Sunday, December 12, 2010

A year in review

This was a big year for me with the release of my memoir. Writing a book and having it published is an achievement for anyone. Sometimes fate or synchronicity, call it what you will, makes things fall in place. A bit of luck and you meet the right people that can help you achieve your goals. My publisher, Marvin Ross at Bridgeross Communications, is one of those people that made a major difference in my writing career. For someone to take notice of your work, help you edit the work to make it better and believe enough in it to publish your writing doesn't happen everyday. Thanks to Marvin for his constant aid and direction in putting my work out there.

This year I gained experience in marketing and promotion. I learned to be my own spokesperson in live and recorded interviews. I hobnobbed online with other writers who gave me support and savvy advice. I befriended Jeremy Soldevilla, a publisher, who gave me some valuable advice in regards to my book launch and approaching local bookstores. My book is available at Banyen Books and Sound, Sitka Books and Art, Book Warehouse, and Odin Books in Vancouver. It's also available online at Amazon, chapters.indigo.ca and barnesandnoble.com.

Marketing isn't emphasized in writing classes, but I think an author has to be a bit of a salesperson to get noticed. I know some authors on Facebook or that have websites that are constantly promoting their books. I think that's great! More power to them.

I'm at a point I turned down some opportunities because of time constraints. There's only so much time I have allotted for various activities so I learned to say no.

I was working on a curriculum vitae and counted 40 print publications of my writing. Not to mention online publications and my work as a columnist and editor for Majestic. Being a columnist and editor has widened my experience in writing. I've learned a lot from the other columnists. HavocTheDemon, a fellow writer who uses that pseudonym, kindly interviewed me for the newsletter. He also edited one of my half-written stories which I appreciated. I had reached an impasse and he helped redirect me with some suggestions. I need to flesh out a stronger outline and tighten the structure. Point of view was a complication in this book but hopefully I can resolve that issue. He said, "Just write. Edit later. " Havoc is a very good fantasy writer. I've read and critiqued some of his work. You can find him on Lit.org.

Health update? I've noticed improvements in my mental health. I'm more confident and centered, so I'm less tempted to be drawn into fantasy. I'm more aware when I am experiencing paranoid thoughts so I rebound quicker and regain objectivity faster. I have symptoms mostly when I'm tired or stressed. So sleep and relaxation are paramount. This past fall I made a commitment to get more exercise. They say if you exercise, you will actually have more energy for other things. After exercising, I was more relaxed and felt good. Also cardio helps to lower cholesterol but so does eating apples and taking salmon oil. So what's my new year's resolution? To finish writing the novel I'm currently working on and to exercise!