As a book editor, it is very rewarding to finally be able to say I’ve edited AND published an eBook co-written by me and my cousin. This book represents a little piece of our history. I’ll include my eBook description and link below.
Two teenage cousins loved to write poetry in the 1980s before the internet was a thing. Topics near and dear to their hearts – crushes, breakups, friendship, pets, books and nature – are the focus of poems in this collection. Thirty years later, after marriages, divorces and children, Kari and Terrie’s dream of publishing a book is finally realized.
“The huge contrast between some people who are older than 65 who are having a blast… and others who…live in fear of…experiencing significant health decline…seems to boil down to two things: Positive mindset [and] Healthy lifestyle habits.” (A.B., G.B., How to Look and Feel Younger After 40 Naturally, 2018)
I’ve also observed this difference to be true among those over 65 that I’ve known personally. Foresight is definitely preferred to hindsight when it comes to health. Knowing this now that I’m at the end of my forties forces me to do what I can to improve both my mindset and habits, because I can’t go back in time. I find that many my age who have already experienced major health issues have a difficult time remaining positive and think that there’s nothing they can do to improve their situation.
It’s a struggle to fight this common attitude, but necessary. I try to make a conscious effort to steer conversations away from poor health to something positive, related to positive habits and events. In my opinion, life is about how we deal with our problems, not about accepting whatever happens as inevitable.
So I continue to reestablish good habits and remind myself of goals and things I’m grateful for. As they say, today’s another new day. 😊
Editing projects from August 20 – November 18, 2018: Product data spreadsheet, Fiction book, Nonfiction book, several Academic research articles, Nonfiction book, Medical program essays, Health blog post, Fitness website video transcript Client countries: US, China, New Zealand, Israel
How can I meet people who push or challenge me as a person? Sure, having friends and family that I can relate to, who share memories or who understand certain struggles and issues is comforting. But I feel like to continue growing my character, my values, I need to surround myself with those who will provide a different perspective. Not to change my values, but to strengthen them. Not to pander to, or–on the opposite spectrum–to berate, but to embolden, to confront, to collaborate. Of course, to attract these kinds of individuals, I would display qualities that they value or respect. I’m not really sure how to go about this in a calculated way, but I’ve set my mind to be open to and ready for opportunities.
I love the motto, “Be your own hero.” The first time I heard it was from the athlete, Jessie Graff. To me, this means to be the type of person you want to be, that you can respect, to set an example for others as well. But how do you know what that looks like? I think anyone who accomplishes this goal successfully, has undoubtedly emulated the behavior and qualities they admire in certain individuals close to them. My conclusion is that if my life is lacking people I look up to who strengthen my confidence and resolve, then I need to seek them out.
I can think of a handful of people I’ve known throughout life that have challenged me in this way, but we’re no longer in contact, due to changing circumstances or locations. It’s time to build a network, no matter how small it might be, of persistent, successful teammates.
Finding a nonfiction book that presents truly original content is not as easy as one would think.
I have edited many a self-help or business-related book that turned out to be mainly regurgitations of other people’s ideas.
Access to a world of knowledge on the internet makes it easy to find definitions, explanations, and opinions others may have about any subject under the sun. Things we read and hear stick in our minds and influence what we believe. Often they can become the foundation for a particular focus in our lives.
When an individual has the desire to write a book about something that is important to them or important to others, at some point he or she will need to write down what they know on the subject. Of course, during the process, they will almost always discover that research into certain aspects is necessary before their book is complete.
However, what I take issue with is individuals who have nothing new to add to the subject or conversation they plan on writing a book about. I also take issue with book ‘authors’ who haven’t actually written any content of their own. Instead, they’ve collected material from previously published books, combined it together in a ‘new’ book, then proceeded to call it their own creation. Or, they’ve collected famous sayings that most everyone has already heard or read and that are readily available online to anyone who conducts a basic search then re-published them as ‘their’ book.
I’m sure most people are aware that students frequently plagiarize papers or simply copy and paste information they’ve found online and call it a paper. In the world of academia, this is widely discouraged, and students who are discovered will usually experience severe consequences.
But what about in the world of self-help, inspirational, and how-to books? Call me crazy, but I believe that authors should follow a few, basic, common-sense guidelines before self-publishing these types of books.
Questions I feel any nonfiction writer should ask themselves:
How much of your content did you write from your own memory and experience?
How much of your content has already been published, either in a book, video or movie?
Are your ideas YOUR ideas, or someone else’s ideas that you just think are fantastic?
If you’ve engaged in legitimate research (online or offline), have you gained the necessary permission(s) to publish content that already holds a copyright and isn’t in the public domain? This includes images as well.
Anyone who claims to be an expert or professional at something should be able to explain the topic or activity on their own, without having to scour the internet. Of course, people are all at different skill levels when it comes to communication, grammar or vocabulary, but the basic principles or processes involved in the topic at hand should already be present in their minds, ready to share.
I personally put this theory to the test when I wrote my series about preparation for self-publishing a book. I wanted to ensure that my content was original and based on my own knowledge and experience, because there are hundreds if not thousands of sites and books that talk about this subject to some degree.
