Posted on Leave a comment

Fortune Favours The Bold…

August 23, 2019– Quick, what is something you’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t done? Too often we have a list of things that we set out to accomplish, but the list never gets finished, or worse, we never start. Today, I have an exercise for you to complete! Check it out below:

  1.  Dream BIG! The bigger the better! Decide what you want to do and make sure that it’s huge. Examples could be, sign a publishing deal for your manuscript, to have an article that you wrote featured in a major magazine, or to travel internationally to a writing conference. Whatever it is, make sure you really want it!
  2. Set a timeline. I personally use the 30-day rule. I set a goal and give myself 30 days to accomplish it. It’s realistic and gives me enough time to get to work on what I’ve set out to do. Without a timeline, you don’t have anything to work toward and even if you don’t fully reach your goal, you’re going to be a heck of a lot closer than you were!
  3. Be bold and take steps toward your goal every day. Remind yourself of your goal constantly and do at least one thing each day to help yourself reach it! Let’s use the example above and your dream is to sign a publishing deal for your manuscript, what have you done today to help realize that dream? Have you made a list of publishers to query? Have you polished your query letter? Have you done your research on which publishers fit with your submission? You get the point!I challenge you to dream big and take the necessary steps to turn your dream into reality! Get started today, you’ll be glad you did.  X LLB

luggage-1149289_640

Posted on Leave a comment

Publisher’s Corner…

August 16, 2019– Let’s dive right into the question of the week!

Q: “Lacey,  As a writer how do you keep yourself from getting overwhelmed? How can you possibly stay organized with all of the books and projects you have?” 

A: There are certainly days where I feel overwhelmed at times, but then I take a deep breath, remind myself that nothing is a crisis that can’t be handled, and I immediately stop what I’m doing to do something else. It’s very important that when you start to feel the walls closing in on you, that you change anything. Change your space, change your position in the room, stand up if you’re sitting, get a fresh perspective and stop what you’re working on! This is your brain’s way of telling you that you need a few minutes to regroup. Take as much time as you need, take the afternoon off, go do something wild or out of your comfort zone, do whatever it takes to make sure that you’re ok. You can’t be any good to yourself or anyone else if you’re burnt out and uninspired. It is ok to rest, it’s ok to let go, it’s ok to shut off your devices. It’s essential to your wellbeing every once in a while to just be. 

I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I have pretty amazing systems in place that take a lot of the pressure off. I have a social media scheduler that allows me to plan my posts for 30 days at a time, I’ve got a dry erase calendar in my kitchen that has all of my things to do for the week in order of importance, and I use technology to streamline as many processes as possible such as pre-planning my blog posts and YouTube videos. If I had to post every day without this help, it would be near impossible to do so and would be a time-consuming pain. 

Find ways that you can help yourself get organized and how you can make your life a bit easier and less stressful by putting systems in place that become automatic.  X LLB

cropped-coffee-2306471_1280.jpg

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Publisher’s Corner…

August 2, 2019– Here’s the question of the week and it’s a great one!

Q: “Lacey, I’ve set goals for myself as writer and I’ve reached a few of them. I really want to be a famous author, but I can’t stay on track no matter how hard I try. Should I throw in the towel and do something else with my life?” 

A: Whoa, this question is deep; first of all, congratulations on reaching some of your goals, you’ve proven that it can be done and if you’ve done it once, you can certainly do it again! I’m a firm believer in never giving up no matter what and I know that some of you reading this will say it’s easier said than done. But, if we all gave up when things got hard, none of us would accomplish anything. Today, I’m not going to talk about tips to stay disciplined or organized in your writing routine, nor will I give you my opinion on what you should and shouldn’t do with your life because frankly, it doesn’t matter what I think. I’m going to dive into the WHY part with a super simple exercise.

It’s called 7 Whys…(I ended up calling the person who sent me this questions and went through this with him, with his permission, I’ve posted his actual answers and he definitely gained clarity).

  1.  Start with a statement of what you want for your life: I really want to be a famous author. 
  2. Why do you want to be a famous author? Because I want people to read what I have to say.
  3. Why do you want people to read what you have to say? Because what I have to say is important and I want to make lots of money at the same time.
  4. Why is what you have to say important and why do you want to be rich? Because I’m tired of being silenced and not respected by friends and family and I’m tired of just being barely able to pay my bills.
  5. Why are you tired of being silenced and not respected by friends and family, why are you tired of barely being able to pay your bills? Because they look down on me, I don’t have as much education as them and they think my opinion and voice doesn’t matter. Because I want to control my life and I don’t want to make decisions based on how much money I do or don’t have, ever again.
  6. Why do they think your opinion and voice doesn’t matter and why do you want to be in control of your life? Because I’ve never stood up for myself before, I usually just go along with whatever they say. I want to be in control because I’m sick of being controlled and decided for.
  7. Why do you go along with whatever they say, why are you sick of being decided for and controlled? Because I don’t trust myself and because I don’t believe in my own capabilities. I’m sick of being controlled because I know that I can do better and that I can make better decisions. I want my family to stop being ashamed of me and I want to make them proud, I want to make myself proud.
  8. Why do you want to make yourself and your family proud? Because I know that  I can do better than I currently am. I’m just as able as my brothers and sisters to make something of myself.

