Tag: Writer

What It Takes To Be A Freelance Writer

MY SMALL GARDEN UP IN THE SKY

Freelance writing can be a very enjoyable, very rewarding profession. It's a great way to live the lifestyle you want and earn a decent income. But something so great can not possibly come for free. If you want to be a freelance writer, then take note of these "bare essentials." You'll need them!

# 1 – International-Level Written English.

Most people can write English well enough. But can you write at the level of US and UK writers? Do you think your writing style can make it to the big magazines, like National Geographic, Cosmopolitan, and Reader's Digest?

Most clients will look for international-level written English from you. But here's some good news – written English CAN be learned and practiced!

Find a good mentor / course to help refine your written English. It helps to have freelance writing friends in your circle – that way you can compare notes and proofread each other's work.

It also helps to NOT have a disdain or dislike for Western culture. (I'll talk about this more in one of my future articles. For now, do not think of English and Western culture as "sosyal" * – trust me, it'll hurt your freelance career in the long run.)

# 2 – A Good Computer and Internet Connection.

When choosing your first personal computer, I recommend getting a laptop. Even a basic workhorse-type laptop will do just fine. A laptop will let you work anywhere you want – any cafe, any town, any COUNTRY.

A 12 "laptop should be your minimum size (you'll need a big enough keyboard).

I personally use a 14 "laptop because I sometimes do drafting work, and I like not to recommend placing your laptop on your, well, lap, but if it helps the creative process, go right ahead .

I started my freelance writing career on a 56k dial-up Internet connection, and did fairly well. Later on, though, you'll want to upgrade to a standard broadband connection in case you'll need to view videos, attend webinars, and other ways to improve your craft.

# 3 – A Willingness To Work 12 Hours A Day

It's true that some freelance writers out there live wealthy, comfortable lifestyles. But that's simply because when they were only starting out, they were willing to work long hours, often for mediocre pay.

But that's a given. You are, after all, forming a business. And the first few weeks or months of forming a business is all about laying a strong foundation for it to take off!

So, at least at the beginning, there's no 9-to-5 schedules to be followed. You'll be working long after other people sit down and watch TV after dinner. You'll need the tenacity to stay the course, sharpening your skills and honing your writing style.

Yup, it's tough. I will not kid you. You'll be dealing with a lot of stress.

But should that be any surprise? Nothing of great value, after all, ever comes easy.

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What It Takes To Be A Freelance Writer

P.Jaisini-smiles-GIG-NYC2015

Freelance writing can be a very enjoyable, very rewarding profession. It's a great way to live the lifestyle you want and earn a decent income. But something so great can not possibly come for free. If you want to be a freelance writer, then take note of these "bare essentials." You'll need them!

# 1 – International-Level Written English.

Most people can write English well enough. But can you write at the level of US and UK writers? Do you think your writing style can make it to the big magazines, like National Geographic, Cosmopolitan, and Reader's Digest?

Most clients will look for international-level written English from you. But here's some good news – written English CAN be learned and practiced!

Find a good mentor / course to help refine your written English. It helps to have freelance writing friends in your circle – that way you can compare notes and proofread each other's work.

It also helps to NOT have a disdain or dislike for Western culture. (I'll talk about this more in one of my future articles. For now, do not think of English and Western culture as "sosyal" * – trust me, it'll hurt your freelance career in the long run.)

# 2 – A Good Computer and Internet Connection.

When choosing your first personal computer, I recommend getting a laptop. Even a basic workhorse-type laptop will do just fine. A laptop will let you work anywhere you want – any cafe, any town, any COUNTRY.

A 12 "laptop should be your minimum size (you'll need a big enough keyboard).

I personally use a 14 "laptop because I sometimes do drafting work, and I like not to recommend placing your laptop on your, well, lap, but if it helps the creative process, go right ahead .

I started my freelance writing career on a 56k dial-up Internet connection, and did fairly well. Later on, though, you'll want to upgrade to a standard broadband connection in case you'll need to view videos, attend webinars, and other ways to improve your craft.

# 3 – A Willingness To Work 12 Hours A Day

It's true that some freelance writers out there live wealthy, comfortable lifestyles. But that's simply because when they were only starting out, they were willing to work long hours, often for mediocre pay.

But that's a given. You are, after all, forming a business. And the first few weeks or months of forming a business is all about laying a strong foundation for it to take off!