First, I brainstormed a list of elements I thought were the most important for authors who were ready to publish their book to consider. Then, over a period of time, I wrote what I knew about each element, refining and rewriting many times. Everything I wrote came from my own mind, and I did not go online for ‘help’. When I couldn’t immediately come up with the exact words I was looking for, I would let it simmer for a few days; then I would simply write what I DID know, and only that.
The final two elements in my list of nine involved things that I don’t handle as part of my editing service. But I still thought they were important for authors to consider, so I included brief, accurate, related information that I’d found through research. I made it clear that my expertise only applied to the first seven elements. I have no desire to pretend to know something I don’t, especially in the professional arena.
It was super exciting for me to discover the amount of knowledge and experience related to book editing I’ve accumulated over the years. It really is true that the best way to find out if you know what you’re talking about is to try to explain it in depth to someone else. Many times in the past, I’ve outed myself by trying to explain something that I really didn’t understand and failed miserably. I’m sure everyone can relate to that feeling — problem is, some people aren’t willing to admit it.
Reading a book full of new ideas, insights or inspirations that help me in a way I’m unable to on my own is so rewarding! I must thank each and every author who has put in the time and effort to share them with the world.
“Studies show that people who exercise before and during work are happier, experience less stress, and are more productive.” (http://ergonomyx.com/)
I would have loved to have an under-the-desk bike or one of those adjustable desks that would allow me to stand at any of the administrative jobs I’ve worked at in the past. They would have reduced the boredom I’m sure, and likely my coffee intake as well.
The bike I currently use under my desk when I’m working at home is great for increasing circulation and prevents some of the daily stiffness in my hips and knees from arthritis. Another recommendation I need to follow more consistently is getting up from the chair every hour or so to do stretches or walk outside.
Using some kind of exercise equipment while working can improve how we deal with stress, whether it’s related to deadlines, clients, personal conflicts, whatever.
I also play a couple word game apps daily for mental exercise that directly relates to the work I do. This week I made it to the library again to check out a pile of books to read while housesitting. Reading at night before bed not only helps me fall asleep and sleep better, it’s so much better for slowing down the mind and racing thoughts. Watching a show or scrolling through my feed on my phone definitely does NOT slow down the mind in preparation for sleep.
Next, I’d like to find methods for improving my ability to focus on a task for longer periods of time. I’m fairly certain that frequent use of social media and the internet has shortened my attention span and contributed to my reduced ability to focus. I have no interest in using medication to addres this issue.
As I sit here typing, looking out the window at the beautiful view by the lake where I’m housesitting, I realize that I keep staring off in the distance for quite a while. Nature allows me to focus and experience the moment in a way that media and city life never can. Zoom in — can you spot the hummingbird in the photo above? I tried for several minutes, unsuccessfully, to get a clear photo of the little guy flitting around but settled for a beautiful shot of the flowers and scenery. I thought this was a fitting image to display the balance between movement and stillness.
Our minds and bodies require both movement and stillness at the appropriate times to be healthy.
Editing projects for weeks ending August 19, 2018: Academic research article, Nonfiction book Author Bio, Workspace Fitness Devices website, Nonfiction book, Promotional sales email Client countries: China, US, Canada, UK
“The creativity of the human mind is endless.” (Robert H. Fetner, Memories of Miami Vice: Real Stories, 2018)
Creativity. The quality of being creative.
Who do you associate with these words? An artistic person. Someone who is colorful, imaginative, full of ideas.
I believe it’s even more than that.
The root of the word is create. Create means to build, invent, conceive, originate.
The human mind has the potential for doing so much more than simply following directions, or practicing things already learned, or repeating the same actions over and over.
Creativity, as I see it, involves looking for new solutions for old problems. Ignoring assumed limitations and forming new thoughts, new ideas. Forming concrete plans for events or systems or projects or concepts that you’ve never experienced and possibly don’t already exist. Improving on things that do.
Other words I associate with creativity are imagination and ingenuity. Creativity can apply to any field, any station in life, work, play, art.
Everyone has their place and will hopefully figure out what that is. But where would we be without the creative people? The inventors, the dreamers, ones who can build something out of little, who can see what others can’t. We would simply be creatures of habit, no sparks of brilliance; and we wouldn’t even realize what was missing.
I, for one, marvel at the creativity of the human mind and the capacity for achieving the impossible, for making something beautiful for a specific purpose or simply for the joy it can bring. I’m thankful for this God-given gift that lies within all of us, regardless of our age, stature, and status.
As an exercise, I made a list of types of individuals commonly thought to be creative along with a list of a few other types of creativity I came up with.
Let me know in the comments what else you think could be considered an example of creativity. I’d love to hear your ideas, especially any that I might never have thought of myself.
Do-it-yourself handyman who finds ways to repair and adjust household fixtures, furnishings, etc. without instructions, using whatever is available.
Babysitter who comes up with fun and engaging activities or crafts to teach and occupy the kids in their care.
Stand-up comics who improvise their content based on their audience and surroundings
Youtubers who develop their own entertaining and useful content instead of simply reposting other people’s ideas
Personal trainer who develops stretches, exercises and customized activities for clients with limitations and specific goals.
Entrepreneur who makes their own opportunities by finding numerous ways of harnessing his or her skills to serve others and make a successful living.
**Comment below with your additions!
Editing projects for weeks ending July 29, 2018:
Nonfiction Memoir, (several) academic research articles Client countries: US, China