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Archive for the ‘success’ Category

woman screamingNothing – and I mean NOTHING – makes me more crazy frustrated than computer problems. I HATE computers. No, strike that, I hate computers when they don’t work. I’m not computer literate. I can accomplish wonderful things with the limited amount of knowledge I possess. But, when things go wrong, I am totally lost and immediately frustrated. And that’s putting it mildly. Very mildly. Very, very mildly. (more…)

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beach-writer

Lots of people think authors live a glamorous life; sitting in a beach chair, toes in the sand, large floppy hat, cool beverage with little umbrella in the glass with a laptop or tablet on their lap, just tap, tap, tapping away on the keys until – BAM – 90,000 words later, a best-selling masterpiece appears. The next day someone slaps a gorgeous glossy cover on it and plasters it all over the Barnes & Noble front window.

bookstore-window

Then, after several hours of tap, tap, tapping, said author dons oversized dark glasses and some sparkly flip flop sandals, gets into their luxury sports car and dashes off to some posh restaurant for lunch with their editor, agent, and some movie producer from Hollywood to discuss the details of turning your latest masterpiece into a Hollywood blockbuster.

power-lunch

Spoiler alert – that NEVER happens. Oh sure, JK Rowling probably does that NOW, but not when she first started. Steven King is a household name and James Patterson’s name gets tossed around a lot on movie sets and such, but seriously, that didn’t happen overnight.

So, how did it happen? I’ll tell you – I have no idea. Believe me, I wish I did. I wish I knew what secret, besides hard work and perseverance would shoot me straight up that ladder to the beach chair in the sun because God knows I would love love to dig my toesies into some white sand right about now. Not to mention that little umbrella drink.

Here’s what I do know, those people spent many, many long days and sleepless nights fussing over the right words, the parts they deleted and maybe shouldn’t have, the opening scenes that should work but for some reason don’t, a reviewers harsh comment, hours of endless re-writing.

working-woman

In other words, they worked hard and they didn’t quit. They didn’t let disappointment ruin their vision.

And, despite how it seems to authors most days, they didn’t reach a certain level of fame alone. What? You’re saying others helped along the way? Absolutely. A lot of people probably helped and didn’t even know they helped. Strangers can help strangers. Readers can help writers. Here’s how:

helping-hand

Buy books, read books, talk about awesome books.

A great way to take it up a notch, is to leave a review. It’s easy, it’s free, it doesn’t take that long, and it goes a long way in helping authors’ careers. Here’s a few places where you can leave a review: https://www.goodreads.com/https://www.amazon.com/; or http://allreaders.com/.

Go to book signings if you can and BUY THE BOOK, even if you gift it to someone else.

Spread the word on social media. A “like,” a “share,” a comment, helps boost that author’s visibility. It seems trivial, but like election time, every vote matters. (Please don’t make this political people. God knows we don’t want to go there again.)

book-with-bowGift a book. A great way to help authors is to buy books for someone else. Especially in this day and age of electronic gadgets, almost everyone has an e-reader of some fashion. If not, you can download a free app to most smart phones. Heck, you can read books on your home computer. What better gift for a person who has everything or no longer wishes to “collect things?” Again, it’s easy and relatively inexpensive. Some e-books are less than a dollar. Gifting an e-book is super easy through Amazon or other on-line e-book retailers. All you need is the recipient’s e-mail address. What a lovely surprise for the recipient to open their e-mail and discover a gift! And it won’t clutter up a closet or shelf.

 

comment-boxHere’s how I’m going to help some authors this week: Every person who posts a comment on this blog between now and Friday, February 24th, will be gifted an e-book of my choice. Simply leave a comment and mention your favorite genre so I can choose an appropriate book for you from one of my favorite starving authors. Some of you I can wager a pretty good guess about genre, but others not so much. If I don’t already have your e-mail address, send me an e-mail at jansen.schmidt@yahoo.com so I can make sure your e-book arrives. (Caveat: I will only be gifting from Amazon so you’ll have to have a Kindle in order to participate. Sorry to those who prefer other e-reader methods.)

