Posts Tagged ‘goal’

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The title above is sort of intended to be ironic, so please don’t assume that this is a pep talk for the masses. If there was some secret formula for encouraging motivation that worked every time then whoever figured it out would be a billionaire.
Self-help is a massive industry and many people who contribute to it don’t necessarily have professional credentials in the area that they address. Does that matter? Not always. There are people who have a genuine desire to help people and often experience is more valuable that book learning, as it were.
I’ve known people who were big advocates for self-help and I’ve been recommended several products in this area by people who have found it a really helpful tool.
The difficulty I have is that often by the time I’m in a place where these products might need to be called upon, I’m often so far gone that the cynic in me rules all of my thought processes.
I am neither complete pessimist or optimist. I try my best to remain in the latter mindset as often as possible, but sometimes I do slip into the former and for a person like myself that can be a very taxing experience.
Once my thoughts slide into the negative they can often remain there for days becoming increasingly obsessive until I’m ready to jack the whole lot in. I mean why the hell do we bother? What is the point in all of this? Why not take the easy route that seems to work so well for so many?
Those inbetween the two states are often seen as realists and this is always where I identify myself. Working hard is necessary because no one gets anything for nothing; there is always a price. Coasting along is easy, but on that route nothing truly incredible will ever happen and you will remain unremarkable.
So what is the point in all of this? The point is just this, whoever we are, at whatever given time it may be, you have to accept one thing: you are who you are and you control your own destiny. Often things don’t work out the way that we expect them to and if anyone can find an avenue of help to make their life easier then they should grasp that chance. But self-help, no matter how expensive it is, needs one valuable component. The most important central component has to be in place, and receptive, before it has any hope of succeeding: you.
If you have family and friends around you cheering then that’s great, congratulations. But none of them can achieve your dream for you. The work must be yours and you have to want it, breathe it, visualise it. See your goal, keep moving forward, and begin to consider your next goal.
Giving up is always an option, but it leaves you with a what if…? Winning and losing, failing and succeeding, it’s all a state of mind propelled by you. With every breath you take you are succeeding in living, but is that enough? Do you want to survive and nothing more, or do you want to strive for greatness?
Neither choice is right or wrong but it is just that, a choice and only you can make it for yourself.

Good luck on your adventures,

xSx

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I’ve been thinking about the qualities of the alpha males that we all love to read and I’ve been trying to decipher what the most important one is. Of course there are several, so it’s been a tough decision. But the one I’ve decided to blog about today is this: drive.
Our alpha male must be determined, he must have a goal and a purpose. In one novel he will usually be driving towards several goals, which is why I believe this quality is so important. He’ll be driving towards solving the mystery, saving the world, and/or taking down the bad guy. Sometimes there are personal goals with regards to friends, business, or family. And of course, the most important goal he is driving towards is: getting the girl.
It intrigues me because it sort of proves that without that fierce drive pushing him along we wouldn’t see the other qualities. We wouldn’t see his stubbornness or his arrogance. Without the drive being displayed we might not see how resiliant he is, when failure is merely a minor setback to be progressed from.
Usually our alpha male is hotness in a can, so with a perfect physique he must have the discipline required to work out hard, regularly, and push through the pain.
Perhaps the reason this is most interesting to me at the moment is that as a writer we must share so many of these qualities, a part of us must be this hero. We must push through to get the book written and edited. We must keep going despite failure and rejection. We have to continue our lives and fight our personal battles whilst continually maintaining that focus on what’s important and where we’re going. Alphas have to be optimistic and be able to face problems head on and come up with solutions, just like writers must.
I know a lot of us display these qualities in life, we have to, and these traits could be applied to many. But it’s important to point out that writers do write what they know, even if they’re coming at it from a very different angle.

