Meet the Reader (& Writer)

So, thanks to lottelikesbooks’ Instagram, I found this cool little list titled Meet the Reader. As a writer, I’m naturally a reader and I thought that I’d fill this out and pass it along for those who want to get to know me.

(a) How many books can you read at once?

Probably 3 or four, depending on what the books are.

(b) What’s your favorite reading drink?

I don’t tend to drink anything when I’m reading simply because I’m likely to spill it all over my book and I find that tragic. If I do have a drink though, it’s probably some sort of tea, the best bet being green tea.

(c) What’s your favorite reading snack?

Same as above, I don’t usually eat anything because then I get food-covered fingerprints all over the pages or crumbs in the binding, but if I do eat anything, it’s either chocolate chips or a snack food like goldfish/Cheez-Itz.

(d) How is your bookshelf organized?

I usually have it organized in alphabetical order, but I had too many books so I had to organize it by size so I could fit more books in.

(e) Hardcover or paperback? [Why?]

Paperback, they’re cheaper, more flexible, and cozier.

(f) Current read?

I’m currently reading Watched by C.J. Lyons.

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How to get writing again!

Scrolling through Tumblr (I follow the #amwriting) I found a post that I think would help writers, including myself. Thank you, Kira Martin, for your wonderful advice!

Hello! I am a writer that is fairly new to the game. I realized I wanted to write full time a few ago. Since then, I’ve been working on a book, that I consider to be my baby; the masterpiece that will create my overall brand. However, I struggle with the discipline of it all. I have such a hard time getting myself to just sit down and finish! I’m currently working on my 23rd chapter but I know I still have so much to go. Working 40 hours a week isn’t necessarily helping either. Advice?

[asked by Anonomous]

 

What you’re experiencing is what a lot of aspiring/newbie writers go through–you need to sit yourself down and come up with a plan of action. And because it’s my style, here’s a list to help with that plan of action:

1. Find your motivation. What inspires you? Why do you want to finish your book? Why do you want to write? Once you find your motivation, surround yourself with it. Realizing that you will never be a career writer unless you write your book is a good kick in the ass.

2. Make writing a habit. The way to form habits is to do them daily. Put aside an hour every day to focus on your manuscript—you can even set an alert in your phone. Be very clear to everyone that if they interrupt you during this time that their deaths are on their hands. You’ll be surprised at how quickly it becomes natural (the writing, not the interruption murders).

3. Set goals. Find what works for you. A page a day? 700 words? Set you goals as your phone’s lock screen. Put sticky notes on your mirror. Do a goal thermometer and scribble out a notch for each chapter/page you complete. Hang it somewhere where you’ll see it every day.

4. Create a ritual. What I’ve always done is play some music, open my document, and read what I last wrote. By now, when the music comes on, I know it’s time to get to business. Combined with my habit of listening to the same song on repeat for days, I once accidently conditioned myself to open my doc when I heard a certain song. Find whatever works for you.

5. Consider your future. How serious are you about being a writer? For any sort of dream, there are risks/stresses/extra work required for them to come into fruition. If you can’t find time to write, you need to think about what that means for the future. In five years where will you be if you continue down this path? Where do you want to be? What are sacrifices (time/energy/money) you might need to get there?

3 Ways to Edit Your Own Book!

Thank you, Book Doctors, for this video and these tips. Check out the video here.

  1. Read it out loud!
    • Trust me, hearing is different than seeing.
  2. Have people read it!
    • But not people who are related/biased toward you
    • Join a critique group (Goodreads is a good place to meet people who love to read)
  3. Hire a professional
    • If you have a smaller budget, try a librarian.
    • Make sure that they are experts in your genre!
    • Do research before you pay anybody–you don’t want to get scammed.

 

 

After College Portfolio Tips

So you’ve graduated college and you don’t know what to do. I’m sure I’ll be there in a couple years, but HEY! congratulations you made it.

A few months ago, I had a little seminar/chat thingy with a professor who gave me some tips and tricks on what to do afterward and I thought I’d share with you.

