Barbara Sher’s Idea Party


How Does the Online Idea Party Work?

You have a dream or a wish, and an obstacle to getting there. (If you don’t think you know your wish, work through my kick-starter and read this post. To learn why you must put logic aside to find your dream, read the following.)

The online Idea Party is here to help you – and the other fellow party goers – with your wishes and obstacles.

Voices from Success Teams and Idea Parties:

Having a team to report to and hearing what everybody did each week is very exciting. It’s kept me moving all year. In the past I made some good starts on my own, but found, every time, when the energy ran out, I ran out. Now it doesn’t run out.
Jade G.
Children’s Playroom Therapist, New York Hospital

I would do a painting a year, a sketch a year. If it was only me I know I would never do it. Having to tell you makes all the difference. It’s crazy why I didn’t do this years ago, it’s so easy all of a sudden.
Caroline R. Personnel Executive, Macy’s Dept Store

Post Your Wish and Your Obstacle Here!

And help your team mates out when you can. Use the Reply link to help, the form below the comments to add your own Wish and Obstacle.

(Your first comment below has to be approved, so it may not display instantly depending on the time of the day. Once your email address is approved you can post instantly. If you want your own profile photo to show up beside your comments, instead of the cute little design, upload your photo on and give them an hour or so to make it happen.)

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4,290 thoughts on “Barbara Sher’s Idea Party

  1. My wish is to get dental implants. I grew up neglected in my family and wasn’t provided with a toothbrush or many necessities so my teeth are really bad as are my gums. My obstacles are that I don’t have money, and I’m scared of dentists because I know how bad my teeth are.

    • Do you live in the United States? If you’re low income, you may qualify for state-funded health and dental insurance, depending on which state you live in. (I’m not sure how it works in other countries.)

      Google how to apply for food stamps (called “SNAP” — Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program) in your local state or county. On that same website or form, you can select just medical coverage and/or both medical and food stamps (as well as any other benefits you may qualify for).

      Again, depending on your state and personal income, you may get 100% health and dental coverage. For example, I was living in California and had very low income. I needed a root canal. The state insurance fully covered my dental visit, cleaning, and root canal procedure 100% — I didn’t have to pay one penny for any of that. Oddly though, the insurance didn’t cover the replacement crown. But at the dental office, they had a payment plan. My new crown cost around $1,000 as I recall, and I paid it off over time at about $30 per month.

      So I don’t know if the low income state-funded insurance will cover “everything” — but it’ll fully cover MOST things you need, including dental stuff. What it doesn’t cover, you may be able to finance and pay off slowly over time.

      You can talk to your dentist about which things are necessary, recommended, or entirely optional. And explain about your insurance and financial situation, and they’ll work with you. They’re dentists. They WANT to help people have better teeth and gums. It’s their chosen career. Just explain your situation to them like you did here with us and let them know you’re wanting and trying to take better care of your teeth and gums now, going forward.

      • I have dental insurance, along with my medical it doesn’t cover much. Because I have a job in retail they tell me I make too much for government assistance even though I’m barely making it check to check.

    • Dental schools usually adjust the cost to your income. Students get to practice their skills (and implants will be done by graduate students who are already licensed dentists) while you get the benefit of one or more dental school faculty members checking every step of the process and holding their students to high standards.

    • Start by becoming as thoroughly educated as you possibly can about NATURAL dentistry. Learn about the diet that heals and builds teeth, and learn about the practice of “oil pulling” and start doing it twice a day.
      Be very skeptical and take everything you read with a grain of salt. Even the natural dentistry proponents disagree with each other about various things. But at all costs avoid “regular” dentists. They just create more trouble! imho
      Don’t forget prayer, faith, & (yes!) a positive attitude. For that, check out or any of peggy mccoll’s videos on youtube. Miracles happen and you can learn how to make them happen! God bless you!