Good luck on your adventures

xSx

thankyou

We all spend so much time thinking about what is not done, “You didn’t take out the trash,” “you forgot to buy milk…” etc. that we so often fail to notice the things that are done.
Taking things for granted in life is something we have all been guilty of. That’s why so often praise or gratitude is surprising, quite often if people show me gratitude for something I think it’s the start of a joke :p
Don’t for a second think that I’m going to start singing about appreciating the warmth of the sun on your face and the sweet, delicate melody of the birds chirpring in the trees. By all means appreciate those things, you should. But today I want to think about appreciating the other humans around us.
Now I know it’s easy to get mad at the kids, and at your husband when he didn’t “hear” you tell him about the neighbour’s dinner party. You should get mad, I’m sure they deserve your wrath 🙂 But we are nothing alone. Our family and our friends are what propel us forward. Our ambition determines how high we aim. But at the end of the day everyone needs help to achieve lofty goals.
So thank you. That’s really the aim and simplicity of this blog. Every single person who reads this is doing me a kindness. Every person who reads my books, love or loathe, review or not, you’re all doing something nice for me.
I have to show my gratitude to you all. If I could thank every person who bought my book, or read my comments on social media, then I would. But I think I would come off as a bit creepy if I started following all you guys around.
So I want to take this chance, on this platform, to thank you all for having faith enough to take a risk and read my work. All of you are valuable to me, and if I could show you my gratitude personally I would… in a completely non kinky way, promise, lol.
So often we hear about authors, of all varieties, and we hear of publishers, and of distributors, so often the reader is overlooked. There is no industry without you guys. Would it matter if half the writers out there stopped writing? Not as much as if half the readers suddenly stopped reading. You have to be respected by authors, all of you, by every part of the machine. Don’t underestimate your power. By sheer will alone you have the power to change the market. Pick a book you love and tell everyone you know, they tell everyone they know, and suddenly this little pile of words that spoke to you has taken the world by storm. That is the power you have.
Writers shouldn’t be revered, yes, they should be respected for the hard work and perseverance that it takes to produce the goods because it is a long journey. But that journey has no destination without the reading community. Yes, writers are readers, they have to be, there’s absolutely no equivocation on that, but we’re not the most important ones.
The most important person in a writer’s world is… you. Not the guy next to you, not the guy running the country, not even the distributors and publishers who are slugging it out. Let them have their war. This is about you. I have to connect to you. I have to work hard, for you. No one else. I don’t do it because I think I’m going to tempt a million readers. I want to connect with you. I want my words to affect your life, even if only for a few seconds. I want them to provoke a reaction. I want your heart to beat faster, or I want it to spasm with sorrow. I want you to laugh. I want you to cry. I want you to care.
My characters don’t belong to me. They are yours, they are what is in your heart, and in your head. They are what you want them to be. All I do is assemble thoughts and scenarios, the emotion is yours, it’s in you, you make the story what it is.
So thank you for taking a risk. Thank you for reading. Thank you for infusing my stories with sensation. Your wonderful mind processes the words I put together and causes that sentiment to your senses. You see it, you feel it. You are the story. It is for you. You have my eternal gratitude.

