Autumn is my favorite season. And it's one of the reasons I love living in the midwest. The temperature is perfect for long sleeves and ankle boots. Coffee tastes a little bit better than it does in the summertime. Any time I step outside, I can smell wood burning in a neighbor's fireplace. And best of all...I change out my reading list.
When was your last, "WTF was I thinking," moment?
What did it pertain to? Something at work? At home? A small, personal decision? A huge, potentially life-altering choice?
You probably made your decision with the best of intentions. It's not like the majority of us walk around, wondering how we can drive ourselves nuts for days or weeks on end. But maybe you weren't fully aware of how difficult the road to your goal would be. And the deeper into attaining your goal you get, the more you sometimes want to give it up.
Who knew it would take so much time? Work? Energy?
Probably not you.
Birds aren't born knowing how to fly.
For some species of bird, the process of learning how to take wing can go on for weeks.
Take eagles for instance. They nest in the highest tree in their territory. Or maybe their nest is built on a cliff or atop a bunch of rocks. The point of course being that, that nest is friggin' high. And it's more than a little scary to look down. Especially if you're some puny eaglet with no flight experience. Or at least, you'd think it'd be terrifying.
But here's the thing: that puny eaglet has NO IDEA that there is ANY OTHER (read: SAFER) place to be holed up, packing on the pounds as well as the feathers.
There are very few writing assignments that make me shudder. Since the age of five, I’ve written short stories, newspaper columns, magazine articles, ad copy, photo captions and more. Despite this, I’m constantly a student. Frankly, you could master every rule in the English language but be a terrible writer. In my opinion, it isn’t how well you understand a language – it’s about continuously challenging yourself to use it differently.
Has a writing assignment ever arisen that felt – impossible? For me, writing 10,000 words is not nearly as difficult as writing a 500-word SEO article. I wish I were joking.
Let’s discuss writer’s block. I find that the opinions on this vary quite a bit. There are those who say that writer’s block is not a real thing – that muses are folly. Personally, I’m of the belief that writers block is a real thing.
“Pish posh!” You might say. Or perhaps, you screamed out a resounding “yes!” in your head upon reading those words. Either way, you’ve made it this far. You may as well keep reading.
I’ve spent countless hours, sitting in from of a notebook or a computer, writing, crossing out, rewriting, standing, stretching, walking around, cursing the heavens, sitting back down and having my mind still be totally and completely void of words. Or perhaps the words are there in a jumbled lot and they kind of trip and stutter their way out onto a page and then – no. Delete. Delete. Delete.
You’re familiar with the throbbing headache that comes along with learning how to market your books.
There’s so much industry jargon!
And learning marketing terms can feel a lot like learning a new language.
You guys, I tried so hard to learn Italian. But shy of moving to Rome for a year, I don’t see it happening. Because language is hard.
But when it comes to becoming a bestselling self-published author, you have to learn the (often unsexy) language of marketing. Because when you understand the terminology and what it means for your book ads, you can generate better results.
When I typed 1620 into Google, I was thinking in terms of the year. I had pictured corsets made of whale bone and gentlemen throwing their waist coats over a puddle for their lady friend to walk over. Romance. Chivalry. Historical. I can write about that. Here’s what I got.
For some readers, that is.
Self-published novels, you say? They’re poorly written, badly edited and usually have zero in terms of a traceable plot line. No doubt, indie authors are ruining it for everyone, especially for those writers toiling away at more traditional publishing routes.
Heard of the magical, mystical world of self-publishing? Then you’ve probably encountered one or more of these snarky opinions (and much worse). Miraculously (I know that this will shock many of you) “self-published work” isn’t always synonymous with “terrible.” In fact dear challenger of that previous statement, I could share a disturbingly long list of traditionally published work that’s a total waste of shelf space. We all have our opinions.
Alone. Scared. Terrified, really. Adrenaline was pumping through my veins, my legs shaking despite the fact that I was sitting down.
My body may have been preparing for fight or flight, but my brain wasn’t having it. “You can’t win,” I told myself over and over. “You can’t do this.”
I wasn’t staring down the barrel of a gun, nor was I looking to square off with someone who wanted to kick my ass. I was simply...traveling. Alone. For the first time.
When you really want something, it eats at you.
The smallest prickle on your skin, the near indiscernible flip of your stomach. The tiny voice you can’t seem to make go away.
The passion nudges you constantly. Listen to it. Your passion knows what’s up. It knows when you need it—and when you just want it.
Because there’s something different about wanting something that you truly want versus wanting something because it’s “the thing.” And if you’re not skilled in the art of listening to your body, it’s easy to confuse want with need.