Friday, March 02, 2007


Busy day, but so good.

Spent some time with a writer friend at one of our town's 17 Starbucks. We talked writing and marketing and mindset. She gave me great ideas; I gave her great ideas. It was really encouraging. I should do more of that! Hey!

Not much this weekend (dying to drive down the freeway to see my new niece, but I should stay home for three weeks in a row):

revisions on my kid's book due Monday
finish latest marketing article
work on pitches for regional lifestyle and women's mags (just got a great list of these)
write an essay each day
work on my catalog copy assignment (so much fun!)

And that is all. Happy Friday, everyone!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Happy March!

Spring is around the corner!

I'm so ready! Yesterday finished up a kid's book draft to send to the publisher, shipped a short monograph back to the publisher, and started writing another essay. This essay thing is really fun. I've done it for years without really knowing it. I've always written in journals and have notebooks full of jottings and thoughts. That's essay writing! Yippee!

New client opp emailed to me today and I'm psyched. Must keep at the to-do list for this week/weekend, so I'm getting ahead, not farther behind.

Working on AM and Everywhen and the non-fiction book. If you have not picked up Eric Maisel's book proposal book, well, you're just missing out, folks.

Reading Michael Port's Book Yourself Solid. Excellent book, his first chapter is exactly what I covered in this blog yesterday. I'll have some more thoughts on clients and branding tomorrow.

Keep writing!

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Trust Your Gut

If you're about to take on a writing or editing assignment today, and something about that person just gives you a bad vibe, skip it. You must pick your clients just as they pick you.

So a client gives me a bad review and says "no, we're not a good fit." I am relieved, but ticked, because I was giving that client three strikes. She definitely struck out the first time and looking back I knew she would from the first time we spoke on the phone. How?

She's negative about freelancers in general. Usually, that's the first clue. Second, she thinks she's a good client (and makes up all these requirements for her projects that make me laugh to myself "I think we've got a loser"), and third, she's completely unstable emotionally. I end up being her therapist on the phone when we're supposed to be talking about work. I end up bailing her out of her own messes and I bear the brunt of her blame game when she screws up royally and wants to save face.

So good riddance, weirdo client woman. This post to you is the equivalent of a "you're fired" letter.

I feel great. Free at last! Now to get paid from this client's client. Thank goodness, she doesn't have accounting privileges. Gah!

Tired today.

It must be Wednesday. Happy hump day! I can tell I worked too hard and long yesterday, but I'll get cooking here.

I'd like to talk about rejection. It's the name of the game in this business. You'll get it 70% of the time (most people would say more). From tire kickers if you offer creative services, to no thanks from publishers, to your own brain refusing to do what is obviously a good move in the right direction (but that's for another post).

Rejection is not about you. The situation just doesn't fit is all. For instance, I hand sold my first book proposal to a large publisher back in the 1990s at age 23. I wrote up a proposal, walked it to the editor, sat down in her office (at her invitation), and told her why she should publish it. And she said, "yeah, I think this is good. I'd like to present this to the editorial board."

Fast forward a few months and the editorial board (after haggling and more discussion) turned it down. The editor was crushed. I was crushed. Rejection. Suddenly, the feeling that "I'm not good enough" reared its ugly head.

Fast forward to a few months later and one of their star authors writes a book on my same subject, the house publishes it, and the book flops, I mean, flops. At the time, I was just mad, then became disinterested, and finally moved on.

Now that I think back on it, I really don't want that publisher near any of my future books or near me for that matter. I had the original idea (and true, ideas aren't copyrightable, but still! A bit too close for coincidence, if you ask me) and it was a good idea! But this publisher couldn't make it fly, and neither could their star author. I think that if I'd done the book, with my enthusiasm and passion for the project, it would have done better and yes, I tried to sell it elsewhere and I still may sell it elsewhere in the future, but the point is that rejection was part of the learning process and the growing process.

That long story aside, it seems narcissistic to continue to send out our work just to be rejected, but that's how we learn what we want and what we are capable of. If I had taken that one rejection too much to heart, I never would have written nine other books, and whipped up a new book proposal, which did get agent attention and still has agent attention. And I wouldn't even be trying to write more book proposals or asking people to co-author even other book ideas in order to self-pub. Sometimes the yucky stuff pushes you into something better.

Think about it. How are you handling rejection? Are you letting it stop you or push you forward?

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Best of Intentions

I sometimes can't get past just having good intentions. Most times, best of intentions are my best fricking attribute! The lists, the goals, the breakdown of next actions (thanks, David Allen of Getting Things Done), the Kinkless lists and due dates and project spans. Yup, my brain implodes.

But yesterday, although being Monday should have sunk it right there, was a great day. I started the week off right, but dealing with the most important issues FIRST. What a lightbulb moment. I do that often, but yesterday it seemed to manifest into good vibes all day long. Plus, I was praying, praying, praying for my husband and some big things he has coming down at work right now. (Yes, I believe in God.) There's nothing like best intentions actually creating best results. It really fires you up.

Writing on American Masquerade continues; going very well. Everywhen is formulating nicely as well, but the new idea, Newsgirl, is just really gripping me. I dreamed about my heroine last night and well, she may be taking over Everywhen's spot in the line-up, so we may do some switcharoo.

Am hard at work on nf proposals. Chunking takes a lot of energy, but I have changed up my project and will post a opening chunk of the new version. It's good. Lest anyone think that Al Gore is the only one who cares about the environment; my book comes at it from a spiritual approach. Stay tuned.

Book of the week (I read it in an hour yesterday): The War of Art by Steven Pressfield (the guy who wrote Legend of Bagger Vance). Now that book will change your life. What a great gem. If it doesn't get your fire started on doing something with your life, I don't know what will.

Keep writing!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Technorati post

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Chunking Progress!

Okay, folks, I worked on my nf book proposal(s) all weekend long. The reason proposal is plural is that there is definitely more than one book in all this information I've amassed on my subject. Coolio!
I used Eric Maisel's book and Susan Rabiner's book and between the two of them, I came up with 25 titles, 25 subtitles, five alternate versions of this book, four more alternate versions (from most secular to existential) for this book (thus the realization that I have more books in this than just the initial idea), plus am preparing to pitch articles on the topics to magazines to build my platform before I even pitch the book to agents.

It was a great weekend. I'm still really pumped.

This week is looking good for my schedule.

I have to finish a princess book manuscript (very short for a Canadian publisher)
I have a few editorial tests to finish
I have an association article to finish (waiting to here if there's room in the March/April issue)
I have more work on the book proposals
I also have to start pitching the topic around
I also have a to-do list on my current novel WIP (American Masquerade)
Another series idea hit me square in the forehead last night; I'm super excited.

Here we go! Happy Monday!