Tough Decisions Ahead- Overcoming the Anxiety (and many choices) of Self Publishing

So maybe you’ve made the tough decision to selfpublish.

Wow. That right there already took so much mental energy. Now you also face the task ahead- getting your novel ready for publication.

I used to sit and stare at my manuscript and wonder if it was ready. My phone’s glow would light up my face late at night as I, deep under the covers, googled ‘when do you know when you’re novel is done?’

The answers I got were not satisfactory at the time. “You’ll just know.”

Well right now I’m feeling like: “Get this out of my face I never want to look at it again. It’s as good as it’s going to get. I’ve already sunk years into it.”

So what now?

Well now I’ve, and possibly you’ve, got to decide; How much am I will to spend on editing? What do I want the editor to look for (Spelling? Plot? Flow? Grammar and Sentence structure?)? What do I want my cover art to look like and how much am I willing to spend on it?

I don’t have your answers, but I’m beginning to come to terms with mine. He’s what I’ve decided and how.

COVER ART

I’ve actually hired three cover artists at this point. The first was as cheap as it gets, $25 for a friend, still in school, to made in two days. It was not very eye catching.

The second was a job posting on upwork, I didn’t love any of the artists that responded to my prompt but I had been overwhelmed by all the choices. $90 later and five months later and the project wasn’t going anywhere- I had to many ideas and they had to little experience to trust their own composition.

Third time’s the charm. I was again looking for a artist, but this time a real artist whom I could trust. I wanted a friend as well, someone interested in the same kinds of things who understand me and whom I can talk to like an actual person. Here are of the things that I was thinking about:

  1. I want to be proud of the cover.
  2. You get what you pay for.
  3. I want to sell merch with the cover on it, or be able to give away things with my cover on it.
  4. My cover is the CENTER of my marketing plan.
  5. I spent years on a book, I want to do it justice.

When thinking of artists who drew in a style I like (yes I decided I wanted a hand made cover so I’ll stand out) I had to look no further than my wall. At the base of my bed are three large paintings done by one of my favorite artist. I met her at an anime convention and drug all of my friends over there to take a look at her fantastic paintings.

I decided what the heck, and messaged her. @salmonella_fish

She seemed really passionate about my idea, and I’m really passionate about her art but her quote was a little high…

My first big decision.

  1. My YA novel is heavily inspired by anime and I anticipate the people who will like it already like anime. I want an anime style cover.
  2. She already has a big following of people who like her art, if she decided to share the cover it could be a big boost to my book.
  3. She already travels to conventions (Something I aspire to do when I’m a ‘real writer’) meaning she may be willing to put my book on her table.
  4. I’m passionate about her and want to scream her name from the rooftops, I have no problem supporting good artists.

this is what is came down to.

I may never recoup the costs of this cover. But it is my debut work and I want to have something to show for it.

I decided to pay $500 for my cover. I’m spending $500 for me- not so it will sell better.

Editing

There are so many editors out there. As if I wasn’t overwhelmed before… So I googled, and I was shocked by prices, and I put out a listing, and didn’t get good replys. I grappled with the idea of not editing my novel, or getting a family friend to do it for me. But no that wouldn’t do. I ended up asking a writing friend who was well connected.

The editing price was normal but they offer a special: The first 50 pages for $30. Hallelujah.

I’m now going through those first pages trying to decide if I want to finish the edit myself, knowing what they picked out in the first place or if I want to be bougie and make someone else do the work. That second one would keep me in alinement with my ‘I never want to look at this sh!t ever again’ mentality.

The price could work for or against me. I’ve already put so much money in, shouldn’t I just put in a little more to make it great? At the same time… I’ve already put so much money in, shouldn’t I just go for the cheapest option?

But here’s the thing that’s actually standing in my way:

I’m terrified they will read it and find some massive plot/character error that destroys the book and they hate it. Meaning I would have to do a hecking ton more editing.

So as I’m reviewing the first 50 pages I keep repeating to myself. “I’m going to be proud of this novel.”

I know that if I’m not proud of it, I won’t promote it, it will flop, and hurt my self esteem more in the long run.

Be Proud of Yourself

What I chose won’t be applicable to everyone but if I leave you with anything then I want you to know this.

