“You Don’t Have To Be Great To Start…”

but you have to start to be great.  ~Zig Ziglar

I like Zig Ziglar. He was an author, a salesman, and a motivational speaker and such an inspiration. I guess you could say, he was a people builder. He says, success comes from hard work, and the work on yourself is first. Don’t just set goals…achieve them. Discover and hone your personal leadership style.

In order to achieve your goals, you must first begin and that isn’t as easy as it sounds. Years ago, I just couldn’t find time to write because life always seemed to get in the way. A good friend of mine, Diane, gave me some good, sound advice. Just start by spending 15 minutes two or three times a week and write. “Do you think you can do that?”

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I said, “Yeah, I think so.”

And I did and it started with a first small step. What I discovered was that those 15 mins turned into 30 minutes, and 30 into an hour, and two or three times a week eventually turned into four or five. I discovered that the more I wrote (because it was my passion) the more I wanted to take the time and succeed.

When you truly discover what it is you really enjoy doing more than anything else–something that if you had to do it for the rest of your life–you’d look forward to each day, and your passion wouldn’t feel like a job and most likely discover what you’ve been put on this Earth to do. When you discover what it is you like doing, then begin with a plan and work toward that goal. And don’t think you have to accomplish everything RIGHT NOW.

“Don’t let the mistakes and disappointments of the past control and direct your future.” — Zig Ziglar

Don’t look back. Keep your eyes on the road and believe that you can do it.

“If you wait until all the lights are “green” before you leave home, you’ll never get started on your trip to the top.” — Zig Ziglar

We can think of a hundred reasons for why we can’t do something because we’re human. But anyone can get past this hump. I use to be a doom and gloomer but it’s miserable down there. It’s not a place where you want to hang out.

“Life is too short to spend your precious time trying to convince a person who wants to live in gloom and doom otherwise. Give lifting that person your best shot, but don’t hang around long enough for his or her bad attitude to pull you down. Instead, surround yourself with optimistic people.” — Zig Ziglar

I began focusing on goals I wanted to achieve and instead of looking back thinking I can’t do it, I started looking forward thinking I can. If we stay focused, we can accomplish great things.

Don’t be like her:accidental-slip-542551_1280

 

 

Be like them:

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“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” — Zig Ziglar

Wanna get encouraged? Go HERE now! It’ll change your life!

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Traditional or Self Publishing…What I Chose

Courtesy of Pixabay

Courtesy: Pixabay

After a long time researching and contemplating between traditional publishing (finding an agent to represent me; sending queries, synopses, the first 10 or 20 pages to an agent, etc.) and self-publishing, I’ve decided to self-publish my middle grade fantasy novel, Secret of the Golden Heart, and I’m totally excited! Self-publishing comes with the freedom that you don’t have with traditional publishing. You’re in total control and that’s why I think self-publishing has become more popular and has grown tremendously in the past eight years.

I began this blog several years ago to route my journey of writing and publishing my first book as well as follow my main character on his journey. Going with the traditional route, you’re kind of limited to how much you can talk about your story in the public arena before publication. That’s why I’ve been hesitant to talk about my book or some of my characters because I never knew how much information I could give away.

It’s been a long journey, lots of ups and downs, discouragements and roadblocks that I’ve had to work through. Not to mention the pesky questions that made a nice, cozy bed for themselves in the corners of your mind: What are you doing? Do you really think you can pull this off? You’ll never finish this book so why not just give up, save yourself the grief, and go on with your merry life? And, I admit, I fell for it sometimes.

So, I put *threw* my writing life into a plastic bin–hundreds of notes and information–and sadly said, “I’m done. Writing fiction is too hard.” I shoved the bin beneath a desk and stared at it for about half an hour. I could finally see the top of my computer desk, note-free, clean and sparkly. Wasn’t that better? I sat . . . staring at the bin . . . thinking about the past several years and hours of hard work I’d put into the book.

I began my new-found freedom as a non-writer . . .

At least for a day or two. I inched myself back to my office and “piddled” while at the same time thinking, I’m not getting any younger. Time is a-wasting. *Blah, blah, blah.*

Well, forgive the cliché, but you can’t keep a good horse down. I thought about my future without writing. When you’re more unhappy not writing than you are by the discouragements that comes with writing, then it’s almost impossible to quit.

So . . . I didn’t . . . I couldn’t . . . quit.

Courtesy: Pixabay

Courtesy: Pixabay

I decided to take my journey to the next level and self-publish. There’s a lot to learn, I had to hire a professional editor, but I’m half way there, and I hope to pass along what I’ve learned so I can help make the process smoother for others who are thinking about self-publishing. Unfortunately, self-publishing means there is some cost, whereas, when you sign with an agent they take care of that. But being accepted by an agent means being a good fit on their list and whether they want to take a chance on a newbie author. This is time-consuming when searching for an agent. It can take up to two years to get your book published and this is after an agency has accepted you as their client. It’s hard for first-time authors, but surely not impossible. But agents aren’t so quick to take a chance on a new author. With this being said, it is a personal choice, and I know there are a lot of good agents out there waiting for a good story.

I’m relieved that I decided to self-publish. I’m looking forward to it. I’m meeting a lot of awesome people who’ve been there and done that and are willing to help. Now I can spend time doing what I really like to do: WRITE! I am hoping to have the book out soon and planning on it being a series of three.

What is the Secret of the Golden Heart?

What is the Secret of the Golden Heart?

 

Stay tuned to journey out of this world when twelve-year-old Kristian McNeal’s life turns upside down, and he’s swept from danger and taken to a place he never knew existed . . . until now. After arriving at his destination, he discovers that he has been chosen; now he’s bound to fulfill his mother’s destiny after stealing her golden heart heirloom for selfish motives. Now, it’s a race against time to find the key that unlocks the secret of the golden heart and save the dying planet of his heritage. Will he choose to follow that still, small voice, or go down an unknown path?