Friday, April 18, 2008

Guest Author ~ Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein

I'm thrilled to have guest author, Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein with me today.
Take a moment to read her guest post as to what inspires her to write. I am sure you will be as enchanted with her post as I am.
Be sure to stop back on Monday, April 21st...when I post my book review of "The Truth (I'm a girl, I'm smart and I know everything)".

"Why am I having more trouble with this assignment than most? Is it because I don't usually put into words what inspires me to write? Or is it that I somehow consider private and none of your business what inspires me to write? The product should be enough! And you want to know what goes on behind the scenes also? In my head? In my gut? In the semi-conscious pool of diffuse thoughts and emotions? Oh, alright, I'll be particularly good-natured and try to share some of it.

Sometimes what inspires me to write is a surge of emotion that left without an outlet might get nasty. For example, when I was in college I was thinking a lot about my aunt who died of cancer when I was thirteen. I never really resolved my feelings of loss. So I wrote a story about her. And it helped. The story is now upstairs in my filing cabinet. I'm not sure who ever read it besides me and perhaps my roommates. But it did seem to help to write it.

Sometimes what inspires me to write is humor, or the irony of a situation. I am related to Miressa Berenson, the actress. We are about the same age. When I was about 35 I saw her in a movie and admired her grace and beauty. In fact, I was so mesmerized I almost expected to look like her in the mirror after the movie. Of course I didn't. But I wrote a very funny short story titled, "Am I my Cousin's Cousin?" In other words, I admired her and would have loved to know her personally. On the other hand, to Miressa I didn't exist. So were we cousins? Writing the story made me somebody! Actually, I sent that story into a few magazines. It was not accepted. It lives in the top little drawer in my dining room now.

Sometimes I write because I have a message that must be conveyed. In fact, that is why I write most of the time now. Ever since I discovered what I call The Enchanted Self inside of women (The Enchanted Self is a capacity for happiness far greater than appreciated or understood by the women herself, or society at large) I have been on a mission. For over 15 years I have lived, breathed and shared The Enchanted Self and have never stopped. My first book appeared 11 years ago, The Enchanted Self, A Positive Therapy. That book is the first book in Positive Psychology, specifically for women. Also it is a pathfinder book in that it teaches both therapists and clients how to reframe their perceptions of themselves and their personal histories, resulting in focusing on what is right about ourselves rather than what is wrong. Oh, I can just go on and on. But instead I will say that the amount of inspiration behind this book was gigantic. The amount of effort to write the book was also gigantic. And it had to happen. The push was firm and unrelenting. Was it from me, or the great Divine or both? I'd say and believe both. If it were just from me there were many times I think I would have given up. But the push would be there-every day-through good and bad times.

And so, as I said, I'm not going to share all. Let me just finish by saying that the push behind my latest book, which believe it or not, is also about The Enchanted Self in each of us, is just as strong a push. Not only is the 'girl' in the book determined to come to life, but she has already made clear that I'm going to help her grow up through a series of books, of which The Truth, (I'm a girl, I'm smart and I know everything) is but the first. How is this book still about The Enchanted Self? It's simple. The 'girl' is struggling with holding on to parts of herself that will allow her to stay true to herself. She finds a way. I hope you will read the book and you'll see how clever her solution is. Anyway, that is what we must all do-find a way to stay true to ourselves. And if we do, we access The Enchanted Self inside of ourselves again and again. And we are happy and we thrive. And that is good!

I'll finish by saying that writing most of my life has paid off. My emotions are healthier and my writings no longer just sit in file cabinets. I have many books to my credit and they are read. And the web has provided a way to reach people around the world. Just last night I discovered that a professor gave a talk titled: “Almost a Religion": Oprah Winfrey, Media Mind Cure and the Enchanted Self I don't have access to the paper yet, but to see my concept travel around the globe and be included in a title with Oprah Winfrey-well it is wonderful and amazing. So listen to your inner voice and feel the push and keep writing. You never know where it will take you or who you will be sharing a title with!"


  1. I can certainly relate how writing allows an escape and peace of mind for a writer. As adventurous as I am I will never meet a vampire, never meet an alien, will never have visions of past and future murders, yet I do in a sense through the fictional worlds I build.

    Many of the stories are in direct relation to things I've experienced in one sense or the other and simply amplified and fictionalized to fit a storyline.

    Great interview, Donna. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

  2. You never know what or who will inspire you or where you will be when it hits you. I really enjoyed this guest post. My interest for the book is also peaked.

  3. Hey,

    Donna, you pick such interesting authors to guest blog for you.

    This was a wonderful piece. I kept wondering WHY Barbara doesn't know her cousin. I found that so sad, in a way.

    Now I can't wait to read her book.


    Suzanne Lieurance
    The Working Writer's Coach
    "When Your Pen Won't Budge, Read The Morning Nudge"

  4. Lea, Carma & Suzanne...thanks for stopping by today and your lovely comments.


  5. Dr. Barbara inspires me! Thought provoking take on things.

    Enjoyed the read,
    Jewel Sample

  6. That's a great way to think of oneself--The Enchanted Self. Too often we are too hard on ourselves--too limiting.

    Thanks for the interesting interview, Donna!


  7. I'm so excited with the comments today. Wow. All of you writers know how when we are in our cave writing, we have no idea if our work will really 'land.' I feel so uplifted knowing that my interview comments have 'landed.' Once you read, The Truth, (I'm a girl, I'm smart and I know everything) please consider writing a review on Amazon. That would mean so much to me! I'd love to hear from you also. You can always find me at or at Thanks again! Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein

  8. Dr. has been a true pleasure hosting you over the last several days. Thanks for joining me. I know that Terri Foreland has added you to her blog links -

    Warm regards,


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