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The Best Part and Biggest Challenge

March 31, 2021-We made it! We’ve answered your questions all this month and are so thankful to each reader who sent us an email. Just because the theme of the month is over doesn’t mean that we won’t continue answer your questions. Email us any time at pandapublishing8@gmail.com. We’re always happy to hear from you! Let’s dig into our final question for March.

Q: What is the best part of being an author and what is the biggest challenge?

A: What a great question to end our theme with this month! There are a lot of “best parts” of being an author to me. These are some of my personal favourites.

  • Seeing people enjoying your book in public-There’s no feeling quite like this. Seeing people enjoying my books is priceless. One of my favourite things to ever happen was when I was travelling on vacation. I was boarding a plane and heading to my seat when my husband tapped me on the shoulder. He said, “Look! That kid is reading your book!” I peered over the seat and saw a child reading Panda the Very Bad Cat. My husband said to the child, “Hey! Guess what? This is the author of that book!” The kid looked up from their book, took one look at me, and said, “No it’s not.” And went back to reading. Talk about being humbled LOL!
  • Receiving emails from readers- I’ve certainly had a lot of these this month and I’m so grateful! Any time readers reach out to me, I make it my duty to respond. Some emails are wonderful and complimentary, some ask questions, and some look for advice; I enjoy reading each one of them and hope that I can help them find their writing path in some small way.
  • School visits- Definitely one of the highlights of my career is reading to kids and lecturing in schools and universities. Sharing my knowledge and stories is extremely fulfilling and I hope to help ignite a love of literacy within them. Plus, there’s nothing quite like the question and answer period in Kindergarten classes! I’ve been asked a number of hilarious questions such as, “How much money do you make?” “Are you famous?” “What is your third favourite reptile?” and my personal favourite, “Is that your real hair?” LOL!
  • Book signings- Meeting my readers in person is an honour. To have people read my books and tell me what they thought is such a thrill. Connecting with readers is what it’s all about and I learn so much from our interactions.I’m beyond grateful for all of our readers and hope to enrich their lives in some small way, even for a brief moment, through storytelling.
  • Continuing Education– I’ve been so fortunate to be able to continue my education around the world. I’ve studied publishing and writing in Boston, New York, Toronto, and London, England. I’ve completed courses at Wharton, Copenhagen University, and Stanford and am excited to continue to learn and grow as an author and publisher. Learning never stops in this business and I’m always trying to find new and innovative ways to tell stories and to put our books into the hands of readers. I think that I’ll always be a perpetual student.
  • Publications- It’s pretty cool to walk into Walmart or a bookstore and see my name on the shelf. Whether it’s in a magazine, a newspaper, or book, it’s always thrilling. One of the highlights of my writing life so far, is picking up a magazine at the checkout of the grocery store and seeing an article I wrote. Women’s World is a magazine I write for quite frequently and their readership is 1.6 million people worldwide. That’s epic if you ask me that that many people are reading my stories. Chicken Soup for the Soul was another thing I celebrated (I’ve been published with them twice so far) seeing on the shelf because to join such an amazing and well respected publication was icing on the cake! They’ve sold 11 million copies around the world and to have my stories as part of that is such a great feeling.

While trying to answer the second part of your question, I’m sitting at my laptop watching the cursor blink on the page. This question took me a lot longer to answer. What is the biggest challenge of being an author? This is so hard for me to answer because I love what I do so much and am so fortunate to write for a living. After thinking for awhile, I guess I’ll say that rejection is the hardest part of being an author, but even that, we learn from. Rejection is something that we never really get used to and if we take it to heart, it can be really destructive. But the good outweighs the bad. It’s a career that I highly recommend!

If you’d like to continue to get advice on your writing and publishing questions, check out my number 1 best selling book here: Advice from a Publisher (Insider Tips for Getting Your Work Published!): Bakker, Lacey L., Goubar, Alex: 9781989506141: Books – Amazon.ca

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Falling For You (Your story could be featured!)

September 14, 2020– It seems that in our part of the world (North America), that fall is here! The weather has changed drastically almost overnight, and there has been a decrease in temperature that is downright chilly. This time of year brings such a change in nature, and I fully embrace the season with all of my senses.

The writing prompt for today is Autumn.  When I think of Autumn I think of:

  • Leaves changing colour to orange, brown, rust, gold, and red
  • Apple cider/apple picking
  • Pumpkins/pumpkin patch
  • Blankets, sweaters, fuzzy socks, and scarves
  • Thanksgiving
  • Halloween
  • Fireplace
  • A good book
  • Warm drinks and artisan coffee
  • Rain
  • Soup

Here’s an easy writing exercise to get you in the mood for fall:

  1. Make a list of everything that reminds you of Autumn.
  2. Use the list you’ve made to write a 500-word short story, poem, or journal entry.
  3. Submit your story to pandapublishing8@gmail.com for a chance to be featured on our blog on Thursday, October 1st!

 

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Photo Writing Prompt…

September 25, 2019-This stunning photo writing prompt is full of inspiration! Look how gorgeous the landscape is! Will your story be romantic fiction? Will it be a mystery or psych thriller? Will it be poetry? There is no limit to creativity with this piece. I challenge you to write a story in 500 words.

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The Four Types of Writing Styles…

September 18 , 2019– Did you know that there are four types of writing styles? Every time we (writers) pick up a pen, we’re on a mission! Knowing all four types of writing styles and how to use them is essential for getting your message across to readers.

