Friday, July 29, 2016

Working to Live

There is a misconception going around. Some people seem convinced that the goal in life is you must love your job. You need to spring up from your bed in the morning, excited to get to work. You should seek personal fulfillment from your work. Now, if you're one of those lucky people who has found personal enjoyment and fulfillment in your work, Awesome! Congratulations! Personally, I have not found this to be the case.
When I was first out of law school, I gave so much to my job, thinking that work would give me a sense of fulfillment. After three years I did not feel fulfilled. I felt drained and tired. I knew I wasn't living up to my potential. I began to look for another job. And I had a choice. I could seek out the job that would be demanding, require me to work long hours, in an attempt to attain fulfillment. Or  I could look for a job that would allow me to pay my bills, keep me fed and sheltered but allow me to follow other pursuits. I chose the second option.

I have been at my current job for 15 months. In those 15 months I have written two books and have taken giant steps towards actually publishing. I am now set to have my first book published through Moorefield House Publishing, an independent publishing company. I work long hours as an attorney and write on the train and during my lunch breaks. And I feel fulfilled. I feel like I have accomplished something.

I don't jump out of bed each morning. I usually hit the snooze button a few times and grumble about it not being Saturday as I shuffle out of my bedroom to brush my teeth. I don't love my job, but I love what my job gives me: the ability to take care of myself and pursue my interests and personal dreams. I consider myself extremely blessed, not because I have a job I love, but because my job allows me to enjoy and love my life.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

"How to be a Best Selling Author"

As an indie writer, I have to forge and find my own way through the publishing world. I do not have a team of New York publicists, editors, and agents telling me what to do. There are plenty of bloggers who are more than happy to share their success stories and tell prospective writers how to sell books. As someone who has never sold more than 100 books I have no right to question their methods, but as a reader and author I admit am skeptical and cynical about every piece of advice I have read.

My all time pet peeve of writing advice is "writing a book that will be popular". Okay, I consider myself more of an artist. I don't write for profit, I write because I have an idea rolling around in my head, pounding at my skull trying to break out. Writing is a way to get rid of that idea and allow me a relief. When I first began writing My Not So Normal Life books, I did write because they fit into popular genres at the time. I wrote them because THEY DID NOT FIT INTO THE POPULAR BOOKS. I wrote female action books for young adults where romance was not the major plot point and the heroine didn't worry about her appearance or being popular. This was before Katniss Everdeen. Now my book fits more into the popular book genre than it did 10+years ago. But if I had only worked on something that had been popular back then my books would be outdated and no longer relevant. Yes, I sat on my books for a long time, but really I would much rather wait to release something I am proud of than to have written something purely to make money.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Homer gathering a team to make a book

When I read about how to market a book I feel like Lisa.

A Lifetime to Procrastinate

So, I am a huge nerd, which will be evident by the source of my quote (Dr. Who).

Professor Richard Lazarus: You're right, Doctor. One lifetime's been too short for me to do everything I'd like. How much more I'll get done in two, or three, or four.
The Doctor: It doesn't work like that. Some people live more in twenty years than others do in eighty. It's not the time that matters, it's the person.

Recently, I've begun to wonder if I've been making the most of my life. As someone who is officially in her early thirties, (gulp) I have moments of panic that I haven't met the full potential of my life. There are dreams I've let go of and tons of missed opportunities. I am able to lessen my anxiety by telling myself I have plenty of time. Today I realized how the concept of more time can be dangerous. We convince ourselves there is more time. What we forget when we put stuff off is that we can do stuff now. If we lived like we didn't have tons of time, maybe more would get done and we wouldn't consider life too short.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Writing Again

"You need to start writing again."
David said this to me last night. We were eating dinner and I commented that I had read another book in less than 24 hours. (A feat considering I work 9 hours a day as an attorney). It was the fourth book I had read in a little over a week. A month ago, while in the middle of editing, I had lamented that all I wanted to do was to sit down and read a book. Once I finished editing and sent my book to my Beta Readers I opened a book and read one book, then a second, then a third, and a fourth. And do you know what has resulted from reading these books? I have found inspiration for my own writing. One manuscript I wrote ten years ago and determined was too dreadful to ever see the light of day, I began to rethink as a young adult book. Dialogue and scenes for books, character development, even poems and background folklore have begun to consume my thoughts. I find myself inspired to write a million different stories. Now the hard decision is choosing which story I should write first...