  2. I’m thinking about what it’s like to use Success Teams in a self-help / support group for coping with chronic illness. I’m looking for someone who has any experience with this and could tell me a bit about it.
    Do you have any experience with this or do you know someone who does?

    • Fran, if you check our list of leaders on for notes in parentheses after the city name, you may find one or two.

      I’ve run both Success Teams and self-help programs for folks with an autoimmune disease, and I think it would be interesting to merge the two. It would take the focus off the problems of a chronic illness and put them onto how to deal with these obstacles (and all the usual ones) to go after a goal. For example, I noticed a lot more of our group were sick in Septembers than other months. Good information for making a goal calendar (or my program calendar). Also, high stress brought on attacks, so schedules for deadline events like a performance or a publication date should include a two-week buffer as that date arrives. I am also reminded of when my son went to India on a junior year abroad program and was told to put six nonworking weeks into his plan to finish his project and paper, to make sure malaria (if it hit him) would not derail his timely completion of this important goal.

      I think it would be great!

      Patty Newbold
      Director, Sher Success Teams
      President, Barbara Sher Online

  3. Self-publishing is easy and free these days. Just write your book and upload it at, and they will distribute it to the Kindle, Nook, Apple, public libraries, and more. You can upload your ebook directly to the Kindle at as well. But if you want to be traditionally published in print, then your best bet is to find an agent and have them submit you to publishers. All of those options are 100% free (they just keep a percentage of any sales).

    As for your second book idea, I believe as long as you keep other people anonymous (use fake names, no personally identifying info), you can share your personal story, experience, and lessons learned from your own point of view. I do not recommend allowing a bunch of other people to edit the drafts — just have one editor, whether that’s you or a professional book editor.

    • Hello David,

      Thank you so much! The approaches you recommend are all super helpful, I had never heard of, and will look into it directly. Fran (in her reply below) also concurs with your suggestion to self-publish my first book about the tools to have something to present to an agent and publisher ahead of writing my second book about the commune where they were incubated. Luckily I have a lot of life experience with the communication tools having taken lots of risks using them in our day to day living, I have even done talks to groups on how to use the tools. I could write the first book entirely from my own perspective, a learner/teacher, making the work more personal and grounded, full of real world experiences.

      Your suggestions on how to write the second book are also very helpful. I agree that having everyone who participated in the commune also editing the book could result in a free for all (a hinderance that I most fear) as well as a rehashing of the community (I imagine not everyone will have fond memories). That said, being that I only have the perspective of my therapist, and there were over a dozen other members, I would still prefer to interview those who are willing and piece together a history, as you say, from my own perspective. It sounds like the best approach would be to record these conversations (again a great suggestion by Fran) and get their sign off at that moment to use whatever is recorded. Further members of the commune were and still are quite secretive about having participated, for both personal and professional reasons, so pseudonymous all around would be the best approach and will make it easier (only those who participated will be able to figure out who’s who).

      Thanks again, I really appreciate all your suggestions on how to move forward and your wonderful support!!

  4. Hello Everyone,

    I have chosen to embark on a journey I never thought I would, not being a big book reader myself (though I do listen to loads of books including “I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was” and I am reading “Wishcraft”) … that said, I would like to write two books.

    The first detailing the amazing communication tools I have been taught by my therapist, which she helped develop as part of a women’s commune here in Los Angeles decades ago. These tools have saved my life and my sanity and with her permission I would like to share them with the world.

    The second is a more complex book about the women’s commune where these tools were developed and tested. One hinderance to both books is I presently can’t afford the Writerspeak program. It’s own hinderance as isolation is the dream killer.

    In the case of the first book, the challenge of getting it published is a hinderance, while I believe writing it should prove a labor of love having lived using the tools in my home successfully (where I have openly shared space and power with my housemates) for over 5 years.

    The second book is more challenging, the hinderance is gathering all the source material, organizing it into a historical work while getting sign offs from all the participants in the commune and allowing them to edit the drafts. This second book could prove overwhelming, yet I feel this commune did amazing experimental work, creating great communication tools and their work is super inspiring. I feel all their efforts and accomplishments shouldn’t be lost to time!

