Let me tell you about this dog… – A Weekend Coffee Share Post

 

 

If we were having coffee this weekend, I would welcome you, and tell you that I am relieved that my friend’s dog is okay. I was worried about the puppy all day yesterday because she is still so little (and cute), but she seems to be fine now. I would also use this as the major excuse, why I did not get as much work done yesterday, as I had planned to.

I would then make you a coffee in my new French Press. Never owned one before, always went for the traditional machines or the espresso machines, but I decided to try it anyway. Can you taste the difference between this one and a standard coffee machine? I am sorry I can’t. But they take away less space, so when I send my daughter off to college, she will get one of those.

We are having chocolate oatmeal cranberry cookies today (vegan). I am hungry, haven’t had much of a chance to eat, because I had to catch up on yesterday’s slacking, so excuse my manners if I shove a few extra cookies into my mouth. I hope you don’t mind. No worries, there are plenty, I made extra. The apple pie in the fridge (also vegan) is not for us, though, it is for the above-mentioned friend, who could really use a treat right now – and can’t bake worth a darn. Sorry, but being a friend means you know their strength and their weaknesses, and embrace them both.

I would tell you, that I would have three things on my agenda today that are a must:
1. Visit the blogs on my list I did not get to read yesterday
2. Write as much as content for the two holiday projects I have coming up (they are kind of secret, so I have to show you, but I can not let the cat out of the bag over the internet yet)
3. Write the outline for the script I have in my head. It isn’t a complicated script, but it was originally a story idea, that just would translate better on screen than it would in a book. Simply because it has a lot of physical action.

Once I wrote the outline, I will be able to define it better, and present you a short synopsis. Still working out all of the plot holes in my head, which are the size of a Florida sinkhole at the moment.

What are your plans for the day, the weekend? Any special projects you have in place, or something that did not go as planned, but worked  out at the end? Why not add your thoughts and plans to the linky  right here.  (Via Part Time Monster)

I hope you enjoyed your stay, and will join in again next weekend. I am always baking something – I can’t help myself – so always come hungry!

Blessings!

Claudia

Far & Wide Collective Home Decor Collection

Do What Works – 5 Essentials For Successful Print On Demand Artists

Essential Tips for POD Artists

1. Make what you love
So your art does not fit exactly into the current trend. You have a choice to make, create something that you think will fit in, or showcase your unique voice. Please, dear artists, remember that people love your uniqueness and recognize a truth within the representation of your vision, that you created. A well-designed piece of art can become more popular than the one fitting into the masses

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2. Pay attention to details
Of course, you pay attention to details when it comes to creating your unique piece of art, but are you also paying attention to how each individual application fits with your art? Some art pieces are just not made for cell phone cases while others will showcase their entire beauty on any application. Choose where you put your creative piece as thoroughly as you do during your creative process.

3. Connect with other artists
When I first started out on RedBubble, I thought of it as a lonely place, until I began connecting with other artists, by commenting on each others projects, or participating in the forums. The exchange of energy with like-minded individuals is very inspiring, as well as a learning experience. Take also advantage of the groups and forums out there outside of your platform, with Facebook groups being one example.

4. Connect with your audience
Reach out to your potential audience by learning how to maneuver throughout the various social media outlets. Learn proper etiquette, by not spamming your followers, and really engage. With the right techniques, you can gather a substantial amount of attention if you learn the tricks of the individual platforms. Marketing your products is just as important as creating them.

5. Be specific in your listings and product description
Write the description as if the customer would have no picture available and you would have to describe your creation to them. Use keywords that are related to your products (watch out for spamming keywords – only use those actually related to what you have done. Platforms like Zazzle frown upon the overuse of misguided keywords), and be specific about mentioning your targeted audience.

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Please share your favorite tips and tricks in the comment section. We can all learn from each other!

Blessings

Claudia

P.S. Check out the free Aloha Snack Box Trial – who does not love free!

Monday Motivation – 5 Quotes To Inspire

I always enjoy positive quotes for a quick pick me up, or a way to get me back on track, when I am feeling overwhelmed. Quotes seem to hold within them wisdom I sometimes can not conjure, and it feels good knowing there is a resource always available that I can fall back on. I have collected five quote posters for you, that can – if you allow them to – do the same for you. A positive way to start the week!

