Writing A Book

Book Coach/Consultant

There are times when we truly need to heed our own advice. Have you ever known what to do, how to do it, and when, yet you completely balked at taking on the task at hand? I know this scenario stands as something with which writers often struggle. In my particular case, the malady presents itself on a number of fronts.

One writing issue I wrestle constantly is keeping this blog going with fresh content. I’m good for a few months, then I am sporadic a few months. The issue does not lie with a lack of content. Oh no. There are more topics on which to write about writing and publishing than I could ever cover. This issue becomes consistency.

Another challenge I’ve accumulated happens to be the “stacked up manuscript syndrome.” This malady comes from a reticence to roll up my sleeves and get into the nitty gritty of rewrite and edit. Currently, I possess two fully written poetry books, two books of short stories, one sci-fi novel, and a book addressing the “mindset of writing.” Count them. Six completed manuscripts. Am I becoming a manuscript hoarder?

I’m writing this post because I just worked through rewrites on the first nine pages of the writing book. I’ve established a beachhead and I want to continue. Sometimes, placing your foibles out to the world helps motivate you to keep moving forward. Also, if I’m doing this, I’m sure there are other writers in the same boat. The crazy aspect to all this is that I believe these books contain some of my finest writing ever! Go figure…

The upside to getting into the rewrite/edit phase with these books is that I should be able to release quite a few books in the coming months. That will be a welcome trend. I am currently writing two manuscripts to add to this lot. I’m stepping into writing heaven!

I currently have three Coaching slots open if you need help getting your book written, rewritten, edited, or published. The clients who I’m currently working with have inspired me to take care of my own writing house! I love it when I help people get their books written. I also love it when I get my own done! LOL!

Keep writing! I sure am!

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Illusions and Delusions

Our lives play out over decades filled with illusions and delusions. We act on these illusions and delusions as though they stand concrete, real. When we operate from these misguided positions, we do not serve our good unless by accident. Often, we mesh our illusions and delusions with others’ illusions and delusions. I have come to the conclusion through observation that we limit ourselves in a drastic manner when we cannot identify the illusion and delusion.

Let’s address fear. That we are controlled by the illusion of fear stands well documented but what do we do with this knowledge? Our media, governments, even corporations control the masses through fear. Even though life expectancy is higher now than in centuries past, media, corporations, and government have us frightened about our health. Isn’t that crazy? Back when 60 was old age and one foot in the grave, incredible achievements were forged. No big pharma. No dietary aids out the wazoo. No gyms on every corner. I’m sure few looked forward to death, but it appears we live much more frightened today. The illusions of fear hold us down.

Delusions. There was a day when I walked out the door every morning without a phone. Now, when I forget my technology and drive off, I possess an overwhelming need to turn around and retrieve the device. Bad things could happen. I could miss something like a text, a call, an email. We’ve been fed an illusion about technology, that it will save us, make us better. We then delude ourselves into believing the fear. An amazing thing happens when you walk away from technology – if you relax and allow yourself to feel it, freedom creeps into your soul. We’ve been duped, deceived about our need for everything technology.

Illusion – something that deceives by producing a false or misleading impression of reality.

Delusion – A false belief held despite strong evidence against it; self-deception.

On the other side of terror stands the person we are, or better put, the person we desire to be. The build up to terror from fear emanates from our buying into extreme messages flung about by those who would have us controlled so that we purchase their products, buy into their dogmas, and follow asinine rules and regulations. Develop a population who lives in constant illusion (fear) and delusion (entertainment) and you create the most controllable collection of humanity in the history of the world.

The other side of who you are is who you’re sculpted to be. If fear of gaining weight has you buying diet drinks which actually cause more weight gain, you have been deluded by the illusion of corporate fear. Everything you want to be lies on the other side of illusion and delusion. When you stand down your fear, you acquire a level of perception about yourself, your truth, and your identity.

Reclaiming your life does not come easy. We cower under the bombardment of manipulations through illusions leading to our delusions. The one item here which we own the ability to directly manage is our delusions. These are actually self-inflicted because we believe in the illusions perpetrated upon us by those who would control us. We’ve become fear junkies, flitting from one manufactured fear to another. Fear is the foundation of all control. They, being media, corporations, and government, have us fearing death, poverty, creativity, and a host of other critical life experiences.

Keep the population controlled by genetically altered food and constant entertainment, “bread and circuses,” and you will grow the most docile populations ever. Yes, the mention of “food” came out of nowhere but look at what we eat. We’ve been poisoned for decades by our corporations and governments with foods which deliver pandemics like obesity and Alzheimer’s. Our media fuels the fears. Our corporations created the reality. Our government protects the corporations. We adjust and react to the illusions and delusions because no one seems to desire to meet truths head on.

So what? How does this relate to writing? How does this relate to creativity?

Simple. None of this is new. Even though the sparkly technology makes it all feel fresh, the concept of “bread and circuses” originated from ancient Rome, if I’m not mistaken. Their gladiatorial games and constant debaucheries eventually eroded the Roman Empire from the inside out. Civilizations rise and fall like this. In the end, humanity has stood as its own worst enemy throughout history.