Live Life with no regrets. Full-ass the things and are important and make decisions you are proud of. We can’t go back in time and see how another option played out so doing what you believe in and making the best decision with the information you have will be the only way you can stay happy looking back.

Best of Luck to you.

The Habit of Being a Writer- Why?

“You should be writing everyday”- how many times have you heard that one?

“Read books in your genre” is often countered with “Writers should read broadly” – both still imply you should be reading all the time.

“Schedule your writing time- yes write it in on your calendar” – usually accompanies rebuttals about not writing everyday.

With books like ‘the seven habits of highly effective people’ and a barge of morning routine content still wiggling it’s way onto my feed every week it’s easy to find your vocabulary filling up with ‘shoulds’.

But how many times have you started a habit and not fallowed through? Scheduled in time to write and ended up researching youtube for an hour? I could be the poster child for starting habits and not seeing them through. I’m fine with 30 day commitments and if my doctor tells me to do something I’ll fallow it to the letter but something about writing habits has never really stuck with me.

Here’s the habit that has stuck: morning yoga and five minute exercises every few hours. And thats not because I’m a health buff. I don’t love the feeling of yoga and I’d rather go for a two hour walk than lift weights for ten minutes.

It stuck because I had a Why

One of my side jobs is at an ice skating rink. They give me free classes- usually $100 every two months. And I hate falling on my ass in front of twenty kids as the only person above five foot. So I workout. Every morning. I love skating and hate embarrassing myself.

So now you ask yourself “why do I want to write a novel?”

Is it for the gory? The fame? The bragging rights? The slow trickle of more money in your bank account? Just to be able to say you did it?

Be honest with yourself. If you don’t like the reasons or you can dismiss them to easily (i.e. ‘I’ll never be famous so why bother’) Then you have two options.

  1. Give up on writing your novel
  2. Set a goal

I can never seem to find the time to write until Nanowrimo. My ‘Why’ is usually just because I can write a book in 30 days, it’s a fun challenge. But the times I’ve completed nano was because I tied 50,000 words to a reward (usually a road trip).

So great, if you want to find time to write you have to be motivated, and to be motivated you have to have a goal.

And not just any goal. Something you really want or are really afraid of.

So let’s brainstorm some ideas–

By finishing my novel I:

  • Will let myself take a weekend off and ______ (party with friends, visit another city, buy a dog)
  • Wont have to lie to my friends when they ask me why I haven’t been hanging out with them
  • Can join that book club/ writers meet up that I’ve been watching through the window
  • Will have something to share with future generations
  • Can show people a rough draft when that one friend ask to read it (again)
  • Will be able to brag about it on Facebook all the time
  • Will hone my writing skills and be able to put it down on resumes
  • Will leave behind some mark on the world

What matters is that you either know your Why or your Goal. Write it down. Stick it to something you look at a lot. Write it out in a way that makes you weep with joy every time you think of accomplish it.

Don’t force yourself to write. Wake up in the morning lusting for your laptop.

Don’t make a habit of writing. Become a writer.

This is the companion video I made to go along with this post!
I talk about some next steps to take after alining yourself with your why.

10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Writing My First Novel

This year, 2020, is the year of finishing projects for me. I’ll be releasing the book I’ve been working on for years, and I’m about to release a very different kind of project that I’ve had in my heart for a very long time. In starting these new projects I’ve had to do two things.

  1. Revisit the reason why I started these projects in the first place and 
  2. Learn a lot of really new, difficult things.

So I wanted to share my advice with you, human who may be starting a new project. The first six are mindsets the last four are more practical.

To start, I want you to know that Plans fail, people don’t. If your 2020 resolution was to read a book a week or write your whole novel in January of if for any reason you haven’t completed your goal that simply means that plan didn’t work for you.

Have you ever wondered why there are so many different self help books? Or New fad diets every year? It’s because different plans work for different people. If your plan didn’t make you reach your goal then that means it’s time to reassess your plan and learn why it failed so you don’t make the same mistake again.

Two. Your project isn’t going to turn out like you imagined and that ok. I’ve started writing a lot of books who, over the course of writing it, I dropped tons of character and changed the ending completely. On the other hand I’ve been working on my website for years because when I first started I had way higher expectations for myself than I could actually meet. That’s three. Just start, no matter where your skill level is at. What you will learn doing it the first time will be priceless, you’ll learn so much more doing something for the first time then you could ever learn just doing the research. And on that note. While you should do a bit of research, doing too much will just freak you out and keep you from starting at all.

