Please welcome my fellow ND author, Sue L. Hamilton to The Clog Blog. Sue, tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Growing up on a family farm in north central ND provided a strong work ethic that lead to a 20-year corporate career, encompassing direct sales, upper management, employee training, customer service, and business development.
For the last 15 years, I’ve redirected my passion by encouraging others through the gift of speaking and writing. This allows others to be motivated and energized and bring them hope.
I’m an eternal optimist that loves life. On a personal note, I love gardening, cooking, and classic cars and is especially fond of being a wife of 31 years and mother of two grown sons.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to see where an idea takes you?
The structure I use on a regular basis while writing is the following:
- Personal Story
- Thoughts about the problem
- Lessons learned – teaching
- What to inspire or to move to action
Do you ever get writer’s Block?
Okay, I’ll say a little more. I’ve felt like I’ve had writer’s block ever since I completed my memoir Carried by Faith in the fall of 2017. I worked at it for seven years. In the last two of those years, I worked at it every day, even if it was for fifteen minutes. Now I have to force myself to write a weekly blog and most recently have went to an every other week blog because I just don’t feel like writing. UGH!!
What genre do you write, and what draws you to it?
Blog posts are geared mostly to middle-aged women working on self – improvement.
Memoir Carried by Faith is a wide range audience from male or female, age 16-70 years old.
How do you come up with the idea for your book?
I was forced into writing! While doing a lot of public speaking I use my life stories in the presentation/training and afterward people would ask me if I had a book or a website that I shared my stories in detail. The answer was always a resounding, “No!” I continued to hear it and decided to begin writing even though I wasn’t a writer. So, the idea for my memoir was my life stories from around the age of 5 – 30years old and a tragic motorcycle accident I survived.
My current project is a self-help book with the “rest of the story” from where I left off in the memoir.
How do you publish your book(s) and why? (Indie, traditional or small press)
Self-publish. I used TLC Design https://www.tlcbookdesign.com/ which allows for a la carte or packaged options. I’ve chosen this route because of the cost and the control of timing in producing a finished product.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Start writing and keep writing! Huh – maybe I need to take my own advice.
Find your writing voice and style. The only way I’ve found this is by continuing to write and seeing what I like and don’t like. In addition, I suggest that you get used to being told you need to improve and change things that you thought were wonderful and after someone else reads it they give you feedback for improvement. Be ready for constructive criticism because it will help you and improve the end product.
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?
Walls as a Way of Life
Excerpts from Carried by Faith: From Substance Abuse to a Life Filled with Miracles page 40-42
The high, thick walls of protection became my life; they bordered my heart, so no one could enter. Others didn’t understand what I was living in, this living Hell. The walls hid the pain and unspeakable things associated with the hard years of alcohol and drug abuse.
I believed no one would understand, so it was easier to keep everyone away with high, cold walls of silence and no emotion. No form of light, goodness, or happiness was allowed in. Alcohol and drugs filled the silence.
It was nice and quiet in the walls of protection, I didn’t have to explain myself, but then again, I couldn’t explain myself. The silence was best, and that is why I would use the “liquid forgetter,” alcohol and drugs. I craved the effect they gave me, and they kept my level of chaotic thinking at bay. They did for me what I could not do for myself.
I ran after the effect and did whatever I needed to get my supply. The concoctions of alcohol and drugs along with the need to keep my supply met took me to some very dark places. It can be explained like this – wickedness danced in the darkness of night, moving in and out of its hiding places and drunkenness was the painful bondage that took over my mind and body. When I would awaken from its stupor, I would wonder, “Where am I?” “What happened to me?” “What have I done?”
“What was to become of my miserable life?” “Why was I here anyway?”
I looked for a way to escape my life, even a slit to my wrist one dark night would not stop the pain. I had no answers. It felt like a knife stabbing in my heart. The pain would dull occasionally, but I always felt its continual throb, reminding me of my bondage.
I was constantly trying to get back to the original first feeling of catching a “buzz” or “getting high”. It would not come back.
Nights turned into weeks, then months, and years of crying and sobbing into my pillow. The pillow stopped the loud wail coming from deep within my soul. It silenced the fear and absorbed the tears that I couldn’t vocalize.
No words would ever reach my lips to explain my hopelessness. I continued to repeat in my head, “Why God…why am I here?”
I didn’t have any answers, so I continue to hide behind my protective walls.