Treasure Seeker Tuesday #20 Dealing with criticism and learning something new is what is on my mind this week. If you are following this category, then you know I am sharing parts of my creative journey here, to let you know a little more about me, and maybe even to inspire you to chase your own dreams. That is what I have been doing for the last 15 months, now.
At the start, I didn’t know what my dreams were planning for me. I have kept working, and I am still not sure where the path is going to lead me next. I am confident that I am on the right path, though, because it has plenty of twists and turns.
I have been working towards designing my own book cover. I might have it almost done, I have worked really hard at figuring out what I want it to look like. So as I have been doing all along, I shared it for people to help me figure out which one is best. I have had more people voice their opinions, and they weren’t all nice. I can’t please everyone, that is the impossible dream. However, I had to take a step back and try to digest the latest round of constructive criticism.
In the midst of all this, I had a new friend offer to help. So I am waiting to see what they can suggest. Maybe a collaboration will be the answer I need. Maybe it will be the way to get the balance of what I envision to be more translatable to the general public. Maybe I will stick to my own designs and keep going in the same direction that I am heading in already. We are chatting online, and I am open to new ideas. Spoiler Alert: I may be starting the cover all over again, or not as close to being done as I thought it was. This would be the second time I start over if that is what I decide to do.
I do understand the point of what the critics are saying. They are trying to make me think about the cover of my first book as the art section. I am the writer. I will need an editor, so to some people, it would be logical to also need a cover designer. I am not ready to let go of that responsibility. Not yet. I may have to go back to the theoretical drawing board and accept help, but I am not ready to let it go. I have time to make it. I am still writing the book.
Then I reached out to a publisher friend that I really seem to get some genuine support from. This is the online chat that had me working through my frustrated, misunderstood creativity tears. Criticism is hard to take sometimes, especially when it is about something that is right from your heart. I can bottle things up, and this round made me upset. It snuck out when I was sharing my experience with my friend. Then she explained something to me.
My cover doesn’t have to be a mainstream cover. I am not writing a mainstream book. My book is personal, funny and touching. It is being written in honour of someone that was very much on my mind when I was inspired to write it. Why does this all matter? It matters because my friend explained to me that this is a special type of book. A type of book that I never thought I would write. She said my book is a Memoir. She said that because it is different, it may be the best formula for me to keep going in my own direction. In a strange way, this makes sense to me. I am in my own lane with this book, alongside others in this genre. I don’t want it to fit in. I want it to stand out.
So, to keep the common thread of me going my own way, and forging my own path, I will continue. That doesn’t mean I can’t change my mind, or accept help to point me in the right direction. When I need help, I will decide when and who to ask. Until then, I am going to keep working on my book writing goals, and growing new friendships in the writing community. Some people get me, and what I am trying to do. Those are the people that I am going to trust when it is time to ask for help. Those are the people that I want in my corner, cheering me on, and letting me know when I can return the favour.
Hello Treasure Seekers, this week I am stopping to reflect on what is good in my life right now. I recently got some bad news, and I am discouraged. I am taking a breath, and thinking again about what I have to be grateful for in my life. If I dwell on the negativity, it will not bode well. I have to deal with what happened, and then I need to move on from it. Reflections on what I have that I am grateful for; that is what I am going to dwell on, instead.
I am not going to share the details here, it was not life-altering news, just run of the mill bad news. Something I wanted didn’t work out. It happens. Being on the receiving end of bad news is not something that you can control. But how you react to it and move on after the fact is absolutely in your control. I choose to feel what I need to feel for a few, quiet moments, and then I have to move on.
There is no point in dwelling on it. If I did, I would slip into a deep depression, if I let the negativity win. What you put out into the world is what you get back, and I am trying so hard to stay positive and keep moving forward. Sometimes I slip and catch my footing. Sometimes I fall down. But I get back up. I am trying to look at the big picture, and remember that things happen for a reason. I wish I know what the answer was, so I could just get things to be better than they are now. What they are now is good.
I have a home, with a mortgage. I have a car. I have a loving husband, who supports me in most of my crazy adventures. I have friends and family that cheer me on, both in my real life and in the online world. I have the bills under control. I have food, clean drinking water, heat and electricity. I have cable TV and the internet. I have a medical plan which helps me to maintain my diabetes. I have a brain, and I am able to use it for good. I am writing a book. I have this blog and this website. I have my jewellery business. I have dreams and hopes that reach way farther than anyone can imagine. I have faith.