One of my favorite quotes from any movie is from ‘we bought a zoo’ where the main character says:

Four. Stop Putting so much pressure on yourself. Whenever I start something new I have these super high standards for myself. Usually these end up holding me back as I’ll be self editing too much. Or worst of all I’ll be so frozen by fear that I won’t be able to start at all. To counter act that. Try to just do rough drafts instead. I like to start on paper with a pencil in my hand On blank notebook paper. This really gets the rough ideas out. Then I’ll make it look right, feel right, flow right, before going in and working on the details.

Five. There will always be days when you don’t want to work on the thing. When you’re too tired, have too much going on or life is otherwise just generally in the way. The important thing is that you always come back to the project in the hope that one day you finish it. I’d suggest putting things in your life that inspire you to work towards that goal. Like downloading podcasts, putting up stick notes, asking your friends to harass you. 

Six. You need to enjoy the ride, not just be looking at the goal. For many artists the long term goal can take years and at times seem impossible. But if you genuinely enjoy the act of writing, painting, blogging, vloging, or whatever it is then not only will you come back to it time after time but you’ll steadily improve and one day reach that daunting goal. Enjoying a thing should be reason enough in itself to do it without wanting to get paid or be popular. 

Next up! Share your process and start building a following early but don’t let it come in between you and actually writing. Having a fallowing means having other people who believe in you and hold you accountable. By sharing your processes you’re not only helping the people who are one step behind you but you’re connecting with people who have the same interests as you. Building those friendships means building a community and building a community means being able to bounce ideas off of others.

Eight. The things you’ll end up being the best at are the things you think you’re the worst at. In time you’ll recognize your weak points and work relentlessly to improve them. This not only builds your overall skill but will improve your work in other areas as well. Keep doing your research and don’t get distracted. It’s sometimes important to soul search and decide do you want to be the jack of all trades or master of one?

Nine. It’s a first draft and you’ll have plenty more. Don’t find the right words the first time. What you learn by the end will make you think the start was bad anyway. Your first thing might not be very good but you can be an amazing writer at 70 if you don’t hone your craft before. Every day that you work towards your passions you’re improving. Studies show people overestimate what they can do in an hour and a day but underestimate how much they can do with small consistent effort over a moth or a year.

Ten!

You need life experience to write a book, to be an artist, and stay happy in life. You don’t have to write what you know but if you never leave the house it’ll be hard to find inspiration. Inspiration, momentum, and words come from the rest of your life, finding the balance and taking time to live, work, and rest is just as important as the writing itself.

I hope that you took away something from these thoughts that were stream of consciousness shot out of my brain and I wish you luck on whatever project you’re working on.

When Writing Feels Impossible

Sometimes we just want something so badly and it fails.

Sometimes we know we shouldn’t do something and we do it anyway.

Sometime this causes burnout.

Sometimes this is because of burnout.

I’ve spent most of my life doing something because I think I ‘should’. As a result everything I ‘should do’ ends up failing.

In a society where we are afraid of failure, I often find it hard to get back up and try it again. But when burn out is in the mix it can feel impossible to stand up, let alone pick up the pen of the paint brush.

It’s funny to me how my life goes through the same cycles. Day after day I know I should eat breakfast, I should go to bed earlier and get up earlier, I should journal and get 30 minutes of exercise, I should meditate and wash my face and eat fish for the omega 3s that will make me less anxious.

Month after month I feel I should outline my goals and make a task list and film this many videos and write this many words.

And cycle after cycle I feel I shouldn’t be wasting my time blogging, or I should be filming more often or creating some other kind of content. I feel I should make more money, have a better apartment, live somewhere else, have an impactful job.

I’m always chasing the ‘shoulds’

I’m never gaining any ground

I’m never feeling content

Or full

or like I’m allowed to rest.

Self improvement is never ending.

And the ‘shoulds’ around writing feel so set in stone.

Today it feels like doing anything right is impossible

I bought the wrong paint, broke the ikea furniture, burnt the food, didn’t eat right, didn’t edit the right way, didn’t reply in enough time.

And I was trying. So So hard.