  • Step One: A real career
    • Is it right for you? Do you have roots anywhere? Travel first. Once you get a career, you’re locked in.
      • But a gap in a resume can be killer and draws attention
    • Location: it’s all about your personality, you have to like where you live.
    • Experience with Reservations: don’t get a soul-sucking job
  • Step Two: Welcome to the Jungle
    • What type of gig is it? Don’t appear too desperate when hiring, then you’re easy. Different jobs are connecting points to each other and the latter up.
    • Opportunity: you can have a day job that will support you until you can get to your dream job
    • Culture: Does the company care about their employees? Beware of gimmicks that get you to stay, lack of dental insurance in exchange for free coffee.
    • Are they connected? Big names à working with each other à it’s who you know
  • Step Three: Finding a Job
    • Indeed.com
      • Taylor the portfolio for the company
      • Make it as personal for the hirer as possible
      • Try to drop it off in person; physical rather than digital
    • Shutterfly? Other printing sources
    • Glassdoor.com
    • “Headhunters”… like Creative Circle
      • Pretty much sells you to companies
      • It sucks that the system is rigged, but it happens
    • Network!!!!!
    • Go to visiting artists
      • Don’t be a rude.
      • People want to work with people that they get along with
  • Step Four: Common Creative Gigs
    • Freelance
      • Pro: Your hours, your money, you choose, build your name
      • Con: Client is the boss, TAXES, inconsistency
    • In-house Industry
      • Pro: Doing something you love, clocking in and out (most places don’t pay overtime), moving up
      • Cons: Consistency, politics, glass ceiling, company pace
    • Creative Agency
      • Pro: Creative living, variety, good pay, great opportunities
      • Cons: Small fish big pond, design culture can suck, trust in leadership
  • Step Five: Present Your Work
    • Know the market: be prepared, double check, present your work, don’t be vague
    • Fake it ‘til you make it
    • Student work: have you peaked? Continue to work, work outside of class
    • Portfolio site, is it updated? It should be about the work that you want to do.
    • A little mystery is okay, but don’t go crazy
    • 10-16 pages of work…20 maximum; make it efficient
    • Reels: 2:30 or less. Make it good enough that they want to see more
  • Step Six: Resume
    • Keep it clean, HR doesn’t care about your icons; it’s a resume not a poster
    • It’s not fun
    • Make it easy for them to see the information
    • It doesn’t need to be cute or creative
    • Copy and paste will make your life easy
  • Step Seven: Showcasing
    • Know the role you want; assess your clients’ needs
    • Don’t include every piece of work
      • That lucky shot isn’t enough; you have to be able to nail it
    • Photo and video are mashed together now, am I skilled for that?
    • Understand your client
      • Your reel should reflect the clients
    • Music selection can make or break you; play it safe
      • Audiojungle.com
    • Viewer fatigue is real
    • Show work that benefits the employer and the customer
    • Explain your role
      • Context to show how you work
    • A wide range of work is okay
      • Unless you’re going for specific companies
    • Make your portfolio easy to update
      • Make it presentable in every way
      • It’s okay to have different versions of the portfolio
  • Step Eight: Show That You Care
    • Hard work is obvious
      • So is laziness
    • Half of design is marketing and presentation
    • Where?
      • GraphicBurger, Pixeden, Dribbble, PSDCovers, Behance
      • Not all are free, but they’ll be worth the investment and a tax write-off
    • Showcase your work, but don’t distract
    • Don’t put it on a loaf of bread just because you can
  • Step Nine-ish: Process and Details
    • Employers hire people for talent…and to make it easier
    • Be a jack of all trades on styles, learn how to replicate and understand
    • Show off your ability to conceptualize and execute in short and long term
    • Have 10 ideas and pick the best one
  • Step Nine-ish: Webheads and Tech Nerds
    • UX/UI people
    • Show that you are a great communicator
    • Employers need to see that you can handle structure and a lot of information
  • Step Nine-ish: Photography isn’t Magic
    • Be prepared to achieve the results you promise
    • Show variety
    • Adapt with new technology
    • Do you know your equipment, lighting, and studios?
  • Step Ten: Interviews
    • Congrats!!! You’re qualified!
    • This is NOT show and tell!
      • They’ve already seen your work and they like it.
      • Bring another portfolio with different stuff unique to the employer/company, if you want to
    • Communication is as a creative is employable
      • Communicate with employers, coworkers, clients
  • Step Eleven: Checklist
    • Printed portfolio (or iPad) ready to go
    • An extra copy of your resume
    • Business card, makes you stand out
    • Dress to impress
    • HANDSHAKE
    • Don’t overtalk
    • Be cool, be respectful, be yourself
  • Step Twelve: Interviewing Basics
    • So, why do you want to work here?
      • Research the company
      • Kiss booty
      • Be prepared
    • What can you bring to the table?
      • Note some of the campaigns, expand on ideas, show your own creative thinking
    • What about your process? And your struggles?
      • Stick to the basics
      • Collaborate, learn, adapt
      • Don’t say that you’re a perfectionist.
    • Any questions for us?
      • NEVER SAY NOPE!
      • Ask about their favorite project, challenges
      • Learn
    • Should you follow up?
      • YES
      • Only after an interview
  • Backwards Step One: Didn’t get the Gig
    • Don’t get discouraged
    • Occupy your time
    • Find your stoke
    • Persistence pays off

 

  • Closing Checklist for the Real World
    • You’re outward facing in many ways
      • Control your social media
    • Is your work readily available, how is your brand?
      • Site, reel, business card, resume, portfolio, do they all have the same theme, are they consistent, is it great?
      • Update often
    • Are you evolving?
      • Work will evolve; design and visuals change.
      • Make sure you know the trends
      • Does it look current for what people are paying for?
      • Know what people want
    • Double check the contact
      • Have it simple yourname @gmail.com
      • Make your brand consistent
    • Earn it!!!!
      • Do whatever you can to progressively make yourself better every day.

