Get a BookLife, Now!

When did you first set out on your dream to be a published author?

Just about three years ago, following the birth of my first daughter, I decided I better get my act together and starting living the dream I held in my heart. For me, there would be no integrity in raising a daughter to follow her dreams if I failed to show that I believed in the concept! Since that time, another daughter arrived along with a dog and a job outside the home. And, YES! I am a published writer of nonfiction (even penned a few short stories).

What got me that far is a set of guidelines I call  The Writer’s Five Ps (Passion, Perspective, Priorities, Process, Present-mindedness).  The Five P’s keep you focused, help you navigate through the storms that rise in life and make it possible to manage all the things that are important and special in your life without feeling burned out.

The Five Ps have kept my writing center-stage on a day-to-day basis. (For many aspiring writers, that’s half the battle). Still, I’m not quite where I want to be with my writing dream: to publish fiction.

In the pages of VanderMeer’s BookLife,  I heard my own voice call  to me:  “I want a book life, now!”

Not surprisingly, my  inner critique (The Burglar) answered, “How’s those FivePs workin’ out for ya, now?”

Contrary to Burglar’s modus operandi, I didn’t need to abandon the Five Ps. I just needed to rethink how I put them to work. BookLife helped me put the Five Ps to work strategically. Rather than just using the Five Ps to navigate my way through family life and get my butt in the chair everyday, I integrated VanderMeer’s approach with the Five Ps to put me on the path to my book life. In the three weeks since I began, I’ve done the following:

  1. wrote a stronger mission (artist’s statement)
  2. set more concrete long and short-term goals (achieved the following specific goals)
  • my website is being redesigned
  • a short story is under review for publication
  • gained clarity on plot for a stand alone novel and developed concept for 3-book series
  • secured a new column in a west coast magazine

I am a happier writer, still ranking high on the parenting chart (ask the kids) and I am more effective at change management.

I’m confident that my book will be in print or on an e-reader before the end of 2012  (I figure, if the world does end, or the great white light shines upon us, why not go out with a bang!).

You can do the same. Don’t let your inner Burglar rob you of your dream or cause you to abandon methods that have been working for you. Do use the voice of that inner critic to assess how your methods are working for you and what else you may need to get where you really want to be– to get a book life!

(Thanks, Jeff, for inviting me to share my experience as a Writing Parent on her way to getting a BookLife!) KMR

Karen M. RiderKaren M. Rider is a freelance writer specializing in holistic health and metaphysical subjects. Her interviews with visionary thinkers such as Caroline Myss and Wayne Dyer have been published in regional and national publications. Karen also contributes to The Writer magazine. She is an accomplished advertorial copywriter serving holistic /healing arts practitioners and “soul entrepreneurs.” She resides in Connecticut with her two spirited daughters and  (one very patient) husband. Karen is working on her first novel- a story of metaphysical suspense set at Gillette Castle in Connecticut.

Taking Stock: What Have You Learned in 2010?

I’m pleased to announce that writer and consultant Tamara Sellman will be guestblogging at Booklife next week. The week after, Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward, authors of Writing the Other, will be guest blogging. Then, in the third week of March, I will finally get around to sharing my thoughts on the modern book tour.

So far 2010 has been a busy year for me, and although we’re only two months in it’s a good time to take stock and reevaluate where I am. In part this is because a lot of us make new goals in January, but often find that by February some of those goals have gone out the window.

So, writers out there, I ask you: What did you decide to accomplish this year, and where are you right now as opposed to where you thought you’d be? And is this good news or bad news or just the way things are?

For my part, I had my wife change the password to my facebook account so I wouldn’t waste any time online during a period of intense deadlines. I’ve also learned that, for now at least, it’s important for me to spend much less time in the electronic world in general.

Booklife Essentials: Asking Nicola Morgan, an Interview

Nicola Morgan’s known for being versatile in her writing, and blunt in her advice. Her Help! I Need a Publisher blog is merciless in its debunking of writing myths. Morgan is unafraid to tell it like it is, much to the benefit of those who read her. Not familiar with Morgan? Here’s her bio.

Nicola Morgan is an award-winning and multi-published UK author, writing mostly for the Young Adult market. She is best known in the UK for her YA novels and non-fiction about the teenage brain—Blame My Brain was shortlisted for the Royal Society’s Aventis Prize. Nicola blogs eagerly about how to become and survive as a published writer and her blog—Help! I Need a Publisher!—is highly recommended by agents and editors. She has also just launched a new literary consultancy, Pen2Publication. Nicola divides her working time between writing, speaking, advising, and dreaming of shoes and chocolate. Her greatest ambition is to learn to say no to the right things. She is hoping that Booklife is going to help her achieve this.

Not only have we interviewed her for Booklifenow below, but on Friday Matt Staggs’ Booklifenow Top 10 Links post will feature our favorites from Help! I Need a Publisher. And if that weren’t enough, if you have any questions about writing or the writing business, post them as comments to the links post and she’ll drop by to answer them. So check back in Friday, and have your questions ready…

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Booklifenow: What Are You Thankful For?

(Mike Brotherton is thankful for being an awesomely creative person. Photo by Jeremy Tolbert.)

We’re taking a break here at Booklifenow, returning with new content next week. But since it is Thanksgiving week here in the United States, we’d like to know what you’re thankful for in your writing and your career. Also feel free to tell us about your upcoming books or other creative projects.

Me, I’m thankful that I have such amazing and creative friends–like my partner in crime here, Matt Staggs–that I am able to do this five-week book tour, and that I’ve had the opportunity to write, edit, and create so many different types of books. I’m also deeply thankful for your patronage of, and your acceptance of my book.