Inspiration & motivation
First, let me say:
There is no simple ‘recipe’ for success.
Many people ask me, what does it take to publish a book? While I certainly don’t know all the answers, I’ve been at this for many years. And what I’ve learned can be summed up in 5 major points:
- You Need a Fantastic Idea!
If you want attention from not only your readers but also the literary community, the first thing you need is a tremendous idea. But BEFORE you actually write the book, you need to research other books out there that may be similar. I’ve had several ideas I was convinced were potential best-sellers, but then, oh no, I found an almost identical book already on the market. Ideas are funny that way. Sometimes they float in the air and are public property.
Ok, so you’ve got this amazingly awesome idea. And, nobody has written anything similar. You’re off to a promising start! But a great idea is just that: a great idea. To make it come alive in a book in just the right way takes talent and a lot of practice. Your idea needs engaging characters. It needs a setting, and an ending but most of all, it needs conflict, plot and the right pacing. Once you hammer out the first draft, get back to the drawing board as many times as it takes to edit it thoroughly. Get critique partners. Be ruthless.
- Do Your Research!
It’s hard enough to achieve numbers 1 and 2 successfully. But if you do, the nest step is to do the proper research. Don’t just send it off to a batch of 50 random publishers. Many might not even accept that specific genre, or may not match with your writing style. It’s critical that you research the publishers that interest you to find the right matches. So when you do send your queries, it’s to editors who might actually have an interest in your work. Be smart about this step. And yes, this takes A LOT of time. There are no short-cuts. Don’t forget to keep immaculate records for future use. Read the rest of this entry »
Between work, family time and household duties, we may feel a pressure to “get it all done.” And in our rush to get it all done, we may forget about one important thing: time for ourselves! Self-care is a lot more that just eating well and exercising, it’s a more holistic approach of nourishing the soul.
You might wonder, okay, but how do I nourish the soul? The first essential ingredient is self-love, and that translates into a slew of things you can do to take care of your body, mind, heart and soul. In an effort to do a better job at nourishing myself, I came up with the top 33 tips, below.
- Practice gratitude (try saying or writing things you’re grateful for each day)
- Stop comparing yourself to others
- Learn how to forgive (including yourself)
- Listen to your intuition, and cultivate your relationship to it
- Respect yourself, and demand respect from others
- Be open to receiving and giving love every day, in various forms
- Eat a balanced diet with whole, fresh foods and drink a lot of water (about 8–ounce glasses per day)
- Learn how to say NO and still feel like a good person
- Don’t dwell on anything, let it all go
- Breathe (sounds obvious, but practicing conscious deep breathing makes a difference)
- Slow down (and literally smell the roses)
- TRUST yourself, and trust life
- Meditate (if this sounds impossible, just start with 5 minutes)
- Connect with friends and talk it out
- Be gentle with yourself (and say adios to that negative voice inside you)
- Write! Keep a journal and find ways to express yourself
- Read! Get some tea going and snuggle up with some good books
- Go for frequent walks in nature
- Allow yourself to be vulnerable and feel what you need to feel
- Snuggle with or hug someone
- Keep moving– take a yoga class, or chi-gong, or dance, aerobics, you get the idea!
- Volunteer in a worthwhile organisation
- Set clear boundaries with others
- Stop apologizing or feeling guilty
- Book yourself a massage
- Visit a doctor regularly
- Put your ego aside and ask for help when you need it
- Get enough sleep (everybody’s different, but you should feel well rested)
- Share what you have with others
- Save up money and buy yourself something you’ve always wanted
- Set some time aside for yourself every single day, create your own ritual
- Practice moderation, don’t abuse any intoxicants
- Find a hobby you feel passionate about