On ISBN numbers and self-publishing

Hello Friends,

I write this post after researching ISBN numbers this week and getting jazzed about that process. I will likely go via the self-publishing route for my first book. I am not patient enough to wait until I find an agent or a publisher. I want to get my ideas out into the world, and my intuition tells me that it’s my second (or third) book that will make a bigger splash in the world, not this one. So while I take it seriously, I am not indulging in perfectionism, but rather taking steps each week to keep momentum.

This first book has been an exercise in daily self-discipline for me, in working in short, focused “bursts” of 25 minutes in the morning with a 5 minute break in between. Sometimes when I’m really inspired, I go for a third round. It is mentally taxing but also incredibly rewarding to watch this book take shape while also tending to other aspects of my life.

Yesterday I decided to play around with cover art and to update the tagline. It’s still a work in progress of course, and I aim to complete and release the book in October of 2021. I was playing with Canva in order to see a mock up of the cover, and I realized how empowering it is that these days we have the means to produce our work in this way. The art is not final, and I hope to work with a friend who is an artist to do the eventual design, but it sure helped me visualize to create a mock-up!

It was not too long ago that this sort of idea sharing was the province of a few, and now we have ways to introduce others to our brand of discourse. So I wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude for that. To all of you who write here on blogs, or get to put your ideas in the world: Isn’t it grand that we live in a time where this is possible?

What’s your next creative project? When do you plan to be bravel and release it into the world?

Cheers,

Cristy

P.S. I actually sold the first copy of my book yesterday to a client who pre-ordered it! That was a shock. But it just goes to show you that you really must be ready to receive and to create the means to do this…

Starting the query journey

Hi Friends,

I hope you are well and enjoying the glorious month of May! Last week I reached out to my networks to ask for a few people who are willing to read my query letter draft before I start reaching out to agents.

When I began researching agents via QueryTracker, I was pleasantly surprised to discover a few prospects that seem like a fit for my manuscript. I looked on Manuscript Wish List for more information and got very excited. So I set about researching how to write a query letter.

I am curious about the “hook” and wish I could read examples of others’ winning query letters. If any of you writers out there have advice, I am open to your advice!

Cheers & happy writing,

Cristy

P.S. I have received both of my vaccine shots! So excited to be able to get out and about again, though this introvert will be pacing herself. Wishing you health and wellbeing for the season ahead.

Quiet places (and my noisy mind)

I transport myself to a quiet place in nature, not necessarily truly quiet, but a place that calms my mind. Listening to the sound of flowing water, my nervous system feels immediately soothed.

I have often had a “noisy” mind, a busy mind, an exuberant and thoughtful (also thought-full) mind. I have been rewarded for this in many ways. And this over-active mind is also a source of suffering all too often.

Learning to calm myself through yoga, running or dance and through journaling, has helped to slow the racing thoughts. I sometimes forget these practices, like anyone, when my mind becomes triggered by a painful thought. At those times, I feel myself bracing and going into “defense” mode, constricting and pushing back.

A video of my favorite quiet place in nature (in Schroeder, MN).

When I can take a breath or two and recognize that I’m not actually under attack by anything physical, and I’m responding to a painful thought or belief, I can allow my emotional response without reacting.

I keep training myself to do this, and re-training myself. It’s a lifelong journey, it seems. And maybe that’s what it means to be human, this acknowledgement of unhealed wounds that need tending and self-compassion. We may realize intellectually that they are no longer threats, and yet they still activate a primal place within our nervous system.

When they trigger fear or sadness or another painful emotion, there is a cascade of “stories” that usually follows (for me). And then that feedback loop can lead to even more painful thoughts. I bring myself back again to my physical sensations, my senses both internal and external, and re-ground myself.

The noisy mind is still there. And now I access a place where the “watcher” can lovingly and compassionately see the pattern, and offer comfort. Nothing has gone wrong. This is what minds do, generate thoughts like bubbles in a stream. They are not necessarily true, particularly the painful ones.

Stepping back, I access that bubbling stream knowing all is well. A bit of distance, a bit of perspective, and the noisy mind calms itself.

Be well, dear readers.

cristy@meximinnesotana.com

Saturday Share – 10 Eye-Opening Writing Rituals from Great Writers — Victoria Ray

The author should die once he has finished writing. So as not to trouble the path of the text. Umberto Eco The truth is (social distancing or not), I am still a very disorganised author. How could I publish so many books? 🤨 I don’t know. That’s why I’m diving in into some rituals of the greatest,…

via 10 Eye-Opening Writing Rituals from Great Writers — Victoria Ray

For those of you who would like to establish a writing routine during quarantine, my friend and writer Victoria Ray has pulled together a few ideas for you.

Cheers & happy weekend,

cristy@meximinnesotana.com

Saturday Share – Getting back into it — Libre Paley

In my last post I mentioned getting back into writing again (Passion lost, passion regained), and also referred to the potentially excruciating experience of revisiting an old draft. I selected something I composed, very roughly, several years ago, about 25,000 words of it. Well, a few passages were more ‘refined’, those that had been redrafted […]

via Getting back into it — Libre Paley

I really liked this post about getting back into a project after you’ve taken some time away. Hope you enjoy it as well.

Happy weekend, friends!

cristy@meximinnesotana.com