So, at least at the beginning, there's no 9-to-5 schedules to be followed. You'll be working long after other people sit down and watch TV after dinner. You'll need the tenacity to stay the course, sharpening your skills and honing your writing style.

Yup, it's tough. I will not kid you. You'll be dealing with a lot of stress.

But should that be any surprise? Nothing of great value, after all, ever comes easy.

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What It Takes To Be A Freelance Writer

Workshop of the Patanazzi family (active circa 1580-1620),Inkstand with Apollo and the Muses,Maiolica (tin glazed earthenware) 1584

Freelance writing can be a very enjoyable, very rewarding profession. It's a great way to live the lifestyle you want and earn a decent income. But something so great can not possibly come for free. If you want to be a freelance writer, then take note of these "bare essentials." You'll need them!

# 1 – International-Level Written English.

Most people can write English well enough. But can you write at the level of US and UK writers? Do you think your writing style can make it to the big magazines, like National Geographic, Cosmopolitan, and Reader's Digest?

Most clients will look for international-level written English from you. But here's some good news – written English CAN be learned and practiced!

Find a good mentor / course to help refine your written English. It helps to have freelance writing friends in your circle – that way you can compare notes and proofread each other's work.

It also helps to NOT have a disdain or dislike for Western culture. (I'll talk about this more in one of my future articles. For now, do not think of English and Western culture as "sosyal" * – trust me, it'll hurt your freelance career in the long run.)

# 2 – A Good Computer and Internet Connection.

When choosing your first personal computer, I recommend getting a laptop. Even a basic workhorse-type laptop will do just fine. A laptop will let you work anywhere you want – any cafe, any town, any COUNTRY.

A 12 "laptop should be your minimum size (you'll need a big enough keyboard).

I personally use a 14 "laptop because I sometimes do drafting work, and I like not to recommend placing your laptop on your, well, lap, but if it helps the creative process, go right ahead .

I started my freelance writing career on a 56k dial-up Internet connection, and did fairly well. Later on, though, you'll want to upgrade to a standard broadband connection in case you'll need to view videos, attend webinars, and other ways to improve your craft.

# 3 – A Willingness To Work 12 Hours A Day

It's true that some freelance writers out there live wealthy, comfortable lifestyles. But that's simply because when they were only starting out, they were willing to work long hours, often for mediocre pay.

But that's a given. You are, after all, forming a business. And the first few weeks or months of forming a business is all about laying a strong foundation for it to take off!

So, at least at the beginning, there's no 9-to-5 schedules to be followed. You'll be working long after other people sit down and watch TV after dinner. You'll need the tenacity to stay the course, sharpening your skills and honing your writing style.

Yup, it's tough. I will not kid you. You'll be dealing with a lot of stress.

But should that be any surprise? Nothing of great value, after all, ever comes easy.

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What It Takes To Be A Freelance Writer

J. M. Barrie, 1892.

Freelance writing can be a very enjoyable, very rewarding profession. It's a great way to live the lifestyle you want and earn a decent income. But something so great can not possibly come for free. If you want to be a freelance writer, then take note of these "bare essentials." You'll need them!

# 1 – International-Level Written English.

Most people can write English well enough. But can you write at the level of US and UK writers? Do you think your writing style can make it to the big magazines, like National Geographic, Cosmopolitan, and Reader's Digest?

Most clients will look for international-level written English from you. But here's some good news – written English CAN be learned and practiced!

Find a good mentor / course to help refine your written English. It helps to have freelance writing friends in your circle – that way you can compare notes and proofread each other's work.

It also helps to NOT have a disdain or dislike for Western culture. (I'll talk about this more in one of my future articles. For now, do not think of English and Western culture as "sosyal" * – trust me, it'll hurt your freelance career in the long run.)

# 2 – A Good Computer and Internet Connection.

When choosing your first personal computer, I recommend getting a laptop. Even a basic workhorse-type laptop will do just fine. A laptop will let you work anywhere you want – any cafe, any town, any COUNTRY.

A 12 "laptop should be your minimum size (you'll need a big enough keyboard).

I personally use a 14 "laptop because I sometimes do drafting work, and I like not to recommend placing your laptop on your, well, lap, but if it helps the creative process, go right ahead .

