Day 1: Treasure Hoard

I accepted a blog challenge. The  challenge was announced by Write Tribe Festival of Words. Here’s the challenge.

Treasure. To be concrete, what I treasure is the money in the bank. I hold it close memorizing the numbers and hoping to protect it from scammers.  It’s hard earned money and it’s treasure I need. I share that treasure because I’m obligated to. Most of all, I share it because I know there are those I’m connected to that need my treasure. I admit, I’m reluctant when I have to give it up, but it always gives me an unexpected gladness.

Then there’s my heart. I treasure my connections to my faith, my family, and my friends. I hope to guard them like the dragon in Beowulf’s epic poem. Conflict is inevitable. Danger is persistent, misfortune is abundant, and the edge of death is forever sharp. So the real treasure is what I’d give my life for. So what I really treasure is love. The one thing money can’t buy.

 

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Where passions are kept

Every now and then I’d get these little sparks that ignite furious wildfires in my mind reminding me of my initial passions of my current life choices. 

All I got is smoke. I got a feeling that what I strive for is behind the smoke. I’m trying to get to it before it turns to ash or rendered invaluable by unrelenting sut.

There’s no water in sight. No dust to calm the inferno just an inability to control it. So, I let it burn. I could see it better if it weren’t for the smoke. It has no where to go. A dome contains it choking the air it needs to breathe. 

It wants to be free, and I want to release it. Its exposed in increments like a chef teasing his culinary potential. Its witnesses only see smoke. 

Despite it’s stagnant life, I feel pressure building against the will of the dome. The walls are solid, sustainable yet unwanted. It seeks to reshape the flame and control how it burns.

The pressure builds. I’m waiting on the chance to fuel its ambition and when it does, I’ll be there to watch its light spread. 

How Marketing affects the Indie Author

If you’re anything like me, marketing feels like learning another language like a mysterious code fluently understood by suits and intimidating to the average person.

There’s no question. Marketing is an essential to creating a successful title. For indie authors, it’s a lot tougher considering that we do everything ourselves.

Thanks to social media, the average can attempt marketing techniques through promotion through social media. But what else can indie authors do besides post to social media? Should we invest into a marketing firm or should we implore a college student looking to make a buck or two.

How we market our brands is very important. A lot of times the conditions of our careers and our lives is like a dam hindering our ambitions to publish or finish that project you desire to share with the world.

At the earliest opportunity, try and post whatever you can to WordPress, Twitter, FaceBook, and LinkedIn. Let’s encourage one another by sharing post, hitting like buttons, and funding campaigns.

Any action taken to market yourself is better than not taking action.

Update: Check out this list of resources. This describes what places give all authors a platform to market (promote) their literature. 
 

Recovery

I’m not sure if I posted anything about this, so I’ll just talk about it to cover my tracks.

On December 1, 2015, my stuff was stolen due to my carelessness. I forgot to lock my car door, and my laptop, flash drives, writing guides, camera, and tooth brush was stolen. What hurt the most was the stolen writing that I worked two years on.

It was devastating.

But I recovered.

Currently, I have a new laptop and two more flash drives (one containing some of the rough draft stories I wrote over the two year period).

For the past couple of days, I’ve been reading, editing, and proofreading these stories. Somehow, I’m working faster and more efficient than before, so I guess the setback wasn’t really a setback. In a strange way, by having my stuff stolen, it made me appreciate my work more than ever.

And I’ve noticed my work, my writing is getting better. I wish I had this mind when I left college. But hey, we live and learn, right?

Letter to the Undergrad

Hello Undergrad Student(s),

Don’t take this the wrong way, but your career is going to suck if you don’t arm yourself with as many skills as possible.

The purpose of this letter is a warning. Be careful. Don’t take your college career for granted or you’ll be going a through loop trying to figure out what you should’ve done while you were in college.

I know this because I believed that one degree would opened all the doors for me. It’s not like that any more. Bachelor’s degrees are a dime a dozen. These days, a person must be a jack of all trades.

Use your resources. Professors are not just there to piss you off, they get you ready for the rugged edges of rejection and bluntness from employers. Unpaid internships does put a damper on finances, but they can help build experience, which is just as valuable as education. Hoard professional experience. The more you have the better your job search will be.

Let go of your entitlement issues. Take the stick out of your ass, you got student loans to pay. If rejection bothers you then bitterness will be your best friend. And its a crappy friend that throws blame at everyone. Misfortune and scarcity is life’s way of preparing you for the hurtful moments to come.

Appreciate these great times in college. Use them wisely. Use those expensive books that miraculously become cheap at the end of the semester. Actually, keep those books, they’re great references for the trials ahead.

Stay focused.

Cordially,

 

 

Elijah B.

 

 

Marketing: How does one “sell” oneself?

I guess I can say the only thing in my life I sold was candy, particularly in grade school. Do you remember the selling contest schools had to raise money? I remember signing up to raise money, and I filled out this form to sell M&Ms and Reese Cups to raise funds for a field trip. It never worked because I eventually ate the candy they gave me.

Candy is sweet, it’s the guilty pleasure of the healthy and a regular meal for those with a meticulous sweet tooth. It sells better than sex…Maybe not that much.

In the career world, selling yourself is tough, to say the least. Persuasion is your best weapon, but some edges of persuasion are like dusty gemstones every person has to polish in order to land a job.

Even with a glimmer, you have to appeal to the employer and know how to stunt your glow. That’s the issue I’m having today. I know I have the luminous aura of a professional but something is eclipsing it.

It could be a unclear resume, a mediocre cover letter, or perhaps experience. Lately, I’ve been getting hit with the inexperience song and dance.

I’m good with first impressions, though, so I’ve been told. Dialogue is my bread and butter for sure. I just have to implement that into the resume and cover letter.

Career FAQs say:

“Offering solutions to these problems is a great way to overcome a lack of directly applicable experience. Be prepared to back up your claims about your skills or characteristics with relevant and specific stories. Avoid complaining about a former employer or laying blame at a former manager’s feet — doing so will likely make you seem difficult to work with (or disloyal).”

-Monster.com’s Career Advice

Sure it’s good advice; however, it’s up to the individual to perform it effectively. But there’s no harm in giving it a shot. The worst answer is “no”.

I should be handle that.

Elijah B.

Working People have Boring Lives

“Working people have boring lives.” That’s pretty bold statement to say the least!

But you have to admit, work keeps us busy most of the time. Work is the necessity to keep those utilities running and food on our plates. In addition, its the very thing that makes us tire and complain.

This is why entertainment is important to us. Honestly, it’s why we love controversy so much, so let’s take a moment and give celebrities and reality t.v. a round of applause.

Work. Home. Food and entertainment. Sleep, maybe. Pretty simple, right?

Of course, there’s some in between but not much. Not to say that simple, straight-forward days are bad, they’re just not that exciting. First responders are the exception. Adrenaline has to be set to holy hell with those people.

For those at the desk, in security, or something like this, life can be uneventful unless you’re a drug dealer (Was it a good joke? No…Sorry). Perhaps, it’s up to the individual to insert excitement into their lives.

Me personally, I like random searches on YouTube. I can be in the middle of something and stop just to watch a two minute segment of Dragon Ball Z. Lame to some, awesome to many.

Again “boring” is not bad at all. It’s routine. It’s Fate on vacation as you live out your life.

As the cliche goes, no news is good news.