Where Do I Go ?


I finished my first draft and I was filled with the feeling of ” oh my… Yeah, yeah” with music and beauty floating around my head and then something happened.

All the things that I would read said the same thing. It said  let your book ruminate and give it time to become something that you can then successfully read and revise without that oh so helpful thing where your mind just adds the missing words that you meant to write , so that your words make no sense to anyone else.

This phase is all about adding and subtracting and fighting the increasing feeling that you are an idiot that wrote the worse book ever written.  That your book will make people run screaming into the streets and cry and weep and scream, they will pull out their eyes and deny the fact that they ever read anything, ever. Somehow your book will actually make other books you love less good. That authors you love will read the book and say ” No, never” to your requests to write a forward.  This is probably not going to happen. This has not happened to the various dubious novels that have been written in the world, both recent and long ago. There are people that count novels that I myself view as painfully bad among their favorites. So what are the odds that no one would read my book and at the very least say it was interesting, or entertaining? And I will not bring about the end of the world. I do not have that power.

But I do have this feeling that is completely and utterly fear-based.  I am afraid of my book. Just a little but the more that I think about what it would mean if this is terrible. The fear of what would happen if I am not a writer worth reading.  I am also thinking of what might happen if I am a writer worth reading. If I write a book that is worth the notice of people that matter, people like me that love books and reading to the point that they can invest years in the lives of people and places that never were. So I am in revisions and now I am realizing that either way fear must not be the thing that stops me. If it is, then I will be a failure of epic proportions.

So if you are having issues like mine there are a few quick and dirty tips that can help to make the experience a little less terror making .

Revision Tips

  1. Start revising as soon as you can 

Figure out what is your best timing but don’t wait too long. Often Procrastination will start pretending to be something cleaner, like reflection or research.

  1. Don’t spend ages making your first draft look pretty

This is just wasting time, include all the details you need to learn, but don’t try to produce a work of art. This is a ROUGH draft. It is just that, ROUGH.

  1. Take short breaks

— Every hour, not every 10 minutes. I enjoy using the pomodoro timers to help me myself on task.

  1. Use revision guidelines 

Cathy Yardley has great tips on her blog. I add also that you should treat the revisions just like you would treat your writing , have a plan and have a schedule on what you will finish each day .

  1. Get yourself drinks and snacks

So you don’t make excuses to stop every 10 minutes…

  1. Sit at a proper desk
  2. Don’t turn yourself into a revision zombie 

There is nothing that you can do all day every day without burning out. It’s really important that you keep time to do things you enjoy… like movies, shopping, sports, Frisbee, rock-climbing, making model planes ,porn, whatever tickles your fancy… When you’re doing these try to relax and totally forget about revision.Meat_Grinder_zombie_7265759848_1

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  1. Read the book aloud when you can 

—hearing it really does help. If you can, record yourself.

  1. Find the right environment to revise

NOT in front of the TV. NOT listening to the radio. Music can sometimes be OK, but you need to find the right kind. It’s got to be something that’s just there in the background that you’re not thinking about at all. Music without singing is better as you won’t be tempted to dance around your bedroom like a big fool.

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Successful


 

I am a Creative with deep roots. Its not what people see that counts, its whats buried deep that counts.If you are particularly sensitive, you may want to get an “updated” copy of Napoleon Hill’s masterwork “Think and Grow Rich” , but if not it is available in PDF or E-reader for for free download all over the internet. I say that “if you are particularly sensitive” part because I began reading the original for the first time yesterday and I realize that over the years, some of the language has been cleaned up and some stories have been edited for content. I am not particularly sensitive but I did take slight umbrage with the use of “Deaf and Dumb” in reference to Helen Keller, Calling a black child “ignorant, illiterate” in a story .words that did not really add to the story in my opinion. The almost constant use of the word “Normal” in relation to Blair Hill, the author’s son, that was born with no ears but who was forced to learn how to hear because of the overwhelming need for him to be “normal” by his father. I find that story both amazing and horrible.

Nevertheless, the other parts of the book are filled with merit. The book has been revamped and this is my third or fourth time reading it, although my first with the original text, and I think that it is something that everyone should read, at least once. Like the bible. Moreover, like the bible, you will get out of it what you get out of it. I can see it going forward in some people’s lives as simply new age ( the book is rounding on 100 years I think but still people will call it that) bull. Which for them, it will be. Some people will, as I did, read it and not really understand it. It rings a faint bell but I do not know that I really know the tune kind of thing. You have to keep reading it as your paradigm changes to get the true scope of the thing.