Good luck on your adventures,

xSx

success-lincoln-quote

Success is a relative term that we all have to define for ourselves. When I started my publishing journey I had to learn about a lot of new things that I hadn’t considered before. Ironically, the easiest part of this whole process is the writing! Yes, that’s the part I find myself retreating to when the rest of this experience becomes too much.
Has my writing style and process changed since I released my first novel? Yes. You have to let it be organic. Every new experience adjusts our perspective, so our writing will always adjust to compensate.
But what I didn’t do was make a concrete assertion of what “success” would look like. I suppose we all have a vague idea of what it would look like to achieve our dreams. But when you start on the path to try and realise your ambition the whole thing takes on a new configuration.
I’m not actually here to talk about writing, but as I previously stated, writing is my go to place when I’m struggling elsewhere. So why am I here? I’m not really sure, to be honest. I sat staring at the empty post for a while… and that’s not like me. I’m one of these strange people who love the white, blank page. It doesn’t intimidate me, it excites me, because it lies there ready to absorb the adventure, to record the comedy and drama woven in the words.
But I sat and I stared… I could write about writing. I could write about publishing. I could write about process. I could talk about opinion. Today, I’m vexed by a challenge that I can’t overcome. I can’t think my way out of it. I can’t write my way out of it. With those two avenues exhausted I sit and I stare.
I can write full-length romantic fiction. I can publish novels in various digital formats and in paperback. I can create and maintain websites. I can blog. I can interact on social media. Other than the first, these are all things that I’ve had to learn since I started this publishing journey. What can’t I do? Find a way to encourage readers to engage with me as a writer.
I don’t know if it’s me. I don’t know if it’s my novels. But no matter how much I talk to and question people, and generally try to encourage dialogue, readers are reluctant. Why is that?
So I do what any sane person would do, I consult the plan for achieving my goal… hmm… What does success look like? Goals in writing can be severely narrowed… “I must edit this many chapters this week…” “I must reach this word count.” “I must write the blurb, description, design a cover…” “Come up with a character name…” the list is endless. But because it can be divided into so many segments it’s easy to focus on each task and ignore the big picture.
At first it’s just a wonder to see your book on Amazon! Then it’s amazing to see the red line on your sales dashboard graph move at all. All of these little feats become cause for celebration. Mastering the tasks in themselves can feel like climbing mountains and reaching summits. What do you do when you’re over the mound of learning, and comfortable enough in the process, then realise that you’re lacking?
You try to find a task to complete… but there isn’t one. You can’t achieve a task toward a goal when you don’t know what success looks like. I do wonder how other indies measure their success, is it in sales? Maybe its in monetary terms? Or maybe it’s the number of dedicated fans that they have?
Success is relative, but I still don’t know where it stands in relation to me… could it be hiding around the next corner? But if you’re standing on the road alone, when is it time to accept that you’ve taken a wrong turn?

Good luck on your adventures,

Scarlett

Explicit Instruction

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Yes, you heard me right, I said sex.
I feel a bit like a pinball at the moment, bouncing about all over the place, only to hit one wall and fire off into another. I don’t know what to do. I’m completely torn.
As I’ve told you guys before I’ve had contradicting opinions on the volume of sex had by Rushe and Flick. Now lets leave aside for a second that the word “Explicit” is in the title. Let us also leave aside that fact that just about every review references the fact that there is a copious amount of sex. Oh, and that there’s a warning in the description. Somehow readers are still surprised that there is so much sex in the book.
My frustration comes from the fact that half of readers want implied sex and half want explicit sex. Some want it soft and slow, others want Rushe to take what he wants. Maybe the most confusing part is when people talk about how unbelievable it is that Flick suddenly wants lots of sex. They are in an intense situation and most relationships start out heavy on the sex. Rushe wants it too but no one has mentioned that.
Anyway, it sounds like I’m pouting but I’m not, I’m just frustrated. Having readers connect with my work, and enjoy it, is my highest goal. But somehow I just can’t seem to do it. All I want to do is write interesting characters in interesting situations and entertain the audience, to have you engage with those I create.
When people read sci-fi they expect spaceships and/or unfathomable technology because it’s par for the course. Romance novels have to feature some physical connection, whether it’s a kiss, or an implied sex scene, there has to be something, doesn’t there?
I’m feeling the sting because I’m editing Explicit Detail (the Explicit Instruction sequel) so if the sex has to be cut, now is the time to do it. I’m tempted to get out the red pen. I’ll put in the warning this time that there is no sex whatsoever. Will that warning work? I made a joke once about writing a “clean” version and an “author’s cut”, it would delay publication but I’m increasingly tempted to do just that.
Grr, I’m so indecisive. Does the sex matter? Should it make the final cut, or should readers be relied upon to use their imagination?

Good luck on your adventures,

xSx