3 Reasons You Should NOT Join TribeWriters

Tribe Writers

I heard TribeWriters is starting up again. It’s an online course by Jeff Goins, that promises to give you skills for writing that will move you forward.

And while that is true. I’m here to tell you three reasons you should NOT become a TribeWriter.

1) It’s scary

Now hear me out on this one. Do you know Jeff expects people to not only write things that are inside of them, but to also share them? I am not kidding.

It’s one thing to write in a journal. Many of us have spiral notebooks stored in all corners of our homes. But to open ourselves up before people? WHAT?

If you open up, you might discover others share the same feelings. That you’re not that unique. You might find out others CAN relate. You might even free others up to share their feelings because you took a risk.

But that’s not your responsibility. No. Better to just leave your feelings stuffed inside, nice and cozy. It’s more exciting that way, not knowing when they’ll burst out of you.

2) You will be part of a community

Now this is really important. Why would we want to know more people when we have at least 683  friends on Facebook already? Not to mention our 1032 followers on Twitter. People who follow us even though we’re not going anywhere.

And with Facebook friends, we only show them what we want to show them and they LIKE us. They made us a friend, didn’t they? We get to lol all over the place. And if there is a problem in our friendship, well, we can unfriend them. Now that’s a community we can feel good about.

Although Jeff didn’t realize how important the Tribe Writers community would become, he went too far with that one.

Why would I want to interact with those who might encourage me. And why on earth would I want honest feedback? That might hurt. Sure, it might help me grow in my writing, but did you hear me when I said, it might hurt? I do not gravitate toward things that might hurt.

And as far as fans. I’ve got family members that tell me how good my writing is and how they don’t know why a publisher hasn’t discovered me yet. Family.

And let’s not forget my friends. So what, they sometimes change the subject when I talk about another writing project. While it’s true they don’t return my umpteen text messages, they COULD be in the bathroom, you don’t know.

3) You can get published

Okay this is the real biggie. If you take this course, you just may get your book out there. The one that’s burning inside of you.

You may get the tools you need and the confidence you lack, so one day when you go on Amazon, your book is there. No longer is it just an idea in your head.

And not only is it there, but it’s rising up the ranking. People are buying it, people are reading it. And dare I say, people are liking it. Real people who don’t share your name.

But, who needs to be published, anyway? I mean then you might get a big head. You might even think you have more inside of you to share. And you might actually start feeling good about yourself. That would be a change.

Change

Status quo is comfortable. Change is hard. And you’ve fought it this long. Just hang on.

It’s better to just keep talking and dreaming about writing. Setting goals you might not reach? That’s just crazy talk.

Hopefully by now I’ve convinced you why you should NOT become a Tribe Writer.

Still, I think it’s only fair to disclose that I am a Tribe Writer. In fact, I joined the first group Jeff Goins started. He has even started different groups, like My 500 Words. Yes, I’m part of that one too.

I’ve learned I can do scary things. In fact, it gave me confidence to try other scary things as well.

And yes, I did become part of a community which helped me grow in my writing and as a person. People I’m proud to call my friends.

And finally, yes, I am published. Five books are out there with my name on them, since joining Tribe Writers. One that was really hard to write, called Broken. And three children’s books you can see here, here and here.

I don’t know, it is your decision. For me, it was one of the best ones I’ve ever made.

In case you feel like checking out Tribe Writers, click HERE. (You need to know it’s an affiliate link.)

Whatever you decide, it’s your decision.  Maybe you’d like to hear an interview I did with Jeff Goins.

One thing you need to realize is that you are unique. No one can tell your story because no one has lived it but you. The world needs to hear what you have to say.

Either way, I wanted to share my story. I’ve been doing that a lot lately.

I’m Gonna Pray, Olivia

shoes
I know the doctors are not giving you
much of a chance, but I’m gonna pray.
They hold test results in their hands,
my hands are empty.

God tells me to cast all my cares on Him.
And I care about you.
So I’m gonna pray.

I know God knit you together in your mommy’s womb.
He chose each and every part.
Every single cell.

I don’t presume to know what God’s doing.
He told me his ways are not my ways.
His thoughts are not my thoughts.
I believe that.

But God is the author of life.
He’s the lover of children.
So I’m gonna pray.

And then I’ll know I did what I could.
The only thing —the best thing.
I brought you up to the Father.
The one who loves you more than I ever could.

So Olivia, I just want you to know,
I’m praying for you.
It’s what Grandmas do.

