Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!
What is/are the story(ies) behind your book(s)?
I am a single parent. It came at a time in my life when I was seeking to live a simple life. In the course of my search I discovered minimalism. I embraced minimalism in order to make our living space work for us. I didn’t want to be a parent whose home erupted with toys and baby stuff. I strive to keep the essence of who I am while also being a good parent.
Learning more about minimalism, it fit perfectly into my life as a single parent. The more I got rid of clutter, the more my life opened up. I was able to follow my dream of traveling the world.
It is a phenomenon that’s so inspiring I wrote my book to give other parents, especially single parents, the keys follow their dreams.
What inspires/inspired your creativity?
My creativity is inspired by the life I live and doing the things that I love.
How do you deal with creative block?
I don’t have creative blocks, I have momentary pauses in the flow of getting the information out. I have many ideas and projects that come to me. I must take the time to organize and use my time effectively so that I can share the information. I want to continue to live a great life so that I can continue to receive ideas and not become a workaholic.
If I sat down and worked on my ideas all the time, I would lose the joy that I have with the life I live.
What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?
The biggest mistake in writing a book would be not conveying the message I try to share. I knew I needed a professional editor after I finished the work on my first book. I sat on the completed work for about a year because I didn’t feel that I had conveyed the message well. I needed someone to read it and make sure it was not incoherent noise.
Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?
You must play with titles. It is important to find something simple that can convey what the book is about. Use key words. I am simple. That’s all I do.
For the cover of my book, I follow suggestions and use work that is already available. There are freelancers, covers for sale, etc. I look for images that convey the message to speaks to me. If I don’t like it, if it doesn’t speak to me and I don’t feel love for it, I can not use that cover.
How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?
There will always be someone who does not like the message I bring. That is not my problem. That is their problem. Maybe they can not understand my message because they have too much emotional baggage. I am not going to let their world view affect what I am doing. I love what I am doing and I am happy.
How has your creation process improved over time?
The more that I work on projects, the easier I find to bring all of my ideas together. I know where to look for different aspects of the work. This helps the work flow smoother. I can get more done in a shorter period of time.
What were the best, worst and most surprising things you encountered during the entire process of completing your book(s)?
The best thing was the favorable accolades I received from true friends and family. They were pulling for me the whole time.
The most surprising thing was that once the work was done, it was not as difficult as I made it out to be in my mind. Once I actually got the work done, it seemed so simple.
The worst thing was that I waited so long, even though I believe that it happened at the right time.
Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?
I would like to say that I balance the two. However, personal satisfaction is even more important than my readers. I am satisfied if I can serve the needs of my readers and their expectations. However, there are topics that I need to discuss, that someone needs to hear. They may not be current readers, they may be future readers. So I must be satisfied with my work more than anything else.
I would rather someone come across the work that I am doing and be angry about it right now, review it in a few years time and find that it is applicable to them.
What role do emotions play in creativity?
They are very important. Even if it is a bad day, I feel we can still be creative. However we can let our creativity flow easier if we are in a better mood. Therefore we must know ourselves well and remember tips and tools we have used in the past to get us to a better mind frame so that our creativity can flow. It doesn’t have to be an excellent place, but a good one so we can tap into our creative place. We are all creative. Tapping into it is key.
Do you have any creativity tricks?
One thing I like to do is go for a walk. When I go I have a phone with me. I pull a phone out and speak the thoughts that start flowing in my head. Sometimes I can use immediately, some at a later date. I also practice being curious.
When I leave my house I ask,”What am I going to see today?” “What am I going to experience today?” It helps to do this especially on days when I am feeling down and uninspired. Being open to seeing, hearing or doing something special, I receive exactly what I am looking for that day. It may only be 5 minutes of something special, but it is enough.
What are your plans for future books?
I have many plans. A book about teaching English in China, and after that a wellness book. A book about my travels in France, then another book about my travels in China or worldwide as a single parent. I expect to be very busy.