I’ve learned skill I never imagined I’d be learning. Plus, I work at learning new things all the time. I think it’s important to always be improving yourself.
Okay, the “advice gurus” these days are always touting how “entrepreneurs or people wish to be leaders” should specialize and niche down — hand off the things that they are not good at.
While this is fine most of the time, what about when you are raising a family with no outside help? There is no one else I could hand things off too that would just do it for free. What are they going to work for? Exposure? (Okay, that’s a bad artists’ joke — doctors, plumbers, accountants, lawyers, etc. all expect to be paid for the work they do, but when it comes to artists (whether it be writers, photographers, artists, actors, etc) they are often asked to do a job as a “favor” for free because it’ll get them great exposure with all the people at the wedding, event, social gathering, etc. Annoying!)
Yeah, trust me, my plumber doesn’t want to come fix the pipes on my old house for the exposure of having his truck out front, even if I were to pay for supplies myself. (“But other people in my neighborhood might need your help and imagine how much business you could get by having your truck there.” Okay, I actually have a plumber living across the street from me, so in my mind, Loki is really laughing at me right now asking if I want a plumber fight on my hands.) So, I learned to fix things and put in my own elbow grease.
That describes this week. At least partially.
I started off pretty good. Then I read a blog and it’s accompanying comments that irritated me. It was a writer’s blog by someone I respect, and even though my name wasn’t mentioned I felt as if this writer was taking a shot right at me and some of the things I’ve been saying on my blog lately. I felt as if I was being told that I was completely wrong, I’d never make it as a professional writer, and I might as well give up and quit wasting my time.
I really wanted to fire back with venom, but I listened to the wise little voice inside me which said not to, that I shouldn’t take on this battle, especially since who knows what inspired that writer to start taking fire. Did I really want to play Whack-A-Mole? No, best not to pop up my head.
Let’s face it: I’m probably not even a blip on this writer’s radar. Why take it so personally?
But my irritation stayed with me all day. Later that evening, still unable to shake it, I sat down with one of my oracle card decks and asked why I needed to have that experience.
I got two cards. The first said to remember that Love was the best teacher. The second said to view the situation with Love and see what it was trying to teach. So I did just that. I asked myself why I had to get angry over the lesson being spoken in this blog. Why was it hard for me to accept? Did I view it as true but I couldn’t admit it to myself?
I got an interesting answer.
I can’t believe we are here at the end of the month. A third of the year is now done.
Hmm, that brings up an interesting question: why do we divide the year into quarters and not thirds? Maybe this hits me strangely now, because I just did my quarterly business meeting with myself over the weekend. I chided myself, as is best when you are having a meeting with yourself because people look at you strangely when you blur out random admonishments at them (Dude! Really? — seek what I mean), that my meeting was coming awfully late; I’d already lost the first month of the second quarter. I’m already starting off this quarter behind. But, considering that people are so naturally tuned to the number 3, why we don’t have 3 thirds with 4 months in it? As I sit here writing and wondering this, I must wonder if I should move to a setup like this. It would force me to think four to eight months ahead instead of three (or two as usually happens) to six (or five) ahead. You know, I might try that for the rest of this year and next year, just to see if that fits my internal nature better. (No, my dear accountant friends, my bookkeeper side is not having issues with that. I already work monthly and yearly, but quarterly only effects me for payroll reports. I am not bothered one bit by shifting my thinking this way.)
I finished the draft of Onesong. There’s still something nagging me about the last chapter, but I’m trusting the process that I already have something rolling around in my head and I just need it to spring forth. It will. It always does. I’m not forcing it right now. And, some of it may come with where I decide to split the story. It’s right about 140,000 words total after all the extra stuff is chopped off. I haven’t looked to see if some of that fluff really needs to stay in the story. I also have a list of things that I kept thinking needed to happen which I need to sift through and see if it’s really as important as I thought it was when I started the list. (which reminds me, I have another Anne Dillard quote that I found when I was researching my previous blog to make sure her words hadn’t been pulled out of context. It pertains to this list exactly. I must write that next blog.)
Fiction words written last week: 6,362 words
Blogs/Newsletter articles written: 572 words
Writing month to date total: 12,737 words
Writing year to date total: 89,826 words.
Drawing/painting last week: 0 square inches painted.
Illustration year to date total: 131.25 square inches.
Audio: I spent 8 hours on recording and editing audio.
Week’s happenings: I got the 4th book in the Sacred Knight series finished! Prince of the Ruined Land is off to a first reader. I finished drafting (I think — it’s a strange story) a story about a crazy novihomidrak. That makes two characters that haven’t gone through a dragon birthing very well. I sense a theme. I did also finish drafting another story about a new kind of dragon and I’m halfway through another story that is a companion story to that one. It felt like this was a week of finishing things up. I also keep having this idea to rebrand the Sacred Knight series. I was trying to work on cover ideas for Prince of the Ruined Land and then I had a fight with myself (thank you to my children for listening once again while I ranted to them just so I could have a sounding board) about whether to go with photos and rebrand or if I should just paint the covers as I have been. I finally decided I would attempt a rebrand with the ebooks. I’ve already posted the cover to Amazon, so we’ll see what happens. I’ll fix the other distributors later, but I wanted to see if it would have any impact on Amazon now.
Here’s a look at the cover:
I’d love to know what you think about the new cover. If you want to see what the previous cover looked like, you can see it here. I’m not sure this is a final, but I thought it might be a starting place. It’s the cover for To Birth a Destiny which I’m very excited about. That’s the one that made me decide to try a rebrand. In the meanwhile, I’m learning I can do a lot of things with Photoshop. On the other hand, it doesn’t drive me to improve my traditional art skills any. What a conundrum. But, we shall see what happens and maybe I’ll have my answer.
Until next week!