Monday, May 17, 2010

Turning a Negative into a Positive


Please help me welcome the fantastic and inspiring Sharon Donovan to my blog.


Hello! First of all, I’d like to thank Becky for having me here today as her guest. It’s great to be here! The subject at hand seems to be shyness and how to best overcome it. I’m learning that quite a few authors suffer from this phobia, thrusting themselves head first into writing to channel their creative muse. I am one of these authors. I’ll share with you my tale of woe and how I turned the tables around to work for me.

I lost my vision ten years ago to diabetic retinopathy. This condition causes fragile blood vessels to grow and rupture in the back of the eye and can lead to progressive blindness. Diagnosed as a type 1 diabetic at the age of six, a doctor at Children’s Hospital predicted I would be blind before I turned twenty-five. His harsh words haunted my subconscious, affecting every decision I made for years to come. Afraid of life, I became painfully shy, keeping to myself and wondering when it would happen. Where would I be? Should I drive? What if I killed somebody while driving?

These worries screamed in my head on a daily basis to the point of madness. No matter where I went or what I did, there they were. Even though I went on to become a legal secretary at the Court of Common Pleas where I prepared cases for judges in the Family Division, the words played in my head again and again like a broken record. Then one day I discovered a passion for painting, losing myself for hours at a time. No more pain, no more heartache. Peace and tranquility. Painting picturesque scenery became my haven, a place where I could escape those cruel words. Then one day it happened, the initial bout of blindness. For the next two decades, vision came and went. Now you see it—now you don’t. The vicious circle went round and round, pushing me deeper and deeper into a world of loneliness and shyness. Then after one final operation in an attempt to save my vision, I lost the battle.

Devastated, I enrolled in a program for the blind and visually impaired where I underwent a grueling regimen for eight hours a day. But when I was introduced to a computer with adaptive software, converting text to synthesized speech, hope soared for the first time in years. And after a long and winding road, a new dream resurrected. Today, instead of painting my pictures on canvas, I paint my pictures with words.

What happened to the shyness? It’s still at the very core of me. But I’ve learned that sticking your head in the sand will get you nowhere. Once I began asking for help and reaching out, doors opened. And they have continued to open for me in my writing career. It took me a long time to channel my creative muse into a new outlet, but using vivid adjectives in my writing helps keep memories of the four seasons fresh in my head. I invite you to visit my website where you can read excerpts of my books and reviews. You can also see some of the pictures I painted in my art gallery. I write in two very different genres, inspiration and suspense. Why? The answer is quite simple, really. With all I’ve been through in my life, I feel the need to inspire others through my writing. On days when I feel, shall we say, less than inspirational, I run out and kill someone in the wonderful world of fiction. On my blog, I spotlight a different author every Wednesday. Writers might be shy, but shyness needs to burn off so that the work of the author can shine through. I leave you with these words of wisdom and encouragement: Never give up on a dream. Keep pushing through the barriers, the shyness, the rejection letters, the not so wonderful reviews. What it all boils down to is this. We only get one shot at life and have to make every day count.

Sharon Donovan lives in Pittsburgh, PA, with her family. Prior to the loss of her vision, she was a legal secretary for the Court of Common Pleas where she prepared cases for judges in Domestic Relations. She has certificates in business and medical transcription. She is a published author with The Wild Rose Press, White Rose Publishing, Whimsical Publications and Chicken Soup for the Soul. Echo of a Raven is a CTRR recipient, and The Claddagh Ring is a CAPA nominee. To read excerpts and reviews of Sharon’s books and to sign up for her newsletter, visit her website: http://www.sharonadonovan.com/. For the entire month of May, she's running a Zorro Contest to kick off her psychological thriller, Mask of the Betrayer.
www.sharonadonovan.com

Sharon's blog:
http://sharondonovan.blogspot.com If you would like to do a guest appearance, shoot her an email: sharonad@comcast.net

MASK OF THE BETRAYER
AVAILABLE AT WHIMSICAL PUBLICATIONS
On sale for entire month of May
http://www.whimsicalpublications.com/books.html

23 comments:

  1. WOW SHARON!!! WHAT A STORY!!!! And how inspiring for anyone who reads this. I see you and I are both Chicken Soup contributors and both pubbed through The Wild Rose Press. I'm glad I got the chance to get to know you better. I was a very shy child, but learned to "come out of it" as I grew into adulthood. I still am shy, but I've learned to cover it well. LOL Thanks for this article--it's a topic I bet you'll get lots of comments on.
    Hugs,
    Cheryl

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  2. Thank you for such an inspiring post, Sharon. I wish you great success in your writing.