I love you.

Don’t Make These 3 Mistakes When Giving

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I brought in the plastic bags. Putting them down on the table, I unload them, thankful I got to go to the food pantry today. Thankful I have something different to offer my family.

Opening the Duncan Hines box, I’m looking forward to making a cake. Cake is a luxury item.

Reaching for my large bowl, I feel like singing. Maybe things will be okay. Dumping the mix into the bowl, I smell a hint of vanilla. Breaking an egg, I see it. A small speck of darkness invading the white powdery mix. Looking closer I see another and another. Bugs! This box is full of tiny bugs.

The expiration date shows me this dessert was meant for last year. I empty the contents into the trash. I don’t feel much like singing now.

Feeling poor doesn’t feel good

I wipe a tear off of my face before my young daughter sees it. I only feel poor on certain days, this is one of them.

“I think I’ll make something else,” I say smiling.

“Why?” she asks.

“I just want to,” I lie.

Thankfulness is sometimes slippery

Struggling to hold onto thankfulness I wonder. Why do some people give away what they want to get rid of? How would they feel being on the receiving end?

I remember another trip to the food pantry. The volunteer behind the card table takes my information, asking me to take a seat.

When my name is called, I’m led to the first room. It’s set up like a grocery store in two rooms.

On the shelves are all kinds of canned goods. In another section I see boxes of cereal, boxes of crackers.

Taped to some shelves are little pieces of paper with numbers on them. The tag reads:

3-4 people in the family
2 cans

As the volunteer watches me, I take two cans. She says,“No, you only get 1 can, you have two people in your family.”

“I have three people in my family,” I whisper.

She starts to argue and then checks my card she is holding. “Oh, you’re right.”

I feel like I’ve been caught stealing, except I haven’t.

We move over to the paper goods area. I get to choose one item, either paper towels, toilet paper, or napkins. I choose toilet paper. I watch as she takes the four-pack and tears it open. She puts one roll on the shelf and hands me the three.

I hardly look up

I hear only fragments of what she’s telling me. “…all the baked goods you’d like…you can take two packs of gum or two candy bars per child.”

I stuff my feelings down and go through the motions. Thanking her, I push the metal cart out to my car. The noise from the squeaky wheels makes it impossible to slip out quietly. I hope I don’t see anyone I know.

By the time I open my trunk, my tears won’t stop. I don’t ever want to come back here again. Returning the cart I see a friend who works there. “What’s wrong?” she asks, seeing my face.

I relay my experience, letting the tears fall as they may. “I don’t think I can do this anymore. I almost brought the food back in. But I do want you to know, I have appreciated all the food I’ve ever received from here.”

“I’m so sorry,” she says, “Please come back.”

One month later

It’s that time again. Do I go to the food pantry? I play the different scenarios in my mind, but eventually I decide to try it one more time.

Something is different. No one opens the package of toilet paper to keep a roll. No one challenges me when I take my two cans of soup. I felt heard.

It’s hard to be a person in need.

It’s sad we live in a world where some people determine another person’s worth by what he/she has. Their philosophy might be, “If you have little, you are worth little.”

A missionary couple living overseas received a care package from one of their church supporters. They felt excited as they went through each item in the box. Until they opened a small container tucked in the bottom. The contents? Slivers of soap. Next to it was a small tin filled with used tea bags.

Needless to say, this couple was discouraged by the time they got to the bottom of the box.

It’s easy to make mistakes when we give. To get the mindset that the person should be satisfied with whatever he/she gets. Make sure when you give that you avoid these three no-no’s:

1)   Giving what you ought to toss out

Sometimes we need to ask ourselves, “Would I want to receive this for my family?” If not, toss it.

2)   Having strings attached to what you give

When we give freely, it means we’re giving with no expectations. If we are disappointed with how our gifts are  received, we have a small string attached.

3)  Giving only when others know it

If we cannot give anonymously at times, maybe our motives for giving aren’t right. Our gifts should be freely given which means even if they are not appreciated, it doesn’t affect us. Giving is not a spectator sport.

Receiving a gift can make a person feel loved. It can make a person feel as if they have value. On the other hand, it can also make someone feel less than, like a sliver of soap or a used teabag.

3 Ways to Help When Things Seem Hopeless

Photo © Jessica Peterson

My son and his wife are having our fourth grandchild. We nearly burst when they told us, trying to imagine another one to love. Their two sons and little daughter would have a little sister in January.

