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.
Weekend Warrior readers, a weekend of fun just happened. It was a mellow sort of fun, with friends. We kept things low key. I didn’t do anything this weekend that wasn’t supposed to be fun. Except for sleeping, which is necessary.
Saturday started slow. I slept in both days, but today was a little different. I am getting ahead of myself, though. Saturday started in the mid-afternoon with errands. If you follow me on Facebook, on my personal page, you would have seen that in my video. I review coffee and wine in my live videos, mixed in amongst other things.
We went to a craft supplies store. Okay, I did. Roy went to the pet store for plant food. All the plants in his fish tank are live, and he keeps them all happy. I found some supplies for the Cat Tales Jewellery Collection. That made me very happy. I need to start designing this as I gear up to finish the book writing.
We also came home, had supper and headed out for a game night. We played Firefly, with 7 expansions and a map. I do not have any pictures, as the guys didn’t seem keen on the idea. I lost. I enjoyed a bottle of wine. I was happy to get out of the house and go play board games. I decided to just do something fun, and that carried over into today.
Today I woke up fairly early, grabbed my laptop and started working on an upcoming submission for an ezine. I am on a deadline, with a topic and a focus. I took an hour this morning to get it started. I am hoping that the first draft and self-edit is all that it needs. I want to get it as polished as I can before the first deadline, in the hopes that I won’t need to work on it after I submit it for review. This is where it all starts new for me, and I am up for the challenge.
We went to see the new Black Panther Movie. I had a gift voucher, so we got in for less money than if we had to buy the tickets, for sure. It was long. It was good, I enjoyed it. The guys I went with were not as impressed. They found it generic and predictable. I enjoyed the music, the traditional music.
I am continuing the book cover design quest. I am getting feedback, and people are encouraging me to work with a book cover designer. I don’t know what to think about that, yet. I know I will need an actual editor, once I do the self-editing. I don’t want them to do the easy work, the typos and things I can pick out myself. The internet is full of people with opinions, and I have to be selective on what ones I choose to agree with. Constructive criticism is fine, but sometimes hard to take. We will see what another week brings.
This weekend, I won, but totally on the having a legit weekend with no chores tackled. I am hoping that I can get that back on the plate next weekend.
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.
Trust Your Gut this week is going to be positive. I got on the scale again, and I am down from my trip in the wrong direction. I was down a pound less than since the last time I checked and was going the right way again. It went a little wrong there, for a bit. I am finally starting to get things going in the right direction, again.
I think it does have to do with me packing more lunches and eating at home more. Not that I always eat the healthiest things, but there is more control when you are making things for yourself.
I am probably starting to adapt to my new schedule. Well, that goes out the window on Sunday. The good news is that I am going to be back to my regular schedule. For now. That can change, and it is one of the things that I will have to adapt to if it does, but I really hope that it works out well for me.
I am figuring things out creatively and using my brain to get results. I have more self-confidence because I am finally starting to believe that I can make the changes I need to change what is happening in my life. I will not change everything all at once, but I notice that I am making a larger effort to do the things that matter again.
Maybe the Shrinker is helping. Ooh, cayenne. Sometimes there is a little too much, and it is hard to make myself drink it. But I force it down if it is too spicy, because it still mostly tastes good, and I do think it is helping. I was also happy to find a new type of chocolate chai tea to add to it when I run out of the tea bags I had in the back of the cupboard. I am starting to use the recipes and knowledge I had learned when I started THM, and I am confident that if I don’t go too far away from it, I will start losing more weight.
Speaking of losing weight, I am kind of upset about one thing. The first place I see it is on my chin when I am retaining fluid, but you will never guess where I seem to lose it first. My fingers, of all places. My ring slid on a little easier today. Now if you remember, being able to wear the engagement ring and my wedding band comfortably on my ring finger is a Non-Scale Victory that I am working towards, and I felt a little bit closer to that goal this morning. Small blessings are not to be taken for granted, even if they seem annoying when you look at the big picture.