June Converse

Thriving After Trauma - Author and Writing Coach

Alright, so 2020 sucked. It’s over now and we can’t go backwards. So, I’m putting on big girl pants and moving on. I can’t control COVID or elections. I can’t make hospitals bigger or people wear masks. But I can control how I spend my day and my mental energy.

Before we move into 2021, take a minute to find 3, 5, 10 or 20 things that went well in 2020:

  • I got to know my neighbors much better!
  • Journey to Hope was published – sales low – reviews excellent! The story is hitting hearts and that was my point.
  • My daughter graduated college and jumped right in to starting her own business and working hard at it.  Please go check her out – www.conversestudios.com
  • I got a new writing opportunity with Camp Abilities World (I’ll share more about this once the site is live).
  • I started a small writing school and it’s going really well.
  • I joined an online group for entrepreneurs, which is way outside my comfort zone but has been quite fun and helpful.
  • Because I wanted to keep in touch with friends, I did an online book club. Normally these ladies would not get to know each other because they are in different spheres. But now there are 9 women who have a relationship they would not otherwise have!
  • I had two articles published in Elephant Journal and was a guest on several podcasts (many thanks to Emily Aborn at www.shebuiltthis.org for finding these opportunities).
  • Blessed that my husband and I were not really financially or otherwise negatively impacted by the pandemic which has tragically devastated so many of us across the globe

2021 I’m Ready For You

In a recent post, I talked about whether to keep writing, whether to pay for help, etc. The feedback I received was helpful, heartwarming and encouraging. As you can see, I’m still here and I’m still writing. My husband and I decided to let my writing be a priority again in 2021. In order to keep me from worrying over this decision anytime I feel discouraged, I’ve prepaid all my peeps! Now, I don’t have to stress over that (this stuff is non-refundable!) and they will keep me accountable. Like the gym, if I’m paying for it, I’ll do it.

I feel more excited about 2021 than I have in a long time. My third book is coming along nicely – my character Abigail has a lot to say and she’s an angry young woman so she’s fun to let off the leash. I have a great writing coach, but I’ve also started to do some coaching on my own. I’ve got a non-fiction book simmering and I’m on-board to continue writing for Camp Abilities World.

I’m doing this writing thing and I’m going to do it like a professional and not a hobbyist. I’ve even started to proudly and confidently tell people I’m an author! I no longer feel like a fraud.

BLOG 2021

I have a new plan for this blog too and I hope you’ll get engaged. I’ve asked a group of women to share their most recommended self-help or personal growth books to me. The list was long and wonderful. I then asked a smaller group of women to vote for their favorite. Those votes narrowed my list to the top six. I will be working through these six suggestions with you (one book every two months). What I’m expecting is to open up some areas within self that I’ve avoided or need to excavate – isn’t that the point of personal development? As always, I’ll show you my authentic, messy self.

I will have guest bloggers this year! If you or someone you know has a story to share, please send it my way. I think my stories have helped some people – and any story shared may just be the one to help someone else !!

I started this blog asking you to find a few things that went well in 2020. I’m closing this first blog of 2021 asking you to list 3, 5, 10 or 20 things that you are looking forward to in 2021:

  1. Finishing book 3, Secrets of Hope
  2. Finishing nonfiction book
  3. Starting another small writing class
  4. Studying the six personal development books I’ll be doing on this blog
  5. Getting to know more people in my new online group
  6. Keeping my nine best buds close to my heart (as soon as possible, get them all together!)
  7. Watching Sydney’s business grow
  8. My website is getting a revamp thanks to Emily Aborn at www.shebuiltthis.org and Lisa Norman at www.heartyallybooks.com – the best news – I’m letting them handle it because I hate that kind of stuff!
  9. A SECRET – I have something in the works that I’ll be sharing with you in February!

Would you be willing to send me your list? I’ll compile all our hopes for 2021 and share (no names). No matter your faith, I think we all agree that when we put goodness into the universe, it’s returned to us. Let’s put our hopes out there and let others in on our dreams – let the universe do its thing.

We’re on this journey together

So, let’s GET TOGETHER on this journey.

This will be the last blog of the year! Can you believe it? I’ve been blogging for over 4 years. I hope – sincerely hope – I’ve helped just ONE person. If you’ve read my heart vs head debate, we (Dave and I together) agreed to follow my heart for 2021. One year at a time.