As grandparents we were excited to hear about this new little one. Sometimes the smile I wore was too big for my face, but I didn’t care.

Life has ups and downs

There’s only one thing wrong with getting excited. If things so wrong, it’s a long way down.

I’ve taken that ride before. Like the time my sweet neighbor hung pink and blue balloons on our little tree when she found out I was pregnant. And then they had to be taken down when the script changed for me.

And now years later, I marveled as I watched Nathan and Heather juggle their family life as well as working with their music with Hello Industry. I didn’t mind when their band had a gig, or needed to practice. It meant more face-to-little-face time with my grandchildren, the reason we moved closer.

“We’re shooting a new music video,” Heather told me a few weeks ago.

It went well and they were all excited about it.

Everything changed

A routine doctor’s visit created a dark cloud that still hangs over us. Words were uttered concerning this new little one we’re waiting for: “Trisomy 18…fatal…we don’t know when.”

And their music world intersected with their life. For they began living out the video they had recently produced. A video about receiving news you don’t want to receive.

Test results confirmed the doctor’s fears. Heather said, “Nathan can’t even edit the video, it’s too hard to watch. Everything he was trying to act, he’s now feeling.”

And then I saw the video and I understood completely.

Right now I can’t help with the one thing that really matters.

When life gets difficult we jump in, doing what needs to be done. But often we feel helpless.

Three Things to do When we Can’t help:

1) We can listen. We can be there with the person. And sometimes that requires sitting in silence, giving the person freedom to just be. Silence can be a gift when a person doesn’t feel like talking.

2) We can pray. We might not have the answers to someone’s struggle. There may not BE an answer, but that’s okay. One day we’ll understand.

3) We can love. It may mean bringing a cup of coffee, doing a load of clothes. Maybe just providing a hug. Love wears many outfits.

Right now we’re facing something we don’t want to face. I’m wrestling with the whole thing and my emotions are all over the mat. I’ll do okay for a while and then a wave of grief will knock me off my feet. Or my anger will rise up out of nowhere and I’ll feel like screaming. Sometimes I do.

I know what’s true. I’ve quoted those verses. But it’s hard watching your loved ones hurt. God reminded me he knows that feeling too. He watched at Calvary.

Please pray for our family. And for little Olivia that I’d love to meet. I already love her.

To see the music video, or to hear Nathan and Heather explain what they’re facing, click Here.

3 Reasons you Should NOT Join a Launch Team

The Scream by Edvard Munch – Photo source Widipedia

 

The feeling is called dread.

Guess What?

You know, first there’s a post, “I’m so excited, I just received my book through the mail!” And there she is, Wilma Writer. With a smile that’s bigger than her face, next to her shiny new book. She didn’t take this many pictures of her firstborn.

Pretty soon you are dodging your inbox. Trying to sneak on and off Facebook without being noticed. It gets hard when your friends are posting things you’re dying to respond to. But you have to have resolve. You must be strong.

And then you let your guard down.You responded and were noticed. Busted.

Wilma, whose book is about to be launched, instant messages you.“I would LOVE it if you would join my launch team.”

Don’t do it!

I’m here to tell you three reasons you should NOT join a launch team.

I have researched this for a full ten minutes, okay maybe six. And I have a partial handle on it.

After all, who better to share this than a published author who dreams of being on the New York Times Best Seller List?

So here goes.

Why you should NOT join a launch team:

1) If you join a launch team others may then think you are available to join their teams. And you’ll be asked every week and pretty soon it’s all you’ll ever be doing and you’ll feel like all you are good for is tweeting, and sharing on Facebook and googling, and on and on and on.

2) You might hate the book and you’re definitely not secure enough to give anything less than five stars. After all, didn’t you just get six stars out of a possible five for your book about hiccups that you were sure would be a big hit? Giving an honest review might mean the end of a friendship, and your friend list is not the kind to write home about anyway.

3) You just might enjoy it. Even though your list of things you enjoy has shrunk down to ‘eating chocolate’ and ‘watching TV’ and eating chocolate is mentioned twice. The truth is, you cannot remember the last time you enjoyed something new.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. I’m not sure if that’s true. My husband and I raised our children, but I do know it takes a team to launch a book.

Why, you may ask?

 5 reasons you might want to join a launch team:

1) It’s a numbers game. In order for many book-buyers to see a new book, it has to be high on the magic list.The higher it goes, the more people see it. You can help someone’s book move up the list.

