Project Thankful: Reason #181: On Career Mistakes

I’m thankful to have made mistakes in my career.

I’m preparing to publish again at the end of this summer.  Two years ago, I published my novels The Hunted and Darkness Calls.  It was the first time I ever published, and since then I have looked back and noticed several points at which I could have stopped and rethought decisions.  I could have re-written some parts of the books, done more research on e-book covers, and better formatted the books and book covers.  I could have waited to publish them.  I could have not published them at all or waited until they were more refined narratives.  

I look back on all of these, and I’m grateful to have made mistakes in my career.  Mistakes aren’t just how you learn; they’re how you grow.  If you never made a mistake, imagine how boring your life would be; it would be static.  Some of my decisions might not yield optimum results, but the results are always interesting and surprise me.

Take this blog, for example.  I started this blog to draw attention to my writing.  When I first began blogging, I didn’t blog very often.  When I did blog, I would just kind of write about whatever, not really clear about the direction this nascent blog would have.  Underneath the title of this blog is “Spotlight: Writing.”  Back then, I didn’t know myself, as a writer, well enough to build a strong base for that spotlight.  I was too caught up with proving myself, desperate to have a large number of followers as well as to have people buy my books, to understand that what attracts someone to writing is writing, not selling.

So here’s to mistakes, to failures, to missteps, and to moving forward.

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Project Thankful: Reason #137: The Illusion of Anonymity

I didn’t think any of my friends read this blog.

For that reason, when I made the decision to share my experiences in the aftermath of The News (my dad losing his job), I thought I would post as I always do, thinking that, in a way, my posts would be anonymous because I’m just one of many millions(?) of bloggers out there on the web.

What I didn’t expect was for one of my friends to come across my postings.  Mainly because most of my friends don’t really know that I’m a blogger.

So when I received a text message from my friend who was very concerned about what had happened, I was taken back.  A part of me said, “Crap!  She knows!  She KNOWS!”  More than that, I was relieved.  “She KNOWS!”  And by her knowing, it helps because I know she’s there for me, and I can talk to her.

 

Project Thankful: Reason #100

The 100th “Project Thankful” post!  

When I first said to myself, “Self, I think it would be a totally awesome blog idea if I blogged about something I am thankful for EVERY DAY FOR ONE YEAR,” a part of me said, “There is no way this is going to work.  Nice writing/blogging idea, but that would be too much.”

The fact that this is the 100th “Project Thankful” post proves that it is not too much to find something to be thankful for each day.

For this 100th blog post, I decided to blog about reaching a personal milestone: accepting that I am human.  What does that mean?  It means that I accept that I make mistakes.  I accept that I can’t do everything (and that is a lot to accept).  I accept that I get tired.  I accept that I should do more.  I accept that I work hard.  I accept that I don’t always phrase things the best way.  I accept that I have faults.  Most importantly, I accept myself and every part of myself, and I accept that there will always be individuals who do not accept me for a variety of reasons.

 

Project Thankful: Reason #47

My 2014 bucket list will constantly be changing, but recently I sat down and thought about what it is I would like to accomplish in 2014, where I would like to go, and why:

Reach 200 blog followers on Paranormal Perspective

Reach 50 blog followers on Living With Celiac and The Consultant

Blog more on Living With Celiac and The Consultant

Go to Disney World and stay at Port Orleans Riverside (because that resort is AWESOME, enough to deserve an all caps awesome…and because even though I went to Disney World in November, it was an extended family trip which meant more “where are you? where should we meet you?” and less getting to do the things I really wanted to do)

Go to Disney World and take in all the Disney World Christmas time festivities (again, due to time crunch circumstances, I was not able to fully take in Disney World around Christmas time, but what I did see of it…wow, I want to see more)

Go and stay at Atlantis in the Bahamas and snorkel the ruins of Atlantis (ever since I went to Grand Cayman for my cousin’s wedding, I have been in love with the Caribbean.  Atlantis seems like such a wonder to explore and to be able to snorkel and interact with the animals they have there would be a dream.)

Go to Key West (I’ve always wanted to go!  And it’s Florida, a state I would live in if I had the chance)

See the Grand Canyon (when I graduated from college, my aunt took me to Europe.  While in Europe, I went to Paris and visited Notre-Dame as well as Sainte-Chapelle.  I remember sitting in both locations, gazing at the exquisite stained glass windows with the sunlight streaming through them.  Watching the sun through the stained glass, surrounded by sites pulsing with tremendous history and spiritual energy, was a truly spiritual experience in itself.  Since I associate travelling to a spiritually inspiring place with a new section of my life, such as when I graduated from college, the Grand Canyon seems like a very fitting place to want to visit before I begin a new section in the fall when I start grad school)

What’s on your 2014 wish list?

Why I’m Good Without Twitter

Despite the title of this blog post, I do in fact have Twitter.  Two Twitter accounts to be more exact.  I rarely log onto Twitter, however, and when I do my total time spent on the site is less than five minutes.

