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Author Interviews

A Chat with Author Georgia Shaffer

C. Kevin Thompson
C. Kevin Thompson

Greetings from C. Kevin Thompson. Well, winter is officially over, I guess. I know. I know. Those of you in Minnesota and Montana might argue the point. It’s all about three words: location, location, location. We almost broke a record the other day of 87 degrees here in central Florida. So much for spring…

So, we sit here on the front porch…ceiling fans on high…ice-cold glasses of lemonade sweating on thirsty stones…welcoming Georgia Shaffer to the Guest’s Adirondack Chair.

Welcome, Georgia! Before we get going on the other questions, first tell us about your latest book, A Gift of Mourning Glories!

Georgia Shaffer
Georgia Shaffer

The reasons we face loss are many. The results, however, are the same. Our hearts ache. Life as we knew it is gone. We can avoid the most common mistakes of starting over with this book’s practical five-step approach, enabling us to move from feelings of hopelessness and despair to those of hope and joy.

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Inspiration for Writers

What to Do When You’re in Over Your Head

Georgia Shaffer
Georgia Shaffer

Georgia Shaffer from Pennsylvania

“I am physically weary and emotionally exhausted,” my coaching client said with a heavy sigh.  ‘I’m not motivated to write or do anything.”

She was in over her head at home and with her writing deadline.
I knew how she felt . . . been there recently myself. Overwhelmed with too much to do and little energy to do anything. So I’ve decided to share four things that help me in those, “in over my head” moments.

1.  Do nothing for a while

It seems counter intuitive.  After all, you have all these things to do, so you can’t afford to do nothing.

I usually resist this idea.  Yet, when I rest, space out with a good book, a video or take a nap or stay in my pj’s all day, I feel rejuvenated. Doing nothing is usually the best thing I could do.

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Inspiration for Writers

Five Tips to Rescue Your Brilliant Idea

Georgia Shaffer
Georgia Shaffer

Georgia Shaffer from Pennsylvania

Did you ever have a brilliant idea that later seemed to turn bad? Three years ago I had a great idea for a book. Once I decided to take action and make it a reality, however, I felt at times like it was the worst idea I ever had. We have all had similar moments.

Since my bright idea became a published book (Coaching the Coach: Life Coaching Stories for Transforming Lives), I’ll share five things to remember when a brilliant thought flashes through your mind, and what to do afterwards as you try to bring it into reality.

1.  Write Down Your Idea and Pray About It

Ask God for his direction. Ask people to pray with you and for you. Talk to people you respect and trust and ask for their advice and suggestions about your vision. If you feel God is leading you, then think about the first steps you could take toward making it a reality.

My idea was to compile a book of life coaching stories (think Chicken Soup for the Soul type of book), sharing the wisdom and experiences of gifted leaders in the field of Christian coaching. I prayed about it, and one morning in my quiet time I felt God’s peace to move forward.

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Inspiration for Writers

Positive or Negative Influence?

Georgia Shaffer
Georgia Shaffer

Georgia Shaffer from Pennsylvania

Recently I read a blog for singles written by a woman who was obviously still bitter about a man she had dated. Her sarcasm and biting comments about men in general and one man in particular offended me.

Her post caused me to stop and reflect on who I am and how my writing might negatively impact my readers.  Am I carrying unforgiveness or deep resentments? Do I have any hurts, feelings of betrayal or frustrations that I have ignored but are slowly seeping out in what I write?

Reading that article reminded me how our failure to deal with these hurts, insecurities, or disappointments in a proper fashion not only adversely impacts our emotional and spiritual well-being but can even put off those who read what we write.

If you want to positively influence others, then you need to be intentional about clearing out negative attitudes, thoughts, and feelings. As the writer of Hebrews suggests in chapter 12, verse 1, we want to “throw off everything that hinders us and the sin that so easily entangles.” It’s our awareness of what we’re holding onto along with the commitment to take action that enables us to get rid of our junk.

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Inspiration for Writers

Rewrite Your Thinking

Georgia Shaffer
Georgia Shaffer

Georgia Shaffer from Pennsylvania

Last month I wrote about anxiety and how it can ambush our writing. This month I’ll discuss the self-sabotaging mindsets we have that undermine our creativity and productivity.

Some mindsets are caught from our parents or friends. Others we’re taught. Some mindsets are helpful and some are self-defeating. The latter keep us stuck in negative thinking and deplete us of vital energy.

