The SUNDAY SPOTLIGHT with JOHN CONNOR @connor_rev a HOSPICE CHAPLAIN who likes to PLAY THE DRUMS perform STAND-UP COMEDY & is the WRITER of NONFICTION book THE STRAITJACKET OF PERFECTIONISM


When did you start writing:



I started writing in High School, in Humble Texas.  (A place that is now flooded from Hurricane Harvey, unfortunately.  Bless them, and I’m thankful many people are volunteering in the Houston area to help out.)  My first piece was a science fiction short story. It was so trite that I later found out, perusing Writer’s Market, that everybody had the idea before me: see, it was a futuristic short story in which — surprise! — the last man and woman left after the space battle are actually Adam and Eve who then begin earth’s humanity.  What?!  I wasn’t the first to think of it?!   “No Adam and Eve stories,” is what sci-fi magazines were saying.

Why do you write:



I now focus on psychological and spiritual growth in my writing. My first book, “The Straitjacket of Perfectionism: how to stop chasing ‘perfect’ and finally achieve your greatest goals” is an example. It springs from my own experience in discovering how unrecognized perfectionism is such a killer of creativity. Using strategies to overcome perfectionism helps you actualize your dreams.

The book started out years ago as a lecture and workshop. It is so rewarding to see “the light go on” for people, when they realize how perfectionism has held them back. Folks are so appreciative to learn how to overcome those unhelpful internal standards.

What influences your writing:



I seek to have a conversational style, since I am writing nonfiction.  Although they are not influences in a sense, because I largely wrote my book before reading theirs, I am drawn to Brene Brown (Daring Greatly, and others) and Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking).

Which genres do you write in:



I write nonfiction self-help. In the 90’s I did stand-up comedy for a few years, so I wrote comedy then.  You can see a few minutes of my stand-up from about 15 years ago, if you search “John Connor – comedy” on youtube. You may have to scroll past videos about The Terminator….

Where do you write: 



I often write at Starbucks, where I just took this photo.  

I also have a desk at my home.  When I had kids at home, I was able to get chunks of writing done by getting a local hotel room for a couple of nights. I totally recommend it.  Just don’t get distracted by all the cable TV, the swimming pool, and the mini-bar…

What is next for your writing etc.: 



My next two books I’m working on simultaneously.  Well, dilly-dallying on, more accurately. One is called, “The Gold in Your Wounds: how our tragedies and hurts can be portals to new awareness and new life.”  The other is not titled yet — open to suggestions! — but it is based on my work as a hospice chaplain.  
Specifically, it is a guide for volunteers and non-professional church chaplains on spiritual care for dying congregants.

Something about you:

Hmmm, my passions and hobbies? Well, to the degree that you can be in love with an inanimate object, I am in love with my 12-string Martin guitar. My playing and singing is amateur, but I enjoy it, and my hospice patients and co-workers seem to like it, too.  However, I need to start learning some happy songs, because all the stuff I love to sing are melancholy tunes from the Neil Young, Carole King, Eagles canon, with a little Pearl Jam and Pink Floyd thrown in. Any suggestions, anyone? I also hack away at the drums, which is fun.

I live in Austin, Texas USA, and have been blissfully here for over 30 years.

PUBLICATIONS include some articles in The Huffington Post  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-connor/seeing-uncertainty-as-a-g_b_11121550.html,

Unity Magazine, Austin American-Statesman and Austin Chronicle newspapers.


“Well written and entertaining, this book is full of helpful advice. I recognized myself in some of the stories – and I bet you will too! Don’t waste time criticizing yourself. Use your time instead reading this book and trying the tips within it!”

— Cindy Wigglesworth Author of SQ21: The Twenty- One Skills of Spiritual Intelligence 

Excerpt


“It would be bad enough if perfectionism kept you from trying only new hobbies, learning a new language, and joining your friends at karaoke. And it does do all that. But the real harm is that perfectionism prevents you from following your dreams, from attempting the deepest desires of your heart, because it carries such a great internal risk if you fail.

An example of this is if, say, you want to write a novel. You will likely stop writing it a third of the way through the rst draft. One reason is that you know you’ll be crushed if you send it around to the publishing houses and they all reject it. at’s because you have an internal sense that a great novelist is not only what you want to be, but maybe Who You Are. So the book either stays in your drawer or you tweak it here and there every few months. If you keep the book in your desk, it always “has potential” and might someday be ready to be sent out and published.

But the book’s never ready, is it? So your dreams, your deepest desires, remain on hold.


You and I know deep down that this is no way to live. And we don’t have to live that way. You can overcome chasing perfection and constantly failing to catch it. You can be someone who strives for excellence and who accepts mistakes and setbacks along the way.

The biggest mistake of all is to stop attempting anything in order to avoid making mistakes. Every ice skater, for example, falls down many times in the beginning. It is a given: You can’t escape falling while you learn to skate. Yet those falls aren’t failure, they are learning. As perfectionists, we make unrealistic assumptions about what our own standards of performance should be. So if we choose to ice-skate, we expect to be able to do a triple toe loop our first time out.


Come with me, and we will wrestle this inner perfectionist to the ground together. And then you’ll be amazed at all the creativity and bravery within you, just waiting to come out.”


–John Connor, The Straitjacket of Perfectionism

Follow John Connor on Twitter @connor_rev and on his author page on Facebook: JohnConnor.Writer

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