Tag Archives: mediumship

eugene oregon writer

Weekly writing update – Oct. 13, 2017: Progress is progress

Well, I got stuff done this past week. Was it enough? Who knows. It was something, though, and that really is better than nothing.

I always want to do more than is reasonable to accomplish. Sometimes I can. And other times I have to settle for mere-human amounts of productivity. Given that I’ve published five books in the last 17 months, while working part-time and building an intuitive mediumship business, I should probably give myself a break.

Here’s this week’s writing update video:

Writing accomplishments

  • I finished the first draft of Signs from Spirit, which felt really good. It’s not super long. about 3,500 words and 12 pages. It’ll be my “mailing list magnet” – the thing I offer to readers as an incentive to sign up for my Alight Intuition mailing list (other than the obvious pleasure of hearing from me once a month).
  • I did the first interview for Led by Light, Book 3, with Ker Cleary from BlueStar Channeling. We had a nice long chat about all things related to starting and running your own woo-woo practice (she does channeling work, as you might be able to tell from her business name) and I took copious notes. Over the next few months, I plan to interview at least a dozen or so people in fields similar to mine, such as channelers, mediums, medical intuitives, etc., to get a good understanding of the issues people face when moving into professional practice in this work.
  • I fiddled with ad keywords for Led by Light, Book 2 on Amazon advertising. My ad was approved, as expected, and so I added a bunch of keywords. I checked on it today and it seems to be performing well, resulting in at least a handful of sales at a fairly low cost.
  • I researched print book pricing and decided I don’t need to bother about changing things. When I first started publishing, I priced all my books $x.99. Then, right before publishing Led by Light, Book 2, I noticed that a lot of print books are priced $x.95. Worried I’d been doing it wrong all along, I priced Led by Light, Book 2, $17.95, and thought I’d need to change the rest of my book to that pricing structure.
    After poking around on the interwebs and looking at my whole library of mind-body-spirit books, I realized there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason for the pricing and I’m going to leave it how it is and not worry about it. While there is a certain part of me that wants everything lined up just so, I don’t think there’s any real payoff for changing things at this point.
  • I gave up on kindle coloring book idea (thanks, Amazon). Amazon rejected my coloring book in kindle format. When I wrote to them explaining how the coloring book can be used solely as an ebook, they decided to stick with their previous decision (of rejection). And I decided not to fight it and give up on the idea. Coloring books seem to be mostly dead at this point and, while I like my coloring book, I’m not sure it’s worth the energy of promoting it if it’s something that’s just not selling in the marketplace.
    I’d been toying with the idea of turning my Spiritual Symbols Dictionary into an ebook also, but I don’t think I’ll bother. It’ll be a lot of work on the back end to make it format well as an EPUB and MOBI file and, while you can add notes to an ebook, I think it’d be confusing and the benefit of being able to run Amazon ads on it isn’t really worth it. Especially if Amazon will reject it, too.
    Maybe I’ll revisit it at a later date, but I’m going to drop it for now.
  • I looked into recording meditations to go along with Led by Light books. One of my students who’s reading Led by Light, Book 2, told me she can hear me talking in her head, narrating the book as she reads it. And that she’d love a chakra opening meditation to go along with the book.
    I know I’ve recorded meditations during classes (I conveniently use my own book as reading/learning material in my mediumship classes), but I haven’t pulled them out of the overall class recording, nor will the quality be that great.
    But recording them fresh and doing it professionally shouldn’t be too hard. So I pondered that a bit this week and pulled out all the content from my two books that could be turned into recorded meditations.
    However, this isn’t on my priority list right now, and I need to be careful where I put my energy and not ignore some of the practical business-y things I need to do in favor of things that take my fancy, while also doing the work I have the energy and passion to do. It’s a balance and a dance.

This seems like a decently impressive amount of work for one week, especially given that kids didn’t have school yesterday or today and I’ve been a bit under the weather with whatever germs the darling monkeys have shared with me. Plus I’ve been dealing with various non-work stress (writing a personal injury demand letter from an accident I was in 18 months ago, getting one kid set up with a 504 plan at school to support his success while he deals with ADHD and anxiety, trying to convince my husband that we really should get a dog, and the usual fullness of life with kids and other people).

So, yay me! I celebrate me.

Writing plans for the week

  • Edit Signs from Spirit and figure out how to make it look pretty. I don’t think Signs from Spirit needs rounds and rounds of editing. But it needs some, and I’d also like to make it look pretty. It looks like the inside of a book right now, rather than a pretty PDF.
  • Get Facebook ads set up for various books and get over my terror of them. I don’t know why it feels hard and scary to set up ads for my books on Facebook. I’m worried I’ll do it wrong somehow. But I know I can start small and figure it out as I go. I’m just a bit chicken about it and so I’ve been putting it off (and doing things like pondering making meditation CDs). So I need to just move through my uncertainty, figure out what it is that I feel stuck on and try some things.
  • Fix the typos in the Symbol Dictionary Workbook and Led by Light, Book 2 formatting errors. I taught Spoon Bending at my recent mediumship development circle on Wednesday and immediately caught a formatting error: the chapter started on the verso (left) side of the page rather than the recto (right) side. (FYI, I just had to look up which one was which as I wanted to use the proper terminology and also use it correctly.) Oops! Fortunately, it was only that chapter and the Appendix. I’m not sure how that slipped by me as I knew it was an issue when I was formatting the book for print and thought I’d found and fixed all of them. *le sigh* So I’ve fixed it, along with a typo in the Spiritual Symbols Workbook and need to upload the fixed files to Create Space and Ingram Spark. I dislike these fiddly bits.
  • Set up more interview for Led by Light, Book 3. I’d love to do one a week and keep moving forward with the research for this book, so I can begin writing it next year and publish it by next summer/fall. But that means organizing myself and reaching out to people. I do enjoy getting to know people and networking with my woo-woo community. It makes us all stronger and gives me people I can refer to as needed, which is great.

