Thought for the Week: Turning Possibilities into Probabilities

possibilites  Last Monday I attended a Toastmasters meeting. I enjoy Toastmasters because the evening is always inspiring. There are always great speeches, interesting club members and something new to learn. Tonight was no different. Each meeting begins with a theme or word of the week. Everyone is to say a bit about him or herself and tell the group what the word means to them. This week’s theme is Possibilities.

I was amazed to listen to different meaning for possibilities. I told of my realizing my possibilities about finally seeing my book published. Someone believed the word’s meaning gave her encouragement to keep going. “If it is possible, then I can make that goal.” She said confidently.

The most beautiful meaning of this word came from Janet. She began a quick story about her statistics professor. She told of how he loved his craft. His lectures were exciting to listen to with chalk dust flying everywhere. His enthusiasm was contagious, she told us. By this time, I was fascinated. First, I cannot imagine anything to do with figures being remotely interesting. Remember, I am a “words” girl. I have a firm belief numbers and letters should never be in the same sentence, especially if the sentence does resemble language.  Subjects like statistics, trigonometry geometry and calculus send me screaming for the hills only after I break out in hives. Number subjects to me are synonymous to the Bubonic Plague.

Listening to her talk with such appreciation for this professor, had me riveted to my seat. Her message was this. In statistics, possibilities are limited. Probabilities are endless. How many of us cheat ourselves from achieving all that is possible by limiting our thoughts? Everyone should strive to turn all of our possibilities into probabilities Do not limit your hopes, dreams; job advancement opportunities Change your thinking to– All my –blank—is probable to me!

Toastmasters train us to become great speakers in any situations. I love the way our members make us think and give us good insight to rethinking what is possible. I wanted to share this with you. How are you thinking this week? Are your goals possible or probable?

Book Update: I received a proof copy of my book this week. The cover is beyond my expectations. I am excited and nervous to read it for the last time before it goes to print. Last week I had a wonderful opportunity to speak to over 150 students about writing and the history. It was exciting to see how many questions these young people asked about becoming an author. Their enthusiasm was so refreshing. They inspired me as much as I hope to have inspired them.

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Season of Waiting with Great Anticipation

images (2)I remember as a young child waiting for Santa and hoping for presents. The season leading up to the Christmas season was very exciting. It all changed when I had children of my own. During this season, I could not wait to see the excitement in my children’s eyes as they opened gifts with enthusiasm. I still love the holiday season. This season of waiting bubbling over with anticipation. Although I am excited about the holidays and thankful for our many blessings. I am even more excited for an email.

Oh, I get plenty of emails daily, but the email I cannot wait to see is the one that contains the edits to my novel. I sit here impatiently waiting for the fateful email to arrive. It is more exciting than anything Santa could put into my stocking. I cannot wait to jump back into the novel to polish and perfect it for you to read.

It is during this time, I feel like I am preparing a stage play. The script, actors, and audience are all preparing to work together to create a production. The script is going through the polishing process. To prepare the actors, I must learn how to act. Acting and public speaking lessons accomplished through Toastmasters. Toastmasters encourage its members to learn how to speak with confidence and professionalism. I will present my first speech in January. These speeches help me prepare me to actively talk about my platform and educate others about the Civil War. As I anxiously prepare my first speeches, I am verbally testing my written work. I found speeches are very challenging. Written work and verbal works sound different. Learning how to speak with animation in a speech is worlds apart from writing it into a scene.

Throughout all of this, I continue to market to get my name known. My author page needs a boost to reach more fans. We jumped out of the gate during the first month, but now I am working hard to keep a presence there. My blog is becoming harder to write, because I found I love talking about politics, but I do not want this blog to focus on this subject. I am contemplating using “Both sides of the story” theme on a different blog. Here I would go back to the beginning of US history and discuss the evolution of our politics. It would certainly involve research and an open mind. For now, I am tabling this idea, until edits are finished and my speeches are polished.

This time of year is full of anticipation. We anticipate seeing family and friends. We anticipate reliving the meaning of the season and its blessings in its most personal ways. This year I am anticipating all of this and so much more. They say hard work pays off. I anticipate good things for next year. I cannot wait to share a new year with all of you. I hope however you celebrate this season, it is full of everything you wish.

Time to Get The Word Out – Marketing Yourself Part One

The time is right. Everything is in its place. I am counting down to my fan page reveal on Facebook. The book will finally be revealed to my family and friends. Thanks to my blogging community, I have felt supported through this journey up to now. I am finally ready to tell my friends and family. I kept it from them because I did not want to ruin a good thing. It is hard for me to think I will hold an actual book in my hands, written by me.  There is no time for sappy thoughts, Now its time to start marketing. This post is about my Marketing to Do List. I think of it as a Bucket List before the Debut.

This month I am focusing on Getting the Word Out. The following points focus on gaining exposure for me as an author. Exposure is the key to the author’s success. Using as many avenues to expose you, the author, increases your recognition. If no one knows me, why would anyone buy my book? Preposterous idea, I know, but the truth hurts sometimes. The next four goals are simply a way for me to stay focused as I get started.

 
Increase Social Media Exposure: Tuesday I will debut my Facebook Fan Page. I recently read three important things to remember about having a successful Facebook. Make the page an interactive one. Three to four posts daily. Second, allow your fans to get to know you. Interacting with them through videos, polls, surveys and giveaways increases fan visits. Finally, the more genuine and transparent a fan page becomes, the more likable the fans perceive you. My publisher will create my website. As soon as the book cover and edits are complete, I will have the complete social package. I will work hard to increase my exposure on WordPress and Twitter too.

 
Write five guest blogs and host five guests on my blog: I found blog interaction increases blog traffic. This accomplishes goals for both guest and host. The best part about blogging is learning the similarities and differences of everyone’s writing journey.

 
Publish a historical article under my name: I have been working with a company as a writer, but all the articles created by me become published under the buyer’s name. This was hard to embrace at first, but I am having fun with it. I have written about a variety of subjects including Organic beekeeping and vacation properties in Miami. The experience is very educational. I am becoming a better writer.

 
Polish my public speaking skills: I love to talk in public. I have a long history of educating visitors at Heritage Hill. I sometimes talk to 200 people per day. It is exhilarating to me. So why do I stumble when I speak formally in front of large groups of people? Enter Toastmasters International. This group has an amazing way of training and transforming you into a confident speaker. Here, I will develop a comfort level speaking in large groups. I will also be very good at giving impromptu speeches. Did you know author’s who are comfortable speaking in public are viewed as more approachable and knowledgeable?

 
There you have it, the beginning game plan. Marketing yourself is a challenge.  The two things I like about marketing. One is how fast it builds confidence. The second,is the wonderful people I will meet. Writing is a hard career for a social butterfly. Writers spend hours alone with their word processors. Getting out speaking about our work is a welcomed change of pace that can be very rewarding. Please feel free to leave your comments or additions to help others and me in the marketing journey. I look forward to hearing from you.