  1. Narrative– The style that we all know and love! The main purpose of the narrative writing style is to tell a story. Novellas, Short Stories, Biographies, Poetry, and Novels are all good examples of this style. Simply put, narrative writing style answers the question, “Then what happened?”
  2. Expository-This style explains or informs. The opinion of the writer is usually left out of this type of writing and it’s very subject-oriented. Textbooks, How To Instructions, Manuals, and Recipes are all good examples of expository writing.
  3. Persuasive-Persuasion is the main purpose of this style. It always contains the opinions/biases of the author and it’s meant to convince the reader of something.  Advertisements, Opinion Columns, Resume Cover Letters, and Reviews are common persuasive styles.
  4. Descriptive-Descriptive writing focuses on the details of a character, event, or place and it often incorporates the five senses. Good examples of this style are Poetry and Journaling.

So now that you know the four styles of writing, which style do you use most often? I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone and write in a different style this week!
X LLB

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I Challenge You to Challenge Your Challenges…

January 18, 2018-Read the title again. It sounds confusing, I know, but in reality, it’s quite simple. This year I want you to challenge your challenges! But what does that mean? Let me help you with the process:

  1. Make a list of all of the challenges you’ve had in your writing career to date. I’m talking everything. Some of these challenges might include not getting a traditional publishing deal, not meeting deadlines, not getting enough or any speaking engagements, not selling enough books or earning enough income to survive with your work. Maybe it’s not having enough time to sit down and write or scheduling blocks of writing sessions. Perhaps you haven’t been able to join any associations, or you haven’t been able to do any continuing education for your writing. Whatever the challenges you’ve experienced, write them ALL down.
  2. Make a list of all of your writing accomplishments to date. Yes, again, this means everything! Perhaps you’ve been able to read your book in schools, or maybe you’ve had something published in one of your favourite magazines, perhaps you’ve been able to secure a grant for the historical fiction book you’re writing, or maybe you’ve been asked to be a guest speaker somewhere. Maybe you’ve started a blog that has received tons of visits, or maybe you’ve self-published a book on Amazon. Whatever the accomplishment, however big or small, be sure to write it down.
  3. Find the gap in between. This is where challenging your challenges comes in to play; look over your list of accomplishments, look at everything you’ve been able to do thus far, you should be proud of yourself! Now study the two lists you’ve made and find the gap in between, the difference in between your challenges and your accomplishments is ACTION. So, let’s go back to the challenges list and use not having any speaking engagements as an example. Why haven’t you had any? Have you put forth enough action? Have you contacted everyone you know? Have you sent out emails introducing yourself and what your work is about? Have you labeled yourself as an expert in your field and have you knocked on every door to see if people are interested in what you have to say? Now, if you look at your list of accomplishments, do you remember what you had to do to get there? Do you remember the hours you put in? Do you remember the emails, postcards, phone calls, rejections, and getting up and trying again? When you apply enough effort to something, eventually, you get exactly what you want. Apply the same amount of effort to your challenges as you did to your accomplishments, and soon enough, the list of accomplishments will grow, while the list of challenges, changes.

I love the saying, you can do anything you set your mind to, even though I believe something needs to be added to that statement. Here’s what I’ll say instead, “You can do anything you set your mind to and anything can be accomplished with enough effort, discipline, and action.”

This year, I challenge you to challenge your challenges. Happy writing! X LLB

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Are YOU Up to THIS November Challenge?

November 2, 2019– Yay! November is officially National Novel Writing Month. This is a great time to start writing or outlining your novel if you’ve finally decided to take the plunge! Look around you, there are so many things to be inspired by and the chilly weather is perfect for curling up by the fire with a new project.

But, did you know that there’s an official internet project based on the month? Let me explain: National Novel Writing Month (often shortened to NaNoWriMo /ˈnænoʊ ˈraɪmoʊ/), is an annual, Internet-based creative writing project that takes place during the month of November. Participants attempt to write a 50,000-word manuscript between November 1 and November 30. Whoa…that’s a tall order, but I think that you can do it!

So I want to know, are you up for the challenge? What will you write about?  Sound off in the comments below:) Happy Writing, you better get started! X LLB

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Are You Up For The Challenge?

August 24, 2018- Are you up for the 30-day writing challenge that I’m about to propose? I promise that if you complete all 30-days, not only will you be more inspired to write, but you’ll accomplish a ton of writing, and you’ll become a better writer because nothing beats daily practice.

Ready? Here we go!

Day 1- Your favourite place
Day 2- What the world needs more of
Day 3- The best day you’ve ever had
Day 4- Dear Future YOU
Day 5- What are you proud of?
Day 6- What are you ashamed of?
Day 7- If you could meet one famous person alive or dead who would it be? Why?
Day 8- One Moment that changed your life forever
Day 9- Your biggest fear
Day 10- Your biggest accomplishment
Day 11- A life lesson and how you were taught it
Day 12- A surprising turn of events
Day 13- The worst day of your life
Day 14- If you could invent something what would it be and why?
Day 15- Describe the person next to you, in front of you, or behind you
Day 16- Who are you?
Day 17- What is your earliest memory?
Day 18- What does friendship mean to you?
Day 19- Who is your best friend and why?
Day 20- Your bucket list
Day 21- If you had one super power what would it be and why?
Day 22- Describe a place you want to travel to but have never been
Day 23- Describe your lunch as if you were a restaurant reviewer
Day 24- Write about time travel either forward or backward 1000 years
Day 25- You’re on a desert island, who do you bring and why?
Day 26- What is your weakness?
Day 27- If you robbed a bank what would you do with the money?
Day 28- Who do you love and why?
Day 29- Your arch enemy
Day 30- If your pet could speak what would they say?

Happy writing! X LLB

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