Sometimes, even I don’t really know what I am truly capable of. I am still learning so many new things that I amaze myself. This is what I am holding on to, that things will get better and if they don’t go the way I want them to, well I am going to keep pushing, and praying and trying different things until I do get something to go in the right direction. I am the woman that picks up and goes in a slightly different direction than the flow because when I make up my mind, ANYTHING and EVERYTHING are possible. I just have to continue working towards my goals, and never give up.
I am seeking my own treasures in this life, and I am going to keep working on my goals until I achieve them. I have to. It is why I am here. To write, and shake things up along the way, while laughing and spreading as much joy and optimism as I can. To create beautiful, quirky, funky, whimsical jewellery, and share my gifts with the world. I am feeling better already. Time to go tackle something while I am in the right frame of mind. I know that I am in charge of what direction I am going in, and sometimes I veer to the left, but I am always on the right path. Mine.
Happy Valentine’s Day, Treasure Seekers. If you are alone, treat yourself to something nice, and count the blessings that you have, whatever they may be. Share them below in the comments, and we will keep the positivity going from our hearts and minds out into the world at large. I believe in myself, and I believe that if we stand together, change can happen, and it can be for the right reasons. Try something new. Surprise yourself. I am glad that I did, and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.
Last week I wrote about the book cover design quest I started, in Treasure Seeker Tuesday. This week I can say that I have continued the work and asking for opinions. Which are very helpful in making changes, and getting ready to make a final decision. It is my first book cover, for my first book. It is a big deal.
I have been pushing myself in a few areas since the new year started. I already achieved a personal goal at my workplace. I sent an email, and what I asked for was granted. If I review my list of things that I want to get accomplished in 2018 to make it a SUCCESS, I am making progress. I launched the website. I am continuing to work on it. I am keeping up with my blog, writing consistently three times a week. I am happier at work with the lateral position change. I really needed a change.
I am forgetting something. I do enjoy all of the things I am working on. Yes, I do love writing and telling stories. I love being able to listen to my music lists on Spotify while I am at work. I am pushing my limits and keeping the momentum going. I am forgetting to just stop doing what I have to do every once in a while and just doing something for fun.
I am scared to stop. When I cut myself some slack, I generally go off the rails, and maybe I don’t find my way back. If I stopped writing and working on the website, I might just do what I do and stop. With every intention to get back to it, and never finding the gumption or the time. That would be a real shame.
Writing and being creative are the things that keep me going, with the coffee and vitamins. I enjoy writing and getting comments about what I have written. I don’t want to stop. But in a way, I did, a little. I have put down the book I started writing.
I stopped in December, and have looked at it once. I am in the part of the year where I sometimes do nothing because of the guilt I have about not doing what I think needs to be done instead of what I want to do. So I do nothing. It is not a good place to be stuck in and it certainly isn’t a place I can just walk away from.
It is inside my head. I know I am hard on myself, but it is a part of what makes me tick. I am my own worst critic, and that is not an easy standard to live up to. I strive to be the best at what I do, and when I don’t succeed, I am really hard on myself. Every once in a while, I have a good cry, release the emotions, and I move on. It is also a part of my coping mechanism. In the last year, it has happened a handful of times. It is how I deal. I spring a leak, and then I patch it up until the next time it breaks.
I am working towards finding a balance, and a way to do all of the things that are productive for me to do. In all areas. I think I need to give myself a break. I have accomplished so much in 14 months. I know I am doing well. I know I am finding my way. It all comes down to perspective. And sometimes, a person needs to take a step away from what they are working on, take a break, and think about it in the back of their mind to gain a different perspective before moving forward again. Even me.
I have taken a break from writing my first book. But you know what? It isn’t going to write itself, and it needs my attention. I am so excited about using my imagination to write this book, and when I share a little, people genuinely react well to what I do share. I am going to scale back on the social media platform and the website just a bit, to make time to finish my book. I have to prioritize it and make the time. That is how I will get it finished. I just needed to give myself space to get a new perspective. It is time to get back to writing the book. Starting tomorrow. It is late, and I still have that day job that pays the bills…
Treasure Seeker Tuesday is going to focus a little bit on a project that has taken over my free time the last few days. Someone in a writing group was looking for feedback on their cover. I shared mine, and I too was given feedback. It sent me on a quest. My first book cover design quest. This is something I never planned on doing. I had designed a cover that I was quite happy with a while back. Then someone offered an idea.