You in turn can help the author of the book I gifted to you by posting a review and I strongly encourage you to do so. I’m acting on good faith here that you will leave a review. If you do not wish to write a review and post it on any or all of the sites I listed above, please let me know if the comments. (Caveat: If you absolutely hate the book I gift you, please do NOT leave a bad review. An honest review yes, but not a scathing one.) Remember, the purpose of this week’s blog is to help each other out. I’m helping readers, you’re helping writers.

trust-quote

That’s it. Easy peasy. You can pass the word to your friends if they want a free book all they have to do is leave a comment and their e-mail address. I’ll do the rest.

So, thanks in advance to all who post a comment and enjoy your books!

How do you help starving authors? Do you routinely leave reviews? Do you attend book signings? Do you have an e-reader?

Word of Day: Acroter

Fun fact about me: I have 3 e-readers but I prefer paper books.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, February 2017. Photos courtesy Google Images.

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woman-riding-bikeHow often have you heard the expression: It’s just like riding a bike? Something you used to do – and overall, do well – then you stop doing it, then you do it again. The concept is that you can just pick up right where you left off and still know how to do it. Like riding a bike. Right? Wrong. (more…)

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jan-calendar

It’s almost January – let the dieting, working out, eating healthier, spending less, drinking less, and other awesome goals begin! Here’s to a good two weeks of purging the old habits and staying focused on those resolutions. Mark my words, by the end of January there will be a noticeable decline in gym attendance and longer lines at the burger joint drive through windows.

Resolutions are wonderful; however, rarely attainable. Most people make the same resolutions every year or set such high estimations of their sticktuitiveness that they are setting themselves up to fail.

resolutions-list

I’ve never been a fan of resolutions. I have goals, sure, long term things I’d like to do or accomplish. But I don’t set out to start something new every January simply because it’s a new year. I always make it my resolution to make no resolutions. And guess what? I always reach my goal.

However, this year, I’m changing things up. I’m going to make some resolutions. I’m going to do some wild and crazy things this year. I’m not sure when, or where, or how, but I’ll blog of them when they happen. Stay tuned.

wild-thing

If you’re a resolution maker – kudos to you and good luck. If you need some ideas for some simple, attainable resolutions, may I suggest a new hobby? Check out the video below for an idea that might work for you.

Happy end of December dear blog followers! Here’s hoping 2017 is fabulous. And here’s to making goals you can stick to.

Do you make resolutions? Do you start every new year on a diet, determined to do better than last year? Are you searching for your inner wild child?

Word of the day: Saxicolous

Fun fact about me: I’ve grown fond of pecans since living in Mississippi.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, December 2016. Video courtesy YouTube (Studio C)

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We’ve all seen commercials and magazine ads with beautiful famous people using their charms, good looks and famousness, to help sell products. I ask you dear readers, does this strategy really work?

neutragena-ad

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It is with heavy heart that I write this post. Not because of the election results. I’m not overjoyed (I remain hopeful), but neither do I feel the need to slit my wrists. I am saddened because of the ugliness that followed the results. Come on, America – knock it off already. (more…)

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Improvisation: noun: the art or act of improvising, or of composing, uttering, executing, or arranging anything without previous preparation. (Musical improvisation involves imagination and creativity.)

dinner-plate
So, we got through our very first Detective’s Comedy Mystery Dinner event a couple of weeks ago and let’s just say, it wasn’t without a good bit of improvisation. And, I’m not talking about just the actors either; I’m talking about the whole event.

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I know, I know, being your own cheerleader is hard. That’s why we have friends and support groups and such. But, sometimes, only YOU can talk yourself off the ledge.

swear-wordsLast week I ventured down a path I rarely travel and there’s a reason for that; it’s the road of disappointment and discouragement. Usually I keep the gate shut on that life exit, but sometimes the wind blows it open and that little bastard demon living inside me wants to go exploring. Damn that little demon! (more…)

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I need a lesson in Facebook etiquette.

