This is How We Do It

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ALL WRITTEN AND ARTWORK ARE THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF PSG LOPES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, 2019.

First of all, I’d like to thank each and every one of you for the overwhelming responses I received for the release of my second novella, John of Art! I am beyond touched and honored to have so many congratulations for this latest book of mine! This was the book that didn’t want to be written. With so many obstacles and twists and turns over the years, I’m so thrilled that this book was finally published.

For those of you who are interested in purchasing the book, for now, it’s only available through Amazon in paperback and Kindle e-book format, also e-book format through Nook, Kobo, iBooks, and anywhere e-books are sold. I am working on getting the paperback distributed through B&N, Lulu, and other outlets and will reveal that when it’s finally available that way as well. My wonderful voice over artist will be working on the audiobook soon and that will be out the end of August, early September and I will let you guys know when that’s available as well. There is a song that accompanies the book. If you purchase the paperback or ebook, the QR code scans directly to the song. I figured there’s no sense in waiting for everything little thing to be completely done when the book is just sitting there on Amazon so I decided to do a limited release for the paperback and e-book version through Amazon and trickle the remaining releases as they come over the next few weeks. If you’re interested in purchasing the book you can do so by clicking on the book cover below. Thanks again to everyone. I have never felt this loved! Hugs to all.

There is one thought-provoking phenomenon that I’d like to address based on the many comments, compliments, and praises I’ve been receiving regarding my latest book that has me thinking. One of the most common comments that I hear as an author when I talk to non-writers is “Oh, you wrote a book? I should write a book too!” Not only do I find this to be a backhanded compliment which, in my opinion at least, diminishes the accomplishment of the author and makes it seem like it’s such an easy task that any average Joe off the street can achieve this themselves, which they very well may, but there are some things many don’t consider.

There are issues many don’t realize when they decide they want to write a book. Writing the book is the easiest part of the whole journey, it’s what you do after the book is done that’s what really weeds out the weak. You have to shift away from being a consumer to being someone who wants to sell your product. An important thing to ask yourself too when you want to write a book is “Do I support other local writers?” If that answer is a hard no then ask yourself the next question, “If I don’t support local writers then what makes me think that other people will support my work?” I try my best to give shout outs, likes, and praises to fellow authors. Honestly, I just don’t have the funds to buy each and every book of authors that I really like but there are so many ways to show your support. Even a friendly shout out and kudos from a fellow writer is one of the greatest joys and pleasures that I get out of writing that surpasses the delight of actually publishing the book. I made a promise to myself that when I was financially set that I would buy books of fledgling artists but for now my praises are all I have to give.

I’ve been writing professionally since 2016, and I’ve learned the hard way that friends, family, acquaintances, etc. are not always going to be your target audience. Depending on what you write, your style of writing, what you’re trying to depict in your work may not resonate with those in your closest circle. You need to widen the net past those closest to you and start networking and talking to others and build a connection. The novelty wears off after the first book and your friends and family will buy less and less of your work. You need a fanbase and those who follow and support your mission and what you’re hoping to relay with your words. Writing is not a frivolous action. Writers write with meaning, with intention, with the hopes that with every word we write, our readers will decipher and decode our words to learn who we really are as human beings. Writing, to me, is my battle cry. Writing is my way of getting people’s attention to a certain issue that bothers me so that others will get just as passionate and join me in making the world just a little nicer for us all.

Marketing your work takes patience and takes hours of networking. Social media exchanges, blogging, podcasting, newspaper articles, interviews, etc. It’s a lot to digest. Building a writing community with other fellow writers and artists so you don’t feel like you’re in this all alone is paramount to any other action done to create a successful career as an author. A prospective writer needs to decide who they want their demographic to be. Consider why you are writing a piece and why should someone care that you’re writing? It’s so much more than saying here, here’s my book, now give me your money. No, it’s I’ve just poured my heart out on these pages, will you take a chance and read this book? And even though it’s a work of fiction, if you read between the lines, you’ll learn more about me than you’d ever hope to know.

