NoFearOne of my plans (I prefer that word to resolutions … a plan is something that is going to get done, right?) for 2014 is to blog at least once per week. Since January 1st, I’ve been reflecting on why I haven’t done it in so long and have come to realize that it’s because of that other 4-letter F-word … FEAR!

Along with my big desire to live a positive and drama-free life, comes a big fear of reading negative comments about what I write.

Serendipitously, my Facebook newsfeed was filled with quotes about that other 4-letter F-word this morning — the day I decided to write about it!

Amy shared: “Facing your fears robs them of their power.” ~ Mark Burnett
Sue said: “Courage is one step ahead of fear.”
Heshie noted: “Courage adds dimension to your life.”
Eve wrote: “Fear fuels me!”
Maryellen posted: “Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” ~ George Addair

And … one of the 12 Gratitude Habits I created for Gratitude Boot Camp is Facing Your Fears.

So, here I come 4-letter F-word!

When I first started to blog years ago, I was taken aback by the negative comments that would come — always from anonymous posters. So, I stopped writing on-line. But, I stayed on-line. And, the attacks seem to have gotten worse. I’m always amazed and astonished at what, and who, people will lash out at in mean, and often downright evil, ways…

The 3 girls who were held captive, and tortured, for over 10 years in Ohio were called horrible names when they ventured out of their homes a short time after their release. The news of teenagers committing suicide, after being cyber-bullied, has become an all-too-frequent headline. And, already this year, a young girl was told to “go kill herself” because she tweeted that the earth was 2014 years old on New Year’s Day (whether she was kidding or mistaken, is telling her to go kill herself really necessary?).

Even the people you friend on Facebook can surprise you sometimes with what they write. Thankfully, Facebook affords you the ability to connect with positive people and the power to unfriend someone, if they do write negative or mean comments on your posts.

So, while I’m not ready to go out and hold a snake, I am ready to face that other 4-letter F-word when it comes to blogging. I will write every week, from now on. If someone says something mean or negative … I’ll read it, remind myself it’s their issue, say a prayer for them, and gladly delete their post. After all, I’m grateful my life is happy and I’m not afraid to keep it that way!

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MeWithAAbook In 2009, I made the decision to pursue my life-long dream of becoming a writer. While attending a conference on getting your work published, I met Scott Howard. He showed me his wonderfully unique style of drawing and shared his idea for an alphabet book he was creating.

Shortly thereafter, we came up with the idea of turning his alphabet book into a story book, by combining his talent for drawing and my passion for writing. He had created a character named Artsy Ant and we decided to base the stories on Artsy’s adventures.

It was such a joy for me to come up with a story line that took Artsy on an incredible journey, where he would befriend colorful characters and inspire them to be and do their best.

Because of the intricate details of the illustrations in this one-of-a-kind book, the stories had to wait for 3 years to be told. Finally, the time has come for Artsy and his friends to meet the world! I can hardly explain how excited I am to finally be holding an advanced copy of the book in my hands! You can read more and order your copy of Artsy Ant Alphabet Art Adventure at http://SandySpeaks.com/ArtsyAnt.

After making my decision to write 4 years ago, I also started this blog and 2 more books. Well, everything got put on hold at the end of 2011, as the crash in the real estate market forced me to make some major changes (including moving back to my hometown after living in Celebration for 12 years). I stopped blogging and put my other two books on the back burner.

After seeing my stories come to life in Artsy Ant Alphabet Art Adventure, I have, once again, become energized and excited about writing. I found my blog, which had not been touched in over 2 years. Strangely, most of the articles I wrote have disappeared, with only 5 remaining from 2009. I did locate 7 more articles I’d written in 2010 & 2011 on my Author Page at http://EzineArticles.com. The rest are gone. So, I’m basically starting anew here on my site.

I’ve also dusted off my keyboard and have started working on finishing my book, Gratitude Habit. And, as soon as Scott finishes illustrating The Gratitubes, I’ll be introducing my 2nd children’s book to the world!

I could feel sad, embarrassed, or disappointed in myself for letting these projects fall behind for a while. Instead, I’m choosing to focus on what I have accomplished over the past 4 years and hope that, by never giving up on my dreams, I can inspire someone else to pick back up (or get started) on theirs!

This blog is a part of my new beginning.  I have reached the point in my life where I am ready to make a change — not only in my life, but in the life of everyone I meet, know, and love.

I’ve always felt (and have been told by others) that I was supposed to take a leadership role and help others to overcome obstacles and hardships & to guide them to live a life filled with happiness, peace, and success … no matter what circumstances come along.  I learned first-hand, at a very young age, about staying positive in the midst of crisis.  Yet — somehow — a half-century has gone by (almost) and I have not stepped up to the plate.

Well, I am now being driven by a powerful force to finally become what I am destined to be and to live a life of purpose … something I know we can all achieve.  I have a responsibility to my precious child, and to everyone around me, to finally reach for the stars and leave a lasting legacy.

Life is too short to hold back, to struggle, and to feel guilty about the mistakes we inevitably make during our lifetime.  So, I am committed to going forth with faith, confidence, and courage to fulfill my life-long dreams (of writing and coaching) & to guide others to a life of purpose, growth, and prosperity.

I am exceedingly grateful for those who have been by my side through some very challenging times; for those who have encouraged me to “go for it;”  for those who will love me and support me as I take this leap of faith on my new journey; and for those who will not laugh at my dreams but will applaud my successes.  May God shine on you and bring you peace, joy, and abundance.

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