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Journaling…Do You Do This?

May 18, 2018- How many of you journal? I am definitely in the YES I DO camp of this question. I find that journaling helps with my sleep, my creativity, and when I’m feeling anxious.

If you’re not currently writing in a journal every day, I highly suggest that you start! Let’s examine the benefits of putting pen to paper. Of course, you can use any type of journal you’d like including digital, but I prefer to use a beautiful notebook and a nice pen. It’s completely up to you!

  1. It will help you express what you’re really feeling. The thing about writing in a journal is that you can write whatever you want without judgement, because it’s your choice to keep it private. Journaling can reveal your inner most thoughts and feelings and allow you to say what you really want to. I’d even go as far to say that it helps unlock and unblock your subconscious mind. This usually happens when journaling is done before bed.
  2.  It helps you know yourself. Journaling is essential to getting to know yourself better and is a wonderful problem solving tool. It allows you to see things from a different perspective and can help answer questions about yourself. Try the method of bullet-journaling and ask yourself some questions such as, Who am I? What do I care about? How do I see myself?, etc.
  3. It’s healthy. Writing in a journal every day is so healthy for your mind, spirit, and immune system, believe it or not! As for the health benefits of journaling, they’ve been scientifically proven. Research shows the following: It improves cognitive functioning, it strengthens the immune system, and it counteracts many of the negative effects of stress.

So, pick up your pen and start journaling today! It will change your life.

X LLB

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I Finished My Manuscript and My Book is in Hand! Now What?

May 16, 2018- My book is here! Now what?

I hear this statement all the time from new authors and although it’s a valid question…it makes me cringe. I know that this might sound a bit harsh, but as your big sis in the writing world, it’s my job to bring the rain…I mean truth.  It makes me shudder because it tells me that the author didn’t put in the work BEFORE finishing their ms and they’re about to have one hell of a rough time. Give me a chance to explain.

I’m focusing on one camp of authors, and that is our self-pub’d friends. So, the author has done the work, their book is completed, printed, and ready for sale! Yay right? Hold on a second…now is where the real work begins.

Too many times our self-published friends end up with a garage full of boxes of their books and that makes me sad because it doesn’t need to be that way! It’s not that the book was sub-par, it’s that they didn’t have a clear plan as to what they’d need to do at the selling stage. It’s an amazing feat to finish writing a book, but the truly incredible achievement is getting them into the hands of readers. A lot of the time there are visions of grandeur where tons of people line up to meet the author at book signings. Let me break it to you gently, this doesn’t happen unless your James Patterson or you’ve marketed the S*&T out of your upcoming event/book signing/book.

How are our friends going to sell their book? Where are they going to sell their books? Are the books available in print only or are they available electronically as well? Do they have a marketing plan? Do they have a solid author platform? And so on. See my point?

Let me pass on the best piece I’ve ever received from my mentor, “When you’re writing the book, it’s art. When the book is completed, it’s business-NEVER confuse the two.” That statement will stay with me for as long as I am in this world of publishing and well beyond.

My advice is to finish the manuscript, and then, before getting to the books in hand stage, craft your marketing plan and answer, at the very least, the questions above. It’s harder than it looks in the self-publishing world! Be prepared and remember that I believe in you! Tell your story-the world needs it.

X LLB

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Why Do We Write?

May 15, 2018- We are the dreamers, the drifters, the storytellers, and the ones with big ideas. We have imaginary friends and meaningful, midnight conversations with the voices in our heads. We create worlds and galaxies and tear down truths and rebuild lies. We are the storytellers.

Why do we do this? Why is it so important for us to tell stories? Because that’s what we were meant to do with our lives. We have an innate yearning to slip inside the eye of our minds and stay there. We have an obligation to tell the stories of our characters, and their screams and gentle whispers will not die until we validate their existence.

This is why I write anyways. My sole reason for putting pen to paper is because I can’t imagine doing anything else. When you find your purpose, there is a fire lit deep inside of you that is impossible to extinguish. If you try to put out the flames, you’ll start to feel incomplete or as if something in your life is missing. Trust me; I know this from experience. Do what you love and live your life the way you were meant to!

Fellow authors, why do YOU write? Let us know in the comments below.

Happy Writing,

LLB X

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Where Does Inspiration Come From? By Erin Cutler, Illustrator for Pandamonium Publishing House

Inspiration

Hello! My name is Erin, and I am the illustrator of the upcoming book Pants written by Tamara Botting! I am thrilled to be working on this book because the writing is excellently crafted and I am honoured to be working amongst such great talent at Pandamonium Publishing. To share a bit about myself and the way I work, I’d like to talk about inspiration. As an artist, inspiration is important, but not always accessible. As any creative person knows, being inspired is not something forced upon you, it is a process, and it can strike at any time… anywhere. This is why I feel that my best work is based on my interests, and I often find true inspiration in nature. Exploring colours, movement and textures around me naturally weaves its way in and out of my creative process. Along the way, I have learned that creation is about the process and the techniques. Every piece that I work on, I am striving to make it better than my last piece, which is why I work even when I’m not inspired. The more I create, the more I learn and grow as an artist.

Interests never leave you, there will always be something that strikes your curiosity. Therefore, interest is a much more reliable way of working.  I believe that we never stop learning and that the time to make great art is always now. If you love to learn, and aspire to become the best creative person you can then get out there and start creating things! Let passion be the reason you pursue your creativity and trust that inspiration will come naturally along the way.

Thanks,

Erin

 

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The Beach is my Happy Place…

May 3, 2018- I was fortunate enough to spend time at the beach last month. It was pretty cool that I was able to finish writing my novel in the same place that I started it. The entire process felt as though it had come full circle. From the salty waves to the sandy, sunny shores, I can confidently say that the beach is my happy place. I was inspired by the peaceful, lapping waves and the gentle sounds of seagulls talking to each other. The creative process flowed easily and naturally in this type of environment; I can’t wait to return.

Where is your happy place? Where do you go to escape or get revitalized in your writing routine?  Is it the mountains? Or the bubbling brooks that are hidden in valleys? Is it the ocean and the secrets it keeps? Are you inspired by old towns and new places? Let me know in the comments below.

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My Happy Place-the place where creativity grows and good energy flows