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Author

resized_20161022_171951It’s been awhile since I’ve really felt like an author.  My first book is out of print.  The last few years I’ve been contributing to anthologies rather than writing on my own themes.  I’ve had a hard time making the space to work on my next book.  Life happens.

This past weekend, though, has been a writers week for me.   On Friday I attended Women of Words.   I’ve been a member of this amazingly supportive writers group for over a year, but I’ve had to miss meetings the last few months.  It’s great to feel “back on track.”

Then, as my regular readers know, I went to the Minnesota State University, Mankato Women and Spirituality Conference.  I spent most of the weekend vending my books (and the anthologies) and being “seen” as a writer.  I also gave a well attended workshop on Daily Practice (the next book).

my view for most of the weekend

my view for most of the weekend

There were some gems that dropped into my ears over the course of the weekend.   Some of them were immediately useful.  Others I’m still digesting.  I’ll share.

One of the Women of Words said that when you go to sell your books you need to have the expectation that they will sell.   Now that seems self evident, but I know I have set up vending with “Maybe I’ll sell a few books” in my head.  Not this time, and it made a significant difference in my sales.

The conference keynote speaker, Daisy Hernandez, talked about the power of memoir.  How when we share those personal stories we often find they are much bigger than we are.  In telling our own stories we tell a human story, a culture story, and there are at least elements of that story that belong in other people’s stories as well.  It’s hard for me to share those personal stories, but I know when I do my books are better for it.

My table was across from the artist who drew the cards in the Spirit of Archetypes divination deck.  I drew the Martyr card.   These cards carry “illuminated” and “shadow” meanings.  The shadow of the martyr is exactly what you think.  The illuminated archetype is about conviction and commitment to a purpose.   Like being an author and owning it.

Speaking about Daily Practice

Speaking about Daily Practice

When I speak about Daily Practice, and especially when I speak to women I have to address the issue of “How do I put myself first?”.  This comes across in a lot of ways.  It can be about time.  It can be about priorities.  It can be about reluctance to do self care.  It’s a very prevalent theme when I converse with people about their issues with Daily Practice and it’s certainly been one of my issues as well.

One of the suggestions I give to people who can’t seem to “do it for ourselves” is to dedicate the practice to the Divine.  Make your practice devotional, take a sacred vow to do the practice, add a gratitude component.  Essentially I recommend heightening the perceived value of the practice beyond just something we do for ourselves.

So… it finally occurs to me on the drive home to LISTEN to some of the things that come out of my own mouth.  What if marketing and promotion (the necessary and my least favorite parts of this job) were sacred service?  What if all marketing and promoting was about opening a channel for the Divine to inspire more people?   This one I’m still chewing on, but it tastes a whole lot better with this kind of seasoning.

Samhein/Halloween is New Year for Wiccans.  I’m feeling well packed for a new start.

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100

Many of my earliest image postings were clip art.

Many of my earliest image postings were clip art.

This is my 100th post on this blog!  That may not seem like such a big deal, especially for those bloggers who are writing something every day.  But I’m posting once a week, which means it’s been almost two years of posting on WordPress.  I’ve made mistakes and I’ve had plenty of opportunities to learn.

I still have to get a handle on the whole writing process thing.  I find myself making amazing misspellings and bad uses of there’s and it’s ( inevitably pointed out to me by my readers).  I know how to use these words, but apparently my fingers don’t care when I type.  I don’t always catch it in editing, especially when I’m a little sleepy or rushed to hit ‘publish’.  I’ve had to learn the discipline of meeting the weekly commitment .  (Sometimes a day late, but still….)  I’ve worked hard at learning to be open and authentic both with the personal posts and when I am posting about a larger event.

One of my most popular posts was inspired by a book I read about Great Apes.

One of my most popular posts was inspired by a book I read about Great Apes.

I’ve been disappointed in my expectations.  Who knew that hundreds, no thousands of readers who would love this blog are having so much trouble finding it?  🙂   I’ve never been Freshly Pressed.  I haven’t gotten a blogging award.  Some of my friends, the one’s who ask “what’s new with you?” are clearly not even checking in.  My Mom doesn’t read my blog! (But then, she doesn’t have a computer so I suppose that’s to be expected isn’t it.)

I’ve learned to be a bit more reasonable about expectations.  Now I write as much for myself as anything and am delighted when others find something useful, or inspiring, or entertaining in what I have to say.  I recognize that winning those blogging awards often requires things like writing a post with 24 things about yourself – one for each letter of the alphabet.  I’m grateful to have avoided that.  As for freshly pressed, on the few occasions when I’ve checked “this weeks list” I’ve not been impressed.  It seems that photography blogs are popular and occasionally a humor piece.  I’m delighted when my blogging buddies make the list, but even they seem confounded by the selection process.

The post that generated the most comments (July 2012) was about Trolls

The post that generated the most comments (July 2012) was about Trolls

There’s another thing I’ve learned.  I really can have friends on the internet who I’ve never met, but feel I’ve truly gotten to know. The blogs I tend to read are like mine, a little personal, a little day to day, observations and perspectives on life.  I’ve found several “blogging buddies” who I’m sure would be delightful to spend time with in the real world as well as on-line.  Someday I may just  drop in on them.  (Well, there would be discussion and planning and schedule checking and making arrangements for Orion, but you know what I mean.)

So thank you for going on this journey with me.  I hope you will continue to enjoy my posts and will share with your friends.  Who knows.  Those thousands of potential readers may find me yet!

The post that I continue to get feedback on (not always in this forum) is my post on Prayer Beads.

The post that I continue to get feedback on (not always in this forum) is my post on Prayer Beads.

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