’ve been waiting for. TA DAA!! Take those tentative steps into the unknown. Be warned, reality has wicked sense of humour: Don’t be disheartened by the truth, that no matter how much effort we’ve invested up to this point, we will inevitable not be where we want to be. Maybe we’re not confident enough, fast enough, or media savvy enough. There will come a time when you hit a wall, it happens to everyone. The difference between success and failure is that the successful people never quit. Don’t berate yourself, it’s all part of the process, so let’s continue onwards with our Ten Step Plan.
  • Community – Developing a strong foundation of people who encourage and motivate you will help you stay the course through difficult times. Whether they’re friends and family, an online group for entrepreneurs, or the wonderful world of fellow bloggers; having people who can offer support when you need it most is beneficial.
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  • Health – It can be a long, winding road to reaching your goals. And many creatives struggle with mental health. It’s important to listen to your body, watch out for signs of stress and anxiety and take care of yourself. If you crash from Creative Burnout, your beloved dreams will temporarily perish. The same applies for the health of your body, so get some sleep, eat healthy meals, and take time to recover.
  • Take Risks – For life to move forward in a new direction, risks must be taken. It’s easy to stay safe, to live in your comfort zone, but nothing changes. Everyday push your boundaries, it’s the only way to grow and develop (and not just in business). Make that call, ask that blogger to beta read, attend that writing conference. It doesn’t have to be massive steps. In fact, my number one peace of advice to budding new entrepreneurs is: Conquer your fears by taking small steps, one at a time, but keep moving forward. This is how you build self-esteem, by looking back and recollecting all of those tiny achievements. You can do it, you’re AWESOME!
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  • Embrace Failures – No one is perfect, humans make mistakes, and failure in some form or another is inevitable. Don’t wallow in the misery of what you’ve lost, instead find the silver lining and learn from the valuable lessons gained. What will you do differently next time? Where will you invest more? How will you overcome the current hurdle and rise victorious?
  • Celebrate Each Triumph – Life is like trying to climb a giant beans stalk, instead of gazing up at the blanket of clouds and imagining the glittering castle beyond (or, your ideal vision of success). Celebrate each leaf that you climb! Remember to look back at all the other small accomplishments you’ve made, because that is embracing the journey, and that is the true measure of your success.
Author Lorraine Ambers - fantasy romance writer

What step are you embracing at the moment? Do you have any advice for your fellow readers, maybe a further steps to add? Whatever your message, please comment – you know I love hearing from you.

Thanks for stopping by, until next time, Much Love.

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© Author Lorraine Ambers and http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2019.

Three Tips to Harness your Creativity

Today I want to introduce my 3 tips on how to keep your creativity cup full and overflowing.

We all have divine times where our creativity is bursting into life. Where the sun sparkles, the birds chirp and we become our own version of a Disney character. Filled with the joy of a new quest, the pen becomes an extension of our essence and the words simply flow.

Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. When life has dealt us the short-straw, the world around us dulls to greys, and putting one word in front of the other becomes impossible. Some call it writer’s block, I call it writer’s burnout. The stress and strain of life take its toll. Robbing the very thing that we held most dear:

Our passion. Our creativity. Our art.

Writers harness your creativity

Tip One: Silence that inner critique and keep going despite its cruel taunts. Remember that every artist goes through times of self-doubt, the secret to overcoming them is to reach out to those around you for support. I’m a huge champion of this blogging community, they have become a virtual family, offering words of encouragement from a like-minded perspective. I love you all.

Twitters #writingcommunity is another great resource. For more practical advice on conquering this negative beast; read my post on  Overcoming Self-doubt.

“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
― Sylvia Plath

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Tip Two: Allow yourself time to fuel your Inspiration. There is an abundance of beauty in the world, use everything in your disposal to re-boost your creativity. Books, movies, art, nature or even the hustle and bustle of a busy town. Take nothing for granted. Though every story has been told before, it has never been expressed by you. So feast on the stories surrounding you and then retell the tale.

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.”
― Martha Graham

Tip Three: Let’s not forget that without darkness it’s hard to admire the light. Many artists, myself included, struggle with mental health issues. In times like these, be kind to yourself and practice the steps that help you into recovery. Though you won’t appreciate it at the time, our art is often made stronger for our empathy and compassion to the burdens of life. It is the silver lining to a thunderous storm.

