The Grand Blog Tour Arrives at Team Family Online

“When you stand and share your story in an empowering way, your story will heal you and your story will heal somebody else.” — Iyanla Vanzant

If you've ever wondered why bloggers do what they do, the Grand Blog Tour offers a peek into the window of diverse bloggers from around the world. Thanks to author, Carolyn Hughes, of "The Hurt Healer," I have the opportunity to share with you what writing daily, weekly, and through the years here at Team Family Online has accomplished. Perhaps it will inspire you to begin your own blog, if you haven't yet done so!
Carolyn's post ‘Writing – the Blog Tour’ gives you an insider's glimpse into the life of a freelance writer. Carolyn writes articles for magazines as well as being a prolific online writer and blogger. Her voice speaks peace into the storms caused by addictions. Carolyn's story of surviving childhood abuse and adult alcoholism is a story of Faith, Hope, and Love in a way that lifts her readers up out of their own trials.

Now, through the four questions all Grand Blog Tour participants answer, I'll take you backstage at Team Family Online.

What are you working on?

“A distinction must be made between that writing which enables us to hold on to life even as we are clinging to old hurts and wounds and that writing which offers to us a space where we are able to confront reality in such a way that we live more fully. Such writing is not an anchor that we mistakenly cling to so as not to drown. It is writing that truly rescues, that enables us to reach the shore, to recover.”  — Bell Hooks

As a heart scribe, I am always listening to life stories and helping people find the beauty in their past and sow it into their future. Stories bridge the gap between the past and future, and by finding the beauty and truth in our stories, we can write ourselves into a better future.

This week I am working on finishing my "Write to Freedom" eCourse. It's an adventure in writing your memoir, using the stories of your past to form a bridge into a better tomorrow. When completed, each participant will hold in their hands an heirloom quality book that will create a living family legacy to be enjoyed for many generations.

How does your work differ from others of its genre?

“Write about small, self-contained incidents that are still vivid in your memory. If you remember them, it’s because they contain a larger truth that your readers will recognize in their own lives. Think small and you’ll wind up finding the big themes in your family saga.”  — William Kowlton Zinsser

My readers tell me that I write the truth in such a way that they feel connected to my stories. They see their own story reflected in my words, and it gives them hope as well as ideas for writing their own stories.

What makes me different? I write without hiding behind conventional rules of self-protection. I get naked and I am unashamed. It makes it worthwhile when readers say my vulnerability has helped them to face reality to become more authentic in their own lifestyle.

Why do you write what you do?

"Your life is not a problem to be solved but a gift to be opened." ~ Wayne Muller

If you’re familiar with my story, you know that my journey with God has been an adventure in learning to trust God in the dark, and I believe adventures are more fun when they are shared. Stories help us to build relationships. Stories form a common bond between us and with each "me too!" moment we discover we are never alone. The more I write, the more I heal… and to bring others along with me, is such a huge reward!

How does your writing process work?

"Don’t wait. Writers are the only artists I know of who expect to get somewhere by waiting. Everyone knows you have to dance to be a dancer, you have to sing to be a singer, you have to act to be an actor, but far too many people seem to believe that you. don’t have to write to be a writer. So, instead of writing, they wait. Isaac Asimov said it beautifully in just six words: “It’s the writing that teaches you.” Writing is what teaches you. Writing is what leads to “inspiration.” Writing is what generates ideas. Nothing else-and nothing less. Don’t meditate, don’t do yoga, don’t do drugs. Just write.”  -Daniel Quinn

My writing process has always begun with what I call the "daily practice". I simply show up each morning, as early as possible, when the day is quiet. I write whatever comes out of my pen. It's similar to a brain dump. 

When I sit down at my computer, ideas pour out naturally, and often the subjects are gleaned from the "daily practice" notebooks. Sometimes I begin with a title and an idea, but as I write it turns into a whole different story. I like it, because I know it's God writing through me. It was during one of my daily practice sessions that I sensed God telling me I am His "heart scribe" – someone who spends time listening to His heart and writing about it.

