[Free Training] Play with your words

When you were little did anyone ever tell you not to play with your food? Well, I suppose the lunchroom lady and your mom didn’t like it when you dawdled over your food. Did you make mountains out of your mashed potatoes, or march the peas down the steely gangplank? Be that as it may (as Mr. Petersen used to tell us), variety in your choice of language is something else entirely. Whether you like Scrabble, or crossword puzzles make you crazy, let’s tap into your creativity here. Both sides of your brain will be engaged to come up with the answers.

  • Suppose you experiment with word choices and challenge yourself to see how many different words you can come up with that convey the same meaning (no fair checking the Thesaurus!)
  • Make a list of words which have a double meaning and see how many you can come up with (I’ll get you started with an easy one:  mouse).
  • Study the phrases and specific language you use on a daily basis…

Consider the words your clients and customers use…are they a match? If you are not speaking the same language, your message won’t be heard and those who you are meant to help will not receive your gifts. Yes, there are some terms that must be used because of protocol or they are in everyday use. But, there is so much jargon, slang and abbreviations, that it is hard to tell what it all means. Breaking it down into simple language and relatable terms helps to conquer a multitude of barriers. For instance, you don’t have to be a computer technician to appreciate the function of the “mouse.” (Not many people know, it’s called that because the first devices had long cords which resembled a tail.)

Now, you try. Let me know what you come up with on your own.

Go on…Play with you words!

 

I love hearing how our stories connect…

DSC03679It’s almost time for another San Francisco Writers Conference.  I am amazed and in such awe at the wealth of talent and enthusiasm for the craft I observe throughout the event.

It is incredible how the threads of individual stories connect with the universal story.

Over and over during our Independent Editor Consultations I have been  privileged to witness the courage of writers telling their truth…drawn into their story…carried along on a current of connection.

  • Tales of espionage, mystery, negligence, rebellion, redemption, forgiveness, disease, devastation, and compassion.  
  • Stories of love, loss, spirituality, relationships lost, relationships mended, families overcoming unspeakable challenges, and resillience 
  • Remarkable stories about the limitless love of God and generosity of loving kindness.
  • Devastating stories of unspeakable challenges and the resilience of the human spirit.
  • Empowering stories of catastrophic illness and the healing capabilities we have within ourselves.

After my colleague Teresa LeYung-Ryan and I presented our break-out session“Be Your Own Editor,” at a past SFWC, I had a conversation with one of our attendees. She commented that she enjoyed everything about the conference. She really got a lot from the keynote speakers and the breakout sessions, but that standing in line and being in the audience with the other attendees was just as much of an education about the writing life. 

Whether it is a non-fiction memoir or autobiography; a prescriptive non-fiction in the form of a how-to script; or fiction in the form of the next great American novel…every writing project had a common theme…we are all writing what we are passionate about.

Each of the attendees who shared their writing project with me brought a precious gift.  

Thank you for entrusting me with your story.  The writing magic continues Feb. 12-16…come see me and have an 8-minute consultation from an  Independent Editor!

Come to the Coastside for Bliss Community Unleash Your Story…

Let’s get together and celebrate Women’s History Month!

clip art girlfriendsWe’re celebrating Women’s History Month and sharing stories…among the many women we could celebrate from world leaders, accomplished entertainers, or distinguished scholars, don’t forget to honor the one who greets you in the mirror every morning – You! Yes, You. You are a leader in your corner of the world. Join us to talk about your story…the story of your business.

We’ll be talking about writing…as a business owner, writing is part of your day-to-day experience. I am Your Writing Mentor here to help you demystify the writing process. As the Writer Unleashed and the founder of The Unleashed Homemaker, I help my clients come home to themselves and go from making dinner to making a difference.

Let’s make writing an experience you have confidence in and look forward to as a means to share your message.  Reluctant writers can overcome their fear of the blank page/screen. I’ve got a secret for you…don’t tell anyone, but we’re in good company in facing this fear. Yes, I’ve hesitated in starting writing projects and wondered what in the world I was going to say, if anyone would care, or even read what I wrote.

Join me for the March Bliss Community Event ($30, Wed., March 19, 2-5 p.m.) to  learn the secret to creating your best business…and your best life in just 15-minutes a day! We’ll discuss how to build up those writing muscles and why your blog is the most powerful adverting tool at your disposal in today’s economy.

You will also have a chance to explore your creativity in making your own work of art, your personal journal, in which to capture your HerStory!

Unleash the writer in YOU! 

 

 

[Workshop] Unleash Your Potential with Smarts & Style

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-curious-housewife-cleaning-home-window-love-image29455477Are you a Woman in Transition who took a break from your career for your family and now want to return to the workforce…or…looking to reinvent yourself? 

You are cordially invited to a morning workshop designed for YOU!

