Writer's Block? Try Doing Something New!
By Sarah Schwab
I loved college. I was learning new things everyday, both inside and outside the classroom. I took everything from astronomy to modern dance. I got my first apartment and had to learn how to cook for myself and support myself. I took the opportunity to study abroad - in Zimbabwe! I joined groups and had different jobs. I tried everything that even remotely appealed to me, mostly to figure out what I really like. And, let's face it, who I really am.It was a chaotic time, but that was okay because there was nothing holding me down and the only person I really had to answer to was myself.
Oh how times have changed! Now I have a husband and family, a mortgage, a business, a retirement account. Sound familiar? Somehow, these things take over our lives. Or rather they become our lives. What's the difference, really?
For many of us, this is the life we wanted. This is the life we have built through sweat and tears. So what's the problem with it?
The problem is that if you are living a relatively static life, it is difficult to see beyond your own circumstances. It can be hard to harness your creativity and passion. It's hard to come up with new content when you are always doing the same old thing.
My first career was in the field of experiential education. It sounds pretty academic, I know, but stick with me. I managed study abroad programs in Africa, India, and Chicago for college students. I loved these programs because they highlighted the fact that learning and growth happens just as much outside the classroom as it does inside the classroom, if not more!
To continue our own personal growth throughout our lives, all we need are new experiences that expand our knowledge of the world around us and challenge us to figure out how we fit into it. New experiences take us out of our comfort zone, challenge our assumptions, change our perspective.
When was the last time you tried something new? Really engaged with the culture of a place you visited? Did something challenging that made someone else say "Wow!"
I spent a year in Switzerland with my family recently, which was like a built-in experiential education program. Skiing and hiking in the Swiss Alps, weekend trips to European cities, and learning a new language were just the icing on the cake. For me, the daily challenge of making sense of another culture, relearning how to do everyday things a different way, and helping my kids to negotiate life reminded me of my strength and gave me a new perspective.
During such an experience, I always had new ideas for things I wanted to write about and share with others who weren't able to experience it. It is great for opening up your mind and igniting a new voice with which to share your message and expertise.
You don't have to leave the country to create new, meaningful experiences. There are a multitude of opportunities just waiting for you if you are ready to find them.
Sarah Schwab is the Founder and President of My Client Communications. She helps small businesses attract more clients online, especially those who struggle with content creation, technology, or design. Find out more about her approach to online marketing, including the one thing you must have in place to convert website visitors into paying clients, in her F.R.E.E. report: "5 Steps to Attracting More Clients Online."
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“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do.” Mother Teresa (Philanthropist/Charity Worker)
Hypnosis: Boston author lifts the veil of the body-mind-soul bond
Psychotherapists’ memoir recalls how a patient with multiple personalities changed everything
Priscilla Griffin had been a psychotherapist for more than 25 years when a woman entered her office seeking treatment to cope with her husband's death. Over time, Griffin uncovered that Francine was actively suicidal, coping with extreme depression, and struggling with multiple personalities, a secret she didn't want anyone to know.
Griffin’s memoir “Lifting the Veil,” is a candid look at Francine’s deepest, darkest thoughts and feelings, and how her multiple personalities clashed and ruled her world. The book also offers an intimate look at Griffin’s personal journey, as her work with Francine forced her to question her fundamental personal and professional beliefs.
“Although I was the therapist and Francine was the client, I learned as much from her as she learned from me,” Griffin said. “My psychotherapy experience with Francine, and my own spiritual awakening, changed my views profoundly.”
Before treating Francine, Griffin practiced traditional psychotherapy and was a devout Roman Catholic. While working with Francine, Griffin found hypnosis and past life regression allowed her to reach a deeper level of Francine’s consciousness, where true change could happen. Fostering this mind-body-soul connection became integral in Francine's treatment, and ultimately in Griffin's future professional practice and religious beliefs.
"The book will help people understand life and their true selves on a deeper level," Griffin said. "Francine taught me that there's a deeper consciousness in all of us; a place where the dark and the light battle for our souls.
