Saturday, February 25, 2012

My Blogging Mission

I've been getting two strong senses of what I've been wanting to do with this blog. I have two major loves that have been standing out to me for the last few months as I've contemplated what I wanted to put into my blog account.

The first is this… anyone who's a writer, or even a creative in general, knows that it's hard to do this job. I mean yeah, you are passionate about what you do but sometimes it's just so hard to continue with a positive attitude when so much is stacked against you. One of the things that I've tried to do to combat this is putting together an inspiration file. When I was in school for illustration, one of my favorite teachers said in one of my classes that you have to surround yourself with the things that inspire you. "Keep those things and throw the rest away." And I took it more literal at the time. I had a thick file of things that inspired me consisting of various art and quotes and things. And I've since not really replaced it and started a spot for it in my current life. Because that's the thing about inspiration, you have to replace it. It doesn't come on it's own you have to fill that cup up when you have it for the times when you don't.

But the point of having inspiration where you can get to it quickly, especially when it's one of those times in your life where you need a pick me up, means that it's also shareable. Especially if you want to keep it nearby. And since I do a lot of work on the computer it will most definitely be nearby. And I want to share stuff that motivates and inspires me, so readers can add to their inspiration file as well. If I come up with a snappier name I'll rename it but for now "INSPIRATION FILE" it is.

The other, Art. YES! As I mentioned before I was an illustration major at Brigham Young University. And it was also a very competitive career path, one that I've set aside for now because I honestly want to be writing right now. (That's really my first love to be honest.) It doesn't mean that I can't do illustration or that I wouldn't do it well. Now I'm not the expert on art but I'd like to think that I'm well trained to know what makes good marketable art as opposed to poorly constructed art that isn't very marketable at all. And I see a lot of writers who struggle with choosing the right kind of art for their book covers… especially self published book covers. Now add the fact that the publishing market is changing right now where even a self-published author can do very well for themselves. And it's just going to continue to bloom. Which means unless writers train themselves on how to pick the "right" art, the problem is just going to get worse unfortunately.

But it doesn't stop there. Because of my art/illustration/design training I know what the artist aspires for as well, or what they SHOULD aspire to. This information needs to be taught or it's going to disappear like every other classically trained discipline. (And I will address what I mean further by that in future posts on this topic.)

So I'll be labeling those entries: "ART AND DESIGN CORE." Core because it will be focused on the core importances of picking smart art and design. I'm hoping that I can train writer eyes to pick the art and artists that know what they are doing and have the appropriate skill level for their equivalent skill level. If you plan on taking several years and classes and going to all the trouble to make a really well told story, you OWE it to yourself to get an artist or designer who's done EXACTLY the same thing. And if you can't recognize that skill level. These posts will help you to see that. (And just to warn you, it also might make you an art snob too.) But I guarantee that you will pick SMARTER art to cover your story and it will only benefit your ability to sell it.

Friday, February 24, 2012

First Order of Business:

Updates! I haven't been keeping this blog up very well. And I intend to do better at that this year. I was busy all of 2011 doing lots of things; podcasting, reviewing comics, getting interested in writing comics, and doing the ANWA Newsletter. AND on top of all that being a mom and a wife! So, two full time jobs.

Yeah, superwoman couldn't cut it if she were me and a few things had to give.

I've stepped back from a ton of podcasting ventures. I started a comic book writing class (which is excellent) and then I went to "Life, The Universe, and Everything Symposium" and realized that I comic book writing, while interesting, fun, and I might actually enjoy doing, isn't where I want to be right now. Mostly due to a keynote address that I attended at the LTUE symposium, just really hit me that I'm distracted with comic book writing and not focusing on my one real love. (And novel writing has been my focus since I was a kid.) Kinda an expensive thing to realize now, in light of the comic class, but still not a total loss as writing stories which ever medium still involves meeting at a blank screen/page and putting something there. And I'm definitely learning its the same process regardless what format you write.