    Any suggestions on how I should proceed and thank you in advance!

    • Oh, yes! I am thrilled that you want to write these books, Evan.

      You have more than a year to earn the money for WriteSpeak, as Patrice and I are taking 2023 off from WriteSpeak. I hope you’re on our Barbara Sher mailing list, because I really want to help people this year who need cash to pursue their dreams. It’s not that hard to find if you know where to look and you make the time to earn it.

      And it’s great that you have that extra year. We can help you get your book written and published. Barbara strongly recommends self-publishing for a first book, so you have something to sell during that long year or more between signing with an agent and holding a book in your hands, but we’ll gladly help you with the slower process if you like. WriteSpeak takes about ten hours a week, and many Scanners with lots of different interests find themselves falling behind. But here’s what you can do to speed things up a lot: first, record your therapist explaining her methods to you and to newer clients before you join WriteSpeak. Interview her for stories about people who benefited right away and those who misunderstood or found the methods difficult to grasp. Record everything (as opposed to taking notes), because you want what Barbara called living language.

      If you’re going to be a popularizer, as opposed to her co-author, start speaking to other people about her techniques and record yourself, too. Then transcribe all of your recordings of her and you. If you use those words in your book, it will sound more alive and direct and be a lot more helpful than if you try to write from scratch. Your best content is likely to be what you say when you realize a real, live human is misunderstanding you or facing a problem you’ve never face. You can still edit what you said aloud, but you’ll be starting with a lot of great content, and WriteSpeak will teach you Barbara’s wonderful methods for organizing all of your recordings into a book.

      If you want a marvelous model for a self-help book, there is none better than I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was. Pay attention to how she organizes it, where she puts exercises, how she leads into them and segues out of them, how she makes sure those who skip doing them still benefit, and how every single one of them makes you feel better about yourself.

      As for the second book, I am sure there are many in your commune who would love to be authors, too, but haven’t the time for it. Be the editor, not the author. You write the forward and the intro and the final chapter. Get them to work together to be part of the book, writing a chapter about something they were involved in or interviewing someone who is not interested in writing but has lots to share. You’ll want to do some fundraising before you finish this book (and it will take a while, with so many authors), so you can afford a top-notch book editor to create your book proposal and turn the chapters into a marvelous, coherent whole that a publisher will want. You can get them started while you’re working on the other book.

      • Hello Fran,

        Oops, sorry I thought I sent this a week ago!

        I want to thank you for all the great suggestions! I am on Barbaras email list and would love to learn ways to raise money to achieve my goals! You can contact me directly and I would also be happy to participate in a group event to learn more about fundraising methods.

        I love the idea of recording people, I get all the marvelous details, time to mine the gems and write the book from living language. Regarding the first book, I have also been a big advocate for the tools, bending anyone’s ear who will listen, so I guess I would be a popularizer. I believe my therapist will be happy to be recorded and I will discuss recording conversations with both past and present participants in our mini community. I agree with you, get everyone’s perspective on the tools will reveal what worked and why as well as what didn’t work and what we did to adjust the tools or the situation (adding our own experiences to the narrative).

        Regarding the second book, it will prove more challenging as the women who participated in the collective, where the tools were incubated, remain quite secretive to this day. I like what David said above, suggesting pseudonyms for the participants (even for my first book) and then piece together a narrative from all the interviews (something that I could be doing during the writing of the first book).

        I would love to have all the participants write something and that could still happen in a limited form but having everyone write and edit their material sounds like an overwhelming task to manage. I think I will leave these decisions about how to organize the second book till after I interview all the former commune members. It’s possible a common narrative will reveal itself once I have gathered all the material, how does that sound?

        Thanks again, I look forward to learning more about self publishing and fund raising very soon!

        Warmest Regards,
        Evan Hughes

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