I started my freelance writing career on a 56k dial-up Internet connection, and did fairly well. Later on, though, you'll want to upgrade to a standard broadband connection in case you'll need to view videos, attend webinars, and other ways to improve your craft.

# 3 – A Willingness To Work 12 Hours A Day

It's true that some freelance writers out there live wealthy, comfortable lifestyles. But that's simply because when they were only starting out, they were willing to work long hours, often for mediocre pay.

But that's a given. You are, after all, forming a business. And the first few weeks or months of forming a business is all about laying a strong foundation for it to take off!

So, at least at the beginning, there's no 9-to-5 schedules to be followed. You'll be working long after other people sit down and watch TV after dinner. You'll need the tenacity to stay the course, sharpening your skills and honing your writing style.

Yup, it's tough. I will not kid you. You'll be dealing with a lot of stress.

But should that be any surprise? Nothing of great value, after all, ever comes easy.

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His Most Famous Painting – Elegy to the Spanish Republic – Robert Motherwell

#My Cat does not Know of being a Cat

Robert Motherwell was a young American 'Abstract Expressionist' painter, printer, collage maker, and author. The creator of glorious series, "Elegy to the Spanish Republic," Motherwell was born in Aberdeen, Washington, 1915. He completed his Bachelor's degree in Philosophy from the Stanford University, California. For a short period, he also studied painting at the California School of Fine Arts, San Francisco. At the Raymond Duncan Gallery of Paris, Motherwell had his first solo exhibition. Later, Robert took up painting as his full time job, in Greenwich. Here, he met 'Abstract' artists Jackson Pollock and William Baziotes. Robert's creative experiences were not only limited to painting, but also extended to collages. He displayed his artwork at the Art of this Century Gallery and participated at the New York's Museum of Modern Art.

All said and done, his "Elegy to the Spanish Republic" series is his hugely, rather most known and expected works of all. The title is a collective name to include over 150 oil paintings and numerous sketches & drawings. The main theme of this series was the Spanish Civil War, which illuminated the lives of more than 7,00,000 people. "Elegy to the Spanish Republic" is a commemoration of human suffering in the three-year battle of the Spanish Civil War.

Motherwell's masterpiece first appeared in 1948 in a pen and ink drawing. Later, in 1949, Motherwell made a small painting "At five in the afternoon," indebted to Spanish playwright and poet Federico Garcia Lorca's poem with the same title. Lorca was killed in the Spanish War. Then in 1950, the artist titled his Milestone work as "Elegy to the Spanish Republic." The artist had explained the reason behind the title and said, 'Making an Elegy is like building a temple, an altar, a ritual place … Unlike the rest of my work, the Elegies are, for the most part, public statements. The Elegies reflect the internationalist in me, interested in the historical forces of the twenty century, with strong feelings about the conflicting forces in it. "

Robert Motherwell was also known to use turpentine with paint, which creates a shadow effect. He encompassed this 'Symbolism' in his most famous series, "Elegy to the Spanish Republic." Through his paintings, he endorsed black as a symbol of death and white as life. The monoliths were represented as mausoleum and ovals as living forms. Critics believe that Motherwell's Elegances were interesting, as it is earliest of the elegies to have used acrylic paint, Magma, which retains its intensity even when thinned.

Apart from painting, Motherwell was a lucid writer too. In 1958, he married Helen Frankenthaler. Over the next 30 years, he continued to develop his style and technical understanding, and created over 200 editions. Robert Motherwell died on July 16, 1991.

The Technical Writer – More Than a Job Description

Laguna di Caorle

There may be no one specific job description for Technical Writer , but then that's fairly common with many careers these days. If you find yourself designing, creating, and developing information information for end users, service personnel, marketing representatives, or product installers, you can easily add "Technical Writer" to your personal qualifications. There are endless writing opportunities that can be considered technical writing, and these types of writing jobs can become well paid writing opportunities for you.

How to guides, reference manuals, and technical pamphlets may be more commonly associated with technical writing, but when we look at the core of what technical writing is, recipes, and instructions for craft projects seem to fall in to the same category. So whenever you have been contracted by a manufacturer to write a 30 page manual for installing a solar energy product, or you have been sharing your fast and easy kitchen recipes with a "Technical Writer".

