Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Attitude of Gratitude (Julie Musil Guest Post!)


I'm sooooooo very excited to have my agent sister on the blog today. I'm sure you all know Julie Musil, and if you don't, GO SAY HI. She's an amazing, uplifting, supportive friend and I adore her to pieces.

Today is the release day of her book, THE BOY WHO LOVED FIRE! And she's here today to talk about having an Attitude of Gratitude. Also, she's willing to give a FREE ebook away to the person of my choice. So I've decided to pick a winner from the person who uses the most exclamation points in the comments!!!! :)

Take it away, Julie!


Morgan, thanks for letting me visit your blog today! I’m honored to share with you why I have an attitude of gratitude.

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m so thankful to be a writer in 2014. We’re writing in a time of change, and to me, that’s exciting. Sure, the amount of physical book stores is shrinking, which makes me sad. But other than that, everything else is positive.

Why is it a great time to be rockin’ the keyboard? Here are my thoughts:

   Ezines: These days, the Internet is full of ezines that offer free subscriptions to their readers and great opportunities for writers. In most cases you earn little to no money, but it’s a great way to earn publishing credits. I published some of my early work with Imagination Cafe & Stories for Children. Those credits paved the way for acceptance into paid markets, like Scholastic Math (see page 8) and Highlights.

   Choices: Agent? Traditional publishers? Small publishers? Indie? There is no longer one way to publish. Writers can look ahead and choose the path that fits their lives best. All these choices empower writers and give us freedom.

   Hybrid: Can’t choose which path to take? No worries! You can do both. Many traditionally published writers are choosing to also indie publish their work. Authors like Elizabeth Craig write a series for their publisher and another series that they put out themselves. No need for either/or.

   Publishing outlets working for us: Amazon’s KDP, Create Space, Barnes & Noble’s Nook Press, Apple iBooks—all of these companies are working hard to make publishing easier. If a non-techie like me can figure out how to indie publish, anyone can. Seriously.

   Freelancers: these days, there are thousands of freelancers out there who can make our writing lives better and easier. The small cost of working with a pro pays dividends when we’re able to offer quality books to our readers. I used the fab editors at A Little Red, Inc., and my cover was designed by J. Allen Fielder.

   How-to resources: When I decided to indie publish, I went directly to a seasoned pro—Susan Kaye Quinn. Her blog pointed me in the right direction. If you’re even thinking about going indie, start there.

   Online communities: I can’t imagine writing back in the days before the Internet and blogging. The support and help that we offer each other is priceless. Got a question about publishing? Google it. Got a question about formatting? Search the KDP or Create Space forums, where other writers stop in to help. Feeling insecure about your writing? Join a group like Alex J. Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group. We’re all connected. We’re in this together. It’s a beautiful thing.

Some may moan about the state of today’s publishing. Not me. I’m grateful that I’m writing in a time when writers have the freedom to make choices.

How do you feel about being a writer in the current climate? Worried? Confused? Thankful? Please share!
Julie Musil writes Young Adult novels from her rural home in Southern California, where she lives with her husband and three sons. She’s an obsessive reader who loves stories that grab the heart and won’t let go. Her novel The Boy Who Loved Fire is available now. For more information, or to stop by and say Hi, please visit Julie on her blog, on Twitter, and on Facebook.
Buy Links for The Boy Who Loved Fire

Thank you, Julie! I'm so very excited for this release. I've already bought my copy and I'm excited to read and review!
Red. Head. Out. :)

Monday, January 13, 2014

Another Honesty Post...

My quest for balance this year is going well! I’ve been rocking my WIP, writing at every opportunity I can. Things are really starting to click with my current story and it feels SO GOOD.

I also feel like I’m keeping up with all other key aspects of my life. Usually when I get immersed in a project, I let the dishes or the laundry go, but I haven’t this time. I’m astounded it’s possible to actually balance writing and household work. Same goes with family time, kids’ homework, ballet, kid activities, and all the other things in life that are important.

But there’s one thing I’m really struggling to find balance with—and for the most part, it’s completely out of my control—which makes it more difficult. I’ve been trying so hard to create good relationships with people who I haven’t connected with over the past few years. Family, friends. And it hurts when these people don’t want it. When it’s apparent that they don’t want anything to do with me.

And I get that all I can do is be the best person I can be. I can be nice and if it isn’t reciprocated, then it’s out of my hands. At least I’ve tried. But it still baffles me how some people can just be mean. I want to believe the good in everyone. I want to believe that people aren’t out specifically out to get me. Because I choose to believe that people aren’t inherently evil.  

It just makes me sad that there might not ever be a relationship between people who should have a relationship. We only get to live once, which makes it vital that we try and make the right decisions. Do you ever feel like time after time you’re giving a person the benefit of the doubt only to be disappointed?

The thing is, while I write this, I know I’ll keep trying. I’ll keep smiling and hope that one day people come around. I know that happiness doesn’t come from others. We choose to be happy, regardless of our circumstances. And I can do that.

But if you’d like to share, I’d love to know if any of you have advice. If you’ve had an estranged relationship that you were able to turn into something good. If there are any tactics you’ve used that have healed wounds between people. I suppose all circumstances are different, but I really do believe with the right communication and with unconditional love, that someday things can be made right.

Red. Head. Out. :)

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