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I would like to introduce you to my first Guest Blogger, Pam Young. I hope you enjoy this post as well as I have. Take it away Pam. . .

My indie project is “weird” because I broke a six hundred page memoir about an awakening experience into three separate stories and published it as a trilogy in just over a year. In blogging about it, I publicly explored my spiritual journey.

 

Writing and publishing the first three Burnout to Bliss books in such a limited time was exhausting. I also learned more about indie publishing and shared it on my blog, Skating Thru 2012. But the most important thing I learned was not about publishing. It was about why I had written the series.

 

Indie authors understand the “why” of writing books is as either “write to market” (to make money) or as a “passion piece” (something you want or need to do). Non-fiction authors are also advised to determine their “why” before they even start writing because it shapes your story.

 

In the beginning, mine was “passion piece” because I viewed it as a legacy for my nieces, who were now the same age I was when I had that remarkable two-year experience almost thirty years ago. It began with pervasive discomfort in my once-loved job as a professor and disappointment with my inability to find someone who could “see me.” My nieces could be having a similar experience!

 

But the “why” changed while writing the books.

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When I completed BURNOUT – How a Desert Lizard Restored My Faith, I believed it worth sharing because it highlighted the madness (psychotic episodes) of professional burnout. I knew I wasn’t the only one who had felt such despair.  And sharing personal experience, at least according to National Association of Memoir Writers, is why people write memoirs — to shed light on the way. I also hoped to instill respect for other spiritual paths because my return to faith happened in a strange way while camping with Mexican Indian Shamans.

 

 

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Cycling in the City – How I Got My Confidence Back told a different story. As the first break-away from the job, it relates discovering the depth of damage from burnout and what I did to get better. I know I’m not alone in the experience of realizing that life no longer works. I saw sharing my story as a helping others. Part Two of that book is a model I created for making severe changes, like breaking addictions. But that was not the only reason for writing it. Having just learned about Amazon “Shorts,” I wanted to experience writing one. This story seemed perfect for the exercise.

 

 

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My understanding of “why am I writing this?” changed as I wrote 2 years, 1 Paycheck, 0 Plans – a story of healing because I realized the healing was continuing as I wrote. And it was not about forgiving the jealous friend who launched my journey. That was completed in my journals (1985-89). Instead, it was about Mom and the underlying reason for my being intensely depressed so long ago. I was making revisions when all the hidden, unexpressed rage suddenly had a voice. I felt as if Mom was there with me, encouraging me in spirit to do whatever it took.

 

 

My “why” for writing the series was no longer just a “passion piece” for my nieces. It wasn’t even about helping others. Instead, I now believe it was about healing old wounds so I could let go, surrender, and move on with my life. Some part of me must have known this would happen because in Book 1 the Preface identified the title for the next book as Surrender.

 

Finally understanding the true “why” for writing that trilogy, I am convinced that I was guided to do this project, not for others, but for myself — to complete the healing of events and my weird relationship with Mom that happened so very long ago.

 

[And it’s not finished yet. Book 4, BLISS, will be a book of lessons learned for having more joy in life. If you want to be among the first to know when it’s published, please visit Burnout to Bliss and click the red link below.]

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Pam Young has been many things: inner city English teacher, professor, Holistic Health Practitioner, yoga and DansKinetics instructor, psychotherapist, masseuse, and self-empowerment workshop leader. Now she writes with the same intentions while living in the mountains with critters.

 

You can find her books on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and other venues.

 

You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, or her blog:

 

Facebook       https://www.facebook.com/drpamyoung


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This month my affirmation is all about being in business as a writer. This month my focus is on treating my writing as my vocation rather than just a hobby.. This month (and next month too) my goal is to create a comprehensive, living, breathing document called a business plan.

The Many Hats of A Self-published Author

A self-published author wears many hats. First, I am the author of four books and am writing more as we speak. Second, I am a publisher. I am a business owner.
I am a researcher, and I am one of the editors of my work. I used to be the only editor, but I changed all that when I realized that if I didn’t own my company, I could be fired for having done such a poor job! So I now have someone else handle the final edits. I format my own books and picked out the designs for the covers. Again, I probably would do better if I hired someone else to do that. I am also handling the marketing and most of the sales. In addition, I am currently my own PR person and my own secretary. Due to precious little money coming into my business at this point, I handle my finances as well. Finally, I am the president and CEO of my company. I am the boss.

Hats That I Do Not To Wear

One hat I do not wear as a self-published author is that I do not do my own final editing. I leave that to my beta readers. In addition, I do not take my own photographs nor do I design or create my own flyers. I actually have someone else do it who does a far better job than I do.

Letting Others Wear My Hats

Though I do wear many hats, there are certain hats that do not fit me very well and eventually I intend to let someone else wear those hats. I would like to focus most of my time and attention toward producing books and being featured at speaking or book signing events. I would also like to have someone else drive me to those events. A girl can dream; can’t she?

What Does This Have To Do With Business Planning?

Knowing what I do well, and what I do not do so well is an important part of business planning. A business owner needs to realize that he or she cannot do everything alone. As a self-published author, I want to have creative control over my work which I have, however, that doesn’t mean that I should make it a one woman show even if I was good at all of those things, but I am not.
Therefore, it is important that I understand what I am doing, what I am allowing others to do and what I should be allowing others to do. This gives me a human relations goal for my business. I begin to create job descriptions for future employees or contractors. This shows me what it is that I do so that when the time comes for me to share the load, I can tell exactly what I am doing so that I can tell the person that I am relinquishing the hat to what it is that I want that person to do with that hat and to know whether that hat is a good fit after all.

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Donna Brown is an ordained minister. As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .

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