Now I'd like to introduce you to three bloggers I have been following for some time – women who I believe you will enjoy meeting.

For a woman who can help you find the financial genius within you, Sharon O'Day of Awakening the Financial Genius is a site specializing in new beginnings. Sharon knows what it's like to have a little and to have a lot. She also knows what it's like to lose everything and start all over again. Her speciality is helping women in their 50's and older to cut through the money gremlins that hold us back. What I love about Sharon's mentoring is she gives practical assignments that are not too difficult but are powerful enough to get us on track to financial independence. She generally writes weekly and if you subscribe to her weekly newsletter you'll receive personal guidance from someone who walks her talk!

Next, on the Grand Tour, I'd like to share Pat Moon, of Best Real Health. Pat writes several times a month on a variety of subjects that we baby boomers (and our families) need to be more aware of. Every time I read one of Pat's articles I come away with either a practical strategy to stay in tip top shape, or a tid bit of information that will help a friend of family member. Pat's site is like an encyclopedia of good health that you can read a few minutes each week and see real improvement in your life. Ask Pat to tell you about her husband's health miracle and about her own mother's good health well into her 90's. She and her family live what she talks, and she''ll be a great blessing and a bountiful resource for you!

Finally, to end our Blog Tour with another winner, Gertraud Walters is the gal for life reinvention and colon health. Recently several states in the Midwest experienced outbreaks of cyclospora, which caused me to research the presence and effect of parasites here in North America and other first world countries. What I discovered is that 1 billion people, right now, suffer from the effects of parasites: inflammation, digestion difficulties, fatigue, insomnia, and a host of other health problems are a result of several varieties of parasites. Gertraud is a distributor for Unicity, a company whose products I am now using. Let me tell you…. IT WORKS! And it's gentle as well as effective. A clean, healthy colon is your first defense for building a strong immune system. I am not an affiliate but I highly recommend the products and also Gertraud Walters. She is one strong woman with powerful goals and a can-do attitude that makes things happen!

This ends the Grand Blog Tour at Team Family Online. Once again, thank you to Carolyn Hughes for the invitation to join a company of women who are not just talking, but making a difference in the world. 

"The lotus is the most beautiful flower, whose petals open one by one. But it will only grow in the mud. In order to grow and gain wisdom, first you must have the mud — the obstacles of life and its suffering. … The mud speaks of the common ground that humans share, no matter what our stations in life. … Whether we have it all or we have nothing, we are all faced with the same obstacles: sadness, loss, illness, dying and death. If we are to strive as human beings to gain more wisdom, more kindness and more compassion, we must have the intention to grow as a lotus and open each petal one by one." — Goldie Hawn

With all my love,


Susan Schiller knows how it feels to lose everything: marriage and family, church and reputation, finances and businesses, and more. Susan's upcoming, interactive memoir, "On the Way Home," tells the story of how she came to be known as "the most abused woman" her counselors had yet met and how she learned to navigate her way out of hell to a rich and satisfying life. In her lifetime, Susan has served in duties ranging from home school mom – to pastor –  to full-time deliverance minister – and to Midwest regional prayer coordinator for a large international ministry. These days you can usually find Susan soaking in her favorite hot springs pool, reading a book (or several), blogging, baking bread, or hanging out with her family and friends. You can get a free copy of Susan's upcoming book, "On the Way Home" by registering here.

Copyright 2014, Susan Schiller,  For reprint permission for any private or commercial use, in any form of media, please contact Susan Schiller.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Carolyn Hughes May 12, 2014 at 3:03 am

What a wonderful post Susan. I love your passion to help people overcome the traumas of the past and your comment' we can write ourselves into a better future' is so powerful. Your gift to help others to healing through writing their life stories is precious. Thank you!


Susan Schiller May 12, 2014 at 10:36 am

Thank you so much, Carolyn – you are a bright light in this world, and in my life, too – thank you for shining! 🙂


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