Saturday, February 23, 2013


Welcome to Release The Writer Within. On Sept 1, 2012 I challenged myself, and anyone that may stumble upon this blog site, to a 30 day writing challenge. During the month of September I posted daily insights, as well as  my own thoughts, from reading through each chapter and aphorism from Cecil Murphey's book Unleash The Writer Within.

When I started this challenge the words spoken into my heart were "there is healing in the writing" not "there is healing in the perfect writing."
As you will see when reading through my postings, that they are far from perfect. There are grammar errors and editing mistakes. But, in spite of the mistakes, I hope you will read between the lines and finds some words of wisdom!

Since writing The 30 Day Writing Challenge there have been several challenges in my own life. I have done a lot of reflecting and soul searching trying to seek what direction to take in my writing and blogging. This is the insight that I have gained: I've come to realize that even if I never make the recommendations of any professional writer's or blogger's website or write a #1 best selling book, my hope is to bring encouragement to someone out there that may stumble upon this site, read this 30 day challenge, pick up a pen, and find that there is "healing in the writing" for their own heart! 

Enjoy the Journey!

Sunday, September 30, 2012


   ~ Day 30 ~        A PARTING WORD       ~ Day 30  ~

Cecil closes this book with some thought provoking questions like, Why do we want to write? and, What pushes or compels us to keep on writing? Even in the midst of uncertainty, rejections, and inner and outer critics of our work? We don't have to write, in fact he says that life might be easier for us if we delete all our document files.

But he advices us that if we feel we must write, if we know that we will never be fulfilled unless we give our best, then we will be miserable if we delete our files. He says, "Wouldn't you feel better to say at the end of your life, I tried, than to say, If only I had...?"

For me, I 've come to realize that the words "There is healing in the writing" that were spoken so gently into my heart when I first began this 30 Day Writing Challenge were true. The chains have been broken, and my voice, my writing voice, has been set free. My hope is these healing words hold true for you too, no matter what, or who, has kept your voice captive.

Cecil wants us to consider the possibility that we have stories to tell the world, teachings to inspire others, and words to encourage the fearful and isolated. He writes, "You can focus your energies on all the reasons you can't or shouldn't write. Or you can say, "I have things to say. I have to write them."And who knows the effects of your words?"

He gives us some final thoughts to think about.

* Write to find out who you are.

* Who you are determines what you write.

* The more you write, the more you learn who you are.

* The more you learn who you are, the better you like yourself.

* The better you like yourself, the more you're able to help others.

* "Unleash the writer within."

All I can say is Cecil Murphey, your stories and teachings from this awesome book have inspired me. Your words have encouraged me when I felt fearful, and isolated. You've helped me to focus my energies on reasons why I should write. Your words of wisdom from each of these chapters and Aphorisms will have a lasting effect on me. Why? Because you've unleashed the writer within me! You have given me the tools that I need to carry on with the next chapter of my writing journey and the desire to want to say at the end of my life, "I tried !"  "I let go!".  With healing words and loving hands to guide me, I've returned to innocense in my heart. You see this is where the healing beings and freedom is found!

My hope is that you the reading audience have enjoyed this 30 Day Writing Challenge. That you have seen the face of grace peering behind the pages and read the words of wisdom between the lines from Cecil Murphey's book Unleash The Writer Within and the Release The Writer Within postings. My prayer is that you will pick up your pen and write, clear your voice and sing, tune your instrument and play or what ever it is that you feel unleashed and released within to do! 

Listen to Cecil beckoning you to: "Unleash the Writer Within"

Until tomorrow,
Bless you,

My heartfelt thank you to Cecil Murphey for giving me permission to write a 30 Day Writing Challenge on your book Unleash the Writer Within. I can't tell you how much I appreciate the encouragement and grace you have given  me to write and tweak my way through your wonderful book.

