Self-Improvement

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.

Writing Advice

The Road of life

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As many of you know I recently signed a 2-book deal with Kensington Gore, a publisher in the UK. But what was my writing life like before that? How did I arrive there?

Well it started back in 5th grade. 1985 was the year. It began with a story about a character named Jet-thrust. He was a robot that traveled the universe looking for adventures and fighting all kinds of evil doers. I then added a brother for Jet-thrust, calling him Fighter, and then we had a duo of do-gooders.

Then. For whatever reason. I stopped writing. I went through life without writing another word, that is until 2003 rolled along. I was looking for a hobby that would take up a lot of time and was relatively inexpensive. At first I didn’t know what to write about so I wrote a bunch of novels as a learning experience. None of those got published. But I learned a lot about myself and my writing. I read more books, and read books about writing. Then I wrote some more.

Finally I decided to self-publish. That was in 2013. I learned the value of having a good cover, and hiring a good editor. And I always made sure that each book was the best I could make it. Editing was a thankless job so I settled on a great editor named Amanda Horan. Later she recommended my writing to a publisher in UK called Kensington Gore. After waiting a few months they decided to acquire the publishing rights to two of my books.

So that’s been the road map to my writing life. And I’m sure there’s still more to come.

What about you? Think about your life in perspective. Your journey, wherever you are right now. Where do you want to go? And what great things do you want to achieve?

Self-Improvement

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!

 

Epic Fantasy, Philosophy

The truth about struggling

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I felt this story might serve to inspire some folks out there. Well a few days ago I noticed that a mouse had gotten into my home. Fall is here, so these critters tend to get inside homes now that summer is over.

Well I thought catching a mouse was pretty straightforward. How hard could it be? You set a trap, bait it and voila! Dead mouse. Not quite. Little did I know I was in for a surprise. A big surprise. From something quite small.

I set three traps and was surprised that none of them had caught the mouse. But wait, it gets weirder, the cheese bait had disappeared! The mouse had actually grabbed the bait and made off with the cheese.

I was surprised. Clearly I’d made a mistake.So I re-baited the traps and waited. Nothing. This time all three traps had been stripped of cheese, and still the mouse had evaded capture!

Clearly I was dealing with a craft creature here. But I refused to be bested by a creature who’s brain was smaller than the size of a raisin. I continued my struggle to capture the mouse, but, it kept getting away with the cheese.

Knowing I had to change my tactics, I went to purchase a glue trap. And finally, after three days of struggling to capture my quarry, low and behold the glue traps had captured not one, but two mice.

I’d be surprised if there isn’t a lesson in all of this. Clearly my struggle to catch these critters was an example of life. We struggle and we struggle, and even when victory is expected, it’s seldom delivered as we like it. But yet, if we persevere, we may yet end up with a favorable outcome. I was overjoyed to see my efforts in catching an additional mouse. I hadn’t climbed Mount Everest, but still, I found myself grateful for the struggle.

Writing Advice

What does patience and writing have in common?

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The majority of writers today do not make enough to support themselves. Yes. You read correctly. Sorry if I popped your unrealistic bubble that was based on a get-rich-quick scheme where writing is concerned.

Writing is an art. And you really should keep the unrealistic fantasy at an arms length so it doesn’t affect your ability to create the best possible book or short story.

Many newbies think that one book will propel them to fame and fortune. Look, if you’re doing this for those reasons, then I really doubt your overall dedication. This is something you do for love. Yes, there are hacks out there trying to chase the market, but why aspire to be like them.

Be like you!

Patience comes into play. Don’t plan on making it with one or two books. Have a long-term game plan where your writing is concerned. Network with successful writers or learn what you can to make yourself a more well-rounded person that is built for success over a long period.

Ok. Lecture over. Now go out there and start building a strong foundation that will set you up for long-term success. And remember, patience should be your watchword.