How to make your dream a reality

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Dreams. We all have them. Some are big, some are realistic while others require years to bring to fruition. During these uncertain times in the grip of the coronavirus pandemic maybe some of us have put our dreams on hold. Others, despite obstacles, persevere by taking small steps towards their eventual goal.

And that’s the key word. Small. To make your dream(s) come true you need to look at the big picture piecemeal. Nothing momentous happens overnight, and anyone who thinks it does is only setting themselves up for a major letdown.

Right now I’ve been putting my fiction on hold. Why? Because I’ve invested my resources into gaining new skills which can help me find a better job and to a lesser extent, improve my fiction.

And by relegating my fiction I’m not postponing it, I’m only investing in a prerequisite step that will eventually get me to where I want to go. Until fiction pays the bills for any writer, they must find sustenance in the dreaded “day job.”

So what small steps are you taking to make your dream(s) a reality. Please feel free to post your comments.

Until next time.

Making life changes work for you

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It’s been a busy few months for me. With the Pandemic and Social Unrest in the background. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve gone this long without writing a blog post. Almost 3 months to be exact. Geez. Where do I start? Ohh, now I remember. Please read on…

I decided to focus on enriching myself and I left my job to go back to Graduate school to earn a certificate. Where does this leave my writing? Good question. I was working on the 2nd edition of The Leopard Apocalypse, the 3rd novel in my flagship Leopard King Saga series, and on the side I was writing the 4th book in the series, The Leopard Resurrection while starting on another YA project called The Cardinal Rule.

Sadly that’s all been put on hold. Graduate school demands time and financial investment. And getting the most out of my money is paramount in order to land an even better job.

So I wanted to discuss life changes with you, and steps you should take in the event an unexpected situation finds you.

1) Save money:
yes, it’s cliche but saving the majority of your paycheck, while being restrictive, it can help pay for unexpected surprises.

2)Have a support network: make sure to share the news with loved ones and trusted friends. Feeding off the positive energy from others boosts confidence and gives you forward momentum.

3)Stay positive: Can’t stress this one enough. You’ll find yourself stretched thin when something unexpected comes along that forces you miles out of your daily routine. But just remember, everything has a purpose and embrace the chaos by thinking on the bright side.

Anyways, that’s it for now. I look forward to posting another helpful blog post, and promise not to take this long between intervals. Stay safe everyone!

How to make time work for you

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As a professional writer I have many balancing acts to maintain in my daily life. There is my day writing job life which I get paid to write and edit and then there is my hobby writing (novelist)life.

For you it might be the same, or most likely not. But we all can agree that with competing priorities, stress has a way of creeping up on us and threatening to derail our mental focus.

The best way around this of course is mindfulness, the art of focusing on your current priority without dwelling on the past for worrying about the future. For example, if you’ve got that novel/project that’s itching to get out you don’t want to work on it during your day job. For starters, it’s unethical and also your company is not paying you to do your hobby on their time. So to create enough time to write, or whatever form of art you’re into, might I suggest the following things:

1) Create a schedule for personal project(s) that revolves around your daily work schedule.

2)Ask around. Twitter and other forms of social media are great places to connect with others who share your passions. Tweet a question, and some of your followers are bound to respond.

3)Don’t get stressed if you can’t find time to create. Instead work around it by seeing when you can create time for your personal projects.

These are just suggestions. Use them as a framework to find what works best for you. I wish you all the best.

T.A. Uner

Finding a job that defines you.

It’s a tough one. Some of us love our jobs while others are just using them to get that all-important paycheck. So what’s a professional to do?

I’ll admit it, I’m lucky. I work for a company that values my writing and editing skills, I use it to motivate me when I come home to write/edit my fiction.

But what about those folks who don’t have a job they love?

Fortunately, there’s an answer. And it’s so easy, anyone can do it!

Work for it. Wherever you are in life, find a way to transition yourself from where you are to where you want to be. Take classes, get certifications. It’s time-consuming and hard work but whoever said this would be easy.  In this world of instant gratifications that’s a tall order for some, but not if you really want it.

When you go after something worthwhile, the challenges are going to pop up whether you like it or not. If they don’t, then you’re not trying hard enough.

I flunked out on my initial Business Writing test. Yes. But I took it again and guess what? I passed with a B.

So listen to your heart. What kind of job out there will make you happy? Knowing what you want is the first step to getting it. It’s cliche but so very true.

Then ask yourself if you’re willing to put up with the struggle to get it. If the answer is yes, then you’re on your way to a new future.

Why artists should get out more.

As a writer I know the stereotypes that come with the territory. That writers need to be holed up in some dark room writing until our brains fall out of our heads.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Honestly, if you’re a writer or any other type of artist churning out work for fun or profit, getting out of your comfort zone is the only way to go.

