Writing Self-Help Ideas for Those Willing to Use Them
Playing an Ants-in-the-Pants Exterminator
Writing for those willing to heal their minds and lives means not writing for many. For, you can entertain your readers, you can make them laugh, or cry, or more informed---but don't touch anything that might even remotely call for an honest self-assessment, god-forbid suggesting a self-change.
Well, a part of the uncomfortable truth about us humans is that we are wired in our brains to resent anybody's attempt of disturbing our comfort zone---even when that comfort zone is hurting us.
Therefore, if your passions and ambitions happen to gravitate towards a literary self-expression, do your very best to appease their tastes--- and then you are bound to be lavishly showered with comments of praises and appreciation.
Now, not that your "eye-opening" articles would be completely shunned, but your chances are realistically slim to become nearly as popular as that lady with a new, or even copied recipe for a pudding, or that dude with an advice how to properly water your lawn.
I guess, it's just as much of beating around the bush as you can take, so, well, let me get out of this closet, and don't bother standing up for an ovation---as I am obviously talking about myself here. A dude who will never try to sell you an advice about how to get rid of ants in the house, but is more likely to talk, and then talk some more, about those proverbial "ants-in-the-pants".
Truth be told, I always liked to dig deeply into human nature; and now you are already getting a feeling that I am about to give you a bragging resume of those "digging tools" in form of hundreds of books, countless meditations, and the rest of the blah-blah---a resume that should promote my chosen topics as something worth reading. Well, I won't.
At one point I even got this idea to express those "life truisms" in short poems. So I wrote over hundred of easy to read and digest poetic pieces of wisdom---thinking that such a form would stir a good traffic for my writing opus.
Well, I was not to become a celebrated poet---I just enjoyed expressing my thoughts while insisting on rhymes, because without rhymes and a rhythm poetry always looked to me like prose formed into a column. Or in many cases like a bunch of words splashed over the screen and begging reader to make some coherent sense of them. That's how little I know about poetry, and here I am shamelessly admitting to it.
All in all, my writing opus is insisting on themes where I am playing an ass reminding people that they could be better human specimens than they are presently pretending to be.
I know, wrong choice, but like I said, that's what I like doing---especially after I realized that somehow including recipes and "how to fix your home" material would look ridiculous in poems.
After All Other Names---Call Me a "Natural"
By now it should be easy for you to picture me as walking on a huge and busy shopping mall and ex-raying the mentality of all those passers-by, with exception of young and good looking chicks whose possibly flawed mentality is instantly forgiven.
One thing I can't take a credit for is this intuitive empathy with which I can easily perceive others' mental states. Correctly or not, that would be another question, but in so many occasions I have been right that I am inclined to trust it.
You can tell when you are a natural, just like you can recognize someone's affinity for music when you see them rocking in a non-rocking chair, tapping with their foot, and snapping their fingers, everything at once in the rhythm of the playing music.
Well, that would be me detecting others' rosy or crappy dispositions. I just sense them---you see, that dude with nervously shifting eyes is paranoid and would rather not be at that mall. And that middle-aged cougar didn't really need all that mascara to look more scary, while it was ambitiously meant to make her look younger.
So I write about people and their flaws, about human spirits with their promises of change, all with a daring idea that our unused potential is at our reach.
However people with inner issues have this notorious conviction that their problems are so complex that only a bona fide shrink or a miracle-worker can find a fix better than a joint, a sniff, or a glass of their favorite stuff.
Let them dislike me a little more as I call them just a little snobbish for it, like those shoppers who will buy even a crappy looking purse only if it's done by a famous designer. For, shrinks have statistically a very low rate of success, whereas a casual chat with a savvy bartender or a close friend may generate that life changing decision.
Well, I insist on simplicity. It worked for me.
Belief---The Key to a Treasure Chest or a Pandora's Box
If I have learned anything that would hold water from that ridiculously big pile of books and over seven decades of observing, it's the string of truisms pertaining to the science of hypnotism, suggestion, conditioning, brainwashing, and placebo. I don't even know if there is such a science, but there should be one.
That's where you learn those most eye-opening things about how our mind operates. I am kidding you not, folks, it's all about the power of belief. Now, don't take me wrong---I am not really talking about religious belief, but rather about our set of convictions which either put us in charge of our lives or make us victims of it. Without beliefs we would be depersonalized zombies---although our politicians may look that way despite all their beliefs.
Did you know that you don't actually see with your eyes, but with your brains? So, when somebody tells you: "I will believe it when I see it", don't buy that crap. The opposite is true, my friend---we see what we believe, or what our brain is telling us how to interpret that visual input.
And that's true about all of our five senses, as our brain is giving a suchness to everything we perceive about our environment via those senses. There is also a corresponding site in the brain for each and every part of our body no matter how tiny---so if you would happen to lose a leg in an accident, the sole of that leg would still itch from time to time. Spooky, isn't it?
Before I get carried away with more of these marvels of our brain, suffice it to say that everything that you are accustomed to believing as "objective" reality, is really of your own make.
Now, isn't that great!
That means that you could start playing with placebo effect based on positive beliefs and expectations and achieve some tangible health and happiness results.
Ever thought how phobias work? Ask someone who is irrationally scared of bugs if they logically believe that bugs are posing a threat to their life. By "bugs" I don't mean germs but insects, although in the final analysis it doesn't make any difference. They will readily say no---BUT, with a big and helpless shrug they will add how the fear is still there, justified or not.
See what I am talking about? A negative belief at work; and if a negative one can produce such a crappy and insane fear, a positive one should be able to make you insanely ecstatic.
Why not? What's holding you back? Who was so successful at instilling those limiting beliefs into your brain cells? Why are you still doing it to yourself? Can't you love yourself a bit more?
Well, with this sample of what I am writing about---you know now why people don't call my articles and poems bestsellers---I keep asking all these uncomfortable questions.
But, then it does take an open-minded reader to keep reading past the title, a one whose curiosity would override their insistence on tolerating those aspects of their model of functioning which are begging for a change.
Just Happy to Share
So, how do you succeed convincing your truth-seeking readers that their solution is as close as their positive imagination and positive expectation---not in the next and next brain-balancing diet, that new advertised supplement, that popular inspirational seminar, that shrink's couch...what not.
How many times do you have to remind them that we can override the hereditary expression of our genes, meaning that their problem is not "running in the family"? We just happen to run the same mental programs that were popular in that family, which, combined with this wrong belief have brought about the same results, telling our genome which genes to be activated to make our life a happy story, or mess us up.
To a writer of this genre it's not something that could make him or her a winner at a popularity contest. However, there are those few readers who picked up something in your text which may ring a bell loud enough to change the course of their thinking about their self-inflicted problems, and who may think pretty good about you.
Those are the ones who make writing this stuff worthwhile. The other day I helped a mother carry the stroller with her baby over deep snow to the cleared sidewalk, after she already seemed desperate and in tears, hands full with grocery bags.
She didn't protest when I more or less grabbed that stroller---in a style of someone with intention to kidnap her baby. She trusted my intentions to help her. Likewise, with that same trust an occasional reader with some emotional issues goes curious about the title, and reads my stuff.
Does it help? I have no way of knowing, but it may at least inspire for a change, and that gives me an incentive to keep writing.
It appears true that for those who mean business at making their life work, few words may suffice---whereas for all stubborn whiners no words are possible.
So, from time to time here I come again, "writing self-help ideas for those willing to use them"--- like the title says it.
Just happy to share, not to play a smart ass to anybody.