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Family Support in Writing

M. J. Welcome

Recently I was asked to share my family’s reaction to my writing both positive and negative. The positive side is easy because my sons and my husband have been supporters of my writing from the beginning. They encourage me, help me edit my work, and give me helpful criticism by asking difficult questions, which forces me to clarify areas of ambiguity.

Supportive Encouragement
There were times when I felt so low because rejection letters poured in. I was at the brink of giving up. I thought I would never make it as a writer. My family stepped in and spoke words of reassurance. They focused on what was good about my storyline or characters. They identified areas in which my writing had improved and gently told me what I could do to make the piece stronger.

Helpful Editing
I have never enjoyed the technical side of the English language. Grammar, punctuations, tenses, or adjectives were never areas of strength. In college, I would have people reread my work until it was “perfect”. I knew my shortcoming, so I relied on those who were better to review my work until it was ready for submission. My husband Dwain is wonderful at this.

When I decided to pursue writing as a career, I knew I had to learn to edit for myself. So I took note of what my family said was a pattern and I consciously tried to look for those problems in my writing. I joined critique groups, read articles and books on editing; I was also a judge for several years, in the Inspirational category of the Silicon Valley RWA chapter’s ‘Gotcha!’ writing contest.

Thanks to practice and loving support, I have made drastic improvements and now I’m able to edit and proofread other writers work with expertise.

Compassionate Questioning
In the beginning, I was defensive when people asked questions about what I wrote. I viewed it as criticism. Then Dwain took time to explain why he asked questions it reduced my sensitivity. Questions help to clarify things, they offer areas of further exploration or development, and ignite a creative spark.

Although some questions are asked to belittle or tear down a person and their writing, others offer a beautiful opportunity to hone and create something that is even more splendid than the original draft.

Family support may be a rare thing for many writers, but when you have it, you are truly blessed.



M. J. Welcome is a public speaker, copywriter, proofreader, and author. Her books include Overcome Secret Sins in 15 Days, Battling for the Light, The Adventures of Charmaine the Cockroach, Bella’s Dream, Debate Handbook: The Smart Way to Exercise the Mind! (Volume 1), Excuse Me! Let Me Speak…A Young Person’s Guide to Public Speaking, The Excuse Me! Let Me Speak Teachers Manual, The Excuse Me! Let Me Speak Student Guide The Easy Way to Write and Deliver a Great Speech!, and The Smart Guide to Public Speaking.

Michelle is also a publisher and editor at Smart House Publishing located in Far Rockaway, New York. She lives with her husband Dwain and their two sons.

Visit Michelle’s websites:

Family Indifference to Writing

By:  M. J. Welcome

Indifference, dismissiveness, or belittling are some of the words writer’s use when they speak of their family’s interest in their craft. I’m not sure why some family members fail to encourage, exalt, or uplift a writer who is pursuing their dream. But it happens too often.

Although I receive support and encouragement from my immediate family, it is not true of my extended family. If I had to describe their interest it ranges from polite tolerance to indifference to disinterest or belittling.

Polite Tolerance

When chatting with family members on the phone inevitably the question is asked, “What are you up to?” Hope leaps into my heart for a brief moment. I start to share my latest project then the deafening sound of silence hits my ears. After about 30 seconds, I get one of five possible excuses. “I’ve got to cook. I’m tired. I was in the middle of something. It’s getting late. Or oh that is nice, have you heard—”

Polite tolerance is when a family member listens to you, but refuse to fuel the discussion with life by asking questions. Their indifference is hurtful because it’s obvious they’re not interested and are just asking the question to be polite. These family members will spend all day talking about themselves or others, but aren’t interested in discussing you or your writing.

Dismissively Rude

There are times when family members dismiss your writing as not being a legitimate profession. They make snide comments like, “When are you going to get a real job? Or who will pay you to do that? Have you gotten paid yet?” Their comments can cause wounding because writing is an intimate thing. Often a writer’s craft emerges out of personal experience and is intertwined with the identity of the writer. When the writing is discounted or dismissed, it’s as if the writer is being disguarded. It is rude, insensitive, an often painful.

