Writer’s Quote Wednesday – Appreciation

Welcome back to another episode of Writer’s Quote Wednesday, hosted by Silver Threading. Today’s Quote is from Epicurus:

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“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not…”

There is nothing more arrogant than not accepting or appreciating what we have in the moment in which we have it. In a world of instant gratification we are always looking for the next big thing. Even the small things. Did you pay your rent or mortgage this month? Good, enjoy your home. Why worry about next month when that moment has not yet arrived? And who said you will live to see it? At one point you could only dream of owning a home or renting one this beautiful, don’t ruin it by desiring something that is not yet in your reach, or in your time to possess.

People and situations, no matter how exciting or distraught, come into our lives for a reason. Everyone you meet and everything you encounter has something to teach you. Sometimes we forget to take things as they are. An ugly situation must be accepted for what it is before we can properly act on it, and to navigate that situation. An ugly person even has to be accepted for who they are, for in the twisted way of things, even they have something to teach us.

About the Author:

Epicurus_bust2Today’s quote is a new one for me because I don’t really get into the whole philosophy thing. But Epicurus was an ancient Greek philosopher as well as the founder of the school of philosophy called Epicureanism. Only a few fragments and letters of Epicurus’s 300 written works remain. I chose this quote not for its author but for the quote itself. I don’t know much about Epicurus nor am I a fan of his but that fact became, unintentionally, symbolic in and of itself. For example: According to Wikipedia:

Epicurus is a key figure in the development of science and scientific methodology because of his insistence that nothing should be believed, except that which was tested through direct observation and logical deduction.”

While I absolutely disagree, I was still able to learn something from the quote itself and apply it to my personal walk in a way that is relevant to me without sacrificing my understanding or being redirected.

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Thanks for joining us for another episode of Writer’s Quote Wednesday! Be sure to run on over to Silver Threading to see what the fun is all about.

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Writer’s Quote Wednesday – Happiness

When I saw this quote on the Book Rags Facebook Page, I knew I wanted to use it for  Writer’s Quote Wednesday:

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I had to read this a few times before ascribing to understanding its meaning. Then, I had to read it again because of its beauty. Here are my thoughts on its meaning:

Happiness is such a nourishing feeling that it does not resolve to be stagnant. Happy people are continuously striving to be happy. They are smiling people, complimenting people, grateful people, and they have something good to say about each day. Even in the midst of trial, happiness will always seek that excitement. While it may have settled to drink of its own glory, its wings will still move toward the direction of that which is good.

“Happiness is excitement that has found a settling down place, but there is always a little corner that keeps flapping.” – E.L. Konigsburg

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I am not familiar with Konigsburg, but interestingly enough I was not surprised to find that she was a writer and illustrator of children’s books and young adult fiction. To me her quote became so much clearer, since there is something fresh about young people that is always exciting, especially small children.

She is one of six writers to win two Newbery Medals, the venerable American Library Association award for the year’s “most distinguished contribution to American children’s literature.”

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Be Sure to Check out:

Writer’s Quote Wednesday, every Wednesday on Silver Threading.

 

Self-Publishing: Just Write

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I’ve heard enough criticism of Indie Authors and self-published books to last a lifetime and for the most part, I agree with them. I believe a lot of self-published books are low in quality. I think the editing and proofreading of some of these books suck, and I think some of the book cover designs are far from eye-catching. But I also believe we are overlooking one major detail:

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Many books that are published by big Publishing Companies have some of these same problems, but no one is going to talk about that because after all, who wants to stand against St. Martin’s Griffin? No one will talk about these poorly written, and sometimes poorly edited books published by some of the most famous Publishing Companies. It is because these books have the reputation of professionalism. They are backed by publishing houses with teams of support systems that Indie Authors simply do not have. Is this an excuse? Of course not. But what I would like to suggest to Indie Authors is this: JUST WRITE.

Self-publishing-300x300Produce a professional product and keep producing. Your content may suck at first but you will never please everyone so just write. Write and invest in the  professional quality material. Identify the readers who like what you write and engage them. Self-Publishing is a slow game. So don’t go into get rich or die trying. I would even suggest you have another career on the side for bills sake and livelihood because it will be awhile before you start making real money from your book sells. This will not only assist you in life outside of writing, but it will help you to invest in your own writing. You should never solely depend on your writing career financially starting out because everybody knows writers do not make much money. Traditional Publishing or Self-Publishing, we are not ballers so don’t set yourself up for disappointment by raising the stakes too high. Ambition is great, but this is a slow process in which Indie Authors need continual improvement by producing plenty of books.

 

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It is at this point that you will need to identify your writing goals. What is it you want from self-publishing a book? Is it to make the New York Times Bestsellers list? Is it to entertain your circle of friends only? Why are you self-publishing a book? This is a question only you can answer and depend on what that answer is you will have to take it from there. Your motivation, however, will have to be deeper than making money. I’m not talking about finding god and all that extra stuff. This ain’t church. I’m talking about your personal inspiration because whatever that inspiration is it will have to be the driving force behind your will to keep going. There will be frustration after frustration  in an industry to which, despite failure, you must continue to produce. It’s exciting initially because you’ve published a book, which is a huge accomplishment, Yay!! Go You! But what now?

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You set it up in your mind that the money will start pouring in and it doesn’t happen. That’s because it doesn’t work like that. Not even for writers who traditionally publish. As I’ve stated, a lot of Self-Published books suck for various reasons but don’t let the industry fool you:

Traditionally published books do too.

You think these books are automatic bestsellers? You think they’re striking gold? Nope. That’s the illusion but I’m here to tell you: writers don’t make money. At least not at first. Not Self-Published writers or Traditionally Published writers and you can take that to the bank and cash it.

So what do I propose? Do you throw in the towel? Do you do away with that manuscript? Do you stop here? No. You pass go, collect $200 and use it to keep writing. Whether your aspiration is to publish traditionally or Self-Publish, just write. But dedicate yourself to it. Here are a few tips to help get you started:

– Good Editing / Proofreading

– Nice Book Cover Design (FYI: Most major publishing houses buy multiple stock images from places like Getty images and combine them using Photoshop. Wanna know the secret to that nice book cover? I just told you).

– Formatting

– Easy to Follow Structure

– Jaw dropping opening scene

Keep it simple, keep it professional, and keep it coming. Don’t worry too much about the formalities and all that extra stuff these so called professionals keep telling you because your story probably does suck to them, but that don’t mean it’s not a masterpiece to someone else.

Just keep Writing.

Writer’s Quote Wednesday

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My entry for Silver Threading’s Writer’s Quote Wednesday this week is from Zora Neale Hurston’s Dust Tracks on a Road:

 
“I have been in Sorrow’s kitchen and licked out all the pots. Then I have stood on the peaky mountain wrapped in rainbows, with a harp and a sword in my hands.” 

– Zora Neale Hurston, Dust Tracks on a Road

I love using imagery and symbolism with my writing so this quote is  very inspiring to me. I love the way she lends us a pictorial version of the words. The up close and personal relationship with grief contrasted against the achievement of ones dreams by having climbed the highest mountain, and the added serenity of being wrapped in rainbows. And while there is music, there is still a pending fight to endure, so she balances the music with a weapon of war.

 

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