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

Friday, May 8, 2009


I love it when I resist doing something either because I am afraid or don't understand and am unable to ask for clarification and then, when I finally take the plunge, it turns out well. That is not always the case, however. Sometimes we resist things for very good reasons--like over-indulging in food. I've spent most of my adult life overweight. Now, after maintaining a 40-pound weight loss for over a year, I have learned to resist the impulse to overeat.

I resisted social networking for a long time, until the publicist from Bascom Hill Publishing Group insisted I sign up for Facebook and Twitter. I agreed, being a compliant person by nature, but not willingly. Then we added Yahoo. When I searched "Groups," I found one called "Lifewriters Forum." Today I am so grateful for the loving support and words of wisdom I have received from these writers I have never come face to face with. One in particular, Sharon Lippincott, has become a friend and a real source of strength. She wrote the review of my book, which appears on this blog and also on Amazon.com. She's also the one who told me about the book blog tour that Dani Greer offered and recommended that I take it.

When I received a negative review on someone's blog site (not on Amazon, thank goodness), I was devastated. I sent an email to my lifewriters group and to the women at Story Circle network and received more than 30 responses filled with sympathy and great advice on how to handle negativity when you put your life out there for others to see.

I've worked very hard in my life to cultivate healthy relationships and in particular, healthy friendships. It was a normal reaction on my part to resist opening myself up to complete strangers, given my history of early childhood sexual molestation and a dysfunctional upbringing. But I am so glad my resistance didn't keep me from doing it.

The book blogging class I am now taking has proven to be another great source of wisdom and support, whether it's comments on my book cover, these blog posts, or encouragement to "ask for the sale" when it comes to my book, "Following the Whispers." Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to read these posts and share your thoughts. It is deeply appreciated.

My take away thought for this post: Proble deeply when you resist something to determine whether that resistance is valid or just old fears, thoughts, or feelings that need to be updated.

So where does resistance show up in your life?




Patricia Stoltey said...

Like you, I resisted most social networking sites. I'm not sure what brought about the sudden change, but I'm enjoying the new contacts this activity has brought into my life. It's also helpful to understand what everyone else is talking about. Still don't keep my cell phone on all the time, however.

http://patriciastoltey.blogspot.com (don't have time to figure out the clickable url today).

Anonymous said...

This is something everyone can relate to.

I resisted blogging for a long time, but ended up loving it after keeping a travel blog while I was in Africa last year (http://allonsy.wordpress.com). I also resisted Facebook and Twitter, and found I love those, too!

N A Sharpe said...

I always thought of the social networks as simply that, a place for online socializing that the kids flocked to... I did begin to join some of the sites (MySpace because it was the only way to catch up to one of my friends, lol) After a class at the Muse writing conference two years ago, I met a number of friends from within the writing community. Again, keeping in touch briefly through these sites. It took time to see the possibilities of networking and reaching out to others with similar interests, but I have finally gotten there. I especially enjoy the friends, networking and all I have learned in Yahoo groups and Goodreads groups. Now, it is a matter of finding time in the day to keep up with it all. BTW Goodreads is a great place for having a page and networking with readers about your book (if you aren't already there)

NA Sharpe

Jina Bacarr said...

I used to write for a computer magazine and had the op to review new programs, etc.. Loved it. To me, trying out new programs, social networks, etc. is like going shopping and trying on all the cute shoes that catch your eye...which is why I have too many pairs of shoes!



Galen Kindley said...

Hi, Karen,

First, congratulations on the weight thing. How cool are you??!!! While I’m still able to fit into most of the clothes I want to fit into, it’s only just barely sometimes. It’s been a lifelong battle for me as well, one that gets tougher as I get older. Again, keep it up.

I’m by, nature a reticent person, (one person even called me secretive. Ha!) Anyway, doing the kind of outreach we’re doing here is not so much difficult--I mean, I *can* schmooze, as it is…unpleasant. I just simply don’t like it.

It’s like cabbage of spinach. I know it’s good for me, I’ll eat it, but, I just don’t like it.

However, like the aforementioned foods, it’s something that’s gotta be done. My new publisher puts a premium on it. I want to be a team player, because in the long run, what’s good for my publisher is probably good for me. So, that’s my take on Galen Kindley, and, resistance.

Best Regards, Galen

conarnold said...

Now that I've become used to and involved in social networks and blogging, making many new friends (like you!), I'm so glad I took the time and effort! I used to resist change, but I guess I've become more flexible in my "mature" life and am doing things I'd never have dreamed of years ago.

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

Congratulations on your accomplishments including the weight loss! One of the hardest things for me as a writer was to let people read what I wrote! I joined several writers groups and the support and encouragement I received from the members helped me get over that hurdle- thank goodness. That so many writers are willing to help other writers is a wonderful thing!

Jane Kennedy Sutton

Karen Brees said...

We are so fragile. We put ourselves out there for the entire world to see. When the reaction is caustic it hurts to the bone. It takes real courage to continue. Kudos to you. Keep on working towards your goals. You have a unique talent and a unique insight into what so many of us are experiencing.

Jennifer Taggart, TheSmartMama said...

I'm not looking forward to negative reviews - I know that they happen - but I'm not looking forward to it. Social media groups are great for getting support, along with information and so many other things.

Jennifer Taggart

Linda Austin said...

I suspect most of us have to work at keeping our minds open to new experiences, new ways of doing things. I am a cautious person who doesn't usually make quick decisions, having to mull over things awhile. As a writer, it's always scary to put your creation out there, and it takes real guts to put out a memoir, so congratulations!

Anonymous said...

Resistence shows up in my life not by the task or experience (I'm always open to new experiences) but by circumstances/climate. I will resist anything that involves walking aroun in the heat for hours, any thing involving crowds and any situation where I'll feel "trapped" (like a bus trip or a cruise). I have overcome these many times and thoroughly enjoyed most - like a 3 week trip to Europe where I walked in the heat every day. On the other hand, I let a friend talk me into a trip to a Mardi Gras celebration. Did I mention I don't like crowds? Drunken crowds are the worst, and I got to spend the day and a good part of the night crushed in with a hundred thousand drunken strangers - not my idea of fun and I won't do it again.

I do have to comment on the "bad" review. Reviews are nothing more than one person's opinion. I know I don't like everything I read. You probably don't like everything you pick up to read either. Neither do reviewers. So, all of us who write will see both good and bad reviews. If those bad reviews offer a reason involving craft, I take a hard look (after I retrieve the review from across the room, where it landed when I threw it...can't help it, makes me feel better) at my work to see if I agree. If I do, I plan to fix the problem. If I don't, I file the review in the review file. I don't throw them away.