Tag Archives: Creative Process

New Year; New Project

I didn’t blog about quitting smoking because I wanted to avoid accountability.  I was going to quit smoking, because I was going to quit, not because I was going to do it in front of an audience.

I made the right choice.  I’m glad I didn’t quit smoking in public.  Although as a writer; now I’m thinking if I blogged through my year of quitting maybe I would have built a platform.

It’s hard building a platform about quitting smoking in hindsight. Smokers are curious about how to quit but they really don’t want anyone to dictate their quit. That is why nothing works. They just want to buy the book, go off in private to read it, extrapolate what pertains to them, then go quit on their own terms.  Then move on with their life as a non-smoker.

If I am going to create a following, or a platform, I think I am going to start with something new, even though it may not be the same subject as my book. This will help me collect some notes, test some theories, and document what I remember from way-back when. This way it is live and ongoing and people could check in every-once in a while.

Besides, I don’t want to finish writing this book and then set up shop to be a smoking cessation coach.  I am a writer who wants to sell books.  When I am done writing this book, I want to hit the road to promote it and continue working on my next book and add a third book and a fourth book etc.

Anyway, I plan on attacking this like I did quitting smoking; with a calendar, note my activities, be aware of cause and effect, and question everything.  This time I think I will hit the blogosphere instead of a notebook.

NaBloPoMo 6:Independent Career

img_1319   I am a writer. I write almost daily, not just when it is convenient, nor only when I feel like it.  I have subject matter.  I have a demographic of 41 million people in the USA alone. People express curiosity about my subject matter. My dilemma; do I seek representation or do I self-publish?

My goal is to be a writer independent of a day job.  As long as I am working toward that goal, I don’t care if I get there by agent and publishing company or if I get there by self-publishing.

The problem is that I keep flip-flopping between using my writing time to seek an agent or editing my book.  So far writing a proposal has served me well for creating a business plan in case I do not find an agent.

The more I study techniques to find an agent the more I feel shoved out as a person they do not want.  Unless, I do more work to gain a following that actually enhances my ability to successfully self-publish.

My time has value.  An agent’s time has value.  A publicists time has value. A publishing company’s time has value.  I’m sure if we all got together we’d work to produce something of value.

One day I will see how my success plays out.  I find that interesting.


In this day and age of write and publish, I am writing query letters in search of an agent.

In my search, I passed on an agent but her submission guidelines stuck with me.

She wanted three short paragraphs.

  1. Who are you?
  2. Why does your book need to be published?
  3. A short synopsis.

Wow. I got a little flippant at the first question.

“Who are you?”

A Writer. (.)

Wouldn’t that’d be neat to just end it there? LOL. Then I thought, “It’s true, everything else; wife, mom, employee, boss, woman, human, is just fodder for my writing.”

Then I thought number 2 and 3 were the same question posed two different ways. I mean, isn’t that what a synopsis is? I wrote this book … you need to read this book… because yada, yada, yada…

But, it’s all about the details, isn’t it? Sometime later I came up with this.

I am a writer.

I smoked for 28 years and smokers want to read what I wrote.

I had been very curious to know how to get from here (a smoker) to there (a non-smoker).  I wanted the information but I wanted it on my own terms without the threat of having my cigarettes taken away.

I used to ask former smokers how they quit all the time.  The common response was, “You have to WANT it.” I usually left the discussion thinking,”Of course I want it, but I want to know HOW?”

Today, people get curious and ask how I quit smoking. Turns out, going beyond the explanation of “You’ve got to want it,” is too much for one conversation, so much, that it creates a whole book.  That full circle experience with curiosity is how I know these books will sell.




Fruity Friday On Pause

It may have looked like I’ve given up but, I’m regrouping.  I’ve learned a few things and have had a few thoughts plus I want to go back and finish a couple of other things.

Likely, this is an example of my MO, scatter things about then pick it up in an orderly fashion.  TaDa!  Organized!

Repeat with a new set of ideas.

The sensation of overwhelm alleviates boredom.  Plus I get to learn a few things.

Too bad it wasn’t the week of Faithfulness as I am demonstrating Faith that I will get it done even though my Faith in getting it done in a week has waned.


Blog On!

Day 4 Blogging 101: Dream Reader

I would absolutely love it if an agent or publisher would read my blog.  That is my dream reader.  Plus, of course, anyone else out that we’d marketed to after they signed me.

Except at the end of the day, if no one is reading, when there has been a lack of stats; the people I’m really talking to is my kids, and possibly my future grand-kids.  That’s who I think about.

Conversations are sometimes frustrating.  Probably one of the worst things I do to myself is I follow what other people are saying and get involved with contemplating their opinion that I forget my point.  Then of course, there is the usual “I should have said that,” because the best things are always thought of after the conversation.  Then of course there are all the interruptions.  They come from the people themselves, to the phone, to animals, or even an emergency.  Big or small, light or heavy, there are always interruptions.

So when I pass on some wisdom to my kids and I can tell there was no impact, but then later maybe had given it some thought … or if they have ever wondered what in the world was I thinking … then they know where to go. Or at least I’d like to think so.

I like writing and I love editing.  When I am writing on here i really hone in my point of view for the way life is.  In most cases, it takes me a couple of days to complete so I have time to think of things to include.  It’s nice that I can get a whole and complete thought out there and in the end I hope my children benefit from it.

Day 3 Blogging 101: Get To Know The Neighbors

Don’t Fear The Reader, I did most of my work last time around.  The first time around, working on my theme fell over unto this assignment and I just clicked on the reader, tried to figure out what it was and called it good.

This time since I am already happy with my reader I was able to stretch myself a bit. These tags seem so simple but I was able to get to a place where I could lighten up.