“One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

Author Lorraine Ambers - fantasy romance writer

Thanks for stopping by.

Do you have a tip on harnessing creativity? Why not share it with me?

You know I love hearing from you.

Until next time, Much Love.

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© Author Lorraine Ambers and http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2018.
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Writing Deadlines and keeping the Christmas Cheer

With the encroaching Christmas holidays, deadlines become a predominant factor in most of our minds. They add additional pressure to an already fraught time of year. Manifesting stress where it’s not needed, this is something I’m guilty of. I pile on extra jobs and beat myself up for not accomplishing each and every single one of them.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

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On top of the extra demands of December: Shop, wrap, cook, clean, preen. We authors often juggle work, family, and the demands of writing, promoting, blogging and social media.

Realising how insane all of that sounds, I thought this week’s blog could help lighten the load by shinning a little comedy and sprinkle a few well-meaning quotes into the mix. Sit back and enjoy!

“At times, it is better to “just do it” than to “do it right”. One reason new year resolutions don’t work is that we expect too much from ourselves. Rush, meet your deadlines, you can always continue from where you stopped next year.” ― Asuni LadyZeal

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“A lovely thing about Christmas is that it’s compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together.” – Garrison Keillor
***
“I love Christmas. I receive a lot of wonderful presents I can’t wait to exchange.” – Henny Youngman
***
“A deadline is a negative inspiration. Still, it’s better than no inspiration at all.”
― Rita Mae Brown
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“Goals are dreams with deadlines.” ― Diana Scharf
***
“If the novels are still being read in 50 years, no one is ever going to say: ‘What’s great about that sixth book is that he met his deadline!’ It will be about how the whole thing stands up.”
― George R.R. Martin
So my fellow writers, take a leaf from some of the greats and relax over the deadlines. By all means, keep writing and work towards your goals, but at the end of the day: Pop your pajamas on, watch a Christmas movie, drink hot chocolate and enjoy the festive season.
As always folks, thanks for reading. What sort of deadlines do you place on yourself at Christmas and how do you relax and unwind at the end of the day? Tell me all about it, you know I love to hear from you.
Until next time, Much Love. xXx
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6 Powerful Tips to Keep your Writing Motivation

Writers flourish when our muse is alive. When our words build new worlds, ink flowing, filling up our blank canvas to create a novel. So it’s no surprise that the opposite results in dry spells of writer’s block, self-doubt, and even imposter writer syndrome.

SO! How do we keep those negative things at bay? Fear not, today I’ll share my top Six tips to keep your motivation alive.

book pen artist writer author Lorraine Ambers fantasy romance novel YA

Set Goals.

This is a small promise to yourself that your writing matters. That even in the midst of family gatherings, work commitments, and other priorities, you’ll acknowledge that what you’re working towards matters. Whether that be a daily word target, a weekend venture or the spare 10 minutes to make notes between appointments. Set a goal, stick to it and watch the word count rise.

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2. Keep the vision.

The most important aspect of reaching your goals is to envisage the final outcome. How will it feel to finally finish your novel? Who will you celebrate with? What will you treat yourself with? It’s your dream, so make it big, bold and beautiful. And anytime you start to flag, or you’ve skipped too many goal targets, and guilt has taken you by the throat. Allow your mind to wonder, to daydream – and then wipe the slate clean and begin again.

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3. Rally the troops.

Except for the characters that follow us everywhere, writing can be an isolating, lonely business. That’s where we need to branch out and connect with the other elusive, secretive creatures. Thankfully, you can find a few at writing conferences, creative writing classes, and on social media. #WritingCommunity on Twitter is a great place to start, and of course, I give a massive hello and welcome to my beloved blogging community. Life would be pretty dull without you all.

Abstract art - Photo by Art by Lønfeldt from Pexels
Photo by Art by Lønfeldt from Pexels

4. Get creative.

You can’t run out of creativity, but you can get stifled. So remember to stretch your creative wings and take flight to another craft. Colouring, flower arranging or even joining in with your kids at Lego time. I love a bit of block building fun.

