Goodbye, See You at Salmon Apple Pie!

This is my final post.

I am moving all my efforts to my new website, Salmon Apple Pie. I hope you will join me there. I’m still posting about inspiration, procrastination and everything writing…but I’m also including my photos and expanding my resources section.

I’m planning to move all the posts and pages on this site over to Salmon Apple Pie as soon as I get around to it (creating new content has taken priority). Once that is done, this site will be deleted.

Thank you for all your support.

Hope to see you soon!

 

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Invitation

When I posted Writing, Offline, I was thrilled that so many of you stopped by to visit me even after a two year absence. Thank you! I have truly had the best readers ever here at this blog.

My plan is to import the content here on From the Desk of KH to my new website, Salmon Apple Pie. I hope you will join me there for more of the same content you have enjoyed here – as a bonus, I am posting my photography on Salmon Apple Pie as well (this means my mother has subscribed to my blog, and that may not be a good thing).

I hope you will take a moment to stop by and check out my newest creation. There are pretty photos there for you to look at, I promise!

Thank you again for all your support here on this little blog. You can use this link to visit me at my new home.

All the best. I appreciate you.

Writing, Offline

It’s hard to believe how long I have been missing in action from a blog that I love as much as this one. The fact is, not only was this the best blog I’ve ever had (number four!) but I had the best subject matter (seriously – it’s hard to name anything I like writing about more than, well, writing) and obviously, I had the best readers ever, namely, you guys!

Thank you for everything. Though I have not even visited this blog in more than two years, it has been in my mind and heart.

The last two years have been insane. I moved four times, once over 4000 miles away, once 1500 miles, the other two barely worth mentioning by comparison. (If you’re moving, call me. I’ll help you pack. I’m an expert.) Just prior to all this, my fiancé left me. More recently, I lost one of my closest friends, a truly wonderful though troubled soul who gave me the gift of introducing me to a number of fantastic people.

Happily, and most importantly, I HAVE BEEN WRITING! Fiction has taken a back seat, because when you’re living this much drama, who needs to write it? I had no internet access most of the time which limited me to writing offline.

I have changed. My writing has changed. Hell, name me one thing that hasn’t changed in the past two years.. but regardless. I still write, every day. I am blogging again. I still help others, and I still believe we can support and encourage each other so we can all be successful writers. I hope you’ll stick with me, because I know the best is yet to come.

I’ve discovered a new obsession – photography. I would like to invite you to visit my new website, Salmon Apple Pie – as a matter of fact, I would be very grateful if you would take a look! I plan for Salmon Apple Pie to become the new, updated, and expanded version of From the Desk of KH. I would like to support my fellow photographers as well as writers.

By the way, KH no longer exists. I have divorced my pseudonym. I have decided that anyone who doesn’t like what I’m writing -or photographing- can fuck off. I am me, and I AM A WRITER AND A PHOTOGRAPHER.

Some day, I hope I will even have my quirky and spastic blogging style back.

As always, thank you for reading my blog.

 

Fear, Life and Writing

I didn’t know when I decided to take a couple weeks off for the holidays that it would lead to a 3-month absence from this blog and my daily writing practice.

The funny thing about that is that life has, overall, been pretty good. I’m getting back on track – I’m back at work (as a tax preparer of all things) and that’s good because after my back injury, it was questionable if I would ever work again. I’m preparing for a major life change in the form of a move to Homer, Alaska (the first big thing I’ve done in a few…err…10 years).

It’s true I have a lot on my mind. But that’s no excuse. Why haven’t I been writing?

Fear.

It doesn’t really make sense. When my life fell apart, I kept writing. I wrote when my fiancé and I split up. I wrote every day after my back injury, even when I was in too much pain to do anything else. Why, now that I’m getting my shit together, am I afraid?

I’m afraid because I am finally getting my shit together.

I’m afraid that this writing thing might actually work out, and maybe even pay off in the long run. And if it does, then what do I do?

You don’t have to answer that, because I do know the answer. No matter what the question, the answer is the same: keep writing. I seem to have lost track of that lately.

Happy Holidays!

My two-week holiday vacation from blogging starts today (you’ll see me back on January 6, 2014). Before I go, I wanted to wish all of my readers and followers a joyous Christmas (or whatever holiday you celebrate). A big thanks to all of you for your visits to my blog, following me here and on Twitter, and being my friend on GoodReads.

I’m spending my time away from posting to upgrade my blog – expect a whole new look in January! I’m also working on my New Year’s Resolutions both for my writing and the rest of my life. There are big changes ahead for me in 2014 and I hope you will all stick around for the ride!

Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s.

When Mentors Hurt

I was very excited to attend a recent webinar about building a writing career (I’m being really vague and general so I don’t slander anyone). I marked the date and time of this webinar on a sticky note on the shelf above my computer which is where I write things that I want to make sure I don’t forget. I got out my trusty notebook and pen, sure I would have plenty to write down. At the designated time, I logged in to the webinar, full of anticipation.

I learned nothing.

This was less of a webinar and more of an infomercial. The only information given was about what the instructor (I use the term loosely) teaches in her course, which of course you have to pay for. I don’t begrudge her the opportunity to earn a living – we’re all trying to do that. What offended me was that this instructor promised a webinar about a specific topic (again, I can’t give specifics because I don’t want to be sued), and did not deliver, but she would be happy to teach you about the topic, provided you pay for her four-week class.

I left the webinar after an hour and twenty minutes. The instructor was still prattling on about her online course and how it’s going to teach all the stuff we talked about in the webinar. I looked at my empty notebook and realized why this incident upset me so much.

This woman was supposed to be a mentor but turned out to be nothing but a salesperson.

We trust our mentors. We model our careers after theirs (within reason). We want to learn from them. So when they say, hey, as a thank you for joining my mailing list, I’d like to give you this free webinar about (topic), we get excited. We’re eager to learn from this person. But then, we go to the free webinar, but it’s not about the topic of how to build a writing career, it’s about how to enroll in her class and what you will learn when you do, we leave with our trust abraded.

Mentors are wonderful, and there are many good people out there who can, will, and do help us create our writing careers. I like receiving offers of seminars and online classes and coaching and other opportunities to learn from my mentors. I want to learn from others, and I want to pay it forward by sharing what I have learned with other people.

But I wouldn’t have taken an hour and twenty minutes away from my writing time to view a webinar had I known it was actually about this person’s online class and how to enroll, and for just this low price, you get access to the class and special bonuses if you sign up while we’re on this webinar.

Honestly, if this instructor had delivered on teaching what she promised during the webinar, not only would I have signed up for her class but I would have been here on my blog telling everyone about how great it was and about her book. Instead, I’m here with a warning – if your mentor starts coming off all sales-y and will only share the promised “free” information if you pay, RUN AWAY. There are plenty more mentors out there. You have limited resources – do you really want to waste them on someone who doesn’t deliver?

Why You Shouldn’t Have a Plan B

There you are at your computer, busily making your dream of being a writer into reality. If you’re anything like me, once in a while the nagging thought creeps in:

What will I do if this writing thing doesn’t work out?

When you follow your dream, you’re taking a chance. There’s always risk involved. So, maybe you should stop and think about what you’ll do if the assignments – and money – don’t come.

Plan A is your dream. You want to write. You’re writing, aren’t you? But you also need to keep the lights on and some food on the table.

This is where you may decide to make Plan B. Plan B means being a writer is too hard or too easy, too boring or too interesting and you’re afraid you’re going to fail or maybe you’re afraid you will succeed. So if writing doesn’t work out, let’s say, you’re going to grab a job at Target. After all, that should be enough to keep bread on the table and the wireless modem working.

Plan B is working at Target.

Stop right there.

Let’s repeat:

Plan A is your dream of being a writer.

Plan B is being a cashier at Target.

Which do you really want to do?

If you have a Plan B, you will end up with Plan B.

You may be days away from achieving your dream as a writer, but you get the job at Target and miss your deadline. You don’t ever talk to the editor who would think you were great, that is, if you ever sent her your work. You might meet your new mentor, that is, if you’re not too busy working weekends to go to that writer’s conference.

On the other hand

If you decide I can make it as a writer, and I’m just going to grab a job at Target for six months while I establish myself in the freelance market. I can write before or after work, and I need to tell my manager I’m taking that weekend off for a writing conference. This is full steam ahead with Plan A, while doing what you need to do to keep a roof over your head. Your priority is still writing. You haven’t missed deadlines because you were asked to work late. You haven’t given up.

I’m guilty of chasing Plan B many times in the past few years. In the end, it puts you further from your goal with your dreams more dented and dusty than before. Instead of making a Plan B, keep Plan A front and center and just do what it takes to get you where you need to be. Don’t stop at the smallest hurdle in the road. Take the side job if you need to.

Chasing a dream is like walking through a labyrinth. You will reach some dead ends, but instead of turning your back on your dream and racing off to Plan B, you buckle down and find another route to your goal.