Lining Up Stars

Do you ever feel like the universe is just lining up your stars?

I’ve always thought that there is something bigger at work. I’ve never believed that Earth is the only life-sustaining planet. I’ve always believed in coincidences. There just seem to be too many of them in my life.

A few months ago, I decided to begin journaling again. Frankly, it goes better some weeks than others. I write so often in other ways that sometimes, when sitting in front of a journal, my mind is blank. I try to accept this as part of my offering to the world – that there are days I have nothing to offer my journal thought-wise. If I’m at a total loss, I do always try to write down what I’m grateful for. I often forget to write things down because I’m grateful for so many of them.

I think that when you’re grateful for things, more things that you can be grateful for start to come along. Here’s the thing: I try to always be grateful, even for the bad stuff. I get into a fender-bender: I’m grateful it wasn’t worse. I get stopped at every single red light: I’m grateful for more time listening to my favorite band. I injure myself when running, I’m grateful that I have the ability to run again after I’ve healed.

When I was younger, it was harder. There were days I didn’t have enough money to buy more for groceries than three packs of Ramen for a dollar which had to last me a week. I was grateful that I at least had enough to cover rent and gas to my low wage job.

When I do this, I feel as though the universe is more inclined to line up better opportunities for me. Crazy?

What do you believe?

What will you do to change the world?

It’s easy to shrug something off as impossible. We do it all the time – with jobs, with goals, with dreams. Frankly, it’s a wonder humans get anything accomplished at all what with all the time we spend talking ourselves down from impossibility.

Between you and me, I believe that inside each of us lies the power to change the world.

Bold? Perhaps.

If you’ll stick with me, I’d like to share a story.

It’s not a story of great impact, but it covers a basic struggle: how do I approach my goal as myself?

I have always wanted to be a published author. I had no idea how to write a book, but plenty of other people did. When the idea first hit me, I devoured page upon page of “how to” novels. I’m not joking – hundreds. There are probably thousands left. And with all of that advice, all of that education – I just wasn’t getting it. It was like Algebra all over again.

What I really could have used was a guidebook entitled: Allison Janda’s guide to writing her first novel.

The truth? There are no guidebooks to life. You don’t discover a nice, neat black and white path with your name marked all over it. And while you can prepare yourself with advice from others (I can’t begin to tell you how many Elizabeth Gilbert/Janet Evanovich/John Grisham interviews I read) in the end, it’s just you, my friend. You work an 8 to 5? Wake up at 4:30. You don’t have a strong voice? Take a class. You have too many social engagements? Cancel a few. Excuses are just detours – and you could detour forever. I wrote and published 3 books in 9 months – I ran out of excuses. I created my own guidebook as I went along.

That’s what so many of us miss. We’re constantly hunting for the “right” path or the “easy” way. Others have accomplished the dreams we wish to attain – but how? In the end – they just did it. They slogged through all the work and the time and the pain and the financial struggle and the dip in social life. You can too, you know. You have that power within you.

When we change whether by doing or not doing, we ourselves become different – it’s impossible not to. Those changes affect not only us, but also those around us and so on and so forth. A ripple. And maybe it’s a change that sees history books. But it doesn’t need to, to prove impactful.

What will you do to change the world?

PS: Here’s how Shane started changing the world – and inspired me to write this blog.

Why Indie?

I’m not asked this question a lot, but I am asked often enough that I feel inclined to post about it. While the subject matter is a bit more geared toward this blog, I felt it deserved a more personal space.

The question: Why be an indie author?

Frankly, there are a lot of different reasons I picked this route. Some are well thought out and others not so much. Then again I’m not the most strategically minded decision maker, but I find that shooting from the hip works for me better- maybe that’s why I keep doing it.

The best laid plans, right?

While I could make this blog impossibly long (I have 5 reasons for self-publishing in my head as we speak and more just keep popping in) I’d really like to focus on the main point in my decision making process as I feel it’s the most important to understand.

If you’ve self-published or if you’ve considered self-publishing. If you’re a reader who loves indie authors or if you can’t understand the indie phenomenon – the bottom line is:

I’m good enough.

Don’t get me wrong. I may still be in my 20s (barely) but let me stress that this is NOT a generational/immediate gratification thing. Frankly, I have my opinions on that as well, but that’s another day/another blog.