And then the big hit that is happening in all this… I won't be the ANWA newsletter editor much longer. I have extremely mixed feelings on this as I've really enjoyed being editor and I wanted to continue for another year at least (if not longer). (If I could pick the one job I'd excel at and would find myself perfectly suited to perform, it would be designer and inspirer. Two things I have a LOT of training in. And something I never tire of, nor out of ideas.) I won't go into much detail or opinion about it other than to say my leaving does not come without me fighting for the position and still losing. And no, it's not an amicable departure. I guess I wouldn't be as upset about it if I hadn't been 100% vocal for the last few months about intending to stay on and being told the position was mine for as long as I wanted it. (Like I said, I fought and worked hard for this position.) I've put a lot of hours, thought, and spiritual effort into creating a positive and uplifting forum that all members could enjoy and be inspired to write from. I've gotten a lot of feed back from ANWA members who've been inspired by it. So how things have turned when so much positive has come out of it… It's a big slap to the face. And I'd be lying if I didn't say I'm really hurt by this.

So February has been a ball of both positive and negative outcomes… It's been intense… traveling, drama, all out battling for something I've invested a lot of time and effort into, doing an online comic writing class, more traveling, then being inspired by a symposium… by other writers who've battled their own wars on their path to success… It was exactly what I needed when I've been so low and in the dumps. And then comic reviewing side of things… suddenly the stories are out of this world as well… so all around the lowest lows of my year and the highest highs to help me through them. It's been very emotional across the board.

So what's in store for Aimee then?

More time to write is on the horizon. Although I'm still working through emotions as so many ups and downs, consequences of being one of those people that fully invests herself in her endeavors, just play havoc with my ability to work on the page. If I'm not gushing about a story I read I'm ranting about my frustrations for the last two weeks. Yay for being an emotional person! And I highly sensitive one at that. (Which I find is one of my strengths rather than a weakness. But it too needs its place to breathe in my life...)

So, goal time… March is my pick up and move on month. Where I expect that I'll buckle down and get back on my writer track and do what I was born to do. This blog post is a note to my subconscious that whatever happened in February happened, don't let it get you down. There's your mourning time to work through things both ups and downs… but come March 1st, you get back in the game. I'm a fighter. Fighters take on wounds at times and they need to heal. Do that, but don't let it keep you from jumping back in the ring.

"Look me in the eye.

It's okay if you're scared. So am I.

But we're scared for different reasons. I'm scared of what I won't become, you're scared of what I could become.

Look at me.

I won't let myself end where I started. I won't let myself finish where I began.

I know what is within me. Even if you can't see it yet.

Look me in the eyes. I have something more important than courage.

I have patience.

I will become what I know I am."

- Michael Jordan

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mormon Artist Magazine

Why am I just NOW finding out about this resource??

Holy COW! Where has this been all my life! And then on top of that why hasn't this gotten out there more? Why haven't more of the people in my circles mentioned this and how cool it is?

And when will they be putting out another issue because I'm SO THERE!

OKAY, okay... backing up here and taking a breath! WOW. Um... I'm really excited to say that I found this, but I'm kinda sad because nothing has come out for months. And I'm honestly interested in what this project and magazine are doing.

And I'm blogging about it so you can find out about this too! Click the link, check it. If you are interested, as well as myself, they have free digital downloads. But I'm honestly thinking about purchasing a hard copy of this magazine. Cause WOW, I'm in for supporting causes I believe in. And this is something I think I can get behind!

Blogging Curve

I've been away from my blog account long enough... I plan to start posting regularly again. So any new readers out there that are interested... please feel free to start following me again.

I've learned a few things about comments... like I was receiving a ton of them while I was inactive with my blog. The majority of them were spam, but a few weren't. I thought I'd get email alerts. Well, turns out I hadn't set that up right. DOH! So now I've figured out what I did wrong, everything is working the way it should now and I'll keep up to date with the comments as they come in again!

One of the comments I received was from one of my friends in ANWA and she was impressed with my blog design ENOUGH that she gave me this award! And I'm thrilled to have it! SO, here's my award! And here is her blog: A Story Book World

Well, that's about it. Stay tuned for my furthering adventures in writing land!