Endless Possibilities!

You’re halfway through your first book and you come up for air. You read an article on self-promotion: getting your name out there and becoming recognizable in the world of the written word. The fact that you actually have to turn to the social media machine that you have been avoiding (because it potentially could suck up all of your writing time) hits you like a ton of bricks. Panic wells up inside you.

You read a few articles, hoping against hope that you have misunderstood. But, nope. The message is loud and clear. What to do, now?

Should you run, bury your head in the sand, pack it up, give up the dream? Could you even do that? 

Of course not. That world that offers you solace and a creative outlet. It challenges you to look deep within and inspires you to become more than you ever thought possible.

So, you begin building a platform. Putting your ego aside. Inviting criticism through your door. Fighting your insecurities. Finding a voice. Calming those fears of rejection and perhaps being misunderstood at times.

But I promise, you’ll wake up one day in the not-too-distant future and put your name into your computer’s search bar and it will pop up. You’ll get a few emails from followers—some, even, in other countries! You’ll read positive comments to your posts. You’ll get encouragement from friends and family.

You are suddenly on the brink of a whole new life, filled with endless possibilities.

All because you dare to write. To challenge yourself. To share all of who you are about. What you’ve got going. What you bring to the table that no one else does in quite the same way.

We’re writers—and life doesn’t get any better than that!

Even More Powerful: Video

 

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We have talked about the video blog, but here I am referring to creating a book trailer or perhaps even something more creative.

Let’s say you’ve written a teenage girl-focused book on wardrobe essentials. You could create a series of tutorials including color and fabric selection, mixing and matching styles, hairdos, etc. Or, for a book on soccer, a series of tutorials on strategies for making goals. Once done, publish them on YouTube and your other social channels.

M-O-S-Q-U-I-T-O-E-S

I don’t know where they came from, or how they got inside my house, but I have a couple of pesky mosquitoes that have taken up residence in my home office. They may not have planned it that way, but I think they stay around because they see a free meal…

The first day they showed up, uninvited and unannounced, I got eaten up, badly. Within an hour, I had huge welts on my legs, arms, neck, and hands. It wasn’t just exposed skin they were going for, as I recall from past experience, these mosquitos also bit me through my shirt!

The fact was, I needed to work at my computer. It was in my office. And, so were the intruders.

I needed a plan. I needed to be proactive.

I tried the fly-swatter method. They seemed to know I was armed and waiting, so they laid low. It was only after I put the swatter down and started working that they ventured out, again.

If I wanted to get any work done, I had play defense: Type. Swat. Type. Swat.

Finally, I  went down to the corner drugstore and bought insect repellent. I sprayed the air, the carpet, my clothing, and doused all exposed skin.

Finally, I was successful. I repeated this every four hours, making it possible for me to get my work done every day this week.

Proactive. That’s the name of the game.

The same goes for writing. I have found I have to get proactive. I have a writing plan and as long as I stick to it, I can get a lot accomplished.

If  something or someone comes around to disrupt me, like say a phone call from a friend, I end up not being very productive—if I don’t follow the plan I put in place way back in January (no answering the phone or emails between 9:00 a.m. and 3 p.m. each day). And, that hurts.

I have to be proactive: answer emails, start the laundry, straighten up the house—BEFORE 9 a.m. If I do that, the next six hours are productive. If I don’t take charge of my writing life, there are always little mosquitos that buzz around with only one goal in mind: to suck the hours of productivity right out of me!

M-  Mom and Dad (they are older, now, and I need to check on them every day).

O-  opening emails and physical mail.

S-  snacking (the refrigerator and pantry are just a few feet away).

Q-  quiet (every little noise can be a distraction).

U-  up and down (the dog wants out, I need to stretch, change to laundry from the washer to 

      the dryer…)

I-  ideas that pop into my head at the most inopportune times, distracting me from the work at

    hand.

T-  telephone (a temptation to answer every time it rings…I put it on silent mode).

O-  opportunities (little things that seem to come up every day; seemingly “good” ideas, but 

      really nothing more than distractions in disguise.)

E- energy—lack thereof.

S-  social media. Need I say more????

How do you handle the “mosquitoes” in your life?