Going for the Gold

“Tonight is the night!” I exclaim.

I finally got my writer head together. I’ve been in a weird mind set for a while. I don’t know how long. Four maybe five years. For this long time I’ve been trying to find myself again.

After a solid week of focusing on myself, I think I’ve finally met that personal goal. It’s not even December and I’m making resolutions for the new year. I know who I am now and I know what I am meant to do.

I think every writer/creative individual goes through this phase, but I am tired of going through this phase. It’s time I get it together and go for the gold.

Life is life. It can be crappy yeah, but without the right mindset. It can wreck your dreams before you ever realize it.

Don’t start tomorrow, don’t start a week from now. Start tonight. Forget your inhibitions. Erase your insecurities. Push out all the people who keep dragging you back to the place you don’t want to be.

It’s hard to drop everything and move on, but this is the only life you have to live. Time passes quickly. When tomorrow comes, you’ll wish you had changed your life yesterday. So I’m telling you as I have told myself. Start right now.

The road to unhappiness is paved by all the things in life you fear. Stop fearing, get up. Finish that novel, go on an adventure, sell your house, move across the country. Go back to school. Do what makes you happy.

The things we want most in life, are often the hardest to reach.

Author Branding

Being an author is not easy work.

A lot of people say to me, “Oh you’re an author, that’s cute.”

Cute? Writing an 80,000 word book and shoving it out there for the world to ridicule is cute?

*Inwardly screams in frustration

Being an author is so much more than that. It is a lifestyle and a career. Most importantly it is a lot of work. Writing the book was the easy part.

I enjoy what I am doing. I really do. I’ve met a lot of kind people, and I’m beginning to learn who I am as a person and who I don’t want to be. It’s all because I am building my author brand.

There are some days that I honestly feel like am getting nowhere. But at the end of the day I realize that I have gotten farther than I ever could have dreamed I would have.

My mind 24 hours a day is thinking about my author brand. It does not matter what I am doing.

Building your author brand begins with getting yourself out there. That means social media. Now don’t go crazy but be you. As I tell myself Building a brand around a fake you is not building a brand around you. Likely what I’m meaning is don’t let some mongrel wreck your self-esteem.

For example I’m on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube under Author Brooke Myers/ brookemyersauthor.

Instead of using a personal account I use these to express my own unique personality through my author brand.

The next thing to do is find something to identify with. Something that makes people think of you. For example I write about monsters, but I have purpose. Monsters are the object that sort of shows what my brand is. It’s how people identify me as an author. I’m the girl who writes about monsters.

As an author you need to continue to create new books to keep your readers happy but you also need to create content to keep people engaged.

On YouTube I talk about my writing experience and I also do makeup videos. It’s an easy way to make your content “real”. People want to know you are an actual person.

Another thing about building your brand is to be consistent and come up with new content. Also show gratitude. You may like to be rude in real life, BUT a simple thank you goes a long way. It tells your followers that they are important to you and without them you would not be where you are.

Now there are some things to avoid. Don’t waste people’s time. If someone asks you about your book, you need to be ready. Have a pitch and show them that you are serious and that you know your book. I mean you did write it!

Don’t get discouraged. Rome or anywhere wasn’t built in a day. It all takes time. It’s frustrating to feel like it all is going at a snail’s pace. But building an author brand can take years upon years. It’s about dedication. If you truly love what you are doing, you won’t give up, no matter how much you want to.

If you would like to check out my social media, feel free.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brookemyersauthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brookemyersauthor/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHPVU7wZAH3V6LB7YVnp7aw

The Devil’s Retreat Book Buy Links:

https://www.books2read.com/u/m2oKLo

 

Flooding

I have so many thoughts going through my head right now.

First of all my dog is standing on the kitchen table. She’s not doing anything. She’s just. Standing there.

As much as would love to tell all 90 pounds of her to get off the table, that would be a battle that I just don’t want to fight right now.