I say, find truth. Find your truth. Exercise your mind by standing firm against the phantoms of fear within. Practice not overcoming fear, but simply not buying into the illusions of fear. Step out of the delusions you’ve built in your mind based on the histories of fear throughout your life. Don’t allow fear to control your judgments. This is no easy task, to be sure.

I view creativity as a means to challenge our illusions and delusions. After all, this planet is filled with 7+ billion people, each one of us owning our own brand of “crazy.” We’re like snowflakes, no two exactly alike. We need to embrace our personal brand of crazy, which means embracing ourselves for who we are not for who we want others to believe we are, I feel we step into our opportunity to defeat the illusions of fear foisted upon us as well as the delusions we’ve taken to heart.

When you write, write with the knowledge that your personal brand of crazy stands just as viable in this world as anyone else’s. Seek truth and work to recognize when you’re being manipulated. If the media, corporations, or government say something, you know immediately you’re being manipulated. Step back and ask yourself what their agenda entails. Understand these three entities love us to be at odds with each other because that keeps our attention off them. When you write, even in your fiction, write from a perspective of truth and work to deny the illusions of fear. Definitely, work to avoid creating delusions as protection from all the fear tossed your way.

Let’s allow ourselves to write outside the parameters of who we’re told we should be. Let’s write outside the parameters of fear placed upon us by those who would have our voices quelled. Let’s work at exploring truths more than buying into illusions and delusions.

Just sayin’…

 

 

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Writing a Book

hand writingLet’s talk “writing a book” for a few minutes. I’ve written around twenty books in my life. Nothing huge about that. Isaac Asimov, one of my scifi heroes wrote something like 500 books in his lifetime.

But for someone who aspires to write their first book, my 20 manuscripts must seem like a dream. That’s one of the factors I must guard against – downplaying my knowledge and assuming others know what I know. In order for me to help people get their books written, I must identify what holds them back and what keeps them from loving the process.

Yes, there are a number of universal mindsets that must be addressed like their internal judge and critic. We all possess them. Those voices in our heads which handcuff us and deter us from our higher potentials. That’s why I have adopted the “book coach” identifier. Anyone may play basketball, but how do they succeed in getting out every day and doing the things necessary to achieve their goal?

The same is true for a book. Anyone may write a book, but how do they succeed in getting up every day and doing the things necessary to achieve their goal? In basketball, there are quite a number of fundamental things needed to get the basics of playing the game down so that you may move one to higher levels of play. In writing, there are quite a number of fundamental things needed to get the basics of pulling a book out of your brain so that you may then have a product you may take to higher levels.

I taught classes for years on “How to Write Your Book in 30 Days.” I still teach it, but now as a one-on-one coaching format. I’ve found being able to tailor the class or “workshop” to the individual is much more beneficial for the writer. I’ve helped over 100 people get their books written, many of them now with multiple books. Transitioning to a “consultant” format has had its challenges, but now I’m comfortable with new “delivery system” so to speak.

Writing a book does not have to be some huge monstrosity of trial and struggle. In fact, writing a book should be joyful, exciting, engaging, and rewarding. That’s what I work to achieve with my clients – not only the ability to get the work done but to love the process as you progress. If you desire to write a book and you need help, here’s my webpage – Michael Ray King.

 

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I’ll Work Hard to Not Make This About Death…

Michael Ray King 300dpiLife cycles. We’re born. We live. We die.

Depending on who you speak with, we do or do not have any say in our birth. Depending on who you talk to, we do or do not have any say on when we die or that our “worldly” death is “real” or “the end.” I’m not going to make a call on either of those, mainly because my view is just as viable as anyone else’s.

That in-between part, though, is something to deal with. Imogene Coon died a couple years ago. I just learned of this recently. I am saddened as I remember her as a vibrant 6th-grade teacher at Dunbar Elementary School. She was wise, kind, and an excellent teacher. At twelve years old I never dreamed I would be thinking of her 46 years later, much less that she would be dead.

Our lives intersected for that one year. That was it. But now, in a manner of thinking, they’ve intersected again. I wonder what went on in her life. I wonder what joys and sorrows passed through her heart. I wonder if her years of teaching were rewarding. Yes, I do wonder if she remembered me at any point, or was I lost in the hundreds and hundreds of students who passed through her classrooms.

As the title states, I’ll work hard to not make this about death. But what I will do is make this about time and accomplishment. No matter what perspective you have on birth and death, while in this mortal body, we own expiration dates. The question becomes, in my mind, what are we to do? What am I to do?

This morning I picked a book up off my bookcase a began reading. This is a book I have not read in 50 years. Yes, that places me in about the 2nd or 3rd grade. The book was written in 1936. I remember adoring this book as a child. Something about the stories in it captured me and planted seeds of the joys of reading in my soul. Somehow the book survived a half century of moves and opportunities to be destroyed or lost by my own children growing up.

I realized this morning that none of my children ever got the chance to read it. I wonder if they would have loved it as I did. I am saddened they missed the opportunity. I’ve read the first 51 pages and I am enjoying the experience once again.

This is a writer’s blog, and yes, I am getting to my point. A good number of my teachers and even classmates are no longer with us in this life, at least in the tangible, mortal bodies. Did all these people whom I cared for and intersected with, accomplish their goals? Did they keep striving throughout their lives? Did illness rob them of their final years? Were they satisfied with their scope of accomplishments or were there many things left undone.

