I was just browsing on Twitter and came across this quote from justpublishingadvice.com. Sad to say, but it’s totally accurate.
Whenever you make the huge plunge into anything, the best favor you could ever do for yourself is to research. For example, I know that full-time authors in my county earn, on average, about $60,000 a year. I suppose it depends on where you live, but pretty much anywhere in California, that equates to being a side-job.
No one likes a Downer Donny, but it beats the alternative of fantasizing about earning millions of dollars for a trilogy you’ve written based on Twilight and churning it into a multi-million dollar industry that surpasses anyone’s expectations and sells books, films, cookbooks, music, and even adult products…
Wait. That actually happened. And there’s no signs of its popularity waning or slowing down.
Nevermind. Dude, you do you. Just do your research, make a plan, cross your fingers, work your butt off, and dream big.
So, WordPress reminded me that today is my 3rd year anniversary having registered this blog. I’ve actually been blogging since my husband and I went to NYC in 2012, so that’s even more amazing!
Have I learned anything over these three/five years? Absolutely. I mean, I can’t say that I’m the best blogger, and I’ve only started being active here for just a few months. Yet, as I interact with you more frequently and receive coveted feedback and interaction from you, day by day I feel as though we could develop a long-lasting, meaningful relationship as time goes by.
Thank you for your support and your patience! So many people write about how hard it is to write a fictional book, and I finished my first one in 3 weeks nearly 5 years ago. Not bragging; I was just truly inspired. The second took me three months. Now, I’m on the fifth novel in my first series, and I haven’t been ready to start it for nearly a year now. Admittedly, throughout this 5-year period, I currently have developed a total of 32 solid plots and works in progress as I write. I also have 4 non-fiction works published (under another name)!
Yep. I’m that serious about my work. I believe that it’s my true calling! ❤️
Inspiration comes in waves. As I become more seasoned in this ever-evolving art of writing, I want to explore more, add more meat to the bones of my scrawny characters. I need three dimensional perspectives flowing through electrifying dialogue that at least gets my juices flowing. I need to say what needs to be said in the most authentic way possible.
Who am I writing for? Ultimately, I’m writing for myself – with YOU in mind.
So, yes. This anniversary is definitely worth celebrating. Thank you again to those who follow me; you’re the current that keeps my boat afloat and ever moving forward. You uplift me when I trudge through a tough day, and you support me as I flounder through the occasional flood of inspiration!
When we start another New Year, one of the things that can either be super motivating or horribly aggravating is the whole “New Year, New You” phase.
Sorry if I happen to step on any toes here, but I’m one of those people who tends to be aggravated by it. First of all, when the new year arrived, all that many of us really did was sit in front of our TVs to watch a ball drop at midnight in the East Coast, and laugh at the people standing below it in subzero temperatures. Sure, that’s fun and all, but that hardly constitutes reinventing myself.
Then, of course, we have our Resolutions. Maybe there is some sort of supportive statistical data out there somewhere, but there doesn’t seem to be any grand indication that these things work. As soon as the clock strikes midnight, we flip the page of our bargain calendar that goes from August of last year to August of this year, and suddenly, a “New Year, New You” appears.
Yes, I know that I sound cynical, so maybe O should just spout out my philosophy, which is to LOVE WHO YOU ARE ALL YEAR ROUND. Yes, we have flaws, and of course we want to improve ourselves. But this shouldn’t be something that happens in January and falls apart by March (if we’re lucky). Let’s focus on setting goals that really lead us to making our dreams a reality. Break those suckers down and take them on piece by piece until you can handle chunks without even realizing it.
It’s a New Year, and believe it or not, I’m so glad to see it! I have tons of goals that I want to see become a reality, and it’s encouraging to be even closer to many of them as I write. It’s not because of a calendar change, but because of the gradual, steady changes within myself.
Still, we have so many reasons to be excited about 2018. This year, and every day of it, is a tremendous gift! As we start moving away from the euphoria of closing the door on 2017, let’s work hard to set aside superstitions and phony resolutions as well. Turn those things into real goals, bite down hard, and work to claim what’s yours.
All the best to you and yours on the first day of 2018!
