Tag Archives: self-help

It’s In the Blood!

Courtesy of Microsoft

Yesterday, I had the privilege of speaking to a high school literary group.  I shared  my journey as an author, passed out free bookmarks, and showed them the original manuscript.

I thought they would find the facts dull, but instead, their eyes lit up and there was a “connection.”  We conversed about writing and marketing instead of me merely pitching  Tears of Min Brock like a sleazy car salesman.  In short, I’ve found MY way to connect with my audience and readers.  And walking out to my car, I also realized that for a brief moment, I was a teacher.  What a great feeling!

This shouldn’t surprise me.  After all, my Dad was a college professor and had a true gift for taking complex subject matter and not only making it palatable, but enjoyable to learn.

Sure, I hope all those kids went home, looked up my book and ordered it.  But even if they didn’t, I’m still going to reach out to other schools.

It’s in the blood!


Are you one of these?

Courtesy Microsoft

Maybe you’re already aware.  Maybe your friends have said, “That’s you!”  Maybe you’re like so many who avoid self-analysis at all cost.

No matter which category you fall into, I’m here to help you find, discover, and embrace the truth of who you are!

So, in the spirit of Jeff Foxworthy: “You may be an author if you…”

Walk into a bookstore, see the amassed talent and mumble, “I suck!”

Walk into a bookstore, see the amassed talent and mumble, “They suck!”

Eavesdrop on a spicy conversation to get some “nuggets” for your story’s upcoming dialogue.

Consider your Christmas letter proof that you’re published.

Love replying to every email in order to sharpen your writing skills.

Get excited when your teacher states, “Write about what you did for the summer.”

Think C-Span’s Book TV is exciting to watch.

These are but a few indicators that you may be an author. 

Have any to share?

 


New Baby!

Photo courtesy of Microsoft

Right now, my friends and family are FREAKING OUT!  “They’re PREGNANT?”  “He’s in his fifties!  How’s that even possible?”

Rest assured, folks, that the “new baby” is merely allegorical.  As a writer, I’m always striving to grow, and one way I do this is by increasing my vocabulary.  So when I discover a new word, for me, it’s like having a new baby (only without the stinky diapers, 3 A.M. feedings, and subsequent college tuition.)

If you’re still reading this, then I have to assume you’re a writer since everyone else thought:  “Oh, this isn’t about a baby…”  “Oh, it’s not about sex…”

So let’s continue…

Recently, I uncovered a plethora of gems in a fantasy I was reading and added them to my Excel vocab worksheet.  Geeky?  Yep!  But I’ll be the first to admit where I’m weakest (vocab/grammar) and need to improve.  Plus, with the spreadsheet nearby while I write, I have a handy tool and resource at my fingertips.  If not, I tend to use the same tired word or phrasing, which is boring, and if I’m bored, my reader has to be too.

So when I discover a new word, especially one that sums up several words, I get excited.  Honest, I really do!  And you can bet your booty I’ll have these new tots dressed and ready to go, anxious to insert them in a page and watch them help my story grow up. The trick, of course, is to not be the obnoxious parent who shows off baby all the time!

So what tricks of the trade do you use?

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I’m blind!

Picture compliments of Fotolia

If you can’t see, then how do you know where you’re going?  How do you know when you arrive?

Without vision, you’re lost.

Although this sounds like banter from a motivational speaker, please bear with me.

Whether I like it or not, I’m the captain responsible for sailing my books out into the marketplace.  This is frustrating because my passion is writing fiction and storytelling, not being a sales guy.  Yet if I don’t take this on, no one will.   I’ve also come to the conclusion that since no one has the same drive/passion for my books as I do, that I’m the man for the job.  So I’ve rolled up my sleeves and grabbed the helm.

But to me, marketing is a blinding sea storm of chaos.  So many voices shouting, “Do this!” or “Gotta head this way!” and the perilous, “You’ll never make it unless you__”

Instead of feeling like I’m on target, I feel like I am the target!

So I’m going to stop “doing” and “go below deck” to determine what I want and why.  Based upon Michael Hyatt’s blog, this is paramount to setting my compass.  My subsequent answer to “why” will illuminate my “how to.”

This feels unnatural and even a bit frightening (“If I stop, won’t we sink?” or “Resting constitutes laziness!”)  But if I don’t, then I’ll be doing something even worse: sailing blindly into who knows what.

Do you need a vision stop? 

Do you have any stories to share?


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