I Took The Leap

And I’m shaking with excitement.

I’ve wanted to write since before I can remember–it’s one of the very few constants in my life. What I wanted to “do” for a living always bounced around, and was generally more “practical,” because I’ve rarely had self-confidence as a writer.

But that’s been changing recently, over the past year especially.

Not my insecurities–those abound still. But my commitment to making the effort anyway. To making time for writing every (or almost every) day. To stop making excuses for myself. To work to get better. To work to get good enough that I produce work that people want to buy. To build enough self-worth that I don’t feel guilty asking for money for my stories, because I put lots of time and blood and sweat and tears into them, and if someone gets value from that, I don’t want to feel guilty for thinking that I deserve to be compensated for that value. To make my life meaningful to me, and, in doing so, hopefully brighten the lives of others with the stories I create. To live the life I want for myself, joyfully and unapologetically.

Because in doing so, I become the best and happiest version of myself–and thus the best person I can be for the world, for my potential readers, and, most importantly, for my loved ones.

So what’s the leap that I’ve taken?

Today, I bought Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula, through the affiliate link from Holly Lisle (so that I’ll also get author-specific bonus marketing content for Jeff’s course from her).

If you want to run your own online business–either as an indie author like myself, or in a more traditional market–I suggest you take a look. Registration for the course closes in about 8 hours (11:59 PST), and so far it looks amazing. I can’t recommend it without reservation (yet) because I haven’t completed it. But Jeff’s success and the success of his students speaks for itself–and, if you know her, you know that a recommendation from Holly Lisle does not come lightly.

By this time next year, I’ll have finally finished my revision on Wingless and launched it to the public, and my next book–as yet untitled–with be prepping for its own launch, if it’s not there already.

I haven’t been active here on the blog much because I’ve been so focused on writing, but I’ll be around more now that I’ve quit my second job (which was another leap of its own, and will probably get its own post soon). I will keep you updated on the revision, my new WIP, and how Jeff’s course is going for me, along with general posts that I think you’ll find interesting. (Although specifics about what Jeff teaches will, of course, be withheld–he puts work into his courses, and I won’t be giving away freely what he deserves payment for.)

I hope you stick around on the journey with me. And if you’re following me for my stories, not updates like this–rest easy. Remember the blog hop? It’s going to be a quarterly thing now, so I’ll have another free story for you in November–as well as links to more free stories from more fantastic authors.

Writing is my passion, writing for a living is my dream, and I’m sorry for the long post, but I’m just so excited to be finally taking this to the next level and working actively towards my dream instead of just sitting on my ass hoping people will find my work.

So, what’s your dream? And how are you going to work to make it happen?

(That isn’t rhetorical, by the way. I’d really like to know, and I’d really like to see you succeed. Because I know I’m happier when I work towards and accomplish my goals, and I want to see a world in which everyone does the same, and experiences that same indescribable joy.)

Cheers, and please leave a comment below. I’ve been sharing enough of my story, I’d love to hear yours. ;P

 

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain

As a long-time student of Holly Lisle, I’ve long ago learned to trust her methods, whether or not they make sense to me right off the bat. (Rarely, I’ll come across a technique that she swears by that just doesn’t work for me–but, hey, she never claimed to have The One True Way. In fact, she’s pretty adamant about the fact that there is no such thing.)

So, when I saw somewhere on her site (or possibly in one of her courses? it’s been a while, so I’m not sure) that she recommends the book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain to absolutely everyone, without reservations, regardless of whether they even want to learn to draw… well, I had to look into it.

So far, I’m glad that I did.

As a disclaimer, I should probably mention that I’ve always been okay at drawing. Not stellar (or even, in my opinion, good)–but not rotten either. See Exhibit A: drawing of my own hand, done at the beginning of the course.

  drawing-of-own-hand-1

Again–not exactly noteworthy, but it is, recognizably, a hand. Just not a very pretty one. Oh, and it took me about an hour to draw it. Yikes.

See also, Exhibit B: A self-portrait, also done at the start of the course, of which I am exceedingly proud…

self-portrait-1

… because most times when I try to draw someone, it turns out more like Exhibit C: drawing a person from memory.

portrait-from-memory-1

Yeah. Not so great.

In fact, I’m pretty certain that the only reason I was able to get my self-portrait to resemble a realistic human face, if not really my own face, is because I’d spent so long drawing my hand first. So, my Right Brain had already taken over by the time I started in on my self-portrait. And, as Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain explains so well and so thoroughly, the key to drawing well is to shift into Right-Brain-mode.

As I’ve been going through the course, I’ve been learning a lot about Right-vs.-Left Brain tendencies. And, as a result, I’ve learned why sometimes I’m able to crank out something realistic, while other times my drawings come out frustratingly childish. The difference, as you’ve probably guessed, is my realistic (aka “good”) drawings occur when I’m able to slip into Right-Brain-mode, while I get childish (aka “bad”) drawings when I don’t make the shift, and wind up drawing in Left-Brain-mode.

I’ll be continuing to work through Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain as I find time, but already I can say it’s a book I’d recommend to everyone, as I’m already seeing an improvement. That self-portrait I drew? It took me at least 90 minutes of painstaking work. After working my way through nearly half of the course, I managed to draw this picture of a photo…

picture-of-a-photo

… in twenty minutes, tops. Probably closer to ten, since I was sitting at a bar, distracted by drinks and people as I drew it.

When I finish the course, I’ll do another drawing of my hand, another self-portrait, and another drawing of that same face from memory, and put them up here for comparison.

tl;dr: Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain is a fantastic book, whether you want to learn to draw, want to learn WHY you can already draw, or just want to learn more about the two halves of your brain.