Unleash Your Potential with Smarts & Style

Wed., Jan. 22 9a.m. – noon at the Crow Canyon Country Club 

Discover the tools available to empower you on your journey to tomorrow with these dynamic speakers:

  • Sue Bock, certified coach, CEO,  and President of Courage to Adventure Coaching…learn how to present yourself genuinely and  unleash your potential. 
  • Teri Hockett – CEO of What’s For Work? A community of empowered women that encourages members and companies to work together, to inspire, and help each other grow. Value your Employed by Life skills.
  •  Carolyn Rovner– owner of C2 Style, A Style Consultation and  Personal Shopping Service. Carolyn guides her clients to discover their unique personal style. Learn the 10 “must haves” for every wardrobe.  
  • Mary E. Knippel, speaker, author and founder of The Unleashed Homemakertm. Polish your words so that they sparkle and shine from the start…go from making dinner to making a difference. 

Register now for this juicy, information packed morning.

Join us and start your journey today…be inspired, reclaim your voice, discover how to look good and feel good!

Childcare is available.$25 pre-register/$30 at the door.

photo credit:  Dreamstime.com

I love how our stories are all connected…

Mary E Knippel with attendee Marjorie at SFWC2013 Last week I spent a glorious four days at the 10th annual San Francisco Writers Conference.  I am amazed and in such awe at the wealth of talent and enthusiasm for the craft I observed throughout the event.

It was incredible how the threads of individual stories connected with the universal story.

Over and over I was privileged to witness the courage of writers telling their truth…drawn in to their story…carried along on a current of connection.

Tales of espionage, mystery, negligence, rebellion, redemption, forgiveness, disease, devastation, and compassion.  

Stories of love, loss, spirituality, relationships lost, relationships mended, families overcoming unspeakable challenges, and resillience 

Remarkable stories about the limitless love of God and generosity of loving kindness.

Devastating stories of unspeakable challenges and the resillience of the human spirit.

Empowering stories of catastrophic illness and the healing capabilities we have within ourselves.

After my colleague Teresa LeYung-Ryan and I presented “Be Your Own Editor, “ I had a conversation with one of the attendees. She commented that she enjoyed everything about the conference. She really got a lot from the keynote speakers and the breakout sessions, but that standing in line and being in the audience with the other attendees was just as much of an education about the writing life. 

Whether it is a non-fiction memoir or autobiography; a prescriptive non-fiction in the form of a how-to script; or fiction in the form of the next great American novel…every writing project had a common theme…we are all writing what we are passionate about.

Each of the attendees who shared their writing project with me brought a precious gift.  

Thank you for entrusting me with your story.  The writing magic continues…

 

I would love to meet you at the 2013 San Francisco Writers Conference

Writing is such a tricky business… we need to remember that the first reader who must be moved by what we write, who has to understand if not what we are saying…at least feel what we are trying to convey.

That reader who is changed by the words we write.

The reader who gets it! Who is that reader? That reader is YOU, the writer

Are you ready to learn how to be your own editor?

If you are a writer attending the 2013 San Francisco Writers Conference, please join us at Be Your Own Editor Workshop  where my colleague Teresa LeYung-Ryan (Writing Coach Teresa)  and I (Writing Unleashed) will present at on Sunday, Feb. 17 at 10 a.m. at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel. We will be sharing 10 tools to take your fiction or non fiction manuscript to the next phase...help you save money and void headaches.

The conference runs Feb. 15 through the 17 starting with our keynote luncheon with award-winning mystery author Anne Perry as our speaker and an end-of-day keynote with self-publishing phenom Bella Andre as the speaker. Saturday, Feb. 17 our keynote luncheon speaker is R. L. Stine of Goosebumps fame. We will also hear from:  Guy Kawasaki (APE, How to Publish a Book), Chuck Sambuchino (Writers Digest) and Meg Waite Clayton (The Wednesday Sisters).

Conference attendees also have the option of receiving a free 10-minute editing consultation from a team of Independent Editors at the conference.Come and see Teresa or myself to discuss your writing project. Bring your pages…questions…comments!

We’d love to see you at the 10th anniversary of SFWC – Celebration of Craft, Commerce and Community for all writers!

[Coaxing Creativity Tuesday Tip] Celebrate National Mentoring Month

Mary & SarahJanuary is a time of new beginnings, but it is also a time for reflecting on our past. We wouldn’t be where we are today…nor accomplished what we have without the help and support of our mentors. In honor of National Mentoring Month, I’d like to dedicate this blog post to one of my mentors…someone who has contributed so much to helping me not only cope, but grow through some pretty significant events in my life

Thank you, Sarah Ban Breathnach!

I first met Sarah through her words and I was smitten. From the moment I encountered Simple Abundance, a daybook of comfort and joy  (the pink book), I felt a kinship with the author as I had never felt before. It was as if she was speaking only to me.  