5 Traits That May Make You an Ideal Technical Writer Candidate

These are hits that many Technical Writers have in common:

  • You have a particular expertise, or specialized knowledge, that could be valuable to others.
  • You have a knack for teaching.
  • You can easily envision processes and procedures.
  • You pay attention to detail and have project management skills.
  • You have a basic understanding of how to write well.

Have you worked in an industry where you learned specialized skills or knowledge that could prove valuable to others? If so, you may find that this industry can provide a niche opportunity for you to market your writing skills to.

Are you the one who always seems to stay back and explain how things work to those that may not have gotten the whole picture? If so, you may find that technical writing suits you.

Do you envision flow charts, Venn diagrams, hierarchies, or bullet points when thinking about processes or procedures? Do you picture them in a linear progress? "Technical Communicator" could be your calling.

Are you a stickler for details? Is it hard for you to step away from, or call a project completed when you feel as if the points being communicated are not absolutely clear? Good "Technical Writers", will often have difficulty ignoring incorrect information.

Do you know how to write a complete sentence, using proper grammar, and spelling? Technical reporters, need to know how to put together a thought in written form, but are less likely to be judged for their prose than their ability to share a process.

There's no saying which combination of visits you are going to need to succeed as a "Technical Writer" (success is somewhat subjective), but if you answered yes to most of the questions above, you have a high probability of easily filling the "Technical Writer Job Description ".

"Staff Technical Writing Jobs" are becoming harder to come by as companies downsize, and outsource, however this in-house deficiency means that "Freelance Technical Writing Jobs" are becoming more available. In fact the information explosion has created a greater need than ever for quality writers in all fields, including; "Technical Writers". If you are good at documenting processes and sharing ideas, so that others can easily follow along, you may find that hiring yourself out as technical writer can be an interesting and well paying career choice.

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Ego Boundaries: What Are Ego Boundaries?

Batemans Castle

The purpose of ego boundaries is to protect the self. And through having these in place, one will know the difference between who they are and who someone else is. They allow for ones inner space to be protected and looked after.

These are not visible to the naked eye like a physical body is. And although everyone has a physical body, it does not mean that everyone has ego boundaries that are invisible.

As ego boundaries are what make one feel safe or unsafe and not the physical body itself; it shows how important they are.

Muscle Building

This may partly explain why so many men and even women have become obsessed with gaining muscle. To compensate for their lack of ego boundaries and the sense of safety that they bring, one looks to create this inner safety by strengthening and armouring their body. I will go deeper into this in a future article.

Benefits

There are many benefits to having ego boundaries. When one has them, they will feel safe to be who they are and on top of that – they will know who they are. This has got to be the primary reasons for having them.

Not only will one know who they are, but they will feel that it is safe enough for them to be themselves. Once this is the case, many other benefits will occur as a consequence.

The relationships that one has will also be a lot more fulfilling. For if one feels safe within and protected, the fear of losing oneself in another will not be there or it will have very little effect.

Opening up to the world and what the world has to offer will also be possible, without fearing that one’s personal space will be invaded. And if it is, one will have the personal strength to set appropriate limits.

Knowing what one wants, needs, desires and what their preferences are will also be normal to this person. And this is due to ego boundaries allowing one to be in tune with what is right for them. Instead of being caught up in what others want one to do or following others in order to feel safe within.

Approval

As one feels safe within to follow their own purpose and all that that means to them, there will not be a strong need to gain the approval of others. This will naturally make one feel free within. Having an inner centre will also be possible and this means that a sense of wellbeing will have a greater chance of being experienced.

No Ego Boundaries

For the person with no ego boundaries, it can create feelings of being: invisible, nonexistent, vulnerable, empty, and wide open to the world. This means that one will not feel safe to be who they are or that they are protected.

There are obviously extremes to this. Even though this could relate to someone who is shy or unconfident for example, it could also relate to someone who is overbearing, overconfident and loud.

However, being taken advantage of and compromised are often consequences for people who have no ego boundaries. This person may find it easy to say yes, but extremely difficult to say no. Through being wide open to the world, one is unlikely to feel safe enough to say no, for the fear of what may happen.

Knowing what their needs, wants, preferences and desires are will be difficult; it will be hard for them to know the difference between what’s theirs and what’s other peoples. And so this means that they are likely to need more approval than people who have strong ego boundaries; simply because they don’t have the same sense of inner safety and protection.

