Authors share their journeys: “This book took so much emotion out of me!”

“Write when you have a lot emotion in you. It can be good or bad emotions,” my cousin Lynn D. Nel advised me when I told her my idea for a novel. Lynn recently finished her book and is busy doing research on self-publishing.

#WritersTip: Write when you have a lot emotion in you. It can be good or bad emotions. - Lynn D Nel

This year I want to complete my novel, but eisj, it’s so hard to start. I started writing, but paused… I realised that I don’t know some of my characters. And do I want these characters in my book?

For those of you who are aspiring authors (like myself), I made a list of three authors sharing their journeys. Listening to their stories, I found that I could identify with them in many ways. Yes, it’s okay to have fear; you just have to continue with your execution.

It’s like Maya Angelou says: “There’s no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you.” That story needs to get out!

There's no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you. - Maya Angelou

Let’s hear what the three authors have to say about the lessons they learned during their writing process.

Maya Elious
Maya is a personal branding specialist who helps online entrepreneurs to become successful in their businesses. She is currently on her journey to write a book. In the video below, she talks about a workshop she attended.

Maya says this writing workshop made her ask herself the following questions: “What is the overall purpose (of this book)? Also, what do I want it to do for my business?

“Thirdly, what does the end of this look like – where is the book going to end?”

Watch Maya Elious talk about her journey, here:

Lynn D Nel
The first thing Lynn told me when I said I’m planning a book, is: “Just start. The story is already in you.” Woah! That is so prophetic!

It took her about 10 months to finish her book, she says. “That book at times took so much emotion out of me; I did not write for weeks on end!

“Plus, my work required my full attention. It (her full time job) keeps a roof over my head and my child in school after all,” she explained. Her son is in matric this year.

Lynn D Nel author journey

Lynn said she wrote her biography to get healing. “Overnight that book has changed me a lot. I have never been as bold as I find myself to be now.”

She hopes that those who have gone through abuse will find motivation in her story. Lynn also aims to reunite her family through this book.

I came across BronzeGoddess01’s YouTube channel while I was doing research on authors and their journeys. This young lady gives mainly women relationship advice on her channel.

She self-published her book “The Dating Game. How to Find Yourself while You are Looking for Mr. Right.”

She says that publishing this book is a huge accomplishment for her. “I knew I was a charismatic speaker, but I wasn’t sure I had what it took to write my thoughts down… There has always been a fear that I couldn’t write this book.”

Her tips for aspiring writers include:

#1. Use every free available resource, app or website you can get. For example, Skrawl is an online platform to submit bits of information of your book. You can submit the first chapter of your book read and get feedback on it.

#2. Just start writing; start with the title and your name. It’s also good to write a sub-title for your book – this gives your reader insight to what the book might be about.

#3. Don’t force it; be inspired. “People write books for different reasons,” she added.

For more gems from BronzeGoddess01, watch the video below:

Which of the ladies’ advice do you find motivating? If you are writing a book or are an author, share some of your thoughts below please. Thank you for reading!

Valentine’s Day exposes two kinds of people

My cousin, Lynn D. Nel recently finished her book and is in the process of getting it self-published. The book tells the story of her life – her childhood, abuse she endured, relationships, et cetera.

I’m really proud of her – finishing a book is a HUGE achievement.

“Have you started reading my book yet?” She had asked me two weeks ago. It had probably been the third time she had asked me. I told her yes, I was at page four then. “I feel so naked now,” she told me. Lynn says she feels naked, because she revealed so much of herself in this book.

More about the book another time…

Lynn agreed to be a guest writer for Mel’s Postbox. Within time, we will share her journey as a first time author. Here are her thoughts on Valentine’s Day. Enjoy!

Valentine's Day people Lynn D Nel

Before I get right into it, let me just tell you a little bit about myself. I am a very opinionated person and, to say the least, very analytical too. I don’t know if the latter is a good thing or a bad thing. The truth is, I have an artist and a writer’s soul.

I don’t know about other writers but I am an introvert and quiet by nature. I choose to observe people and life in general. And once the observation is done, the extrovert will come out on paper.

Ask any writer or “wannabe” writer, our heads are always spinning about what we would like to position on paper.

I live in either my own little world of what I perceive as realistic (and I am very stubborn about it) or, I live in an ideal world (in my head of course).

What can I say, I’m a romantic at heart and it is an excellent coping mechanism. This brings me to 14 February. How I perceive the day, is somewhat more realistic than idealistic.

Lynn D Nel author valentine's day
Lynn D. Nel

So Valentine’s Day 2017 has come and gone. And what I observed were two kinds of people that are, dare I say, more obvious on Valentine’s Day than any other day of the year.