Doing kindness in my own way

Growing up, I was one of those kids who did things her own way. My mum called it either creativeness or stubbornness, depending on her mood and how far I’d pushed my boundaries that day. (I come by it naturally, she’s the woman who taught me that there’s an exception to every rule, and that she was usually the exception.)

And so I continue to be exceptional, in my own way.

This time it’s going into relative publicity seclusion after publishing three books this summer. That’s generally not the accepted plan. You’re supposed to publish your books, then show them off–and sell them–to everyone.

We did have a launch party for The Awesomely Amazing Adventures of Cherry in October (somehow timed to coincide with a wind storm). And I’ve had a few events where I’ve sold books. But no major splash. No huge push. Just write the books and get them out and hunker back down in the relative sanity of daily life. Which is why there’s been no update here.

Another new book

Communicate with SpiritOnce school started, I got swept up in the routine of my life. Fortunately, kids in school = writing time for me. Which produced another book, Led by Light: how to develop your intuitive mediumship abilities, that published at the end of October.

I’ve also been continuing to build my intuitive mediumship practice: seeing clients, mentoring students and teaching classes. In early November, we had our first public intuitive mediumship event, in which I and some of my students gave short readings to everyone in attendance. It went really well and we plan to do them regularly, every two or three months. I also taught a class on developing your intuition (and am working on a book on that subject) and am currently teaching a mediumship development introductory class. It turns out that I love teaching people things I know that can help them live better lives.

Making a living

Eugene Spirit Medium (the business’ current name, although I think I’ll change it at some point to be less location-specific) is becoming my “day job” for my writing career. In addition to that, I’m still doing freelance writing for the Register-Guard as well as commercial/business writing and editing for clients. Plus I’m the music coordinator for the Center for Spiritual Living Eugene. And the parental unit who does the grocery shopping, cooking, and operates the kid taxi service.

At some point, I’d like to consolidate my assorted businesses/ways of earning money to one or two things so I can focus more energy on them. That’s never been my strong point, though, even when I’ve had full-time jobs. Even if my primary role has been a writer of some kind (journalism, public relations, fundraising, web content), I’ve always incorporated various other skills to keep things interesting–like photography, videography, graphic design and web development. I can’t seem to help it. Fortunately, writing and marketing my books means I get to keep on doing a bunch of different things, not just writing.

On the writing side of things, my calculations show that I’ve earned just over $1,000 in book sales so far this year. Not a fortune by any means, but the four figures are strangely satisfying. As a new author, most of my income (which honestly isn’t that large at the moment due to my part-time paid work hours) comes from other forms of writing as well as my intuitive mediumship practice.

Practicing kindness

The other thing that’s been occupying a large amount of space in my brain and emotions is the U.S. elections. Without getting too far into politics and opinions (I’m probably about as socialist as you can get, which is unlikely to be a surprise to anyone who knows me), the results and the reactions to the results among the people I usually talk to has been emotionally overwhelming.

It’s taken me awhile to regroup.

To do that, I’ve heavily filtered political posts from my Facebook feed, removed my Facebook icon from my phone’s home screen (I have to go digging through my apps to find it now), turned off my Facebook notifications and largely stopped scrolling through Twitter. After taking a breather, I think I’m ready to stick my head back up and figure out what I can do while maintaining my sanity (and not triggering severe anxiety).

I realize I can’t fix the world (should the world want me to even try). But I can teach my children to be kind, open and unprejudiced. I can recognize my own privilege and understand that where I come from isn’t necessarily where other people come from. I can speak up when I see something happening that’s not right. And I can donate to organizations who can do the work that I, in my safe little world, can’t do directly.

I will also be kind and practice deliberate acts of kindness as often as possible. Give socks to people who are homeless. Help my friends learn how to independently publish or get their blogs set up. Buy coffee for the person behind me in line. Give up my parking space with a smile. Tell people I love them.

When I think about the root causes of our issues, the conclusion I come to is that we’re afraid. And that fear is rooted in lack: that we won’t have enough, that we have to take from others in order for us to have enough. I don’t believe that’s the real truth of the world. I believe there is enough. There’s enough money, enough parking spaces, enough jobs, enough time, enough people to buy all our books.

Since I’m a woo-woo woman who does things her own way, I can say that, ultimately, it comes down to love. It comes down to whether we’re able and willing to access the infinite love that is available to each one of us.