Oprah Winfrey named it her “favorite book of 1996” and called it “life changing” and I totally agree!

I discovered Sarah and Simple Abundance while retreat in Marin and  grieving from my second major move. It was a milestone for me because it was the first time since moving to California that I’d driven over the Golden Gate bridge by myself. More life-altering experiences were on the horizon for me than just navigating the streets of San Francisco…being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001 and then again in 2004.

Concentrating on the simple shifts we can make in our daily lives helped me tremendously in my journey back to wholeness. By tapping into my creativity as my healing path and eventually became the cornerstone of my own book, The Secret Artist, give yourself permission to let your creativity shine

This outward journey leads us on an internal quest to discover – or re-discover – the most important woman in your world – your Authentic Self…YOU!

I have been fortunate enough to work with Sarah starting with  the on-line magazine, and then certification as a Simple Abundance and Peace and Plenty Facilitated Workshop Leader. I am absolutely thrilled that she has written the foreword for my upcoming book which is also a Simple Abundance Press publication.  

I admire her as someone who is not only a gifted and talented writer, but also a generous and compassionate human being. 

 

At the family reunion…

Friday five-minute writing prompt – At the family reunion…

Take out a fresh sheet of paper. Natalie Goldberg uses a “fast-writing” pen. I suggest using your favorite writing instrument and an unlined piece of colored paper for fun. I use a fountain pen with purple ink. Some folks opt to use their computer. If that is your preferred method to write, then just open a new word document on your computer and go for it. The point is to keep your fingers moving for five minutes and not stop. I want you to experience how much writing can be accomplished in a short period of time.

If you get stuck, just repeat the writing prompt – At the family reunion… or any other phrase that is comfortable for you. Do not stop to edit, correct spelling, look up a better word, or rearrange a sentence. Do not question what comes up in the five minutes: this doesn’t make sense, where did that come from, or what a crazy notion. This is a timed writing exercise so be sure to set the timer on your watch, phone, microwave, computer, or kitchen stove. Whether you use an egg timer, a No. 2 pencil and spiral notebook, your iPad, or even your iPhone, the theory is the same. Keep your hand and/or fingers moving and have fun taking dictation from your unconscious self. Make a list, write a poem, or create a short, short story. This is your time to explore and experiment.

It’s an inside job…

What the heck do I mean by that?

Inside job sounds like some 007 thriller, or an Agatha Christie mystery. This time the butler didn’t do it, the jilted lover, or the upstairs parlor maid. I’m talking about your ability to produce meaningful communication.

Writing is the inside job.

An inside job because you share…

      • Who you are

      • What you do

      • Why you do it

 It takes what you have on the inside to make you a successful writer (meaning someone who writes). Only you can do this job!

The great thing is you don’t need special gear, atmosphere, environment, climate, education, time, nor divine inspiration to write. You don’t need a faster computer, an iPad, iPhone, or anything like that. You just need the basics:  something to write with, something to write on, and oh, that resilient miracle between your ears – brainpower.

Did you ever play a sport? Were you proficient at it the first time you picked up a racket, swung a bat, or laced up your shoes? No. You didn’t hit a hole-in-one, pitch a no-hitter, or run a 4-minute mile the first time you tried. You practiced. You put in the time to learn the skills you needed and sought help from coaches, and used the right equipment.

For some, writing is as simple as taking dictation from our unconsciousness. For others it is a matter of keeping at it until the puzzle pieces fit together to create the complete picture or the crazy quilt swatches of fabric reveal the final design.

Writing my book, THE SECRET ARTIST – give yourself permission to let your creativity shine! was like piecing together a beautiful quilt and telling a story. Using journal entries, I told the story of my breast cancer experience.

I believe you don’t have to dig deep to write your story. No, I honestly believe that. Our job is to show up and trust that we really do have the goods inside.

Sometimes that part – the showing up part and the trust part that we’ll access the goods – is a tremendous challenge.

Think of writing as an opportunity to have a conversation on paper. Perhaps there will be dialogue if you allow comments on your blog for instance. Whether you allow comments or not, you have opened up a dialogue on the internet when you push the “publish” button. It’s personal and it’s powerful.

Yes, powerful…Your words have Power!

When you expose your vulnerability and unveil your authentic self in your writing, I promise you something amazing will happen. You will change not only the lives of your readers, but your life as well.

My intention in founding The Unleashed Homemakertm is to encourage everyone – especially if you are a woman in transition – to unleash from whatever is holding you back. Perhaps there has been reorganization at work, a change in marital status, or you have an empty nest. My mission is to help you come home to yourself.

We are all homemakers. The little turtle who carries his home on his back. We carry our home within us at the core of who we are…our self-worth, our spirituality, and our essence.

It’s an inside job.

 

“Writing, when properly managed, is but a different name for conversation.”