I think you can guess where I am going with this. The one group is the happy-go-lucky ones who totally buys into the day! These are the people that are not scared to admit how important love, and for that matter, their loved one(s) in their lives are.

We dress ourselves and our children in the colour that ‘speaks Valentine’. Everywhere you look, are couples that do not show any shame, nor embarrassment in dressing alike or, true to the colour that warrants this day.

Yeah to those people for their honesty because we were in essence designed to “mate” and to love. Love as it is, “the greatest of them all”, do make everything seem alright with this world, whether we want to admit it or not.

A quote out of the movie “The Notebook” portrays it so eloquently: “The best love is the kind that awakens the soul; that makes us reach for more, that plants the fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds.”

The best love is the kind that awakens the soul; that makes us reach for more, that plants the fire in our…

Nothing will ever come close to love. It brings peace, kindness, understanding, courage and a will to face anything and everything life throws our way. It makes us bold and fierce in our struggles.

Love... It makes us bold and fierce in our struggles. - Lynn D. Nel

The best thing is that we do learn from love and what we learn is power at its best. Nobody for me can say it better than Leo Tolsky when he said: “All, everything that I understand, I only understand because I love.”

As a dedicated Christian, the best for me is out of the movie Les Miserables, “And remember, as it was written, to love another person is to see the face of God”.

Love makes us vulnerable and most people hate being vulnerable. We think it makes us weak and not human as we are.

We prefer the masks and not the real when in fact the real stands a better chance at love in its best form.

In the words of Angelita Lim: “I saw that you were perfect, and so I loved you. Then I saw that you were not perfect and I loved you even more. We don’t choose love, love chooses us! We should really just marvel in it! To teach love is to live love.”

The second, and my least favourite group, is the cynical-about-love people. Cynical though is such a harsh word, so I would rather like to call them “confused?”

They make me think about the 7%-38%-55% rule that resulted from Prof Albert Mehrabian’s research on communication. This rule does not portray all forms of communication.

These totals primarily relate to a situation where we are forming an attitude of like or dislike of someone, as concluded by his other peers. It states that 7% is made out of content (our words), 38% refers to the tone of our voice and 55% portrays our body language and facial expressions.

I’m single, and a mother of an eighteen year old who totally adores his girlfriend. I was very excited with him when I took him shopping for the perfect gift for his girlfriend.

So there we stood, in the pay point queue, right behind two young women who were wearing sexy black dresses. They were talking about, yes, men, why they hate the day and that they cannot believe that people are so gullible to stand in line with all these valentine’s gifts.

Valentine's hearts
The rule came to mind and with that, the saying: “Action speaks louder than words”. Is it just my thinking or were they really very transparent? There they were, on this ‘gloomy’ day, dressed in sexy black dresses. Why?

At places that I have been during the day, I witnessed the same sexy black ‘numbers’ and the same cynicism. Everyone knows that black is a winner on any occasion and any day. Why would you want to be a winner on such a “doomed” day?

So what if people buy into the commercial side of it? We…. people…have evolved and we … people…have commercialised the world. It happens on any other significant days.

Heaven knows, with all the negativity around us, the world needs days like these.

We get so caught up in the rat race that pressurises us to live past each other. My head is always full of quotes and it really cannot escape my soul. This one, by Mitch Albom, I have no doubt, is designed for the sceptical at heart.

“Lost love is still love. It takes a different form, that’s all. You can’t see their smile or bring them food or tousle their hair or move them around a dance floor. But when those senses weaken, another heightens. Memory. Memory becomes your partner. You nurture it. You hold it. You dance with it.”

So Mr or Miss Doubtful, please change your attitude, unless you want to end up with someone equally doubtful.

Mr or Miss Doubtful, please change your attitude; unless you want to end up with someone equally…

The law of attraction is simple. We don’t attract what we want. We attract what we are. Think of your poor future children!

The law of attraction is simple. We don't attract what we want. We attract what we are. - Lynn D Nel

“Oh Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo!” Most of us are familiar with this famous Shakespearian play. What Juliet meant to ask was: Why are you from the Montague family and not from the Capulets she stems from? Why are you not what I want you to be?

We, humans, tend to go for Mr or Miss Wrong and then we wonder why things did not work out. We choose with the eyes, and not with the heart and it is the heart that speaks to the soul and the soul is what really matters!

Looks attract a person but its character and mutual compatibility that keep two people in love and yes, together!

So let’s make a toast, not to love, but to hope!

We should celebrate love more often and permits the wonder that Valentine’s Day brings. It brings hope! This idealist is signing out for now. I hope I reach at least one heart, just one!

[The above opinion piece was written by Lynn D. Nel.]

Do you agree or disagree with Lynn? Did you celebrate Valentine’s or not? Tell me what you think.