I take pride in my kids' love of books during these technological times. Maybe I got lucky. Maybe my sons, who are now 20 & 15, were on the cusp of the digital age before it really took off. But I'd like to think I had a hand in it. Barnes&Noble was like their Toys R' Us especially with my youngest. I took them to the library a lot when they were little. It was the one place where they could pick out 20 things, including movies, without having to hear me say "no." We lived and continue to live paycheck to paycheck so getting that much had them feeling ecstatic. We would also play fun learning games on their computers since our DSL dial-up was as slow as molasses. (I'm really aging myself here but I'm only 40 dang it.)
My youngest still likes to acquire books especially collectibles and hardcovers; he's just like his momma. My oldest recently came home with a book purchase. I smelled it as soon as he came through the door. (I know I have a book addiction but I'm not apologizing for it.) Not only was it a hardcover but it was about the ancient Greek gods and goddesses. POOF! Mind blown. I've read a lot and still take interest on that particular subject. I thought I lost him there for a while but just like a spacecraft that eventually comes back to earth so did my son. I do admit they spend more time on Xbox and their phones than I'd like but I'm still proud. When I feel like they're going down the rabbit hole, particularly with Xbox, I just go all psycho mom on them and they've learned the hard way that it's just easier to do what I say.
Video games and cell phones were around when they were younger but not like the way it is today. I'm not saying to halt progression or advancements because that's ridiculous. The only constant in life is change and you need to accept it because otherwise you become obsolete and unable to relate to others. There are so many positives attributed to advancements that they far outweigh the negatives but I do firmly believe that some of the old school ways need to stay, such as books and libraries. Books transcend time so much so that I've connected with a lot of people on Goodreads who are in their 20's and enjoy the classics as much as I do. Libraries are great for people on a budget not to mention that it plants the roots for a child's love of reading. The fun and informative workshops are great for kids and adults alike not to mention the numerous author meet & greets. I know it also helps that my kids frequently see me reading and/or writing. I'm not completely innocent because I too am guilty of spending quite a bit of time on my phone but reading an actual book not only gives your eyes a break it also gives you something tangible in an increasingly intangible world. We need that. Kids need that. Watching a beautiful sunset is different than seeing it in a video or a post so we all need to spend more time in the actual world than the virtual one.
So, if your kid's more digitally addicted than you'd like start off slow by getting them an eReader. If there's a series your kid particularly enjoys get them the actual book instead of the eBook. If there's a new release they had their eye on do the same thing. Get the love of reading planted first then slowly slip in a book. I know it's sneaky but it'll be our little secret. If your kid's still a tyke take frequent trips to your local library. Not only does it save you money but it's a great bonding experience. My kids still remember their trips to our library all these years later. We face different challenges than our parents did so we just need to be a little more creative in our efforts.
Who doesn't love to snuggle up in your favorite chair, with a glass of wine or tea, and dive head first into an alternate reality? No. I am not talking about mind altering drugs being slipped into your drink. I am talking about a book. Yes, a book. One of the oldest forms of media that has withstood the test of time. We just don't read a book. We visualize it like a movie being created in our minds with each sentence read. We savor it, feel the emotions of the characters, laugh, cry, hope, and fear along as the story unfolds before our very eyes. It is a very nice, little, and inexpensive escape from reality. Especially for people like me who hardly can afford putting food on the table let alone a sweet island vacation. But when does this little escape become more and more like a permanent leave of absence from reality of our ordinary lives? Is there such a line to be crossed? If so, is it a very fine line or does it depend on your personality or the reality of your own life?
Very interesting questions that really no one can answer but yourself. There have been plenty of days that I have found myself escaping more and more into my reading and writing passions. Sometimes it gets to the point that I feel I have blurred the boundaries between reality and fiction. Other times I prefer to being in this alternate universe than my actual own life. Let's face it, our lives are so much more awesome and exciting in our heads. It becomes easy to want to be in your head more when your life there is more adventurous, thrilling, and pleasurable. But I do believe there is a line that needs to be made aware of. The more you become engulfed with a different reality the more you disconnect from the actual reality your are living. That in turns leaves feelings of not only distance, but sadness, anxiety, and loneliness. And if we spend so much of our time in a made up reality how can we ever turn our actual reality into something more pleasurable to ourselves?
During hardships, like the Great Depression, do you know what activities became prominent? Of course, the obvious answer is suicide and getting drunk but besides that do you know? Library book rentals. That's right. People wanted and needed an escape from the harsh reality they were living in. But that escape from reality can be both a life vest and an anchor. Which bring us back to the to the one sure and redundant answer...moderation. Everything needs to be done in moderation such as drinking, partying, eating, exercise, and yes even reading. But don't let that discourage your passion for reading. It is a timeless form of entertainment that is to be enjoyed. Just be sure to put some effort to bringing joy in your ACTUAL lives.
