January 2012 Review: On Writing and Micropublishing

The sun blessed us with her presence most of January, a stark contrast to the driving rains of Fall.  She often beckoned to me, but I (mostly) stayed present with the “work”.

I introduced Illuminations from the Heart, my weekly subscription letter and opened a page on my Writing Services.  I humorously – or seriously – thought to call it “I write for $”.  Is that too outrageous?

All before Mars – the planet of action – went retrograde on January 23rd, where she will relax until April springs forth.

Make Money Writing

Happily, after leaving a comment on Words Trumpet, I won a free spot in Charlotte Rains Dixon’s class Make Money Writing.

Rains Dixon has been successfully making money as a writer for years. During the dark ages (pre-internet) she wrote for traditional magazines and print publications. These days she mixes it all up writing a variety of content including articles, books, and ghostwriting alongside coaching and teaching. Charlotte’s passionate dynamism and caring heart infuse her teaching style.

I’m mid-way in the 5-session course, which covers:

  • Blogging
  • Freelance Writing
  • Ghostwriting
  • Teaching and Coaching
  • Putting it All Together

Rains Dixon has a talent for drawing out the key points on each topic and generously shares her own hard-learned tricks of the trade.  It’s been intriguing and informative to learn how this traditional writer makes her keep writing online. Living proof it can be done.

The Micropublisher

At the other end of the spectrum, I read the inaugural edition of The Micropublisher, also intended to teach you how to make a living with words.  But the slant is on publishing your own material; not freelancing for others.

Creator Thom Chambers says,

“It might sound crazy, but being your own publishing house might just be the best way to make a living with words.”

73-pages, cover-to-cover, The Micropublisher has a trendy, youthful feel. At the same time, it’s packed with invaluable guidance. Chambers emphasizes producing remarkable content as a way to stand out in a quality-diluted crowd.

Many of the articles, like these, prompted deeper thinking:

  • How to be your own publishing house
  • How to become a professional writer
  • 18 Ways to publish your words
  • How much are your words worth?

Style, elegance, intelligence, well chosen words.  These are the distinctive qualities that light up The Micropublisher.

The War of Art:  Overcoming Resistance

I’m probably the last kid on the block to read Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art and I’m still completing the journey.

Everyone – and I mean everyone – quotes Pressfield on ‘turning up and doing the work everyday’. This, he says, is what it means to be a professional – among a litany of other crucial attitudes and attributes.

It seems like every blog I’ve read takes Pressfield’s words literally:  7 days a week. Does Pressfield really mean that writers and other creatives don’t get holidays or days off? Maybe he does.   Or maybe this is our overdrive culture in full bloom.

In my eyes, this book is first and foremost a book about “resistance” – in all its guises.  How to recognize it and vanquish it once and for all. That’s what captivated me.

Pressfield examines “resistance” with a fine-tooth comb because you need to know the “enemy.”  Any creative calling, he proposes, is all about overcoming resistance, which he describes as “the most toxic force on the planet.”

As you might guess, resistance is equally friendly when it comes to entrepreneurial ventures, a new diet or health regimen, regular steps toward spiritual advancement, acquiring an education, and other elements of life that reject immediate gratification over long-term evolution and personal integrity.

So I believe this book and this message has a broad appeal.

And, it’s not all about hard work and the battlefield.  There’s space for inspiration and the muse too.

You can read Pressfield writing on writing and all his stories from the field every Wednesday at Steven Pressfield Online.

*****

I’ve worked as a freelance writer in the past, so it’s not entirely foreign territory.   At the same time, it was beneficial to revisit the landscape with these creative and provocative friends.  To discover new options and uncharted territory.  To explore all that’s new and all that’s fundamentally as old as time.

It’s made me rethink – as I restart this journey – what exactly is it that I wish to do?

How was your January?  Did you launch any new projects?  What floated your boat?

If you enjoyed this article, please share the link with others.  This week in my letter I ask:  What do you take refuge in?   The message was called “powerful, intimate, inspiring.”  Thanks for your support!  With love, Sandra.