Saying things like I should write a book too truly reduces the hard work that went into writing and presenting this work to others and makes it seem like just anyone can just pick up a pen and write and make a good book. I wrote about this in a blog a year ago where I stated that just because you can string words together in a sentence doesn’t make you a writer and just because you can write doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Everyone’s got a sob story. Everyone has a story they believe would make a great book. But there’s a significant gap between those who feel they could write a book compared to those who actually achieve that goal and make the book a success. I’ve known people who spent their whole lives just writing one novel. I also know people who can crank out book after book after book. Everyone is different. Writing is challenging. People are going to criticize you and diminish you and reduce you to minuscule proportions. Writers develop thick, reptilian skin and rejection and criticism comes with the territory of writing.

You will learn who your true friends are, who your true advocates and champions are, as well as the leeches who hang onto you for dear life hoping you’ll make it big so they have an excuse to follow you around wherever you head next in life and be able to say, “Hey, I know that person! She’s my friend!” When in actuality they are no friend of yours. Other questions to consider: Do you become self-published or traditionally published? What genre you want to write: poetry, short stories, screenplays, movie scripts, tv shows, Broadway plays, novels, fiction, nonfiction, romance, speculative fiction, etc.? Do you get an agent? Do you need an agent? What’s your budget for each work? Can you live without watching t.v., going out with friends and family, and living as a hermit for months until your work is finally finished? Who will edit your work? Are the people you choose to read your work willing to sign non-disclosure agreements? Do you have trustworthy people in your life that will give you helpful, supportive feedback that is not negative or mean-spirited? As a writer, you begin to weed people out of your life who don’t follow or support your mission as a writer. You are either Team me or you’re not. There’s no time for being on the fence or being unsupportive.

I have people who have been reading my blogs, listening to my podcast, and following me since I started writing day one and that is something that I cherish the most. Those who have proven themselves loyal and have stuck by me and have carried me through the worst patches of my life while also joining me in celebration during my triumphs. Life is a nasty road to navigate through and you cannot do it alone. It is an honor and privilege to have you all there alongside me throughout this Odyssey.

Also, the expenses for writing and working really hard trying not to get duped by companies desperately trying to steal your precious dollars for services you don’t need like editing, formatting, book cover creation, submitting to services like Amazon where it’s free to publish, book review services, etc. People just see the final product. The book. And everyone’s suddenly a writer and an expert. It’s a silly thing to say really. And those words shouldn’t be wasted. I don’t want to hear maybe you should write a book too. Come back to me when the statement becomes, “Look, I’ve written a book.” Then we’ll talk. Until then, saying congratulations followed by a period is sometimes all the commentary that’s needed. Thanks for the continued support and thanks to those who have or will purchase the new book. I cherish you all and look forward to new and exciting things that are yet to come.

 

The Spirited Writer-This Week’s Podcast

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ALL WRITTEN AND ARTWORK ARE THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF PSG LOPES, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, 2019.

This week’s Podcast is up! This week I discuss the latest updates on my writing and other projects. I discuss my new Patreon page and what I hope to gain from it and finally I discuss how sometimes strangers are more accepting and supportive of your art than friends and family. All this and more on this week’s Podcast! Thank you all for continuing to read my blogs and listen to my Podcasts and offer your support! It means the world to me!

LISTEN TO THIS WEEK’S PODCAST HERE

VISIT THE MOONLIT GODDESS PATREON PAGE HERE

In Recovery-My first Song Single-The Story Behind the Lyrics

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ALL WRITTEN AND ARTWORK ARE THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF PSG LOPES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, 2019.

I have been dabbling with writing song lyrics since I was a little girl. I was absolutely obsessed with Celine Dion when I was about twelve years old. I played her cassette tapes so often that they’d get destroyed and my older brother would have to keep buying me new ones because I just couldn’t stop listening! I became obsessed with her voice, with the songs she sang, and everything about music in general. I started toying around with music lyrics and even dreamed of one day being able to write a song for someone as amazing as Celine Dion to sing it. As I got older, my tastes in music evolved, adapted, and grew. I still love and appreciate Celine Dion but my tastes have definitely darkened over the years.