 

 

If any of this is confusing, comment below so I can clarify for you.

New books in the works!

Hello everybody!

 

As some of you know, I’m currently working on the sequel to my debut novel, Blue Vigilante, aka Green Vigilante.

I’ve also started planning a short book titled Ramblings with some short stories/snippets of stuff/and some poetry.

I’ll be sure to keep you updated!

Get To Know Me Better | Who Am I? Tag

I love tags like this, so I knew I had to do it when I first saw it on Michelle’s (Book Adventures) blog. Mostly, I just really love personality quizzes… So, if you’d like to get to know me better then, by all means, keep reading. If not, see ya in my next post!

Question One: What is the meaning of my name?

My friend made me a little name tag that says “Susan” is derived from the Hebrew word for “lily”. Looking it up,  at this site, it is of Hebrew origin and does mean “lily”.

Question Two: What is my Myer-Briggs personality type?

I’ve never heard of this personality quiz before, so I’m excited to see what I am.

So I guess I’m a Protagonist (ENFJ-T). 57% extraverted, 65% intuitive, 69% feeling, 53% judging, and 58% turbulent. What does all of this mean? Well, according to the site:

Protagonists are natural-born leaders, full of passion and charisma. Forming around two percent of the population, they are oftentimes our politicians, our coaches and our teachers, reaching out and inspiring others to achieve and to do good in the world. With a natural confidence that begets influence, Protagonists take a great deal of pride and joy in guiding others to work together to improve themselves and their community.

I didn’t think that I was that type of person, but the Internet never lies (I’m joking!).

Question Three: What is my Zodiac sign?

I’m a Leo, but I’ve been told that I don’t act like a run of the mill Leo. I don’t really pay attention to that sort of stuff, so I really don’t know what that means.

Question Four: What is my Hogwarts House?

When I took the Sorting Hat quiz on Pottermore, I was placed in Gryphondor. There’s a different link up above if you don’t want to make a Pottermore account, though.

Question Five: What are my learning styles?

I already know that I’m a visual and physical learner. That means that I learn best by seeing and doing something. I’d rather hold an actual book than look at a digital one and I take my notes by hand; screens don’t benefit me very much.

Question Six: Am I right or left brain dominant?

I’ve never really thought about this before, so it’s exciting to take this quiz.

I’m right-brained (69%)! I actually saw that one coming; I’m pretty creative (I’m an art and English major).

Question Seven: What is my blood type?

I have no idea.

Question Eight: What career am I meant to have?

So, I plan on going into writing.

This quiz hit the nail on the head; it said I should be a writer!

You have a skill for language, your imagination is vast and you are artistic and creative. Your brain is just overflowing with ideas, and all you have to do is get a piece of paper and share it with the world. You were born to turn words into magical stories.

Question Nine: Which Divergent Faction do I belong in?

I belong in Abnegation, apparently. I thought I’d belong in Amity.

You belong with the selfless. You always find yourself lending a hand to others, and you seldom realize it. You truly care about the people around you, and you’re the first to notice when someone is under the weather. Just when you think you have a day to spend for yourself, you probably catch yourself listening to a friend dish about her problems instead. Some people might tag you as “boring”, but those closest to you know that you’re a simple gal with the purest of hearts.

Question Ten: What does my birth order say about me?

I’m the firstborn.

Stereotype: Natural leader, ambitious, responsible.
Why it’s true: The eldest, for a while, has no competition for time (or books or baby banter) with Mom and Dad. “There’s a benefit to all of that undiluted attention. A 2007 study in Norway showed that firstborns had two to three more IQ points than the next child,” says Frank J. Sulloway, Ph.D., the author of Born to Rebel. Firstborns tend to be surrogate parents when other siblings arrive, hence their protective and responsible nature.
When it’s not: Parents can set high expectations for a first (or only) child. “When he feels like he has disappointed his parents or can’t measure up, he may veer off in another direction,” says Kevin Leman, Ph.D., a psychologist and the author of The Birth Order Book.

I’m tagging anybody who would like to do this tag. Let me know your results in the comments below!