[Free training] Share Your Success Story

story hereWhat do you consider a success story? Money in the bank? Fancy car? Big house, pool & staff? Vacations to exotic places? Children attending private school? 

I had a conversation with a fellow writer recently about works-in-progress.  This business of writing poses challenges whether you are writing copy for your business, working on your first book, or want to commit your story to words for your family to hear. Regardless of the label or category (workbook, self-help, memoir, non-fiction, or novel…keep in mind that all fiction is based on fact in some form), you are writing about the journey called “life”‘ and how you’ve coped.

 These are Your Success Stories!  A truly unleashed description!

Everyone has a story to tell. Each and every one of us has a unique story belonging only to us. And no one else can tell your story from the inside out because not another soul in this world has had your experience. They do not have the ability to speak from your perspective.

Your voice matters. Your story matters. Your story matters because it is your story to tell. Remember…there is someone waiting to hear your story. Your personal story has universal impact. For example, you may quote a statistic such as one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. When I share that I’ve received form letters telling me of an abnormal mammogram…twice…then it’s not about a statistic…it’s about a real vulnerable and passionate woman…it’s about me and it’s about you. Stories of cancer touch many, many lives and mine is just one. (I’m fine now and have been cancer free for over 10 years!) 

Who you are as an individual is your success story. How you treat people with respect and compassion is your success story. When you share your gifts and live your life on purpose that is your success story. 

Put your passion into words…about what you do and why you do it, who you serve and how you help them…what lights you up! Grab a journal write it down. Let the words flow on the page as your hand moves across the paper. Yes, I recommend doing it the old school way with pen and paper. Tapping on computer keys puts you in another part of your head. Take dictation from your heart about the message you want to share with the world.

Start the year out on a high note with your own Success Story! Over the years as a journalist, I’ve honed my interviewing skills. If you’d like help putting your story together, sign up for a complimentary discovery session today!

photo credit:  Dreamstime.com

My Big Brother

Allen and MaryI’d like to talk with you today about my big brother, Allen and how he knew I was a writer before anyone else in the family. November is Bereaved Sibling Month. Now that may seem to be an unusual topic to base a blog, and I understand how it could appear that I’m stretching to say that theme has anything to do with writing or speaking. Many people are more afraid of public speaking than they are of death. This story is about how a funeral led to my debut as a writer and public speaker.

I grew up in a large family of six children of two boys and four girls. I was the oldest girl, in between the two boys, and always tried to catch up to my brother who arrived 18 months before I joined the family. He did everything first:  went to school, drove a car, earned a paycheck, and even married first. He was always there, a staple in my life, relentlessly teasing, and always joking.

One summer day, he went into the hospital and never came home.

My family came to me to write and deliver my brother’s eulogy. They were counting on me to tell his story. Through laughter and tears, I painted a picture of my big brother. I shared his legacy. I talked about the boy I knew intimately and the man he had become. His sense of humor, love of corny westerns, popcorn, constant teasing, and the ability to sleep just about anywhere. Such as the time he took a nap on the roof of our aunt’s building when he was supposed to be up there adjusting the TV antenna.

My nieces and nephew cherish that story about their dad. They’d never heard it before. It’s a part of our shared history and our mutual legacy.

Oh, and one more thing. My brother knew I was a writer long before anyone else in the family. I hid my journals from him and he delighted in teasing me about knowing my latest hiding spot. I told him that some day I’d let him read what I wrote, but it would be a long time in the future. Well, he didn’t exactly get to read what I wrote. But, I’m pretty sure he heard me talking about him. And I know he would have enjoyed pointing out to me the way I white knuckled the podium as I delivered the eulogy. I gripped that wood so hard because I would have fallen over otherwise. You see, I had no feeling in my legs.

We all have stories like my brother’s little nap. Those stories are our legacy, our memories, and our connections to each other. They are priceless.

 

 

 

 

My Family Story

Ross, Mary Tess, 11.84

November is the month we celebrate National Memoir Month along with National Adoption Month.  This post is a story of both memoir and adoption. Come along as this “slice of my life” memoir gives you a glimpse into when my husband and I embarked on our journey to parenthood over three decades ago.

As a little girl, I changed my doll, Baby Tears, diapers and dreamed of having a real baby of my own some day. I could never have imagined how our quest to have a family led to so many unanswered questions.

