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

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Insomnia Insights

It's 12:39 am and I am unable to sleep. Not sure if it's the two bites of chocolate I had at a going away party for a pregnant singer friend or the fact that our singing group is going to sing at the State Fair in September and I can't think of a song to sing, or just one of those nights when my mind won't shut down. But regardless of the reason, I am awake and hacking away at my book blog tour assignment.

Mostly, what's running through my mind is the idea of personal space. Today, Oprah Winfrey had a show about school bullies. Three children, aged, 10, 11, and 12, had committed suicide because they were being bullied and hadn't told anyone. Oprah had an expert in the field work with another child who is currently being bullied and whose mother was frightened that her child would end up dead as well. The therapist explained that children who are bullied do not know how to protect their own personal space - in fact they don't claim a personal space at all. They feel as if they don't have a right to protect or stand up for themselves - or they don't know how.

When this young boy was unable to yell "no" or "stop" when asked to by the therapist, I found myself sobbing. For so many years, I could not speak up for myself. When I started taking singing lessons 2 1/2 years ago, I was all right as long as I sang in a group, but when we started doing solo work, I practically froze. I warbled off key, my voice cracked, and I could not project my voice at all. Now, I am fairly comfortable on stage and am getting to the point where I even enjoy entertaining people. This growth is due in large part to the issues I worked through as I wrote my memoir, and to my loving singing teacher who created a safe space for me to allow my voice (literally and figuratively) to emerge.

But I realized today that claiming personal space is the same issue as asking people to buy my book. It is me saying: "Here I am world and this is my work, my words, my thoughts, my feelings, my opinions, my story - and I think you should read it. I think it's worthwhile. I think it can help people." There is still a wee, small part of me that doesn't feel I have the right to do that. Now that I'm aware this is still an issue, hopefully I can catch it and shift the paradigm, because what I know for sure is that I have every right to be here and to share my work with others. Whew!

Thanks to all of you who complimented my book cover. It is a photograph of Lake Louise, near Banff, Canada, and is one of the reasons I am not sorry I self-published. The image really conveys the feeling I wanted the book to have.

Well, I guess it's time to Twitter. More later,



Anonymous said...

"Asking for the sale" is among the hardest things I had to learn. It involves areas of self-esteem, conditioning while growing up, and fear of failure.

A GREAT book that helped me was Jack Canfield's "The Aladdin Factor".

Also, as Jay Abraham taught me, when you have something that you believe will positively influence your audience, you have an OBLIGATION to do your best to make them buy it - in THEIR best interests!

Hope this helps.

All success
Think, Write & Retire!www.ThinkWriteRetire.com

Enid Wilson said...

I think I went about asking for comments and recommending to communities at first and it didn't work. Then I found out getting book reviews the best marketing tool. One reviewer posted her comments in Goodreads, Amazon, her own site, Shelfari, Librarything etc. Of course, if the review is good, that means it's spread around the Net. If it's bad, then I just have to bite it. Luckily I got 5 stars from her. But I just learned I got 3 stars from another. You win some you lose some. Just keep up the good work!

In Quest of Theta Magic

Anonymous said...

I you don't stand up for yourself nobody's gonna stand up for ya. Good for you - you GO, girl! :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Karen,

Like not only the book cover, but the color scheme of your blog, and the title of today's post! Keep that creativity comin'.

conarnold said...

Your book cover is beautiful, Karen! It certainly conveys a sense of peace. It's hard to promote our books, even knowing they will be helpful to some people. Best wishes to you in doing that and with your singing!

Karen Brees said...

Your book cover is haunting and peaceful at the same time. Wonderful job!

Bullies harken back to a time in our earliest days when the tribe culled those who weren't fit. It's a dark side to childhood and adolescence. Teaching children to face their bullies is teaching them to face their fears. Adults need to be observant and take the steps necessary to protect the vulnerable.

Midnight said...

Beautiful post, Karen, and very touching. Keep up the good work!


Megan Hussey

Liz said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Galen Kindley said...

Talking about your book, you wrote...". I think it's worthwhile. I think it can help people." Bingo! That says something really important. You've a nice, worthy product to sell, one that can be helpful. In a--humble--way, you're doing some folks a favor. Try looking at your sales pitches in that light. You're doing this for you, sure, but, also for your readers.


N A Sharpe said...

I have to say I am intrigued about your book from your honest heartfelt approach to it. I can feel the pain you must have suffered and the way you are able to talk so frankly really makes me want to learn more about it. I admire your ability to do this.

NA Sharpe

Jina Bacarr said...

Your honesty and truthfulness regarding life's obstacles come through so beautifully in your posts. Keep up the good work!! It's all about getting your name out there and you're doing that so well.

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I loved Banff and think it was a good choice for a cover. I also enjoy the honesty and realness of your blog.

Jane Kennedy Sutton