I honestly felt like crying after this conversation. It was difficult for him to answer the questions, but he tells me he’s glad he did.

So in essence, this person wanted to be a writer because he wants to make himself and his family proud and he wants to make something of himself and his life. This is his ultimate reason for writing and when the dark days come, he can look at his reason why and keep going. The other reasons before this one were superficial at best. They wouldn’t be enough to keep him on track.

Wow…we dug deep, didn’t we? The point of the exercise is during the first few whys, the brain gives a nice, neat, acceptable answer, but after the 5th why, it starts to get subconscious. Write down what you want and ask yourself why 7 times, building on the previous answer. Don’t go any further. You have your reason to continue or your reason to quit.

X LLB

Posted on Leave a comment

Publisher’s Corner…

July 26, 2019– Here’s another great question from a reader! If you have a question for my team or myself, send us an email at pandapublishing8@gmail.com.

Q: “Lacey, you have a ton of content on your site, how do you think of fresh ideas all of the time?” 

A: Thank you for noticing first of all! I try so hard to bring fresh ideas and new things for us to talk about! Some days it can be a struggle that’s for sure, especially when we have a blog, Youtube channel, podcast, and various social media to keep up with. I do my best not to duplicate content, so you won’t get a podcast that has the same info or material as on our blog, etc. When it comes to finding inspiration for content, here’s what I do: 

  1. I scour the news. Yep, it’s depressing at times, but I look for things that I can talk or write about especially when it comes to creative writing. Sometimes the headlines can inspire a book idea or a skewed perspective for a topic that I can share.
  2. I listen to conversations. Eavesdropping? Check. When I’m out getting coffee or I’m shopping, or anywhere in public, I listen to the people around me. Sometimes waiting in line at a place can provide lots of great ideas!
  3. I read trade publications like Writer’s Digest and subscribe to magazines in my field of work. This allows for a lot of ideas on topics that are relevant for our readers and writers who visit and subscribe to our content. It also means that staying up to date on all things publishing is essential in bringing the most relevant topics to our media.

Thank you for all of the questions! X LLB

 

 

 

Posted on Leave a comment

What Is Your Personal Brand?

July 24, 2019-Hold on a second, what exactly is a personal brand and why does it matter? When we talk about brands or branding we automatically think of names like Nike, Starbucks, Apple, Amazon, and Coke. Personal branding is a bit different in that you develop a professional identity that sets you apart from others in your field. Remember your roommate in college who was known for her massive shoe collection? Or what about the guy on the third floor in accounting that wears a different, goofy tie every day? Like it or not, that’s one type (and often unplanned) of personal branding. Personal branding helps you and here’s how:

  1. Numerous benefits to your career. Standing out from the crowd is essential in today’s job hunting market and branding can often be the deciding factor when it comes down to choosing between two hires. It could be the unique presentation of your resume cover letter that nets you the job, or maybe your knowledge of obscure, historical facts, whatever it is, being known for something is almost always a good thing!
  2. Builds confidence. When you’ve built a solid personal brand, it shows that you are confident in yourself. And when clients or prospective employers see this, they have confidence in your abilities.
  3. Gains trust. People work with brands they trust and brands that haven’t let them down over the years. With a strong personal brand and doing what you say you’re going to do/delivering what you say you’re going to deliver, you gain people’s trust. Trust can’t be bought and once it’s broken, you’re in trouble and your personal brand could be too far gone to repair.

Personal branding has so many other benefits! How are you building your brand? X LLB

ad-3702082_640

Posted on Leave a comment

Publisher’s Corner…

July 19,2019- Let’s check out our Publisher’s Corner question of the week!

Q: “Lacey, I don’t read a lot of books because I don’t have tons of time, I know you’ve said in the past that reading directly influences writing, so I’m wondering what I can do to make more time to read! Any suggestions?” 

 A: “Ah, yes. This is a huge problem in society at the moment! We are living in such a fast-paced world that we barely have time to do anything pleasurable or just for fun. But, making time to read is essential! Not only does reading lend to our ability to write, but it also makes us better writers, better storytellers, and more empathetic toward our fellow humans. The average Canadian adult has approximately 5 minutes per day to read!  That’s it. I admire your commitment to reading more and I’m so happy to help! Here’s how I squeeze in time to read”: 

1) I wake up an hour earlier or go to bed an hour later. Carving out this hour to read is essential to my happiness and to my business as I usually read things that are relevant in my field such as trade magazines or what’s trending on the best seller’s list. This hour before or after allows me to be uninterrupted.

2) I listen to audiobooks. Audiobooks are portable and you can listen to them everywhere. I travel a lot so this format of book allows me to get my reading done in the truck, on a plane, in the airport, on the treadmill, or wherever else I am. You wouldn’t believe how much time is wasted while travelling and waiting!

