Finding Your Tribe

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Have You Found Your Tribe?

Part of the human experience is the need to be loved, feel safe, and be accepted.  Everyone wants to find their tribe. I’ve searched in many places, some good, and some, not so good. But I’m only going to focus on the good today. You can out find more about my quest in my memoir – Manifesting Me.

Writer’s Retreat

In the beginning of November I had the pleasure of attending She Writes/Spark Press/She Reads Author Retreat in the lovely Boulders Resort in Arizona.

I had never gone to any sort of retreat in my life.  I can’t express how deeply this retreat has opened and filled my heart.

Writers are an interesting breed. Most of them are introverts, unlike myself.  My energy can be too much for the introverted person, therefor, I reeled in my energy. Listening more than talking, was my goal.  I thoroughly enjoy hearing other people’s stories and processes; not to mention the speakers that were featured.

Speakers At The Retreat

We learned from Ingram Publishing Services how distribution works. We had publicists from different companies share what to expect when starting a publicity campaign. A VP of Publisher Weekly magazine spoke of what their services do, and their contribution to book industry. BookBub had a representative informing us how to utilize their website for users and authors. The owner of the Poisoned Pen gave hope to any bookstore owner.  The CEO of SparkPoint Studio, Crystal Patriarche, along side with Brooke Warner from She Writes Press, welcomed us and got the retreat started. Last but definitely not least, was our keynote speaker, Jesmyn Ward, an award winning and best selling author.

An Emotional Speech

Absorbing all of the information was intense, but in a very positive way. I never thought of a writing retreat as an emotional event before. Jesmyn’s speech during our dinner, was reiterating people’s need for acceptance and to live in a safe world. Isn’t that what everyone wants? To live in a safe world to be the best you can be?

She talked about her experience as a black woman, once she found out she was pregnant each time.  Jesmyn spoke of the fears of motherhood and how her family history played a role.

As a white woman,  growing up in a lower income area of Oakland, CA in 70’s and 80’s, I could relate to the “wanting to feel safe” part.  My situation was centered in one place. Her fear followed her. Everyone wants to feel safe.

Authenticity

Many authors can write, but are not always the best at public speaking. Jesmyn’s speech was brilliant. You could feel her authenticity, which I believe is what holds the attention of the audience.

I had never been in a writer’s workshop. Jesmyn led one which helped me understand, I am intuitive writer. She gave tips and exercises for better writing.  They may have seemed simple for the educated writer, but for a novice like myself, I found it very useful.

My New Tribe

The best part of the retreat was meeting and making life long connections with other authors.  No one could possibly understand what it was like having such a supportive group of woman.  I went out of my comfort zone and deliberately met new people. Their interest in each other and in me was genuine and sincere. And vice versa. We have a secret online community, but I was a little shy on asking for help from strangers.

Everyone became like one big family by the end of the retreat. I don’t ever remember being in a group with that many people and feeling infinitely supported and connected. I have successfully found my tribe.

“Ultimately, we actually all belong to only one tribe, to Earthlings.”

~ Jill Tarter

Author’s Habits for Success

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Self-Discipline For Success

Almost everyday I am fascinated by the whole writing business.  It opens doors. And, some are pleasantly unexpected.  Yet, at the same time you need to be in the receiving mind space, in order take advantage of such opportunities.  Like any career, such as writing and as an entrepreneur, you must take charge of your success.  Aren’t you glad no one else has to be responsible for your success?

After listening to many successful people’s stories, one thing is clear. Practicing self-discipline and creating good habits are the gateway to success.  Any great athlete knows the importance of these practices, along with people like Tony Robbins, Bill Gates, and Oprah Winfrey.  So what kinds of habits or self-discipline does an author need to implement?

Author Needs To Read As Much As Write

Authors are writers.  Writers need to write content.  Content can be anything from poetry, blogs, article in magazines, essays, short stories, novels, memoirs, etc. It is important to get your writing into the world to make yourself known.  Set out an amount of time to write and stick to it. But make it realistic so you don’t set yourself up for failure. An hour a day 4 to 5 days a week or a few hours a couple of times of week are both very doable.  Write a blog a few times a month. Time management isn’t as difficult as it may seem.

Reading is as important, as writing.  There are many different styles of writing. The only way you can learn about them, is simply by reading.  I used read books based on recommendations regarding topics. Now I read for topics and mechanics. It has made my writing better; whereas, I don’t need quite as much coaching as before.