Relationships

For the person who have weak or nonexistent ego boundaries, relationships are unlikely to be rewarding or fulfilling. Here, one may end up becoming either enmeshed to others or avoid them all together.

So if they become enmeshed they will lose the identity that they do have and take on whatever identity they feel will please others. And if they avoid relationships for the fear of losing themselves, then it is only going to lead to pain and suffering.

These two options don’t give one much to work with and very little to feel empowered about.

Two Experiences

People who have strong ego boundaries are having a completely different experience to people who have them. Having no ego boundaries is the recipe for leading a life that is without fulfilment, true happiness, real success or fulfilling relationships. One can feel like a doormat and that there presence on this earth is irrelevant.

When one has boundaries, it can only lead to a more fulfilling existence. Knowing what one wants, experiencing richer relationships, feeling safe to be oneself and protected are just a few benefits

If we were to take two people, one with strong ego boundaries and another with no ego boundaries we would see that they are both human beings. So why are they so different from each other?

Childhood

As a baby one has no ego boundaries, it is when one starts to develop into a child that they should develop. This is because as a baby one doesn’t know the difference between themselves and the caregiver. Through the mother’s empathic care, which is made up of mirroring, validating and attuning to the baby’s needs, it begins to form a sense of individuality.

The baby will sense that it is safe to have needs and that its needs are different to the mothers needs. And this will enable the baby to internalise this model; creating associations of safety and of being protected.

If the one has a caregiver that is unempathic as a baby it will lead to the opposite things happening. The baby’s needs will largely be ignored and covered up with the mothers needs. And through this, the baby will have no connection to its needs. What it will learn is to tune into the needs of others.

What this will result in is not only the loss of ones needs being taken care of, but the loss of a self being created. It is through the mirroring and validating of one’s needs as a baby and then as a child, that allows one to form a self.

The association is, if my needs are ignored then I can’t exist either. Having a caregiver that forces their needs onto the baby and denies the bays needs, is a result of the caregiver having boundaries problems. Perhaps their childhood was the same and carried out the same behaviour.

This means that through their own lack of boundaries they are unlikely to recognise the baby’s personal space. So situations where the caregiver overwhelms, smothers, abandons and rejects the baby are going to be common.

Awareness

What I have described above is just a general guideline and this means that there could be other variations or causes.

These early experiences created the ego minds associations and these associations then become how one perceives others and themselves. They are not the truth; they are simply what have become familiar to the ego mind.

And what is classed as familiar to the ego mind is what is interpreted as safe. This means that as these associations change, one will begin to develop ego boundaries.

How long this process takes will depend on numerous factors. Finding the appropriate support will make a big difference. A good therapist may be needed, for others a supportive friend or book may do.

IQ of Celebrities – True Or False? Know the Truth

Akko old city harbour

When we are on a quest to improve our IQs, we may also feel eager to find out the IQ of celebrities. Some of us are in awe of celebs and would like to believe if they really have high or above average IQs or are they just giving sound bytes to the media based on their efficient PR. There are many well-known personalities who have been always known for their IQ. Some were born intelligent while others gained IQ with their stardom. Here are some of the famous personalities with high IQ:

Famous Emmy Award winner actor, James Wood is known to have IQ score of 180. He has starred in famous movies like Ghosts of Mississippi and Once Upon a Time in America. When he was studying, he had scored 779 in the math section of SAT and a whopping 800 in the verbal section. He is a member of Mensa (high IQ society).

Bill Gates, the chairman of Microsoft and is also one of the wealthiest person in the world. He has an IQ of 160. At the age of 13, he was into computer programming. Even though he dropped out from Harvard University in the year 1975, there was no stopping; Bill and his friend Paul Allen ventured to create the software giant, Microsoft.

Quentin Tarantino, the director of popular movies like Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill is also a very smart and talented actor, screenwriter, cinematographer and producer. He is a member of Mensa and has an IQ score of 160. He was also a school dropout.

Sharon Stone, the beautiful actress from Basic Instinct had claimed to be a member of the Mensa. She is known to have an IQ of 154.

Steve Martin an actor, writer, producer and musician by profession has won Emmy Awards and Grammy Awards. He is a member of Mensa and has an IQ of 142.

Madonna, the sensational pop star has also starred in 22 films. She had left her hometown Michigan in the year 1977 only to pursue her singing career. She has an IQ of 140.