3)I read novellas, short stories, poems, and magazine articles. Reading anything is better than not reading anything at all! I’ll pick up a book shot by James Patterson for a quick, action-packed read that satisfies my craving for a good story in a short time.

Getting your daily dose of reading is only a matter of scheduling and preparing! Happy reading and writing! X LLB

Posted on 2 Comments

How Far…

July 3, 2019- This is a really cool graph about travel that will serve our historical fiction writers well! If there are any vessels that you are unsure about, Google them to find out more information and the time periods in which they were used. Remember, just because you’re writing fiction, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be credible in your research. Happy writing! X LLB

blog

Posted on Leave a comment

Publisher’s Corner…

June 21, 2019– Wow, this is an excellent question! Let’s dive right in.

Q: “Lacey, my family doesn’t support my dream of becoming a writer. They tell me that I won’t make any money and that I should focus on getting a real job. Writing is something I love, but I understand that I will need to pay my bills at the same time. How do I convince them that I’m doing something that I love and that this will pay off?”

A: Whoa…for a second after reading this, I was at a loss for words. I’ll break it down because there are a couple of hidden questions in here and I don’t want to miss them.

  1. My family doesn’t support my dream of becoming a writer. Sometimes, families aren’t supportive of our dreams. They mean well, but then again, some of them don’t. Some families don’t support the arts, and they don’t understand or appreciate any form of artistic expression. This can be very difficult. You have to follow your OWN path and whatever journey that leads you on. No one can decide what you should do with your life. If you want to be a writer, by all means, do it! Find others that will support you in all of your endeavours no matter what they are.
  2. They tell me I won’t make any money and I should focus on getting a real job. I can tell you from first-hand experience that this has been said to me time and time again. “Writer’s don’t make any money,” “How are you going to pay your bills?” “No one is going to buy your books,” “Who do you think you are?” Yep, it hurts. But, that’s what makes victory so sweet. The fact is, there are millions of writers out there who make plenty of money writing books. And there are so many ways to make a living writing! You can write for magazines, you can do copywriting, editing, content creation, blogging, journalism, and hundreds of other things that revolve around writing. Focus on honing your skills and getting as much experience as possible. Last time I checked, which was 56 seconds ago, writing was a real job.
  3. How can I convince them that I’m doing something I love and that this will pay off? You can’t and you never will convince them so stop trying. Do what you want to do because YOU want to do it. Life is way too short to be living your life based on what other people want you to do, say, or think. Getting up in the morning is a gamble, crossing the street is a gamble, travelling is a gamble, and the list goes on. There are no guarantees in life except that we only have one shot at it. Don’t spend your life wondering what if. If this is what you want to do, you don’t need anyone else’s approval. I can’t tell you that this will pay off, but what I can tell you is that you won’t regret trying. We only regret the chances we never take.

Keep your head up. If you don’t believe in yourself, who will?

If you have a question you’d like answered, please send us an email to pandapublishing8@gmail.com.

X LLB

Posted on Leave a comment

Neuro-Diversity…

June 19, 2019– It was in the Harvard Business Review magazine where I read that employers are starting to (finally) hire people who are of different abilities. The publication called it Neuro-Diversity and the article featured a young man named John who is on the autism spectrum. Many people with ASD are of higher than average intelligence and possess special skills that relate to exceptional memory and pattern recognition among many other things. (https://hbr.org/2017/05/neurodiversity-as-a-competitive-advantage)

I recently had the pleasure of meeting with a gentleman who is on the Autism Spectrum.  During our meeting, he was witty and super intelligent; his knowledge of a specific topic was staggering. He told me that he had written a book and he wanted me to take a look at it. I happily agreed and now we are working on the publication of his work. His suggestions will change the way that we format books going forward!  I was in awe of his attention to detail and his ability to remember stats and facts; he was a more skilled writer than many I have come across (including myself) with his technique and I admired his ability to write with such flow and ease. He taught me so many things in a matter of minutes and has forever changed the way that my company will create books in the future.

The point is, we need more neuro-diversity in our lines of work. There are gifted people out there who are not given a fair chance to display and use their gifts because perhaps they lack social skills or they don’t make eye contact or they have what some people would call obsessive behaviours. Those with different cognitive abilities have amazing work ethics, they are laser-focused and extremely creative and innovative.  They see the world in a different way, in a way that we may not be able to see. But, if we give them a chance to join us in our line of work and at our workplaces, we’ll have a new perspective on creativity, friendship, abilities, and Neuro-Diversity.

X LLB

achievement-3468104_640

Posted on Leave a comment

Screenwriting Tips…

June 10, 2019– As you may or may not know, I own a production/film company called TFP Productions. This year we will be creating two films-1) Documentary 2) Canadian Short film, both will be submitted to various International Film Festivals in 2020.

Writing is writing is writing. Whether it’s a novel or a play or a screenplay, it’s still writing and that’s why this topic is relevant for our blog. Check out the screenwriting tips from Erik Bork, below: