DCC Fans Assemble!

Denver Comic-Con 2018 is just around the corner! I’m very honored and excited to join the legion of guests, artists and authors in this outstanding convention. If you’re in the Denver Metro area June 15 – 17th, put on your COSplay gear and head on over to Author’s Alley. I’ll be signing my Heart of The Warrior series books.

  

Catch one of the Author Panels to hear discussions by your favorite Colorado Authors. I’ll be participating on some of the panels as well. Schedules of panels and signings won’t be solidified until June(ish), so stay tuned to my website (www.crrichards.com) for updates.

See you there!

Advertisements

Three Things to Avoid When Submitting A Book or Freelance Proposal

Over the years, I’ve scanned through hundreds of document submissions. Some of them completely nailed it. They’re clear, concise and tell me exactly what the guidelines instructed. Others, not so much. These submissions are full of topic specific jargon or unrecognizable acronyms. The submitters have failed to take into consideration not everyone shares their knowledgebase or experience.

It occurred to me this situation is much the same as submitting a novel or a business plan or even a freelance proposal. Is the information you’re providing clear? Are you making the extra effort to briefly explain points or theories most people may not know? It could cost you a book deal or a freelance job.

Are You Showing Me What You Mean or Are You Assuming I Know?

© iQoncept – Stock.Adobe.Com

Avoid Undefined Acronyms – Unless the acronyms are common enough to be known and understood by everyone (Example – FYI or CNN), avoid them in your proposal. Best Practice is to spell out the words and put the acronym in parenthesis the first time they are used in a document. Example – Subject Matter Expert (SME)

Don’t List Unexplained Industry Methodologies or Theories – Say you’re submitting a proposal for technical writing to a small business. Will they understand the intricacies of the Systems/ Software Development Lifecycle? Maybe. Maybe not. Giving a very brief summary of the lifecycle not only helps them understand what you mean, but it also shows them you know what you mean.

Don’t Be Lazy – Try not to be vague about your experience or knowledge. It gives the impression you’re skimming over the information, because you have limited knowledge about the subject. I can’t speak for anyone else, but this is a red flag for me.

Be Clear. Be Brief. Be Considerate. Remember – the person reviewing your proposal may just be a gatekeeper. Only the best submissions move onto the next level.

You Attract What You Seek

© gustavofrazao – Stock.Adobe.Com

I woke up this morning to a lovely twitter post from the Dalai Lama. He wrote about the importance of compassion and opening our hearts in order to understand others. Then I ran across a blog post about Happy People who create their own internal Happiness. Both messages were a nice surprise from an encouraging Universe. I’ve been actively seeking positive change for my life.

I attracted what I am seeking.

There is a flip side to this, however. Like attracts like. If you are a miserable person seeking kindred spirits who will hold you down in the muck, then that is exactly what you’ll get. We’ve all been through tough times. Not everyone is super positive all the time (if they are, then they’re faking it or on happy pills). Consider how long you want to stay in the Pit of Misery. The more time spent in that dark hole, the harder it is to climb out. I know. I’ve been trapped there a time or two.

© Krasimira Nevenova – Stock.Adobe.Como.

Seek out those small moments of Joy. Spend time with the folks who encourage you. Our time on the planet is short. We have important and positive things to accomplish. Don’t waste time in the pit. Get out there and make a positive difference in your world.

Sending positive thoughts and encouragement your way!

Celebrating the Season of Renewal

Spring is beginning to um, spring in my little corner of the world. Tiny green leaves are reaching up to the sun. Crocuses and hyacinths are blooming in bold colors. And me? Well, I am entering into my time of renewal.

My Spring Mantra:

@lily – Stock.Adobe.Com

Positive change is beginning to bud inside my heart.

I will throw out the old dead negative notions.

I will help the new bud to grow by feeding my dreams with positive thoughts.

 

What about you? Are you ready to throw away the outdated thoughts that no longer stimulate your growth? My best wishes and positive thoughts headed your way!

