Ignore em’, trash em’. Rolling with Rowling…

“You’ll never make money writing children’s book,” said an Authors agent. Then you’re faced with 12 rejections of your manuscript. What now? What next?

Why bother?

What now? Hand your book proposal to another Publisher. What next? Get your book published. Why bother? Because you have worked hard to craft and polish your children’s book manuscript, you feel compelled to get the story published, and why not just go for it? Hmmm 12 publisher rejections is a lot. Maybe you won’t make any money with this book, maybe the children’s genre is not a safe bet?

It’ll never succeed, this was all a wasted effort. I’ll stop. That’s it, enough is enough. Maybe the agent and publishers are right. My book is pointless, it won’t sell.

What if J.K Rowling had ended her thought trail on the above sentiments? 12 manuscript rejections, the utterance of children’s book not making money by her own literary agent. This all happened to the author of the multi-million selling Harry Potter books. What if she never got past no, never got past the disbelief, past the disappointments? She’d be just like the rest of us. Nothing wrong with that. But think of all that she would have missed out on: the film and franchise of her beloved Harry and becoming the World’s 1st Billionaire Author! She still is like the rest of us: enjoying family, taking the bus with the same insecurities and same desire for happiness in life.

So sometimes we have to ignore the critics say eff-U to those lacking faith in your genuine brilliance and trash the insecurities to do what you were born to do, even if it just means getting it outta your system and completing a goal.

Sometimes so called experts o the highly experienced are wrong. Sometimes you have to get their opposing views outta your head because they are just plain wrong and they are more than opposing you they are oppressing you. True leadership and brilliance is rare and sometimes a Ph.D is meaningless other times not. It’s a constant weighing up and making black and white what we do and what we hear.

First analyse and rigorously dissect the good, bad and ugly of your work or goals. If it is truly good enough go for it. Focus on it:

Follow

One

Course

Until

Successful

And then you meet the gatekeepers they say no. Plough through or find another passageway to get into. The CEO, the project manager or the publisher says no. Is it true what they are saying? Sometimes it might not be. You cannot disregard specialist’s. But other times you may have to. That’s the hard part, having to efficiently identify that distinction. Sadly all the titles, qualificatiosn and experience can be futile, and their opinion is simply an abyss into Hell if you follow their ‘advice’.

Ignore them and you may be taking the Stairway to Heaven or Highway to Hell. That’s a distinction to figure out later when you hit the Big Time!

Copyright © 2015 by Catherine Vaughan All rights reserved. This article or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the blogger except for the use of brief quotations in non-commercial uses permitted by copyright law.

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The Ten Commandments of Blogging:

ArtsyJolieGirl.com is a Year old and to celebrate I am sharing my Top 10 Commandments of the Blogosphere!

1) “Thou art the creator and source of thou blog post ideas, photo’s and quotes.” If you are not ensure to add the web-link/credit of the source of a photo you’re using, reference the quote you’re copying and do your best to add an original twist to your blog posts.

2) “Thou shalt not maketh your blog a copycat of what is out there in the blogosphere.” Continue to cultivate your writer’s voice whilst challenging yourself to write and present ideas in a compelling and unique angle.

3) “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.”

4) “Remember the blogger’s Sabbath day, or week or month.” It is good to take time out of blogging once you have a consistent, daily stream of readers (regardless of amount). Take for example the time I took June 2015 away from blogging. I left a static blog post highlighting my one month sabbatical and directed folks to The Artsy Jolie Girl Official Facebook Page. Upon my return in July 2015 my daily readership increased despite going M.I.A. Remember a consistent readership must first be cultivated before you attempt this. The way to create that is by following these commandments and keeping a consistent blogging schedule even if it is only once a week you upload a new post. One blog post a week is 52 articles in a year! That is a great amount of digital footprint already!

5) “Honour thy blogging intentions and desires don’t succumb to changing thy tone or topics to what is popular or currently trending.” Stay true to your passions! Unless you specifically blog about a topic bound by current affairs such as economics or a politics etc.

6) “Thou shalt create compelling content.” From adding a photo to creating a catchy title never forget how essential these basics are to driving traffic to your blog.

7) “Thou shalt include large and high quality photos and or videos onto thy blog.”

8) “Thou shalt develop a social media presence to attract more readers to your blog.” Choose a social media platform you feel most comfortable with e.g. Facebook, instagram or tumblr. Where possible list your website address, create a relevant hashtag for followers to engage with or share old blog posts on the social media site of your choice.

