What is the secret to eternal happiness?

It’s been ages since I posted. But believe me, I’ve been working on myself and my writing, and, etc., etc.

Let me share a bit of wisdom with you. Something that I hope resonates within your soul and takes you to a whole new level.

Stay in the moment. Yep. That’s what I said. It’s a universal law that when you focus on yourself and the moment of time that you’re in, that life will reveal itself to you.

This goes for anything you want to accomplish. Try this. The next time you think about something bad that’s happened to you, return to the moment in time that you’re currently in. Close your eyes, breathe and focus on the here and now.

It’s alright if you don’t get it right the first time. This thing we call “time” is a tricky business. But, as you practice, what I am saying will start to make sense.

You’ll see that events in life that you thought were “bad” were really blessings in disguise. This is a power that has existed since the dawn of time, and the way to feed this positive vibe machine is to make sure that at least 90% of the thoughts in your head are positive ones.

Still not convinced? Alright. That’s ok, but if you’re looking for the Holy Grail of Happiness, it’s in the present. Not in the future, not in the past. Now.

Advice like this can make a difference in your life, and turn mediocrity, into excellence. Does this mean perfection is possible? Never. But guess what, I’ve got news for you, it doesn’t matter so long as you’re in the moment. Seeking perfection only leads to more stress and unhappiness. Here’s a prime example: there were these fictional mechanical creatures in Star Trek called the Borg. Their one and only purpose was to achieve perfection, but all it did was turn them into monsters, and create havoc across the universe. I’m not saying perfection will turn you into a monster, but it will take you away from the present moment which is your friend.

Look. The only time you should be thinking about the past is to use the experience gained from the “negative” experience to make the right decision in the present. Then, the future will play itself out.

Make time your friend, and live the life you deserve.

Work versus fame

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Most of us have heard the phrase “it’s the journey, not the destination that shapes who we become.” It’s been repeated countless time to be considered cliche. So why write a blog post about it?

Simple. There’s a lot that goes into writing that is out of a writer’s control. Sales for instance.

With the indie author movement in full swing, gaining traction in publishing has become an ever bigger challenge, as countless books are released every day.

I’m not here to discourage anyone from entering the overflowing cup of would-be writers. But let’s face it, you’ve really got to take this as a journey in publishing, not a measure of payout for each book you release.

This was a problem I had trouble accepting when I first started my publishing journey over 3 years ago. I found out the hard way that folks weren’t going to be lining up to buy my books. After my harsh awakening, I made a pact with myself that I’d learn everything about the publishing business.

I invested in editors-this was another trying experience-and realized that not all editors are equal. You’ll meet some pretty crappy ones along the way too. But I kept at it and soon weeded out the bad ones.

Now is being a mega-author impossible as an indie writer?

Of course not. But let me tell you the truth,  it’s something I learned from speaking to many successful indie writers out there, and that’s  it takes a lot of luck to hit it big.

Many of you already know this, but to all the newbies out there, there’s no other way around it. It’s luck that plays a major part in discovery and bog sales numbers.

The good news is that there’s a way to increase your luck, it starts with publishing books, great books and getting them to market. But before you do that, never underestimate the power of an excellent editor and top-notch artwork for your book cover.

But seriously folks, money and fame is nice, and we’d all take it if offered the chance, but you know what’s even better than all that extraneous hoopla?

It’s the feeling you get when you get words down. Priceless!

 

Distractions & Discipline

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This post is for anyone whose writing time has been butchered by the various distractions that abound in daily life.

I know this for a fact because my next Historical Fantasy novel, The Leopard Apocalypse, was affected by distractions.

For months on end I was focused on building up my social media platform. And my writing took a back seat. Perhaps my intentions were noble, as social media marketing is prominent in today’s crowded literary market. And us writers always seem to seize the chance for shameless promotion. Even if it does cut into precious writing time.

So I came to a crossroads a few weeks ago, I’d take a hiatus, and knock myself out of reverie. And take one I did. Then, my writing got back on course.

Now I implore anyone out there who’s got distractions dragging their writing time down, to make a choice. Which is more important. Your showmanship? Or your writing?

For a dedicated writer, the choice is easy.

Expectations and you

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Do you have expectations? Sure you do. We all do. Expectations exist as markers for out success. In the materialistic hierarchy that we live in it’s easy to start comparisons between yourself and the guy or gal down the street.

But what about unreal expectations, and chasing success so hard that it becomes a task to take pleasure in other things? What do we do about that?

Well I’m glad you asked. If you’re trying to hard, then I’ve got news for you, you’re burdening yourself with added pressure. And comparing yourself to another’s success is just going to get you down. Sure there are some people out there who get motivated by knowing that they’re at the bottom and want to work their way up, but obsession with success and unrealistic expectations is not the mindset to subscribe to.

Of course it’s important to measure your success, but instead of worrying about others, why not try competing with yourself? It will take the edge off and make your chosen task at hand more enjoyable.

Compete with your former self. Figure out what it did wrong, and work on fixing that. This way your focus is more inward and free of unnecessary distractions.

Besides, worrying about what your rivals are doing is not the key to improving yourself, instead work on improving more each day by analyzing your mistakes and seeking out the right information to get you going in the right direction.

One fault every artist must avoid

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Ok this post is for all you artists out there: writers, painters, filmmakers, etc.

This is one thing you mustn’t ever do: expect success.

Success is elusive, and even if your product is flawless and holds substance it’s by no means guaranteed that you’ll strike it rich. Keep your expectations modest when placing your products on the market.

Learn from others in your field. Preferabley those who have achieved success and are happy to offer advice. This might help you bypass costly mistakes.

But with every endeavor hope and patience are the strongest tools in your arsenal. And make sure you’ve got plenty of both when taking that first big step.