Then some of you, the Chloë Grace Moretz, the Bill Gates, the Zuckerbergs, among you will read it and have a kind of ping and duh moment at the same time. I think that the “secret” that lives in the pages of the book is something that comes natural to some people in this world. They wake up every day with the knowledge that they are going to make it. I am both awed by and terrified of these people. Not those as they are now but I suspect that Hitler was one of these people just turned inside out. When I meet them, always a part of me hopes they are one the side of good. Because I do not think that, I would be great in the apocalypse, except the Zombie Apocalypse because I have plans together.

I am reading this book again, and what I am getting out of it this time is, I can do it. In actuality, I am getting a full picture of my successes and failures of the past year. I tend to lose faith when I am close to the end because I believe that I fear (or have feared, as I am conquering that now) the near win-miss. The honest to god truth is that, without failure you cannot win; or should I say constructive failure. You cannot win the grand prize, if you do not lose the second prize. So many times in my life, I have been unwittingly leaving the game because I lost at second when the first prize had yet to be awarded. Real life example of that is when I won my 60-Inch TV, I had wanted to win the TV, which was the last prize. In the process, I gloomily sulked over not winning the laptop, the vacation package, the PS3 (they had just come out) and I was literally putting my coat on when I won the TV. The thing that I had actually stated that I wanted! My single raffle ticket, if it had won something else, could not bring me the TV that I wanted but I was ready to give up when I had not won everything. Something that would have been impossible anyway!

Therefore, again in my reaffirming the goal mindset, I state that while I am blessed and lucky to have been given my fantastic brain, I am also at odds with said brain. Sometimes I have to shut it off and let my heart take the wheel. I know what I want. I am learning how to get it and nothing will stand in my way. Not even me

If I had a Hammer…


If you asked a person that never saw a hammer, what a hammer could do, what do you think that they would say? A hammer in the hands of a child, or an animal like a monkey or raccoon is nothing but an object to destroy. A bludgeon, a blunt object or a weapon. A hammer is useless to those with no knowledge of them. Does that mean that a hammer has no value in society? The hammer is stupid, in other words?

If you answered yes, I need you to stop reading, right now. I am serious, not another sentence. I don’t want or need the thoughts of a person that says that getting into my head via my writing, which I sometimes feel is a conduit. If, on the other hand, you read the question and wondered in utter puzzlement, where I was going with all the hammer talk, please read on.

I have read that LinkedIn is an utter waste of time. I have read that about Facebook marketing, Twitter accounts, YouTube … I have read through several sources that all these things, all the social media ( side bar, when did that become something I say every day? Social media? I don’t know) sites are just filler and fluff and that people that use them are time wasters. I think that 800 years ago, or whenever Hammers were invented, they would have said the same thing about them. I will use my rocks and boards thank you, they would snark at the hammer users, and you can play with your stupid little toy. They are the people that damned sewing machines, TV, computers and cell phones. They are the people that will always be and always be proven wrong. We used to call them nay Sayers.

The fact is that calling a tool stupid is, well, stupid. It shows that you have no idea how to use said tool and instead of wanting to be taught you would rather damn the product. Can LinkedIn be a waste of time, oh hell yes. It can be something you play on for a few hours, following Richard Branson and Conan O’Brian’s words around and end the day with nothing accomplished. You can spend a whole day connecting with people for no reason, until enough of them complain and you are put into LinkedIn jail and have to have email addresses to connect with anyone. You can endlessly see who looked at your page and wonder how they found you. You can even develop a crush on someone and go peeping at their page every few hours to see if they changed anything. I actually have one of those. He is always there, checking me out.

On the other hand you can do amazing Boolean searches and find people that fit your needs perfectly. I needed a CPA, with a Master’s degree and 8 years of experience in oil and gas … boom, found!  From Texas, educated at Oxford. DONE, says LinkedIn, what else you want? I found my amazing first placement there on LinkedIn. She was just there for the cherry picking, and I didn’t even know all the uses at that point (gotta love beginners luck) and I found a woman so perfect for the role that even I was impressed with myself. On LinkedIn, I found her, placed her and got paid. From the waste of time site. Yeah.

I think what I am trying to say is , if you are waiting for the hammer to explain to you how to use it, it will sit, stupidly , waiting for you to pick it up and whack you thumb with it. If, on the other hand, you take the time to learn how to use the hammer, how its weight affects things, what way to hold it, and put that to use you can build a home. You can build a boat to sail the world. You can build a business making furniture, or racecars … ok not race cars but you understand where I’m going with this. You cannot damn the hammer, for your lack of knowing.