The famous pop singer, Shakira, who had hit the top of the charts with songs Whenever Wherever, Hips Don’t Lie and many others, has an IQ of 140.

Geena Davis, an actress, producer, writer has an IQ of 140. She starred in many movies such as The Long Kiss Good night and Beetlejuice. She has also won an Oscar award for her performance in The Accidental Tourist. She is a member of Mensa and has an IQ of 140.

Apart from these, there are many others such as Dolph Lundgren – IQ of 160, Dennis Miller – IQ of 135, Jodie Foster -132 Nicole Kidman – 132 and Michael Jackson – 115. It is a known fact that IQ score of 120 to 130 is considered very remarkable. However, an IQ score of 130 and above is considered excellent and very few people make it to this bracket.

Even though many celebrities are known to be a part of high IQ societies such as Mensa, there is hardly any proper evidence about the same. For instance, it is known to many people that Sharon Stone was a member of Mensa; however in the year 2002, she had revealed that had never been associated as a member with Mensa. On the contrary, she claims to have attended Mensa school; however an official from Mensa clarified that were no Mensa schools during the 1960s when Stone was studying.

On the internet one can find plenty of information about high IQ celebrities. However, there is no proof whatsoever to prove that the facts mentioned on various websites are genuine. Many celebrities take undue advantage by mentioning about their IQ publicly to show how smart they are in addition to their talent that they exhibit professionally.

The Top Ten Psychics in the World

Cowboy Stuntman 1

There are quite a few very famous contemporary psychics in a world, but here are the top ten and in no particular order as each as their own particular set of strengths and gifts.

Sylvia Browne

Sylvia Browne is an internationally recognized psychic who communicates with the dead. She claims to have inherited her psychic gift. She has been running the Nirvana Foundation for Psychic Research since 1973. She is one of those psychics who helps the police find killers and solve crimes. She has authored numerous books on psychic subjects, including Contacting Your Spirit Guide and Past Lives, Future Healing: A Psychic Reveals the Secrets to Good Health, and Great Relationships.

Allison Dubois

Allison Dubois is a psychic who channels the souls of dead pet and people. She has written many books, including Secrets of the Monarch, which is about understanding the caterpillar to butterfly nature of soul freedom. The television series Medium starring Patricia Marquette is supposedly based on the talents of Allison Dubois.

Lisa Williams

This celebrity medium and clairvoyant stars in a show on Lifetime called Lisa Williams: Life Among the Dead. The show follows Williams on a typical day, as she communicates with the dead, investigates haunted houses, and does readings. Williams channels many dead famous people including Bob Hope, Princess Diana, Natalie Wood, Marilyn Monroe, and Ray Charles.

John Edwards

Edwards, not to be mistaken for the U.S. Senator with the same name, is an author and television personality. He is best known for his television shows, Crossing Over with John Edward and John Edward Cross Country. On both shows, Edwards attempts to communicate with the spirits of the audience members’ deceased relatives.

Colin Fry

Colin Fry is one of the best-known psychics and spiritualist mediums in Britain. He has hosted many television programs about the Supernatural, including Most Haunted, Psychic Private Eyes, and 6ixth Sense with Colin Fry, produced by Living TV.

Derek Acorah

Derek Acorah is a controversial psychic medium and television personality in the United Kingdom, who is possessed by the dead spirits he channels through his spirit guide s Sam. He is very well known for his appearances on. Derek Acorah’s Ghost Towns and Yvette Fielding’s show Most Haunted.

James Van Praagh

James Van Praagh is a best-selling psychic and medium. He has written several books dealing with spirituality and spirit communication and 2002 to 2003, he hosted a syndicated daytime talk show entitled “Beyond With James Van Praagh.” He is currently the co-Executive Producer of the television series Ghost Whisperer on CBS.

Rosemary Altea

Rosemary Altea is a psychic and author. She has appeared on various programs, including Larry King Live and The Oprah Winfrey Show (with Michael Shermer in 1995).

Doreen Virtue

Dr. Doreen Virtue has appeared on many television shows such as Oprah, Good Morning America, The View, and CNN, revealing how psychic angels can help you heal your life. One of her most famous book, Give the Gift of Healing: A Concise Guide to Spiritual Healing, which was published in 2005.