“Once we can tap into that area, we can understand our lives more clearly and make more profound decisions.”
For more information, visit http://www.priscillagriffin.com/
“Lifting the Veil”
By Priscilla Griffin, LMHC
Available in softcover and hardcover
Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Balboa Press
About the author
Priscilla Griffin graduated magna cum laude from Boston College with a master’s in counseling psychology. Priscilla is a member of the Massachusetts Mental Health Counselor’s Association, the American Mental Health Counselor’s Association, and the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis. She is trained in hypnosis and past life regression and has conducted numerous workshops and meditation groups to assist people in reaching their true potential. She is a psychotherapist with a successful private practice in Tewksbury, Massachusetts.
How To Come Back From a Bad Book Review
By Lori V Woodward
The Shock of a Bad Book Review
The first novel you write, you are always excited about, and want to get it published and out of the way so you can get the next book written. So, you've published it, and then you wait. You promote it, and set it up for a Kindle Free Promotion, somebody downloads it, and then posts a bad review. You find yourself reeling from the shock of it, and then want to try and defend yourself.
Don't React Hastily to a Bad Book Review
A lot of successful people were rejected by others on the first onset of their work. The Beatles were among those who were dissed by record labels. Don't let that shock you. Take it as an act of constructivism. You can look at it, but don't get emotional - getting emotional and upset is the worst thing you can do.
Take a Step Back and Be Objective
Pretend that you are a reader of your book, and not the writer. You invest a lot of hours into your book, and you can get emotionally attached to them. Get emotionally unattached and then ask others that you know for their objective opinions. Get others to comment on your book. If they like it, then go back and ask yourself what you can do better next time.
Read between the lines of your bad reviews
What is that person really trying to say? My book had spelling mistakes in it, for the USA. I am in Australia, and we use different spelling words than the continental USA, and it would have annoyed my reader! So he gave me a bad review. That is okay, I can thank him for being honest to me. My friends didn't pick them up, because they were all Australian readers. I am selling on Amazon, and 99 per cent of my readers are from the US, so they will expect a good reading experience tailored for them, so use the spelling that caters for your audience!
Turn your distress into success
I had to look at my book with new eyes. I decided to go through it, sentence after sentence, and reworded it for American Audiences. I have also put that in the book description, that I have done a complete revision and editing of the book. Underneath the review, I posted an apology. I don't want to annoy my readers - I want to entertain them and make them happy! I want to enthrall my readers. When you genuinely care about your readers, they pick up on that, and then they show their appreciation. When you receive a good review, wow, it sure makes your day, because it makes it all worthwhile.
Don't get emotional, look at your book through new eyes, and be objective. See what you can do to make adjustments to your book if it is warranted. Market your book properly so that the right audience will pick it up and enjoy it. Then watch while your book sales increase, because you genuinely listen and cater to your readers. Then smile. You've made it.
For more information about Lori Woodward and her fiction works, go to http://www.sokuchastones.com sign up for updates and also look at all the news regarding the upcoming PC Game for Firestorm
Why Self Publish Your Book
By Bill Benitez
The most common answer to the why self publish question was frustrating and consistent rejections from traditional publishers. Some writers could paper their walls with the large number of rejection slips. After enough frustration a writer would finally decide to self publish. While that's still the case for some, self publishing has become a positive choice for many writers.
Writers still receive rejection letters but things have definitely changed. Now even writers who have been published by traditional publishers are turning to self publishing to increase their profits and maintain more control over their books. The most important reasons for this significant change are the ease of using print-on-demand publishing and the increasing popularity of ebooks. Both of these have practically eliminated the need for a major front end investment to publish a book.
There are other reasons including traditional publishers always keeping the lion's share of the profit. Traditional publishers handle the editing, typesetting, printing, warehousing, distribution, and marketing, thereby taking all the risks, and therefore believe they have a right to a much larger share. While there is some truth in that, it is often untrue when related to marketing. Unless a writer is famous and the traditional publisher is almost guaranteed the sale of hundreds of thousands, even millions of books, they do little to market the books they publish.