I’m sure my good friend Humberto, who died young in his thirties, did not accomplish all he set out to do. I look at my life, and if I live to be 100, I could never accomplish what I desire to accomplish. This can cause debilitation. Depression. Demotivation. A sense of hopelessness.

What I personally do with what time remains in my life I own. No one else. I either step up and make things happen, or I waste away in apathy and slothfulness and underachieve. Does this matter to the world? Absolutely not. 100 years from now, no one will care. Hell, I likely will not be mentioned or thought of again on planet earth. I will be lost among the uncounted humans who lived and died in the century after my death.

But this does matter to me. And possibly some of the folks around me with intersecting lives. Imogene Coon impacted me all those years ago. So did my friend Humberto and so many others. So did Professor Pat Urbas who encouraged me to take on “writing as a vocation” in 1979. I cannot discount the fact that I am intersecting with people daily. As do you.

What are we passing on, and are we actually helping people? How much of what I desire to accomplish in the days remaining me will I actually pursue?

My view stands that we each own a story. Most likely many stories. Many of us get to the place where we desire to pull these stories out from within and share with the world. I know I like to think of writing as somewhat of a form of immortality. This most likely will not happen in the sense that 100 years from now no one will even know I existed, but the key factor for me is that I know, and I have something to say.

Fortunately, I am not alone in this view. Countless millions desire the same. Should you be one of those people, take heart. You will most likely reach a point where you realize you will never be able to accomplish everything in life you desire. This is no cause to give up or surrender. This is every reason to step out, bold, intent, and motivated to make as much impact on your life and your words as possible.

After all, Imogene Coon taught me that peer pressure and honesty are two very powerful aspects of life and I need to heed this knowledge and make excellent choices. Humberto taught me many things, as I hope I taught him some as well. Humberto taught me a level of integrity at around fifteen-years-old that I strive to carry with me at all times to this day. And Pat Urbas. She inspired me. She breathed a dream into me that last day of the semester at WV Institute of Technology in 1979.

I had a bit of a college crush on her. She was beautiful. Intelligent. Then, to top it all off, she loved the first real short story I recall writing. She loved it so much, she told me to pursue my talent. She was able to feel the passion I developed writing “A Race Against Love.” She saw something in me and took the time to pass on her observation. She will live on in me as long as I possess the breath to tell people.

Those 100+ people who’ve written books through my help actually perpetuate Par Urbas even if they do not realize it. Even though I mention her in most every writing workshop I facilitate, they never met her and won’t remember her name. The seed she planted, however, lives on through me and I have been able to plant 100’s of seeds so far with hopefully 1000’s to come.

The book I’m reading from my childhood is titled, “If I Were Going” by Mabel O’Donnell and Alice Carey. They planted seeds. They blossomed in my young self and delivered a joy for reading. Imogene Coon and Humberto are dead, yet they live within me. Part of who I am grows from them. Pat is still here and so am I. I’m not sure what she is doing, but her teaching and encouragement live in me as well.

Most writers I know, hell, all of them, struggle to write at times. We suffer from all manner of psychological and emotional issues which vex us and work to deter us from our desire to write. My most fulfilling work of my entire lifetime is spent helping people overcome these issues and get their books written. This is my joy, my passion, and one of my primary motivations in life. We each possess the ability to make our choices to write. Most of us need some help, motivation, inspiration and encouragement. That’s one of the reasons I’m here.

I challenge you. Whatever your beliefs about birth and death to me are immaterial. What about where you’re at right this moment? What about your LIFE? What about your dreams and aspirations?

I encourage you to get your stories out of you. Share with the world. Help build something through words. If you’ve made it this far through this post, you must be a reader and most likely a writer looking for something to hold on to. You can write your book/story/essay/poem/screenplay. The question becomes, will you? If you need help, that’s what I’m here for. Check out my site. Michael Ray King

Whatever you do, please make certain you don’t leave your best undone. That’s where I’m at. I may not be able to accomplish everything I desire, but I will not leave my best work undone. Whether that work is mine or helping someone else accomplish their best work is immaterial. Write your stories and thrill to their highs and lows, their ebbs and flows, and have them sing to the world in the manner that pleases you. You can do this.

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Conversation With My Inner Writer

hand writingI enjoyed a fun little writing exercise where I accessed a conversation with my “inner writer.” The exercise began with my inner writer speaking to me about when we first met. I found the conversation revealing, warm, comfortable, and even surprising in places. What follows is the transcript of our dialogue:

Inner Writer: “I came into your life in a truly apparent manner while writing that short story, “A Race Against Love” in Pat Urbas’ class in 1979. More accurately, however, the seeds of our relationship were planted in all the books you read leading up to that short story.

I realize you loathed English classes all the way through high school. All the while, though, I was teaching you a joy of words and writing which your teachers at that point in your life could not accomplish.

Me: Do you remember Marilyn and Kris’s reaction to “A Race Against Love?”

Inner Writer: “Of course! It felt good, didn’t it?”

Me: Absolutely! I was so into the creation of the “story world” and the interaction of the characters. Marilyn was the love interest in the story.”

