Quote of the Day: Trust the voices, listen to the voices, and the words will come to you when you need them. A summary of what I heard from Colleen Baldrica last night as she spoke to a group of us in Brainerd, MN, and read from her lovely book The Tree Spirited Woman.
For my May 2014 installment with the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh, I will share part of Colleen’s story with you. At age 17, Colleen’s whole world changed. She got pregnant, married, had a baby, and a few years later was a divorced mother. At age 27, she decided to go to college. Not having given school much effort in the past, she felt she was starting on step one. And, step by step, she earned her degree, became a teacher, then a school counselor, and along the way felt an intense calling to write a book called Tree Spirited Woman. I believe that her Ojibwe roots keep her connected to nature, particularly the trees. She said that she felt the spirit of the trees, heard the voices, and felt a presence much stronger than her own telling her this story.
She’d work on it, set it aside, live life, let it rest. Then, she’d hear the voices again, take it out, work on it, and continue on for 10 years, slowly working out the story. Did she set out to be a published author? No. She said that she never considered herself to be a writer. Remember, she didn’t really consider herself much of a scholar either. She had a life, messy and beautiful. She had esteem issues to work through, and overcame feelings of rejection and abandonment. She could have used the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! What she found was that she had a story to tell and that she needed to trust her intuition, and to listen to the voices. She surrounded herself with people who built her up.
So, what happened to that story? Oh, just this. With the encouragement of her husband, Colleen self-published Tree Spirited Woman, winner of a National Indie Excellence finalist book award in Spirituality, an Independent Publisher Book Award (IPPY) bronze medal winner in New Age: Mind, Body, and Spirit, and a finalist in the Best Books 2006 awards in Mind, Body, and Spirit. AND, this year the book was included in gift bags at the Oscars! Also, it has been voted “A favorite book by a Minnesota Female Author” from the Minnesota Women’s Press “What Women Want” survey.
Moral of the story: Listen to the voices, People! I mean the good ones, the intuitive ones, the ones that have a story that only you can tell. The negative ones are the nasty committee who need to go meet some other place!
Go. Create. Inspire!
Journaling Prompt: What are the good voices telling you to do today?
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What an inspirational story. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for stopping by. Colleen is an inspirational woman!
Whoo! Gave me a chill…great post!
Romance & Mystery…writing my life
Thanks for sharing that story! Truly inspirational!
Thanks for stopping by, Lucinda!
Thank you for this, Mary. Beautiful. I’m grateful you were able to come last night and meet her!
Thank you, Debbie, for the invitation.
What an inspirational story! Gift bags at the Oscars. Whoa. I can relate to not wanting to be an author, that’s for sure.
I know. I thought of you, too, Alex! The story chooses the writer.
Thanks for sharing Colleen’s story. Wow, what a girl. Gave me a chill.
Me, too. And, even more powerful in person, plus a drumming session!
Listen to the voices. I love that piece of advice. It’s all about voices. What an inspiring story!
Yes, Elsie. We need to be our own strong supporters.
Very inspiring! I’m glad she followed her intuition.
I love inspirational stories like this! Thanks for sharing!
What a neat post! Very inspirational.
Thanks for visiting my blog. 🙂
IWSG #224 until Alex culls the list again.
Great story, Mary. That’s right, listen to the voices — have to remember that. Thank you for sharing Colleen’s story with us.
What a great and inspiring post. Now I want to read the book.
Juneta at Writer’s Gambit
Wow, what a story! I love that the book made it inside the Oscar bags.
I know. Now, the celebs and I have something in common, Colleen’s book!
What an amazing story. Sometimes we find our paths, other times we need a little encouragement, all we have to do is listen—to the voices, and in Colleen’s case, to her husband. 🙂
Yes. And, it’s a lesson in perseverance.
Colleen’s story is such an inspiration. Wow! Gift bag at the Oscars is a wonderful recognition.
I know! I’m so happy for her.
Wow! what an inspirational story! 🙂
Although she didn’t set out to be a published author, sounds like the Man above had other plans for her…
Thanks for sharing this, Mary!
The Man has the Plan.
That is a great story. Feels good just to hear it!
Thanks for sharing it with us.
Thanks for your support. Heather
And, thanks for visiting, Heather!
Mary, that is a darling photo of the two of you. Thanks for sharing. I can see why you were drawn to this woman and her story!
Yes, Roxane. I thought of you, too, while we were drumming and she was sharing her story.