The why (unexplained infertility) became how (adoption interviews and reams of paperwork). Next, the waiting game. I chose to spend the time getting my college degree during that almost four-year period. Finally, our who, a 6-week-old bundle of joy with sparkling blue eyes and blond fuzz the same year I graduated from college.

Adoption Prayer

“Not flesh of my flesh, nor bone of my bone,

But still miraculously my own.

Never forget for a single minute,

You didn’t grow under my heart – but in it.”
— Fleur Conkling Heylinger

I believe parents and children are divinely matched heart-to-heart. As a result, they become a family. True, social workers had more to do with our “match” than DNA when it came to the agency’s process of creating our family. My daughter and I have a mole in the same spot on our left arms, a fact that I regard as Spirit’s kiss and proof to me of our special bond. Spooky coincidence? No, synchronicity at work I assure you.

Whether you argue Nature vs. Nurture or grace, gratitude and gumption in generous proportions determine the love, compassion, and empathy necessary to create a strong family bond, I’m forever grateful that we are a family.

Family holds our hearts and helps us cope with whatever comes tomorrow.

I invite to use everything you’ve got to connect with those who are waiting to hear your story. You never know what part of your story is exactly what they need to hear to know that YOU are the solution to their dilemma.

[Coaxing Creativity Tip] Write Your Life Story

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-woman-writing-her-diary-secret-image33942382It’s National Life-Writing Month…write about yourself…look at events in your life as rich content matter.Write about anything and everything. Memoir, a slice of life, explores any experience of being human and is shaped by your individual perspective. Whatever you have done, whatever happened to you, whatever concerns you…it is your choice what to share and what not to share.At this point, some reluctant writers may not begin to write because they are afraid of what other people will think. The fear of judgment by others along with your own inner meanies challenges the significance of your content and keeps many from picking up that pen.When those judges try to shut you down…remember…your story is unique and has value because you have value.

Remember, this is all about YOU and no one can tell your story but YOU!You are the only one who can tell it in the way you want it to be told. Your story is one person’s crusade, one person’s adventures, or one person’s tale of surviving.

You are the only one who can tell it in the way you want it to be told. Your story is one person’s crusade, one person’s adventures, or one person’s tale of surviving.Life-writing includes autobiography, memoirs, letters, diaries, journals (written and documentary), anthropological data, oral testimony, and eyewitness accounts. It is not only a literary or historical specialist, but is relevant across the arts and sciences, and can involve philosophers, psychologists, sociologists, ethnographers, and anthropologists.Think about writing…

  • what the family dynamics were before you were born,
  • how the family dynamics changed after you were born,
  • the tale of the house you grew up in against the backdrop of the houses your parents grew up in,
  • using fragments of the stories you know about your great-grandparents to create a conversation with them about your life now and a family trait, or business sense they passed down to you,
  • start with a significant date in history and describe what daily life was like for you back then.

What part of your life story will you share today?

 

photo credit:  Dreamstime.com

My wheels story…

Wheeling forward with Mary E. Knippel, Author

Wheeling forward with Mary E. Knippel, Author

What do the words “wheeling forward” mean to you?

Carefree times with the wind blowing your hair in all directions as you speed down a paved path towards a favorite picnic destination?

Or, careening down uncharted trails in search of a soft place to land?

July is Women’s Motorcycle Month. Many years ago I was invited to go on a double date with a new friend and her boyfriend. “We’ll go motorcycle riding at sunset,” she said. “It will be so much fun!” I agreed to the date, but didn’t  reveal to her two critical details:  1)  I’d never actually ridden on a motorcycle, and 2) a more significant fact for me…this would be my first date.

I was so excited about a real date. I was also nervous about the motorcycle part. I’ve grown up around motorcycles, so I hatched a plan to gain some time in the saddle before the date and gain some confidence as a knowledgeable rider.

My father was part of the Army’s 4th Cavalry during WWII. No, he didn’t ride a horse…he rode a Harley. He passed that love of two-wheeled speed to my brothers. They shared ownership of a Honda. I had no idea how big the “bike” was in my future for the date, but I was determined to do some field research before I took to the open road. I innocently asked my brother if I could sit on his motorcycle. Instead, I got a motorcycle driving lesson, with disastrous results. I crashed into a tree, bashed in the headlight, and had to have 13 stitches to close up the gap in my knee. 