2020 The Strangest Year

Of course, when we think of 2020, we think COVID and Elections! Both stressful and frustrating and just plain ol’ discouraging. But we weren’t just mask-covered citizens. We were productive and creative and brave. I beg you to take 20 minutes to reflect on all YOU MADE HAPPEN in 2020.

Here are some of my accomplishments:

  • Journey to Hope was completed and published
  • 8+3 Novel Writing Course kicked-off
  • I started a neighborhood book club in an effort to make friends
  • I started a friend’s online book club to keep us from going bonkers and losing connections
  • I found a way (mostly) to stop buying things I don’t need
  • We decided where to retire and now can start actively looking around
  • I bonded with cousins I haven’t really known (Debra and Holly – lovin’ lovin’ you)
  • I found a great publisher (Lisa!) and a great great social media chicky (Emily!)
  • My kid graduated college – yes, that’s not mine – but come on, it kinda was
  • I continued teaching classes at OLLI and being involved in critique groups
  • Held kid move to Chicago and start her new business (conversestudios.com)
  • Got a new puppy – Ripley! Yikes!
  • I’ve made big plans for 2021

Please send me your list!  Let’s celebrate our BRAVERY.

I used to believe that God (the Christian God) guided our steps. If we’d just ask, He’d tell us what to do. I never once got an email or postcard from God. And as far as I know there is no “Dear June” from Genesis to Revelation. I’d see other people make a decision and say, “God told me to.” Maybe He did, but I never understood how they knew. Often it seemed to me they were using “God told me to” as a justification for something they were going to do anyway. I freely admit I have used God as an excuse for interesting choices.

Now that I no longer embrace the Christian God in the way I was taught, I’ve wondered how to know or to choose the right path. How does the Godiverse guide us? I firmly believe the energy we send into the world boomerangs back. If I’m a grumpy, negative old lady, the world will give me plenty to be grumpy about. So, if I’m listening to the Godiverse, what am I hearing and how will that help me move forward down the right path?

A Little Woo-Woo

If you know me, you know I’m not into what I call ‘woo-woo’. I respect people – even envy people -- who have a more spiritual connection. While I don’t do woo-woo, I try to leave myself open to people and to messages. Yesterday, a little woo-woo landed in my mailbox.

I had written a blog about when my head and heart don’t agree. It was written as Head Wants vs. Heart Wants. I was trying to work out whether to continue this writing gig. By the time I was done writing the blog, any rational human being would have followed the head and stopped writing for public consumption. I was resolved to give up even if my heart stayed heavy.

Then, woo-woo landed in my mailbox. The very next day a stranger left me this message.

“Your book is such a powerful, relatable and amazingly, another source of healing for me personally. I would not be alive if it were not for deciding to hope for joy to return in my life … appreciate the kindness, encouragement and resources you’ve offered others through your blog.”

Wow! Why do I pour my heart into my blog and my stories? For this reader and all the others who have reached out. Yes, of course, the writing is a type of personal therapy but sharing it is about being available to others. My heart tells me to write-on!

The Boomerang Effect

Two days later, I received an email from my publisher:

“Advertising is barely working. I'm tweaking, adding new targets, trying to focus in on what small movements I've seen....but I'm not sure it has done anything more than increase discoverability. I'm not seeing sales.”

If you read last week’s blog, you’ll know how much money I spend on this “hobby”. Beyond the outlay of money, I put a lot of myself out there. Nothing I write is easy on an emotional level. Kathleen (my protagonist) hurt and I hurt with her. The blogs are written when I’m in pain.

I do NOT expect to become the next Oprah or Reese Witherspoon selection. But “I’m not seeing sales” is hard to swallow. To make that even worse, some of my friends haven’t bothered to obtain or read the book. I know I shouldn’t expect friends to do that – but I do. I would do it for them. Every time. But maybe that’s my “buying friends” problem – a topic for another day.

My head says if no one is willing to invest, then just buy a pretty journal and write for myself. That’s free.

The Godiverse Needs to Make Up Its Mind

Two days ago, I was willing and encouraged to ‘write-on’.

Today, ugh. Head vs. Heart has no clear winner.

Do You Hear from God? I create a unique Journaling Activity for each blog! This one focuses on how YOU make your decisions. Click HERE to download!

June Converse with purple hair
In April 2012 I had a mental breakdown. The real thing. I have about 36 hours that I don’t remember....
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