Interview With Cheryl Melody Baskin, Author of Peace Dreamer and Heart Dreamer

Can you share a bit about your journey to becoming a writer/published author? Any interests or early signs as a child that hinted you would later put pen to paper?

Even when I was a young child, I would make up stories and plays long into the night and then write them down in the morning. I always loved to write, but I never thought it would lead to being an author. My life’s work has revolved around being a singer, composer, recording artist and educator and I have loved every minute of it.

In 2016, an inner voice kept nudging me to “write a book, Cheryl Melody. It’s time.” Despite initial resistance, I decided that it was a perfect time to see what I had inside me as a writer. My kids were grown, life was easier, and I had no excuse. I could still teach and perform, and in my spare time, author a book. Because I had a recording studio in my home, my technique for writing my first book was unique. I turned on my recording equipment, closed my eyes, and allowed my deepest wisdom to flow out of me. After the content was recorded, I would turn to my laptop, and type it out. Within a year, my first motivational self-help book, “Shift of Heart: Paths to Healing and Love” was born.

What inspired you to write “Heart-Dreamer: Stepping into Life, Love, Creativity and Dreams – No Matter What?” Was it difficult to write and publish something so very personal?

It wasn’t difficult. It takes courage, but if I help even one person, then it is worth sharing my thoughts and feelings with others. If I am open, vulnerable and authentic, it encourages others to be that way, too. We are all human and “perfectly imperfect.” I love to share the transformational tools I use to raise my self-esteem when I feel low, to center myself when I am filled with inner chaos, and to encourage the creative part of myself to rise up when I feel over-structured. 

Review HERE!

“Heart-Dreamer” was a labor of love. My intention was to encourage anyone with or without a dream to tap into that part within themselves and reach for the stars. The “no matter what” part of the book’s title is important. I wanted people to be inspired by those three words. No matter what roadblocks there are along the way, we have the power to rise above them. There are inner tools we can call upon for strength, healing, self-belief, happiness and love, and I am delighted to be a catalyst for inspiration. It is an honor to be personal and hear someone say, “I felt as if she was talking just to me.”

Were the journals you kept a key resource as you worked through what to share, and how?

I kept journals for “Peace Dreamer: A Journey of Hope in Bad Times and Good” during the pandemic. While writing in my journals, I didn’t know I would use the contents for a book, but the universe had a different idea. Like many other people during the pandemic, I had a wide range of emotions. I felt stunned, depressed, mystified, worried, fearful, and angry – and the list goes on. The pandemic, along with all the intense divisions in our country, turned the world upside. If I didn’t get my feelings and thoughts out of me, the toxicity would stay in my cells. 

Because I have a strong need to help people, there was a moment (as Oprah says – an “Aha” moment) when I realized that what I was writing would benefit others. I wanted to share the tools I personally use to maintain hope - even during bad times. I also didn’t’ want anyone to feel that they were completely alone with their feelings. I wanted to share my favorite positive affirmations, visualizations, meditations, chakra tunings and introspective “peace begins with me” experiential activities. I carried the idea of journaling into “Peace Dreamer,” too. I ask self-discovery questions and leave areas within the book for the reader to write what they think and feel. My original journals were the soul food for “Peace Dreamer,” and I am grateful to have used this healing tool for my own sanity and then to have shared the core of my journaling content with my readers.

How does the writing process work for you? Do you schedule a time every day, work madly when inspiration hits or?

I don’t schedule a time every day. It would be good if I did, but I am more of a free spirit. I write when the mood moves me. Most of the time. There are times when I have to sit on my rebellious creative spirit and force myself to write - even if I don’t feel like it. I’m not as happy during those times as I am when I write from a place of inspired timing, but that’s okay. Writing is both joy and work, but I always keep my heart on my ultimate goal of completion. I write in the middle of the night a great deal, too. There is something sacred about the quiet of the night, and all my books have been mostly written when I am an inspired insomniac.

Review HERE!

As an author - what do you enjoy most about the writing process and does it come easily to you? What feels most like a chore - a struggle?


Writing is both easy and a chore. It depends on the moment and day. I love how unexpected ideas come flowing from some mystical place in the universe. Creativity has a life of its own. It carries me to a place of timelessness and two hours becomes eight, and that’s not even enough. Writing holds my interest, ignites my curiosity, and when I write, I am in a hypnotic state. It’s just the book and me, and I am at peace.

When my husband had a heart attack, I was in the middle of writing “Heart-Dreamer.” I would come back from visiting him in the hospital, drained, anxious and feeling alone. Then, I would start to write, and it grounded me. I used writing as therapy, and it helped me through a challenging time.

Can writing also be a chore? Absolutely. It can be backbreaking, neck twisting, tush hurting, and exhausting. I sit at the laptop way too long, and sometimes I forget to eat or drink water. During those times, I force myself to stand up and walk around my little creativity studio. I read the words of my latest pages aloud. Pacing. Hearing a word or sentence that is off. Running back to the laptop and editing, and then pacing again. Stretching. Wanting to go to sleep, but not wanting to. Writing is a mix of emotions, and it changes from moment to moment.

What do you most hope readers will take away from reading “Peace Dreamer?” From "Heart-Dreamer"?

Peace Dreamer - The more we heal ourselves, the more we heal the world. We have the power to create a new story for humanity. If we live our lives in the spirit of loving consciousness, we will feel better and so will everyone around us. Let’s be mindful of our words, thoughts, feelings, actions and reactions, and if we mess up, we can vow to do better tomorrow. Let’s also tame our inner judge and critic and not make assumptions and judgments of each other. Everyone has a life story filled with generational patterns, negative and positive experiences, and personality leanings, and everyone needs love. Let’s offer ourselves, each other and all living things on our one precious planet more unconditional love, forgiveness, compassion, empathy and hope.

Heart-Dreamer -  It gives me pure joy when I learn that my readers are inspired to follow their heart and dream bigger dreams for themselves again. It gives me equal pleasure to know that the experiential activities in the book are helpful, too. By sharing my personal story of challenge and transformation, as well as sharing the personal growth stories from people all over the world, I hope that “Heart-Dreamer” communicates the common ground between us. I also hope that people will learn to love themselves in a way that offers their soul more self-compassion. I’ve received comments that readers feel as if I am only talking to them and that’s what I hope for. I am here to ignite self-esteem, curiosity, dreams, wonder, hope, creativity and love, encouraging everyone who reads this book to discover and honor their best friend. Themselves.

I would love to close with a quote - one that personally touches you and you hold close.

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” – Harriet Tubman

Connect with the author: website ~ facebook ~ goodreads

Comments

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    1. Thanks I love doing the author interviews as I am an author myself. I always learn something new.

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