Warning: This will blow your mind.

You know I love to write for Quora. Yes, it could very well be my guilty pleasure. But seriously speaking, today is a very sad day for America. In the last 24 hours there have been two mass shootings reported. My heart hurts for those whose lives were cut short, and the loved ones whose hearts are breaking in this very moment.

But the sad part is, it will all be simply a news bite, a politician’s rant, and a forgotten by the end of the week.

The following is the piece I posted in Quora. I’ve been living in Istanbul for almost five months now, and this question comes up all the time. I won’t say enjoy this piece, rather it’s time to wake up to the reality of the way the world is changing.

Is it safe to travel in Istanbul?

Lynda Filler, lives in Istanbul (2019-present)Answered 4m ago

The El Paso Shooting Is The 249th Mass Shooting Of 2019

There’s a tweet that will trend on Twitter today about Mass Shootings around the world.

I googled mass shootings and the above is what showed up. Imagine if the USA reported every single mass shooting that occurs throughout the USA? What are the chances that you will be close to/a victim of/know someone who/or are friends with a friend who is a victim of Domestic Terrorism?

I lived in Mexico, in a lovely town called Puerto Vallarta. From 2002 until 2019 when I decided to sell everything and travel the world. I used to get asked this question all the time about Mexico. I never had nor witnessed any violence all my time living in Mexico. Not that it didn’t happen. I would answer people in this way: If you’re doing something illegal, or looking for drugs, then you are opening yourself up to unsavory individuals in any country. But shootings? In Mexico, the killing is between rival cartels. And even that I’ve not witnessed.

I’ve been living in Istanbul, a city of 17 million people, for five months now. I’ve never even seen a fight or argument on the streets. I walk the hills and come home from late-night dinner through the city neighborhoods and feel safe.

I will tell you what the biggest danger in Istanbul is for a woman: falling in love with a Turkish man!!

My Istanbul and my life today

How do you handle writer’s​ block?

 

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Take a break. Go out, have lunch, take some photos, read a book—clear your head. You might be pushing too hard.

I read gossip columns, go to Huffington Post, Netflix—watch something totally unlike anything I’m working on. The idea is to trick your muse into thinking he/she is no longer working. Then go back to it.

Think of it like training in the gym or playing any kind of sport, or running a business. You have to take breaks to let the muscles—mind, body, creative juices—grow and flow.

I’ve published quite a few books/novellas since the summer of 2015. After the first novella JET: EXPOSED (Kindle Worlds Novella) (JET WORLD Book 1) I was lucky to have a mentor in the creator of the JET series. I learned from Russell Blake how to plot. So I plot. I don’t get stuck on the writing because the story is plotted out on Excel or any spreadsheet before I start to write. Do things change along the way? Absolutely. Are there surprise characters? Sure, that’s where the fun starts. That’s why they are called action/mystery/suspense novellas! Remember, if it is too easy to write, depending on the genre, it might run the risk of being predictable to the reader. And that’s not good.

When I decided to write a memoir on my healing journey LOVE The Beat Goes On I really struggled. How do you write the story or your life? And did I really want to do that? The answer was no. I wanted to focus on my diagnosis in 2008. The doctors told me to get my affairs in order, I had maybe 6 months to live. So writing this story I did the same thing as in my novels. I worked with a spreadsheet and found everything fell neatly into place. The first half is background up to my panic at the idea of dying. The second half is “what I did, what works, and what I continue to do.”

Think of your writing as a business and handle roadblocks the same way any major corporation would handle a problem. Take a break, let it all go for a few hours or less, then come back to it with a fresh approach.

And most of all enjoy your roadblocks. They are part of the process and will help you end up with amazing results!