On (not) Losing Faith

I’ve wanted to be an author most of my life. This shit is hard.

I love writing. I love writing so much that I did it for free for a long time, and then nearly free after that. The list goes on and on. I had a glimpse of what to expect from this career when I first decided to stop hiding behind ghostwriting. At the time, I was still maintaining my ghostwriting career. Then, a series of unforeseen circumstances pushed me back to square one.

I wasn’t prepared for this to be my only source of income. I wasn’t prepared for the possibility of not having any income.

The harsh reality of writing for a living is that thousands of books die daily because no one ever sees them. I’m happy to say that isn’t the case for me, but not

everyone is so lucky.

Writing for a living takes so much more than just writing.

I’ve been behind the curtain so long that I have to figure out everything else. From building an author platform to which marketing techniques are best for my work, all of it takes a skill set that I am still acquiring. Some days, I am extremely bitter about this.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve done some co-writing as wells as ghostwriting. My co-writer handled all of the marketing, and editing. I handled most of the writing. In the end, she had all the skills to create another great partnership with someone else. I’ve become a better writer because of the work we did together, but I’m less of a business woman because of it.

Design

I don’t have thousands of dollars to throw at my craft, but I do have faith. Which in my case is saying a lot. I’m not generally the type to believe in what has yet to manifest in my life.

This time is different. The same way it was with my darlings. Just when I was ready to pretend I never needed them, they arrived.

That is to say, writing is beautiful. Writing for a living is hard. Difficult dreams are worth the difficulty.

So work hard. Work tirelessly for what you want. Not because the rewards are timely, but because you want it. You’ve spent endless hours dreaming it could be real. So, spend endless hours making it real. You can do it. I can do it.

It is okay if no one but you can see it. It is okay is nothing is right about it. If things aren’t falling easily into place, or every turn you take creates another bend in the road. It is okay.

It is your dream, no one has to believe in, work for it, or push passed their insecurities about it but you. But me.

I’m working on understanding perfect timing. I’m working on the realization that things are not going to happen when I want them too and this is no reason for me to quit. My vision for my life is valid, beacuase I say so and because I am willing to keep after it.

Having faith does not mean seeing the whole picture or knowing how things will come together. Having faith doesn’t mean a perfect path or a open highway toward your dream. Having your faith tested, doesn’t at all mean you should give up on your dream.

Work from the place you are, and you will eventually level up.

Just. Keep. Swimming.

I know I’m not the only one with dreams I have to remind myself to believe in. So, what are yours?

Joy.

 

 

#JuneReset: 4 ways to reset and accomplish your years goals

June presents the perfect time to reassess those New Years Resolutions and reevaluate any remaining goals.

At least, that has always been my philosophy. We’re six months into 2017 and already I’ve had some major changes to occur in my life. For one, my newest little was born last month. Needless to say life with three littles ages three and under is nothing to sneeze at. It’s the happiest madness I’ve ever had in my life.

That being said, I am a still an author on a mission. I’ve taken out my complete 2017 goal lists  and there are still quite a few things remaining that I want to accomplish. As always, I’ll be sharing my author goals in another post. Today, I want to discuss the importance of assessing the years goal lists and how you can get back on track if you’ve lost your way.

To begin, remember the reason you set the goals. I know the deal, new years makes most of us giddy with possibilities. Goal lists are probably never as long as when the clock strikes twelve and gives us all permission to start over fresh. However, most of us aren’t arbitrarily writing a list. There is a genuine purpose behind every task. By taking stock of why  the particular element made the list to begin, you can rediscover their importance.  Don’t be afraid to downgrade somethings and upgrade others. As long as you are still attached to the goal it has value and is worth revisiting.

Once you’ve reestablished your reason for setting the goal, then prioritize for completion. Every goal does not have the same value as we’ve established. Maybe its assigned value is due to the requirements for completion, or even the amount of time it would take. Maybe it has sentimental value. Determining what happens first not only gives you focus, but also gives you an idea of how to structure the settings for the rest of the year. Number them, color code them, do whatever it takes to decide what needs your attention first. Prioritizing will likely mean rearranging the way things are written on your list. Don’t be alarmed, embrace the changes. Bundle what goals you an overlap, and work your new list.

Adjust your timeline accordingly. Some goals, may seem out of range from your initial schedule. If you’ve missed the deadline for that particular marathon, then pick another with similar features to compete in later in the year. The object is to realize your goals in a way that is both realistic and also fulfills your initial desire.  This is why your reason for setting the goal comes in handy. Get back in the game with a timeline that reflects where you are on your goal list and what you are looking to accomplish.

Just start. You can do it. You’ve missed your initial timeline, and now there is a struggle to find the best time to start again. Do yourself a favor and stop waiting for the perfect time. Start where you are, and ignore that little voice that says “not until”.  The moments you  waste waiting for the ideal time to start can’t be replaced. You have enough time if you start now. Start saving the money for your trip. Start outlining your novel. Start drinking more water, and adjusting your portion sizes. You can’t accomplish anything that you won’t begin. Have faith and begin.

Half the year is behind us, but there is still time to rack up the accomplishments. Just remember what you read here and apply it to your remaining goals and you will be well on your way. You’ll surprise yourself with how much you can still get done. I have faith in you, and you should have faith in yourself. Let’s hold each other accountable to the promises we’ve made ourselves.  Comment below with some of the goals you still hope to complete.

Joy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2Stars: Open to criticism

Writing is an act of art. It is a statement of creativity. It is open to criticism.

I am not above a bad review.

Common knowledge.  For some writers, the first review where a reader expresses discontent with their work is akin to having their heart plucked out while still alive. It is a shock to the system, feels fatal, and is often callous. Yup. All of that is still true for someone like me whose worked behind the scenes on several projects. Anything below a three star writing is definite grounds for improvement.

As I mentioned before, I’ve been stalking my ratings and reviews. The very first moment I noticed the below three star ratings on The Alpha’s Dream my heart sank like a stone in a pond. I read the written review carefully.  I analyzed it for days looking for some hidden bias. The hidden bias? The reader didn’t like my writing style. She just didn’t like the book. Fair. NOT FUN, but fair.

I’m bringing to light these ratings because I believe in their credibility. This isn’t about knowing the reviewer, but about knowing the process. I believe the ratio to readers and reviewers is something like 5 or 6  to 1. Out of 50 people who read a book only about 10-15 will leave a review.  So every review counts. Every review also represents multiple people. The reviewers who left the 2 star ratings represent other readers who ultimately decided against leaving a rating at all, rather than leave bad one.

Deep breaths. Long Sighs. Honesty is rarely pleasant.

However, I am not one of those authors who feels that every review must be a positive one. I am not lost in the fallacy that everyone who reads my books will fall haplessly in love with my work. It is unrealistic, no matter how badly I would like it to be true.

As an artist, it is difficult to read that someone doesn’t like the work I’ve spent countless hours developing. Art requires thick skin. Art requires respect for the audience just as much as for the authors.  I suspect over the life of my work there will be even more unflattering reviews. I’m prepared-ish for that, and I will face it with grace.

I want all my readers to know that their reviews, ratings, comments are honored. I hear you. I’ll work even harder to give you a product that you enjoy. We’re in this together and for the long-term.

Comment below with characters or stories you would like to see written.

Joy.