Tag Archives: advice

Stirring the water

More ages ago than I could accurately quantify, a speaker made the comparative reference to personal growth as ‘all in’ or likened to a stagnant pond. I think about their comments occasionally, using them as a metric for myself, based loosely on the ‘smell factor’ for the scum on the surface.  There is a great body of water I know for the mental imagery as well…if the spring warms faster than the aerators are activated…there is a lovely green, mossy blanket that covers the surface of the water. While pretty – it is clearly out of place.

The same can be true for notions about writer things. I’d much rather have my life pond look like this…colorful, peaceful, but also…scum free.

(Image source unknown. No copyright infringement intended.)

Why do I mention any of this? Well…I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. I have a professional career outside of writing and publishing, one that I don’t always enjoy, but never fail to be proud of. The idea with that work is that we are always innovating, always growing, reaching out to serve the customer in new and different ways. For that position, I am also on a short list of folks for a chance to move up and be a deciding factor for a team, a location, a region, and my company. It’s daunting and exciting at the same time. There is no moss growing. There’s no time.

That said, I’ve often been fond of the notion that those who forget history, the past that brought us to this present, are condemned to repeat it. Consequently, I spend a fair amount of time learning, and sharing the past practices as we reach for new, better, or innovative ones to replace them for my non-author me. Interestingly enough, I’ve gotten an opportunity to do it for the writer side of the equation recently…and I’m submerged in the idea of how much publishing has changed.

Moreover, I’m shocked to see how some things have returned to the fore, often with the user none the wiser for the point. The dialogue and discourse of the industry has changed expansively, and divisively. I’m not saying anything new, I realize that…but in learning about where we have come from, to seeing what we’ve become…I understand better the confusion so many are experiencing. The sheer number of charlatan experiences is mind-boggling. And, I don’t believe that it’s on a course to turn away soon.

There’s another adage I know about filling many roles, but mastering none – I think that’s where publishing is right now. With the floodgates open to allow publication of works that have been neither edited, or reviewed, put into the mix by writers who don’t understand or know the history, the market has flooded. And, continues to run over. Unfortunately pooling in places that don’t get stirred.

There are pros and cons to this. Writers who the ‘gatekeepers’ withheld once upon a time until they were better positioned to be published, either by writing education, or storytelling instruction, etc…are out and in the market…and what early bard didn’t have a few bumps in their stories? At the same time…they are in the market without the benefit of firm guidance on those factors, nor the expanded circle that used to be the path. In my head I see a fish on land…

What I mean to point out is this…once upon a time, the work went through so many hands before getting to public consumption, the village worked together. Now, we have individuals who are author, editor, art designer, marketer, publisher, and media rep. How many hats can we wear well? I think it is far fewer than most believe. And, I would argue that running for the sake of running doesn’t eliminate pond scum, it only churns it up to smell as each task takes a turn on the bottom.

I further believe, that just because we are seeing someone do something, doesn’t make it responsible or an accurate practice. I think most of us NEED others in our circle of influence. I think it reveals a large scale problem with publishing right now…One we need to get ahead of and back down before it destroys us all. There are valuable lessons to be learned from the past. Innovation should be moving the bar farther…not bringing it down. We collectively need to be doing better. I think that includes reaching out to others, and clasping the hands of those who reach for us.

That said…we also need to know and understand when in the timeline it is time to regroup and right our own ship before we align with an armada that isn’t where we’re trying to go. At the end, balance is everything. It’s what keeps us moving forward without letting the moss grow. For me, after the recent learning curve, I’m more convinced than ever that I need to take some time to stir the water. The surface may be clear, but I’m not sure what’s lurking underneath. I can’t accept that.

Last – don’t forget about the Crossword puzzle blog hop…there have been hiccups, but I’m loving seeing so many new sites and what they have to offer. Hope you will too. Until next time, read something great, and tell your friends.

Sav

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You’ll know it when you FEEL it.

Deadline red grunge textured vintage isolated stamp

 

I think as a reader I can tell when the author is in flow. I think as a reader I can also tell when they are not. For me, this is part of the driving force to writing as I try to smooth the transitions and hide the pages that were written in a manic panic as the deadline loomed. It may not be that the sentences are any less polished, or the editing isn’t right on point…I think it is a feeling that we have as we build our vision of the world we are reading.

I’ve said it before, readers are SMART…but they are more than that too…readers are sensory, and writers need to remember this. The words are often trying taskmasters as they fight for a place on the page, but we have to remember the goal and the end result as we work, or we will just as surely toss the reader off the tale and miss holding their focus if we do not do the whole process in favor of the deadline.

As the red pen here at EBB I’ve said it many times to multiple authors…I would rather put out a book late that is right, than one time completely wrong. What about you? Would you rather have a book right on time or early…if it means that it is less than what you expect?

I didn’t think so.

Chocolate, Caffeine, Cola & Scotch

I have a wicked migraine that is kicking my ass. I am severely sleep deprived for reasons I’d rather not publish as they have to do with a child and her circle…but the crazy is interfering with my sleep and thus, but brain is in full out rebellion.  I have several projects that must be finished asap so I’m sending out a call for best migraine solutions and how to get worth while sleep on a short schedule. I’m afraid the clock is against me now.

Continuing my journey

As of November 1 I will no longer be an author with Eclectic Bard Books. This is not a decision that I came to lightly. My journey has taken me in another direction. It has made me make some very difficult decisions. One of them was deciding to leave EBB.