Gillian Kemp

If you are into Tarot, then you are going to like Gillian Kemp. She is author of The Good Spell Book and recently designed a very interesting pack of Tarot Cards called Tree Magick in which there are no negative cards. She talks to ghosts using techniques learned from her ancient Romanie past and her grandmother, grandfather, and aunt who were also clairvoyant. She uses the more old-fashioned divination techniques, such as teacup readings and crystal balls and is one of the most famous psychics in the United Kingdom.

The Importance Of Reading Fairy Tales In A Child’s Life

Slot Zuylen Castle in Utrecht

The Importance of Fairy Tales in a Child’s Life

Wisdom from Bruno Bettelheim’s The Uses of Enchantment

I spent many delicious hours as a child reading fairy tales. Even today, many of the stories I devoured ring clear in my head, although I have not read them in perhaps forty years. Stories of dancing princesses escaping to an underground world of music and balls, the finding of a magic ring baked in a cake, the agony of a sister trying to free her brothers from a spell that has changed them into swans-these elements of fairy tales sank deep into my heart and imagination and continue with me today. Why is this?

As I pondered this question, I had a chance meeting with a woman who had run a Christian bookstore for years. She told me of the many parents who would come into the store looking for suitable reading material for their children. When offered fairy tales, they would shy away, fearing the dark and disturbing images that had the potential to frighten and traumatize their young ones. Their argument would go like this: “Fairy tales are scary and present the world dishonestly. They would make my child confused as to what is real and what is fabricated. They are full of ogres and witches and giants, so why should I allow my child to be terrified by things that aren’t even real?”

Because I write full-length Christian-based fairy tales, I decided to explore these questions and address these valid concerns of many parents. I thought back to a book I had read when my first daughter was born: Bruno Bettelheim’s famous book, The Uses of Enchantment. I remember the impact that book had on me, and because of its logic, chose to immerse my children in the world of fantasy and fairy tales throughout their childhood. Now that they are grown, I have asked them how these stories have shaped and affected their worldview and creativity. They have no doubt that their lives have been seriously enriched by this experience, and reading fairy tales has contributed toward their healthy and confident attitudes about the challenges and terrors of this life.

Bruno Bettelheim was a child psychologist, famous for his research on autism. The aforementioned book written in 1976 won him a National Book Award. I love what he writes in the introduction. “Wisdom does not burst forth fully developed like Athena out of Zeus’s head; it is built up, small step by small step, from most irrational beginnings. Only in adulthood can an intelligent understanding of the meaning of one’s existence in this world be gained from one’s experiences in it. Unfortunately, too many parents want their children’s minds to function as their own do-as if mature understanding of ourselves and the world, and our ideas about the meaning of life, did not have to develop as slowly as our bodies and minds. Today, as in times past, the most important and also the most difficult task in raising a child is helping him to find meaning in life.”

Working in the field of autism presented Bettelheim with the challenge of restoring meaning to the lives of severely disturbed children. He found most literature for young readers to be sadly lacking in the ability to accomplish this task, but also knew that literature held the best promise to pass on cultural heritage, which he felt was crucial. And this was what he deemed necessary: “To enrich [the child’s] life, it must stimulate his imagination; help him to develop his intellect and to clarify his emotions; be attuned to his anxieties and aspirations; give full recognition to his difficulties, while at the same time relate to all aspects of his personality-and this without ever belittling but, on the contrary, giving full credence to the seriousness of the child’s predicaments, while simultaneously promoting confidence in himself and in his future.” He goes on to say how important it is that literature provide a moral education which subtly, and through implication only, “conveys to him the advantages of moral behavior.” His conclusion? “The child finds this kind of meaning through fairy tales.”

The German poet Schiller wrote: “Deeper meaning resides in the fairy tales told to me in my childhood than in the truth that is taught by life.” How can this be? Bettelheim says, “These tales start where the child really is in his psychological and emotional being. They speak about his severe inner pressures in a way that the child unconsciously understands and . . . offers examples of both temporary and permanent solutions to pressing difficulties.”

Parents longing to protect their children from evil, scary things in the world do well to remember that this is the world to which we are preparing them to face. By hiding that world from their awareness, by trying to postpone or color the harsh realities of life, we are doing them a great disservice. We have the Bible as the master example of frankness and the revealing and candid exposing of evil in its many forms. God did not censor murder, rape, betrayal, cruelty, incest, and even sexual passion from the pages of His word. Parents may argue that a young child does not need to learn about these things, and it is true-there is a time and season for all things, and some are best to cover when a child may be more mature to understand and emotionally deal with some of these things.