It doesn’t have to involve starting a new hobby, there’s a wealth of inspiration all around us. Why not check out my other blog post with 5 Top Tips to Fuel Inspiration.

5. Celebrate the small stuff.

Don’t make my mistake of only celebrating the big stuff. Because usually by the time that rolls around, your sights will be set on the next big thing and you’ve bypassed all of your hard work. Have a cuppa after xxx amount of words. Have lunch with your friends knowing that you’ve written this week’s blog post. Binge watch that Netflix show at the end of the day knowing you’ve earned it. Ok, so you get the point… and yes that’s pretty much how I plan my week.

Dream Big and Let Nothing Hold You Back
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6. Self-love.

This is such an important part and often overlooked or hidden in the shadows. But positive mental health can bring a wealth of abundance to our work. Whereas the opposite can often result in a collapse of creativity. Not only is it wise to get some fresh air, eat healthy and hydrate. But self-love for me means listening to my body, slowing down when my illness flares, appreciating the small things and allowing things to unfold in their own time. Even my novels.

Thanks for stopping by to read. I appreciate every single one of you. Tell me what your Top Tip for staying motivated is. You know I love to hear from you.

Until next time, Much Love Xx

Author Lorraine Ambers - fantasy romance writer

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Inspirational Quotes for Writers

Taking inspiration from every available source is in our best interest as writers. And Einstein’s view of the world is a great place to start. Let’s take a closer look at some of my favourite quotes and how we can apply them.

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“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

By creating new and innovative worlds we can reflect upon our own reality and lift it to new heights. Never take for granted the powerful gift we writers have, to use the knowledge that surrounds us and expand our reader’s consciousness through empathy for all characters and their circumstances.

When outlining plot and character arcs, remember Einstein’s advice: The chaos created, will need a different way of thinking, a more positive action to return the story to a harmonious outcome.

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“The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”

By taking a curious look at the world around us, we create well rounded characters which in turn allow us to grow as humans.

The same applies with nature, for the fundamental building blocks are used to build literary worlds. Using sounds, smells, textures and taste. Even the patterns of how people interact. As a writer, you should become an avid watcher; take a keen interest in the vivid, vibrant world around you.

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“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

Appreciate your unique abilities to write, for no one else can tell the story the way you do, no one else has your voice to tell it in. Maybe you can’t run a marathon, or cook, or you’re terrible at maths… join the club, but we can write.

I love Einstein’s last piece of advice: If your writing isn’t clear, then your readers won’t understand it. Simple.

Author Lorraine Ambers - YA fantasy romance writer

As always, Thanks for stopping by.

What’s your favourite Einstein and why does it resonate with you? You know I love hearing from you.

Until next time, Much Love Xx

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© Author Lorraine Ambers and http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2018.
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Writers: Thanks a Million

Today I’m filled with appreciation and love for my fellow writers. All the bloggers, all the twitter writing community, my Facebook friends and my adorable Instagram peeps.

Wonderful people spread over many virtual places. But just because we aren’t connected in a skin and bones, face to face way doesn’t diminish the respect or gratitude I feel towards you all.

I know that we all take the risk as writers to bare our souls, to delve deep under the surface of emotions, to expose that which makes us human.

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I’ve struggled this week with a chest infection and the knock on effect of poor mental health. I burrowed away with low energy, a rattling chest and crippling doubt.

Yet the inspiration and positive vibes from my community kept me strong and pulled me out the other side.

So thank you all.

Each week I get such a fantastic response from you all, you share your experiences, your views and most of all your personality. I owe you all my humble admiration and love. Because sometimes we need to simply spread the joy.

Keep dreaming and aim high.

Tell me about your week, how is the autumn season beginning for you. Much Love Xx

Author Lorraine Ambers - YA fantasy romance writer

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Enjoy the Writing Journey

Dreaming big and working towards goals is great. But what happens when our ego takes over and all we can think about is when? When will I get an agent? When will I be published?

What happens when anxiety sets in and all we can this about is why? Why am I being rejected? Why am I not good enough?

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Ultimately thinking like this will result in doubt and a feeling of failure.

Stop!!!