FB rules

I mean, think about it, anybody can join Facebook but when you sign up you aren’t handed a list of rules or an instruction manual or anything. So how does one know, besides the obvious common sense stuff like pornography, copyright infringement, bullying, etc., what is appropriate FB behavior and what is not?  People post whatever the hell they want whether others wish to see it or not; freedom of speech and press and whatnot. I know you can unfriend and unlike and hide posts and all, but once you’ve seen the post, you can’t unsee it. But that’s not what I’m talking about.

Let me explain.

rules

Recently I decided that I haven’t been giving my FB author page enough love, so I decided to spend a little more time over there. I try to be upbeat and positive and not offend anyone when I post on that particular page. Nothing religious, political, offensive, snarky – well maybe snarky – but you get it. Anyway, I decided to reach out to some of my FB “friends” who haven’t yet “liked” my author page. So, I sent out invitations to “like” my page. That’s appropriate right? There were a lot of names on my “friends” list to invite; some of them, honestly, I didn’t even recognize. I guess at some point those folks requested to be my friend and I accepted.

Anyhoo, most people either ignored the invite, didn’t see the invite, or “liked” my page. Good right? Well, apparently not for everyone. Here’s one of the responses I got back: “Please don’t invite me to like your page when you haven’t been to mine.

Excuse me?

woman shocked

First of all, I’ve never even heard of this person, other than their name appearing on my “friends” list. I’ve never seen any posts on any social media platform from this person. I guess at some point, SHE must have come across me and requested that I be her friend, because I never send “friend” requests to people I haven’t seen somewhere else before. NEVER. Assuming she sent the “friend” request (and she did), I must have done some snooping around and deemed her an appropriate “friend”, because she is on my current list of “friends.” I usually only “friend” people I’ve “seen around” in cyber world, met in person, was recommended to find by someone I trust, or owns a reputable business. That’s pretty much it.

Second, why did she make the assumption I “haven’t been to” her page? Maybe I did visit and I chose NOT to “like” it. See, this is where that rule book would come in handy. Am I obligated to “like” a page just because I visited it? What if I truly don’t like her page? What if I don’t like what she posts or what she stands for? Why in God’s name would I “like” that?

Which brings up another point where I must defer to the rule book. Is it a requirement that people reciprocate in kind? I mean, just because someone “likes” my page, does that mean I HAVE to like their page?

egotistical friend meme

Third, why do I have to “like” her page FIRST? I mean, can’t she “like” me and then I “like” her back? I guess if the world really does revolve around her, that logic would make sense, but seriously? Someone has to be the first to “like” right? And, let me restate that SHE originally sought me out, not the other way around. Shouldn’t she, in theory, “like” me first?

Fourth, did she ever invite me to “like” her page? I’m pretty sure if she had, I would have hit the “like” button, after all, I did choose to “friend” her. Why would I “friend” her but not “like” her? Seriously, who “friends” someone they don’t like?

Fifth, which ties in to number four above, perhaps I didn’t even know she had a page. Why not “like” me FIRST then encourage me to “like” her page in return. I’m pretty certain, I’d have hit that “like” button. See how simple that would have been? Now, after her in-your-face, egotistic, narcissistic (is that the same thing?) comment, I’m not so inclined to “like” anything about her or her page. Just saying.

ego meme

It’s all so terribly confusing sometimes. What’s your opinion of the whole “friending,” “liking” business on Facebook? Has it ever confused you? How do you decide when to hit the button and become friends with a complete stranger? Do you accept invitations to “like” pages? Do you have “friends” but choose not to “like” their pages?

Word of the Day: Chiropodist

Fun Fact about Me: I gained a whole bunch of new “likes” on my FB author page in the past couple of days. Yay! (That’s good right?)

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, September 2016. Images courtesy Google Images.

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start

As a writer, it’s important to know where to start your story. “You start at the beginning,” is the obvious answer, but as all writers know, it’s not that simple. You see, stories always “start” way before the real story starts. Characters have lives before you meet them on the page. (more…)

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