Here’s the root of it: technology has reached a point where, as a writer, I don’t have to depend upon a higher up for something if I’m willing to work my ass off and do it myself. That’s why I’m an entrepreneur. Being an indie author is simply another way that I can flex those entrepreneurial skills.

By self-publishing, I don’t have to worry that someone is going to tell me my writing isn’t good enough. I don’t have to wait to hear back about the major changes I need to make in order to be put into a consideration pile and hey, maybe I’ll hear back one way or the other after 6 weeks.

Screw. That.

I’m all for learning, improving and taking constructive criticism (or not so constructive as it sometimes may be). I did bring on an editor, after all.

However, I put my hours, my crappy eyesight, my tears, my money and so much more into producing a product that I’m proud of. You hear that? I’m PROUD of what I wrote. Best of all, I’m CAPABLE of sharing it with you myself if I put in the time and effort to learn how (or if I invest in someone else who does). Why let someone tell me that I shouldn’t have wasted my time because it isn’t THEIR idea of worthy work?

As far as I’m concerned, it IS good enough. Good enough to share with the world, in fact. And while I’ve had friends and family compliment my writing, I’ve submitted my books to a variety of book bloggers, too. Book bloggers that read hundreds of books every single year. Guess what? They seem to think it’s pretty good, too.

So that’s the bottom line for me. I can. Granted there are some really crappy self-published books out there. You know what? There are some really crappy traditionally published books, too. I’ve read plenty of them.

Reviews Are IN!

WOW! Third review for book 2 – no idea who it is that left this, but they made me cry. Happy tears. See below for the whole enchilada!

I am honored, every single day, that I’m doing this. That I’m writing books. I’m further honored by my readers – thank you, thank you for purchasing, reading, loving/hating, and reviewing!
XOXO

“In this second Marian Moyer mystery, our girl gets a call from her family to come home immediately as her niece has been kidnapped! So Marian, BFF Addison, & Marian’s 2 hunky P.I.s Mika & James take off to her hometown to help. Once there The crew, with the help of Marian’s cop friend Janet, try to find Marian’s niece before the trail goes cold. The plot twists & turns while Marian follows from one clue to another. At one point the tension is palpable!

Great read! Can’t wait for book #3 – Scandal, Temptation, & a Taste of Flan. Definitely recommend you read Book #1 – Sex, Murder, & Killer Cupcakes to see how Marian meets her hunks. Both books worth the time & money, I promise!”

You can purchase all books in the Marian Moyer series through my website – http://www.allisonjanda.com

Happy Reading!

Absent

Oops. Well on the plus side, I will NEVER not write for this blog. I feel like it has a little too much “me” to ever not just start over even after a long period of neglect (sorry!) On the other hand, the Project 365 blog is pretty much dead. That’s okay. I’m not a quitter, but life did get crazy in an overwhelming sense. On the plus side, I have a few new clients for Curly Q Media which is amazing! If you need help writing anything for your business (content, posts, tweets, brochures) just contact me and we’ll see if we’re a match.
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Grabbing Life by the Ba- urm- Horns!

Well, if you hadn’t head through Facebook, I have become the very person I used to be jealous of. Yes, I quit my 40 hour a week job and have revved into full gear as a (remote) freelance writer/social media specialist for Curly Q Media (and part time server in downtown and Zirtual Assistant.) 28. Up to my ears in student loan debts. No 401(k), no benefits (unless I buy them) and no bi-weekly paycheck with my taxes neatly pulled courtesy of Human Resources. Some people would say that I was stupid– frankly, I can’t really argue that fact. I have no business background, I was making stupid money for an easy job (where I was very unhappy) and I have an iron clad lease for which I owe rent through February. Oh, I also have a long distance relationship- we fly about 2000 miles each way once a month- gets pricey. It’s enough to make you vomit a little in your mouth- actually; I did when I reread all of this.
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Whew!

I haven’t posted in a long time and for that, I apologize. I did have a long ramble about the Boston Marathon. That hit home for me considering I’m working to qualify for it within the next two years. I rewrote it about a week ago and still decided not to post it. Today I decided to forget the whole thing and just write a brand new blog that has nothing to do with it. I WILL say that my heart is in Boston, still. Everyone who ran, spectated, or simply lives there…you have my happy thoughts.

Now then…
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