My thank you to Brenda Leyland for providing the Blogging ABC's for Newbies course so I could set up this blog site and begin blogging/online writing. I appreciate your encouragement. To my dear friend Marcia Jansen for seeing a diamond in the rough in me many years ago and encouraging me as a friend and a writer to carry on. Your gracious advice is always appreciated. To my family for being my extra set of eyes to catch grammar and spelling errors even though we still missed the mark on some of them. To you the reading audience for taking the time to read each posting and for visiting this site. I hope you will continue to come and visit this site and follow me on my new adventure  Where The Healing Begins Blog Site !


Saturday, September 29, 2012


Day 29  ~          LETTING IT GO       ~  Chapter 27  ~

As I write on this topic and realize that tomorrow is my final post of The 30 Day Writing Challenge, it seems quite fitting that the topic Letting it Go is about letting go.

Cecil talks about two different kinds of writers. Those who won't hold back their manuscripts, and those who won't let go of them. He says that the first group are those who have to send everything as soon as they hit the final period and that they are more resistant to help. In his opinion he feels that the more insecure they are, the more they will refuse to learn and grow. They will defend obvious mistakes or be unable to hear criticism. If this applies to you, that means you must be right when you discuss anything. He writes, "You can't face being wrong, and you rarely apologize."

Boy, all I can say is I have experienced that kind of personality in both my work place and in ministry. It's tough to deal with. The only way they will change is usually by circumstances, tough circumstances. The kind that will bring you to your knees circumstances! It reminds me of the old saying. Pride Goethe before folly. 

The second group Cecil mentions are the kind of writers who hold back their manuscripts and have problems releasing them. He says that this was the group that he is more like or at least the way he used to be. He writes, "I'm not a perfectionist, but it was painful to release an article or book. I would think, This could be better. However, I didn't know how to make it better."

As I read about the second group of writers I am reminded once again of another old saying. We change when the pain to change is less than the pain to stay the same!

I have to ask myself, where do I fit there a third kind of writer? I think I'm pretty teachable, at least I feel I have gotten more so as I have grown older. Perhaps it's because my pride wenteth because of my folly and I changed because the pain to change became less than the pain to stay the same!

Cecil shares that he is highly prolific. One reason is because he finally figured out how to say to himself, "This is the best I can do at this stage of my development." He goes on to say that he finally gave himself permission to let go.

Cecil advices if you're the kind who holds back, who wants to make it just a little better, take a risk. He says, "Let it go."

The Aphorism for this chapter is: "This is the best I can do at this stage of my development."

This is the final chapter of this wonderful book. Tomorrow I will share some final thoughts from Cecil Murphey. I will also be sharing with you what the next chapter of this journey in writing I'm on will be. 

Until tomorrow,
Bless you,

Aphorism #27:        "This is the best I can do
                            at this stage of my development."

Friday, September 28, 2012


~ Day 28 ~  WRITING--YOUR PASSION ~ Chapter 26 ~

While writing the posting for this chapter a thought came to me, perhaps it's another Aphorism! It goes like this. It is important to have passion for what you write and to write with passion. I think there is a difference.

Cecil shares how he turned down a writing project from a wealthy entrepreneur that would have given him a considerable amount of money and guaranteed work for some time, but he turns the job offer down. Why? As Cecil puts it "I felt no enthusiasm. No conviction. His book ideas were topics on which I probably had only a mild interest. Although none of the ideas went against my sense of integrity, I had no strong feelings to pursue them. That question of zeal or passion was the deciding factor."

I don't about you but I find that to turn such an offer down admirable. It would be hard to be enthusiastic about topics you can't relate to. No amount of money would change what is not in your heart. You might be wealthy, but you might be miserable too!

Cecil also shares how conviction and energy come from within. That our fervency (or lack of it) shows, whether we are writing about investing in stocks, historical fiction, or how to build a fabulous wardrobe on a budget. He says, "To write passionately, we need to "catch fire" as one writer put it. We need to be carried along by something stronger than our normal self."

When we are considering writing a book on any topic Cecil's advice to us is to check our feelings. He says, "Ask yourself, can I stay excited about this for nine months or a year?"