This is the best time of year to feel motivated and inspired, and it’s my hope that you’re feeling exactly this way right now. If you’re into resolutions, good luck with them. (Not an ounce of sarcasm there – I really mean it.)
I love setting goals and checking them / modifying them every three months. That keeps me accountable and motivated. Remember that you have a new blank calendar right now with plenty of room for you to write the story of your life the way YOU want to live it.
Here’s to Day 1 of a year that treats you better than any other year you’ve lived!
My sister sweetly reminded me the other day that in a previous post a few months back, I promised to write a free ebook before this year ended. Well, thank you for the reminder, and I’m happy to say that I wrapped it up last month in November! I’m pretty pleased with it, and I’m hopeful that you will be, too.
So, that’s the good news. The not so fantastic for the short-term follower is that I am definitely postponing the release of this ebook because, well, it actually inspired me to expand on my series beyond the original novels. That means that each book continues to be a stand-alone, but you can also now expect a shorter story involving the original characters to have another dance in the limelight.
Meanwhile, look for the continuation of a story I started in a previous blog post, Skies of Gray (it was originally “Shades of Gray”, but I’m modifying it to avoid confusion). The next installment can be found on my blog next month in January.
As this year closes, I wish all of you a safe, uneventful ending to this year, and a Happy New Year 2018 filled with happiness, laughter, love, and if you’re open to it, romance. 💜
Happy Holidays, and to those who celebrate, Merry Christmas, everyone!
We’re back home in Florida, and it’s so awesome to be here for Christmas. My parents insist on keeping some of my girlhood favorites in my room, and when I saw this one again, I had my husband take a snapshot of this little relic to share. 😆 #Hammertime #Canttouchthis #TooLegitToQuit
We’re at the crossroads, You and I.
Like the back of my hand, I often pay You no mind; I take You for granted.
Unappreciated, underutilized, overlooked – it’s what You’ve come to expect from me.
But, I need You.
And clearly, You need me more than I’ll ever realize.
I’m just a vessel, a medium that You use to communicate with the unseeing, the nameless, the unsettled. Those who are just like me.
Thoughts unreflected, I’m too often affected by Your musings.
Your demands ravage my body, possess my thoughts – when You have something to say, everything else stops.
I live to serve You, knowing that, like me, You’re the servant of a higher master.
How now to heed Your call? What must I sacrifice now to appease You?
I long for harmonious Grace in Your presence, to finally feel at peace with Your ceaseless whispers in my soul.
Lead me, creative spirit, and I shall willingly follow.
When the man you love CONSTANTLY reminds you to eat meals, take breaks, and rest while you’re busy creating another world, you know that he truly loves you.
My Amazon Prime Delivery was supposed to have been delivered between 8 and 10PM. I took this screen shot at 9:57. He actually waited until 9:59 PM.
This is sort of like how Starbucks baristas purposely misspell your name, right?
So, my social media has been blowing up with posts about how this man Blake Shelton can’t have possibly been named People Magazine’s #SexiestManAlive when there are so many jaw-dropingly fabulous handsome male celebrities in the world. They proceeded to list drool-worthy men and went into minute detail about how delicious these men look, et cetera, et cetera, ad nauseam. These posts were from women for whom I have respect and while their comments were amusing, they were also very disturbing.
First of all, what exactly males a man “sexy”? Is it just about his looks, or is it more than that? As a romance novelist, to me, sexiness spans far beyond looking like Adonis, and as a woman, I certainly want to believe that my sexiness is a culmination of many of my admirable traits – not just limited to my looks, but including them. My characters would be painfully one-dimensional if all they could do was walk around the earth looking like a “10” – and have no other desirable traits to speak of.
Secondly, the second half of 2017 has been a whirlwind of women and men who have felt emboldened enough to come forward with accounts of being objectified, reduced, even violated by men in powerful positions. I wonder if People Magazine wanted to focus on a man with minimal controversy surrounding him, and who also has cultivated an approachable, relatively uncomplicated persona. I ask myself if the editors thought that he was a “safe bet”. I know that he isn’t a supermodel, but I’m not offended when I see his face. (I’m personally not attracted to him, but so what?) From what I understand, he is a successful, multitalented man who is known to work towards charitable causes, has a pretty solid fanbase and is happy with his girlfriend. Whether or not you find all of that to be sexy is entirely up to you.