Take a moment to remember why you started writing in the first place. What do you enjoy about writing? I’m sure no one wrote their first flash fiction or poetic prose with an endgame in site. We did it for fun, for passion, for joy.

Enjoy the journey - Benedict Cumberbatch
– Benedict Cumberbatch

Don’t let your aspirations stifle that wonderful energy. While our dreams as authors may be similar, our paths and unique abilities never are.

 

Allow the ego to set daily intensions: Maybe to hit a word count. Perhaps edit a chapter. Or learn how to use a particular social media. But don’t let it plot, plan and pinpoint every turn in your future. That will lead to disharmony and stress, because nothing is for certain.

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What we can take control of is this moment. So relax and enjoy the process. Choose to enjoy your family, saviour the dog walk or curl up on the sofa and read. Realise that life is good now, it’s the only time that truly matters.

Do you struggle with waiting for the outcome? Maybe you’ve wrestle with desire and a feeling of being imcomplete.

How do you deal with those emotions? Please share your journey with me, you know I love to hear from  you.

Until next time, Much Love xx

Author Lorraine Ambers - YA fantasy romance writer

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Dream Big and Let Nothing Hold You Back

Dream Big and Don’t Hold You Back

When I started on my journey as a writer, I never imagined I’d be where I am today. I have two complete manuscripts; I have made great friends with some amazing bloggers, critique partners and fellow creative writers. I’ve watched them grow and flourish, just as I have.

Becoming a writer was a challenge for me. I had to channel my daydreaming energy into something tangible. I needed to focus and direct my energy into what I wanted most.

Girl Butterflies Chase your Dreams

I’m not the first, or last to be daunted by trying something new. To move away from the comfort of their current position and pursue a passion. To push themselves to achieve more. It’s scary starting out!

I had to overcome my negative thought patterns and self-doubt.

  • Where would I find the time?
  • Family comes first – I’m being selfish.
  • What if I’m not good enough?
  • What if I fail?

Do any of them sound familiar to you?

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In the end I simply started. I joined a creative writing group and wrote a little each day. Ten minutes a day grew to half an hour or more. Two years later and I’d finished the first draft of my first book. Then I dipped my toe into the sea of social media. And began blogging, and two years later I’m still here, still persevering.

Believing that my dreams, to be a traditionally published author, will come true. Even when my fears creep in, trying to drown me in doubt, I ignored them and carried on. Why? That’s simple… I love writing! And you know what, your five minutes a day could flourish into something too.

You’re allowed to start a new hobby, or learn a new craft. You’re allowed to make mistakes, you’re human after all. The beauty of failure is that’s how we learn and grow. This is your life; it’s time to live it.

So give it a try… what do you have to lose?

I believe in dreams, fantasy, reality and all things in between. Follow your passion. Do it today. Make the choice to change, and know that from this moment on, every step you take will lead you towards a brighter future. If you’re brave enough to follow your dreams, they will start to come true.

Tell me about your dreams and aspirations. Or about any dreams you’ve already acomplished. As always, thanks for reading. Much Love x

Author Lorraine Ambers - YA fantasy romance writer

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Love Heart Hope Fantasy romance writer author Lorraine Ambers

Positive quotes: Don’t Fear

Everyone needs a little boost. A dose of positivity, and a reminder that no matter what your dreams are – you can do it! Here are this weeks 3 inspirational quotes biased on the theme: Don’t Fear. Enjoy!

Thank you message in a bottle

“So please ask yourself:
What would I do if I weren’t afraid?
And then go do it.”

– Sheryl Sandberg.

Conquer fear Author Lorraine Ambers

“Even the greatest was once a beginner.
Don’t be afraid to take that first step.”

-Rita Ghatourey

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“Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, to stumble and fall because most of the time, the greatest rewards come from doing the things that scare us the most.
Maybe you’ll get everything you wished for.
Maybe you’ll get more than you ever could have imagined.
Who knows where life could take you.
The road is long and in the end, the journey is the destination.”

-Unknown

Author Lorraine Ambers - YA fantasy romance writer

Thanks for stopping by. Do you have a quote  based on the theme – Don’t Fear?`If so, please share it. You know I love hearing from you. Until next time, Much Love.

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© Author Lorraine Ambers and http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2018.