Power


 One of the corniest things ever is the renewing of vows. It is taking something that is already done and restarting it. It makes very little sense logistically and has no real function in the schematic of life. You are married and then later you will be married still. Nothing, has changed. It is not as if you can change your mind mid renewing and that would undo your marriage. So why do so many people do it? Why do they take the time, and very often the expense, to renew already agreed upon vows? Because it is not hokey, it is renewal. It is a done deal but every now and again you need to hear those words again and re-acknowledge what your commitment is and make sure that it is, in fact, still your commitment. And with that in mind, today I have decided that I am going to reaffirm my commitment to myself and my goals. I am renewing my vows, to myself, so to speak.

I have gone on a journey of self-awareness, self-improvement, and self-forgiveness that sometimes gets lost in the minutia of everyday living. It is like a marriage, sometimes you are so caught up in the bills, kids, problems and struggles that you forget how much you love the person you married, or how much better all that is with someone that you care for by your side. In my case, I forget how lucky I am, how blessed I am and how much I have because of the day to day struggles of trying to get to the next thing. I am reading “Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude: How to Find, Build and Keep a Yes! Attitude for a Lifetime of Success   by     Jeffrey Gitomer” and I have to say that he has some wit and wisdom that, while not ground breaking (seriously, at this point all positive thinking books are relatively the same) is brought to me in a different way. There are some thoughts that I like very much. One is to start off with Thank you when you are getting bad news. As in “you forgot to get me the report by the deadline” instead of going “I’m sorry” or “I would have but * didn’t do their part and so …” just say “Thank you and “. No excuses, no sorries, just thank you. I love that but I would like to expand on that and say just start off with thank you all the time. Every time I have gotten an email since I started reading the book an astonishing 16 hours ago I start with “Thank you” and I feel better about it, no matter what.

Another thing that I have learned is that I have almost all the things that people complain about sewn up. People generally grip because they do not like their Job, their coworkers, their living place, their spouse or themselves. I like all those things. I am so grateful to realize that I am again in the top percentile for things that I have that are important that ensure happiness. I love my job, I love my coworkers , I love my spouse , I love my city and I love myself. These are the essentials to ultimate joy and I have them all in hand, so when I find something to complain about I will remind myself that it is a filler thing and all the major things in this life, are great. That is a powerful awareness.

So I am adopting, or reaffirming to be more accurate, an attitude of gratitude, today. I want to live with as much YES in my life as possible and this is why for every moment of everyday for the rest of my life I will have a small secret yes in my mind and heart. And as of Friday on my body! I am getting a tattoo that simply says “yes”. That is my commitment level to

Crazy Man, Crazy


131008-140951I happen to love my job. It is not an easy job, it not a simple job and I can see why some people just do not have the stomach for it. It is sales but not sales. Moreover, I have to sell to the client and to the product! Imagine I have to convince someone to buy my broom and then convince the broom to join this family.

In a job like mine, you have to wear many hats. There is the recruiter, the salesperson, the career counselor, the negotiator, the travel agent … and the therapist. There are probably more but the Therapist is the one that sometimes is the hardest to deal with, for me. The truth is that I want to help everyone that comes into my inbox. I want to get the job for the guy who has been out of work for 5 years for no understandable reason. I want to help the kid right out of college. I WANT to help the person that was retired and now wants to go back to work because retirement is not for him. For the most part I CAN NOT HELP THESE PEOPLE. I am a recruiter; someone has to pay for my services. Companies do not pay for fresh faced kids, unless they did something amazing in school that put them on the map. Companies do not pay for the chronically unemployed, and usually the chronically unemployed have applied everywhere anyway and I have no one to whom I can market you. Companies largely do not pay for people that may retire at any moment. If they are going to pay a fee, at minimum, they want 3 years from this person, and really, they want closer to eight. So you don’t send these people out, you reply politely to their inquiries and express that if you get something that fits their experience you will be in touch.

Then there are the wild cards, those people that are looking; have a good background and are all go-go-go on the job market. Something is off about them but you just are not sure what.  Why did you leave the last position? Better opportunities. All sounds right. Then You get a call after the send out that this person bitch slapped the receptionist or drooled throughout the interview and you are left with that “ I knew it , I just didn’t know what IT was” feeling. So what can you do when you have put your reputation on the line and someone did a Hadouken to it? Do your best to laugh about and learn from your mistake.

