Shine, baby, shine

Every week, on Tuesday, an email drops into my inbox from a man named Rob Brezny. It contains my weekly horoscope, but let me tell you - this is a horoscope like no other. Rob is one of the most inspirational influences in my life and I always get a bit of wisdom or insight or a hit of positivity from his offerings. But then, what else could you expect from a man who wrote a ginormous book called Pronoia is the Antidote for Paranoia?

This week, the bit of wisdom that really resonated with me was this:

According to science writer Sarah Zielinski
in *Smithsonian* magazine, fireflies produce the most efficient light on
planet Earth. Nearly 100 percent of the energy produced by the chemical
reaction inside the insect’s body is emitted as a brilliant glow. ...According to my reading of the astrological omens, you,
too, will be a dynamic and proficient generator of luminosity. For best
results, don’t tone down your brilliance, even if it illuminates shadows
people are trying to hide.
— Rob Brezny

I was reminded that my particular light sometimes is a little bright for those around me. There have been times in my life when I’ve been called out for being “too much.” Too opinionated, too outspoken, too loud, too quiet, too disorganised, too random, and on and on and on.

In a lovely bit of synchronicity, this week I also began reading a deceptively small book titled The Big Leap, by Gay Hendricks.

Hendricks teaches that we all have an Upper Limit Problem (which he likes to refer to as an ULP) that kicks in whenever we get close to our zone of genius and that this drives us into sabotage. He talks about four different unconscious belief systems that can be triggered, and one of those in particular hit me right square in the solar plexus.

The book is on my desk at home, so I’m paraphrasing here, but the general idea was “Don’t shine too brightly, or somebody else will feel hurt, left out, snubbed, or less than.”

What happens when I reach some level of writer success, or when something good happens for me in publishing? I’m elated for a minute, and then my unconscious belief raises its ugly little head and whispers, “Your success means that somebody else will get hurt.”

Sabotage kicks in. I find some reason to make myself feel bad. Guilt. Minimising and deflecting. Possibly procrastinating on writing or marketing.

The truth is that my success doesn’t hurt anybody else. It’s not taking away from another writer. If it illuminates a shadow area that somebody else is struggling with, so that they feel jealous or demoralised, then I’m illuminating work for them to do to move past that.

Today, I’m declaring my intention to transform my limiting beliefs and to shine as brightly as I am able.

And I’m inviting you to do the same. Whatever your gifts, talents, and particular zone of genius, play them up. Celebrate. Live in the light.

Writing is so much easier with companionship and support. I’d love to have you join the League of Legendary Writers, a membership group for writers on a quest to take their writing dreams from someday to now. Write with me during weekly virtual write ins. Get in on meditation, creative play, and more! You can read more about it here.

Happy writing!

Rogue Ideas, the Gin Club, and more, with Author Barbara Claypole White

When an idea shows up - and it's not the one prescribed by your career - what do you do? Author Barbara Claypole White made the courageous choice to write the book that was talking to her, rather than the one she thought she should be writing.

This lively episode of Creativity Quest is available as either video or podcast—take your pick! I’ve included the Soundcloud link, but you can now subscribe to Creativity Quest on most of your favorite podcast apps!

You can find Barbara on Facebook:
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And find out anything else you want to know at her website:

OH - and check out her books, of course! Here's an Amazon link:

TALENT, an interview with author Juliet Lapidos

Why does a writer become a writer, and not - say - a plumber? Juliet Lapidos, author of the novel TALENT, joined me on my Creativity Quest podcast for a wide ranging discussion on the nature of inspiration, de-inspiration, and re-inspiration, and how all of that fits into her delightful new novel, TALENT.

TALENT has been hailed as “ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2019” by LitHub, The Millions, Thrillist, and Entertainment Weekly.

I enjoyed it immensely.

You can listen to the interview here:

And here is my review:

"Talent is an intellectual delight woven around the intriguing and somewhat troubling New Testament parable of the talents, which would seem to teach that those who are given much will be blessed with more – and those who have been given little will pay for it.

Lapidos explores this theme through her main characters, Anna and Freddy.

Anna is a once promising but now thoroughly stalled graduate student in English literature, reduced to contemplating the nature of inspiration without doing much about it. Her family has begun to suggest she consider law school. Her advisor has suggested, with increasing urgency, that she find a case study sooner rather than later.

Frederick Langley, “Freddy”, is—or rather was-- an author who wrote three successful books as a young man and then wrote precisely nothing until his death. Literary critics believe he suffered from writer’s block, or, as Anna puts it, he had been inspired, and then de-inspired.

These two unlikely characters are linked by Freddy’s niece, Helen, who grants Anna access to the holy grail that could save her thesis: two notebooks written by Freddy himself. Clues about Freddy’s life and motivations, revealed through fascinating bits and pieces of story ideas and observations in the notebooks, are interspersed with Anna’s own existential crisis. Lapidos weaves it all together into a surprising ending that reminds us that motives are open to a wide range of interpretations, any of which is likely to be wrong.

I loved the characters in this book and their insights into both the human condition and the nature of the creative process. Plus, I'm always in for a campus novel with a unique lead character, snark, and a bit of mystery. "

Buy your copy on Amazon or wherever books are sold!

Kerry SchaferComment