Being kind to each other brings out that love. Kindness is a concrete way of showing we believe in abundance.

I’m going to continue to believe that there’s enough love and abundance in this world and that we can experience it. I invite you to do the same.

Hanging up my shingle

Some seeds germinate slowly.

Last summer, the marquee of the McDonald Theatre in Eugene kept catching my eye. James Van Praagh, spirit whisperer, it said. Or something like that.

The kids would be at their Dad’s. I could go. Go, said my intuition. Go!

I put off buying tickets until a week or two before the show. And then they were all sold out.

Look on craigslist said one of the voices in my head. Hey, look, VIP tickets. Sweet.

IMG_20130803_184649As I sat in the blissfully air-conditioned auditorium (after standing in line for a really long time for a quick meet-n-greet, during which James and I talked about the weather in England of all things) something woke up within me. He talked about mediumship and connecting with Spirit, why we do it, how we can. And the small voice inside of me said, Yes. Yes. Remember this, Joanna?

I remember, I thought back to myself. But I don’t really do this anymore. I haven’t heard of any mediumship circles in Eugene. The rest of that story is essentially told in this story: Plugging back in. The short version is that I listened to my inner voice and started a mediumship development circle which is now meeting twice a month (1st and 3rd Mondays, 7-9 p.m., join us!).

So that took a while to develop and come to fruition. But it did. I’m not sure that I have any real idea what I’m doing, but people keep coming back, so…

Now available to talk to dead people!

Here’s another thing that’s new and somewhat slowly moving: enough people asked me if I do private readings that I’m now offering them. And, since I need to let people know what I’m doing in order for them to find me, I’ve set up a website and a Facebook page.

I confess I’m feeling my way forward here, relying on Spirit to shine its light on my path. Gallery readings, platform mediumship in church, development circles — those I’ve done. Teaching mediumship? Private readings? Well, I like learning new things.

Plus, if I’m teaching other people to feed their intuition by following it and listening to the still voice inside…I might want to do the same thing myself. And honestly, every time I’ve trusted my inner self, even if it meant going out on a limb, it’s worked out really well. As much as I feel like I’m flailing around sometimes, I’m in a really good place in my life. I’m so grateful.

Plugging back in

I have a closet to come out of, people of Eugene*. It’s really more of a cabinet: a medium’s cabinet, that is. Not that I’ve ever sat in one — I don’t think people really use them anymore.

I’ve been very good at reinventing myself. Trying on a new facade and seeing how it fits — sometimes for years at a time. My last attempt — professional career woman — was so successful that part of me is still reeling from the loss of it, even as I type this, comfortably at home in jeans, sweater and socks walking at my treadmill desk.

It’s still the same wheel

The truth is, I’m all of the outward expressions of myself that I have ever been. Off-grid nature girl, small town journalist, chick-folk-rock singer-songwriter, copywriting work-at-home mother, ambitious donor communications manager, Spiritualist medium and minister.

Perhaps it’s because there is so much of me to fit in my life that I tend to put certain aspects of myself into boxes when they don’t seem to fit. Spiritualist medium + ambitious communications professional didn’t seem congruent when I moved to Eugene. So one of them got packed away for a while.

Plus, I couldn’t find any Spiritualist churches or groups in Eugene. If I wanted to do something, I’d have to create it myself — and with a full-time job, a live-in mother, two little kids and a disintegrating marriage, it wasn’t going to happen.

And yet it’s nagged at me. Much like my repressed memories of abuse when I was younger. I knew something was there, even if I was purposefully forgetting it.

Re-opening to myself

In the last few months, as I’ve purposefully pawed through old boxes of memories (literal and figurative), I’ve noticed that I am admirably surviving the experience. And with time to finally think complete thoughts that aren’t solely about my workload, kids’ homework or what to cook for dinner I’ve been feeling the prodding from Spirit.

Perhaps, I thought, it’s time for that box to be reopened as well.

I took another look around to see if I could find any Spiritualist or mediumship groups meeting. Surely there must be a few psychics or mediums meeting in Eugene? (Not that they’re entirely the same — all mediums are psychics, but not all psychics are mediums.) We’re rife with Reiki healers and this is the West Coast, after all.

But no.

And every time I mentioned the dearth of such activity to someone, their response was, “Well, perhaps you need to create it.”

Fine.

I hear you, Spirit.

So I did.

Calling all mediums (and smalls and larges)

We had our first circle last night, the Eugene Mediumship Development Circle. A kind and lovely member offered us her living room to meet in, as I haven’t yet had success securing an ongoing meeting location.

And it was amazing. I haven’t sat in energy like that in a long time. Not since I stopped hosting weekly mediumship circles at my house in Rochester after the kids were in bed. Spirit presences were there with us and the shared experience was just lovely.

The plan is to meet at least monthly, hopefully twice a month, probably the 2nd or 3rd Monday evening from 7-9 p.m. and another day during the day.

Want to join us? Have questions about mediumship? Let me know.  It feels really good to have this aspect of my life present again.

 

* I realize, people of Rochester, NY, that you’ve known this about me all along. I’m sorry if this post is anticlimactic for you.