Hello, dear readers, and welcome!
So, yes, I am coming to you a day late, technically. The funny thing is, I completely and utterly forgot about my publishing anniversary -- well, more like I forgot it was the 12th yesterday. Hurricane Matthew just blew threw, and everything is off, including my calendar.
Plenty of damage was sustained here in Florida, and my power still isn't on properly, but we are all alive and well, and there was no damage to my personal home. If anything, a storm really puts things into perspective.
So, I've decided: perspective is what this blog post is all about! Somewhat.
It's strange to think that I've been publishing for 6 years now. Wow! Thank you so much to my lovely readers and supporters for following me on my crazy journey. It's been a wonderful thing.
Below I'm going to gift to you the 6 biggest things I've learned (moreover, been reminded) this year. And, as I recently received an idea for a Sherlock Holmes story (which I'm so excited about I can hardly breathe), let's have fun and make this post a bit Sherlock themed!
I'll also be posting a new "year" drawing soon, so please stop back by and look for that -- and more Inktober drawings! Also, check back next week for the release of the new Snowflake Triplet story, The Tale of Wind and Winter, and a blog post about preparing for NaNoWriMo 2016!
Tip #6: Don't Ignore The Past
I don't know why, but when you become an adult, you are faced with this unspoken truth that you must leave the things of the past behind in order to look to the future.
I'm here to say: that's ridiculous.
Your past is part of who you are, especially as a writer. Those earlier stories may have been terrible in some places (and where on Earth did you get that dialogue from?), but they're part of what carried you to where you are now.
Don't forsake and don't forget what's brought you forward in your journey. It's part of your personal story and history.
Tip #5: Make Your Decisions
This one has been very important for me this year.
Be decisive. Be dedicated. Be willing to be your own boss, and to break your own rules (and others). But most of all, be diligent.
No one is going to do your work for you, so you need to make the decision to get it done, and stick to that decision. Like glue. This is especially important when it comes to deadlines and finishing drafts.
Tip #4: Don't Be Afraid To Quit
Here's a not-so-secret secret: sometimes things don't work out. I spoke about this a little bit in this blog post.
There's a difference between giving up and quitting. I believe that giving up means that you didn't try hard enough, and that you didn't calculate how well something is and isn't working.
In quitting, you do calculate. You examine whether or not something is working to your advantage -- whether you're good at it or not, whether you're getting enjoyment out of it or just doing it because, what kind of response it is generating. Then you work with the information, and decide whether or not this thing is worth pursuing.
Sometimes you have to let go of things to move onto something better. Quit, but don't give up.
Tip #3: Everything Comes Full Circle
Remember tip #6? This directly connects to that.
Sometimes, in order to become who you are meant to be, you have to get in touch with who you used to be.
Don't forget your childhood dreams. Don't automatically push your ideas aside because they "don't make sense" or are "too silly". Remember how fun writing used to be when you weren't worried about sales and marketing and genre and audience and all of those things?
Sometimes in order to move forward, you must look at things through the eyes of your childhood self.
Tip #2: Believe In Your Imagination
While you're looking at things through your childhood eyes, remember that thing called imagination.
Adults don't usually like the idea of imagination, for some reason -- or we aren't supposed to. I've no real idea why.
Your imagination is not only your biggest asset as a writer, but it's also a big part of your core being.
When you have wacky and weird ideas, believe in them; don't automatically push them aside. Make it a habit. It will make your stories richer, and will make your creative side happier.
Take Lewis Carroll's advice and "believe in six impossible things before breakfast".
Tip #1: Play To Your Strengths
This goes right along with being willing (and unafraid) to quit when you need to.
We are all good at something -- plenty of things. But there are, conversely, plenty of things that we are not quite as good at. So why, unless you are trying to improve your skills for something useful, spend your time on the things you are not suited towards?
Find out what you're good at. Find out what you're less good at. Find out if what you're less good at is important, and work to improve it -- and if it's not important, don't worry about it.
The world wants you to use your strengths, because this is how you will bring the best stories to life. So, use them.
And now, my recent favorite song. I absolutely love AmaLee's anime rehashes, and this is one of my 1's. I don't own the video, naturally. If you like it, grab a copy of the song from iTunes.