Wishing you a wonderful and productive week!
Claudia
As always, please support independent artists! Thank you

Staying Motivated To Write – 3 Tips

3 Tips To Stay Motivated To Write

“Trash” available here:
http://shrsl.com/?~8ult

A to-do list a length of a football field, not enough sleep, and bills that need to be paid, and you are asking me to do what? Write a novel in my spare time? Are you insane?

This is the way of life for many aspiring and also already published writers – juggling an already large amount of responsibilities, yet having the desire to complete something, most people only talk about – writing and publishing a book. The question is, at the moments when it all feels like it becomes too much, and the temptation to throw your manuscript in the corner, is getting larger, what should you do to stay motivated through it all?

1. Now your reasons
If you want to write a novel because you want to be rich, I am going to be honest with you: There are easier ways to make more money than you can generally expect to make as a writer. Sure, there are the success stories, those who (like J. K. Rowling) have more wealth than they could spend in their lifetime, because of their writing, but those are the exceptions. Money is never a good reason to pursue an artistic and creative goal because even when you reach your financial independence from anything but your creative income, there is not such a thing as an overnight success. It took dedication and hard work to get there. If you need money now, get a job.
Good reasons to have are: A burning desire to create stories, and to place them upon a page. To entertain others, with your fiction, and even to proof to yourself that you can do it. None of these reasons are financial. Whatever your personal reasons are, define them clearly and revisit them often.

2. Schedule your writing time.
Become a fanatic, almost to the point of obsession about your daily writing time. Sure your family needs you to do this and that, but if you want to be a writer, you have to make the commitment. Get up an hour earlier, or stay up an hour longer, depending on when you write better, but stick with it. After a while, you will begin to grave this solitary time, and the act of sitting down itself will become a great motivator.

3. Join an accountability group or challenge.
This month (June) has JuNoWriMo, April and July have CampNaNoWriMo, November has NaNoWriMo, and those are just the big ones. Some of the smaller challenges are year-round, for example, WritingChallenge.org runs every month and has a smaller commitment of a daily word count of 500 words or one hour of editing. A possible adventure, isn’t it? All of these challenges have peer support, and a recording system, where you can chart your progress, which in itself is another motivator. Every day spent writing, even if it is only 500 words adds up, to not only a completed piece of work, but also in experience. The most effective way to get better at writing is to write regularly.

 

What are your favorite ways to stay motivated? Do you have an accountability partner, or are you a part of an accountability group? Please share your experiences!

 

 

Finding Time To Write During Stressful Times – 5 Tips

Writing Tips: 5 Ways To Find Time To Write During Stressful Times

Writers write. It is as simple as that. But there are times, when the world away from our words becomes increasingly  demanding and emergencies arise. Despite it all, you are longing to steal at least a few minutes away to reunite with your stories.
Here are some tips on how to do that, and keep your sanity.

1. Lower your expectations.
For the time being, adjust your work schedule, your goal word count and/or editing time. Make sure you limit this time to a reasonable stretch, maybe a week or two so that this reduced workload will not become a habit.

2. Announce to everyone when you will get back to a regular schedule.
Just like everyone else, who has a “regular” job, there is only so much time, you can take off from your work. Treat it just like that, and announce that timeframe to those who matter.

3. Make your shorter writing time absolutely sacred.
Get up an half an hour earlier, but do not allow anyone else to take these thirty minutes from you, by demanding additional attention. Working in a home environment takes a clear set of boundaries, that need to be announced, stuck with and defended.

4. Switch to tasks that you can handle in spurts
For some, like me, it is easier to edit and be interrupted than to handle the same when I am in emerged in the middle of the creation of a story line. Use this time to do those tasks that are easier for you to handle in such fashion, rather than trying to force those acts that need your full and longer attention. There is no reason to set yourself up for failure, by setting goals that you know you are not going to be able to keep following through upon.

5. Take care of yourself.
During stressful times, it is even more essential to take properly care of yourself, in order for you to handle the additional workload, and stay positive. Make time for healthy meals and enough sleep to regenerate your energy.

Simply knowing that there is an end to most interruptions makes those demands easier to handle.

Workaholic – A Haiku

Image "Ezio" by A. TW http://shrsl.com/?~7hb4

Image “Ezio” by A. TW http://shrsl.com/?~7hb4

overwhelming tasks
lost in the vortex of chores
searching for a break

Copyright Claudia H. Blanton 2015

Disclaimer: the image is by an artist named A. TW, and it is available at RedBubble, of which I am an affiliate – supporting independent artist, and helping them to reach a wider audience)