Gaye Mack’s Blog

NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART-DISCOURAGEMENT AND PERSEVERANCE: THE REALITY FOR ASPIRING WRITERS

Posted on by Gaye Mack in Articles, Worth the Read, Writer's Work 2 Comments

Like a bad cough you can’t get rid of in the winter, discouragement and perseverance are part of the package for any aspiring writer who dreams of their work being valued by someone other than their mother.  My guest for this post is the best-selling author of The War of the Roses, Warren Adler.  Warren’s piece on ‘Rejection and Renewal’ is a reality check.  The reality is that it takes more than just WANTING your creativity to land somewhere other than on a forgotten USB stick or in garage boxes…that ‘the road less traveled’ is fraught with discouragement and one that demands perseverance.  For readers, it gives a peek into the prelude of that book they love.

THE PRELUDE

 You’ve spent months, perhaps years, composing your novel. You’ve read and reread it hundreds of times. You’ve rethought it, rewritten it, and revised it, changed characters, dialogue, and plot lines. Writing your novel is the most important thing in your life. It has absorbed your attention, almost exclusively. Both your conscious and your subconscious mind have been obsessed with it.

You have read parts of it to your friends, family, former teachers. Most think it’s wonderful. You have finally considered it finished. Armed with optimism and self-confidence, you obtain from the Internet a list of agents and begin to canvass. You agonize over whether to send your precious manuscript to one agent at a time or to a number of agents.

THE  DIVE

 You choose the first option. Just in case, you send it electronically, unsure of whether or not this is now standard practice. You have high hopes. You are aware of the massive changes in the publishing business, but have chosen to take the traditional path as your first option. Waiting, Waiting . . . Weeks go by, then months. The agents are, you believe, reading it in the office, passing it around, deciding to take it on. You live on such hopes. Finally you call the agent’s office. They haven’t a clue as to who you are. Somehow, they are reminded and search through the piles of manuscripts in their office, find yours, and send you back a standardized letter, perhaps out of politeness made to look like an original. Well then, you tell yourself, it is only one agent’s opinion.

You send it off to another agent. A letter comes back swiftly, similarly worded. You get bolder, send your manuscript to two agents at a time, then three, then every agent you can find. Nothing happens. “Good luck on getting published,” they tell you. “Not for us.” Sometimes there is a personal, scribbled note that says something nice and you live in its glow for days. More Waiting . . . Years go by.

IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED…

 You start another novel, but you are less optimistic now, less confident, unsure. You tell yourself you have not paid enough attention to the marketplace. You begin to analyze what is selling, what is not selling, what is being published. You read books on the best-seller lists and are certain you can do a lot better. You try to use these books as a guide to what is selling and you write accordingly. Nothing helps. You are continuously rejected.

Then . . . you begin to read on various websites about how you can publish your own books and get them marketed on electronic venues. Some sites promise that they can get your book in front of movie producers for a price. Some say they have the magic to make you a successful career novelist, again, for a price. For even more money, you will be told how best to market your book. You debate the idea and as your pile of rejection letters mount, you give it a try. You spend money. A book is produced in print-on-demand format and an E-Book is created and placed on every electronic sales venue on the net. Your family buys copies and sends them to friends. It is even reviewed in publications that review self-published books, yet again for a price. There is a word or two of praise in the review and you send it around to the media and everybody you know. Unfortunately, there is little or no sales, no afterlife.

THE CRASH

Despite your confidence in your ability, despite the fact that you truly believe your novel is certainly worthy of publication, you feel the full impact of rejection and failure. Try and Try Again . . . Still, you cannot shake the certainty or your talent. You write another novel. Perhaps a third. Perhaps more. You go through the same process. Again and again you are rejected. You begin to question your ability, your ideas and your talent. Is it a fantasy, an exercise in unrealistic aspirations? You are becoming embittered. Your dream is crashing.

If you are fortunate, your wife, husband, partner and family stick by you, continue to encourage your dream, help you keep it alive. Other realities begin to chip away at the dream. You have financial obligations. Your kids are growing up. You are losing out in the job market. Others are moving up in their jobs, while you are falling behind. You feel lost, adrift. Rejection after rejection has beaten you down. You see this as the end of your world, the end of your hopes and aspirations. Your high hopes and self-confidence in your own talent is petering away. What now?