Well, 15 more covers later, I am still narrowing it down. Here is what I learned so far.
People will comment on things. I like this. It is how I ended up with the Logo I designed for the website. It is helpful to have the opinion of people in the industry, but also from friends and family. There are strongly positive and negative reactions.
Purple was the one colour that I knew I had to keep when I was choosing colours for my Brand. That was an adventure. I started with blues and purples. I was told it all looked the same. It didn’t to me, but that is how I ended up looking for the brand colours that you see today. I wanted purple, and other colours that were nothing like it. I spent hours on a website narrowing down my choices. One palette became the one I started comparing to the rest. I knew that was the one I wanted.
Exotic Fruits Color Palette – My Brand Colours
This website is where I found it. I didn’t create it, but it quickly became my favourite, and I am using it throughout my website and social media platform. I see choosing my palette as the first step in what you are looking at today.
Naturally, my book cover was going to be purple. That purple, right up there. I tried different colours and got a little help with my picture, and came up with this.
From Where I am Sitting A Collection of Cat Tales by Tish MacWebber
I was asked a few questions, and then I started playing in canva. I came up with several variations, with the picture, and the colours above it. Then I tried something I wanted to do, but I am still not sure that it will be practical. I added the tartan that I designed from the colours above at this tartan designing website. I am really liking the tartan.
I took tonight off. I even designed the back cover of the book in my dreams last night. I have been immersed in this project. I am not yet done, so I will show a few of the favourites so far. If you have any comments, I am open to constructive criticism. If I am going to change it, I might as well have fun with the process!
Whimsical White and Purple
Creative Colour combo (Stories should be Tales)
A twist on colour
Peach on tartan
Purple on tartan
That is what I have been up to this week. Trying new cover ideas. When I make a decision, I will share that with you as well.
Treasure Seeker Tuesday will cover a few different points this week, readers. I hope they make you think about things that you are struggling with in your own lives. Today I do not feel very well. I either ate something that did not agree with me, or I picked up a virus at the hospital yesterday. I had to go for the ophthalmologist appointment. As a person with type 2 diabetes, side effects can be devastating, if you don’t keep on top of the disease. They dilated my pupils, and then they froze the eyes. That last part was so that the ophthalmologist can put a lens directly into my eyes so that she can quickly determine whether or not the next step is necessary. So far, I have been lucky. I do not need the common treatment called Photocoagulation which is a form of laser treatment, at this time. I am working hard on keeping my sugars in control, and that is keeping the lasers away. For now. You can learn more about this treatment here. I am a creative, which means that I do rely on my eyesight. I am going to be getting progressive lenses as soon as we save up enough to afford them. I really notice a difference lately, and the general eye test at the appointment yesterday confirmed that I need to make this a priority. If I lost my eyesight, it would be devastating to me. I don’t know how I would continue my jewellery business, without it. I don’t know how I would be able to work outside of the home, but I do know that I would want a seeing eye dog. I am sure that I could find a way to continue writing verbally, with a voice recognition software program. But it would be a hard thing to learn how to deal with. I hope I never have to look going blind right in the eye.
I have also found that I am struggling with my winter blues this year. I was watching a video last night in one of the groups I am in, for writers. It is a supportive group, and there are a lot of great people there. I enjoyed the video and commented. It was about courage as a writer. People don’t realize it, but a lot of authors are terrified of sharing their work with the general population. There is a fear of rejection, negative criticism, and failure that brews together and holds some people back. This video was addressing this topic, and Debbie Burns is one of those brave people that put things out there, and the emotions do show that she cares deeply about helping other authors get their stories out. I write quite freely here, on the Blog, but there are times I have hesitated before pushing that publish button. On Politics and World Peace #This was an example of this. I didn’t know where to put that open letter to the leaders of the world after I wrote it. I hesitated. I asked for advice and was told that the Blog was the right place for it. So I pressed publish, and off it went! Another example of this was my first ever Trust Your Gut story. I took the leap. I shared my own weight and medical description of being morbidly obese for the first time. I had a difficult time going public about being a type 2 diabetic, and I thought long and hard about sharing that information here. One person in my life has never been told, and unless someone tells her, she will remain in the dark about it. That is my wish. She is my grandmother, and has since stopped using her computer, and has trouble remembering things now. I didn’t want her to feel bad about giving me desserts as a child. I don’t want her to worry about me. I am doing just fine, and managing it the best way that I know how.