But it was impossible for me to do any of those things right when I haven’t done them before. When my life doesn’t fit in the perfect little nine 2 five, check off list.

And sometimes we need to give ourselves grace and say ‘it’s ok. You don’t feel up to it. You failed. You did it wrong. But you didn’t waste time. You learned something and you wont make the same mistake again.’

But then you do. You buy the wrong paint a year later, and you put together the ikea piece backwards even though you’ve put together and taken apart 1,000 beds. And you burn the same dinner you made every night of college.

Then you read your novel and it’s just not where you want it. It’s not good enough.

What do you do then?

We are not robots.

No matter how many times I tell myself not to make the same mistake I do. And every time I’m harder on myself.

It feels like there are two choices.

  1. Stand up and keep doing it.
  2. Lay down and stop doing it.

It might seem stupid. Like ‘duh, theres only one choice. You just have to keep doing it.’

I’d like to give you another option.

3. Lay down. Recenter. Stop doing what you ‘should’ do. Give yourself as much time as you need. Then start slowly, and carefully build yourself esteem back up.

Rest.

He Who Started It All

The way he moved, it was like he was dancing around the bullets. Gliding seamlessly between kicks and strikes, moving from one victim to another. Untouchable. I’d watched hundreds of hours of cctv and every time I singled out his suave knife skills. You could tell it was him, always handling the blades as if he were only twirling a pen in class.

It was hypnotizing. How effortlessly he could rob someone of their life, destroy a bank or thrash someone who he disliked.

I forced myself to put my laptop down. It was 3 in the morning again. My eyes stung. I’d been going too deep again. But I didn’t pull myself out of the rabbit hole on my own. My phone was buzzing fervently in my pocket. I dug it out. The room was illuminated by the word ‘Chief’.

I straitened, a rumpled pillow falling into my lap. 

“Hello sir.”

“Amadeus I need you here asap.”

It was Alex’s shift. He was a competent detective. Had been on the force five years longer than I had. My mind immediately went to the worst. 

“Is he ok?”

“He’s fine. I’m getting the whole division down here. Another one showed up.”

“Yes, sir. Understood.”

Laptop in my bag, pulled on my pea coat, grabbed my uniform off the rack, kicked on my shoes. My heels still get caught on the backs. The car didn’t want to start again. Too cold I guess. I changed out of my sweatpants while it warmed up. Then I was off. 

Its eight miles to the station takes and takes 17 minutes. What a quiet night it was, considering the world was about to end. Very few cars were out so I didn’t turn on my lights. The city was dim, most places closed by now. I looked for anyone walking along the road or cars going a little too fast.

I stepped in a puddle in the lot, which was nearly full at this point. My soggy shoes left spots as I hurried inside.

“Hey Truther, they’re in the office.” It was Williby, I didn’t pay him any mind.

I could see my supervisor and the rest of the team at the chief’s desk. They’d called me last again.

“Hey, I made you a hat so your hair wont get wet.” He pointed to my desk.

There was more tinfoil sitting on it.

“Ha ha, thanks bud… thanks for noting”

*knock knock*

“Get in here.”

I shut the door behind me and leaned against it. The room was small, smelled a tad like smoke and looked like a paper bomb had been set off. Alex had his computer on the table and was watching closely, the others were gathered around a very small piece of paper

“But what would this relate to then?”

I set down my bag and walked around to the open spot.

I was just like the last one called.

Character Dossiers and Updated Information As I Have It

Information on the Connectivity of Crime

Lore Report: The Screamers

March 6th 2025

On March 11th, 2011 Varistary Mall in Jacksonville Florida was held up in a hostage situation. The perpetrators laid bombs at the base of the concrete pillars that supported the five-story tall mall. It is still unknown how many individuals orchestrated the attack as the pretended to be civilians and evacuated after only five hours in the mall. Three individuals were found dead on inspection and two people were shot before demands were met.

Varistary is an Another Buried Warning Sign

“What concerns me most is how easily the criminals left the scene… leaving three dead in their wake.”
-Hostage negotiator on scene

This event was largely forgotten as on that same day, three hours earlier, a tsunami hit western Japan and the following earthquake and aftershocks devastated 10’s of thousands of lives. So too was it overlooked as the demands were so inconsequential.

But this was just the first event.

