Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Writing Scam—Don’t You Dare!

by Cindy Sproles @CindyDevoted

Yep, it happened to me. Scammed. Me, the cynic. The one who is overly cautious. Stingy with information. Me. I was scammed because I let my heart get in the way of my head.

Thank goodness I had the good sense to stop the incident before it could go very far, but the fact remains. . . I got took, as we say in the mountains. 

I've spent a few days walking the road to recovery. It's the same seven steps that anyone goes through who's experienced a trauma or loss: Shock/denial, pain/guilt, anger, depression/loneliness, the upward turn, rebuilding, acceptance and hope (I think I've hit the anger part).  Still it’s a process to heal when you find your vulnerability and realized someone else capitalized on it.

As I began to write on my next chapter, I realized just how much this scam affected me. No matter how I tried to concentrate on the words to write, the negative self-talk overtook it all. Stupid. How could you be so gullible? And then it got worse—What if I've put my family in danger? What if they manage to find their way into our bank accounts? Fear set in.

As writers, it's easy for us to tell one another to just keep writing when we've hit a wall. We know that's what we need to do—push through, power on. It's that way with anything we face in life. Face the music and then move ahead, otherwise we find ourselves wallowing in the mire. Stuck and sinking fast. If we flop around long enough, we'll give up and be sucked under.
  • 1. Whether you've hit a snag in your thought process or failed to receive that contract you'd hoped for—when you experience a rough patch it gets hard to peck at the keyboard. Don't worry. Here are some tips to help you plow through the dark times and reemerge on the other side.
  • 2. Decide to take action and then do it. Make a conscious effort to have movement in your writing—be it a blog post, a Facebook post, article or reading. But decide to move and then move.
  • 3. Take a walk. Get outside in the sunshine. It's a proven fact that the sunlight helps trigger the brain to produce serotonin and serotonin is the hormone that boosts mood, calmness, and focus. Our bodies need the right balance of light and darkness. So go for a walk soak in some sun.
  • 4. Practice good self-talk. Write yourself notes and stick them through the house. Remind yourself of the good things in your life. Decide not to worry about the bad . . . . and good neural pathways will form in the brain. You'll literally wipe away the negative.
  • 5. Learn forgiveness. Get your head around the fact we are imperfect people. We all make mistakes and hit hard times, so learn to forgive yourself or the person who's caused you the pain. Move past. What is done is done and no matter what we do, it's can't be undone. Think of Disney's movie Frozen and Let it Go.
  • 6. Learn from your mistake and then put steps in place to help you veer the other direction the next time you run upon the temptation.
  • 7. Finally, that old writer word-to-the-wise: Just write. Do it. If you learn to throw the emotion you are experiencing into your writing it will be some of the most amazing work you will ever produce—raw, touching, impacting. There is wisdom in those words . . . . JUST WRITE.
It was enough to BE scammed by someone else, but it's worse to scam yourself by believing the lies we tell ourselves. Rise above the scam and write your very best. Remember you are in control of the words you write. So write.

Don't let getting scammed derail your #writing - @CindyDevoted (Click to Tweet)

7 Tips to move forward when you've been scammed - @CindyDevoted (Click to Tweet)

Cindy Sproles is an award-winning author and popular speaker. She is the cofounder of Christian Devotions ministries and managing editor of Straight Street Books and SonRise Devotionals, imprints of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. Cindy is the executive editor of www.christiandevotions.us and www.inspireafire.com. She teaches at writers conferences nationwide and directs The Asheville Christian Writers Conference - Writers Boot Camp. 

She is the author of two devotionals, He Said, She Said - Learning to Live a Life of Passion and New Sheets - Thirty Days to Refine You into the Woman You Can Be. Cindy's debut novel, Mercy's Rain, is available at major retailers. Visit Cindy at www.cindysproles.com and book her for your next conference or ladies retreat. Also connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.


  1. Cindy, I am so sorry you were scammed. It happened to me and my hubby. I have been in a writing rut. I'm scared to move forward for fear of failure. I know God is with me. How can I fail if the one who called me is faithful. Thank you for the encouragement. Gotta go write now.

  2. Oh the scam is history. But the important thing is moving ahead in your writing.

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  4. I am so sorry you were scammed. Been there and you are so right - it is scary. The "what if" can send us through a loop as bad as ants following each other down a cliff.

    One more thing you can add to this list is "gratitude." It is powerful.

    I've seen it in action: I settled down in my hotel room, just outside Savanna, and in the middle of the night I was shaken awake up by a loud fire alarm. Still in my PJs, I took the stairs down and watched the drama unfold. Fire trucks arrived. In full gear they checked everything out. False alarm. People wanted answers so they surrounded the fireman. I came up and said, "Thank you." to him. He looked at me with relief and said, "Your welcome, Ma'am." The crowd calmed down and walked away.

    The power of gratitude diffused the emotional ire of the moment.

    Thanks for sharing. I will take to heart what you've shared.

    Blessings, Chris

  5. Love your transparency, honesty, and guidance. You're the best, Cindy.
    Shine on!

  6. Do not beat yourself too harshly. There are some very sophisticated and demonically clever scammers out there and it is good that you stopped the escalation. Congratulations on getting on the path back to a scam free life.

  7. I'm glad you realized it before it went too far. That's enough for you to call yourself a smart person. And, I can't imagine how angry I would be.

  8. Thanks for your healing words, Cindy. I have a friend who is trying to come back after being scammed. I am forwarding this post to her. Blessings of healing to you.

  9. Thanks Cindy! Not beating myself up is something I still struggle with. After the resurrection, I'll be perfect. Until then, I'll have to settle for "improving."