Personal Care

Personal care is equally as important as being productive. Get enough sleep. Being sleep deprived doesn’t help the creative juices.  All work and no play, makes for a bitter and resentful author.  Take time for R&R.  Quieting your mind through meditation or visualization will do wonders.  If you need to be on your electronic devices, limit yourself with a timer.  Make time to go outside in the sun, weather permitting. Minimize your association with negative people.

Diet isn’t something to take lightly, either.  If your blood sugar drops, you won’t feel like doing anything but, sleep.  I personally get “hangry” when I need to eat. When I get to the point of starving, I find myself eating too much, which also results in me being lazy.

Sleep and food keep your body functioning properly and stabilizes your mood. It helps with clarity and focus, allowing you to perform at your best.

The Most Important Yet Easy Habit to Build

If you are prone to reading what is going on in our country today, you might get upset, triggered, or even full on depressed.  I’ve seen tons of people’s posts over the Kavanaugh interview and confirmation, and how they can’t pull themselves out of despair. As much as I don’t believe this man is fit to be on any bench, with a temperament like his, I refuse to let it affect my mental and physical health. Take back your power.

I find listening to motivating podcasts, YouTube videos, audio books, or reading uplifting material, helps remind me there are more positive things going on in the world.  If you only focus on what is wrong in the world, you’ll find it.  Try focusing on what is right in the world. I believe there’s more good than bad.  And so does Ellen.

This YouTube video is after the devastating Vegas Shooting and Hurricane Maria.  This world was riddled with bad news and the world felt almost hopeless. It focuses on the goodness of people in the world. Thank you Ellen DeGeneres for reminding us.  https://youtu.be/Qlp8gtiiNnM

One bad apple doesn’t have to ruin the bunch. It may seem like it, but if we can spread love and positive energy, we may just be able to come up with solutions.

The Choice Is Up To You

The choice is yours.  Do you want someone to be responsible for the life you want? Or are you willing to put in the work to make it happen?  I know for me, I like being in control of my destiny.  I know I can’t control everything, but I do know I can control myself. No one in the world wants me to be successful more than I.  And I’m pretty sure, I couldn’t wish someone else, enough, to make them successful.

“The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power.”  ~ Unknown

There is a pattern the game changers have, and I am applying that pattern to my career as an author.  Let’s try it together and see what happens. Wouldn’t it be great to focus on our success one at time?   Leave a comment below I’d love to hear from you.

                                                     

Opportunity and Perception

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Things Don’t Always Go As Planned

What happens when something you hoped for doesn’t quite go the way you’d thought it would? Do you get massively disappointed? Do you quit? Or are you able to find opportunity in disappointment?

As a new author, many people have big plans to help you. Everyone is going to get your book. All of your friends will buy it.  You’ll get invited to speak at everyone’s book club.  People will be interested in articles you have written and hope to find a spot for them in online magazines. And so forth.

Well, these are the promises one hears up to publication date and a bit after.  Then the excuses come.  We haven’t heard back about the placement of your article from so and so. Or you, actually, do speak at some book clubs, but not nearly as many as you hoped. The best one yet, is when people say they are not going to buy your book, but rather get it from a friend after that friend has read it. Anyone who has published a book, knows how expensive and how much work goes into it. I personally will always pay for someone’s work of art.

Don’t be discouraged.  This is all part of being in the writing business. In fact, it is pretty much any business. Your friends and acquaintances are almost always going to be excited for you and your book. They usually are following the energy of author. I have to say it’s hard to keep the momentum going for long periods of time.

Sometimes There’s An Opportunity Better Than The Original Plan

I recently had some news about a person ordering a set of books for her class, but ended up not being able to get them at this time, due to a drastic budget cut.  I was bummed sort of, but something told me not to worry. Because something very interesting took place.

My friend works at the particular store where the order was placed, then put on hold. I contacted her to see if this teacher had indeed purchased the books.  I felt in my gut that the order might not have gone through.  Funny how things work out. She gave me the news, but followed up with; there’s a field trip with this particular class to visit the bookstore and would I like to be a guest author? And by the way, Guy Johnson, Maya Angelou’s son, would be there.

I have been on cloud nine since this news.  Trust your gut. And follow up with people. I was a little nervous asking if the order had been placed, in fear of the answer. Had I not asked my friend, I might’ve missed an amazing opportunity. It would’ve been nice to sell thirty books to a class, but I know I could sell thirty books at some point on my own.