June 21, 2023. A warehouse is on fire in downtown Atlanta. In one of the units the workshop of a few amateur scientists heats to 1800 as precious relics act as wicks. After sixteen years spent reconstructing fading books, the deeply complicated culture of the original occult is cremated. At least a thousand tomes were lost to history.

December 29th, 2023. A museum artifact is stolen. No others have been found that are like this. It was special. One of a kind. A small metal disk originating in 1540 in native nature-based pagan religion related to the origins of modern-day Wicca.

This item had been reported stolen from several previous museums. Not different artifacts, the same exact one. The reports on file date back two hundred years. Nothing else was stolen from the West Elm Museum of Natural History. The robbery is not reported to authorities.

February 11th, 2024. An bank in New York is robbed for an excess of $400,000. This would seem disconnected. But during the hist, the artifact, called the Milanoa, can be seen spinning on the countertop. The bombs are the same as the ones from Jacksonville.

Chase Refused Comment

“They were cocky. One was wearing a blind fold… It was humiliating.”
-New York City Officer (wishes to remain anonymous)

July 1st, 2024. San Fransisco Police start investigating potential cult behavior based off the number of dead cats found by chalk symbols on street corners. The symbol on the streets is that of the metal disk.

October 31st, 2024. The Portland Massacre. 24 young men are found dead in the forest just outside town and three young women washed up in the Willamette river. Countless more are presumed dead. Oregonians have a habit of wandering off. Only this time it was different. This time they haven’t been recovered.

It’s all tied together by a thin trail.

Though I’ve presented this information to many a source, few are inclined to side with me. I know why. The implication of these events all leading back to one source is this: there are terrorists within American borders, they know how to build bombs and are actively planning something. People have told me to leave the topic well alone. But I say

“Bring on the Satanic Panic.”

Character Dossiers and Updated Information As I Have It

It’s likely that I’ll be killed during this investigation. For that reason I want my reasoning and information to be publicly available so that those at fault can be brought to justice. Please fallow the above link to receive the in depth information I’ve recorded.

If you are in need of more proof I will be posting the first bout of information ASAP. Please stay tuned.


Update: I’ve just published the primer. It’s how this whole story starts.

What Everyone Forgets- Fiction Writer’s Guide to Platform Building

So one of my most popular videos on youtube is Wattpad Vs. WordPress, which one is better for fiction writers. Its also one of my best preforming blog posts. But I’ve learned an awful lot about building a platform in between then and now, so I wanted to do a fallow up.

  1. It’s not about being perfect from the get go, as you practice and get better (and you will) then your audience will find you on any platform. If you don’t want to put out content either because it’s not good enough or because it’s amazing and you want more people to see it, then you need to take a good long look at your audience count. It will grow with you

2. With that being said, choose the platform that works best with your style. I hate video editing so it’s hard for me to put out youtube videos, but tik tok’s aren’t expected to be well edited. It’s much faster to make and tends to compliment my comedy style and BOUNUS the people on the app are actually my target audience.

3. So who is your target audience and where can you find them? I’d be willing to bet money that your target audience is yourself 3-5 years in the past. These are the people you can provide the most value too as you’ve been there and know exactly what they’re looking for. If you want to sell a service then just look at what you wanted or what you were buying before, you only need to be a few steps ahead of your audience.

4. The 90% rule: Get your work to 90% of perfect. The last 10% will take the most time, be recognized the least by your audience (who hasn’t been staring at it for six goddamn hours), and what you learn doing the first 90% will make it much easier to make a new project. Perfectionism is the creator of burnout.

5. 1000 true fans. It doesn’t matter what number of people you have as a fallowing. You could pay $50 for 10,000 Instagram followers. What does matter is the number of true fans who love you, fallow everything you do, and have money to spend on you every year. With just 1000 people with $100 to spend on you yearly you’d be making $100,000 yearly. So there’s no reason to aim for everyone, deeping those connections is more important.

20 Tips for Writers to Stay Strong in Your 2020 New Years Resolutions

It’s already the 20th day of 2020 which is pretty shocking to me. I was at work talking about resolutions when my alway tired and flustered co worker says to me ‘I don’t believe in new years resolutions, they’re just a capitalist scam to sell more gym memberships’ I was completely caught off guard because I’d never met one of these people in the wild. I didn’t get to say everything I wanted to so please enjoy my post/rant.