Inner Writer: “Yes, but don’t discount the writing and her reaction simply based on that. It was a great story.”

Me: “I shouldn’t have changed the ending. I wanted him to die.”

Inner Writer: Understood. But Marilyn was your muse in human form and when she asked for a happy ending, she was teaching you about “market.” That does not mean you have to acquiesce to market, just be aware that most people want a happy ending.”

Me: “True. And the adjustment was simply an added paragraph written like an epilogue. That’s why I understand what I do today more clearly. I should trust you more.”

Inner Writer: “That’s a refreshing statement. It would be nice if you maintained that mindset of trusting me more. I will not let you down as long as you approach me in that manner.”

Me: So where do we go from here? With all the life concerns like time (not getting any younger), finances, crazy ex, children, relationships, exhaustion – how do we get together more often?”

Inner Writer: “You’re doing it right now.”

Me: “That’s not fair. This is a gathering of people where I must participate along with them.”

Inner Writer: “Yes. And you’re doing it.”

Me: “Ok. Ok. I get it. But…”

Inner Writer: “You know better. No ‘buts’.”

Me: “So you’re suggestion I make time for you again.”

Inner Writer: “You did it for Michele and her 31 poems.”

Me: “Hmm. Like Marilyn.”

Inner Writer: “Yep.”

Me: “But this writing was so much better – the Michele writing.”

Inner Writer: “Absolutely. I’m not knocking it, I’m encouraging it. If Michele spurs you to write, I’m all for it. But you need more than Michele. You have unfinished writing business.”

Me: “True that. I see. And today, I made myself get up at 5:00am to prep and write for this mini workshop. That’s what I should be doing every day.”

Inner Writer: “That’s my point. If you can rally yourself to this for others, you just need to get to where you do it for us.”

Me: “We’re a good team.”

Inner Writer: “The best!”

Me: “The things I want to write and the worlds I want to create…”

Inner Writer: “All go to the graveyard at the rate you’ve fallen to…”

Me: “Little harsh?”

Inner Writer: “Truth hurts. More importantly, truth opens the eyes to what needs to be done. For us, what needs done is fun!”

Me: “Damn straight! I’m enjoying this conversation, by the way.”

Inner Writer: “We have this conversation every time you let go. Every time you give yourself permission to write. Every time you act on that permission. Truly, you are your own best ally.”

Me: “I see what you did there.”

Inner Writer: “Yes, but did you feel what I did there?”

Me: “Yes, I am my own best ally. No one else can move me like I can.”

Inner Writer: “True. Michele can indeed move you, but underlying that fact is your permission to allow her to do so. And then, you and I are along for the ride!”

Me: “I see. So the external muse is merely that, external, albeit a powerful one in Michele, and the depth of the muse lies within us, you and me.”

Inner Writer: “Did you hear that? “A you and a me’ – yours and Michele’s major bonding statement. Do not underestimate her wealth of writing power simply because she’s external. She is as close as one can be to being your internal muse.”

Me: “So I should access her more often?”

Inner Writer: “Not more often, but incorporate her assistance whenever possible.”

Me: “Interesting exercise, this. I’m motivated to get up early to write again!”

Inner Writer: “That was the point.”

Me: “Got it.”

Inner Writer: “Anything else we wish to speak about?”

Me: “I’m sure there are many, many things I’d like to discuss, but for now I’m good.”

Inner Writer: “Remember, I’m here anytime you call on me. I even ask you to join me. Most often I’m ignored.”

Me: “Wow. I want to do something about that.”

 

 

 

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Intellectual Property and the Uninitiated

GoWriteBookCoverCroppedFront96dpiTime can lend life a larger, more interesting aspect when you step back and take a good gander at it. I often mention I’ve been on my “writing” journey for 17 years from the moment I was conscious after a near-death surgery in 1999. The truth, and for me the more interesting aspect of my life, is that my writing journey truly identifies itself in 1979 when Professor Pat Urbas told me, “Mike, you should consider writing as a vocation.”

I’ve tended to dismiss this “beginning point” simply because I did not pursue the “business” side of writing until I almost died. Yet, those 20 years leading up to the operating table taught me many wonderful things, like self-expression without the intrusion of critics. Yes, I was a closet writer.

I truly own nearly 40 years of writing experience. That number boggles my mind. I’ve been paid for my writing for nearly 15 years. I’ve been in publishing for over a decade. That’s a lot of knowledge!

I discovered what I love and I love helping people get their books from their mind/heart to the page. That’s what I do. With this comes the struggle.

My mentor got to a point in the mid-2000’s where he got irked at people sitting with him and picking his brain for hours … for free. I’ve come to a place where I understand his frustration. I spent the largest portion of my life in love with writing. I’ve actually taken writing on as a vocation as Ms. Urbas suggested.

There’s a threshold at which you arrive when you take on the business of “intellectual property.” I own a knowledge that others appear to believe I can give away for free. I would love to be able to do so but I am as yet not independently wealthy. I teach what I’ve learned to others to feed, clothe, and house myself and my family. If I sit for hours answering question after question after question of what I’ve learned in 38 years with no compensation, my family and I would be homeless, ragged, and starving.

