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home : columns : dear harriette April 18, 2021

2/10/2021 7:58:00 AM
Isolation taking a toll on reader's mood

DEAR HARRIETTE: I feel like I am always fussing these days. At work, everybody seems on edge, and I am, too. At home, my husband and I seem to go at it about the littlest things. It's all too much. Being cooped up for a whole year without the normal ways that we could blow off steam is taking its toll on my mood -- and it's not just me. Everybody around me seems to be affected. I don't want to be stuck in this bad mood. What can I do? -- No More Bad Mood

DEAR NO MORE BAD MOOD: Good for you for calling out how you feel and noticing that it may be bigger than just a momentary thing. Many people are feeling tense right now. It has been a very long time that we have been either quarantined or dramatically limited in the ways in which we can engage others. And human beings need to be together, while too much togetherness, like your situation at home, can also feel stifling.

Some folks dream about things going back to normal, but as the great spiritual adviser Iyanla Vanzant recently told me, we have to accept "the now." The past is just that: past, gone. Whenever the pandemic truly passes and the world opens up again, things will be different, and there's no going back. So your attitude needs to change. I've started getting flowers at the grocery store and putting them on my desk. I practice remembering to be kind when I talk to everyone, including the people in my house. I choose more often to start every engagement with positive words and a smile. Try these simple ways of claiming joy.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I'm no writer, but I have so much to say. I have this idea to teach and share my knowledge with others, and many of my peers think that aside from running my own seminars, I should write a book. I know I can easily take the format of what I have been saying time and time again during my group talks and mentoring and write it all down, but even if I were to get all my thoughts and ideas down on paper, where do I go from there? How does a book go from an idea to being printed and put on shelves? Do I pay to publish my book, or does a company have to like my book enough to buy it and publish it? You're a published writer -- where do I start? -- Starting My Book

DEAR STARTING MY BOOK: Many people who are not writers hire ghostwriters to help them put their ideas on paper and turn them into books. This has become a big industry that you may want to tap into.

You can also try to do it yourself. Decide what you want to write about. Is it a memoir? Is it a manual attendees would use to complement your seminars? What is the book? Next, find a writer's workshop to help you develop your ideas as you write. Hire an editor to get your content tight. You can self-publish, which is common these days, and sell your books directly through your seminars. To get a book published by a traditional publisher, you will need to secure a literary agent, show your reach (social media footprint, audience) and sell your idea to a publisher.

All are possible, but if you already have a good following through your seminars, you may want to choose the self-publishing route to start. It's quicker and easier, and you will have a built-in potential buyer base..

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