Writers Boon Blog


  • What Has Writing Taught You about Yourself and about Life?

    Linda O. Johnston, Tony Damian and Kelly Boyer Sagert


    Life lessons

    Linda O. Johnston currently writes the Superstition Mysteries and the Barkery & Biscuits Mysteries for Midnight Ink, and also writes for Harlequin Romantic Suspense as well as the Alpha Force paranormal romance miniseries for Harlequin Nocturne. You can find out more about Linda at

    Tony Damian experienced many different types of energy healing modalities, he studied and mastered them as to be his own healer. He is the co-author of Finding the Alchemist within -Turning yourself to Gold!: A Journey through the Labyrinth of Self-Healing.
    You can find out more about Tony at

    Kelly Boyer Sagert, a member of the prestigious American Society of Journalists and Authors, has worked as a professional writer for 27 years and a professional editor for 20. She has traditionally published 14 books and is the writer of the PBS documentary, Trail Magic: The Grandma Gatewood Story. You can find out more about Kelly at

    Each month on Writers Boon Blog, three writers take on questions about the world of books. This week, Linda O. Johnston, Tony Damian and Kelly Boyer Sagert discuss the life lessons they’ve learned on their author journey.

    By Linda O. Johnston, author

    What has writing taught me about myself and about life?

    Writing has taught me that it's fun to live by my favorite quote:

    Reality is only for those who lack imagination.

    Me? I think I've got lots of imagination. I have been writing for quite a while and have settled on several fiction genres, including cozy mysteries, romantic suspense and paranormal romance.

    Do I exist in reality, too? Of course. But living in my stories, especially as I'm writing them, lets me delve deeply into my imagination.

    Most of my stories these days involve dogs. My reality is that I love dogs, so I don't fully live by that quote. But I can also use my imagination regarding dogs. I have been owned by Cavalier King Charles Spaniels for many years, but many different kinds of dogs keep showing up in my stories, many of them mixed breeds saved from rescue facilities. I love encouraging people to adopt, but having one or more dogs in one's life is fantastic, no matter how they happen to choose you. So, yes, that's reality, even though the dogs in my books mostly originate from my imagination and do a whole lot to help my protagonists live their lives.

    But my imagination helps me in other ways. Since I write in genres containing mystery and suspense, I don't have to genuinely get back at people I believe have done me wrong. I can take care of their counterparts in the stories I write!

    So to return to the question: What has writing taught you about yourself and about life? It's taught me that there's not a lot that can't be changed--at least in one's mind. Reality may be really tough to deal with, especially in times of family crisis or illness. But even then, if you've got a little while to delve into your imagination, as a writer, or even as a reader, then things may wind up a bit more bearable.

    By Tony Damian, author, CMT, RMT

    As a non-fiction writer in the Healing Arts I write about philosophies, concepts and conventions that are controversial to mainstream conventional medicine. Occasionally even contrary to what Complimentary Alternative Medicine (CAM) communicates as protocol.

    So, as I wrote my manuscript, I had to research everything that I was conveying, to ensure that I was not plagiarizing anyone else’s published work, and that my new ideas were not being practiced elsewhere.

    I did my own editing, wordsmithing, layout, design, artwork and publishing of my book, eBook, guided meditation CDs and MP3s and now my audio book. I became very proficient at finding S.A.T. words to sound sophisticated, and structuring my written sentences better than my spoken ones in front of a classroom or group.

    What writing has taught me about myself is that I do indeed have something to share with the rest of the world. Moreover, that I have something to say worth writing a book about. With all the work, research, pacing and dreaming, rewrites and more rewrites, I discovered that I truly believe in my work, my passion for what I know and teach, and myself.

    While doing my research I had to investigate dozens of quotes that I have been using for years to credit the proper people, only to find out that these quotes were mine. I was surprised and then impressed. Writing has given me a stronger sense of identity, self-confidence in what I know and do, and reverence for the written word.

    If you have something to share, share it!

    Our time here is too short to look back over your shoulder years from now with the “would ‘ave, could ‘ave, should ‘aves”. One should never go through life wondering, “What if?” Our mission in this lifetime is to experience the emotions, passions, and beauty of living, and to discover our dharma, or purpose, in life. To learn the lessons of karma, the universal law of cause and effect, gain the wisdom from conquests and consequences, and share the knowledge with those we love... as well as those who cross our paths whom we can learn from and/or teach.

    Life is too short for dead ends; when you feel that you have reached one then find a new path, learn the lesson it taught, gain the wisdom by sharing that lesson, and move on with life.

    A Lifetime is full of experiences and lessons learned. When they are shared with our children or others through our written word it becomes wisdom that can be passed down forever… If not shared, then that lifetime was only wasted time.

    By Kelly Boyer Sagert, author

    Writing has taught me how huge the world truly is, full of fascinating people, history, concepts and more. There is so much to read, so much to discover, so much to absorb – and it’s important to continue to learn throughout your life, never being “done” with the process.

    Writing has taught me much about the art of patience, that good stuff can take a while to develop, and that when one opportunity doesn’t come to fruition, another one is hovering around the corner. It just takes patience.

    Writing has taught me the importance of persistence, of retreating when necessary while not giving up. Writing has taught me that, by being relentless, new opportunities can open up and new truths can be uncovered.

    Writing has taught me how people can have different perspectives about the world, and even highly intelligent, thoughtful people can be on opposite ends of the spectrum on an issue.

    Writing has taught me how it’s okay to share what you know, to freely offer advice and mentoring, knowing that there is more than enough to write about, that the well never runs dry (even when my access to that well can seem challenging).

    Writing has taught me that I often need advice myself and that it’s important to be open to new perspectives and then to discern what advice to follow, what to put aside for now and what to use as a part of the whole.

    Writing has taught me that

    Yesterday’s beliefs may not match today’s – and most likely will not perfectly match tomorrow’s.

    That is growth.

    Writing has taught me the importance of experiencing life as fully as I can while also making time for rest. Balance in all of life is crucial, whether that’s connected to physical health, and/or emotional/psychological and/or spiritual health.

    Writing has taught me to hone my intuition and to rely upon it, but I also need to watch for moments when what I want in life may be blurring what my intuition is really trying to tell me. Substituting what I want to be true for what really is truth is the pathway to heartache.

    Writing has taught me the importance of building crucial skills and of never assuming you’ve perfected any of them.

    Writing has taught me how it’s important to focus on building a good life – for yourself and your family – which involves getting fairly paid for your work without confusing the pursuit of money with the pursuit of a meaningful life.

    Finally, writing has taught me plenty about what I truly value in life: peace, love and hope, of not taking more than you need and of giving back whenever you can.

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