Needless to say, I can’t sleep. Well I can sleep, it’s just I’m not actually sleeping. My mind is so full of thoughts I can’t shut down. On top of that I have 40 alarms set to make sure I don’t over sleep.

I’m currently experiencing overload.

Between college, being neck deep in author promotions, working, and trying to survive the Holidays. It’s rational to say that I’m overwhelmed.

I don’t even like the Holidays. Well I can’t say that I don’t it’s just the enjoyment has been sucked out of me due to Modern day society.

I love Christmas. I really do. It’s not that I don’t have time for, it’s just I can’t deal with it this year. So I’m taking a Holiday break this year. I’m going to hide at home while everyone is out shoving Christmas down each other’s throats. I will be very happy sitting on my computer writing, and drinking coffee until the Holidays are over.

Why?

Because I have excepted the fact that I am human, and I need to unwind every once in a while. If I’m doing what I love, does it really matter?

Hey everyone I’m the Grinch. I think people lose site of the fact that the Holidays are not a happy time for some people.  There are people out there who just want to spend the time to rest, for some it’s a traumatic time. Too often people don’t realize that not everyone wants to be yipper skipper during the holidays. And no, I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT HOLIDAY SHOPPING.

Okay, I’m stopping this to say, since when did Modern Society make getting in a fight at Walmart Thanksgiving night a Holiday tradition?

Oh what has happened people? People has happened.

Time Flies

It’s been a long 2017. It feels longer than usual for a year. Though maybe that’s just because of all the things that have happened.

Thanksgiving is in two days. I haven’t said what I am thankful for yet.

I’m going to say this, I am thankful for 2017. It’s been the best and worst year of my life.

Time is flying now.

Back in August I self-published my first book. What a wild ride that was. I had to learn so much. I will forever be thankful for the lessons that experience taught me.

I thought I made my dream come true. I thought getting published was simply enough. Now I know, it wasn’t going to be enough until I did everything the right way.

But I made a decision. I figured if I want to be a writer I needed to get it together. The night I made my choice, I took my book off all markets. Got online and found the publisher that had remarked how interesting my book looked when I met her at a Convention.

I submitted my manuscript directly to her and after consideration, she accepted it. It’s been a wild ride going through cover design and having the help of an editor who showed me the things I should have shown myself years ago.

Last night my book came out on all eBook markets. Next week my paperback comes out. It’s been a long haul to the finish line, but it’s right in my grasp.

My head is straight, and my focus is right where it should be.

Time flies, but has brought me to the place where my dreams reside.

Where I’m at now I am living the dream that I have had since age five. I’m not without regret, but I’m a hell of a lot more thankful.

Feedback

It’s always a bit scary to get feedback on your work. You tell yourself you are prepared for some criticism and then it comes. You can’t handle it.

I hear of this happening to a lot of writers. That one bad review is the be all to end all.

I remember the first time I got a bad review. I remember clicking on the link and thinking don’t do this. Don’t read it. You should really listen to your own conscience. I learned my lesson.

The review wasn’t about the story or the plot it was about the way the book was formatted. That bad review I turned into a learning experience.

I chose not to take offense. Yes it was a sour blow, but not the end of the world. The guy had suggestions, he is the reader I am the writer. My job is to find out what the reader wants and learn from those wants.

The next time you get a bad review, embrace it. It could teach you something.

(If the reviewer is blatantly being an ass then disregard my advice.)

Bad Reviews

Bad reviews, they’re like alcohol.

Read a review, you take a swig.

The words, like bitter buzz in the mouth.

Down the throat they burn.

The words are fire, you don’t like them but you can’t stop them.

The alcohol won’t kill you, but the words will.

Cruelty influences the booze.

Read one, you’ve read em’ all.

Take a sip, look down and the bottle you’ve already drained.

Read enough, drink enough.

Crash through life poisoned by that one sip. By that one bad review.