Here’s what Bettelheim says: “In child or adult, the unconscious is a powerful determinant of behavior. When the unconscious is repressed and its content denied entrance into awareness, then eventually the person’s conscious mind will be partially overwhelmed by derivatives of these unconscious elements, or else he is forced to keep such rigid, compulsive control over them that his personality may become severely crippled . . . . The prevalent parental belief is that a child must be diverted from what troubles him most: his formless, nameless anxieties, and his chaotic, angry, and even violent fantasies. Many parents believe that only conscious reality or pleasant and wish-fulfilling images should be presented to the child-that he should be exposed only to the sunny side of things. But such one-sided fare nourishes the mind only in a one-sided way, and real life is not all sunny.”

Rather than shelter children from life’s evils, we can equip them with the tools needed to face them head-on with confidence. Bettelheim says that a struggle against severe difficulties in life is unavoidable, is an intrinsic part of human experience. If one does not shy away, “but steadfastly meets unexpected and often unjust hardships, one masters all obstacles and at the end emerges victorious.”

The Elements of Fairy Tales

The fairy tale, according to Bettelheim, confronts the child squarely with the most scary subjects in life: death, aging, loss of a parent, being trapped or lost, and other stresses. The fairy tale simplifies all situations, allowing the child to come to grips with the problem in its most essential form. The figures are clearly drawn and the details, unless very important, are eliminated. All characters are typical rather than unique. Evil is as common as any virtue and both are usually embodied in the form of a figure or their actions. Evil is not without its attractions, “symbolized by the mighty dragon or giant, the power of the witch, the cunning queen in ‘Snow White.’ ” In many fairy tales the usurper succeeds for a time-as with Cinderella’s sisters and step-mother-but in the end, the evildoer is punished, and the moral is that crime does not pay. Because the child follows the hero through his or her journey, he can identify with the hero in all his struggles-suffering and triumphing with him. Bettelheim says that the child “makes such identifications all on his own, and the inner and outer struggles of the hero imprint morality on him.”

The most important element in fairy tales, to me, is the moral choice presented to the hero. The child learns that choices have consequences, and the child can choose what kind of person she wants to be. Only by “going out into the world” does the hero learn, and acquire happiness. The fairy tale is future-oriented and guides the child, so that instead of escaping into a world of unreality, she is given tools to help her develop character and courage to face what the world presents to her. Often the hero is lost, alone, frightened. These are feelings a child identifies with. Yet, her hero is guided and given help along the way because of his determination and courage. In this way, fairy tales work their own kind of magic, for in reading them, the child feels understood and enriched, giving the child what Bettelheim says is “an enchanted quality just because he does not quite know how the stories have worked their wonder on him.

“Fairy tales, unlike any form of literature, direct the child to discover his identity and calling, and they also suggest what experiences are needed to develop his character further. Fairy tales intimate that a rewarding, good life is within one’s reach despite adversity-but only if one does not shy away from the hazardous struggles without which one can never achieve true identity.” This is a basic tenet of the Bible as well: that those who want to please God and obtain his favor need to endure difficulties; that these trials produce endurance, character, and hope, and that the hope does not disappoint (Romans 5:3-5).

So, do not discount fairy tales as a bad influence on your children. Rather, be selective, and choose age-appropriate stories to give to them. But do not be afraid of unleashing their imagination and letting them confront their darkest fears. By giving them heroes to identify with, you are letting those fears surface in a subtle manner, and allowing your child to find his courage and make moral choices vicariously-choices that will build his character and have influence on the rest of his life.

I look at my daughters, now grown, and see how that world of imagination and fantasy helped them to face evil and struggles, gave them confidence and courage, and stimulated their imagination which poured over into their art, writing, poetry, and music. We cannot hide our children from the evils of the world, and even explaining everything in a pat manner from God’s Word does not dispel the deep fears and worries a child has. Only by bringing them to the surface in a safe and imaginative way can we as parents help them mature and become responsible adults. I think of that word, responsible, as response-able, for that is our goal: to help our children become able to respond competently to any situation life puts before them, and fairy tales will help them do just that.