In terms of what I got out of watching the courage video yesterday, the word I chose to create changes in my world with was to simply just start. No further explanation was given at that time. I know that I have a lot to do, and I know that I need to start working on the things that I need to do; so that I am going to be able to feel like I can spend the time doing what I want to do. It is a vicious cycle that I fall into every winter, and I need to start something to make changes and feel like I am making progress. I decided that I need to make the “List of all Lists” and write down all of the things that I need to get done. As long as I am working on those things, I can give myself permission to be creative. This way I am not limiting my needs to be creative, and it also helps me to work on one or several other tasks that need to be done. I will write that list when I am feeling better.
If you are an author and want to learn more about Debbie Burns and her facebook group, you can sign up for it here. I like being a member, and maybe I will see you on the inside.
Hello Treasure Seekers! I have news for you, and it is all good! I have finished the Jewellery Brand makeover Bootcamp, and I have had some wonderful new ideas come to mind.
I have been struggling to find a way to move my jewellery business here, to the website, in my online store, the Boutique (Coming soon!) Part of the reason was that I wasn’t sure how to remove my jewellery line from the store my friend offered space in. I was nervous to ask her about it because I didn’t want to have it be a reason for any hurt feelings. My friend was totally fine with my decision, and I think she was ready for me to make a change. I have been talking about adding it to the website store, and now I am closer to making that happen. I was happy that my friend is being supportive of me in this. I appreciated the time that my jewellery was for sale in her store, but as I have not had a large number of sales, I think we both knew it was time for me to try something different.
Next, I had to think about the Branding. I want it here, but there is so much time and thought spent already in my Author Branding. Tish’s Treasures just doesn’t seem to fit with the new website. I thought about different names, and combinations of names to make the launch of the online store fresh, and new. A part of me is sad to let go of the name Tish’s Treasures. Deep down, I knew that I was going to have to do this, though.
Before this Bootcamp, I never gave it any real thought, of how to do this. But I knew that it was what I wanted to do, despite experts telling me that it should be one or another, not both passions sharing the same website. I joined a thread within the Bootcamp, based on branding. I worked through my thoughts and ideas with one of the admins, who also tried to steer me away from my dream of making Bling | Blog | Books a real and effective tagline for my website.
During that brainstorming session, I hashed it all out in that thread. I couldn’t understand why someone else was telling me that my idea wasn’t going to work. But then, it dawned on me. I needed to make it work by changing the name and matching it to my website. When I asked about it from a different angle, the admin agreed that this idea could work. I figured it out.
I googled my idea. When Google asks you if you really meant something else, and you are looking for a unique name that is not currently in use, that is what you want to find. I had my answer.
I took my current logo for the website and changed a few letters. And just like that,
Tish MacWebber, Always Blinging…
became my new jewellery business name. The more I thought about it, the more I liked it. It seems RIGHT. When I get that feeling, I rarely make any further changes. It happens a lot. I am firm when I finally make up my mind, no matter how long it takes me to make that decision.
Tish MacWebber, Always Blinging… New Logo, new jewellery business name.
I am in the process of changing it where I can. Facebook was surprisingly fast with the update. Now comes the best part. When I move the jewellery over, any existing jewellery will be listed under Basic Bling. I am also planning a new line for the new website. I am going to launch a new jewellery line with every book launch. Book Bling will have several Collections, one for every book I write. HOW EXCITING WILL THAT BE? I am beyond excited to see this happen. I am planning the first collection already. I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but it will be unique and designed with cat lovers in mind.
It has been a creative and exhausting week. I also launched a new contest this morning to celebrate the new jewellery business name. I have another contest planned for February. I am going to try and have the store open for February. If not at the beginning, then before the end of the month. I am still sorting out the details of what to do next, but at least I have a clear direction, and a plan to get me there.