2) A writer can only tell their friends and family about their books for so long before they start dodging you. And you see that glazed look in their eyes when you begin talking about it. Believe me, I have seen that look and it is not pretty.

3) Some day your turn will come to launch a book. Of course by then all the people you helped launch will no longer return your emails and phone calls because they are bigger than you are, but there is Karma and if you help others, well, it might boomerang back to you.

4) Being on a launch team will give you experience. So when it is your turn you’ll know what to do, and more importantly, what NOT to do. Like expecting people to set their alarms and wake up at 3:00 am to tweet about your book. Enough said.

5) You may actually have fun. I don’t mean going to Hawaii kind of fun. But it may be fun being part of something bigger than you are. In sharing the excitement when someone’s book gets to the top of the Amazon list. You’ll get to cheer knowing you were part of that.

Let’s face it, launch teams are part of our future for those of us brave enough to self-publish. And we have the opportunity to give someone a hand. Everyone needs clappers.

Note: if you would like to experience a launch team I just happen to have two you can choose from. Don’t worry, I won’t track you down. Much. If you are interested email me at anne@annepeterson.com and I’ll add you. 🙂
My two books

Pardon my Quills

crested_porcupine

I guess I’ve done it again. I can tell by your flinch that I’ve poked you.

It’s probably hard to believe that it wasn’t my intent. My closet must be full. The one I stuff my emotions in.

When I don’t deal with my emotions, somehow the hurts overpower everything and before I know it, my quills are out.

I don’t plan on poking others, but it still happens. And I’m not sure who’s more surprised. Okay, that’s not true.

I was only kidding…

I used to use satire, you know, quips. I did it a lot, until one day.

I was at a casual woman’s event. Food, laughing and people kidding around. One of my favorite people, Debbie was there.

I liked Debbie because she and I would volley words back and forth like nobody’s business. And I thought it was nobody’s business, but I was wrong.

She’d hit one over the net, and bam! I’d return it. I’d put one over and she would smash it back. It was pure art.

We had fun with all the back and forth-ing we did, without realizing quipping isn’t a spectator sport. Someone in the group didn’t find it funny at all.

This is to help you…

My friend, Jan called me the next day. She started dancing—I could tell she had something to say, but she wasn’t saying it. I recognize dancing because I know all the steps.

“I’m only telling you this because I care about you…I’d want to know if it was me,” she said.

This is gonna hurt, I warned myself.

With a little more coaxing, Jan continued. “You know how you were kidding around with Debbie last night?”

“Yeah,” I answered, watching my knuckles turn white from hanging on.

“Well Cindy didn’t know you and Debbie were friends, and she said, “What’s with Anne? She sure is critical.”

I quickly tried remembering which one was Cindy.

Being misunderstood hurts

Jan’s words burned and I tightened up.

Critical? I was only joking. It was hard pretending those words didn’t hurt, they did. But I kept reassuring Jan it was okay, even though it wasn’t.

You see, as a child in a rage-filled house, I learned how to dance. It was never safe to disclose my feelings.

I learned to hide them behind a giant smile, but the smile kept slipping.

That’s when I learned to fold up my feelings, place them in a plastic bag and store them in the closet of my mind. The plastic kept the hurt fresh.

Later I’d take them out, unfold them and hurt all over again.

And somehow, when I’m wrapped up in hurt, my pesky quills would stand on end, and innocent people would get hurt.

I’d apologize when I heard the scream. I was sorry. But my pain trumped everything.

The story’s not over

I’d love to tell you the story ended there, but it didn’t.

Years later, I was on Facebook and Cindy, the remark-maker friended me. Over the years I did get to know her, but I kept my secret.

At first, we simply instant messaged each other.

And then one day, I took my hurt out of its protective plastic. I sat there holding it, feeling myself tense up. My gut said, “Don’t do this.”

But I had learned how to ignore my gut and to keep going. By the way, I strongly discourage anyone from doing this.

Spiraling down

I broke Jan’s confidence and brought up the issue from years ago.

Stored hurts turn rancid. They morph into resentment and bitterness—not a pretty sight.

Bitterness I had met a long time ago.

“Aunt Jeanette, guess what? I graduated.”Returning to school after twenty-five years absence and graduating IS a big deal.

“You graduated? You could have done that years ago,” she said.

Or the time I said to my dad,  “I met someone and we’re going to be married. He’s in the army.”

“He’s in the army? I told your brother to go in the army, but did he listen? No.”

Yes, I knew resentment and bitterness.

