A Message to All “Aspiring” Creative People

If you’ve ever seen an interview with a creative person that has a Q&A session at the end, there’s usually a person who asks a question like this: “I’m an aspiring author.  What advice would you give to someone like me?” If I were the person being asked this question, my response would be: “Are you currently writing?”  If they answered yes, then I would reply: “Then you’re not aspiring to be a writer, you ARE a writer.”  Seems simple enough.

And it really is.

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of ASPIRE is “to seek to attain or accomplish a particular goal,” which means that if you are writing in any capacity in the genre or medium you desire to write in, you are no longer aspiring to do so.  Now, if you aspire to be a published author, or aspire to have one of your screenplays produced, that’s a different thing entirely.

And that’s where setting goals comes into play.  

We are living in a golden age of independent media content production.  No longer do we have to sit idly by and merely hope to have something published or produced.  We can do it ourselves!  Podcasts, self-publishing, blogs, YouTube, Vimeo, and dozens of other outlets allow creative types like us to make our dreams a reality without having to wade through rejection letters, unreturned phone calls, and the dreaded silent “no.”  

Don’t just ASPIRE to do it.  Do it! You want to get your book out there? There are ways to make it happen on your own.  Want to be on the radio?  Do a podcast and get it out there for others to listen to and enjoy.  Like writing and directing films?  YouTube can give you a platform and an audience without having to spend hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars.  

Every person reading this needs to know that we have the power to not just ASPIRE to do things. No, we can do them and then INSPIRE others to get their creativity out for the world to see.  

In a world that can be so mired in cynicism and negativity, it’s time for all creative people to bring their positivity and influence out in the open to help make the world a better place.

Let’s all move beyond aspiring to inspiring and motivate yourself and others to be agents of positive creativity!

Leave a comment below and let me know what you think!

My Publicity Experience – Part Three

By Monday morning of Week Two, I was getting review copy requests in my Inbox.  This was pretty exciting to say the least!  And one of the first was from The New York Post!  Holy cow! I rushed over to FedEx with a copy of the book – press release folded and placed behind the cover – and decided, in my excitement, to send it overnight.  Now, for those curious about how much it costs to FedEx a copy of a one-pound novel from Los Angeles to New York overnight…it’s $93!  Now, keep in mind that the adrenaline was pumping and I was excited to have a name as big as The New York Post interested in my novel. So, I did the rational thing and sent it overnight for $93. 

Flash-forward:they ended up passing on reviewing the book, so lesson learned.  And FYI, if I had sent it via FedEx to New York and had it take 4 days it would have cost $15.  Face-palm!

Needless to say, the rest of my FedEx mailings took a bit longer but were much cheaper in the long run. 

So, the first week I was sent many, many, many review copy requests, which was great!  I advise anyone who does this to create a spreadsheet to track who you’ve sent to and when, when it was delivered, the date you followed-up, and what the outcome was (interview, review, dead silence, etc).  I also recommend sending an email to the recipient the day it was sent letting them know to expect the package soon.

I made two trips to FedEx the first week, which was a really good sign.  A lot of bloggers, some podcasters, and magazines were interested in my book.  To me, it’s all good since people throughout the country are now reading the book and copies are all over the place.

What I didn’t anticipate was how many mailers I would blow through sending out copies.  True, I should have planned ahead and ordered a bunch on Amazon or from Office Max, but I didn’t.  This led to a couple days where both Targets in my area and both FedEx Office locations were out of the size mailers I needed.  Luckily, one of the Targets re-stocked and I bought all they had.

At the end of Week Two, I had sent out 15 copies of my book and the NetGalley list had grown by a dozen more people.  Tomorrow, I will write about my busy final week with Smith Publicity.