Belittling Comments

There are still other family members who belittle a writer’s efforts by making statements like, “I should write a book. I should become a writer. It can’t be too hard to write a book.” Comments like these are cloaked attacks, which pierce a writer’s heart.

Elated from completing a written work, the writer shares his or her achievement with family, expecting to get accolades, praises, or encouragement in the endeavor, yet what’s received is that anyone can do what you did. It isn’t a big deal. Look, I could write what you did and I would be better at it. In each case, the selfishness of the family member is exposed.

The truth is, not everyone in your life will be supportive of your dream to write. In fact, most will not. If you have one or two individuals who support and encourage you then you’re blessed. Many may try to discourage you because secretly they are jealous or envious of you because you have the courage to create something new with each story or article and you exist outside the box that’s why they feel intimidated.

Whatever you do, don’t let negative people rob you of the positive joy of writing. It is who you are and part of your nature to create.



M. J. Welcome is a Christian public speaker, copywriter, proofreader, and author. Her books include Overcome Secret Sins in 15 Days, Battling for the Light, The Adventures of Charmaine the Cockroach, Bella’s Dream, Debate Handbook: The Smart Way to Exercise the Mind! (Volume 1), Excuse Me! Let Me Speak…A Young Person’s Guide to Public Speaking, The Excuse Me! Let Me Speak Teachers Manual, The Excuse Me! Let Me Speak Student Guide The Easy Way to Write and Deliver a Great Speech!, and The Smart Guide to Public Speaking.

Michelle is also a publisher and editor at Smart House Publishing located in Far Rockaway, New York. She lives with her husband Dwain and their two sons.

Visit Michelle’s websites:

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Freedom to Write

By:  Michelle J. Welcome

michelle head shot

Many writers have special things that they do in order to set the mood, tone, or atmosphere in order to facilitate their writing. Truthfully, I don’t have one particular process that helps me to fluently write.

Write anywhere

Over the years, I have found myself writing in my bed, at a desk, in the car, or even in the shower. When an idea comes, I give myself the freedom to flow with the thought.

Set the right atmosphere

They’re at times, for instance, when I am writing a devotional I play praise and worship music to set an atmosphere of worship unto God. I drown out all distractions and focus on Him.

Grab inspiration where you can

As with most writers, I am always on the lookout for interesting material, which I can incorporate into my writing. When I watch television, I have my ear tuned to intercept catchy phrases or powerful one-liners, which I can use in books or copywriting.

Know your subject

I have found that reading up on the subject I want to write about in a relaxed environment helps me to absorb the content better. That is why I have oil fragrances throughout our home. The aroma removes stress and pressure from me instantly.

Remove hindrances

Years ago, it was hard for me to concentrate and remain focused especially during the winter. I found out that I had Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is like depression because of the lack of light. I invested in a day light and it helped me tremendously. Since that time, I have installed top hats in the ceiling with daylights and this helps me to have continual daylight.

Conquering Writer’s Block

These minor adjustments have made such a profound difference for me. Before writers block was a regular occurrence for me now it is not such an issue.

There are no true mistakes

When I first started writing, I would beat myself up for every mistake. I would call myself names, which was self-defeating! I did not give myself permission to make mistakes. This robbed me of the joy of writing. Then something happened. The Lord moved on my heart to take the position of a student in all things. As I did this, it was made clear to me that if I know it all, I can learn nothing, but if I admit I know nothing, I can learn more.

It was through this revelation that I discovered there are not true mistakes only opportunities to learn. Writing demands freedom—freedom in mind, body, and soul. This will allow the creative juices to flow.

Whatever you need to do as a writer in order to obtain your freedom so that your gift of writing is not blocked—do it.

Carve out time for yourself, get away for a few hours at the park or in the library, read your favorite novel, watch silly shows with the children, do something goofy with your mate, take up a new hobby, get a massage or soak in a bubble bath. Whatever you need—give yourself permission to do it and watch for amazing dividends!

Hold on to Your Money

michelle head shot.pngBy  M. J. Welcome

Over the years, I have grown in wisdom, but it was not the case when I first started out. As a writer and copywriter, I came across many great products, each one promised success and the ability to make a profit. I foolishly invested money in many of these schemes. I followed the advice of individuals who appeared to be thriving in business. They had the talk down pat, they were oozing with confidence, and many had the following of groupies.