Easier said than done right? True, but let’s take baby steps folks. Finding a job that supports you that you love is the first thing. If the company you work for fosters social events then attend and find others that share your hobbies. Or join a meetup group and find folks there.

Being isolated may lead to more writing time, but not always the best quality writing. The best writing comes from interacting with the world itself, and imbuing your writing with the human condition.

And if you’re able to make a few extra friends and hobbies along the way, more power to you!

The value of mentoring.

I’ll admit. I went throughout my writing career for years without a guide or mentor. Then through many personal errors, I learned the best way to gain a mentor was to show interest in other people’s work. The trick is not a superficial interest just to gleam information from someone more successful, but to LEARN.

As a writer, one can be considered an artist, so it’s important to find other artists, usually those who’ve been able to elevate their craft. This way you can learn from them and they can point out your mistakes. Last week I had the opportunity to visit a successful author and his wife. Just interacting with them was valuable in itself. They took time out of their schedule to help me see my mistakes so that I can elevate my craft. Not because my writing wasn’t good, but because it has the potential to be much better.

It’s also good to help others who aren’t as developed as you. You might ask why. Well it’s because you get the opportunity to teach them and help them learn from your mistakes. So it win-win for everyone, and you can’t beat that.

 

What influences you?

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As a writer I get asked this question a lot: “What influences you?” Well many things actually: family, upbringing, favorite shows, etc.

In my experiences, most of the writers I know were influenced the most during their childhood. These experiences, combined with other occurrences along the way helped shape their writing skills.

I would say whatever influences you to write, allows you to bring forth your best writing, since it comes from your true self. For example if you’re sarcastic, comedy might be your thing, or if you were exposed to reading Sci-Fi and Fantasy, you’d write within this genre. Exceptions due occur, and by no means is my statement set in stone.

So what is your passion? And what has influenced you the most in your life?

Making the most of Winter Writing.

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With some of us living in cold climes, winter can really get us down. I’ve already been hit with half a foot of snow, with more on the way. In the past this would be a one-way ticket to depressive thoughts of cabin fever. But as a writer it’s important to see the benefits of inclement weather.

For example, for years I let the weather, an external force, influence my inner-self. The best part of myself where authentic writing comes from. As years went by, and I slowly matured, I began to think less of the external conditions, and focus more on what my imagination had to offer.

This same approach works best with everything else in life, not just your writing. Because if you’ve already got yourself down from something that has nothing to do with who you really are, you’re already setting yourself up for failure.

Enjoy the rest of your January, and use inclement weather time to crank out your best work!

What made 2018 great for you?

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As we inch closer towards the end of another year, I can’t help but think of all the positive changes I made to improve myself. This was a year of transitions for me. When I finally took the big step to change the industry I worked in for my day job, and switch to a field I loved. If you guessed writing, then you’re correct.

I also was able to get a lot done for my upcoming novel The Leopard Apocalypse, and while there were some minor setbacks that delayed the publication of the book, I still hope to release it sometime next year, which, last I checked, will be here in less than two weeks.

So what did you accomplish in 2018 that you’re especially proud of? Did you make some personal changes to your life? Complete a big project that you’ve been working on? No accomplish is too small to mention. So long as if pushes you towards becoming a better person. And that to me is what being human is all about, being better than you once were.

As always, I welcome comments on my blog posts. Enjoy the rest of 2018. And work towards accomplishing more in 2019.

Using the holidays to improve yourself

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Happy Holidays! Those two words are even more powerful than you think. Most associate it with fussy shopping and unwanted stress in meeting those pesky relatives you’d rather not see, but the holidays can be so much more than that.
Really!

If you’re stressed out in your work life, or just at life in general, the holidays can be an excellent outlet. How? By realizing that life is full of letdowns and that stressing about it only makes it worse.

This attitude can help you rediscover your love affair with that dreaded word. Work. That’s right. Are you in an occupation you love? Great! If not, now may be the time to make that change.

The Holidays are a perfect time to use what spare moments you have to work on hobbies and special projects. These tend to give us that extra lift in life. Instead of worrying about what gift you need to get for Aunt Betsy or Cousin Ralphie, you can channel your attention into a hobby you’ve been neglecting.

For me it’s writing. For you it could be rock-climbing or volunteering to help those in need. These types of activities can also translate into win-win scenarios into your professional lives, as it adds richness to your life. It may be cliche, but helping others always translates into positive results for yourself.

So when you find yourself with some extra time during the Holidays, and need to recharge yourself, engage yourself in your hobby or giving back to society, and watch your confidence soar!