Thursday, March 21, 2013

A bad, good day

Have you ever had one of those days that didn't go the way you expected? You know the type of day where nothing from your to-do list gets checked off? The day you get an unexpected bill in the mail. Skipping your workout wasn't even a question. Instead of cooking a healthy meal you ordered out. Yeah, one of those days.

I've had plenty of those days. What often amazes me though is that the night after a "bad" day, while I'm brushing my teeth, I look in the mirror and I smile. I'm not happy about having a bad day, but I'm okay with it. Tomorrow will be better.

Yesterday I had the opposite happen to me. I had a "great" day. It was almost the day I visualize when I think about my perfect day (except for a few missing digits in my bank statement). I exercised, ate healthy, followed my calendar, checked off to-do list items etc. I even cooked a healthy dinner and got the family to my daughters school play early enough to casually mingle with other parents.

I worked hard. I did what I wanted to do, I did what I was supposed to do and I did what I had to do. And I felt like crap. There was no smile when I brushed my teeth. Instead I was worried that the results from my carefully planned actions would not be what I hoped for. I was concerned that my best effort wasn't good enough. Somewhere inside I was hoping that maybe I was coming down with something.

When I woke up this morning I didn't want to follow my calendar. I had no interest in having a "good" day, why would I. But as I sat and drank my first cup of coffee I realized something. Bad "good" days are important. They help form habits and set the stage for success. Even if I didn't recognize it at the time, doing the right things for the day and living the life I want to live will help make my good, "good" days better. So I opened my calendar and figured out what I had to do.

Today I'm having another "good" day. I think that when it is over I will look back on it as a good, "good" day.

How is your day?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Why are you blogging?

Last week I sat down to write a blog post and I just couldn't do it. I can't even remember what the topic of the post was about, that's how disinterested I was. So I skipped the blog update. Then I skipped the next one. It was frustrating to not blog. I've attended several webinars and read countless other blogs that tell me blogging is mandatory for authors. If I wasn't blogging there was no way I could sell books when they finally get published, right?

So I reflect on my blog, go back and look over the few posts I've done. They have no relation to the types of stories that I am writing. If you followed my blog there is no way you would expect the book I am about to publish. Why am I blogging again?

I am working on a series of young adult books, The Seamus Chronicles. The books fall in the Sci-fi/Fantasy genre and my blog should reflect that. I have found that I enjoy and am somewhat good at the business aspects of self publishing. I will include some posts on that topic as well. Maybe my experience will help other aspiring writers. Every post that I do will in some way give insight to my writing and the things that interest me. You'll get to know me, and you won't be at all surprised by the books that I publish.

Why are you blogging? The concept of building an author platform and creating a community around your work is strong. It will help you to sell books, if you build the right community and have a relevant platform. Make sure you remember this when you are selecting and writing your blog posts. Ask yourself, is this a platform that I can sell my books from?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Why I write

I recently came across Simon Sinek. I'll tell you more about how in a future post, but for now let me just say thank you to +Scott Dinsmore and the Live Your Legend website. Simon wrote Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action (affiliate link) and his TED talk and the interview he did with Scott really got me thinking about why I am writing and self-publishing my books. As I went through it in my head I thought it would be something good to share.

I am smart enough to realize that writing for profit is a long shot. Over a year ago when I started writing my first book I never actually thought about what I would do with it when I was done. Now that I have become engaged in the #indieauthor movement I will be publishing my books but the best seller list is not really a goal. Additionally I have not made a dime from writing. If money were the goal I would have stopped long ago.

Last night I was on the #yalitchat on Twitter. When the featured debut authors were asked how they kept going in the face of so much rejection there were some beautiful answers. These are paraphrased but they were along the lines of:
  • "The story was inside of me, I had no choice but to get it out."  
  • "I don't like failure and to stop writing before being published meant failure to me."
  • "Because I had to share my craziness with the world." 
People like that amaze me because they care so much. Many times they can't even tell you how they came to do what they are so passionate about, from their perspective they have always done it. That's not me.

I write because I believe that anything is possible. I don't have the research to prove it but I think that fiction inspires real life more than any of us know. Whether Jules Verne inspired submarine development with 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea or a super hero comic inspired someone to build a real invisibility cloak it happens.

If my story reaches one person and ignites a spark in them to pursue an idea that I've dreamed up then I have achieved my goal. That's why I write. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Soundtrack - Timshel

The other night I was listening to music in the kitchen and Timshel from Mumford and Sons came on. My mind quickly went to a scene from Annihilation where Seamus, Paddrick, Grace and Liam are all sitting on the steps after realizing that most humans are dead.

I'm wondering if other writers come up with a soundtrack for their stories. Or does the music just add inspiration and emotion to the writing? I don't want to pretend that I'm writing a movie, but I can visually see the scenes in my head and this song really helped make them vivid. In my totally biased opinion the scenes that I can envision are written significantly better than the scenes that are more cerebral.

So is the soundtrack for the mythical movie version of the book or is it inspiration for the writing?