The truth is that they were good at marketing. They presented an image, which I bought into, and it caused me to go into debt, by buying programs that I would never use. The accumulation of all the programs caused me to get overwhelmed. There was too much stimulation!

After a while, the weight of all the courses became too much for me, and it started to stifle my creativity. I admit that some of the programs were helpful, but most were not. Although they were priced economically, they eventually added up.

I squandered through much of my business profits to the tune of approximately $12,000 if not more. I charged many of the success in a box schemes on my credit card. And after a while I woke up and realized I had nothing to show for the investment. That is when I made the hard decision to hold on to my money!

I cannot say that all these courses were bad. But I do encourage you to investigate the ones you thinking of investing in. Sift through them. Pick one or two that you want to try then lock down your wallet. Take the time to work the product and prove its worth before you increase your deeper financial commitment.

I have not recouped my investment yet, but I have decided not to spend any more on get rich quick schemes or in guaranteed success in a few quickstep schemes.

Twice burned this writer learned

As a freelance writer,  it makes me suspicious when receiving job offers from my secondary email accounts. Most of the time, they were fraudulent. For example, the ones that need someone in the U.S. over the age of 21 to clear sold paintings. This one wasn’t, but it was declined anyhow because of my disastrous past with previous companies like it.

Here was my response:

Thank you for this opportunity, but I regret that I will have to decline. I never placed my disastrous descriptions of my past experiences with companies such as yours on my resume. There were three, Jobz For Writers, Essay Writers, and Academia Research.

The company in the middle, I left because it was like the two opposite it. The one mentioned first suspended me after the one who needed his paper typed kept all the information until the last minute and still expected me to type a 50 page thesis on a computer that failed. The last company gave me a job I couldn't complete. The book I needed was outdated and so rare that it wasn't to be removed from the library. It came at the last minute the day before the paper was due, in spite of my efforts to get an updated one. The money spent to get this book was more than they paid for writing the paper.

I don't know where my name came from or how you received it, but it was my wish that it be removed.

Kim Taylor

Here was their response this morning:
Thank you for your prompt reply. I appreciate the time you spent checking the offer and I respect your decision.

I wish you luck in all your future endeavours!

Best Regards,

It surprised me that another job similar to Jobz For Writers would ever come across any of my inboxes, let alone AOL. After so long, it amazed me that companies like that still existed or ended up in court for so much writer turnover.

The day before receiving that offer, it was my thought that most of the information was more for a high school childcare  and development class , not a 50 page college thesis. Trying to get the information needed to type the chapter was like squeezing blood from a turnip. They knew getting the information to do the job was not cheap or readily available.

This was exactly what happened with Academia Research. The book needed to write this paper was rare and hard to find, There Aint No Black in the Union Jack 1976,  but the employer needed it because the foreword in the front of the book for his paper. He knew, inter-library loan costs money, $32 to be exact. Returning an updated book to Amazon cost me a restocking fee too. All that was offered was $28.

After being burned twice, the advice of a former Vocational Rehab Counselor of ‘being careful’ was heeded. There was no need in my going through this a third time. Twice burned this writer learned.

The Middle East Conflict: A Recap in Blog Posts

What was the United States doing to fight the problem in Syria? Maybe this story from CBN,The Nightmare Alliance: Why You Should Be Concerned, would open their eyes in Washington. Let’s hope so. This blogger, like the host on the show never expected the world to ever get this close to Biblical prophesy. Let’s review, shall we? Here were the list of events so far according to my blog posts:

      1. Even thought Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu didn’t get a clear or a positive response from the United States when he pleaded for help with no clear plan in place, it was easy to run us over, just like Russia has with our indecision.
      2. Iran and Iraq have decided to aid Russia in backing the puppet regime in Syria. This includes the terrorist groups too, like Hezbollah, Al Quaeda, and ISIS.
      3. The Palestinians and Arabs were also in the fight to ‘dismantle’ Jerusalem’. A Palestinian group set fire to Joseph’s Tomb. Remember the protest in October?