Overnight Success Is Extremely Rare

Opportunity is all around.  You might have to look hard for it, but it is there. Remember there is no such thing as overnight success. There are stories in which it sounds like overnight success. It’s rare. Ask any famous or successful person.  I heard Amy Schumer in an interview with Oprah and how she was described as overnight success. And her reply to that was something like, “Overnight? Yeah, like after ten years of hard work.” Must’ve been one really long night.

We only hear the quick version of success stories. Because if we heard what really took place, it might seem boring or too hard.  Take a stake out for example.  The real ones almost never amount to anything.  But watch a movie and things are happening left and right.  Folks, it’s television.  People want to be entertained and wowed, and do not have much patience for boring.  Let’s face it, everyone loves one-day or two-day shipping.

Do Not Dismiss The Power Of Positive Thinking

You’re probably thinking I’m writing this because, I’m not making it right this second.  The truth is, I am in the process of making it. Although, I have no idea what to expect. Therefor, I don’t have any expectations.  That maybe a better attitude to have.

Again, I bring up the power of positive thinking. It goes without saying how I feel about the Law of Attraction. It works.  Keeping yourself in a positive and happy space, tells the Universe, Divine, God, etc., (whatever you choose to call it) to give you more of what matches that energy.  I’ve mentioned before in other blogs, the Universe is working for you, even when it feels like everything is against you. Your thoughts and energy are part of the success process. The physical is the only the macro part of life and the thinking is the micro part of life.  Everything starts with a thought or idea.

What I can say and know for sure, is my attitude has everything to do with my success and what types of opportunities and people I attract into my life. I have an unusually sharp memory and can see my own patterns. If you really were honest with yourself, you’d see the patterns in your own life that was created with your energy. Knowing this valuable information automatically gives you power.    Your energy is a valuable resource and it’s free.

Does It Matter How You See The Glass?

Seeing the glass half full is always a better outlook, than half empty. But realize if the glass is empty, you can always refill it.  Writing is my new passion, and I will keep on, keeping on.  It’s fascinating how this journey is unfolding.  Remember, It’s the journey, not the destination.

When there is an occurrence that is perceived as less than desirable, don’t be too upset. Go with the flow. There’s usually a reason when something doesn’t work out. It usually means there’s a better way or an opportunity coming.  I could’ve sulked about the teacher not getting my books, but now I have speaking event. I could get upset by people telling me they aren’t going to pay for my book.  But people are reading my book, anyway they can. The interested parties not committing to running my article, never said no. Which means, maybe they haven’t ran the article, yet. Patience is a virtue.

Something better could be lurking around the corner.   Nothing is a failure, until you deem it so. Manifesting Me shows how the law of attraction works, when it was on purpose and when it was not. You can’t control everything that happens to you, but you can control your thought process around it. It’s all perception.  Never give up. You never know what opportunities will show up.

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” ~ Lao Tzu

 

 

How Does an Author Define Success?

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Define An Author’s Success

Well, my first book Manifesting Me has officially been out for one season. Being a new author, I had no idea what good book sales were. When is the book a success? What exactly is the criteria that needs to be met in order claim best seller? Maybe the real question is, how does each author define success?

Success comes in many forms, as we all know.   I believe success is defined individually. Is about how many awards you receive?  Or is it total book sales? Does have to be book sold by a certain deadline?  I read somewhere if you sold at least a 1000 copies of your first book, you should consider that a success.  It has also has been said a book’s average lifespan is short; usually three months after the publicity campaign. Who wants to be average?

I mentioned in my last blog I read Think and Grow Rich for a second time.  That book was first published in 1937.  It has gone through many cycles of being trendy. It sold more than 20 million copies by 1970, and by 2015 sold more than 100 million copies.  I’d say that would define success.  I’m not sure when Napoleon Hill sold his first 1000 books, but what if took him 2 years? Maybe, a first time author will get to one thousand books after five years.  With that in mind, should you put a time on when to declare success?

Success Comes in Different Forms

Book sales define only part of the success of a author.   What about speaking engagements?  Inspiring others?  Or what about making your book current over again? If I am being honest, I am trying to figure this out for myself. And there seems to lots of ways to go about this.

Self-promoting is a very large part of how well your book will do. Have you entered contests? Awards give you confidence and bragging rights. Plus, gives you credibility.  Credibility give you authority on a subject leading to speaking engagements via podcasts, interviews in magazines, etc.  Exposure, exposure, exposure. The more people that get to know you, the more the know about your book and the more people will want it.  What sets you apart from every other author? Do you have hidden talents you’d like to explore?