Mine went this way.

  1. Person calls me and I feel that he is a little arrogant, a bit full of himself ( red flag!)  but I like his background and I decide , what the hell , meet him . Not everyone conveys well over the phone.
  2. I meet him and he seems perfectly lovely, except for getting lost on an almost impossible to get lost road ( red flag!) and acting as if we had somehow hidden the building on purpose. Once inside he was amiable and interesting.
  3. I get him an interview, on the day of the interview he gets lost( OMG REALLY!), and ends up late to the interview.
  4. I get my prerequisite call after the interview and he tells me “ everything went so great, I hope they can wait for me to wrap up my current contract”
  5. The client calls and asks me, basically, what the hell I was doing sending them a Looney tunes!

(1)    He got an attitude about getting lost as if it was their fault (where did I hear that before?)

(2)    He was completely arrogant and acted like his questions were more important than the interviewers ( damn)

(3)    He asked the person he would be replacing how much more he would be making at his new job (ok, what?!)

(4)    He asked the owner of the company how much he had paid for the company ( nope , I’m not taking a hit on this one) .

  1. I called my candidate and asked him, for the love of god ,WHY?

What I did was apologize. I apologized to the client, to the owner, to my company and I learned to listen to my gut feelings and not the little therapist in your head that wants to believe that everyone deep down, is good. Yes, I would get everyone a job if I could. The college kid, the old man, the man who can’t stay off the internet ,or whatever it is that keeps getting him fired from every job. Everyone. But I can’t. If I could I would. What I can do is find the best people, with the occasional snafu that I can use as an object lesson.  Sometimes you also have to give yourself a pass. Because … let’s face it. Crazy people are sometime interesting, intelligent , funny people . Right up until they bitch-slap the receptionist.

There is a sucker born every minute..


P.T. Barnum famously said there’s a sucker born every minute.I think that is a little bit cynical I think the truth is there’s an optimist   born every minute. I think that most of us are essentially optimistic. I think largely the problem is that optimist are often viewed as wide eyed idiots. 
Now in the case of P. T. Barnum there was no bad thoughts in it. Mostly he was saying that people want to be fooled , at least a little. they want to believe that there is a woman who survived the train , we want to believe all of the humbug as PT Barnum put it.
I like to believe that I am smarter than the average bear, with PT Barnum twist. Reasonable intelligent, and wise… I would like to believe that I would have spent the nickel to see general Tom Thumb, or the mummified remains of an actual King… Even if that made me a little bit of a fool. I would like to believe… I think I just like to believe.

 

Hot Thing


I’m born and raised here in Michigan.  I have lived here for 34 of my 38 years.  I have spent less than one year in Texas. So this is going to sound ridiculous… it is too darn cold here!
I’m saying this with weather between 65 and 85 degrees being the normal weather here for this time of year. But the fact is bad after living in Texas, for just the one year, I cannot acclimate or re acclimate to Michigan in just two days.
Hopefully by next week I’ll be used to it again. In just about enough time to have to get back on the bus and go back to Texas and suffer the heat.

Send in the Clowns


This song means a lot to me as I grow up and grow older . So many things  in my life , not just men but jobs, friends, thoughts, actions  , feel like they fall in this category . This why didn’t I realize at the time what I had .  Only to realize that the recapture of that thing , place , person or action is outside of your ability. You can not get the one that got away.

There are a lot of these for me , some because I truly didn’t see the merit on them and for those I can only sigh and move on but the ones that hurt are the ones that I missed out on because I was too  chickenshit it make a move . I am never proud of myself when I  miss out on something because  I decided to be a chickenshit . I would rather fail miserably  in trying than be in fear. I would like to try and fail beautifully.

In the spirit of that I have decided to sing today. You are free to listen or not to listen ( like you didn’t know that , right?) but understand that I am singing accapella and I did not do another take . I am a little pitchy at times I think but I am also woman enough today to sing one of my favorite songs to you and free of change .

http://youtu.be/TU8d7SBwswI

This year has not been easy and it is only May , but then again this year has not been easy and it is already May . I am not going to wallow in the many yesterdays, the could have beens , the should have beens. I am going to sing. and I am going to dance . I am going to move forward and laugh . Topple , roll , squeak my red nose and freak some people out . In short I am going to embrace the fact that I may be a clown. But after I go forward I will never let fear make me a clown again .