Although, I am leaving the business side, I will never forget or leave the friends I have made here. The authors here are wonderful people and I am glad that I have met them. I am sure that we will continue to keep in touch and continue to help each other it will just be in a different capacity.

This opportunity has helped me in a way that I never thought possible and I will forever be grateful. I have grown as an  author. I have been taught things that I didn’t even realize that I needed to know. My eyes were opened to a whole new world that I didn’t even know existed.

We all have our own journey. It is up to us to follow our own path. Nobody can tell us which way to go. We have to follow our instincts. As much as I have enjoyed my time here, it is time for me to move on.

Thank you for taking me into your corner of this world, showing me what I needed to see, teaching me what I needed to know, understanding that I am still trying to find my place in this author world, and making it easy for me continue my journey.

~Miranda

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When life gets in the way

We all have busy lives. What we have to remember is to make time to get the important things done. Between the day job, kids, cleaning the house, grocery shopping, and the daily chores, sometimes writing and editing gets put on the back burner.

When I do get to the writing and editing I feel so much better. It is my outlet. It is what I love to do. I have started to make sure that I make time for my writing. It is important to me so it needs to be a priority. Yes, life gets in the way, but writing is part of my life.

Always make time for what is important to you in your life!

~Miranda

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When to move on

We are always told we have to fight for what we want. That is true. There also comes a time, though, when we have to think about what we really want. We all know what our end goal is. That does not always mean that everything we thought would come with it will be there.

We have to fight for the things that really matter but sometimes we have to let go of the things aren’t necessary. We have to recognize when it is time to give up the fight and move on. That can be the most difficult thing to face. To admit that you have to give up something you put your time and energy in to. Something you pinned your hope on. That doesn’t mean it didn’t serve it’s purpose on your journey, it only means that it’s purpose is done. Now it is time for you to move on to your next phase.

I have always been a fighter. I have never been very good at giving up on a fight even when I have seen it was a time to give up. I could clearly see that I would lose but I would go down fighting. The older I get the more that I see there is no point in that. I can now see when it is time to move on to something new. When something has served it purpose in my life I can smile and be thankful for the good and part on good terms instead of burning a bridge that has no reason to be burned.

This is an important lesson to be learned in the book world. As you make connections and network you can always go back to people that you have met in the past. You may not have talked that person in years but as long as you did not burn that bridge you can still talk to them and have a nice conversation and talk books at the next event you run into them again. There is no tension and there is no problem with not getting to go to an event you want to go to because of a feud.

Words said in anger will haunt you. Fighting for the sake of fighting will only hurt you in the long run. Learning when to move on is what will make you the happiest. Not everyone will understand this, but it is not for everyone to understand. It is for you to be happy with your life.

~Miranda

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Snowball effect

It seems like once things start on a path the snowball effect takes over and it is hard to stop it. That is what has been going on with me lately. The snowball keeps getting bigger.

I am the type of person that tries to look at the bright side of every situation. I have to admit it has been hard to find it lately. I am proud to say that I have been able to find a bright side every time though, even if it has been very small.

Last week Soul Redemption (Soul Series Book 2) was re-released and is now live and available for you! I am very excited to have it back out!

I have some changes coming for me. I am nervous about what they mean for me but I believe they are what is best for everyone involved. Hopefully this will be the boulder that stops the snowball!

Until next week, always find your bright side!

~Miranda

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Back to work

Last week as I was preparing to leave for an event in Wisconsin my laptop arrived back on my doorstep. To say that I was excited would be an understatement. I was expecting it to be gone for a lot longer.

To be honest I was expecting them to send me a check with a letter saying that it could not be saved and I would have to replace it. To receive it back two days after they received it and to have everything exactly as I had left it was more than I believed possible.

I accepted it without question (I didn’t want to jinx this newly found luck) and now I am able to get back to work. I can work whatever hours I want on the trilogy and when edits come in I can work on them whenever I want too! My stress levels immediately dropped.

It feels good to be able to do what I love.

~Miranda

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Use all of your resources

As an author one thing that you always have to remember is to use all of the resources you have available to you. Problems are going to arise. You are always going to have to overcome obstacles. What matters is how you deal with them. Do you roll over and quit or do you find a way to work around them.

I am without a computer right now. It couldn’t have come at a worse time as I am also under a deadline. I am working on a project that involves a lot of work on my part for the other people involved to get done what they need to. I have to admit at first I was at a loss of what to do.

My day job is a legal assistant. In my office it is just me, the lawyer and a part time person. My boss is awesome and agreed to let me use the computer in my office after hours and on the weekends to do my author work. It is not something that most people have available to them. It is a resource that I have available to me I just had to ask. You never know unless you ask.

Get creative and find a way to work around the obstacles and you never know what you could accomplish!

~Miranda

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Crazy is as crazy does

I walked into the market the other day, and front and center was proof that it’s my favorite time of year…Stock the office, I mean, Back to school sales. weeeeee.

I’ve not been writing recently, but that does not mean that I cannot stock up on supplies for when I climb back inta the saddle and do. Composition books, pens, folders, labels, tape, colored marks, stickem notes, near everything office supply related has gone on sale. And, they’ve moved the whole lot to the front of the store so I dinnae even have ta walk far….ain’t it grand?

I don’t have any grubbers in school anymore, but you’ll find me in the aisles for hours picking and choosing items. If the parents, who look at me so impressed for braving the crowd now, only knew that it were all for me? I bet the looks would be different. I’m a happy happy and soon to be fully stocked happy…win-win for me.

Go shopping.