This topic on passion really tugs at my own heart for the very reason that I to need to feel passionate about the subjects I write. I have to write from the heart. It's just who I am and although there is much room for improvement with grammar and basic skills in my writing, I know that I know writing is what I want to do. It's like a calling. I have my career which is my day job but my writing is my passion. Perhaps one day the two will become one in the same!

Cecil says that writing passionately fulfills certain inward demands. If you don't find pleasure in typing the words and thoughts, you're not writing from passion. He writes, "When you write, you probably start with what you've thought about, know, or you've researched, but that's not where fervor enters the process. Passion flows when you discover what you didn't yet know. It's like finding a wrapped gift at your front door with your name on it, and you can hardly wait to open the box."

Cecil shares how he writes for self-discovery, and that the writing doesn't have to be subjective. He mentions that he liked how one woman called writing an excavation. "If writing is excavating, you learn deeper meanings, and the intensity increases through the simple act of tapping the keyboard."

Another thought just came to my mind as I read Cecil's comments from this previous paragraph. We grow word by word, line by line, tapping and digging as thoughts come to mind! Wow, my creative juices are really on a roll tonight!

The Aphorism for this chapter is: "I am a passionate person. I can be a passionate writer if I choose."

Until tomorrow,
Bless you,

Aphorism # 26:        "I am a passionate person.
                          I can be a passionate writer if I choose."

Thursday, September 27, 2012


~ Day 27 ~   OUR ENVIOUS NATURE   ~ Chapter 25 ~

While reading through this chapter I found myself feeling a little uneasy, and honestly, somewhat sad. You see I know what it's like to experience the brunt of other peoples envy and jealousy. It hurts ! I'll share some thoughts on this a little later but first I think Cecil has some great insight on this topic.
 Cecil writes, "Although we tend to interchange envy and jealousy, I'm convinced they're different. Here's how I make the distinction, although both are negative emotions. Jealousy happens when we're focused on another person. I may be jealous if you spend too much time with someone I love." He goes on to give an example of having lunch with a group of writers along with his agent, and experiencing the feeling of jealousy because his good friend is paying all his attention to his agent and ignoring him. 

He goes on to say, "Envy is different. It's not focused the same way. For me, envy doesn't want you to have it because I want it myself and only for myself. I can be envious of any writer who is more successful, has a better platform, hosts a bigger Web presence, or gets more tweets that I do. That means I want what she has."

 I've shared a bit of myself  and my story on day 2 posting of  The 30 day Writing Challenge. I'd stepped away from pretty much all forms of public christian ministry and organizations in order to take some time to heal from the wounding of well meaning people that did not realize that their own wounds of their past were effecting them in such a way that it was causing destruction not only to themselves but to me and to others that tried to reach out and help them. There's a saying hurting people hurt people. I believe, envy and  jealousy were just some of the root issues that were causing them to act out the way they did.

Cecil says that envy is often mentioned in Catholic moral theology as one of the seven deadly sins. "And if envy grabs you, you might resent anyone who seems to have more of something better than you do. If unchecked, envy can lead to loathing the other." He goes on to write, "The gravity of the sickness obviously depends on how strongly you feel. You might recognize that you're envious and bewail your weakness or human failing--which probably comes out of your childhood need for affirmation and acceptance. That's how I finally understood envy."

Cecil goes on to share that if envy afflicts you, it probably means you're heavily committed to becoming the best possible writer and that other authors--undeserving in your opinion--get the acclaim that should be yours. He writes, "Because I've been in this writing life longer than most writers who still produce and sell, I'd like to tell you how I see this problem capturing the heart of writers."

Cecil shares a few possible solutions.

"First, envy is natural. It's not a moral failure or a flaw in your character. In fact, it says you're aware of yourself, as well as being conscious of others. Its says you care deeply about the craft, and you want to succeed."

"Second, there is a positive element. You can use that emotion to push you to improve your writing style. The negative occurs when you allow your attitude or actions to divert your energy."

