17 Mar

Doing What You Must – Despite Fear

Another car talk about something I’m dealing with this week. Dealing with my fear and shame over a part of me I don’t daylight much and don’t share with many who aren’t in my circle of trust.

I figured I’d finally upload it since what I’m talking about is about to become real and open to the world on Saturday, March 18 and yeah, I’m still nervous and unsure, but I’m not stepping back.

17 Mar

Self-Publishing versus Traditional Publishing – Part Two

time is money

Read part 1

Scroll to bottom for video of part 1

As I mentioned in part one, time and promotion are reasons I’m considering pursuing a traditional publisher. I’ll start with time. There are many writers who work full-time and then write in what little spare time remains. I count myself lucky that I consider being a writer, speaker, and coach my full-time work. Even with that, the time to write is impeded on because of all those things mentioned above – remember the re-writing, editing, re-editing, beta-reading, etcetera.

self-editing1

This is where I think a traditional publisher has the edge. That mess takes time. A heck of a lot of time. Time I could use writing another book or first re-write of maybe the other 3 books that are written in my Chosen series. Yeah. The whole dang series is written but at the pace I can read, re-write, edit, and do it again, it may be a couple of years to get it done. Daunting! Oh, but you say, you can just pay for someone to do this. Yeah, you can…try…and I have…

It’s quite possible I’m not going about it the right way, but finding a good editor has been a challenge. Especially one that the ROI is going to be worth it. I hate to say it, but a lot of them aren’t that great. I look at the reviews of their books on Amazon and see comments that indicate poor editing (like literally there will be reviews that say ‘poorly edited’). So, I’m like WTH? But editing is crucial because the lack of good editing will get you rocked in reviews.

The truth is, this is a hit and miss game when it comes to finding freelancers who edit, beta-read, do covers and the other things helpful in getting your book ready for the market. I learned this the hard way with book one. It was a gut punch and after having to pull it back TWICE from Amazon to make corrections based on solid feedback, not only is the book stronger, but so is my writing. A publishing house probably would’ve caught the things everyone else missed the first go round. They would’ve saved me from the egg on my face, the agony of going through 100,000 words to bring it to a tighter book of just under 90,000 words.

time is moneyThat time is money and that energy is my creative process. It goes both ways. You have a book that is an amazing story for right now. You have a book that you want to see out in the next six months not next two years. They can save you from personally agonizing over fine-combing a lengthy manuscript. The energy they save you can be used in the creative process not the editing process. These savings of your personal labor for this part of the process, still carries a cost. The question you need to ask yourself is whether it is worth that cost.

Do you have a budget to personally pay for the services or the personal skills needed to bring your book to life by way of editing, book cover design, formatting? What’s your experience been in doing this yourself or having others do it for you?

To be continued with part three on March 24th.

 FOCUS 4 Week Draft Cover KindleFOCUS: How to Write a Four Week First Draft

13 Mar

The Shift in Religion and Spirituality – Church Isn’t the Same

Unscripted thoughts on the shift or transition in religion and spirituality. I’m non-traditional myself but am an ordained interfaith minister with a new thought approach. I’m not ‘religious’, don’t follow dogma, base my spirituality around love and personal power, and don’t force my beliefs on anyone since there isn’t anything to force.

I talk about my  own spiritual approach in my short ebook The Fall and Rise of Faith, Losing My Religion and Finding God (Amazon) at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LWWRP6Y.

This video is separate and based on personal and intuitive revelations and observations over the past year and more.

09 Mar

Self-Publishing versus Traditional Publishing – Part One

Being a self-published author isn’t all rainbows, bubbles, and blue skies. As I delve into taking my music from my computer to something more public, I’m learning that being an indie artist of any kind isn’t.  (Don’t hold your breath just yet). In fact, being a published indie author is often hard, long, thankless work to create something that it is quite possible no one else will read. The countless hours add up as you write, re-write, find an editor (or three or four), edit, edit again, find beta-readers, incorporate feedback, revise again.

You get the point, and I haven’t even gotten to covers and promoting your work. It’s no picnic on the serene edge of a beautiful lake with luscious greenery as a backdrop while you sip on cool raspberry lemonade.

BUT – yes, thankfully, there is a but…

When you birth that book and you hold that baby (whether on a tablet or in paperback) you will cherish it because by the end you will have cried, laughed, celebrated, holed up in a room to get a way, and gone through a myriad of emotions that are only appreciated when it is you that is 100% invested in your book baby.