9) “Thou shalt not tell lies or distort facts on their blog.” Likewise don’t believe everything you read online. People of the digital world are not always who they portray themselves to be. Enjoy making connections online but exercise caution too!

10) “Thou shalt not covet other bloggers or other social media users who have fancier web design or more followers etc.” Just focus on developing the best blog content you can and don’t shy away from chances to learn more to help you master media. Here are some great videos I have used to learn more about the digital side of writing and promoting:

Top 5 Controversial Photography Tips from Steve McCurry.

Here are the highlights of Steve McCurry’s talk with Tim Marlow at Hay Festival 2015

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   1. Don’t ask for permission to take photos of strangers.

Interestingly McCurry is firm in his belief over the precedence of capturing a shot over the hesitation of appropriateness. For example as McCurry’s photography usually is taken in challenging climates for example war zones or during a human struggle like health. Unless there is an express rejection (i.e. a distressed shaking of the head, a hand gesturing the camera away or someone actively asserting no photos to be taken) then Steve McCurry will take a photo of the individual or persons regardless of the state they are in distressed or otherwise. Of course this raises ethical concerns and a fine balance of permission, respect must unite with the Photographer’s prerogative and aim of capturing raw, graphic truth onto physical image. Also it is impossible in a war zone! Notably the Magnum Photographer mentioned how the medium of street photography does not typically request permission to photograph, such requests are tricky given the masses of people potentially present at say a festival being shot and it an awareness of being filmed understandably changes the subject’s behaviour due to the awareness of being seen etc.

2. On the flipside for one-on-one photographs ask permission.

A classic example would be when Sharbat Gula a.k.a ‘The Afghan Girl’ 1984 shot was reunited with the famed photographer in 2002 for a second portrait of her.

3. “Extensively, compulsively and obsessively,” reiterated by Tim Marlow on how determinedly dedicated a photographer must be to retain his body of work. McCurry also asserts that “my camera is my notebook.” Thereby photos taken on a camera are not jut for the portfolio but a means of generating ideas and capturing inspiring moments for future projects.

  4. Never take Beautiful photos.

Or rather don’t aim to take conventionally pretty shots. Beauty is never the prime focus of this world famous photographer.

   5. Photography is your Life.

McCurry is so dedicated, obsessed and in love with this medium that he is never really not photographing even when on restful holidays he feels compelled to use his camera!

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Hay Festival 2014: Travel Tips (Part 1)

Hay-On-Wye is a magical and whimsical little market town on the English/Welsh borders-near my hometown. Plenty of charming bookshops, cafés and gift shops. And once a year there is an inflow of literary and artistic minds gathered to educate, entertain and inspire.

Ironically for the past 5 years I had not attended an event because I was too busy working in a bookshop or always seemed to book my annual vacation in Malta on the exact same week!

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I was fortunate to get a Monday afternoon off and scoured the pages for events to attend. Of course nobody around me gives a damn about reading, the arts so I knew I would be riding solo yet again.

I was very nearly going to attend Mr Hook of Sotheby’s talk on the Art World and his book but then there was a picture book panel with three illustrators/creative extraordinaire’s so being as ridiculously frugal as I am I figured it’d be a three for one which would be a more efficient use of my time.

JpegJpegAs you can see the festival like many other literary ones are a series of connected maze-like tents. The entrance to the festival can get very muddy and you would not be out of place to wear wellies particularly as our British Summer may decide to drizzle on us or worse! My Clarke ballet flats fortunately got over the very unbearable though brief exposure to wet mud.  JpegIt does understandably get very busy and jam-packed as you walk around the tent but it is not that gigantic, you will not get lost and the loos are onsite and easy to get to though the queues for them can be enormousJpegFor some reason I did not eat a thing that whole afternoon so have no idea what the onsite cafés and food stalls are like. There is plenty of seating area in some open café areas.

A note on travel:

Because I live nearby I simply hopped onto my local 39 Hereford to Hay-on-Wye bus. It is an hour ride possibly £9 return ticket if my memory serves. I did notice that the special Festival Bus link last year were late. From what I heard from other festival goers the Festival bus was an hour late and it’s route were delayed (on the Monday I went.) So a lot of people that previously purchased festival bus tickets paid again to use the local 39 Yeomans bus. This Yeomans bus is not in service during the late evening. Anyhoo the drive/ride from Hereford to Hay is beautiful, scenic and quintessentially British. Once you arrive at Hay there are buses going back and forth regularly to the festival site and it’s £1 return to and from Hay and the site. It’s a very quick journey 10 mins max. I hope that helps!