What’s holding you back?

#prforfilmmakers found me on Instagram and it sparked a stream of consciousness I wasn’t expecting.

I used to sing. I want to write lyrics. I used to dance. Before kids I was interesting! Now I’m just Mom or someone’s mom.
I’ve written a book the world needs on film about my grandmother’s Alzheimer’s … we’re still editing it. I want to write and sing the soundtrack for it. It’s been forever since I’ve opened my mouth to sing in public.

What do you want to do? What have you wanted to do that you’ve forgotten about? What’s holding you back? #youcandoittoo #MichelleSpray

Image Post via #Repost #prforfilmmakers #filmphotography #inspirationalquotes #filmmaking #filmmaker on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/spraybooksetc “Find your wings!”

How to Write a Book

Let’s talk about #writing! Specifically … How to Write a Book!

What do you want to know? Do you want to feel the smooth roll of my favorite Xtra bold ballpoint pen gliding against a stack of creamy paper? Do you want to mimic my rituals? Get a warm blanket, prepare a soothing cup of tea, make sure the conditions are just right?! The house is quiet and clean … yeah, right.

Do you want to spread notecards out all over the floor to follow a process or the dreaded word “outline” without animals or humans messing it up?

What the heck punctuation am I supposed to use? You start looking it up.

Before you know it, you’re so frustrated, you’d rather put away your growing pile of laundry than sit and #write. But really that’s all there is to it. #justwrite … Editing and specifics comes later. Just get your ideas down. Any way. Any how!

Then what? The simple answer is blunt and unglamorous. Don’t use a notebook!

Sure, notebooks and legal pads are inviting. And you can’t stop an idea when it just has to be written on the back of an envelope or my favorite, a blank journal … but then what do you have? You’re left with handwriting you can’t read and ideas you can’t find.

Use a computer. Trust me! At the very least use voice text or the NOTES section on your phone because then you can simply copy and paste into a document when you’re ready. Once you’ve written an entire book in a notebook, scratched out, re-written sentences up and down the margins, arrowed and renumbered to direct the sequence and more… now it’s time to type it all in? Great!!

That means you’re starting over … writing, editing it ..again! You can’t stop the urge to edit! You edit. You rewrite. You get tired. You put it down. And it takes you twice, three times as long.

So that’s my advice on How to Write a Book! Go digital. Save the notebook for brainstorming ideas, lists, and sketches. Ideas come when you’re soaking up salty breezes at the edge of the shore with your toes in the sand! But keep the detailed writing to something digital! You’ll thank me later! Enjoy! #writinginspiration #motivation #MichelleSpray

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You Must Keep Going

For years, people have told me that I need to share my story. I could be an inspirational speaker. For years I have avoided this.

I knew I could. Physically. I’d already written a book about my experience growing up with a curvature of the spine called #scoliosis and had spoken about it. But that was in the past. I wrote about it to close that chapter of my life and move on. I’m proud to tell you that that book is still helping teens nationwide!

But I’ve grown up since then. I’ve overcome many more life experiences that I have yet to reveal in much detail until now. A glimpse: my grandmother’s Alzheimer’s, online dating, marrying the wrong guy, having children with additional needs, deciding to divorce in the middle of it all, and waiting several years to try dating again in my forties. Yeah, I said it.

Life literally handed me a bowl of poo. But that’s the point. I didn’t cry about it. Okay, maybe I did a little, but a good cry is necessary. One thing I’ve found is #caregivers and #specialneeds parents are so busy taking care of everyone else that they don’t cry enough in private. The long, cleansing kind of cry. So do it. But when the tears are gone, that’s it. You’ve got to pick yourself up and #keepgoing. You can do it. I know you can! We can!

Follow me as I share my story here and on my social media sites @SprayBooksEtc:

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Michelle Spray is the author of Growing Up with Scoliosis, and several children’s books including Like Everyone Else, a story about differences, to teach empathy and inclusion in the classroom.

Michelle’s book about her grandmother’s journey with Alzheimer’s is COMING SOON! http://www.facebook.com/LostMemoriesFoundHope Stay tuned!

22q Mom Embarks on New Journey

About me: I’m an “additional needs” mom balancing it all. Join me as I reveal tips and helpful quotes about parenthood, caring for additional needs children, balancing life … and staying positive through it all. #YouCanDoItToo #MichelleSpray (Be sure to comment and say hi. I’m on social media @SprayBooksEtc)

Shout out to all the “additional needs” parents and siblings! You GOT this!