Charging people for intellectual property is tough, especially if you’re a giving soul. Pricing is also tough. But the most strenuous hurdle to overcome is, without a doubt, explaining to someone who does not know anything about the business. I want to explain about the hours, days, weeks, months, years, and decades I’ve put into acquiring this knowledge. The thousands upon thousand of dollars going to conferences, classes, paid consulting (yes, I’ve had to do what they’re doing).

What I’ve found is that people don’t want your sob story. They don’t possess an experience level to even understand what I’m talking about much of the time.

I’m left with the uncomfortable transition to charging for what I once gave away for free. I have decided that I will schedule a half-hour interview with prospective clients so they may get a sense of who I am and what I do. I want to educate and assist.  This way, they may decide to work with me or not, and I them.

Most people today are accustomed to someone working in a building trading hours for dollars. They do not understand the value of intellectual property, that is, until they need it. Then, far too often. people want it for free.

I’ve been a sucker many times, sitting for hours teaching people things they need to know. But did I truly help them? My assessment is no. They only nabbed a snippet of a large and complex industry which eats writers up and spits them out as discarded refuse at an alarming rate. There was no structure. No plan. No milestones set. No follow-up. In essence, we wasted their time and mine.

Michael Ray King 300dpiA person who pays for knowledge is far more prone to put action to said knowledge than the one who receives it for nothing. Another tough lesson I’ve learned.

I’ve made my peace with my consulting transition. I’ve had people get mildly indignant about me charging for consulting fees, but they would only have wasted their time and mine. I’m interested in helping those who truly intend to invest themselves into writing as a vocation. Everyone who writes does not necessarily do this. Many people simply want to write for themselves. Nothing wrong with that at all. I desire to work with writers who aspire to get their work out into the world. That’s my happy place. It’s my passion. It’s what I do.

If you or someone you know needs help getting their book written, contact me at: Author@MichaelRayKing.com.  My consulting page on my website is located at: MichaelRayKing

I help people get their books written…and I love doing it! 🙂

 

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Irksome Online Sales Practices

GoWriteBookCoverCroppedFront96dpiDo you want to know one of the things about the internet that annoys me? I’m going to tell you anyway.

The self-indulgent ads which scream (often textually) how great they are and how many people are lining their pockets and their queues with audacious numbers. I received one such email just now. Here’s a section of what it said: “Like I said earlier, we are WAY overbooked for our 500 slots. But it’s first come, first served —-so even if you haven’t registered, you’ve still got a shot if you jump on early!” This email arrived less than two hours from the stated webinar time!

Does “herd mentality” truly rule the actionable people out there? Are you prone to sign up for something simply because a thousand others do? Do you subscribe the notion that simply because someone claims thousands are lining up, you need to be signed up as well? I simply do not understand. This irks me.

Then I ask myself, “Does this irk me because I don’t have huge numbers lining up for my information?” I suppose there is a legitimacy to that question, but I know the truth behind all this, so I don’t feel quite so badly. On some level, I am disappointed I don’t have thousands of people lining up. But that’s just ego. Here’s the truth I know.

Most of these people who run these ads touting MONEY! NUMBERS! GET IT WHILE IT LASTS! simply do not deliver anything of real substance. Even their money back guarantees mean little. They know few will follow through with the refund process because they already feel like they’re somewhat a failure. To not get anything from the product being sold is simply a reinforcement of what they believe about themselves.

How do I know this? I’ve done it. Yep, I invested money I did not have because some guy told me his story. He’d been down and out. He had $67 to his name. He just lay on his couch day and night. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

I paid my $67. What he delivered was ear candy. But for $300 more, I could step into the next level. Immediately I know I’ve been duped. Don’t these people have a conscience? They’re preying on those who are struggling and need a hand up. Someone to deliver a product which will lift them up and get them going.

I want to see products that pay off. I specifically built my “Write Your Book in 30 Days!” workshop with this in mind. After the workshop, after you get your first draft manuscript done, you may rinse and repeat the knowledge over and over and over again. You actually walk away with something you may use the rest of your life.

These people online keep the “Teaser Button” going up into ungodly numbers. I’ve followed some of these rabbit trails up to tens of thousands of dollars! These types of price tags are outrageous. I doubt even then that you’ve truly acquired something of high relevance. Possible I’m jaded, but for the most part, I don’t believe so. Experience is a great teacher.

Of course, there is the argument that my “Write Your Book in 30 Days!” does indeed have “add-ons” attached to it. Like editing, and publishing, and marketing. While this is true, each of these items are completely separate entities from learning how to pluck your book from your mind into reality. There are definitive steps to getting there. Some people simply want the manuscript as a bucket list item. Others want to publish just for themselves or close friends and families. Others want to write the great American novel or nonfiction book. My workshop is geared solely to getting the manuscript finished. I make sure people understand this up front.

Back to these hucksters. My wish would be for these people to grow their consciences. Exercise some true empathy. If you truly were broke and down and out, give people an entry level product which can indeed be used over and over to lift themselves up from their current state. Something tangible. Something reusable which engenders confidence. Something which delivers a baseline from which they may then operate. Don’t keep suckering people with larger and larger price tags simply to fuel the purchase of your Lambourgini’s and other high-end toys.