In case you haven’t noticed, I love talking about the law of attraction.  Manifesting Me gives many example of where attitude was; whether through love or fear, and how the material manifested in my life.  As I’ve grasped how energy works, I’ve been able to read angel cards. Hence, adding to my income.

Updated Website

Keeping a website updated through blogs or events aids in an author’s success.  Lots of people have made plenty of money blogging in the past.  I’m not sure how much money is made through blogging lately, but it all adds up.  Plus, it drives people to your website.  Having hits on your website gives you the opportunity for sales of your book or perhaps you have PDF files of workbooks for sale and not to mention affiliate/associate programs.

What’s handy about a website is having plugins. They track how well your site is doing.  I try to set realistic goals and once they have been met, I set new goals. All of these things add to your success.

Easy But Consistent

The things mentioned above are not difficult.  Creating the content takes the most amount of time.  It’s the little tasks and being consistent that will get you the success you desire.  Today I listened to one of Jim Rohn’s videos. He said something that resonated with me and it was something to the the effect: When you plant a garden in the spring, you must tend to it all the time even up to the summer, or the weeds and bugs will tend to it for you. 

Basically, you don’t just publish a book and that’s the end of it.  Go above and beyond.  Be excited about what you’ve created and nurture it so it can keep growing.  Although, typically a book’s life isn’t long, doesn’t mean you have to follow those rules.  It’s just an average.

Balance Is the True Success For Me

Of course, money is always associated with success, but I feel balance is the most important and the hardest.  Are you only successful in business? Or are you better at having successful relationships?  Are you a successful a having fun?

Feeling proud, happy, content, satisfied, safe, loved, etc. Is really what people are striving for.  Most feel it’s money.  Because in the having the money, one feels less stressed over bills, leading to a sense of peace and security. It’s the peace and security we’re after.

As long as your’e feeling inspired and creative while producing content and making a profit, I believe you’ve found your success. Every successful author was new at some point.  There aren’t any real get rich schemes in any industry. So take each little triumph and build on them.  You are on your way to success.  It isn’t over until you deem it so.

Not Just For Authors

Even though this blog is about the success of an author, this applies to pretty much anything. Listen to successful people through videos, NPR, podcasts, books, etc. they all say the same thing.  I am only regurgitating information I have heard and applied to my life to find that it works.  Good luck and much success to all of those who want it and are going for it.

I had to share one of my favorite authors J. K. Rowling’s interview with Oprah. The first author to become a billionaire.  Truly inspiring. Click the link below.

https://youtu.be/gTotbiUjLxw

If you’d like any updates, please subscribe below.  Don’t forget to get to click the “buy” button and get your copy of Manifesting Me today.

“Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.”~ Napoleon Hill

Surrender Doesn’t Mean You Give Up

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Can’t Get It Out Of My Head

I can’t get the word “surrender” out of my head, leading me to explore this topic.  Since Manifesting Me came into the world this past June, the hoopla has died down a smidgen. It’s not to say things aren’t happening, but the hype isn’t as prevalent as it was during the book launch. I can’t stop feeling like I’m missing out on something. I find I have been comparing myself with other authors;  a topic I’ve talked about in a previous blog.  https://leahereinhart.com/how-does-the-three-toxic-cs-affect-your-success/ While I am being  proactive in my process of being an author, I constantly hear the little voice in my head saying, “surrender.”

I don’t think I’ve actually understood what “surrender” really meant, up to this point. Even though I’ve heard other use the phrase, “surrender” a thousand time,  I’ve only understood it logically.  I think I’m finally understanding on a deeper level what the true meaning is. As much as I want to be knee deep in the author world, there’s a gestation period, like anything else. Another topic I’ve blogged about, before.  https://leahereinhart.com/everyone-has-potential-to-do-anything/  However, when I am the person in the state of insecurity, I know that I have to reel in my negative thoughts; and let be, what will be. It’s not always easy at first. Hence, I have to surrender.

A White Flag Or Throwing In the Towel Equals Surrender

Most of us think of a white flag waving or of throwing in the towel, when someone brings up the word, surrender; as giving up. Surrendering doesn’t mean you give up on what you’re trying to accomplish. It means to stop trying to control specific outcomes.  Surrendering, means do what you can and don’t focus on things out of your control. Don’t obsess on the things that aren’t going exactly the way you envisioned.

