Tag Archives: Andi Cumbo

Wrestling With The In-Between

I am reading this book which is really provoking me. I’m sure you all heard me speak of Jeff Goins. Well, I am reading an advanced copy of his new book called, The In-Between, which is coming out on August 1st.

I just started reading it and can’t put it down. I absolutely love the way Jeff Goins writes. He is never boring. He also exudes wisdom in his writing. He’s an old soul. I also find myself relating to much of what he writes. I’m not going to give it all away because I want you to read and experience it for yourself. I will also be posting a review when I am done.

He is really making me think. The kind of deep, looking at yourself kind of thinking. I find myself stopping, remembering, and making connections in my own life. This is the reason why I follow his blog because not only is it good writing, but he really makes you think and gives you meat to chew on. I aspire to write like him.

I know, I know, I am not really comparing myself to him although I can’t help but admit I truly wish I can write like he does. But then, I wouldn’t be myself, right?

I go through a liturgy within myself of all the reasons why no one would like my writing. Why would anyone bother reading what I write? There are people like Jeff Goins, Chris Brogan, Seth Godin, Steven Pressfield, and Andi Cumbo. I mean, who in the world wants to read what I have to say?

Which is why I totally feel dejected and rejected when someone unfollows or unfriends me. I get repulsed with myself in the sense that I’m being totally self-absorbed and pathetic.

Why do I want to matter so much? Why do I want everyone in the world to like and accept me? What is this thing inside of me that wants me to be like everyone else instead of being myself, being happy with myself and that being good enough?

I mean, for goodness sake, I’m going to be 47 years old. You would think I would grow up already and display some sort of maturity here? I feel like I’m still stuck in high school, trying to be accepted by my peers. To be in the “in” group and part of the cool clique. I believe this may even be called narcissism.

I wrestle within myself; one part of me says, Who cares what people think about you, your writing, or what you have to say? The next minute I’m licking my wounds from someone unfollowing me because they didn’t like what I had to say.

Jeff Goins says, You don’t write for other people; you write for yourself. You don’t write for accolades; you write because you have to. You see? He’s so smart.

In his book, The In-Between, he discusses writing as a calling. I’m trying to figure out if writing is my calling or not. With so many talented writers out there, where do I fit in?

I don’t have the answer, but despite the resistance to write and publish, I will continue… as hard as it is for me… I will try to be brave and courageous as those I mentioned above and not give up.

What about you? Do you go through this as a writer? How do you battle the resistance and the incessant negative voices?

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The Dream of God’s Whisper by Andi Cumbo

I have the sincere pleasure of introducing you to my dear friend and gifted writer, Andi Cumbo. I met Andi on Twitter almost a year ago and recently in person at the Quitter Conference.

She is as amazing in person as she is on line. She is my friend, teacher and mentor rolled into one. I have learned so much by taking her writing classes which I highly recommend. Her classes have stretched me as a writer.

Today, Andi Cumbo visits to share her dream which birthed her beautiful book, God’s Whisper Manifesto: Makings of a Dream.

You can purchase her book at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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She’s lovely on this hill.  Now that the trees have shed their leaves, I can see her as I come north, a blue beacon calling me home.  My farmhouse.

That possessive pronoun – “my” – was a long time coming. 15 years or more. I’ve dreamed of this place for that long – maybe not this blue farmhouse – but the place where I can live this dream – this dream of a small farm where people can come and find rest and sanctuary. Where people can just be completely themselves, no pretense, no pretending. Just a safe place where rest is one of our top priorities.

Now, as I sit here with my Christmas tree sparkling on a chilly December night, it feels both so normal and so impossible that I am here in my dream, not imagining but living it.

We are just in the beginning here at God’s Whisper Farm. We don’t have my big garden yet, and the fencing isn’t even up for the goats and alpacas I will have wandering the pasture and hill.  The timberframe that will become, in time, the center of this place has yet to be built, and our outdoor amphitheater still needs to be carved out of a wooded hillside.

But this little blue farmhouse – Nellie is her name – she reminds me with every glimpse that dreams become life if we just let them live.

Andi Cumbo is a writer, editor, and writing teacher who lives in the mountains of Virginia. Her first book God’s Whisper Manifesto: Makings of a Dream has just been published and shares the vision of how life will happen on her farm. You can read her (nearly) daily posts and get more information about her work on her website – andilit.com.

 

 

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Past Regrets

There are times I feel trapped, bogged down with responsibilities and obligations.

There are people I love who are depending on me. I can’t let them down. I can’t make a mistake.

We need an income to keep a roof over our head, food in our stomachs and clothing on our backs.

Courtesy of Creative Commons

Lately, I’ve been thinking about how much of my time is given to a corporation. How my life really isn’t my own. How my time is given in exchange for a paycheck.

Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for a good job. I’m not complaining.

I’m just facing where I’m at in life. Who knows, I may even be going through a midlife crisis.