I started this journey as a serious writer and author at the end of December 2015 and since then I have published one full length novel, two novellas, a short story, and a few non-fiction works. I have come to appreciate the arduous labor of love and commitment it takes for anyone to make a book come to life and I hold a truckload of respect for self-published authors and indie artists in general.

Before you crap on an indie author who has labored to bring a story to life, take a moment and consider there is no full-scale team of paid employees to catch your every mistake, hold your hand as you go, do some of this time-intensive work for you so that you shine brighter, and then give you a platform and the clout to promote your books. See, traditional publishers make the magic happen for those authors – to a point.

I say to a point, because even the traditional publishing route has changed. I’m sure if you are reading this, you already know or at least suspect that. When self-publishing was taking off in 2011 and 2012 I was busy preparing to give birth to my second child and then raising him and my daughter. I missed the golden age.

However, in that time, regular publishers were going through a huge change too, floundering in this new ocean crowded by people who didn’t seem to need them but were filling the market space with books competing with theirs. GASP! SHOCK! HORROR!

When I was writing my first manuscript for book one of the Chosen Series I investigated whether it was worth publishing with a regular publisher. I looked at the math and the time-frames and the restrictive nature in which you could submit to legitimate publishers. I read success stories of Amazon authors but they’d found their way into the limelight when ebooks were still a new phenomenon. Now that field is so crowded new authors are struggling to find a voice. Where’s Waldo? Who the heck knows? Is he even in the crowd? Probably, seems everyone else is!

After a year, I am again considering whether to pursue the traditional route for my stand alone sci-fi novel that I’m editing now. Why? Time and promotion. Those two things are a linchpin to having a book that 1. gets published and 2. sells. Can I say, duh! about what that means in terms of value as a writer?

Are you an indie author? How much time do you spend on the publishing process and promotion? I’d love to hear your thoughts so drop your comments or personal experiences in the comments.

Check back in a week for the next part of this self-publishing versus traditional publishing series.

In the meantime, you may want to check out some of my books and help an indie author out.

FOCUS: How to Write a Four Week First Draft

FOCUS 4 Week Draft Cover Kindle

Want to listen to me read the blog post instead? Here it is on YouTube.

08 Mar

FREE Creative Core Studio Preview Class – March 30 (Register Now)

Creative Expression Through Words
Thursday March 30
6:30pm to 8:30pm
Suggested for Teens, Young Adults, and Above

Learn about Creative Core and Studio
Create/develop poem, short story, or monologue
Share work with the group and parents (if desired)

  • Raffle for all participants
  • Register by March 29 for special raffle
  • Online registration ends 12 noon on March 30
  • Bring something to write with and your creativity

REGISTER

02 Mar

School Break – In Under 30 Minutes

School Break – In Under 30 Minutes

 

 

 

The youngest comes in and plops down

Mommy, I’m ready to eat

How about cereal

No thanks, I’ll have an omelet please

He points to my head as I scramble eggs

Mommy, is your hair turning gray

I’m not answering that

Mommy, when are we getting a cat?

I don’t know when, but we will soon

Please, please please, can we go today

 

I shake my locs and sip my homemade latte

Mommy can I have a snack

You didn’t finish breakfast

If you’re hungry eat that

I’m not hungry. Can I have some juice

No, why don’t you go clean your room

Will you help me, please please please

Depending on mood it’s a no, yes or maybe

And sometimes it’s an, “I’ll help if you’ll help.

Hampers are full and folding’s not done”

Before I can say anymore, he’s gone

Ten minutes later my youngest returns

Mommy Mommy, guess what

Yes, what is it, my son

Nothing, room’s clean and I’m ready for fun

Bed’s made, clothes off the floor, toys put away?

Yes yes and yes that means I’m done for the day

(I can’t even) Please let me just think

If you’re done with breakfast, put your dishes in the sink

Then can I have a snack and watch TV?

I hesitate a millisecond

It’s 7:21, caffeine still needs more time

Mommy? Mommy?? Mommy???

Not yet, go get a book to read

Awww, I don’t want to do that

Well you’re supposed to, everyday

But why? It’s the first day of break

So I can wake up enough to think

And so your brain doesn’t waste away

Then can I please watch TV?

I shake my head in disbelief

Maybe we can go look for a cat

Or go scooting in the courts

I down the last ounce, it’s 7:24