Your story of “wheeling forward” may involve your own version of stitches…representing a hard lesson learned. The message I’d like you to take away from this glimpse into my history is that we must be willing to say “yes” to things outside our comfort zone in order to experience life…the sweet and the not so sweet. 

By the way, I did go on the date, although not on a motorcycle for quite some time. I guess it turned out okay…we’ve been married for over 40 years.

Please share your “wheeling forward” story with me on my Facebook page  I’d love to hear from you.

photo credit:  Dreamstime.com

[Free training] Your Success Story

story hereWhat do you consider a success story? Money in the bank? Fancy car? Big house, pool & staff? Vacations to exotic places? Children attending private school? 

I had a conversation with a fellow writer recently about works-in-progress.  This business of writing poses challenges whether you are writing copy for your business, working on your first book, or want to commit your story to words for your family to hear. Regardless of the label or category (workbook, self-help, memoir, non-fiction, or novel…keep in mind that all fiction is based on fact in some form), you are writing about the journey called “life”‘ and how you’ve coped.

 These are Your Success Stories!  A truly unleashed description!

Everyone has a story to tell. Each and every one of us has a unique story belonging only to us. And no one else can tell your story from the inside out because not another soul in this world has had your experience. They do not have the ability to speak from your perspective.

Your voice matters. Your story matters. Your story matters because it is your story to tell. Remember…there is someone waiting to hear your story. Your personal story has universal impact. For example, you may quote a statistic such as one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. When I share that I’ve received form letters telling me of an abnormal mammogram…twice…then it’s not about a statistic…it’s about a real vulnerable and passionate woman…it’s about me and it’s about you. Stories of cancer touch many, many lives and mine is just one. (I’m fine now and have been cancer free for over 10 years!) 

Who you are as an individual is your success story. How you treat people with respect and compassion is your success story. When you share your gifts and live your life on purpose that is your success story. 

Put your passion into words…about what you do and why you do it, who you serve and how you help them…what lights you up! Grab a journal write it down. Let the words flow on the page as your hand moves across the paper. Yes, I recommend doing it the old school way with pen and paper. Tapping on computer keys puts you in another part of your head. Take dictation from your heart about the message you want to share with the world.

Start the year out on a high note with your own Success Story! Over the years as a journalist, I’ve honed my interviewing skills. If you’d like help putting your story together, sign up for a complimentary discovery session today!

photo credit:  Dreamstime.com

A Story of Family

Ross, Mary Tess, 11.84Adoption Prayer

“Not flesh of my flesh, nor bone of my bone,

But still miraculously my own.

Never forget for a single minute,

You didn’t grow under my heart – but in it.”
— Fleur Conkling Heylinger

November is the month we celebrate National Memoir Month along with National Adoption Month.  This post is a story of both memoir  and adoption. Come along as this “slice of my life” memoir gives you a glimpse into  when my husband and I embarked on our journey to parenthood over three decades ago.

As a little girl I changed my doll, Baby Tears, diapers and dreamed of having a real baby of my own some day. I never could have imagined how our quest to have a family led to so many unanswered questions.

The  why (unexplained infertility) was replaced with how (adoption interviews and reams of paperwork). We were advised it could take some time to find the best placement for us. I choose to spend the time getting my college degree while waiting for our child. We were introduced to our who, a 6-week-old bundle of joy with sparkling blue eyes and blond fuzz the same year I graduated from college.

I believe we are matched, parents and children, with who is destined to become our family. True, social workers had more to do with our “match” than DNA when it came to the agency’s process of creating our family. My daughter and I have a mole in the exact same spot on our left arms, a fact that has always been Spirit’s kiss and proof to me of our special bond. Spooky coincidence? No, serendipity I think.

Whether you argue Nature vs. Nurture,  or grace, gratitude and gumption in generous proportions determines the love, compassion and empathy necessary to create a strong family bond. I’m forever grateful that we have been given the opportunity to become a family.

Family holds our hearts and helps us cope with whatever comes tomorrow.

May you and yours enjoy a blessed holiday season.