"Third, once you're aware of envy, you have a choice. You can encourage it to grow by giving it tacit permission. The most obvious way is is to speak up unfavorably every time you hear the other's name mentioned."

Cecil goes on to give us some helpful advice such as, to say nothing  negative about other writers, no matter how strongly you feel. He also mentions that if you are a praying person you can pray for the other writer. He shares, "Now you can focus on your craft without wishing you were somebody else who has attained what you consider the epitome of triumph--the kind of feat you yearn to experience. He goes on to say, "Ask yourself this question; What am I learning about myself through this emotional reaction? It can enable you to be aware of what's important to you."

I know one of the main reasons why I feel so passionate about this book. It's because I believe it can help anyone that needs healing, encouragement, and understanding, not just writers.

The Aphorism for this chapter is: "I can resent others for their achievements, or I can admire them for what they've accomplished. I can determine to work as hard as they do."

Until tomorrow,
Bless you,

Aphorism # 25:  "I can resent others for their 
            achievements, or I can admire them for what
                                      they've accomplished.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012


~ Day 26 ~   COMPARING YOURSELF  ~ Chapter 24 ~

I think it's safe to say that comparing ourselves to others is something all of us can relate to at some time in our lives, whether you're an aspiring writer, singer, musician or simply new at your job. Comparing oneself is bound to happen sooner or later. It's what we do with it when it happens that ultimately can have a positive or negative effect.

Cecil gives us an illustration with his two daughters, Wanda and Cecile. He writes, "Wanda was a top student with excellent grades. I never worried about her. Cecile, however, was the artistic type, and she stayed in the average category in the subjects where her older sister excelled. One time, Cecile had a low report grade in social studies. I asked one question: "Did you do you best?" With tears in her eyes, she nodded. "That's all I ask." And I meant that. When it came to music and art, she was outstanding, so she had her areas of strength. She would never pull down the grades that put her sister on the honor roll."

Wow, I admire the environment that Cecile provides for his daughters. To me I see a safe place where they can grow and learn from their mistakes without feeling they are being compared to or competing with one another. That's healthy. That's love!

Cecil continues to say, "It works the same way with writing. You can't be perfect; you won't be outstanding in every phase of the craft. Here's you primary question: Am I doing my best? If you can answer yes, you're further along than the average writer."

Cecil gives us a small list of what he calls self-scrutiny questions that he feels may aid our progress.

* What are my strengths?

* How can I make them ever stronger?

* What kind of things do I write well?

* Where am I weak?

*In what areas do I need improvement?

 Although they are simple questions, Cecil used them to push himself to look inward as honestly as he could and although they were difficult for him, he was able to see and acknowledge his strengths.

As I read through the list of questions, it doesn't take long for me to see areas in my own writing and attitude in general that can always use tweaking. I believe wholeheartedly that it is so important to provide a loving atmoshpere which allows freedom to grow.

Cecil goes on to share two of his strengths. He says, "I write with heart. Readers tell me they can feel what I write. That's probably my greatest strength. I write with clarity. That is, I seem to be able to take complicated issues or thoughts and make them simple."

I have to admit, I've had moments during this 30 day writing challenge where I've had those negative thoughts of comparing myself come creeping in. Thoughts like, what was I thinking taking on something as challenging as this? What will other writers think of my writing? Will I offend the reading audience with some of my comments even though that would never be my intention? Most importantly, will I bring honor to Cecil's name and his book?

Cecil says, "The only healthy way to compare your writing is to look at your earlier work and contrast it with your current products." Cecil goes on to say, "By comparing myself with myself, I saw that I had grown."

I'm reminded once again not to look around, but to look within, and to look up to Him...the Author, and Finisher of my faith!

The Aphorism for this chapter is: "If I evaluate my writing, I compare my older work with my newer so I can see my growth."

Until tomorrow,
Bless you,

Aphorism #24:         "If I evaluate my writing,
                       I compare my older work with my newer
                                         so I can see my growth."   