I’ve been ruminating on past regrets. In that, I chose a steady income instead of pursuing my dream.

Granted, things could be worse (and they have been).

However, there are those whom are not afforded the ability to ruminate, because all they do is work to feed their kids, barely making ends meet.

So… in the grand scheme of things, I am considered blessed.

But right now, I’m not talking about my job, I’m talking about a dream.

My friend Andi Cumbo wrote a thought provoking blog post entitled “To Quit or Not to Quit” which sparked this post.

A long time ago, I quit acting and singing. Why? For the very same reason I mentioned above. A job. A steady paycheck.

I sold out and forfeited my dream for the illusion of security. I can’t express how bad of a decision that was.

Which is why I’m proactive in reminding my sons to pursue their dreams and do something they love.

If you do what you love, then you don’t mind working twelve hour days. You will be investing your time doing something you believe in and are called to do.

This goes beyond simply working to get a paycheck.

When you work a conventional job, there are no guarantees. You can be there today and gone tomorrow. You can be offered benefits one day and then it be taken away the next.

In this day and age, you can’t invest in a job or put all your eggs in one basket.

You need to invest in yourself and in your dream. Dreams come from God.

When you work toward a dream, it’s yours for keeps. No one can mess with it or take it away, unless you let them.

So yes, I live with regrets and admit I’ve made some pretty bad mistakes. But does that mean it’s over for me? Should I just give up, throw in the towel and call it a day?

No, I’ve already done that, and all for the wrong reasons I might add.

I’ve made some mistakes, so what, you’ve probably made some too. We all do. But should that mean it’s the end of the world?

This is not our final chapter in the big book called life.

I feel like God is giving me a second chance … so I’m priming up for 2013.

I may have given up in the past, but I’m not now. I’m going full steam ahead, no matter what.

Won’t you join me?

Do you believe your dream isn’t attainable? Do you feel hopeless and want to give up?

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Guest Post: The Four F’s: What Sabotages Many Christian Writers

It’s a pleasure to be guest posting for Godly Writers today. I get to share about my writing journey and encourage other Christian writers as well.

Today I wrote about The Four F’s: What Sabatages Many Christian Writers. The four f’s are Fear, Focus, Frustration and Failure.

I would love for you to swing by and read more about it here:

www.godlywriters.com/the-four-fs-what-sabotages-many-christian-writers

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Reborn Dreamer

This is Jon Acuff. He was kind enough to pray for me while I was dying of laughter. I was laughing so hard they were going to have to carry me out on a stretcher. I kid you not.

Anyone who can make me laugh and cry in one sentence is seriously gifted. I tried to hold back (as I was sitting in the front row) but to no avail. I couldn’t help myself. I do not remember laughing and crying so much in a long time. My stomach still hurts days later from attending the Quitter Conference.

I believe the Lord wanted me at this conference. I had all the excuses in the book not to go, but yet and still, I felt the nudge of God telling me to go. The week leading up to the conference all hell broke loose. I can see why now, I was blessed beyond measure.

I have to be honest and admit that initially I did not have high expectations. I was even wondering if I was wasting my time and money by going. Also, leaving my family behind was definitely not my comfort zone. My boys were not feeling my leaving them.

As as matter of fact, my eldest son told me to never to do that again. He said next time I have to take him with me so he can make sure I am ok. I guess next time we’ll have to make it a family vacation.

Initially, I thought the Quitter Conference was just a lot of hype. But I was so wrong. This conference was unlike any other conference I have been to in my entire life. I am not exaggerating.

I can see why everyone makes a big deal about Jon Acuff. He is such an authentic, down to earth and great guy. I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with him a couple of times at the conference.

Let’s just say this conference made me believe in my dreams again. Hello world, my name is Pilar and I am a reborn dreamer.

Besides hearing Jon Acuff, I also got to hear wonderful speakers such as Al Andrews, Matt Chambers, Jeff Goins and Alli Worthington. What an amazing line up.

Last but not least, the absolute treat of this conference was listening to Jon Acuff’s favorite band, Seryn. They are now my favorite band. I want everyone to know about Seryn because I had a spiritual experience listening to them. I have never felt so much joy listening to a band in my life.

I have been a lover of music my entire life. I am also a singer, so I have been exposed and my ear trained to know good music. This band is simply amazing. You must see them live to get the full effect. Each band member knows how to play several instruments extremely well. They are virtuosos.

Seryn’s lead singer Trenton Wheeler (isn’t that a cool name), absolutely poured himself out. He is an exceptionally talented artist. His voice is unique, his sense of rhythm impeccable and his gift of playing several instruments is out of this world.

I guarantee you if you see them play live, you will be mesmerized and left in a trance. Since hearing them, all I’ve been doing is talking about them. I am hoping they will come play in New York City.

Thanks to my dear Quitter friends, Jon Acuff and the Quitter Conference, I am a reborn dreamer. I have renewed hope to pursue my passions and dreams. I was able to reconnect with my deep love of music and singing by going to this conference. I am not too old and I haven’t missed the boat either. I am right where God wants me. So I am no longer dreading turning 46 in two weeks.

