Hugh Howey has been a guiding influence into my journey in becoming an author. The gentleman doesn't know who I am. He won't remember that he blocked me on Twitter, with my former account, because I dared to state that the hearing I was watching demonstrated to me, just how dysfunctional our government was and both parties had to take responsibility for that dysfunction. He simple stated, my comparing the two parties would result in me being blocked. I just smiled. I never stated my political opinion, just my observation that there was room to improve communication between the two parties.
I just released my STEPS to Success program with three books. STEPS to Success WORKBOOK shares how I applied the program in my life as an author. I highlight three authors which became mentors to me, by my observing, reading several of their books, and researching the journey as authors. Hugh was one of those authors. His adventurous spirit intrigues me. His methodology to being author inspires me. He is generous with the information he shares about being a self-published author. In this workbook, I share what action I took, based upon what I was learning from Hugh.
Ten books in two years. Welcome to my mind, as I have traveled down this amazing journey of being an author. To write is to breathe. I look back and I smile, "Not to bad for a woman who left a cult twelve years ago, and has been on a personal journey quest into discovering me." It's been an incredible writing journey, which I am appreciative to those, like Hugh, who have been willing to share their journey in life and as an author.
Every year, several times a year, I pick a writing mentor. Most will never know I exist or how they have made an impact in my writing. In order to share my STEPS to Success program, of what I use monthly to set and meet my goals, I highlighted the initial three authors who I chose. Hugh, was one of those.
STEPS to Success TOOLBOX and STEPS to Success JOURNAL are a working thirty-day writing activity. And yes... I did just shamelessly promote these books, which are a part of The Ember Within series. I'll be dropping two more books in this series by the end of the month. These have been written over the past two years, since I released Falling Silence in 2019. They are what I practice on a monthly basis, and have shared pieces of them on social media. It is what I apply to keep my mindset focused and to be able to accomplish what I have. By the end of July, I will have released a dozen books, in two years, in four series.
- The Art of Defining Me Series—My journey into this beautiful work after leaving the cult.
- Falling Silence—My story of being born and raised in a cult, leaving and learning to live in a world I was raised to fear as evil.
- Into the Mirror—My visualization and processes I did while transitioning out of a cult mentality.
- The Ember Within Series—Thirty-day motivational challenges which I have done for the past several years as I've began this journey into being an author. I highlight my STEPS to Success program, which is what I developed during my ten year journey from leaving the cult, to becoming an author. I apply this program in my life, daily.
- STEPS to Success WORKBOOK shares how I applied the program in my life as an author. I highlight three authors which became mentors to me, by my observing, reading several of their books, and researching the journey as authors.
- STEPS to Success TOOLBOX is a contemporary design thirty-day goal setting activity with daily motivational thoughts to help inspire the analytical side of you.
- STEPS to Success JOURNAL is an elegantly design of my program with daily motivational thoughts to help inspire the creative side of you.
- Define and Align Affirmations of Empowerment—Is a thirty-day journey into defining and aligning with thirty core foundational values. This is one of the first processes I used, after leaving the cult. I do this challenge once a year.
- Defining Thoughts Reflections from Within—Is a thirty-day journey into diving deep within and learning about what is holding you back. This book is to help in eliminating self-defeating behaviors while strengthening your self-motivation.
- July Release: Hidden Treasures A Deeper Perspective of Success—A thirty-day journey into exploring our thoughts about success. I feature my own photography in this book.
- July Release: Embrace the Journey An Adventure Within—An exploration to delving deep within and discovering the beauty of who we are, because of who we've been.
- Journey of the Heart The Sunrise and Sunset of Love Series—This series is my poetry which shares the journey of and beauty of both the beginning and ending of love.
- Reflections of the Heart—A collection of poetry, placed to in a story format about the journey into the realm of love.
- Driven A Please of the Heart, An Embrace of the Soul—A collection of poetry dedicated to those who drive hard in life and feel as though love has passed them by.
- Carillu Series—My children's series, dedicated to my two special needs grandchildren. The first book, Froggie and Friends was co-authored with my daughter Amber.