REALITY

No Magic Pill. If you’ve read this far without your stomach congealing, I suppose you are awaiting some prescription offering a magic pill for coping. Sorry, there isn’t any available your corner drugstore, and you won’t find it here. Luck—that strange, illusive, heaven-sent burst of good fortune—has not fired a missile in your direction. Not yet. 

You have three choices:  

The first is personal surrender. You’ve been on a fool’s errand following an adolescent dream. Time to throw in the towel and concentrate on your day job. At least you tried.

 The second choice is postponement. You weren’t ready. You needed more experience of life. But you continue to believe it will come. Some talented people are late bloomers. Give the dream a rest. Wishing won’t make it so. There are enough popular clichés to give you courage.

 Now, for your third choice, the clincher. It is not recommended for the faint of heart: never give up. Never, never, never. It may be impractical, unwise, foolish, pure madness, but if you truly believe in yourself, your talent, your ideas, your calling, your personal mission, why not, as Lewis Carroll wrote, “go on until the end, and then stop.”

It Takes Determination and Perseverance To do this requires a monumental ego, total self-confidence in your talent, and an unshakable belief that you have been anointed with the right stuff. You will require obsessive focus, singleness of purpose, a draconian ruthlessness, and total devotion to a belief in your artistic ability. Fancy words, I know, but with the absence of luck, you will need these attributes to sustain you through the process. What this means for the true novelist is that he or she must continue to soldier on, keep writing, keep trying, taking the increasingly painful hits of rejection after rejection until, well, until someone out there catches on…or doesn’t.

We are all waiting for Godot. Sometimes he comes.

warren adler

Warren Adler

Best-Selling Author and advocate for aspiring writers

 

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THE NIGGELY T-SQUARE—WHERE’S THE EXIT DOOR?

Posted on by Gaye Mack in Karmic and Self-Discovery Astrology, Writer's Work Leave a comment

For some time now there’s been a lot of energetic busyness and pressure for change going on in the heavens especially with the Grand Squares involving four planets in December, April and now mid-June. Added to this, there have been and are, on-going ‘T-Squares’ involving three powerful planets. While these configurations might seem less intense, they’re actually no less powerful than the Grand Squares. The bottom line is that even if someone isn’t into astrology, EVERYONE is feeling it on multiple levels…emotionally, mentally and if we dare to watch the news, globally. 
So what does this all mean? Astrologically speaking, as the planets move around the heavens, they mathematically ‘square off’ and/or ‘oppose’ each other from time to time. When the faster moving bodies such as the Moon or Mercury are involved, the effect isn’t long term. But when it involves the slower moving planets, the effect is more significant in terms of our evolution which is what we’ve been dealing with lately.
Generally speaking, squares in Evolutionary Astrology represent a fork in the road. They signal that change is in the wind because squares are pressure points of friction between the planetary energies involved and what they represent in our lives. If we’re awake to these events, we have an opportunity to take charge or at least proactively participate in the process. On the other hand, if we resist, the lesson becomes that much harder…as the saying goes, “the more you resist, the harder the fall.”
In a ‘T-Square’, two planets in opposition (180◦ apart) both square a third planet at 90◦. And, even though there’s friction between these points and what they represent in our evolutionary process, all is not lost, because there’s a safety valve within the square.
Always with astrology, there are varying interpretations. The exit point in a T-Square is no exception. While all the factors involved in the square,(planets, signs, houses) must be considered in building the story, in my practice, I prefer to use the apex point as the exit door or the ‘solution’ even though it’s part of the tension factor in the bigger picture.
In the figure below, the apex is Pluto; the planet of transformation and one that’s often ruthless in the process (change or be changed is one of Pluto’s mantras!). It sits in structure oriented Capricorn and in this chart, it’s in the 2nd house of personal resources, self-esteem, earned income. Uranus in the 5th and Mars in the 11th are both squared to Pluto suggesting perhaps some sort of difficulty involving a rebellious child (or children) and relationship to the community or tribe that could put pressure on means of sustainability where resources are involved. It could also suggest someone who is prone to fleeting love affairs that push the moral boundaries of their tribe or community and thus affects material repercussions; it’s hard to tell without looking at the chart as a whole. Neither is necessarily negative; perhaps the community is too rigid for a child that has the ability to see the world in a way others can’t. Perhaps an individual isn’t suited to marriage and shouldn’t be in a community where affairs aren’t tolerated. At the end of the day, in this example, somehow change must be initiated. By understanding that when Pluto’s involved, self-initiation of internal changes trigger our external world and thus it benefits the entire ‘T-Square’ with a positive trickle-down result that can ease the tension.