One of the pieces of advice the online world (aka Google search) gave to me when I was getting ready to publish my e-books was to expand my social media presence, including creating a Twitter account where I should tweet several times a day.  At first, I tried the Twitter thing.  I followed people and some people followed me as well.  I would tweet to promote my books with the occasional tweet about my day thrown in there as well.

What I’ve found is that I’m good without Twitter.  Yes, it’s a way to promote my books, and I did use it as such.  After a while though, my tweets felt to me like flashy, stiff billboard advertisements or infomercials.  And that’s not how I want to feel about anything I write, be it a tweet or a Facebook status.

I’m more of a blogger than a tweeter when it comes to social media.  For me, blogging is a better way for people to get to know me and to get to know my books if they are interested.  It also helps that I’m not confined to 140 characters when I blog.  More room for writing.

Confessions Of A Writer #22

I haven’t posted a “Confession” in quite some time.  A part of this lapse in time is due to the blog space being transformed into a showcase for my latest project, “Project Thankful.”  Another part is because I have not really been working on either novel in Night Creatures series.  The first draft of the  sequel to Darkness Calls is finished.  The first draft of the sequel to The Hunted is still a work in progress.  But a good work in progress.  The type of work in progress where the story itself including the characters are all, “Look here, author lady.  You’ll finish the novel.  You just have to leave us alone for the novel to take shape, so that when it’s time to write, we can tell you how the story is going to play out.”

That said, I recently started working on the sequel to The Hunted.  Today, I surpassed a writing goal that I would say is the hardest to achieve: the first 10,000 words.  Because the first 10,000 words are the hardest to write.  They are the beginning of the novel, and just like a beginning of a relationship, a beginning of the novel feels awkward to write.  You have all these big ideas, but then aren’t sure if they will work or be realistic within the construct of the story, and you fall in and out of love with the characters, and you wonder why you thought the series itself was worth it at all, and you question whether you should unpublish your work and be done with it, and you abandon your original notions regarding how the novel will take shape and what will happen because as you write, the story tells itself and the characters show you what will happen.  And as the plot is being revealed to you and you are caught up in this collage of characters and action, the idea of unpublishing your work seems ludicrous because writing is so much fun.

And then you look down at the word count, and you’ve passed 10,000 words.

Project Thankful

Hello, readers.  I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving spent with ones you care about.  I’ve always found the idea that it’s on this one day that people are supposed to pause and reflect on what they are thankful for a little off.  I mean, Thanksgiving is only one day out of the entire year.  Why can’t we be thankful every day?

As I was thinking over what to post about what I am most thankful this year, I decided that instead of just one post, on one day, giving a cursory list of what I’m thankful for, I would give thanks each day for one year.  Spotlight one thing each day that I am thankful for.

The kernel of this idea came after spending the morning Black Friday shopping.  Although I had posted about how ridiculous Black Friday is with its hours, I found myself shopping this morning because (a) I had to drop my mom off at her work at midnight, so I was up anyway and in the neighborhood of a store whose specials I had been eying, and (b) due to the fact that I had to drop my mom off at such an insane hour, I was up and would not have been able to go back to sleep.  Well, after a morning of shopping and convincing myself that at least this way I took care of most of my holiday shopping, I found myself sitting in the car, waiting for my mom to come out of work.  As I sat in the car, my eyes seriously hating me for how little I slept, I thought a thought many think on a daily basis: I need to win the lottery.  Only instead of casually thinking this, I said “Okay, how would my life and my family’s life be different should I actually win the lottery?”  The vision unfolded from my subconscious.  My parents quitting their jobs because they would be financially independent.  New, or nicely used, cars to replace our current ones which make unhealthy sounds every time we turn them on, and even more unhealthy sounds when we drive them.  Moving into a bigger house.  Booking trips without budget as one of the concerns.  Student loans paid off with no need to take out more to cover expenses that attending grad school will incur.

It’s a vision I have had a lot of time to think about, from how I would feel matching my numbers to the winning numbers.  About how my family would react when I tell them the news.  About what we would do first.  I thought about all of these things, but most importantly I thought for the first time about how my life would actually change.

The answer I realized was that my life itself would not change.  Sure, it would look a little different, but I would still be me.  The lottery can’t change my life, not truly change it.  It would make some things a lot easier, but true change comes from the individual. 

My goal with my year of thankfulness, or Project Thankful for short, is to change my mindset.  That instead of worrying about what I don’t have, or how life would be different “if,” or about winning the lottery – instead of all that, I focus on what I do have, not the “ifs,” and taking stock of the lottery I already have in my life.

I plan to share my experiences on this blog and one of my other blogs, The Consultant (theconsultantblog.wordpress.com). 

As always, thank you, readers.  I will always be thankful for your audience.