Ok. Russia had bypassed the United States because their economy, based on oil, was in the toilet. He needed the funds to finance his strikes in Syria In spite of the talks that took place earlier, they did not heed America’s warning. What made this dangerous was that he needed the natural gas from the Ukraine also. It looked like the military base in Syria was some international law breach too. Most of their air strikes were to move us out of the way.

Now the conflict was deepening because Iran and Saudi Arabia were on different sides of the war. Iran backs Russia and Saudi Arabia sided with the United States. Here was a major concern. America just dropped sanctions against Iran, allowing them access to nuclear weapons. Iran thought that they had defeated ‘the Great Satan” by getting this long time asset.

This new threat reminded me of the antichrist all the major Middle East players have their strong personalities. This one seems to be able to move in these dangerous circles and still remain living. The danger was clear, Israel was surrounded by a host of enemies ready to disassemble the Jewish nation. From what was seen on the video that went with the story, this man was a bigger threat than all those terrorist groups. HE can rally all those nations against Israel to overrun it.

Only God can help us. I pray He does.

Further reading:

  1. Iran and Saudi Arabia: Conflict more than the massive body count on October 20, 2015
  2. Putin’s Middle East Plan: Control of the oil flow on October 8, 2015
  3. Obama and Putin: Strategies still differ in Syria and the Ukraine on September 29, 2015
  4. U.S. Seeks Military Talks with Russia on Syria on September 18, 2015
  5. The Iran nuclear deal was like signing our own death warrant on September 11, 2015
  6. Putin’s dangerous game on June 11, 2015

How would a $500 boost benefit seniors, the disabled, and military veterans?

First, it was announced that there was to be no cost of living increase for the nation’s seniors, disabled, or military veterans last month because of lower gas prices. Now, Elizabeth Warren wanted to make up for this discrepancy by giving all of them $500. This blogger wondered if this was a snare like Papa Bush’s tax credit, he gave and taxed everyone for the next year? Let’s hope not, for her sake.

Personally, this writer would like to know what formula was used in calculating everyone’s monthly amount. If they were still using figures from when they were created back in 1935, they were way out of date. My answer was a whole lot of doublespeak when this was asked about on the Social Security main line about five years back. In other words, they didn’t know. Ms. Warren was right about one thing. The legislative branch had done a horrible job in seeing to this situation. The cost of living increase was based on the rise in prices overall, or inflation, not a drop in gas prices.

Warren thought the formula that determined everyone’s monthly check was incorrect because it didn’t adequately reflect the spending habits of the nation’s seniors. In spite of the availabiity of Medicare RX, there were a whole lot of seniors and the like still couldn’t afford their medications because they didn’t qualify. AARP was a great program, if one was able to pay a monthly fee.

This blogger also felt the pain of the two year freeze, Obama put on us in 2012 and only offered 1.7% of the 3% increase afterward.  That little bit of money barely covered my monthly expenses. The $300 stimulus money before that only improved my fledgling savings account for a very short while. At least two of my friends at church didn’t get to benefit from the stimulus money because their parents didn’t see the value in it.

To offset the cost of this bill, they were going to close a supposed ‘tax loophole” that allowed businesses to write off performance-based compensation. This was something that the Republican-controlled Congress wouldn’t allow. The large amount of money, more than the 3% across the board, was more like four per cent. Someone had to suffer somewhere and that was how Ms. Warren wanted it. Until this bill was passed, no one should believe it.

New Amazon Bookstore opened to mixed reviews

Amazon has now opened a new bookstore in Seattle, Washington. Social media had mixed reviews. Some liked it, some didn’t. What made them different from other stores?  With its  two decades of online selling, this should add to their ability to compete with Books-A-Million, D.B. Dalton, and Hastings.

One thing in their favor was that, as an extension of, the books on their shelves were rated and reviewed by buyers on line. Back when my job was posting ads on line, one could tell what sold and what didn’t. The ironic thing about this was  that my first place to look was Amazon.

Amazon used the data collected on buyers likes and dislikes just like they did on the company’s website. This helped them curtail some of the troubles that seemed to come about in other bookstores. Right now, the bookstore that just opened did so with mixed reviews hashed out in the comment section . This blogger was going to reserve judgement until an opportunity arises to visit the store in Seattle.