 

SFPage2

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Walnut-Edward Bach’s Flower Remedy for the Winds of Change Globally, Personally and Spiritually

Posted on by Gaye Mack in Balance, Karmic and Self-Discovery Astrology, Writer's Work Leave a comment

Very recently a Facebook ‘friend’ of mine lamented her resistance to change which got me wondering,  how many of us can really come clean with such a freely offered revelation concerning a facet of ourselves?  This said, I applaud her honesty and at the same time as someone who thrives on change I can appreciate how difficult it must be for those  who aren’t so comfortable,  to manage the chaos that seems to be all around us on so many levels.

 In prior postings I’ve written about the planetary energies reflected by the global upheavals politically, economically, socially and even in the weather.  For example, living in Wisconsin and the Chicago area my entire life I never thought I’d see a winter with the virtual absence of snow while the East coast and Mid-Atlantic states, even the South, are being battered by Mother Nature and yet here we are!  Such is one aspect of change…climate change in this case, which unfortunately has been dismissed by far too many resistant politicians when we had the opportunity to take serious proactive steps…now we are paying for it. 

 Closer to home so to speak, the concept of change on the personal level and spiritual level is terrifying for so many.  My experience over the years as a practitioner, educator and teacher in the mind/body/spirit arena is that the culprit here is fear of the unknown.  “Better the devil you know than the one you don’t,” as the saying goes.  However equally, the devil we know can take us right down the road of self-destruction, whether it be the result of a bad relationship, job or other life choices.

 From an astrological perspective, the psychological energies of the planets and their zodiacal signs of our natal chart are constantly disposed to change.  While the ‘essence’ of our birth chart remains our foundation blueprint, these planetary energies continue to move around the zodiac, offering us ‘windows’ of opportunity to shift the lens of perception about ourselves and  how we relate to society and culture against the backdrop of our Soul’s agenda this lifetime.  Not an easy task!

When Dr. Edward Bach discovered the final 19 flower remedies to complete his famous 38 Bach remedies, Walnut was among them.  He identified this group as I’ve written previously, as possessing a ‘higher spirituality’ functioning at a higher vibration than those remedies already discovered.

 Walnut IS the remedy for change and as such, it can be called upon for an assortment of applications.  Classically this remedy helps us to, in the words of the well-known author Dr. Leo Buscaglia, “cut the toxic ties that bind.”  It helps us to get our foot over the threshold, to let go of those things, behaviors and relationships that no longer serve us well…the ongoing theme by the way of the current planetary energies.  It  also protects the solar plexus against assimilating toxic energy from others and the environment…ever wonder why we have ‘gut reactions’?

 Spiritually, when we can let go of outmoded beliefs that may be too rigid or too entrenched for the times, we have the opportunity to step back and see perhaps, a bigger picture that’s inclusionary and collaborative through differences rather than exclusionary and controlling. 