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  3. That is simply one amazing story, Sharon. Simply inspiring to so many. Thank you for sharing that. I'm just your run-of-the-mill shy gal, but continued to push myself and speak up despite my quiet demeanor. I've come a long way. Nothing like your challenges though. God bless your drive and determination.

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  4. Sharon, thanks so much for being on my blog. I'm certain you'll inspire all my readers.

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  5. Hi Becky, thank you so much for having me as your guest today. I think a lot of us writers are shy at heart, but learn to hide behind this big game called life through the amazing gift of writing. All good things,
    Sharon

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  6. Hi Cheryl, thank you for your kind and encouraging words. Yes, we have a lot in common with our publishers and that ol' shy bone. We have all learned to overcome but does it ever really go away? I fear not! It has a tendancy to sneak up and make me blush when I least expect it. LOL
    Sharon

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  7. Hi Ann, thank you for your kind words. They encourage me so very much.
    Sharon

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  8. EA, what lovely words. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. What shy creatures writers are. LOL But as the old saying goes, "We've come a long way, baby!"
    Sharon

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  9. Dear Sharon, thanks so much for taking the time to tell your story. Your courage motivates and inspires me. I wish you all the best with your books.
    Sincerely, Debby Lee

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  10. Wow! Sharon, thanks so much for the inspiring words. I really needed to read this today. In fact, I'm printing them out so that I can gratefully read them everyday.

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  11. Hello Sharon, dear friend,
    As I've been saying since I first 'met' you in cyberspace, you're a real inspiration with your determination and courage. The beautiful pictures you weave with your words are proof that where there's talent there will always be a means to express it - from painting pictures to painting with words.

    As for being shy, I used to be so bashful I would cross the road to avoid speaking to someone I didn't know too well. It was only when a friend told me she used to think I was 'snobby' until she got to know me that I realised shyness can be mistaken for something else and forced myself to overcome it to some extent, anyway.)

    You know how much I love your writing, and I can't wait to read 'Mask Of The Betrayer'!

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  12. Hi Wendy, what a lovely thing to do! Thank you so much. I take that as such a wonderful compliment. I am happy to inspire others through my story. We all have a dream and never giving up is the ticket in the long run. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger.
    Sharon

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  13. Hi Debby, thank you for your kind words. They inspire me more than you know.
    Sharon

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  14. Hi Lyn, my dear, sweet friend. Thank you for your never ending support of my work
    and for the gift of your friendship. Your kind words humble me. Blush. How funny
    that you would cross the street to avoid conversing with someone you didn't know
    very well. I suppose it would appear as a bit snippy, m'dear! But all kidding aside,
    I can't imagine you deliberately snubbing anyone. So happy it brought you out of
    your shy shell. What a shame it would have been to hide such a terrific personality.
    Hugs,
    Sharon

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  15. Great post Sharon - it's great to hear you found a new outlet for your joy and passion. It's so important to find one that works!

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  16. Sharon you are one of the most inspirational people I know. Not only that...but you tell a mean story!!
    Love you bunches!

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  17. Becky, thank you for inviting Sharon today. And Sharon, thank you for sharing your story! "We only get one shot at life and have to make every day count." Inspiring words, and beautifully comforting. Each day, when seized with courage and joy, can truly become a work of art in itself, full of both accomplishment and promise. Cheers to you for living your dreams, Sharon!

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  18. Katharine, thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement. These are the words I live by and believe in with all my heart.
    Sharon

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  19. Hi Jemi, thank you so much. I never thought anything would take the place of painting,
    but painting words is a wonderful way of feeding my creative muse and keeping the
    beautiful sunset and striking landscape vivid in my mind's eye forevermore.
    Sharon

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  20. Mary, my sweet friend. You are so good for my ego my gal pal. Love you to, girlfriend!
    Sharon

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  21. Becky, thanks so much for a great and inspiring day. It never ceases to amaze me how many shy writers are out there that can whip out words on paper with the finesse of a lyrical poet. I think shyness is a gift that needs to be gingerly coaxed from deep within the heart and soul. And when the words blossom, they bloom into a beautiful array of exotic wildflowers.
    Hugs and Blessings to all,
    Sharon

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  22. Sharon, you are so amazing. Thanks for being such an inspiration to us all, and reminding us how precious every day is. Kudos for never giving up!

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  23. Thanks, Cate. Life is precious and it's up to us to make the most of life and make every day count.
    Sharon

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