I also get irked by the mansions and cars and technologies they wave under our noses. I suppose this works for those who would sell their souls for material things, but I believe many of us simply desire to better ourselves and achieve milestones as our reward for working our way through our lives. I desire nice things. I’d love a new car. But I won’t work solely for that. I’ve found I need to know I am helping people with what I do. That’s my main criteria – am I helping someone get something they desire and is my product priced legitimately? This as opposed to, “How much can I get out of people…”

Ok, my rant against the people luring us in with their promises of help only to constantly upcharge us is coming to an end. I must work on advertising my product. I now offer my workshop online or over the phone, one-on-one. While I enjoy the classroom setting, I’ve found one-on-one coaching to be effective for many people who desire to write books. This has caused me to shift more to a “consulting” business format as opposed to a classroom teacher. I’ll have to write a post about how people want to take up hours and hours of my time culling the information I’ve learned over a 30 year time period for free. I attempt to explain that my knowledge is my livelihood, but for some reason, people want an hour Q&A to cover three decades of knowledge.

That’s a post for another day. If you know someone who desires to write a book and does not know how to get the manuscript written, please guide them my way. I’ve helped over 100 people get their books written so far, many of them writing multiple books using the knowledge I teach them. Here’s a link to my pricing page – Write Your Book in 30 Days!

Questions? Feel free to email me: Author@MichaelRayKing.com

Michael Ray King 300dpi

Michael Ray King

There are no secret “tiers” to this product. If you do what I show you and follow my instructions, you will get your book written. Once you do, you may take the knowledge, rinse and repeat. No limited time offer. No smoke and mirrors sales pitch. Simply a one-on-one book coaching experience from an award-winning author. I currently have nine published books and I’ve written over 20 full-length manuscripts. I’ve been running my “Write Your Book in 30 Days!” workshop for four years.

I look forward to working with aspiring writers!

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Sometimes, You Have to Dump it all Out…

Mike black and white 300This REALLY Does Eventually Get to the Subject of Writing…

I once possessed the secrets of the universe. My mind ran quick. Agile.

Modern society, technology, and distractions led me astray. Not just me. Led us all down pointless, meaningless paths. Insidious governments, corporations, religions all drag us by our noses, making certain we abandon the ability to think for ourselves.

Money. Greed. Prejudice. Power. Our lists of dalliances runs endless through both the dark and light aspects of our perceptions.

The human race could solve every problem known to us. Hunger. Disease. Apathy. Pain. Nothing stands unattainable to us, yet we shall never do this. Our flaws overcome our sense. Our emotions overcome our judgment. What a shame.

So what’s left to us? What action, what thought, what stirring from within can save us? Governments offer an answer. Serve us. Corporations offer and answer. Serve us. Religions offer and answer. Serve us.

Every human must try and fail at their answers. The insane thing here is that most of us look to others to answer our lives. There’s no small number of folk ready and willing to tell us what to do and how to do it. Even beyond going back to governments, corporations, religions. Family. Friends. Strangers. Acquaintances. Each will tell you why you must…, what to do, where to go, when to do…

Do you grasp that there is no one on Earth who owns the answer? The ones screaming the loudest about their knowledge resort to violence when people disagree. This holds true with all the listed “controllers” above. Violence is not always bombs and guns and knives and vehicles. Violence includes manipulations, emotional battering, and spiritual control.

Has it ever occurred to you that people stand so ready to tell you how to live your life? When you trek back to the concept that no person on Earth knows, this becomes the root of our collective insanity. I already hear the religious screaming at me from their theological towers. Listen to each of them. They all “know God” or the “Supreme Answer” and are willing to do anything to manipulate you to their beliefs. Hmmm. I don’t discount the possibility of a Creator. In fact, to my mind, everything being a cosmic accident becomes so depressing and absurd as to become a useless venture to pursue.

So what am I rambling on about here on a page dedicated to creativity and writing?

So many people want your mind. So many people steal your dreams and your pursuit of truth with their own agendas. When and how may we step up to our higher selves? Hell, I can’t give you any answers. All I can do is call out the questions. I’ve discovered how my perceptions of reality in this world fall too often false against what I live. I discover flaws in myself constantly. Not flaws necessarily in other peoples’ eyes. Flaws in me when I test my beliefs and my knowledge against evidence.

There’s a funny thing. Evidence. I’ve written millions upon millions of words in my life. I’ve explored many thousands of concepts. At every turn, I find answers which once “were” are “not now” answers. Things I knew for sure now fade to dust. What I know now becomes future dust. What I know in the future appears as much the same.

Sounds depressing, doesn’t it? Come on! If you step outside what you believe you “know” your foundation will shake. So we will step back into our belief in God, work, play, distraction, philosophy, and/or a whole list of other crutches and give up on the unknowable truth. The undiscovered country. That place where, once we finish, we will know, even if for only an instant or an eternity.

How does this affect creativity? How does this affect your writing? For writers, don’t we explore words to attempt to find answers? Or make them up? Or distract ourselves from our lack of answers? Or to make it appear to others that we own some answers?

Since the human race cannot work together, our only option is a crazed, full-tilt-bozo random search for answers in directions leading everywhere at once. Look at our world. Please. Look at our chaotic, violence-ridden, love-laden world. Everyone spouting “truths” out like they’re handing out guilt-free donuts for everyone. From the most vile to the most loving, we as a species are all over the place. If anyone did discover something of merit, the rest of us would never know. Why? Because they’d be just one more insanity in a universe of dementia.