So what happened?

Cindy denied ever saying anything negative about me.

She could have forgotten, but I didn’t believe her.

Most people would have stopped there. Actually, most people would not have traveled down this road at all, but I wanted to prove I was right.

Well, Cindy unfriended me. Actually, I would have unfriended me if I could have figured out how.

I did learn some lessons, but the price was exorbitant.

Hard lessons learned:

  1. Breaking a confidence is never good.
  2. People matter more than being right.
  3. You need to process your feelings, not store them.

Feelings have a way of coming out, like a beach ball held underwater. If we deal with our feelings, they won’t grow. Unresolved issues do not just dissolve.

Hurting people hurt people. Had I worked through my feelings, well things would have been a lot different. Quills are alright for porcupines, but for people? Not so much.

Note: All names have been changed but mine.

Is There a Story Inside you?

 

 

Are you a writer with a message for the world? There are definite signs that can let you know.

I’m talking about more than the fact your fingers have to be pried off the keyboard each night. More than the fact you do very little except write, write and write.

Maybe you’re not even aware of it yet. Let me ask you this, do you see something in the world that needs to be changed? Something you feel so strongly about you can hardly talk about it without raising your blood pressure.

Is there something inside you’re dying to share, afraid you might burst?

Any of these reasons would be reason enough to pursue getting your words out there.

But you need to know whenever we feel strongly about something, there will be resistance.

As with anything we do with great value, resistance will try to stop us.

But that’s okay. Expect resistance. Fight it like crazy, but expect it. And believe me, resistance is persistent and tries many tactics. He’ll be the one telling you:

Everything’s already been said

One fallacy that tries to derail us is the thought that we have nothing new to say.  And the truth is yes, many things have been talked about again and again. They have been the topics of  books, articles, papers, and even day to day conversations.

But they aren’t said with our voices. What we say will not be the same as every person who said it before us. How am I so sure? Well, for one thing not everyone has the same life experiences. Nor does everyone have your unique voice.

You’re not a good enough writer

Now this area needs to be addressed. Because it’s something we can do something about.  I remember in 2012 when I came across a course offered online called Tribe Writers. I had heard about Jeff Goins on Michael Hyatt’s site. I liked Jeff’s style of writing. And what really appealed to me was his confidence.

And then one day I heard Jeff was starting a writing course and I heard me ask myself, “Why not check it out?”

I decided I had nothing to lose. Didn’t I always like writing? Hadn’t my teachers encouraged me in this area?

So I signed up. I remember going through the exercises and learning so much. And the first time I needed to submit an exercise I heard this loud sound, my heart beating out of my chest. I kind of froze and after a day or two. Yes, I was that scared, I went ahead and hit submit. Do you know why? Because I had read comments from other writers who were just as scared. And they submitted, encouraging me to follow suit. And I did.

When I received positive feedback, my confidence started growing and it felt wonderful. I knew I was in the right place.

What Tribe Writers is and isn’t

If you’re looking for a class that will hold your hand and tell you only what you want to hear, Tribe Writers is probably not for you.

If you want to believe all you have to do is X Y and Z and you WILL skyrocket onto the best sellers list within a couple of weeks. Again, this might not be what you’re looking for.

But, if on the other hand, you want to learn what you need to do to become published and you’re willing to do the work. If you’re ready to discover what your voice is and identify what your worldview is. Then look no further.

I thought I’d learn valuable information. I did.

I thought I would get feedback on my writing. I did.

What I didn’t count on was the community of writers I’d get to know and care about. Fellow writers who shared my passion and desire to make a difference with words.

The interviews Jeff provided were great. The lessons exceeded my expectations.

I felt inspired to sit and let my words dance onto my computer screen day after day.

You have nothing to lose

Tribe Writers offers a guarantee taking away any risk. You can join, give it a try, and see if it’s a good fit. And if you find it isn’t, Jeff gives you your money back. That’s rare these days.

And in case you’re worried that you won’t have the time you need to go through the course, you can even go at your own pace. You can repeat the course. I did a few times.

What could happen if you do Tribe Writers? Well, I have just written my third book with two more in the making. You could finally write that book you’ve been thinking about.

What it’s meant to me

I learned what it means to build my platform. I’ve increased my readership, my writing has improved.

Am I rolling in the dough? No. But I’m reaching more people with my words, something that’s important to me.

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For more information about Tribe Writers click HERE. (Please note it is an affiliate link).

And just maybe we’ll get to read your story.