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NOLA Thoughts: Following the Beat of Your Own Drum

I recently survived 5 days in the French Quarter. I say survived because I thought I would burst at some point from the rich food, the tasty drinks, and the just plain fun of the whole experience.  I was overloaded with lots of music, and quite a bit of history, too, since my friends and I took in a few museum tours. 

This was my fourth trip to the area, and when I am there, I am just bombarded with evidence of creativity that’s all around us, but especially in places like this. I attempted to tweet some of what was going on around me, but I found the multi-tasking a little too difficult. I just wanted to experience the moments. And by the time I made it back to the Inn, I was exhausted.

I am not discouraged though. Just because I couldn’t get all the thoughts and ideas running through my head down right then doesn’t mean they haven’t set up camp somewhere in a corner of my mind, biding their time until they’re needed.

So, while I am still recuperating, here’s just a little of what has made its way to the front of my mind:

“Not for us” doesn’t always mean “not good” and “people want this” doesn’t always mean “this is good stuff!”  Some of the best music, meaning, the most unique and interesting (at least to my ears), was being performed in the less crowded venues on Bourbon and the rest of the Quarter.  It may have been because of the football games that were happening at the same time (LSU one day, Saints the next), but we didn’t have to struggle for seats or crane our necks at a few places.  At The Funky Pirate, we were swept back in time listening to Jazz of the 30s and 40s. At the Tropical Isle Bayou Club, we heard Cajun and Zydeco, and even had a little history lesson from Bruce Daigrepont and Kevin Aucoin of the Cajun Drifters when they came and sat with us between sets.

We could have went with the crowds and found ourselves singing along to the 80s and 90s cover bands, but I can do that at home (especially since my husband performs in one).  Besides, just because it is familiar and I know what to expect doesn’t mean it is always good (kind of like a predictable plot line…).

So, when your unique work is rejected, remember, it may just be that particular reader hasn’t developed a taste for it. Don't sell yourself short and follow the crowd if you truly believe your work has potential. There's someone who will light up from your work; you just haven’t found them.  Rejection doesn’t necessarily mean it is bad. Do you enjoy the process? Does it enhance your life?  Good.

Keep writing like nobody’s critiquing. 




Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Experience

The popularity of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books is beyond extraordinary. What started out as a multi- rejected book idea has turned into a multi-million dollar book empire. More than 110 million Chicken Soup for the Soul books have been sold. Many of the books have been translated to 40 different languages. I'm proud that my personal essays have been included in some of these books, and I hope to continue being a Chicken Soup contributor.
My Story
I thought I would share a bit about being published in these collections. I'm very happy with my Chicken Soup experiences, and part of that may be that I went into it with little expectations at first. I started with them because I had a few stories that seemed to fit what they were looking for, and I thought I had nothing to lose. Unlike some of the other markets and contests I was looking at, submitting to Chicken Soup could be done at no cost to me, and I didn't even need to worry about a postage stamp, because they had a…

All the Right Ingredients to Writing Advice

Last time, I talked about people in our lives that are pretty sure they know how to be successful writers, because they spent much of their time reading. Sometimes their advice can be a blessing, sometimes just the opposite. It is the same with the plethora of advice available from other writers. Have you checked out almost every book about the writing process from your local library at one time or another? Are your shelves lined with your own copies of "the-perfect-writing-advice-that-will-get-me-published-once-and-for-all"? Are you a member of multiple online writing communities? Do you hold your breath just a little bit when waiting from the critique from that "certain someone" in your writing group?

Yeah. Me too. And I don't think that gaining knowledge is a bad thing. We just have to be careful.

Don't Let Too Many Cooks Create a Recipe for Disaster
I love great food, I savor the tastes and textures of all kinds of cuisine; but unless I have specific, de…

Why Ghostwriting? Guest Post by Kelly James-Enger

Is it Time to Disappear?  Why I Became a Ghost--and Why you Should, Too
I never intended to become a ghostwriter. After all, why would I spend months of my life toiling away on someone else’s book? No thanks. I only wanted to write my own books, and that’s what I did.
I soon found, however, that the life of a book author wasn’t quite what I’d envisioned. I was working long hours, yet making less money than I had before, when I wrote only articles. The reason was simple—the time I spent promoting my books left me less time to write articles and other books, which cut into my income.
            Fortunately for me, I was approached by a nutrition expert about coauthoring her book. I found I enjoyed collaborating with her, but the real payoff came when we finished the manuscript. As the author, she now had to start promoting it—but I was all done!
That was enough for me. I decided to pursue coauthoring and ghostwriting, and “my” next book was ghostwritten for a client. (Typically a “coau…