 

 

A New Dusk

Day one of a new beginning is ending. I am me, but my goals are different and so is my outlook.

I have wanted to do this for a long time. Rip apart everything and start fresh. Start the way I wanted to start in the first place.

The only difference? I realized it wasn’t too late.

I’ve been serious about getting published for five years. That is not a long time, but it’s a long time for such a terrifying commitment.

I went Indie, and I don’t regret anything about it. Self-publishing helped lead me to the path I have always wanted to be on.

I am now publishing a four book series with a traditional publisher. A publisher that I met at an event I went to as an Indie author.

I got tired of listening to the “traditional is better” spiel, and I honestly think that is why I turned to self-publishing. I wanted to carve out my own, as many people choose to do. But I have wanted this outcome for a long time. I trusted my gut and I have accomplished.

It’s been a long 2017, I’ve embarked on a publishing journey and now I’m on my second. I have stressed over everything along the way, but in the end everything is coming together.

Life isn’t perfect, but some of these paths we go down, they can lead us to who we are. Every night is a new dusk, a fresh start. Wake up with the dawn and chase that dream of yours. This is your life, stop saying you can’t reach that dream. Get off the couch, get out of the house, flee to the city, run to the mountains, jump to the ocean. You are only alive now, go.

Try This

Stop what you’re doing with your story. 

Insert your own name in replace of the main character’s.  

Does the story still convey the message you want it to?

Eternal 

“I found it,” Sara whispered. 

“Found it?” Jack asked.

“The key,” Sara pressed forward. ” To my heart.” 

Jack looked at her with curiosity.

“And I’m giving it to you.” 

Jack’s face said everything, needed to be known. 

Traditional or Indie?

I spent two years of my life trying to make the decision. It’s easy to say I wasted all that precious writing time trying to convince myself why one was better than the other.

Did it gain me anything? Absolutely.

I have forged this relationship with myself. Try, if it doesn’t work, try again. Eventually if you try and fail enough things will eventually work themselves out. Could take a month, or several years. A lifetime in most cases. But there’s a beauty to this try and fail experience. If it gets done in a lifetime, I’ve done my job as a writer.

I’ve surpassed the selling one book mark by a great deal. All it takes is selling one book and you’ve gotten your name out there.

What does that have to do with traditional vs indie publishing? The truth is it has everything to do with it.

When you ask yourself the question and ponder an answer. You find out your goals as a writer. Do I want to go big or go home? Or do I want to find my own way in this world by the fight of my own ambition?

When I think about it, I look back and I don’t regret a thing. I am human, and I make mistakes. It’s part of living in our era, with the internet and all. It’s hard not to regret.

Two years ago I was pushing to get through The Devil’s Retreat and spitting out disastrous query letters. I had every intention of querying agents because I spent nights awake convincing myself, self-publishing is a bloody disaster. I wasn’t wrong either way. Traditional publishing can be as big of a disaster as Indie Publishing can. It’s all part of learning.

After finishing my novel and sitting on it for about six months I decided a year ago to go Indie. Back in August I published The Devil’s Retreat as an Indie author. I’m happy with my experience.

BUT, I’ve reverted to my original thinking and that’s okay. No path is ever clear. Especially the hazy paths publishing takes.

Have a little fight in yourself. Do what is right for you and stop listening to everyone else. You’ll be glad you did.

 

 Wayfinding 

Once Ago someone saw,

An eager soul stretching for a lick of freedom. 

I see them now. 

They have no obligations. 

They feel no pain. 

They know the reaction. 

In truth they see by more. 

To them reality is a sore. 

Picking and Picking,

Blood falling down trickle,

Never doing what must be done. 

They saw it all by the pop of dusk,

 The light goes away,

And in the dark, 

The truth is far more fearsome.

Crowded with monsters, 

Skimming their teeth over our flesh,

Out of darkness,

We can return our sense of humanity. 

Find again our purpose,

Many ago we lost. 

Find a way,

Someone hasn’t seen.