My song, “In Recovery,” is definitely a dark song but it’s often misinterpreted. This is a love song about a love that started off positive and nurturing and just turned toxic. This was inspired by a real-life love I had once upon a time and that experience inspired not only the lyrics for this song but for a future book series that I’d eventually like to tackle someday soon.

The song is featured on SoundCloud but is also on Amazon as a compact disc to purchase. The lyrics and melody are my own. Because I didn’t have the means to sing the song myself in a studio and am not knowledgeable in the equipment or software I’d need to record the song myself, I hired outside musicians to record the track. The song is fully registered with ASCAP. I am a member of ASCAP publishing. This was one of the funnest projects I got to work on. Writing can be a very lonely profession. My favorite moments are when I get to network and work with others and collaborate.

My first exposure with collaboration was with this wonderful photographer I met believe it or not while doing my nails (Ironically, this was the last time I’d get my nails done because I just can’t afford such extravagances anymore). She heard my story about how I was a teacher and decided to leave the profession to pursue my writing full-time. She decided to take a professional photograph of me and use it for a series she was working on similar to Humans of NY. That was the first time I actually felt legitimized as a writer. I felt respected in my field and I felt that all of the hardships I had endured in my life all led me to this moment.

The collaborations continued after that with other amazingly talented people. The group who worked on making “In Recovery” happen were amazing. What they do is a great concept. Having a group of musicians and producers help you cut your single and get a suitable demo ready is genius, really! And what I liked the most is that I own the rights to the song 100%. That was very important to me. Having limited funding sucks because you’re at the mercy of others to help you get things done. I hate allowing myself to feel vulnerable and putting others in charge of something that I created but I was grateful that this turned out to be a positive experience.

Earlier this year, I was able to interview a former student of mine on my Podcast and that was also an awesome experience. She is an established comedienne and actress. She is so smart, so talented, and so carefree. She is fearless and I am so proud and so inspired by her positive outlook on life. I interviewed her shortly after I had broken up with my fiance and I feel that having the experience interviewing her gave me the confidence and courage to keep going in my pursuit of creativity.

Since then, I was featured in two newspaper articles celebrating the two books I have published this year so far: My second children’s book and my third poetry anthology.

The next thing I was able to work on this year was creating an audiobook for my first novella, A Wynter’s Tale. I am grateful to have met a wonderful voice-over artist who took on the challenge of reading my novella. She did such an amazing job bringing my characters to life.

I am truly blessed being able to have accomplished everything that I have so far in my creative work. I am working constantly on creating new work, working on my paid pursuits via freelancing and other leads I find. I am excited to be able to continue to pursue my passion in life and that is creating new writing, music, and art for everyone to enjoy.

I am about 75% done writing my second novella, John of Art. The story is really taking shape. I am pleased with where things are heading in the story. The story flows well and I feel that I have created strong characters that many will able to relate to when they read my work. I am searching for an editor to edit my novella once I have finished my first draft. I am also in the market for musicians to help me with a song single that I want to produce that will coincide with the release of the novella. That’s my motivation for starting Patreon. I realize that my ambitions are growing along with my passion and I need help! Up until now, I have been doing things myself in terms of the writing, formatting, book cover, art, illustrations, etc. My sister was my editor for everything up until this point but she wishes to retire LOL. I am grateful to my sister and my mother who have been so super supportive from the very beginning. I am very grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given. I love learning new things and I am constantly striving to do better than the previous work I’ve done.  This journey is definitely a complicated one and one that I am proud to be on. I don’t take anything for granted and recognize how fortunate I am to be given such a gift to be able to write full-time.

Thank you all for reading more about me and what I do. I have embedded my first song single “In Recovery” for you all to listen to and enjoy. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the song. Let me know what you think. Thanks, everyone! Have a great Saturday!

View PSG Lopes/The Moonlit Goddess’ Patreon Page Here