Monday, June 26, 2006

Drawing Blanks

What do you do when you have so much and nothing to say at the same time? For instance, following are all the things running through my mind.

Iraq war, economy, money, books I want, school, the weather, friends, family, spiritual soul, writing, a vacation, reunions, yard work, new clothes, new car, neighborhoods, kids education, and much more than I have time to list here.

The problem is, how do I prioritize them? Do I write about what is life threatening or flights of fancies in my head first? Is it really important to prioritize? Whew, I am getting a headache just writing about this right now. The reason being, I had promised myself that I would blog at least once a week. Unlike all the other bloggers out there, I can’t find words to say what I want to say each and every week, let alone every day. I’m sorry to say that I just don’t feel like running off at the mouth (in print) all the time.

Wait a minute, maybe that is the problem. So many nowadays want to talk, talk, talk. Nobody seems to be listening anymore. Which category do you fit in? I apparently like to talk but do have a need to listen sometime. It could be the very reason I can’t seem to find a subject matter today for this blog. Or, it could be another menopausal moment for me. Anyway, here I am, sitting at my computer trying to think of something good or of interest to write.

With a myriad of thoughts flowing around in my brain (could have something to do with my “to do” chores too), I seem to be drawing blanks. To give you a good description, words are scrolling around my cerebrum like a Wall Street ticker tape of the stock market. I see them but have no idea what to do with them. Do I write them down, are they signals on what to write, or are there just too many dam thoughts in my head? Maybe I really do need a vacation right now. I do know a promise is a promise that should always be carried out, even one you make to yourself.

Actually, this could have something to do with being worn out. I spent the last month, getting a new book ready for print, doing the promotion for the book, looking for more writing work, completing a writing assignment I already have, working on a committee with my church, prepping my yard and gardens for summer, teaching Red Cross classes, celebrating birthdays and graduations, while trying to enjoy my own. I think that is it. I am really tired. Yes, I have a lot of subject matters I want to discuss. Yes, I have strong opinions on them. But, I am just drawing blanks now on all of them. I think my brain needs a vacation. So until next week, just consider me away for a while.

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Monday, June 19, 2006

Working to Succeed

January 2002, I changed careers. After 23 years doing what I was good at, it was time to move on. Realizing I had done all that the general public felt I should do; it was time for me to do what I wanted to do.

I had already raised a child who was out on his own. Actually, I had been an empty nester for two years. I no longer had any desire to crack any glass ceilings. Suddenly, I remembered why I had went back to school to learn a new way of working.

It was the two years as an empty nester that I laid out my plans to say good-bye to corporate America. I knew changing careers wasn’t going to be easy but, I wasn’t the same woman then that I had been earlier. I no longer wanted to take the safe route to success. The nine-to-five, five-day workweek, my earned pension after 30 to 40 years, coupled with social security retirement was not my vision anymore.

It is said as you grow older your life changes. I had begun going through the usual physical, mental, and spiritual rearrangements. My way of thinking and doing weren’t what they had been. Because of that, I knew, I would have to choose to move on. The choice I made was not exactly designed for late bloomers. Yet, it was what I had always wanted, to become a writer for life.

Now, four and a half years later, I’m still finding my way through the maze. I had one newspaper column for three years. I’ve freelanced for others. I published one book while I wait for the second one from the printer. I do workshops through continuing education programs at colleges and high schools. I’ve spoken to business organizations as a motivational speaker. I write continuously for a magazine publisher.

I say this to confirm that like in any career, it takes time to climb to the top. Oh, I’m no beginner anymore. I would say I’m mid way to my apex. As a baby boomer, time is of the essence for me. Unlike a twenty something, I didn’t flower until late in life. My time line to the top is shorter than most. It is why I must work harder, faster, and efficiently. Without 40 years to build upon, every minute lost is a minute gone forever.

When you start a new career in your late forties, sure, you still have time, but not the same amount as when you were in your twenties. Another thing I notice now is, how fast time flies as you get older. You never seem to have enough time to do all you want to accomplish. So I work more now than I ever did in the past. It won’t be long before I can collect social security or withdraw from my 401K.