Maybe the thing I thought wasn’t happening, just hasn’t happened, yet.  As much as I’ve preached on how the Universe is working for you, this is the time when I need to practice what I preach. If things are meant to be, they will. And if not, something better will come.

Comparing Can Get You Into Trouble

As a new author, I didn’t have a clear picture of what my outcome was to be.  I knew I wanted to write my memoir and that it would hopefully help someone.  I relied heavily on reading what other authors have shared online to get an indicator of what the author life was like.

I’ve heard time and time again, Don’t plan to get rich off of your first book. It’s your second or even tenth book, that makes you money.   Which doesn’t sound hopeful; especially after spending a pretty penny to publish. Or  I am on the morning show. I’m winning all these awards,  which isn’t something that has it happened in my experience…at least not at this point.

Being in social media groups with other authors sharing their journey, has been helpful, inspiring, and has been very useful. But at times, has triggered my insecurities. I find myself comparing and competing with other authors, when I have no clue of where they are in their journey. Maybe they’ve been working if the field for many years.  Maybe they’ve paid more for an expensive publicity package. Whatever the case is, I know nothing of their history and to presume anything is just silly; like comparing apples to oranges. Logically, I know this to be very unproductive.  Thankfully, the voice in my head is persistent.”Surrender!”

Insecure Moments

Insecure moments are quite normal, but aren’t discussed as much in these forums. Most want to show all of their accolades, which is awesome! Who wouldn’t want the world to know about their accomplishments and progress? I’d do the same thing.  Publishing a book is an impressive achievement and one should be proud.

There’s more to writing a book, when you want to have it be part of your career.  There’s a wealth of information and tons to do, most of which is fun and creative. Nonetheless, there’s the vulnerable part; especially when it comes to memoir. People are going to have opinions about you. Everyone has a story, so why does yours matter? Realizing you’re one of many to trying to make it, can be overwhelming at times.  The voice in my head says, “Surrender.”

So what does that mean? I think to myself.  “Quit worrying.” The voice in my head answers.

Although, both voices are in my head, I refer to my thoughts as one, and the voice another. My essence (my soul) is the inner voice telling my ego (thoughts) to surrender.

Learning how to surrender was something I was forced to do, once my book was released to the world. I’d spent the money to make it happen.  There’s no turning back now.  On the upside, the feedback has been pretty positive. Plus, I have events on the calendar. Then there’s the downside, I’d been informed of an awesome opportunity, but it hasn’t been confirmed. The voice continues telling me to surrender.  Why do I need to hear this?

It’s quite simple. I’m focusing on the wrong things. Like, thinking the awesome opportunity is gone. When maybe, it just didn’t happen yet. I seem to have this sense of urgency. Clearly, my ego has taken control.

Essence And Ego

Ego constantly is testing reality and is finite. It’s good for accounting, organizing, etc. and is a part of you that you can’t get rid of. How I define the ego, is it’s the nagging part of your brain that expresses conditional love.  Therefor, it points out all of your flaws.

Essence is the part of you – your soul or inner being – that loves you unconditionally and is infinite.  It’s your connection to All. My essences wants me relax, by telling me, “Surrender. Everything will be fine. Don’t put all the emphasis into the outcome. Enjoy the journey. This is only the beginning. What’s the rush? Chill.”

When you are a doer, like I am, it’s hard to give up power and to allow things to happen in their natural time. I’m being guided by the little non-judging voice, to let it take whatever time is needed, and not look into the future with fear-clouded glasses, to be successful in anything.

Surrender Isn’t Forceful

Have you ever tried grasping a bar of soap tightly?  If you have, you know its nearly impossible to hold on to it.  It’s the same as holding on too tightly to a specific outcome. Let go a little and don’t try to force things.  I’m sure you know of someone, or experienced it for yourself, an incident where you forced something, and you got it. Yet the desired outcome, wasn’t quite what you’d had in mind.

Surrender isn’t forceful, tense, or exhausting.  Thus, if you are experiencing frustration and disappointment? It is time for you to surrender.  And if things seem to be falling into place without force and you’re feeling joyful, motivated, and inspired? Pat yourself on the back! You are in what others call being in the flow. Can you tell when your ego get the best of you? Has the little voice in your head ever said, Surrender?

“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” ~ Joseph Campbell

Click the link to hear Oprah’s experience with surrendering and the movie, The Color Purple.   https://youtu.be/tLAoc4HwecU

Click the link to hear  Denzel Washington’s speech on his experience with surrendering.  https://youtu.be/M99NCxR0a-Q