Tag Archives: better

Meet My New Friend

26 May

Patti Aaron OrcasA love letter to my beta readers

As I hit the send button, and my final manuscript zipped through the ether to my proofreader, I felt I should formally thank the most unexpected new friend on this book-writing journey…

Critique.

Do you wince at the word? At the beginning of this story, I would’ve. Hell, even six months ago, I would’ve. Humans tend to want the quickest, least challenging route from A to B, even if it’s not always the best. (Pro tip: Nine times out of ten, it won’t be.)

That’s why Critique sounds to many of us like nails on a chalkboard. It’s hard to hear. It slows you down and sometimes even send you in the opposite direction. It often requires change. At best, you need to rethink a problem. At worst, you practically need to rewire a part of your brain.

It’s hard hard work.

As a matter of fact, it’s so hard that many avoid it altogether, myself included. Just the idea of getting over that hump mountain to the other side makes people pursue every other route, from denial and excuses to apathy and even giving up.

But the truth is, there’s a paradise of possibilities beyond, and Critique is the only friend you can truly trust to get you there.  Continue reading

Work Better

29 Aug

CrashTestDummyAs we approach Labor Day, I’d like to make this public service announcement:

You don’t have to work harder to work better.

If I read that before I started my freelance business, I would’ve thought, “Yeah, right.”

But five years of being my own boss has taught me many surprising things about true productivity, all of which have nothing to do with stress and cashing in valuable personal time for more work time.

As we approach the coming month, why not give these a try? Continue reading