I have been away for quite some time and I can't really explain why. I had yet another flare up and was on steroids. For some reason the steroids really messed with my mind set this time. They always warn it can do that but all those time I was on it for previous flares, I never really experienced it until now. It made feel like I was a different person. My emotions were a bit off and I just didn't feel myself. I couldn't focus or keep a train of thought. I couldn't organize daily tasks and believe me I am usually always excellent at my organizational skills. I was constantly distracted and didn't want to deal with my responsibilities. It made me stray off my path, the path I feel was laid out for me. Hopefully, I am returning to my path.
Yes, I am still working on the book. Genius takes time. HaHa! I didn't write for a while. For some reason I had no desire to pick up a pen and put it to paper. Maybe it was because I felt sick and tired of dealing with my illness. I felt like I wasn't Lisa anymore, I was my illness. The book just was a reminder of that. But I am back at it.
At my most recent visit to the neurologist, after MRI and bloodwork, another diagnosis was either added or changed. I am atypical MS. Meaning not a normal MS patient with the normal MS. When did anything with MS become normal? I was diagnosed with Neuromelyitis Optica: As known as NMO or Devic's Syndrome/Disease. I rather say syndrome. I hate using the work disease. Make me feel contagious and dirty. I no longer take daily injections, Thank God. But now I am on a med, pilkl form, that is used for organ receiptants so they don't reject the new organ. There is some serious side effects such as lymphoma that scares me. IT lowers your white blood cells and mine are high. You would normally think that was a good thing to fight off infection. Unfortunately, in my case it is attacking my own healthy bodily parts. So the new med makes sense to me so I am hopeful it will work. I just need to stay away from sick people since it will lower my resistance. That's ok, I don't want to be around them anyway. HaHa!.
I hope you forgive me for my absence and are still looking forward to the release of my book.
I would love to hear any feedback or comments of anything you guys are going through that is difficult or sometimes seems unbearable. We all have a cross to bear, I just wish mine wasn't so heavy.
As an independent author myself I understand the muliple jobs of trying to get
your book into the hands of readers. You need to take on several different jobs
such as your own publisher, promotor, editor, and the author. So how do we
handle all these different tasks effectively?
1. Divide your time
properly. Even if that means breaking down your day into segments. Put a time
limit on each segment. For example, you can spend one hour a day on promoting,
one hour on editing, etc.
2. Create a work ethic. This is espeically true
during the creative writing process. We tend to write when we get a brilliant
idea or when we are passionate about writing. But let's be honest. There are
days that we just don't feel that passion. Even during those days still try to
continue writing. Who know? Maybe something good will come of it.
a proper work environment. I notice with myself, if I am writing anywhere near a
T.V. I become easily distracted. I find it best to sit in a place that is quiet
and void of any interaction. This may be true for me but not others. Some like
listening to music or sitting in the park. Whatever works best to get your
creative juices flowing, I say go for it.
4. Find free book-marketing
webinars. I just watched a webinar hosted by Brian Judd. I found it very useful
and informative. It gave the name of some important sites to join to gain
recognition and traffic to your websites. This is was very useful because I
didn't waste time sifting through all the not so great ones. It lead me to
excellent sites to get my name out there and recognized. Also, it gave the sites
of press release help sites and publishing sites. The webinar gave a lot of
useful information on marketing.
5. Calculate your budget. Know how much
you are willing to spend and stick to that limit. Remember, it's not about how
much you spend to get your book noticed. It is your time and consistent effort.
Also, most importantly it's how well your book is written.
6. Find your
target audience. I know you have heard this time and time again but it is true.
Knowing who you are trying to attract to your book is important. It plays an
important role in how you market your book. This way you know what groups or
stores you are going to send your press release/announcements to and a free copy
to entice them. This will narrow your focus and save a lot of wasted
7. Be different. By knowing your target audience, reasearch what
other books are available in the same genre. See what they are like then be
different. We all need to make our books stand out from the rest. We have to
think of what our book will offer that potential reader that they haven't
8. Prioritize. Know which areas you need to spend
more time on and which can be set aside for a bit.
9. Don't give up.
Sometimes you can feel like this is more than a hassle than you expected. You
just wanted to do what you love best, and that is to write. Who knew so many
tedious tasks would have to go along with it? Also be patient. Most books don't
reach their sales peak until it has been out there for a few years. So this
means not giving up on your book. Even when it is finally published and out on
the shelves, you still have to promote and market it for quite some time.
Remember why you wanted to write that book in the first place and focus on that.
10. Have fun. Sounds simple yet it isn't. It's not that fun doing all
these different tasks yourself. I try to make it fun by being creative with it.
I love creating flyers, mailers, announcements, etc. Remember you are a writer
so you are creative to begin with. In the end this is all done to get your book