1-3 Dispel the Doubts

1. “You can change any day so why change on the first?” I completely believe part of this- You can change any day and you should be growing and changing everyday. The reason to change on new years is because of all the support from your community. I can not believe how many Podcasts, Instagram posts, youtube videos, etc I’ve seen with advice and motivation to get you picking goals and setting realistic goals this year. It simply has peaked. You’ll find my favorites at the end of the list!

2. “I can’t even think of a resolution besides write more.” Stop smoking, take more time for yourself, watch less TV/youtube/social media, spend more time with family, work on your hobbit more, implement a system to use your time better, read more, start a new sport, save more money, make more money. Anything and everything that you wish for can be turned into a resolution. But resolutions with that framing wont stick, you have to write them in a better way. For your writing goals, see if any of the fallowing resinate with you:

"I will build momentum by sitting down to write one sentence everyday. If I go for longer thats amazing." 
"Whenever I ride the bus I will read from one book that motivates me to be a better writer."
"I will schedule writing time in every week and will not let anything get in the way- it's nonnegotiable"
"I will continue to write even when I think it's bad. I can't get better without practice."

3. “I wasn’t like that last year so why will it be any different?” You won’t wake up on the first a brand new person, but you can start down the road to become a better person. On day one you just need to take the first step. Day two take the second. Any day you missed, well that was just a hiccup, just keep moving forward whenever you remember too. Give yourself leeway and don’t expect yourself to be perfect, start small and work your way up.

4-6 If you Don’t What Your First Step is:

4. Define what you want out of your writing- Do you want to write for your self of an audience, be published, self publish, have stories to tell your kids? Do you just want to write more? Sell more? Support some other hobby, record your own personal story?

5. Figure out the first few things you need to do to get there- Do you need an audience to feel successful? How will you build one? Do you need to do research on publishers or editors? Do you need to know what an agent actually does? DO you want to take classes, if so then your task is to google writing classes in your area and online. If you can write out tasks in 5 minute chunks then you’ll see how easy it is to more forward on your path. It’s just one sentence after another

6. Do those things and if you get stuck or don’t want to work on it anymore as yourself why and get to the root. Most of the time the thing that’s stopping us from our success is our own beliefs. Whats the story you keep telling yourself about being a writer, about who you are as a person, about why you can’t do that thing. Work your way back and try to come to an understanding of why you have that belief. Then find reasons to prove that it’s false.

7-14 Stay Strong.

For me this means sounding myself with motivational/ supportive things. This of it like how the AA works, you see other people achieving so you should too. Download podcasts around your goal, fallow Youtubers who talk about writing, and find writing hashtags anywhere you spend time. This servers as a reminder about your goal. I got some audiobooks to play at home while doing dishes, podcasts for the commute, a physical book before bed, background music for while I work, apps that send me reminders and I told my friends and co-workers about it so they’ll keep me accountable.

7. Schedule in time to work on your goal- If you don’t the world will make sure you don’t have any ‘freetime’

8. Give yourself some leeway and listen too your body. We all need to take some time for ourselves and forcing yourself to do something is a great way to give yourself burnout.

9. Aim for something crazy that your excited about and know it’ll take time. Stop playing it small, you’re much less likely to stick with something you can only imagine mildly improving your life. Get moving working towards a big end goal.

10. Add habits slowly once you have power behind them- like a character thats unmotivated you can’t use willpower alone to do everything. But when you give your character and yourself a good reason to spring into action you know they will. Get clear on why you’ve chosen your habit and write it down to remind yourself every day.

11. Write down what you want to work on the next day before bed. That way you wont have to come up with tasks on the spot, you’ll just know what you have to do.

12. Limit ‘Low Fun’ activities. These are thing you do just because they exist. I’d much rather be hanging out with friends then watching cat videos and when I get in the flow of writing I love that a lot more than flicking through Insta. Recognizing whats actually fun and what’s a time filler will really free up your schedule.

13. Focus on Completion. It’s so easy to hop from task to task, googling things as soon as they come up, going back to check the MC’s eye color-again etc. These little tasks can completely derail you and destroy your momentum. Instead, make a note to correct it later and then keep moving forward.