Share Your Life in Writing…

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-woman-writing-her-diary-secret-image33942382It’s National Life-Writing Month…write about yourself…look at events in your life as rich content matter.Write about anything and everything. Memoir, a slice of life, explores any experience of being human and is shaped by your individual perspective. Whatever you have done, whatever happened to you, whatever concerns you…it is your choice what to share and what not to share.At this point, some reluctant writers may not begin to write because they are afraid of what other people will think. The fear of judgment by others along with your own inner meanies challenges the significance of your content and keeps many from picking up that pen.When those judges try to shut you down…remember…your story is unique and has value because you have value. You are the only one who can tell it in the way you want it to be told. Your story is one person’s crusade, one person’s adventures, or one person’s tale of surviving.Life-writing includes autobiography, memoirs, letters, diaries, journals (written and documentary), anthropological data, oral testimony, and eyewitness accounts. It is not only a literary or historical specialism, but is relevant across the arts and sciences, and can involve philosophers, psychologists, sociologists, ethnographers and anthropologists.Think about writing…

  • what the family dynamics were before you were born,
  • the tale of the house you grew up in against the backdrop of the houses your parents grew up in,
  • using fragments of the stories you know about your great grandparents to create a conversation with them about your life now and a family trait, or business sense they passed down to you.

What part of your life story will you share today?

 

photo credit:  Dreamstime.com

Your life in writing…

life writing with Writer UnleashedIn celebration of National Life-Writing Month, I invite you to write about yourself…look at events in your life as subject matter.

You can write about anything and everything. Memoir, a slice of life, explores any experience of being human and is shaped by your individual perspective. Whatever you have done, whatever happened to you, whatever concerns you…it is your choice what to share and what not to share.

At this point, some reluctant writers may not begin to write because they are afraid of what other people will think. The fear of judgment by others along with your own inner meanies challenges the significance of your content and keeps many from picking up that pen.

When those judges try to shut you down…remember…your story is unique and has value because you have value. You are the only one who can tell it in the way you want it to be told. Your story is one person’s crusade, one person’s adventures, or one person’s tale of surviving.

Life-writing includes autobiography, memoirs, letters, diaries, journals (written and documentary), anthropological data, oral testimony, and eyewitness accounts. It is not only a literary or historical specialism, but is relevant across the arts and sciences, and can involve philosophers, psychologists, sociologists, ethnographers and anthropologists.

  • Perhaps you’ll write a story about the family dynamics before you were born.
  • Or the tale of the house you grew up in against the backdrop of the houses your parents grew up in.
  • You may want to use the fragments of the stories you know about your great grandparents to create a short story about them.

What part of your life story will you share today?

[Friday Five-Minute Writing Prompt] Something I never thought I’d do…

Five-Minute Writing Prompt from Mary E Knippel, Author

Five-Minute Writing Prompt from Mary E. Knippel, Author

Something I never thought I’d do…

Friday five-minute writing prompt

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 – Something I thought I’d never do… 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, hum a tune, write a poem, or create a short, short story. This is your time to explore and experiment.

What’s your story?

What's your story?I’m curious…

I know I’m dating myself, but I’ll do it anyway. Remember that old TV show that ended with the narrator saying

There are eight million stories in the Naked City. This has been one of them.

The famous Naked City closing narration
 
I was eight years old at the time, so a lot of the actual stories of the Naked City drama didn’t make it into my memory banks, but I do remember that piece about all those stories.
 
Now I  repeat…
 
What’s your story?
 
Are you sharing what you are passionate about?
 
Do you hesitate to let the world in on what is really going on?
 
Are you living someone else’s life? You know…the one everybody else thinks you are perfect for, instead of following your dream? 
 
Or have you identified  your bliss; yet hesitate for fear of being disconnected from those close to you who won’t “get it” and understand what you are all about.
 
Well, I’ll let you in on a little secret…they don’t have to understand, or get it, because it isn’t their life…it’s yours!
 

you hold the keyYour story matters!

Yes, it does because it is exactly that…YOUR STORY. It does not belong to any one else.

Your voice matters!

You matter!  

You hold the key to unlocking your story…the story of your business and why you are passionate about what you do…the story of how you’ve overcome life’s challenges as a legacy to future generations…the important thing to remember is that you are connecting with who needs to hear your message. People are waiting to hear from you. They are hungry for what you have to say. Yes, I do mean you. No on else can tell your story.

I promise you, you can do it! Share your story.

You hold the key…tell us…what’s your story?

 
 
 
 
 

[Friday Five-Minute Writing Prompt] The best thing my mother ever did…

Friday Five-Minute Writing Prompt

writer unleashed timed writing prompt

The best thing my mother  ever did…

Friday five-minute writing prompt

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 – the best thing my mother ever did... 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.