Comments

  1. says

    Well, my January was not as productive as yours! Goodness! You covered a lot of ground. The writing thing for me, apart from my blog, is dormant right now. I’m on the fence about pushing through with a book. We’ll see. Meanwhile, what seems to float my boat these days is martial arts. No kidding. After I got my black belt in November, I slacked off, but now I’m back at it with renewed enthusiasm. I’m training with weapons in taekwondo–very fun. And I’m studying tai chi. So every day involves some sort of martial arts practice.

    So pleased to see you off and running. I can feel your energy through cyberspace. You are a force of nature. And I’m so enjoying my weekly illuminations letter from you. Hope others have signed up for the light!

    • says

      Galen, I’m so impressed with your dedication to martial arts! I’m happy you find it fun and enjoyable too. I wish I could gather up the same kind of focus on a daily body-based practice of one form or the other. I dabble! Thanks for your positive support. It always feels better after you feel bad!

  2. says

    Sandra, thanks so much for the great words about me and my class. I appreciate your presence, along with your inquiring mind, in the class. And by the way, I love The War of Art but I believe strongly in taking time off. As my spiritual teacher would say, its in the silence that we find out more–not only about ourselves, but our creative projects.

    • says

      Charlotte, You’re welcome and my pleasure…and edification. I’ve so many handy tips and new twists from you. I’m with you on regular doses of silence.

  3. says

    Wow, Sandra. Just plain wow. You dove right in and embraced your projects–very inspiring! In my own life, I find presence is essential.
    Seriously, I think I launched my life in January. Sounds a bit dramatic, but there were so many firsts–including my first entire month with my sole income based through my online site and energy work. Huge step. And within that there were (and still are) so many beautiful moments and lessons that my world has expanded even as my inner self pulls close to center and creates from this awareness.
    Wonderful! I feel each seed you have planted is ready to sprout, then blossom…it is going to be a joy to experience through you!

    • says

      That’s HUGE Joy! Your first month with your sole income based on your online and energy work. Huge!!!!! I’m so excited for you. I love the passion, commitment and presence you are bringing to your work. No wonder why it’s flourishing!

      New directions are opening up for me too!

  4. says

    Hi Sandra

    Wonderful updates! I think clearly defining what we want or seek from life is an important first step, and I really love your Writing Services page. You are being proactive and taking valuable steps to move you in a desired direction. I wish you all the success you hold in your intentions :)

    As for my January, it was exciting to have the first half of the month be relaxing after re-launching EvolvingBeings.com as a monthly magazine for the 1st of the month. I thought the rest of the month would be relaxing too, and in many ways it was, but my creative juices started spinning and it looks like February is seeing me start a few new creations, including a major new project…one that was in the back of my mind for over 2 years…. I knew the right time would come and it may just have. I will share more updates as the creation unfolds :)

    Happy new month of February!

    • says

      Hi Evita,

      It’s been an interesting process, that’s for sure! I’m quite sure my writing services page will be in evolution for awhile. New options are arising beyond the limits of my imagination.

      I’m very excited by your new format. It sounds like it’s giving you more chunks of space and maybe that is what is feeding your creative juices. I look forward to the unveiling of your new project. EBTV has been remarkable. I can only imagine that the next creation will be very special too.

      I appreciate you and always love your visits.

  5. says

    Hi Sandra,
    I haven’t read the War of Art either! Oh dear. I can’t even commit here to do it. At least I know that right.

    My word is create and I’ve been creating. I have my teleseminar coming up…first one. I also started making videos and am doing 21 in 21 days just to get over myself and comfortable in front of the camera.

    I have “offerings” for each month this year…not about that book I don’t have time to read! Loved what you shared about the writing class!

  6. says

    Hi Tess,

    That’s incredible! You are really, really embodying your word in every way possible. I’m so amazed by you. I watched one of your videos the other day. It was great. You certainly don’t seem to be having a problem with resistance so maybe you don’t need to read the book.