I promote the concept of pursuing your truth no matter the outside pressure or consequence. The deceptions of established knowledge in our world run deep and prolific. Histories get re-written constantly. My inner sensibility tells me that when I abandon my own search and buy into someone else’s, I fall away from my path, whatever that journey may be. I do not desire to live anyone else’s life. Living mine daily challenges me more than I can handle.

Your writing…no, MY writing, needs to blaze the trail of my life in the crazed manner of my mind, my heart, my soul. For what it’s worth, I promote this concept to others. Not as an answer of any true merit, but simply another way to search out from within. I’ve long suspected the “within” aspects of humanity drives us closer to truths than anything we garner from others. Humanity’s inner intellect has become watered down, diluted beyond recognition to our brighter, younger selves. By younger, I mean generations past.

The more we dive into modern concepts and technologies, the further we travel from ourselves. Our separations have become so self-destructive as to qualify us for annihilation. I truly don’t expect this writing to make much sense to anyone. In fact, I feel the rambling, scrambling, stumbling aspect of the word search for concepts beyond my grasp and understanding. Ultimately, I draw on this craziness for the fuel for my writing. Once I step into the feeling I have something to say about this world, I write. Fiction or nonfiction – does not matter. I love what Stephen King said, “Fiction is the truth within the lie.”

Writers. Go write. Go let it all hangout. Ray Bradbury said, ““You must write every single day of your life… You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads… may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.” He also said, “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”

I’ve gone the gamut of pissing on governments, religion, corporations, and even friends and family. I’ve searched my mind past the depressing oblivion of nothingness, and I’m back to the place of no answers beyond yesterday’s dust, today’s crumbling knowledge and tomorrow’s stardust-to-be. If you’ve read this far, I either commend you or question your sanity. Either way, if you’re a writer, let’s get back at it and at least create something, if for no one else – ourselves.

My advice (from someone who’s already told you he has no answers) is to do as Bradbury and many others said. I say, pursue your truths without apology. Write them real. Write them lean. For what else are we to do? As each of us heads to our prospective Undiscovered Countries, we might as well go down with a fight and look to find something worth living this life for. I’m sure my future self will read this one day and wonder what the hell I was thinking. LOL!

Sometimes, you just have to dump it all out on the table and start over…

 

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Make Your Life Count

Out of Your Mind Publishing1You know, I arrived at a minor epiphany just now. We do write what we know. At least, we write what we think or hope we know. Especially when we get fired up by our muse. We believe we own insight. We believe we have the mechanisms to deliver a story. We believe we know what we’re saying, how we’re saying it, and that the words, however impossible, assemble to bring meaning into our narrative whether that be fiction or nonfiction.

Now truth, yes, that horrendous bugaboo which haunts us incessantly, that’s a different story. As soon as I whip out the “truth” word, the question immediately begs, “whose truth?”

All we have to go on is our ability to deliver the concepts in symbols which represent letters which form words, sentences, paragraphs, stories. Our most major failing, or issue, remains that the concepts we most struggle to convey cannot truly be covered by these black markings on a page. The nuance of what is not said, or often more appropriately, cannot be written or stated, is where we truly mine the wealth of writing.

Each of us live and experience similar scenarios in life. Love. Death. Pain. Joy. Questioning our existence. Questioning our purpose. Laughter.  Yet each of us possesses a slightly, or drastically different view or “take away” from these scenarios. My feelings are not yours. We aim at the similarities so we may get “agreement” with our words, but truly exact matches stand as totally impossible. This is precisely why I say to “write your personal truth into everything without apology and without watering it down.”

What all of us look for is the “between the lines” stuff anyway. We read ‘similar’ experiences and we overlay our life and inject our perceptions, not the author’s. A brilliant idea springs to our mind/heart/soul and we desire to express this brilliance and have it accepted by others. It does not matter whether we’re looking to entertain or inform. What matters is that conceptually, we connect.

All of us seek connection in life, or we give up trying. The crazy thing is, since we’re all individually unique, perfect connection is impossible. We feel inadequate, unfinished, unwhole. We search for answers in deities, love, hate, violence, compassion, etc. The list is extensive. We’ve been beating our collective heads on this wall for our entire history. Writers wrestle with this. Painters. Sculptors. Creativity. We seek connection and completion. We’re driven.

The depressive aspect of this is that with each new creation, we’re not there. We may be “fortunate” and connect with the masses and rake in millions. But the disconnect remains. We may languish in obscurity, often with “better” material than the fortunate few who strike it rich, yet we all end up in the same boat. Isn’t that depressing? Frustrating? Demotivational?

Ah. Yes.

So. Do we give up? Many, do. I believe most give up at some point. What about the dogged ones. Those of us who refuse. Those of us who strive against that long goodnight.

There’s a “self-justification” aspect to writing. We think if we can write the great American novel or the next Harry Potter or the deepest of all poetry which strikes a chord with the masses that we will somehow achieve “connection.” I’m not saying this is a bad thing. I’m simply recognizing the intent behind the futility. What is left for us?