As one of my wise mentors, M Lemont in his book Write Like You're Already Famous said, "Write. You have the rest of your life to figure out marketing and sales, but if you don't write you have nothing to market and sale."
Another mentor, was Peter Crawdron who once said to me, "Carin, take down you are an 'aspiring author' off your Twitter profile. You have self-published Falling Silence. Book sales don't determine when you become an author. Publishing does. You Carin, are an author. Keep writing."
And finally, another beautiful comment from my mentor Hugh Howey... albeit it was an imposter who after two years confessed he was an imposter, "Carin, keep writing."
Throughout my writing, I delve into the two theories, Hugh addresses. What we fail to address, is our responsibility to understand our emotional response to what life places on our path. Until we, individual take responsibility for our thoughts, which stirs up emotions, which then lead to action; we will be caught in the never escaping net of the blame game.
"The devil made me do it. You made me angry. God inspired me." No, you thought about your action, your visualized it so it felt real, stirring up an emotional response, in which your body took action on. Then you had another emotional response to your decision, and had to rationalize your actions in hopes to generate an emotional response from another individual which would make your life better, despite your actions. The reward factor.
Our actions are learned behavior, but we are responsible for what we learn. We no longer are children, who when we cry in our cradle we get people rushing over to make our life better. We are adults, responsible for our thoughts, emotions, speech, and actions. It's time we get off the blame game, and start looking inward at ourselves... beginning with our inner thoughts and speech.
My response to Hugh Howey's blog about WOOL.
WOOL has a special place in my heart and in my journey as an author. I read WOOL while I was writing my memoir, Falling Silence, which is about me being born and raised in a cult, leaving and learning to live in a world I was raised to fear as evil. WOOL got me through some really tough chapters I was writing, because of the character Juliette. She was strength for me, to face what lay outside of the cult and not to fear it. To be willing to explore and question everything I was raised to believe. I found this book and you as an author, through one of your imposter's introduction. Which is a comical story in and of itself.
The two theories you discuss, has always fascinated me. Having raised five children, who all ended up leaving the cult, several which helped guide me out; there is a need for both theories. I came to realize this when at 48, I was like a child trying adventuring out into a strange land and people, to figure out this strange world I entered. I had to set strict boundaries for myself initially, while I relearned history, observed people, and researched different lifestyles, beliefs, and relationships.
An insane amount of questions were asked, "Why?" escaped my lips a lot. Lots of reading and observation took place. A tremendous amount of analysis of every thought to determine if it was influenced by my cult upbringing.
As I grew in my foundation of who I desired to be, I could safely explore experiences. This was the key point that Juliette helped me get through. This woman, despite her philosophy and desire to explore, used her knowledge and wisdom to do it safely. She was willing to look at opposing viewpoints. She was willing to discuss opposing opinions, rather than just shut the person of, because she didn't agree with them.
It was her ability to be opened minded, question everything, and listen to understand which became a guiding methodology for my journey outside of the cult. Juliette's emotional journey of learning of the deceit and betrayal, in order to maintain power; can't be underestimated as to the importance of her character development within WOOL.
Having obtained power, she had to evolve into what type of leader she would be. Without her willingness to be open minded, learn about the history, question decisions, and step back and observe the people she was now leading; she could have easily failed. Her silo could have become silent with the death of its inhabitants turning on each other.
She became a leader, because she gained the trust of individuals who believed in her ability to lead. She gained that trust because she listened to all points of view. She didn't shut anyone down, but instead encouraged people to speak their thoughts. If she was to lead an entire silo of people, everyone needed to feel they had a voice and they mattered.
You brilliantly interweave your own personal political viewpoints into your writing. Yet, your books appeal to a wide variety of audience with different political opinions. It will be interesting to see the evolution of how this is interpreted on screen. Will it be entertaining, or will it be another political promotion piece? We've seen far to often, books not translating well onto the screen because they did not stay true to the book. Hopefully you can help guide this to not occur with WOOL.