Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Please welcome Stephanie Faris to my blog today

Finding the Real Reasons We Write
by Stephanie Faris

In my 20s, I discovered a love for writing. My job as a PR consultant required me to write all day, but it wasn’t the same as writing for fun. I wrote my first novel and immediately tried to get it published, sure an editor would fall in love with my writing and I’d instantly be rich and famous.
Yeah, that didn’t happen.
What did happen was rejection. Years of it. I kept trying, though, knowing someday I’d reach my goal. And then I discovered blogging. At one point in my 30s, I stopped trying to get published and wrote. People were reading my words and commenting on them and I felt that connection. It’s a connection you don’t really have when you write a book, since the only feedback you get comes in the form of reviews.
In retrospect, that period of time helped me understand why we write. Whether we’re writing books, short stories, blog posts, poems, or songs, it doesn’t matter if it makes us happy. It may make us miserable sometimes, especially if we can’t get past a certain plot problem or we’re writing a synopsis.
Sometimes, if we’re feeling stuck, it can help to stop writing with the goal of being published. Julia Cameron recommends morning pages, a process that frees you up to write whatever you want. You can even write longhand if you enjoy it.

I think it’s important every now and then to find a way to remember why we do this. If you find you’ve been working on the same book for a long time and you’re getting nowhere, try writing something completely different. You can go back to your book tomorrow. After you’ve taken a step back to remember why you love doing this, chances are you’ll feel much more energized to take on those plot problems.

And here's all the info you will need about Stephanie's new release:

When Piper Morgan has to move to a new town, she is sad to leave behind her friends, but excited for a new adventure. She is determined to have fun, be brave and find new friends.
In Piper Morgan Joins the Circus, Piper learns her mom’s new job will be with the Big Top Circus. She can’t wait to learn all about life under the big top, see all the cool animals, and meet the Little Explorers, the other kids who travel with the show. She’s even more excited to learn that she gets to be a part of the Little Explorers and help them end each show with a routine to get the audience on their feet and dancing along!
In Piper Morgan in Charge, Piper’s mom takes a job in the local elementary school principal’s office. Piper is excited for a new school and new friends—and is thrilled when she is made an “office helper.” But there is one girl who seems determined to prove she is a better helper—and she just so happens to be the principal’s daughter. Can Piper figure out how to handle being the new girl in town once more?
Stephanie Faris knew she wanted to be an author from a very young age. In fact, her mother often told her to stop reading so much and go outside and play with the other kids. After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Science in broadcast journalism, she somehow found herself working in information technology. But she never stopped writing.

Stephanie is the Simon & Schuster author of 30 Days of No Gossip and 25 Roses. When she isn’t crafting fiction, she writes for a variety of online websites on the topics of business, technology, and her favorite subject of all—fashion. She lives in Nashville with her husband, a sales executive. 



Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Big congratulations on your double release day!
You're right that blogging gives us that connection and feedback. Just writing on our own, it's easy to get lost within ourselves and lose our reason.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Sometimes we have to just relax and write for the fun of it, because that is why we started this crazy journey in the first place.

Diane Carlisle said...

My writing journey was a lot similar, Stephanie. I had big plans for my fame!!

Yeah, it didn't happen that way for me either. lol

Instead, I discovered what makes me tick and it IS that connection I feel with other readers and writers. It's the most important part of my writing. :)

Congratulations on your series. I love Piper!

Stephanie Faris said...

Alex--We definitely need a community around us. That ongoing support keeps us going. Even those who are hugely successful. Actually, maybe even more so for them because the constant negative feedback from critics and readers has to be tougher than we could ever imagine.

L. Diane--So true! In the end, it's all about the writing...just us and the cursor on the screen!

Diane--I think when I first started out, I had visions of best-seller status. Then, over time, I revised that to say I just wanted to make enough writing to do it full-time. And now that I've reached that goal, it really is enough...but I want to keep getting books out there. I'll be happy if I just do that until the day I die! "Fame" is SO overrated. Maybe realizing that is part of becoming an adult!

Stephanie Faris said...

Thank you for hosting me today, Karen! I had such fun writing this blog post, and it was definitely a much-needed boost to my inspiration.

Karen Walker said...

Hi all, I'm a bit late to this party (but it's only 7:20 am where I am right now).
Welcome, Stephanie. So glad to have you here today.
I, too, got in touch with how important just the act of writing itself is to me. Good luck with this release.

Valerie Capps said...

I suppose I write because I can't not write. Even if no one reads what I've written, it feels good to get it on paper/computer. I ordered my Piper Morgan books yesterday from Amazon! They'll be here today or tomorrow. I can't wait! Congratulations Stephanie on the double book release!

Karen Walker said...

Valerie, that's the same reason I write - cause I can't not.

Sandee said...

I've had fun following you for several years Stephanie. I know you'll do well. You've a kind heart and a love of words.

Have a fabulous day. ☺

Joanne said...

double release is awesome. Nice of Karen to host you today. I admit I went through a phase where writing was a chore - I was trying too hard and that really didn't work. I think the desperation showed. So, I now enjoy my blog and many others (like yours) and generally write for fun and then see what happens. Congrats and enjoy setting Piper free into the world

Diane Carlisle said...

I have a linky blog hop going from long ago with only 4 entries. You should all join me in the Why I Write blog chain! :D

Mason Canyon said...

Stephanie, congratulations on your double release day. The covers are lovely. Wishing you much success. Great advice on taking a step back from your writing and then trying again. Sometimes if we focus too hard on trying to make something work, it never will.

Hi, Karen. :)

Yvonne Ventresca said...

I've found morning pages to be very helpful.

Yvonne V

Hillary said...

Such good advice on remembering why we write!

Birgit said...

A big Congrats to you on your release day. It must always be exciting when this happens. You give excellent information and support to the people who wish to give up and hope people hear your words and find the support they need. Blogging does give that in spades i think.

Stephanie Faris said...

Karen—I woke up at 7:30 and there were already comments, so people start early around here!

Valerie—Thank you! Yes, even when I’m stressed, any day where I get to write is a good one!

Sandee—Thank you! We have been reading each other’s blogs for a while now!

Joanne—They always say if you’re not having success as a writer it’s because you aren’t writing what you love.

Mason—Thank you!

Yvonne—I’ve never actually tried them. I need to!


Birgit—It’s important that we all help each other out. Writing can be quite lonely without it!

The Armchair Squid said...

Hey, Stephanie. Happy release day!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Stephanie and Karen (great guest) ... what fun and Piper Morgan sounds like she can have adventures wherever she goes. I bet her books are loved ... It's interesting this blogging thing - I remember Alex saying he couldn't understand why he needed to blog (recommended by his publisher) - yet of course here we are being guided by him ... and I'd have never known I could write if I hadn't started blogging - then the information I've learnt along that journey - let alone (of course) the history!

Great to see you both -cheers Hilary

Rebecca Green Gasper said...

Oh the reasons why we write...i just can't not write! So why not share it with others?? Best of luck to you Stephanie! And great to meet you Karen. So exciting!!

Christy Birmingham said...

Congrats on the double release day, Stephanie!! GREAT covers too :) I entered the giveaway and thanks for the opportunity