A wise gentleman whom I did not appreciate enough while he lived would often admonish anyone who would listen to “self-actualize.” He remained passionately involved with this concept of life up to the day he died. He would speak self-actualization to anyone who would listen and even those who didn’t. More and more, I come to agree with his adamance at this being a key. To what? What the hell is “self-actualization” anyway?

Part of the answer to that question, in my book of thoughts, is that writing can facilitate a formulation of self. Writing truth, YOUR personal truth as you see it, feel it, understand it, and realize it can comprise steps in self-actualization. Here’s a little minor definition: Self-actualization is a term that has been used in various psychology theories, often in slightly different ways. The term was originally introduced by the organismic theorist Kurt Goldstein for the motive to realize one’s full potential. Expressing one’s creativity, quest for spiritual enlightenment, pursuit of knowledge, and the desire to give to and/or positively transform society are examples of self-actualization. In Goldstein’s view, it is the organism’s master motive, the only real motive: “the tendency to actualize itself as fully as possible is the basic drive… the drive of self-actualization.

We desire to reach our potentials. We do not want to be left on the sidelines of life, wasting away our time until we die. Ok, many appear to do just that. Ok, most… But, we who do wish to engage our lives to their fullest extent rise up through all the crap and dig for our very own personal essence. Our answers. Our truest potential. We desire to “actualize” ourselves.

This post was not intended to be specifically written about self-actualization. Hell, I don’t know nearly enough about the term to write as an expert. What I can indeed write about is our striving to find the grail, the maximization of potential. I know my potential, on the whole, has been locked down most of my life. Too many excuses for why I don’t pursue them with more vigor twenty-four hours a day. But isn’t that what I write about most? Isn’t this concept of self-actualization key in motivation to pursue our highest potential.

We should pursue our truths. We should get off the blame game and all the crap our media and corporations and governments are throwing into our brains and find the answers within which we seek. Those resorting to hate and violence and apathy have all given up. They want to identify an external person or group to blame for the troubles of the world. They do not seek answers. Writers, we may pursue higher purposes. We may actually accomplish something for the human race to carry forward. In order to do so, we need to maximize our potential.

When you’re driven to write, do not resist. Go with it. Even if what you write today makes no sense tomorrow (which this post may well qualify as that type of writing), get it out of your system and grow yourself. Find yourself. Potential is a terrible thing to waste and we all do it every single day. Get up. Self-actualize your life. Embrace this journey. Make your life count.

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Make Your Own Rules

Rules rules rules. So many writing ‘talking heads’ want you to follow every writing step they see as imperative to a great book. My issue with this stems from the fact that each person who writes comes from a different place. Their internal idiosyncrasies and life experiences lead them down diverse paths that blanket rules cannot hope to cover.

The true secret to writing is to write your truth, write it real, and write without apology. Does this guarantee you success and fame and fortune? Absolutely not. What writing your truth will bring you is satisfaction and pride in your work.

When you’re writing fiction, you’re still writing a ‘truth’ from within whether the writing is a statement on life or simply a dream you conjured in your sleep. Writing it real means that when you need the writing to get nasty you’re willing to go there to the limits of your own personal boundaries and at least a step more. This is called “challenging yourself” as a writer. Anything less is watered  down drivel.

Think of the process this way. If you don’t challenge yourself as a writer, how in the hell do you expect what you write to challenge a reader? When you simply follow the lines of demarcation of what you think people want, all they’ll get is what they want. There will be no surprise, no pain, no growth, no memory on which to cling.

Yes, the argument may be made that if you deliver excitement or sex or violence or some other surface oriented writing, the reader will be satisfied. But at what level? Will they be blown away by the content of the book?

For my time on this earth, I want to impact readers. I don’t desire to spend my hours and words to simply tickle their surface-brain. I look to dig deep into a reader’s heart and move them in some memorable manner. I crave impact. I want a reader to walk away with something, anything, that will enhance their life.

Yes, I agree, there’s a place for good escapist writing. I’ve read many a book like that and I’ve penned a good number of stories that would qualify in that realm. But it’s the “Great American Novel” concept, isn’t it? The drive comes from deep within and this drive propels itself forward, determined to connect with others on that same level.

Of course something deep to me may be a wading pool to others. What I’ve learned though, is that my ‘wading pool writing’ is also many folks’ sonar defying depths. This is why you write for yourself. Your audience will be identified once you’re done, not before.

Therefore, when you go to conferences and schools of higher learning, please, please, please remember these talking heads with their rules will only handcuff you unless you step into yourself, take what they say which helps you and employ it, and jettison that which hinders your muse.

Writing requires you to find your confidence even when you wrestle daily with the very concept of confidence. Boldy go where you’ve never gone. Step into your higher self. I tell you true, the “greats” of writing, when they were trailblazing new styles, words, structures, etc., did not stop to ask for rules. In fact, the rules often drove them to create their own rules.

Sometimes new rules are reviled, possibly for years, possibly forever. Yet how many books once derided as rule-breaking pieces of crap are now held up as incredible works. There are many.

Write your truth. Write it real. Write it without apology. Leave the rules for those who wish to stay on the beaten path. You want to trail-blaze your writing? Make up your  own rules…

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