Saturday, May 5, 2018

Of Rivers, Spirit Flowers and Cats


Who do I learn from? Keeping it to the topic of being an author, I learn from other authors – individually and in groups – about promo things to try, about what to do and NOT to do, resources to take a look at…but I always have a filter in place in my head because not everything works for everyone, some things are totally outside my comfort zone, some things would never in a million years occur to me to do and I’m amazed every time someone does one of them…to me, the constant flow of posts and comments in the social media world is like a river and I watch it go by, occasionally dipping in to catch a fish, which I may then throw back. Too small, too big, inedible…I can keep this metaphor up for hours, folks!

I also have several really good author friends who are much more savvy than me on various topics and I definitely learn from them, both by example and by their generously answering my questions and/or talking me out of some ranty mood I’ve gotten into. But this is one on one, private, not out there in the social media glare.

Author's Own Photo - yes, I know it's a viola not a violet.
I learn from my editors, who are wonderful and know how to tell me what I need to hear (don’t name all your ancient Egyptian characters something that starts with a ‘K’ for one!) without crushing my spirit (I think my author spirit flower would be a fragile violet LOL) or making me ranty. I am blessed in my editors.

I learn from my daughter who was a published author long before I ever was and helped me up the level of my writing craft and to understand the ins and outs of the trad and indie publishing business at that time. She’s still one of my closest confidants and people I trust to again tell me what I need to hear without sending me running to the cupboard for calming chocolate.

I try to learn from my own mistakes. Not trying to be egotistical here but going by the old rule that if you keep doing the same thing the same way and expecting different results, you’re kidding yourself. So periodically I stop and refresh myself on my goals and my strategic plan for getting to those goals and ask myself what I’m doing that works and doesn’t work. Or is it time to revise the goals, or???

I learn from my cat Jake (well ok someone had to credit the cats this week) who is supremely good at self-care and knows when to withdraw from stress and strife (in his case doing battle with cat toys or my refusal to feed him three hours early), take a soothing bath and a nap. Some days/weeks/months that’s what a person needs most – to do self care!

Jake the Cat
Author's own photo