Finally, I also just want to politely point out that people seem to be spending more time talking about BS* than they are about real issues like the above-mentioned, or the new, highly controversial, leaking pipeline, or the passing of the most recent Tax Reform. It amazes me how butt-hurt some intelligent people have become because an entertainment magazine called Blake Shelton* “the sexiest”. We all do realize that this moniker is subjective, right? I mean, if you’re bothered by it, it’s okay. Blake will be fine. The man has his millions, his fame, his girlfriend, and the coveted title – with or without your approval.
I’ve always heard, “Do one thing, and do it well.” This seems to be a common word of advice for those who seek “success” from the greats spanning over centuries. Unfortunately for me, this advice just doesn’t compute; my heart rebels against the supposed logic.
I just can’t understand how so many people view many things as being “either/or” instead of “this and this”. Why in the world do we limit ourselves, especially in this age of mass-consumption? I for one would love to overindulge on the things that make me feel wonderful and happy on this planet, and enable me to bring joy and positivity to others in the process.
For some people, maybe there’s also something satisfying about doing more than one thing simultaneously. Besides, when you look more closely at the biographies of all of these greats, you’ll see that most of the time, only in RETROSPECT does it appear as though they took a linear path to reach the moment when they achieved success.
Believe me, even the greatest had to go through the process of figuring things out. They couldn’t have all been stellar 24/7 throughout their entire lives. No, they had ups and they had downs; they encountered times of doubt and confusion just like all of us. The things that make them stand out are the times when they felt like we often do when we’re not feeling so brilliant. What did the greats do in those times? They persevered. They kept going. Did they know where they were going? Of course not! But they knew where they wanted to be.
Think about it: No one really wants a biography that lasts only a page or two. You want your life to fill an entire book! Every single experience that we have, mistake that we make, or dream that we discover, pursue, and attempt to fulfill is yet another page in our own individual biography.
May every entry that you make be filled with adventure, courage, lessons, and love.
If you’ve been following my blog, you probably know that I’m posting pretty much every Tuesday. You probably also know that I’m running back and forth between a stay-or-go situation. I’d love for this to be the plot of a book, but in this case, it’s my life.
We all know the saying “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” While I’m grateful for the opportunities I have, I also think that holding onto something just because it’s convenient and familiar isn’t always the best or healthiest thing.
What if the bird in your hand is puny? What if it’s not your kind of bird at all? Why stick with the same thing if you know that you’re not receiving the full benefits of your abilities – or your potential?
I think that there’s a time and a place to know when to stick with what you’ve got and when you need to look further.
What kind of plots would romance novels have if they went along the lines of the Bird in the Hand mentality? They’d probably end something like this…
“Connie knew that Ben was an okay kind of guy. There were no sparks, but hey, he was there. Why should she aim for something that may or may not happen – real love? No, Connie had Ben, and she would play it safe. Because he was familiar and convenient, she stayed with him and married him. The end.”
Sorry, folks – unless you’re a literary genius, that’s not likely to be any kind of bestseller. And honestly, I really feel sorry for Ben. He deserves more than someone who “settles” for him. Connie deserves to take a chance at finding happiness.
When it comes to following your passions and seeking fulfillment in all that you do, holding yourself back can’t possibly be the way to go.
Remember when you were small and at one point in your very young life, you knew exactly what you were going to “be”? Well, I remember the day when it happened to me. I was seven years old and quite convinced that I would become a teacher. But are we limited to having just one?
It’s a confusing, humbling experience when you discover your calling. You may stumble upon it, you might have to fight for it, or you just might know what it is years in advance and just expect to fall into it eventually, like I did. One way or another, it just happens.
It’s a much more fragmented, painful process when you realize that a dream, an ideal that you once birthed and have cultivated for years, is dying. What was once vibrant, something that fed your soul while you simultaneously gave your all to anyone willing to accept, is now a shell. It’s hollow and devoid of meaning – not because you’ve stopped giving your all, but because realize that you’re surrounded by takers – black holes that passively drain you of your shimmer, consuming the sacred inner glow that lights up your spirit and inspires you to guide others.
What do you do? How does one cope during this slow painful death? My goal is to let go, let God, and move on.