If there is one thing I took away from this conference is our dreams are not ours, but for others. I was deeply moved and inspired by this concept and it helped change my view of dreams.

In conclusion, I want to share a link of one of my favorite songs by Seryn. If you like their music, I encourage you to buy their latest CD on ITunes. You won’t be disappointed.

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Wild Mind by Natalie Goldberg

 

Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Bantam (October 1, 1990)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0553347756
ISBN-13: 978-0553347753
Price: $17.00
Purchase: Amazon | BN

Description

Natalie Goldberg, author of the bestselling  Writing Down The Bones, teaches a method  of writing that can take you beyond craft to the  true source of creative power: The mind that is  “raw, full of energy, alive and  hungry.”

Here is compassionate, practical, and often  humorous advice about how to find time to write,  how to discover your personal style, how to make  sentences come alive, and how to overcome  procrastination and writer’s block — including more than  thirty provocative “Try this” exercises to  get your pen moving.

And here also  is a larger vision of the writer’s task:  balancing daily responsibilities with a commitment to  writing; knowing when to take risks as a writer and a  human being; coming to terms with success and  failure and loss; and learning self-acceptance — both  in life and art.

Wild  Mind will change your way of writing. It  may also change your life.

Review

I started reading a chapter a day of Wild Mind at the suggestion of Andi Cumbo. Andi is a friend and gifted writer I have come to respect and admire.

An incredible thing happened when I heeded Andi’s advice, I actually looked forward to getting up in the morning to read this book. For anyone who knows me, this is a major accomplishment, because I am not a morning person.

This morning, I read five chapters and finished Wild Mind. I was immersed in Natalie Goldberg’s writing. I love this woman. Her writing is rich and beautiful. She is really a gifted writer. Each chapter brought to life an analogy or personal reflection. I enjoyed gleaning the nuggets she shared throughout the book.

Now, I’m eager to start her first book called Writing Down The Bones.

What I also find interesting is years ago when I was counseling with a particular therapist. I believe it was in my early twenties, she asked me this question, “What do you enjoy doing?” I remember blurting out, “I want to be a writer.” I even surprised myself with that response. She recommended two books by Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down The Bones and Wild Mind.

I bought both books and they’ve sat on my bookshelf untouched for years.

I’ll be turning forty six in three weeks. Yep, I’m an old foagie. You are probably wondering (much like I am), what in the world happened? Why didn’t I become a writer?

Life happened. I don’t know. I guess deep down I didn’t think or believe I was a writer.

Until I met the brilliant writer Jeff Goins who taught me otherwise. I have no idea how it happened, but I walked into an amazing writing community on Twitter.

I started reading Jeff Goins blog, but it wasn’t until I read his book called You Are A Writer (which is free today only), I came to accept that I am a writer. I will always have Jeff Goins to thank for this. (If you haven’t read his book, I highly recommend it).

Jeff Goins will be coming out with another resource in a week, which I’ve been blessed to get a sneak peak, called Tribe Writers. Seriously, you don’t want to miss this online writing course. It’s going to be awesome.

I read another amazing book recently (which I also reviewed) called Let’s Write a Short Story! by Joe Bunting.  He is a deep, distinguished and gifted writer. His writing is absolutely beautiful and breathtaking. He has a great website which is also an excellent resource for writers called The Write Practice.

I am thankful the Lord opened doors for me to meet these wonderful people who are great writers and read their amazing books. I have been blessed to learn and grow as a writer.

Wild Mind by Natalie Goldberg is a great book which I highly recommend to all writers on any level. There is something for everyone in this book.

Natalie Goldberg lived in Brooklyn until she was six, when her family moved out to Farmingdale, Long Island, where her father owned the bar the Aero Tavern. From a young age, Goldberg was mad for books and reading, and especially loved Carson McCullers’s The Ballad of the Sad Cafe, which she read in ninth grade. She thinks that single book led her eventually to put pen to paper when she was twenty-four years old. She received a BA in English literature from George Washington University and an MA in humanities from St. John’s University.Goldberg has painted for as long as she has written, and her paintings can be seen in Living Color: A Writer Paints Her World and Top of My Lungs: Poems and Paintings. They can also be viewed at the Ernesto Mayans Gallery on Canyon Road in Sante Fe.A dedicated teacher, Goldberg has taught writing and literature for the last thirty-five years. She also leads national workshops and retreats, and her schedule can be accessed via her website: nataliegoldberg.comIn 2006, she completed with the filmmaker Mary Feidt a one-hour documentary, Tangled Up in Bob, about Bob Dylan’s childhood on the Iron Range in Northern Minnesota. The film can be obtained on Amazon or the website tangledupinbob.com.Goldberg has been a serious Zen practitioner since 1974 and studied with Katagiri Roshi from 1978 to 1984.

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