14. Just hit send. Stop thinking so much about what others will think. If you’re worried about not having a big enough audience or not having the best work just know that these feed each other. The more times you go through the process the better you’ll be and the bigger your fan base will be. Just start getting your reps in.

15-18 Motivation Resources

15. Podcasts

  • Don’t Keep Your Day Job
  • Entrepreneurs on Fire
  • The Happiness Lab
  • Write now
  • Being boss
  • Level up Your Course

16. Entrepreneurial Books

17. Books on Writing

18. Youtube

  • Author Brittany Wang
  • Hello Tyne (Mine)
  • Better Ideas
  • Writing with Jenna Moreci

19-20 When you ‘Fail’

19. Any step forward is a good step, even if you don’t think you’ll be able to do it consistently. Setting goals only works if you have motivation but any day you move forward leads you to a better tomorrow

20. You can start over and re-set at any time. Take ever day as it is and don’t define yourself by your past failures. Things will come up, your job is to be comfortable letting the small fires burn instead of getting out the firehose anytime you see the spark. Feel comfortable letting problems sit for a moment so that you can work on you passions. Actions speak louder than words so take the action today that makes you a writer

10 ways to kill your passions, develop burnout and utterly destroy your life

I never thought of myself as a youtuber, as a writer, as a designer. Even when I’d created my fifth channel, finished my second manuscript, or designed the perfect dorm room. I used to be so happy, creating new and fun things everyday. Then, not long after I graduated college, all the joy and happiness just… went away.

I thought that I’d finally reached the level of adulthood that everyone talks about. It’s rough earning a living, you’re going to hate your jobs, you’re going to fail, you’re going to give up on you passions and make way for excuses.

I’ve done a lot in my few years but I’ve yet to be satisfied. In the last month I’ve both reached my top limit for burnout, noticed it, recovered from it and started reaching my audience in a more direct and impactful way than ever. So I’d like to share with you two things.

Everything I’ve Done to Destroy my Chances of Succeeding & The things I Will Never do Again

Over Research Killed my Passion

I’ve always had high hopes and too much passion. So when I started a new social media and found that I enjoyed using it my next step was to read every article online about how to cultivate an audience and make money on it. I loved Instagram until I was told that all my photos should have a consistent color and style. This limited everything I put out.

Then I heard that travel influencing on Instagram was the most difficult to break into. Well thats the niche I had picked and so I all but gave up on Instagram. In retrospect that was an awful idea- I was aboard in Japan at the time and if I hadn’t taken the word of other so seriously then I could have been confident in myself while building some kind of fallowing. My most viewed post to date is the one I put out directly before I was told I couldn’t break into travel influencing

Brand Identity Distracted Me from What’s Important

I made five different youtube channels, one for each topic and style. Whenever I’d take vacation days I’d redesign my website to match my new since of self. I started trying to force my whole life into a box of exactly what I wanted to look like online. I was trying to make myself pick just one identity and trying to decide what that looked like was killing me.

See I’ve always like two very opposite things. I’m both a motivational pastel optimist and the edgy eboy who wears all black and listens to murder podcasts all day. I’d found a way to combine these things in my novels but when it came to making all my platforms cohesive, well I’d forbidden myself from posting a certain kind of content without ever deciding what I wanted my brand identity too look like. And in the process of making myself look perfect online I’d taken away my personal identity as well as made myself look plastic and un interesting to everyone who found my content.

Not Listening to my Gut Wasted Hours of my Time

It all started when I was 17 and was researching how to sell my book. I was told I needed to start a blog, have a email list, post content three times a week etc. As I was researching how to blog I ran across affiliate marketing. Well why not make money on my blog, right? Well when I tried to get all the information I could about how to make that kind of money, I found all the passive income myths.

Every step of the way I didn’t like what I was doing. I just wanted to be a published author yet I kept doing what influencers told me I should be doing. Being so motivated to ‘do everything right’ I’d lost all the heart and soul that came with making the decisions that felt right and that I’d put more time and energy into doing correctly.

Trying to Do it All on My Own Wasted my Time

Not only did I waste thousands of hours by being cheep and not hiring graphic designers, developers, proof readers etc. I never even asked anyone if they thought it was a good idea. I was so caught up in myself thinking that everyone would love my product/ email sign up bonus/ youtube video that I never asked my audience if that was something they were interested in.