My Reader tags for today are:

  • Purple
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Winter
  • Autumn
  • Norway

Not to mention last week I entered Garden and Flowers

The sites I visited were

  1. https://thereviewnerd.wordpress.com
  2. https://melindathesmootsmith.wordpress.com
  3. http://kelliblogs.com
  4. http://awayfromthenoise.com
  5. http://johannamassey.com

Between getting caught up in other people’s blogs and one night of going to bed early, I’m already starting to slip behind.  It’s not too bad though because I’m enjoying the work.

See you in the next assignment!

Kickstarter Updates


Risks and Challenges (update 5/16/15)

When building a campaign, Kickstarter asks to describe the risks and challenges to your project. The risk that it takes me forever to develop a quality book as people are looking for help to quit smoking is what drove me to Kickstarter.

All I want is to take one year to be a writer and completely immerse myself in my work to see what I can accomplish. That is what gets my heart racing. That is what tantalizes my hope. That is what feeds my American Dream.

I don’t want to get meticulous over creating a half-assed cover when I can pay someone who enjoys the work and will put out an excellent cover. Someone else can do that while I am writing.

I want to have deep discussions and near arguments with my editor over structure, grammar, and continuity. I want to pay my editor for a job that she loves and IS so good at. We, in our writers group, tease that she should have wrote the “Nitpickers Guide to Star Trek.” Yeah, she is that pedantic. Exactly what you want in an Editor.

Most of all it is excruciating that the book is not finished yet. Everyday I do something toward the completion of this book. It doesn’t matter if I’m doing a side project so I can learn what I don’t know, or strengthening my marketing muscle, or working on the book itself. A day goes by and another day goes by and most are productive for the time I am able to put in and another day goes by. Five years worth of days have went by. I have allowed that to happen because this is what I want to do. The risk of not meeting my Kickstarter goal is that my status-quo will continue and that is just sad.

What is failure?

That I didn’t do enough to write full time in 2016 and that I have to go back to dividing my attention. Doing that has no bearing on finishing the book and all rewards will be honored, albeit the high-end rewards would be post deadline.

I have 3 days left of my campaign to take one year and finish my book on quitting smoking. I’m going after it.

What are you going to do? Back a sure thing? Or are you looking for a risk? It only takes a dollar for you to be part of a sure thing. That is the beauty of Kickstarter.

Quit Smoking App (5/11/15)

Watching the release of the Apple watch has got me thinking about my quit smoking app again. It would be full of information that the user enters.

The next False Quit Date
The current issue
solutions for that issue
a place to take notes and jot down epiphanies
The user could choose from exercises and prompts from the book or choose to enter their own. Most likely four words or less. All the user needs is a reminder to flash across the screen a couple times a day to keep their focus. With two or three reminders set at different times, their day is pretty much full without being dominating.

I suspect the user would start off with topics in the book then quickly take off with their own notes and ideas. After all, this process is set up for the user to rip it apart and make it their own.

If smokers are reluctant to quit, how are you going to get people to read your book? From that, it sounds like your niche market is a bunch of reluctant readers. (update 5/5/15)

Oh yeah. Definitely. My first BIG hurdle in getting people to read the book is backlash against controlling them, their smoking, and their quitting. I have to overcome this immediate threat that I’m the one who will take their smokes away.

I have been writing this for a little while now. In the meantime I have been building multiple marketing platforms.

This past year I took Chapter 3, “The Fruit of the Spirit” and expanded it into a six book series that targets non-smokers as well as smokers. I call these short books “commuter reads.” If you are a passenger on public transit you can download the book and have it finished by the time your flight or “commute” is over. I hope these readers return to buy the quitting smoking book for loved ones. I also continue to build platforms with social marketing and my blog.

This is the very reason why I’m asking for help. I need to put out a distinctive book and persue a quality marketing campaign to transcend this reluctant outlook.

If you’re looking to back a project that promotes health and well-being, then awesome, I’m looking for you too and I’m so glad you stopped by.

Why do I think it’s odd that I got a life on the way to quitting smoking?  (5/3/15)

Most of the information that surrounds quitting smoking pushes the idea that life improves after you quit. Your heart rate slows down. Your blood pressure lowers. Lung health improves. More oxygen and less chemicals in your blood stream. You’ve heard it.

Before I finally grasped the concept of the the False Quit Dates, it occurred to me that if you present both a smoker and a non-smoker with the same agitation, a smoker would stop and go smoke before they could get a handle on the situation and a non-smoker would have to just deal with it.

All of the sudden, smoking didn’t sound so tough anymore. Although, I always came back and dealt with the problem, it was still quite disturbing and shook at the core of what I thought was my character … my identity. Furthermore, life would always throw something in the way of my goal to quit. It was the recurring theme of every quit date I ever attempted.

I’m not the only one. Life continues being life and doesn’t stop just because a person wants to quit smoking. You’ve heard it … “something happened, it was overwhelming, so I went and bought a pack of smokes. Now is not the right time. I’ll try again later.”

I had to learn how to deal with that before I quit smoking and that is how my life improved on the way to quitting.

Why Kickstarter? (4/30/15)

Because that is how I believe the world works.

I believe in giving a leg up.

I believe an untested talent is a waste.

If you think it? I believe you need to create it!

I was putting my own failed project behind me when I found out about Kickstarter. Even with my wounded and bruised ego, I still signed up to be a backer. As broke as I was, I knew I could participate in putting action behind a person’s idea. All that was needed was a dollar and a status update and that would mean the world to the project creators. To get another person on board that says, “Yes! I like that idea. Go for it!” is heartwarming. It’s exciting! At the time, I had to believe that still existed. Kickstarter is an ongoing example that it does.

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