Book Life by Barb Abelhauser

YES, writing, editing, formatting, and publishing a book feels like giving birth (not necessarily to an elephant); and for good reason.

barbs book on library shelf

It also feels REALLY good to know that the book, A BridgeTender’s View: Notes on Gratitude has been spotted in a variety of places all around the world (beyond Seattle, Montana, and Kansas.)

“I also happen to know that my book has made it as far as Australia, Singapore, Argentina, England, Canada, and Germany. It has developed a life of its own. My little book, all grown up, making new friends and visiting places I may never have a chance to go. That’s amazing to me.” ~Barb Abelhauser

Blogger, Author, and Seattle Bridgetender Barb Abelhauser writes a post every day.

She’s also EXCELLENT about responding to readers who comment, readers who let her know they bought the book; and she is committed to gently reminding readers (new and returning) with each new blog published…”there is a curated collection of favorite posts on #gratitude if they want to feel a real book in their hands.”(hint, hint)

We had fun coming up with the first Social Media posts that were “tweet-length” and crafted to invoke curiosity. I’m honored that she took to heart the book promotion plan we mapped out from day one. Not every author is willing to toot their own horn after publication and launch which I can understand, BUT that isn’t going to necessarily help readers discover your book, now is it?

As a lifelong writer with a spotty record these past years of posting on my own blog, I admire her commitment to writing daily. I appreciate her observations, insights, and willingness to share what’s on her mind and heart. It’s easy to admire some one who makes the time daily.

Making the time to write, edit, schedule and post with consistency is the first step.

Barb is an avid observer of the world (inner and outer) with a long list of ideas to keep her company. She takes the first step at some point each day, and that has made all the difference.

Barb Abelhauser Book One

She’s also got three other volumes to publish if her dedicated readers nudge her.

#dogstories #drawbridgestories #enthusiosity

Follow her daily writing by subscribing to her blog and rest assured not a day goes by that she doesn’t publish original content.

P.S. If there is a book project living in you that is insisting “quietly” to be realized and you want support, I AM here for you. ~Deborah Drake

 

Publish or Perish? Really? (part 1 of 3)

Beloved author, Paulo Coelho has many fine quotes, as the prolific writer he is and I dedicate this series to the themes within this statement:

“Don’t expect to get anything back, don’t expect recognition for your efforts, don’t expect your genius to be discovered or your love to be understood. Act because you need to act.” ~Paulo Coelho

In an age when it is easier to self-publish, why not help yourself to it?

The name of the game this week for me is stay on task. Not only is there a manuscript to edit there is another to format and much to read and comment on. In this day of self-publishing, yes anyone COULD write a book but who actually does?

It is NEVER too late to start. There are many late blooming writers. Sometimes we first need the right dose and variety of life experience that helps us define our purpose clearly. And sometimes it takes big events and changes to catalyze the writing urge in us.

Self-publishing is not for the faint of heart. And while there may be a variety of do-it-yourself means to publish yourself, the fact remains you still must generate the idea, then the manuscript, thereafter the book, the play, the blog post before you can “publish” the beauty. There is a tremendous sense of self-satisfaction when writing is completed. It could be a singular blog post or a larger project and I say celebrate your writing with others.

I am a cheerleader and champion for writing for yourself. And while I also ghost write and act as “the journalistic medium” for those who are challenged to do for themselves with any consistency, I love, love, love being the editor to an excited author.

If I had my way all the time (smile), I’d turn every ghost writing client ultimately into a writer for themselves–for it empowers you deeply to write and speak as yourself, for yourself and with enthusiasm and self-confidence. A ghost or journalist can do a great job too but the closer to the source a message is born, the more potent it may be.

What stops you from communicating with EASE for yourself about your business, your passions, your hobbies, your causes, your personal writing projects?

I know what can stop me and what I work to keep out of my way. And it is my mission to help as many as possible get out of their own way too.

Call me Catalyst.

For the past 18 months I have been hosting a writing group that meets each Tuesday to TALK about writing and blogging and creativity and overcoming fear and resistance to writing for one’s self and one’s ventures, professional and personal.

Each week I am given the opportunity to “creatively unlock” not only myself but as many as two dozen attendees. Many come weekly and some since the beginning. One regular, calls the time her group therapy. We all laughed the first time. Now when someone new comes claiming they don’t “blog”  basically another term for writing) for who would care what they had to say and whatever would they write about, we regulars glance at each other and declare it time for a “creative intervention.”  And in shortly thereafter (most of the time) our reticent or would be writer is clear they have a perspective worth sharing with others. After which some jump right in and return reporting they are now officially blogging or getting set to start.