I have been trying to get this jewellery business to be successful for years under the Tish’s Treasures name. Now that I have made some tough decisions, and changed the name to Tish MacWebber, Always Blinging… I have high hopes for new successes with this change.
Hello Treasure Seekers! I am writing this a little late this week. How ironic is it that I design a new homepage with a table set for five less than two weeks ago for this website for me to not get this story written on time because I have too much on my plate? Very. So I should write a bit about this.
I have joined a bunch of challenges, am working on the website, still writing the blog, trying to find time to write my first book, am training and integrating for a new position at work, and maybe just maybe, I am a little bit overwhelmed. I am falling a bit behind in some areas and struggling to keep up with the rest.
This is nothing new for me at this time of year. January for the last few years has been a busy month for me. What is different now? I am fighting. I am pushing my limits and my boundaries. I am not going to just give up. I am writing today because of that. The old me would have just tried to forget that I missed the deadline and maybe started slacking off with writing. Not now. I am writing this late, but the important part is, I am writing it. I didn’t just quit. I am still working on all of the things, and have every intention to figure it out. One thing at a time.
So what should you do when there is too much on your plate and none of it is edible? You should tackle one portion at a time. I am writing this tonight and since I have the next 2 days off, I will make a plan in the morning to tackle the rest.
In terms of the Jewellery Brand Makeover Challenge, I am working on it. I am gearing up for the 2nd part of the homework. I am thinking really hard about rebranding Tish’s Treasures. With this website, I am starting something new. I think it deserves a fresh name, and brand. So I am thinking about what the new name should be. I have written a cocktail line for the Jewellery business. Here it is.
My Treasures (or Bling, I haven’t decided yet-this depends on my rebranding) are patterned with symmetry, but they are whimsical, unique, delightful and quirky expressions of my creativity, made just for the client after a consultation, often being a surprise to those who receive them , whether it is for the client or as a gift for someone else.
I haven’t ever tried to summarize my Bling Business before, let alone rebrand it. I am working on this currently, and when I make a final decision it will be a quick switch. Once I decide on what it is I am going to do, then it just happens.
I am playing around with ideas, even changing the logo just on the bling page from Always Thinking… to Always Blinging…
I haven’t decided on the name yet. I am thinking about using my pen name. Possibly just the initials TMW bling or designs or treasures. Tish MacWebber has to be in the new business name, I am just not exactly sure how it will be used.
If you have any thoughts or comments about this, please feel free to share them.
Until next time…
#TreasureSeekerTuesday (on a Wednesday or a Thursday…it is late).
Here is the first Treasure Seeker Tuesday from my NEW WEBSITE! What do you all think? I have worked really hard to get it this far, and I am not even close to being done. As I wrote somewhere else, earlier this week, I knew it was time to launch, even if it is not perfect. If I wait for that I will never launch it, and if you want to know the other truth from behind the scenes, it will never really be done. If I stop working on it, stop changing and updating it, it will be a dead website. Why? Not because I have a burning desire to constantly work on it, although at some point I will be working on it from a maintenance perspective, rather than a building & construction perspective. No, Treasure Seekers, the reason for that is you. I do not want you to leave out of boredom. I try to keep things interesting on the blog, but I realize that there is more to experience here on the website, and I am just testing the water with my big toe right now. Once I dive in, it is going to cause ripples, waves and splashes that you will never see coming until they are in your face.
Photo of a wave splashing in the Atlantic Ocean. Location Chimney Corner, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada. Photographer Lisa Hill.
That picture is one that I have had for several years, and a friend took it. She shared it with me, and I treasure it so much! It is one of the things that I am happy to use over and over again, because it speaks to my soul, and my soul is in constant longing to be near the ocean. Seeing this picture makes me happy.
Why just my big toe? Well, if you grew up in Cape Breton like me, you know that in the deepest part of winter, the ocean actually freezes every winter. Locals say, “The Big Ice is in,” when it freezes over. Seals sometimes wander too far inland following the ice up a river, and if they are lucky, people help steer them back to the ocean. I am sure some of them make it back on their own. The Big Ice does thaw and melt every year, but the ocean is never warm like bath water where I am from. There is a coldness to it year round, although it is warm enough to swim in from the middle of June to the middle of September, in a good warm year. So I have learned at a very young age to always test the water before diving in.
