Author Spotlight – Renee Schuls-Jacobson

During this year’s BOAW Blogfest I discovered your blog and took a peek. I was interested about what you had to write and like your style. I also like your art and read about your life a bit.

 

I know there’s much more, and I’d like to hear about this.

 

When did you start writing?

I started pounding on my parents’ typewriter when I was in kindergarten, and I just loved the way the keys felt under my fingertips. I loved putting my thoughts down on paper and receiving such positive feedback from everyone around me. In 2nd grade, I had a wonderful teacher  — Mrs. Church — who dragged me down the hall to read a book I had written about robins and their nests to the 5th graders. I couldn’t believe they would want to hear anything that I’d written, but they seemed to enjoy my words. I’ve been writing ever since.

 

What motivates you to write? 

Writing is my way of processing the world, all its beauty and pain. Simple as that. I feel a pull to write whenever something is troubling me. That may not appeal to everyone, but it works for me. Writing is a coping mechanism for me.

 

What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre? 

I remember reading the Laura Ingalls Wilder Series of Little House on the Prairie in 3rd grade, and I thought to myself, I want to write a book like this. And while my audience might not be adolescent female readers, I suspect that most of my writing appeals to a predominantly female readership.

 

What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you? 

Right now, I’m working on finishing my STATE OF UNDRESS PROJECT, which is a combined art/writing project featuring figure studies of women representing every age, color, and social class who have self-identified as living with invisible obstacles. Participants were asked to write about their insecurities/obstacles and frame these challenges as strengths. They also had to be willing to pose in some state of undress — and have their likeness painted as an impressionistic piece of art. I feel fortunate that these women trusted me with their stories and allowed me into their lives in this most intimate way. I suffer from anxiety, depression and PTSD as a result of a brain injury, which occurred in 2013 after being improperly weaned off a prescription medication. After 3.5 years, I’m nearly back to where I was prior to the injury, and yet I am no longer the same person I once was. People who meet me now can’t tell, but I know how I feel inside my body. Collecting the stories these women shared made me realize that there are so many of us going thru something at any given time, and collecting these stories made me feel less alone. 

 

Do you suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?

I only write when I feel moved to do so. I’m fortunate to be able to alternate my writing and my visual art, and I need to be able to do both. When I finish a lengthy piece of writing, I generally move to a painting next. When that paint is drying, I go and write. It is a process that works for me.

 

What state is your writing in now and do you already have an agenda on publishing? 

I’m mid-way thru the first draft of my memoir –a cautionary tale about what happens when trauma is treated with psychiatric drugs rather than therapy and understanding. In the meantime, I’m still posting on my blog –  http://rasjacobson.store/blog.

 

Thank you so much for being my guest, Renee.

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Connect with Renee Schuls-Jacobson

 

I’m on Twitter at @rasjacobson

On Facebook Rasjacobson Originals or https://www.facebook.com/rasjacobsonart/

On Instagram @rasjacobson

My blog http://www.rasjacobson.store/blog/

My shop http://rasjacobson.store

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Renee’s art:

(I have to admit I picked one of my favorites to show here. A.J. Alexander)

http://www.rasjacobson.store/product-category/art-squares/

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3 Day Quote Challenge – Day three

It’s time to talk about the power of positive thinking. Do I believe in it? You bet I do! But at this point I do have to admit it took time for me to learn how to focus on positive thinking.

It is too easy to take all the negative thoughts we’re facing in our life and channel them to let them poison our future. I was no exception. Bathing in the negativity and all bad things happening I became negative and didn’t find out of this circle. I woke up, every single day, being in a bad mood… I did not see the surrounding beauty anymore; I did not feel joy and happiness anymore; there was no chance of appreciating even small things in my life.

When being lucky enough to have a little success, I only felt bitterness about the success not being bigger.

I did not like my life, my surroundings, other people, and worst: myself.

One day I was on the phone with a friend who had always been by my side for years. That day, once again, she told me she needed to go. Compared to the hours we had been on the phone for years, I realized she did not really want to talk to me anymore. This time, I asked her why. And she replied: “I can’t take your negativity anymore, girl. You always were so funny, positive and happy… but the past couple years you became a nightmare to be around. I’m sorry, but it’s true. Your negativity is pulling me down and I don’t want that anymore.”

This made me carefully consider what was wrong. I was unhappy, I knew that. And I had to do something about it. I did research and finally found an excellent motivational speaker, Dr. Wayne Dyer. Many things he said were just as general as with many other motivational speakers. But one thing touched me. Just one sentence that changed me and my attitude and made me find my way out of the ocean of sadness and negativity I swam in:

 

If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

 

Of course things didn’t change from one day to the next, it took a while. And it is quite easy to fall back into old frames.

But I found a good path to see things differently and the positive things happening.

After all: even bad experiences might lead to something good; you never know what Karma has prepared for you!

I am a much happier person now. People around me are happier too – and yes, my friend and I are talking and chatting together again, now I lost what had bothered her.

Even though it doesn’t work every time, I still try to find the smallest positive thought in things. Like for example: “Let’s take a moment and be thankful that spiders don’t fly”.

I live, I learn and I’m grateful to be able to do that!

A. J. Alexander