Sunday, April 15, 2012

Rising to the Challenge

So up until this post, I have been blogging in secret.  No, that doesn’t make any sense, but hey, that’s just me.  Not even my husband had this link until today.

So why am I sharing it now?  In short, I’ve been coerced by this challenge that I entered through Writer’s Digest to do one task a day to help build my author’s platform (i.e. all the stuff that will help me get info out about the books, me, etc.).  The challenge 3 days ago was to write and link this blog to my Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter accounts and I’ve been procrastinating ever since. 

Why is this so hard?  I guess all the usual suspects are at work here…fear of ridicule, fear of failure, fear of blah, blah, blah.  Even I don’t want to hear my own excuses.  

The point is…HERE I AM! And I’m writing a story or two or more.  First up is Order of the Seers, a sci-fi novel that I am trying to get published right now.  Second is the Seers sequel which is in progress (chapter outline complete, first chapter written).   

In the cue after that is:
           1) The final installment of the Seers trilogy
           2) A children’s book series entitled Enchanted World – 5 Tales of Magic in the Everyday and
           3) A book on deciphering all the relationship and marriage advice I received when I was single 
  (now that I understand most of it) called More than the Ring.

Want to know more?  I hope so.  Subscribe to this blog and follow me on Facebook, Twitter - @cerecermurphy (gulp!) and Linkedin to get updates on my upcoming website, book trailers, publishing dates and other cool stuff that’s coming down the pike.

As always, if you’re out there, thanks for reading!
~ Cerece

Saturday, April 7, 2012

High School All Over Again...

I went to my senior prom stag, mostly because I didn’t know any boys to ask.  Lucky for me, I went to an all-girls school, so going solo was taken as a sign of independence.  But now I find that, as an unpublished author-in-waiting, it’s high school all over again.  Except now I’m waiting for someone to ask me to the dance (an agent/publisher to call) and if they don’t, the question is – if I go stag (self-publish) will it be seen by the industry as a sign of independence or a sign that I wasn’t good enough to be asked?
I read a fascinating article by the Los Angeles Review of Books the other day on why self-published authors don’t get reviewed by newspaper papers, trade magazines, etc. In it, a traditionally-published author suggested that before she was established “I didn’t think I could call myself a writer if I paid someone else to publish my stuff.”  I had to read the statement twice, then check it again to make sure it was a grown-person saying it.  When all was confirmed, I sat back and thought, “Wow…what a mind job.” Before she gave self-publishing a try - in her world – you were only a writer if someone else said so. 
*Pregnant Pause*
That’s just way too much power to put in someone else’s hands.  Even if I never publish a thing, I am a writer.  Before, I was sheepish about saying it, but after reading that article I realized that I don’t want to approach my career in writing like a 17 year old girl hoping to be asked to the prom.  Even though it feels like the Wild Wild West in publishing these days and I have no idea how my efforts to publish traditionally will pan out, I know I have to believe in my own work first.  Whatever happens, who I am and what I do has to start and end with me. 
If you’re out there, thanks for reading!
~ Cerece

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Five Things

To me, being busy is overrated.  So is multi-tasking, constantly being in-touch and Super-woman.  I love the focus and simplicity of doing one thing well.  I don’t think someone should send you a work-related email at 10pm at night and expect an immediate response.  The 24 hour cycle of news, TV shows, and sound bites has the effect of making me feel less informed, less sure of what exactly it is I do know and don’t even get me started on Super-woman.  

I love it when my phone doesn’t ring (unless, of course, it’s an agent).  Five emails a day is enough to make me feel like someone loves me.  When the phone rings too much, I start to feel too needed and I don’t like that.  I like to be wanted, not needed (my children are the only exception to this rule.)

So about five years ago, I instituted what I call the 5 things rule, which basically means, all my activities and energy focus on no more than five main priorities on any given day.   I am a wife and mother, so 3 of the things I do each day don’t change.  My 5 things list usually goes like this (the order shifts based on what is practical and efficient):

1) Children (whatever they need, whatever they want that I can handle and that they have earned)
2) Family (this usually has to do with my husband and I and how we work together to meet our individual, couple and family needs)
3) Me and God (I make time for myself and God every day, because, if I don’t, I get really grumpy.)
4) Work (in this case – writing, trying to get my book published) 
5) Some other thing – house work, favors to friends/family, the summer/winter switch, etc.  

If anybody asks me to do something and both 4 and 5 are taken up, I say no.  It’s as simple as that unless someone is dying.  I just can’t handle more than that at this phase of my life.  Every once and a while, I’ll try to push it and you can always tell.  I either end up bitchy or depressed.  I’m not proud of this fact, but it’s the truth - my body’s way of telling me I am off center.  It used to make me feel bad to say “I can’t handle that right now” because I felt like I was admitting that I was lacking in some way.  Now, I realize that being able to say “not now” when I really don’t have it to give preserves my sanity and that is a very good and very smart thing to preserve.  

Maria Shriver once said that you can have everything you want, just not all at the same time.  I thank God and her for putting those words in a place where I could read them and calibrate my life’s expectations to give me the best chance at leading a mostly happy existence.  Here’s to your sanity and mine!

If you’re out there, thanks for reading!
~ Cerece