Slow Down

Next month is an annual 5K that I ran last year. I came in last place. It was a running restart for the umpteenth time. Some might call it just walking moderately fast, but my slow runs have been good for me. I start out walking, and then as weeks progress so does my speed.

At the end of last year I realized I did too much. This year, I have been trying to pace myself, not just where running is concerned but scheduling my time as well. The best thing to come from that thus far is my efforts have resulted in accomplishing more. Choices that are mine aren’t always what other people want or expect, but they work for me.

It is very easy to get into a habit of rushing through things and not taking time to enjoy and do the best one can do. I am preparing to run the Perseverance 5K again this year. My time maybe better, worse or the same. Won’t know until the run is over, but speed is not what I am looking forward to the most.

The 2015 Perseverance Run held in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, I ran by signs on the route telling me of the sacrifices that the persecuted missionaries endure, it occurred to me that my time on the course didn’t matter. My aches and pains, my frustration weren’t even comparable. This was about something bigger than running a race. My run became a prayer, for the individuals the race was to support, and myself as well.

As I prepare to return, I wonder what epiphanies await me on the course this year. Have I learned to appreciate the freedom of choice I have this last year? What have I done to support my own beliefs? Far deeper concerns than how fast will I run.

Permission

There are many things in life we have to seek permission to do. One example is gaining permission to drive a car by going through stages and steps to become a licensed driver. Most of the time when we seek permission there is some expectation on our part that must be fulfilled.

A discussion with a fellow writer about becoming a published writer sparked my thoughts into the phenomenon of credibility and permission regarding writing. Once upon a time, there weren’t big house publishers.

Book publishing evolved like most industries. Someone had something to say, wanted to share it and either learned the trade themselves or sought out someone to make copies. Over time it became an industry where publishers selected authors to write similar stories to those successfully selling in order to make a profit. That is until something new and different caught the eye of the reading public, then off in a new direction, a new genre or resurgence of an old one began and the cycle continued.

There are stories about an author who would not accept rejection and published themselves successfully, as well as rogue editors there who bucked the system for an author they believed in. Somewhere along the line becoming chosen became the thing to do. It happens quite often in throughout life if you think about it.

So why are there so many writers still waiting to be chosen? Especially with the flood of ebooks and the means by which to be published have become so economically available? Is writing truly an elitist monopoly?

I have heard from published authors that this is a competitive brutal industry, which to be honest, any and all industries will have individuals that are highly competitive. However, I have a perspective with a slightly different outlook. I see that there is room for all voices.

If you write, and work at it writing the best you can write, who has the right to say what can be published or not? Isn’t it the right of the reader to accept or reject? Readers are the market that publishers sell to, doesn’t that make their opinion the only one that really matters? Shouldn’t they have the final say as to whether or not something is worth reading?

Publicity

So, the eldest sent me a list for creating a media kit. No, I had not done one before now. Yes, I am aware how backward my process is —for the record, I am working on the media kit.

Here, let me share it with you.

1) A letter of introduction.  This is a personal bio no longer than 1 page.  It should highlight your strengths and accomplishments.

2)  A mission statement or manifesto.  This is how you stand out from other authors and what makes your work unique.

3) Testimonials or reviews.  When starting out it doesn’t matter who has done them, just that you have them.  I.E. if Natalie has reviewed your work she’d be Radio Personality and Voice Actor Natalie says “blah”

4) FAQ

5) Services offered – i.e. onsite book signing provides promotional opportunity for the store to drive up foot traffic.

6) Rates (cost of books and merchandise)

7) Stats (how many visits have you had to your blogs.  how many books have you sold?  what have common readers said about your work?)

8) Contact Information

After reading through myself the first time, I was at a loss as to where to begin. It seems such a daunting task. The second time I read through it was a few minutes later, this time sitting on the couch with my companion pup sitting next to me. When I finished the second read through I looked the lab in the eye and explained, “I have no clue how to do any of this. Would you write my bio?”

The puppy is quite willing it seems. She stood on the couch next to me, tail wagging wildly and leaned in to lick my face. She will do a great job, I am sure of it.