Laurence Sterne

 

Do you agree?

Please write and let me know what you think.

I’d love to hear from you.

 

 

Is it time for a family reunion?

July is National Family Reunion Month. When was the last time your extended family spent an afternoon exchanging family stories about Great Uncle Dick (whose real name was Eli Patrick but he didn’t like that so he had everyone call him Dick), or how Great Aunt Betty forgot the sugar for the Kool-Aid and we ended drinking colored water – calling it our special punch?

This picture was taken at one of our many family reunions when I was growing up. Yes, besides being my God Parents, Aunt Betty and Uncle Dick are the individuals I referred to above.  We lived in a small town where everyone was related to half of the town, and knew just about everything about everyone else. It was maddening and comforting at the same time. No need for the Internet when we had Party Lines and strong family ties. 

In these days of on-line chatting, texting, and Facebook messaging, wouldn’t it be fantastic to spend some real face time with family members? It takes organization to orchestrate a genuine family reunion with grandparents, parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins and various shirt-tail relations, but what about campaigning for a more intimate gathering with the members of your immediate household? Suggest a picnic in the park, or trek  to the beach for hot dogs and S’mores. If the adults are getting reacquainted…make it a bottle of wine, bread and cheese while enjoying a beautiful sunset.

Use your imagination and creativity to come up with a fun activity. It doesn’t matter where you are, but you must leave your normal surroundings and eliminate the usual distractions.

Have fun reconnecting!

Your Writing Mentor Guest Post for Write Non Fiction in November

Writing a post on another blog is a great way to get noticed and I’ve been fortunate enough to be invited to contribute a guest post to a very special blog. Once a year Nina Amir (CopyWright  Communications), my friend and colleague, organizes this amazing wealth of expertise centered around writing and specifically non fiction writing. Click on the title to check out my post today 5 Ways to Tap into Your Creativity and Let Your  Writing Flow

Learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable…in writing and in life

Writing Wisdoms #13 from Your Writing Mentor

Are you comfortable being uncomfortable? Are you generally a person who likes to take risks and push the envelope? Growing up, I was never one to rock the boat, or do anything that would call attention to me. It was instilled in me that children were seen and not heard. We were to do as we were told, and never disagree with an adult. I’ve kept a journal since I was 11 to record how I was feeling when I didn’t feel I could confide in anyone else, and to witness how I would change things when I was older.

As writers, we are curious by nature, or we wouldn’t be very good writers. We’re asking questions and need to know why. We seek out the how and the what, which leads to the when and where. The result of our quest documents both the painfully ordinary and the extraordinary elements of each story.

Today, I’m going to share with you a story about not allowing yourself to be lulled into a comfortable frame of mind where your life drifts by on automatic pilot. Or, you feel the space you occupy is safe right now and you don’t want to disrupt the status quo. Your life is comfortable, secure and predictable.

 Also, completely not based in reality! 

Mary E.Knippel and Les Brown

Mary E. Knippel and Les Brown

 

Last weekend I travelled to Los Angeles to attend the Mindset Behind the Money Workshop with Les Brown, Dr. Julie vanPutten and their talented associates. Over 50 people sat at round tables learning how to change our stories and create our own success scenarios. Les Brown is an incredibly dynamic speaker and his presence fills the room with buoyancy that creates an atmosphere of enthusiasm. Dr. Julie inspired us with confidence and challenged us to change the outcome of our stories no matter what the circumstances of their origins.

My story has changed drastically and dramatically many times in my 61 years. I never imagined I’d live more than 100 miles away from my little middle America farming community. Now here I am situated near another farming community so close to the Pacific Ocean I can hear the waves crashing! Chapters from my story have included the shock of job losses resulting in job searches, stressful moves across the country, frustration of infertility followed by the joy adopting our beautiful daughter, heartbreaking deaths of loved ones, and surviving breast cancer – twice! I have changed my story by tapping into my creativity and stepping out to be seen and heard with my writing. Which brings me to the challenge of of moving beyond my comfort zone and being uncomfortable stepping over new thresholds to live the life of my dreams.

Consider the fact that as much as we struggle to have control in our lives, the only things we really have control over are our attitudes and our actions. The rest we can try to influence to be sure, but whether it is human nature or Mother Nature, we’ve got to be prepared to roll with the punches and enjoy the ride. We take precautions:  learn to swim but wear a life jacket, watch the weather report but take an umbrella, enjoy the fresh powder but always carry chains driving in the mountains. And keep opening your heart even though there’s a great possibility it will be bruised, bullied and probably broken. In other words, be comfortable being uncomfortable! Enjoy the anticipation of the sweet apprehension of waking up to not knowing what the day will bring.

So, let’s live on the edge…speak up, participate, share your dreams, be present in your own life!

What’s your story?

Are you comfortable being uncomfortable?