You may have read the guest post that Liesel Teversham provided for us a few weeks ago. Today she's back answering some questions about her writing, her book and her life. Thanks for stopping by again, Liesel.
KB: What do you write?
LT: I write non-fiction articles and books, in the self-help and self-growth industries.
KB:Tell us about one of your books in 3 sentences.
LT: Have you ever said “yes” to help someone out with a task, or agreed to a social engagement and instantly regretted it? How often do you feel frazzled, overwhelmed, exhausted and resentful because you have a million tasks to complete before you can have me-time? My book No Problem. The Upside of Saying No can help you to say “no” to too much on your plate – kindly and respectfully – so you can spend time with what you love and live a life of choice.
KB: Why do you write? Give us three reasons.
· I’ve always wanted to write! I started reading when I was 4. Ever since a primary school teacher told my parents she thought I’d be able to write a book one day, I treasured the thought and in my forties it really started becoming a huge inner drive. Writing comes far easier to me than speaking out loud – when I write, words flow and it feels like I don’t have anything to do with them. They come from somewhere else, almost like I’m just the vessel through which these words need to reach the world.
· I have a message I believe in! I am passionate about the topic of self-care. I’ve neglected it in myself for so long and through writing, I get deeper and deeper in touch with that part of me that needs the self-care. I wish to bring this message to the world that it’s really necessary, required and VITAL to take care of ourselves. It’s okay to STOP putting others’ needs ahead of our own (especially for women) and put the oxygen mask on first. You see, here I go…. The message wants to come out and my fingers obey!
· I’m an introvert and although I’ve taught myself to be able to stand up and speak in front of an audience, it’s so much easier and more fun for me to express myself through “silent” words – where each reader can bring their own imagination into the mix of creation.
KB: I can relate to that. I think most writers are introverts. Next question (this one's fun). Complete the following sentences:
My first ever published piece of writing was an academic paper I wrote for my post-graduate degree in music, in 1997. It was titled “The Soweto String Quartet: Traditional and Contemporary Elements in Zebra Crossing”. Wow, did I write that??
A book about writing I love is How to Write Right, by Pat Grayson. It was written by a dyslexic writer and I read it in 2009 when I was feeling despondent about my own writing. I thought if a dyslexic person can learn to write, so can I!
A novel I love is Sun at Midnight, by Rosie Thomas.
My favorite place to write is anywhere I can take my laptop! Usually at my desk, at home. My handwriting is not very neat because I write too fast – the words dam up behind my fingers and I write terribly illegibly when this happens! I learnt to touch-type when I changed careers from musician to computer programming so typing goes really fast. And I can move paragraphs and words really quickly!
Something that helped me improve my writing is simply putting my butt in the chair and writing more often. I found that the more I wrote, the easier the words flowed. It’s a muscle, like any other skill that can be developed. Write something every day for a month and see how it starts feeling easy and wonderful.
Writing is bliss. I disappear into a different world when I’m writing.
Editing is a bit of a pain and painfully necessary! Before I published my first book, another published author’s advice was to remember the first draft is rough. Just get ALL the clambering thoughts down onto paper, get it all out of your head. And then the process of moving, shuffling, editing, organizing and more editing follows. That’s the way it seems to work. Editing is a very big part of the writing process for a polished product, and to show the readers we respect them.
Publishing is the cherry on the cake. It’s also hard work. So many moving parts are involved in the publishing process and it can be delayed. My advice is not to race to the “published” product. Let the joy be in every part of the process. Love the writing, find ways to love the editing, and then even if the publishing process has some growing pains, the journey was worthwhile!
KB: Describe yourself in six words.
LT: An always learning, growing human being…
KB: Why did you write the last word you wrote?
LT: Goodness, what an interesting question. I’m not sure there’s a logical answer to this one. It’s just what seems to “be” right now. I’m a student, practitioner and trainer of a variety of healing methods and in some of these traditions (as well as the Buddhist tradition) they teach us that we’re not human “doings” – we’re human “beings”. In the West, we’re far more into acting, doing and busy work than in the East. So I’m working on bringing in the balance between “doing” and “being”.
KB: Wow, I thought that might be an unfair question, (most of my authors write a stand-alone word as their last word) but you answered it very eloquently. What’s your next big writing challenge?
LT: I’ve started a collaborative writing project and have invited a few unpublished co-authors who are passionate about animals to contribute.
I had the idea when my own dog of 13 was going through hectic health challenges. My heart was breaking and I was beside myself with anguish. I read a friend’s book on “Healing Pet Loss” to give her a testimonial and that book provided me with so much perspective and peace. I thought that surely there would be thousands of others in this “heart-ache” boat. I’ve asked animal communicators, and others who have grown and learned through the challenges of their pets’ health, to contribute and bring hope and inspiration to those with grief and heart-ache about their pets.
KB: That sounds like a really worthwhile project. I look forward to hearing how it turns out. What advice would you give to a brand new writer?
LT: Don’t worry about how you’ll get published. The writing process in itself is a journey you can’t afford to miss! It’s taught me enormous and wondrous things about myself and how I do things… I’ve become aware of so many patterns and beliefs that no longer serve me. For instance “I’m not good enough” or “No-one will read my book anyway so why write”. If you recognize any of them, and they’ve stopped you, start writing NOW. Those are only thoughts and you can let them stop you and regret it later, or you can follow your heart and kick those thoughts under their silly nebulous butts.
The process of writing a book in itself is worth every minute to support you in your growth as a human being. The perfect publisher will come across your path (whether it’s self-publishing, or being published traditionally) – just continue to see your book as a real, finished product, serving others and making a difference in people’s lives. I guarantee you it’ll make a difference in your own life!
KB: I couldn't agree more! What does your current Twitter feed say?
LT:The Three Most Important Reasons for Self Care http://t.co/24OfGBP8hb (I wrote a blog post yesterday and it feeds through to my Twitter feed!)
KB: What would you like it to say?
LT: Whoopee! Sold a thousand books today! :)
KB: Where can we find you online?
LT: Thanks for this opportunity to connect to readers, Karen! I have a variety of websites, for different audiences.
All my healing methods are described here: www.clearspace.za.net
My book website with info about the book and a blog with my recent Virtual Book Tour articles: www.no-problem-book.com
A blog with articles for smart Self-Growth and Goals www.savvyselfgrowth.com
I’m hosting a very exciting Teleseminar Series in July about Self Care! The details are here: www.savvyselfcaresecrets.com
Facebook Personal Profile: https://www.facebook.com/liesel.teversham
Facebook Book Page: https://www.facebook.com/UpsideofSayingNo
Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/lieselteversham
From my heart: Thank you for the opportunity to connect with you and your readers, Karen! It’s been a delight and privilege!
KB: It's been lovely to host you, Liesel.
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