If a traditional publisher does pick up a book from an unknown writer, he or she will have to do a great deal of marketing or the book simply will not sell. So, while it is true that editing, typesetting, printing, warehousing, and distribution are costly, the critical and costly marketing is often left entirely to the writer without an increase in the share of the profit. It seems only fair to get a larger share of the profits to make up for your expenditures and time in marketing the book. Because that isn't the case, self publishing becomes even more attractive.
Self Publishing Confusion
Writers are often confused about self publishing and this makes them prime targets for dubious business techniques. If you want to self publish it's important to avoid these dubious activities and they can be quite costly. These are best avoided as they are poor substitutes for self publishing. The activities to watch for are listed below.
These businesses earn their name by the way they appeal to the vanity of writers who want to have their work published at any cost. A vanity press contracts to publish an author's work at an excessive cost but they do create a book for the writer. However, these companies do nothing to help the writer market the book. They have no concern regarding the sale of the book since they make their profits entirely from fees paid upfront by the writer who winds up with a garage full of books they can't sell. And, if they do sell any books, their profit is miniscule because of the high cost.
Even though slightly different from Vanity Publishers, it is still quite costly for the writer. Subsidy publishers create and distribute books under their own imprint and take payment from the writer to print the book. They are more selective than Vanity publishers who accept any book regardless of quality but they still depend heavily on fees from writers for their profits. Unlike vanity publishers, subsidy publishers distribute the book under their own imprint and they keep a portion of the rights to the book and all the copies in their possession. Plus, the writer has little if any control over the production of the book, the editing, or the cover design.
POD stands for print on demand which means that books are only printed after they are sold so there is no book inventory. Calling these companies publishers is a misnomer since many of them serve as printers for self publishers. They do provide a better service then vanity or subsidy publishers but can still be quite costly if you purchase all the publishing services for your book. Those with some layout, formatting, and graphic skills can save a great deal of money with these publishing services. Without those skills, you may still be dependent on them for costly services.
Some print on demand publishers offer a free ISBN and while that certainly sounds like a bargain, free ISBN numbers remain the property of the printer/publisher. You will not be able to take your book elsewhere if you decide to change printers for any reason and you will not be the publisher.
The advantages of some print on demand publishers, especially for those with extensive skills, is that in addition to control over the final book, you get immediate access to valuable distribution channels without making a major investment in books. Everything is setup for you as part of the publishing arrangement and that means your book goes to market quickly and all you have to do is market it to increase sales.
Basically, self publishing is the publication of any book or other media by the author of the work, without the involvement or investment of a traditional publisher. This is most commonly done at the expense of the writer.
Most people believe that self publishing is a recent phenomenon but actually is it as old as publishing itself. In the early years of publishing, most books were self published because they were written, printed, and sold by the owner of the printing press. Even though many still think of it as unusual, many great authors got their start as self publishers. Self published authors include William Blake, Virginia Woolf, William Morris, James Joyce, Stephen Crane, E. E. Cummings, Deepak Chopra, Benjamin Franklin, Zane Grey, Pat Ingoldsby, Rudyard Kipling, D. H. Lawrence, Thomas Paine, Edgar Allan Poe, Ezra Pound, Carl Sandburg, George Bernard Shaw, Upton Sinclair, Gertrude Stein, Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, and Mark Twain. This is definitely an impressive list covering many years and long before the recent popularity of self publishing.
Self publishing your book you may join this long and distinguished list of successful writers. But, even if you don't, you could produce a useful book that will entertain or educate hundreds, perhaps even thousands of people. In the process you will be doing something enjoyable. What more could you ask.
About the Author - Bill Benitez has published over 15 books for himself and many others. His latest book, Self Publishing: Writing A Book and Publishing Books and eBooks For Yourself and Others is recognized as an amazing publishing guide for anyone wanting to do it all him or herself. Check out his book and get your copy now at Self Publishing Workbook . Detailed instructions plus 140 screenshots.