Gratitude is abundant in our weekly time together and the most striking feature these days of “Circle” as some call it or “Tuesdays with Deborah,” is the community blog of the same name spawned out of Tuesday conversations. What is striking about it is the variety of posts and the enthusiasm of the contributing writers. That enthusiasm is what it is all about cultivating for me.

The secret ingredient to the success in this instance is “community support.”  We are better individually for how we interact as a group. We are a growing and extended family. We come weekly wanting to write authentically, boldly and consistently. Or we come to find the motivation to try to begin. We are all at different places and stages. And all are welcome wherever they are in their Writing Pilgramage.

The act of writing is not always easy even for the natural writer (like Me!). And support makes all the difference. Let me say again, “Support Makes All the Difference.”

Again I ask, in an age when it is easier to self-publish, why not help yourself to it?

More to come. Stay tuned for Part 2 and 3. And if you are thinking you want to write but don’t have a clear sense of your voice and vision and purpose for your writing, may you seek out support from someone and soon. I am actively listening for one!

A Short Ode To Spring's Latest Attempt To Arrive

I am the next bloom on the cherry tree about to burst wide open, the next new leaf about to unfold its green self, and the song about to erupt from the robin red breasted and boldly singing to source of its Gratitude.

May your writing this coming week erupt from that place in you that believes wholeheartedly in what you are doing and being in the world.

There are people in need of you and your offerings. They simply need know what your offer is.

My offer is to assist you get comfortable with being perhaps more forthcoming and transparent about who you are, what you are up to, what you are a resource for and authentically expressing yourself so that the people who want and need you, have an easier time finding you.

All “writing rules” aside, what would you add to your writing body of work?

On Editing: Please Take the Kathleen Show's Advice…

As we approach February 26th and the next offering of the All Day Salon on Publishing Yourself and the Art of  Self-Promotion, I find myself again chuckling at the ardent advice of one radio show host turned internet TV host… Kathleen Slattery-Moschkau

http://www.thekathleenshow.com/2010/09/08/self-publishing-a-word-of-advice-to-authors%E2%80%94episode-1/

She is passionate about what she does and it’s clear. She shared that she gets as many as 100 books a month and many from self-published authors who want to be interviewed by her and she has this to say to many of them.

“Please, please, hire yourself a kickass editor. So as not to be insulting to the art of writing.” (her words not mine…)

February 26th marks the fourth time I and other presenters rise bright and early on a Saturday morning to paint a complete picture of what it takes to write, design, publish and promote that book that lives inside you.

Among our subject matter experts, is professional friend, author, editor, ghost writer, blogger and writing peer of mine, Kim Pearson,  founder of Primary Sources.  I suspect “Kathleen” would agree Kim is that “kickass editor” she advises writers, hire at the right time and place.

We may have a great idea for a book or a blog we wish to write and maintain. (And, we’ll need an objective reader!)

We may actually be a good writer with enthusiasm for our subject matter. (And, we’ll miss our own small errors and awkwardnesses)

Simply put, we will not catch all our inconsistencies ALL the time or have the required objectivity we REALLY need to fully edit all our own writing.

We may be a great first pass editor but are we the best to be doing every round of editing and proofreading?

At some point it is appropriate to engage an editorial expert, AND it is the best thing we can do for the health and well-being of the book and our own sanity.

A few additional thoughts on hiring an editor to assure the best writing we can muster up:

While it may be more economical,  using a friend or family member might not count as hiring an editor.

Granted, in some cases it works out fine and all the hiccups and awkward phrasing and misspelled words are caught by YOU or your “trusted” editor,  BUT more often than not,  it does not fully benefit the manuscript we are so intimately connected to.

Editorial Objectivity is a good thing for a manuscript that it might be well-appreciated and often-read by many others far beyond our immediate circles. Engaging an objective professional for editing be it developmental, or copyediting or proofreading can only be a good and necessary thing. A step wise to invest in.

I am on the bandwagon with Kathleen of the Kathleen Show because she tells it like it is. Talk about a fierce conversation in under two minutes.

To all the writer’s reading this entry who might be working on a book or even a blog, please consider the value of budgeting for working with a professional and dedicated editor–for the benefit of your manuscript, your blog posts, your commercial writing and your readers!

I’m a voracious reader who is turned away when I encounter truly challenging writing. I am happy to overlook the occasional typo for I will substitute the correction.  I am that flexible.  That being said, I hope you who have a book in you write it.

Self-publishing and blogging it (as a serial piece) makes it that accessible to you and me and others.

Stories are Gifts. Share. And…Begin with the End in Mind.

May we write both for ourselves and the readers who are glad to share us with those they know.