 All of these considerations are a tall order, no matter the platform, for the ‘old guard’ and our own egos never want to acquiesce to a shift in power.  This said, there’s a caveat in mind/body/spirit philosophy… “that which you resist the most, is that which you need to let go of.”  Before you’re brought to your knees in resistance, reach for Dr. Bach’s Walnut…you’ll feel better in the morning!

walnut

Dr. Edward Bach’s ‘Walnut’ flower remedy

Photography©Dr. Edward Bach Foundation

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NEW MOON IN CAPRICORN-IGNITE YOUR PASSION, KINDLE YOUR INNER SPARK

Posted on by Gaye Mack in Balance, Karmic and Self-Discovery Astrology, Worth the Read, Writer's Work 2 Comments

Today’s New Moon lands in Capricorn, the sign of Sea-Goat; a perfect placement for the beginning of a new year!  Capricorn’s evolutionary goal in this life is to attain internal approval through  public roles that reflect personal values, interests and even quirks, no matter what.  I say ‘perfect’ as the energy behind new moons are always about endings and new beginnings, so with this strong energy of Capricorn at your back what could be better to rocket you onto new horizons?  As always, the circumstances within which such opportunities have  potential depend on where Capricorn is in your birth chart and by transit.  Secondly, new beginnings require that you participate…the Universe provides the opportunities and potential but as evolutionary astrology is about ‘free will’, it’s up to us to step through the door and show up!

For many of us, making choices is more easily said than done.  Nevertheless, as I’ve noted in prior postings, particularly relating to Dr. Bach’s flower remedies, ‘help is on the way.’  Such help for you may be found in a newly released Kindle book, IGNITE YOUR PASSION, KINDLE YOUR INNER SPARK.  ‘Ignite Your Passion’ is an anthology of 24 contributing authors(myself included), from various backgrounds and professions who’ve written on the subject of finding their own passion and how you can do the same.

Between now and Monday, January 14th, the download version is FREE (possessing an E-Reader is not necessary; simply download the ‘free’ Kindle app to your computer or smartphone, then download the book from the link here)after which time the E-book version will remain available on Amazon with the soft bound edition due for release in March. As I write this post, ‘Ignite’ is currently ranked as the #1 Kindle download in the category of Creativity and #2 in Self-Esteem; the over-all ranking is currently #1214. 

In order to give you a taste of what you might find(and discover about yourself!)  my interview with co-author, April Williams of CyberLife Tutors regarding my contribution follows.  In the spirit of Capricorn’s New Moon energy, I wish you much success in whatever new path you choose to travel!

CyberLife Tutors: You are a co-author of “Ignite Your Passion Kindle Your Internal Spark. “What is it that you are passionate about?
Gaye Mack: Throughout my younger and later adult years, my life has been influenced by a variety of passions. Some have been transitory; others have firmly remained as I’ve grown older. If I were to identify the one ‘umbrella’ passion it would be exploration of those things that exist beyond our five senses and how we’re affected by them as spirit in body. The pathways of my explorations have been varied; interest in cultures around the world, their spiritual and ancient healing traditions, experiencing them first hand and, always writing, writing, writing.

CyberLife Tutors: Why did you contribute this specific story to “Ignite Your Passion Kindle Your Internal Spark?”
Gaye Mack: If I’ve learned nothing else (but that’s not to say I always ‘listen to my own lectures’ as a friend of mine is fond of quoting), it’s the importance of trusting our gut, intuition, whatever term is comfortable for you. Listening to our soul’s wisdom is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves this lifetime on our evolutionary path and it’s not easy because our ego always wants to be in charge. I felt it was important to share my own experience with this lesson and the rocky road I traveled to ‘get it’ (and still am!) in my own life.

CyberLife Tutors: Is this your first published book? If not, what other books have you published?
Gaye Mack: No. As I mention in my story, Polair Publishing- London, has published my books, Igniting Soul Fire, Spiritual Dimensions of the Bach Flower Remedies (available in Kindle & softbound editions) and Making Complementary Therapies Work for You (which has been translated into German). I’m also a contributing author along with Donald Neale Walsh, Irvin Laszlo and other spiritual pioneers, to The View~Mind Over Matter, Heart Over Mind from Conan Doyle to Conversations with God.”

CyberLife Tutors: What else would you to share with our readers?
Gaye Mack: Currently I have two 12th century historical mysteries represented by my literary agent, Peter Miller of Global Lion Intellectual Property Management with the goal of obtaining a contract with one of the traditional houses, as I work on the third book in this series. I’m also working on a sequel toIgniting Soul Fire, Spiritual Dimensions of the Bach Flower Remedies, which looks at the connection between Dr. Edward Bach’s Twelve Healers and the evolutionary karmic story in our astrological birth chart.