So I spent hundreds of hours developing a skill in order to create a product that no one wanted to look at, let alone spend money on.

Focusing on the Tools Instead of the Content was an Excuse

I can’t be a real youtuber, I don’t have a DSLR and a blue yeti. I can’t be a real writer, I haven’t edited my novel enough, what if there’s a spelling error? Well when I finally had the editor, finally had the microphone then I held myself to a whole new level of content that I had no business making. Before I’d been taking myself so much less seriously and enjoyed the process more. Spending $100 or $1000 on tech/help just made me think I had to justify it and create something so much better than what I was before. Which was impossible.

I’d also used it as a excuse to not make my best work, to not submit my work to publishers, and discount an success I got. Oh I passed 30K views? Well people must be making fun of it. What do I do for work? Well I have this little side project I’m working on… I thought that because I couldn’t spend thousands of dollars on what I was told I needed that I wasn’t a real ___ yet. So I didn’t have to try as hard right?

Putting Money First Created no Profit

Well looking back over my favorite manuscript and comparing my 10th and 15th drafts I can tell you that I got so obsessed with what would sell that I took all the selling points (uniqueness) out of the draft. When I forced myself to make videos that I thought would get views and thus ad revenue I stopped putting out content as regularly, as I couldn’t think of infinite niche content, and thus lost the small fallowing I had.

Whenever I started a project thinking about how to make money off of it it always ended up sucking. The money I have made all ways came as an afterthought. People can smell an ad from miles away and when you’re just trying to sell something there is no audience in place who wants to be advertised to. If you get an audience first they will tell you if they want merch or if their the type who will use affiliate links.

Too High of Standers Meant that noting was ever Published

Endless proofreading, editing, cutting, restarting and otherwise delaying projects made it impossible to keep any kind of consistent upload schedule. But more than that, whenever I put out work that didn’t do as well or wasn’t absolutely perfect I got wrapped up in a spiral of self hate.

Then whenever I needed to put out content it was impossible to motivate myself. I knew it was going to take a long time, assumed that no one would see it or like it, and associated it with hating myself. So why even bother except for to fulfill some arbitrary goal I had for myself with no reward and no end.

Not Specifying My Work Time Made me Develop Burnout Faster

I used to try to spend my every free moment working on a project or learning something new. My youtube feed was all educational, I only had entrepreneur podcasts saved, my social feeds where full of influencers in my genre so that I could study what their techniques were. My every waking moment, even when I was trying to relax, was full of things for me to consider and actively think about.

I thought that not blocking out time was alright but then I ended up working 24/7. I never let myself rest. Little did I know the times you let your mind rest are the most important for coming up with unique, creative ideas that you’re passionate about.

Forcing Myself to be Ready to Soon Turned me Into a Failure

I’m just going to run away and become a writer, I said, and I moved to Japan for three months with only $2000 to my name. I’d never set pass/fail goal for myself before that. I thought ‘fake it till you make it’ would just carry me though it. I’d have to sink or swim. Well turns out if you don’t give yourself reasonable goals and celebrate achieving them then your brain isn’t going to instantly rewire it’s self and turn you into a major success. Who knew?

If I’d taking a bit more time and done a bit more soul searching/ growing up, I could have enjoyed my first month in Japan a lot more. I wouldn’t have been trying to build a business and instead worked on passion projects and sharing stories people might have actually found interesting.

Being Afraid of Judgment Made it Harder to Find an Audience

I was so self aware regarding what I put online that I didn’t want to take the risk and put out something with lots of personality. I didn’t want to be ridiculed or made fun of. So instead of putting out one video with very strong opinions I sprinkled them through many different channels. I never ended up finding the people who thought the same way as me because I never put myself out there.

I heavily moderated what I let say or do online and ended up seeming like a shy, worry wort with no personality all because I was afraid of loosing the few viewers I had. If I’d just been true to myself I would have been able to connect with people so much easier.

In conclusion, you’re going to make mistakes and thats ok. Try not to be a perfectionist, take risks, stay focused and spend your time enjoying life. Whatever happens will happen all you can do is try to recognize when you’re making a bad decision and try to mediate the damages. Everyone has to find their own path and theres never just one way of doing anything. Learn to trust yourself and go forth doing what makes the world a better place.

I wish you the best of luck.

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