@Acik – Stock.Adobe.Com

Risky Business: Breaking Away from The Trends

Conventional wisdom tells us to “write for the market” or “chase the trends of films.” Sure. You can do that if you’d like. Everybody’s gotta eat, right? Market trends can be safer than making your own trail through the creative wilderness. But what about THE creative project? You know the one I mean. It churns and burns deep in your soul. The process of creation is the only way to silence its voice.

Beware! Resist the critical voices in your head. They want you to take that unique creative project and force it into a safe market trend.

@denisismagilov – Stock.Adobe.Com

DON’T:

Publish a forgettable book you hated writing.

Ignore your passion and make that shallow film about nothing.

Give Up!

DO:

Chase your passion and risk creating the unique.

Study unique art and learn. Think: the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowlings or The Producers by Mel Brooks. Both were huge risks that paid off.

Your unique art is special, but not everyone will see its potential. It’s at this point you must utilize an entrepreneurial mindset. Put on that creative hat and look for ways to introduce your art to a new audience. Find a good fit and make friends – Maybe you spent a year photographing ducks on the lake by your house. You created a coffee table photography book highlighting your best duck photos. Would you try to sell the book at a coin show? No. Find people with common interests who would love to buy your books. Introduce them to your work by displaying it at a show or join a social media site with people who love ducks.

Final Thought:

Someone is waiting to be inspired or entertained by your unique creative project. Have faith and don’t give up!

The Trials and Tribulations of a Change Agent

@Creativa Images – Stock.Adobe.Com

Change happens. It’s the nature of all things. Sometimes change is quick and unexpected. Other times it is agonizingly long in coming. Drag your feet to resist the change, it will be stressful. You might even experience a bit of pain. Embrace the change with acceptance and perhaps a bit of excitement – things will go easier.

I’m a Change Agent. My job, or calling if you will, is helping others to adapt, plan and take steps toward positive change. It can be difficult for individuals to see a path out of their rut. They feel stuck. They know they need a change, but don’t know how to climb out of their situation. That’s where I come in. I, and other folks like me, can see a path to positive growth and happiness. Then we help you see it too.

What happens when a Change Agent gets stuck in a muddy rut? Yep. My clothes are covered in the stuff! Here are a few things I’m doing to climb out of the mud and advance to my next opportunity:

Read a Classic againWho Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson, M.D.

Get Inspired – Read or watch pieces about innovators and other inspiring people who have achieved the goals you dream about

Dream – Listen to yourself. What do you want? What don’t you want?

Take Action – Make a plan and see it through

I’ve been a mentor for ten plus years. 98% of my mentees have gone on to be successful in their business goals. The other 2% refused to either work hard for their dream or couldn’t conquer their fear of change. Moving out of a negative, but comfortable situation can be scary. Find a good mentor or coach to help you on your path. I guarantee happiness is worth the hard work!

And They Call It Book Love

Running my fingers across the rows of shiny spines, I slowly slide one out of its place among the other tantalizing covers. The aroma of recently cut paper and new print fills my senses. I absorb the words stretching across the back. Heart racing, I wonder what type of adventure this book will take on.

@Sergey Nivens – Stock.Adobe.Com

Sorry Romance fans. Love is fleeting. Book Love is forever. Think about it. Whether you’re two or one hundred and two, a good story is always one of life’s greatest pleasures.

How to Find Your Next Love

Book Stores – Ask for staff recommendations

Goodreads.com – Check out their Listopia section with recommendations by readers just like you

Best Seller Lists – Amazon and B&N both have Best Seller Lists. I’ll be honest. I rarely pick from the best seller lists, because they distract from other (and possibly better) books

BookBub and Riffle – Books on these sites are vetted pretty well. And they feature the ones on sale. Big bonus!

Word of Mouth – Book clubs or Goodread Groups are a great way to discuss what others are reading

What I’m Reading Right Now:

Tangerine by Christine Mangan

Death Without Company by Craig Johnson

Odd Hours by Dean Koontz