CyberLife Tutors: You have a special offer for our readers?

Gaye Mack: As an active practitioner and teacher in the Bach flower remedies, I do see people privately for evaluation sessions regarding the flower remedies. For those who are also interested in astrology as well, sessions may include some integration with this tradition; it’s always up to the client. For more complete information on my Bach work, its best to look at my website or blog.

CyberLife Tutors: How can our readers contact you?
Gaye Mack: Find me on my website, blog, Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. Email me at gayemack at gayemack.com

 

IYP book cover AMW

IGNITE YOUR PASSION, KINDLE YOUR INTERNAL SPARK

ANTHOLOGY

capricorn-free-horoscopes

CAPRICORN- SEA-GOAT OF THE HEAVENS

 


AS SATURN TURNS DIRECT WE CAN EXHALE AND PERSEVERE IN WRITING MODE SURVIVAL WITH THESE REMINDERS

Posted on by Gaye Mack in Worth the Read, Writer's Work Leave a comment

After five months of pure slog, Saturn, the ‘old Devil’, the task master in everyone’s chart, has finally finished his retrograde motion, Stationing Direct as of today.  When Saturn turns retrograde, his energy commands us to review, rethink and redo, sometimes over and over.  So if life or particular efforts have seemed stuck or full of chronic frustrations in a particular area since early February, making it seem as if you’ve been walking up the down escalator; this is no accident.  Most likely it’s the energy of this retrograde with specific purpose in mind and our best interests at the heart.   As I’ve said in prior posts, the energy of a planet’s retrograde is to encourage us to go inward, to contemplate, consider, revise.  In other words, a course correction. 

Highly respected evolutionary astrologer, Steven Forrest, identifies among Saturn’s ‘jobs’ as representing development of self-discipline, self-respect, faith in our destiny AND making peace with solitude.  I can’t think of any other phrases that hit the nail on the head when it comes to  critical characteristics required in the perseverance of writing, regardless of whether we are speaking about writing fiction or non-fiction.  I may have mentioned this in a prior blog, but it bears repeating here, I think.  Years ago, I had a very well-known astrologer and author tell me, ‘writing is the loneliest, hardest, work you will ever do.  Nearly forty years later I have to agree, this is as true today as it was  when I was just starting out as an undergraduate.

Ironically, as if right on time, this morning I received a blog posting notice from Susan Lakin’s ‘Live Write Thrive’ blog on which she posted an article from her guest, Brian Feinblum who blogs at Book Marketing Buzz.  The title of this post is, 16 Tips on How to Survive and Thrive as a Writer.

Brian’s article is excellent and incredibly timely for those of us who ‘write to thrive’  within Saturn’s recent energy framework over the last five months.  What follows is Brian’s brief introduction and his first five points of how to survive as a writer.  However, I encourage you to read his full article at Susan’s blog.  It’s ‘well worth the read’!

Today, people believe they can social network their way to the top, that they are one witty tweet or one viral video away from making millions. They want to be on a reality show, they want to blog their way to fame, they want to create the next Facebook—but they fail to put in the hard work that is needed.

Those involved in book publishing seek to cash in their lottery ticket. Everyone who writes a book has the hope—even the expectation—that they will have a best-seller on their hands. Who is there to give them a tissue box when their Book Scan numbers don’t register beyond a blip of sales? But, reality aside, here’s the pep talk all writers will need at some point in their careers. Put aside the need for hard work, luck, connections, great writing, hiring professional help, etc.

 The 16 Tips for Thriving

  • Always believe in yourself. You have something to offer others, something worth sharing, something unique and special.
  • Know the experts are not always right. There is rarely one singular way to do anything. Find your own style and way to do what you need to do to succeed.
  • Never accept defeat. Change course, yes. Give up, no. Admit you made an error or mistake but don’t throw in the towel.
  • Learn from others. Copy the habits of successful people when it suits you but don’t be just like them. The world needs you—not a replica of someone else.
  • Realize you can improve every aspect of your writing, editing, publicity, marketing, sales, distribution, etc. Push the bar higher and keep reaching beyond your comfort zone.