Do I recommend making career changes midstream or at the end? Of course. Who knows, you might discover that you had something different and special in you all the time. As long as you have the desire for and love whatever it is, the hard work you’ll have to do won’t seem like work at all. As the time flies and you work to succeed, you will.

Please visit my web site to get a peek inside my new book The Write Life at Book Pages

Monday, June 12, 2006

PMS, It’s Not What You Think

There are three words in which every time I hear them I go, ugh! I detest and loath them, to put it mildly. I want to cry when I have to think about them. Yet, in my line of work I can’t live without them.

The odd thing about the words is the beginning letter of each spell PMS. That is exactly what I feel like I’m going through when I have to think of them. The sad part is, unlike the monthly cycle women endure in which PMS passes, it doesn’t ever go away for a writer. What am I talking about? Promote, market, and sell.

As you can see, the letter “p” stands for promote, which stands for popularize, which means convince people like you to buy. The letter “m” means merchandise, meaning goods that people like you buy. Finally the letter “s,” my all-time favorite, . . . yeah right, anyway, this letter says an exchanges of money while saying buy, buy, buy.

Can you see why these three words drive me crazy? A salesman I am not. I am a writer. For the duration of seven days and 24 hours, I have to become enthralled with this unique form of PMS. Without it I can’t survive. Without it I would have no reason to continue writing. Without it, who would even know I exist?

Due to this stipulation as part of an agreement I made with myself, I must ask, seek, request, appeal, beg, solicit, and plead to yours and others sensibilities, to take interest in my new book The Write Life. At certain times of my day, I have to shed my writer’s cap and begin pitching, hawking and whatever it takes to promote, market and sell. Like it or not, it is part of a writer’s life. Is the book any good? I think so and so do my editors. Let’s just say, my editors are what is called selective, if they say it is good, it is.

Still, not sure? Take a peek inside the book on my web site at Book Pages If you like what your read, you can order a copy at Books

Monday, June 05, 2006

Another Peek Inside the Book

It is another peek inside the book, The Write Life. Many e-mailed and called me to say they like what they read last week. So, here’s another page to share with you.

You Are Your Own Sales Department

Yes, I hate it too. But, if you and I don’t push it, it won’t sell. We have to do more than just put the words on paper, we have to peddle the words too. How else will anyone know what you know and what you can create if you don’t start shopping it around?

Too often writers of every genre assume their job is done when the work is at the printer. Well, not wanting to be the bearer of bad news, your job has just begun. While your master piece is being bound, soon to be carried in someone else’s hand, you need to get your shoes ready to do as we have all heard before, pound the pavement. I don’t mean it literally, although to do so couldn’t hurt. What I do mean is to start thinking like a traveling salesman.

Back in the forgone days, those who walked door-to-door to push their wares, didn’t make a dime to pay their bills without a sale. And that’s how you have to think about your creative work. If you don’t or can’t sell it, you make nothing from it. It would suddenly become a hobby you developed to pass the time and not a life long passion. If you really are serious about spreading your word, you are going to do most of the leg work. Sure, an agent can get you started but, the balance of the grunt work will be done by you. The work is called marketing, promoting, advertising, selling, and a host of other labels. No matter how it is expressed, you have to keep it going.

The key to keeping your sanity while you promote your work is to find ways to do it cheaply. Believe it or not, there are ways. The following pages will assist you in discovering how much you can accomplish without selling your home or your soul. It will not cover it all. I know this because with each passing day, many more opportunities are brought to light on succeeding in an ever-changing society. Each day there are new inventions and new ideas. Who knows, my input made just get you rolling on fresh ideas of your own. So, before it gets dark outside, turn the page and get ready to start walking.

Remember, the advance purchase deadline has been extended to June 15 (my birthday) as my gift to you. Afterwards it will be $12.95. Feel free to go to
  • Books
  • to place your order for only $10.