T.A. UNER is the Author of various novels and short stories. Please be sure to follow him on LeopardKingSaga.com, where he blogs about writing, self-publishing, and life. Please subscribe to his blog posts and have them delivered directly to your e-mail inbox. He will dance on his hands if you do.

A message to struggling Artists

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If you’ve struggled as an artist or in any other occupation this blog post is for you. Ok so you’re not doing so well in your desired profession, or maybe it’s a hobby that is not panning out into a full-blown gig; at least not yet. I have some advice for you, since I’ve been there before.

Take a break.

Find other interests, join a club, meet new people, it’s cliche but “live your life to the fullest.” Why? Because life is way too short to be putting your eggs in one basket. I know all you would be artists out there are wondering where I’m going with this but the truth is art should only be worked on when you’re in a positive frame of mind. It should be fun, expressive, and when you are at your best.

If you need help, there are plenty of support groups out there. Just google them and I’m sure you will find something.

Now do yourself a favor, and take it easy.

T.A. UNER is the Author of various novels and short stories. Please be sure to follow him on LeopardKingSaga.com, where he blogs about writing, self-publishing, and life. Please subscribe to his blog posts and have them delivered directly to your e-mail inbox. He will dance on his hands if you do.

 

 

 

Why is success selective?

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For those of us who don’t have it easy (and really, who does?) let me say that you’re in excellent company. Many of us have wondered why success is hard to attain. What’s the secret? That’s what most people ask. They spend their time buying self-help books and attending seminars. But really, you want to know the easiest way to attain success?

Take the long route.

Short-cuts don’t get you there faster. Why not make a few mistakes along the way and learn from them. That’s what I did. Mistakes are good, so long as you gauge them and gain experience from them. They’re nothing to be ashamed of.

Find people in your field and become friends with them. Not because you’re after something to further your career, but because you want to have people around you you can trust and build a genuine relationship with and learn from. These days everyone networks, and that’s fine, but you don’t have to meet a million folks, you’d be amazed at how a handful of qualified people works wonders.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and learn your way to success.

T.A. UNER is the Author of various novels and short stories. Please be sure to follow him on LeopardKingSaga.com, where he blogs about writing, self-publishing, and life. Please subscribe to his blog posts and have them delivered directly to your e-mail inbox. He will dance on his hands if you do.

 

How to deal with critics

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Listen, if you’re reading this you’re either an artist or someone else that’s had to deal with criticism, it’s inevitable, we all have to brace for them. But how do you prevent someone’s opinion from ruining your creative groove?

Easy. Just don’t.

Opinions are like farts: some stink, and some don’t. The goal is to decipher negative criticism, from constructive criticism.

Are all critics mean, nasty people? Some are. But some are also pretty alert folks who give the artist clues how to improve their craft and/or story.

I’ve developed such a thick skin that very rarely does a bad review or nasty criticism affect my creativity. And if I see someone is going out of their way to trash my work to boost their own ego, I take steps to prevent it.

Like using the block button.

T.A. UNER is the Author of various novels and short stories. Please be sure to follow him on LeopardKingSaga.com, where he blogs about writing, self-publishing, and life. Please subscribe to his blog posts and have them delivered directly to your e-mail inbox. He will dance on his hands if you do.

How I changed my day for the better, read on…

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Today was going great. In the morning I had a great chat with an old friend I hadn’t seen in ages, and then with wind in my sails, I went off to work. Then, while I was working,disaster struck, and my equipment failed. Did I lose my cool? No. Experience has taught me not to do so. But I was frustrated, too frustrated. Maybe that’s a fault I need to work on, but this was the 6th equipment failure I encountered in the last 5 months, so perhaps I was entitled to a little frustration. But I did one thing I always do when I get flustered, I took a break and headed rather than sit there and simmer. Did I give up too soon? Maybe. My co-workers thought so. But I’d like to think that when I get angry it’s best to just walk away from something,instead of risking making a mistake while in the heat of a bad moment.

What I’m saying is, there’s no shame in being angry. But if you must get angry, make sure you don’t make a rash decision. Cut your losses, and move on. Tomorrow I’ll have extra work to do, but I’m ready for it.

And how did I turn my anger into something positive? I came home and wrote this blog post, which I hope will help whoever reads it.

Thanks for your time,

T.A. Uner

How worrying only hurts the worrier

Worry. Like doubt its an ugly five letter word that personfies negativity.

Why do people worry? Well, usually for those they love, people they think about. But even though their heart is in the right place its a self-defeating way to live.

Why? Glad you asked. I can answer that.

Worry is simply energy channeled into something negative. Now, why would you want to put yourself through that torture? Would you stick needles into your arms? No. Of course not. Why? Because it would not be prudent and it would hurt you. Worry is the same thing. Its fear manifested from our mind.

You can turn that around and make it work for you in a better way.

How? Keep reading amigo.

Do yourself a favor. Turn that worry into something positive. Something constructive. Go walk your dog. Take out the trash. Volunteer your time to help others. Turn any fear you may have into positive energy. Trust me it will come back in spades and make you feel great inside and out. Your life will change and you will begin ascending to another level.

Do I worry if my book will sell? Nope. Because I’m already happy knowing that I got published. Of course I’d like to make some money but I dont let worry take up residence in my mind. Besides, I’m too busy writing these articles for you guys. Because I LOVE doing it. Thats my payment. That’s the best payment there is. So why should I worry? That would affect the quality of my work.

Its habit really. Once you get on a roll with keeping yourself busy doing positive things and thinking fun thoughts, worrying will be a thing of the past.

So do yourself a favor. Kick worry in the ass.

You’ll be glad you did.

Your friend, and Blogging buddy,

T.A. Uner