Tuesday, September 25, 2012




So tell me, have you ever dared to dream big? To push yourself beyond the boundaries that you have shrunk back from so many times before? Perhaps you've convinced yourself you are about to write the next New York Times best seller?

Come to think about it, that dream did become a reality for Cecil Murphey. But as I've followed Cecil through this amazing book, it's obvious it started with a humble beginning. Let's see what Cecil has to say. He writes, "I had been publishing about ten years when I heard a dynamic speaker at a conference where I taught. He was riveting, and he spoke most of the time about our "comfort zone." At the time, it was a new phrase for me. "Push ahead! Move on! Take risks!" That's typical of his message. He told several delightful stories of the times he did exactly what he advocated and gave us the marvelous results--all success stories."

Cecil goes on to share that because he liked what the speaker said  and found him inspiring, he bought his CD. He also wanted to push against the boundaries and restrictions of his own life. But after he heard the CD at home, a number of questions surfaced. He says, "The first one was simple: What happens if I step out of my comfort zone and fail? Had he ever failed? If so, how did it affect him? If he didn't fail, was he embracing risks or simply taking the next obvious step?"

I have to admit when I read the first paragraph of this chapter, I couldn't help but smile and wonder if I had not only heard the same speaker but had bought the same CD! Or should I say taken the bait, (just kidding). The "Dream Big" and go after your dream type of message has definitely been popular in both secular and christian conferences. And have you noticed that its usually the same two or three success stories told over and over? ..Just thought I'd ask. 

Cecil writes, "As a writer, I've taken risks and some have succeeded; others haven't." He goes on the share the story of writing the book called 90 Minutes in Heaven. Although Cecil, and his agent, believed in the book, it didn't get published right away. In fact it was turned down from about a dozen publishers before it was finally sold to Revell, part of Baker Books. Since the writing of this book, 90 Minutes in Heaven has sold in excess of five million copies in English and has gone into forty-one translations. It has also been a New York Times best seller. That's a dream come true in my books! 

"That's history," says Cecil, "but what about the risk factor? Had I really moved out of my comfort zone? According to that charismatic speaker, I hadn't."

Cecil goes on to write, "I could obviously argue this either way, but from my perspective, I stayed with the book because I believed in it. I trusted my instincts, and I've been wrong a few times. I didn't see it as risky, only as the way the publishing business operates."

Although the "Dream Big" and fight the forces of doubt until we prevailed was the advice of the charismatic speaker Cecil says its just not his style. He writes, "It may not be your style, either."

I would have to say "been there, done that". I've attended the go after your dreams type seminars, listened to the CDs and read and re-read some of the "how to ____", you can fill in the blank books. And with a sigh of relieve and recovery I can say it's not my style either!

Cecil says, "You hear or read intriguing information, get excited about projects or ideas, and you don't do anything about them. The tendency is to feel you've failed or you've procrastinated. Maybe"

I have found that you can easily feel like you're out of the loop if you're not participating with the latest or most popular trend, whether it's writing or other interests one may be involved in.

Cecil shares, "Perhaps it's your inner wisdom that pulls you back and refuses to let you participate." He goes on to say, "Start within your comfort zone and write from who you are. That's not all. I urge you to begin what I call an unrelenting search for your true self. As you learn about yourself, you expand your comfort zone. You take what some would call risks, but to you the so-called risk becomes the next right step."

 He goes on to say, "If you're aware of yourself, your situation, and if you're connected to your inner motivation, do you need more? Do you need to push forward or march onward? Do you need to go on the attack? I don't, and I don't want to be a role model that says, "Do it my way." If I become a model for anyone, I want to be one who not only gives permission but urges others to do things their way."

All I can say is, anyone that encourages me as a writer to just be myself and write from my heart is an admirable model to me!

The Aphorism for the chapter is: "Moving out of my comfort zone is right when it's the next best step, or if it fits within my superior mode."

Until tomorrow,
Bless you,

Aphorism #23: "Moving out of my comfort zone is
                                 right when it's the next best step,
                             or if it fits within my superior mode."