Sara Blakely, the billionaire founder of Spanx, is a great example of how positive mindsets propel us forward. She said, “My dad encouraged us to fail. Growing up, he would ask us what we failed at that week. If we didn’t have something, he would be disappointed. It changed my mindset at an early age that failure is not the outcome, failure is not trying. Don’t be afraid to fail.”

An unproductive mindset would be, “I don’t have what it takes to write a blog or publish a book.” If someone important in your life, like a teacher, parent, or sister told you, “you can’t write,” it’s easy to continue to carry that perspective without even thinking about it.

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Inspiration for Writers

Is Anxiety Ambushing Your Writing?

Georgia Shaffer
Georgia Shaffer

Georgia Shaffer from Pennsylvania

One coaching client emailed me, saying, “Every time I sit down to write, I’m flooded with anxious thoughts. The voices in my head shout that I can’t write and nobody wants to read what I have to say. How do I deal with all this anxiety?”

In highly motivated people like this woman, I’ve found it is often anxiety that interferes with our creativity and ability to focus. Obviously not all anxiety is detrimental to writing. These feelings can motivate us to take action. But constant anxiety can lead to moodiness, writer’s block, headaches and even insomnia when our brains don’t shut down at night.

You can help yourself resolve some of the anxiety by first asking yourself multiple questions. Could I be trying to do too much? Is this just a difficult challenging time? Do I need to put this writing project on the back burner? Do I need more sleep? Or am I only anxious when I write?

I knew this particular client had been gradually trying to write later and later into the night. Her most productive hours, however, were in the morning. Working longer at night allowed her little time to relax. Since she went to bed, still tense, she had problems falling asleep. The next morning she felt sluggish and had difficulty concentrating.

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Inspiration for Writers

Organize Your Thoughts . . . Before You Write

Georgia Shaffer
Georgia Shaffer

Georgia Shaffer from Pennsylvania

One mistake I repeatedly made early in my writing career, was, as I sat down to write an article, newsletter or a chapter in a book, I neglected to first take the time to organize my thoughts.

I ended up wasting lots of time writing and rewriting as I would try figure out where I was really going with my topic.

Before you begin to write, focus on how you will organize your ideas by answering the following questions:

Who is My Audience?

Part of narrowing your focus is defining your audience.  Are you writing for women ages 40 and above? Are you targeting mothers of pre-school children or men in leadership positions? 

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Writing Business

MARKETING: TAKING A LOOK AT PINTEREST

 

Carol McAdams Moore
Carol McAdams Moore

A Note from Carol McAdams Moore

Do you remember the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words? Sometimes that is difficult for authors to embrace. We are used to painting pictures with our words. Using an actual picture to communicate an idea makes us stop and reroute our creative process.

If you are an author, or an aspiring author, it is important to take that “reroute” to capture the attention of your readers. Why? Pinterest is a growing avenue of social media. The savvy author will have a well-planned presence on Pinterest.

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Inspiration for Writers

Should I Have a Blog, a Newsletter or Both?

Georgia Shaffer
Georgia Shaffer

Georgia Shaffer from Pennsylvania

While you may have a blog or are considering writing one, you may also want to think about having a newsletter.  Newsletters can increase the number of people you reach and also build awareness of the various resources you have available. Darren Rowse, a professional blogger, speaker and consultant said, “I don’t sell services or products in my blog but I do sell through my newsletter.” Many of my author friends find his statement to be true for them too. They have both a blog and a newsletter. But it is in the latter that they often market their books, coaching or speaking services.

At two different conferences, on opposite sides of the country, that I attended last year, several presenters touted the benefits of having a newsletter. I found this especially helpful since I was wondering if my monthly email newsletter was as outdated as that cassette tape. It turns out a newsletter is one of the top ways to engage with others because it provides these benefits:

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New Releases

NEW RELEASE: FEBRUARY 2015 – 12 SMART CHOICES FOR FINDING THE RIGHT GUY by GEORGIA SHAFFER

12 Smart Choices for Finding the Right Guy by Georgia Shaffer
12 Smart Choices for Finding the Right Guy by Georgia Shaffer

Are you frustrated with dating? Wondering how to find the right one? Christian psychologist and life coach Georgia Shaffer reveals how to avoid unhealthy people, build vibrant relationships, and find romance! These 12 smart choices will help you…
– pinpoint the qualities you want in a mate
– determine if someone has integrity and is trustworthy
– deepen your capacity to connect romantically
– minimize emotional reactions that can block intimacy

Gary Chapman, Ph.D., author of The Five Love Languages wrote, “Save yourself time and heartache by applying the principles shared by Georgia Shaffer.