Here we are. I am beginning my new adventure, and I am so happy that you are here, reading, and joining me on this next big leap. I am never going to say that I know all of the answers, and that is why I am known for asking so many questions. It is how I learn. If I get stuck, I will keep asking until I sort it out, or until I finally understand. There is a story about this. What is a Brain Pretzel? is a Tish-ism, and they are stories about things I think up that need a bit of an explanation. I have had a few of those while building the website, and I am sure they weren’t the last ones that I will have.
I would like to officially welcome all of you to my new website, and I wish for many returns! #TreasureSeekerTuesday
Hello Treasure Seekers! Here we are for another meeting where I think, then I write; so you can read, and maybe then you think too! Not too hard, I hope. It is good to think about things, but if you are Always Thinking…like I am, it can be exhausting. Want to know a secret? It is also exhilarating.
I am building a website. You know that if you follow this blog. I am writing a book. You know that also for the same reason. I have more than one book in me to write, and that is something that I am happy about. In the music world, there are one hit wonders. I want to be a best selling author, and that means I have to write more than one book. I don’t expect to hit it out of the park with my first book, but a girl can dream.
So what holds people back from taking the leap of faith into the exhilarating world of chasing your dreams and chasing their passion? I have been thinking about that a lot, lately. I have been dragging my feet about my website launch. I am struggling with the importance of it. I want to change it, but not too much. There needs to be a bit of familiarity to make people want to take the leap with me, and that requires a foundation built on trust. I am working hard to put myself out there so that when I make the leap, there is a landing pad to aim for. Since I am writing about this in the Treasure Seekers category, I need a map and a big letter X to the destination.
I have been working on this website in my mind for months. I know what I want to do, and now that NaNoWriMo is over, it is time for me to take action on it. I do have time this weekend, but me, really, building my own website? I never learned how to do anything like this before? What if nobody ever goes to it? What if nobody ever buys any books from my website? What if it fails?
The fear of the what ifs can be paralyzing. If you are too scared to try, then you have already failed. What is the alternative, then?
To take action. To stop thinking and start doing. I don’t always have all of the answers, but I have never been too afraid to ask questions. More importantly, the end result is worth asking questions for. I am working on all of this with an end goal in mind. Although like a resume, a website is never going to be sufficient to be left alone when it is done. Inevitably there will need to be changes and updates. If it is left the same for too long, it runs the risk of losing its zest. That is one of the reasons that I have decided to move this blog to my own website.
It is a risk. It is scary. It involves a fair bit of work, which I am not scared of, itself. I am more worried about getting stuck in the middle and not being ready to launch on New Year’s Day. That is the goal I have set for myself, and with that in mind, I have time, if I get working on it right away.
The other thing I see people sharing online is the fear of being seen as an imposter. I am an author. I am writing constantly, several times a week if not every day. I had to build up my stamina as a writer. I needed to test the waters (make a splash) with the blog to see if it was something that I would keep working on, instead of something I just wanted to play with and drop when I got bored. I am still writing here, so I passed the first test I gave myself. I pushed to learn new things. I am taking courses online. I am not spending a lot of money on this passion, yet. I will need to work on a business plan. That means I have to take another course (YAY! #HAPPYWRITING has a course for me to learn how to do this) and I need to take the next step. I need to research what I need to know about publishing options. In the middle of everything I have going on right now, I also have to write my book. Then I will literally switch gears and write another book. The second book will be going in a completely different direction. I have a concept already. It is another one I NEED to write. I am hoping to get the first two books out of my system so that I can prove that I can write a book, and start preparing to make the fantasy trilogy a reality, not just a dream.
When I publish my first book, and sell just one copy, I will no longer be working towards the passion of becoming an author. Of course, I want to sell more than one copy of my book. One is a good place to start. Then we will see what happens. Until that day comes, I will keep working on writing and building my website. If I am doing instead of thinking about what to do, it takes the fear and the imposter syndrome right out of the equation. That is something to work for. When I am a best selling author, and I believe that I will be one, I can start tackling other dreams. Chocolate diamonds are a part of that dream…
Treasure Seeker Tuesday: Photo by Tish MacWebber; Photo Edited by Noa Price