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Morning! Yesterday was one of the craziest days I have had in a long time. Amid the wonderful events (and the chaotic ones), I had my first meeting about purchasing printing equipment for Rebirth Publishing. Initially, the price tag for doing things in the traditional fashion blew my mind away, but as reason settled, I began to look for more unconventional methods. Since when I have ever done anything conventionally? I am on the trail of a good lead. Pray that I will have wisdom. God is doing wonders for my company and it is an exciting time!

Meanwhile, check out my new Facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jessie-Mae-Hodsdon/219421818200890?fref=ts

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I finally have all the deadlines for college sorted out. I graduate February 18th. Knowing the deadlines makes graduation seem actually real. Between the joy of writing this short story and working with my new novel, Mark of Orion, I am all-too-ready to begin my adventures as a full-time writer. So without further introduction, here is part two of ‘The Man in the Attic’–the Christmas short featuring characters from The Xsardis Chronicles.

The Man in the Attic Part 2

Thanks to everyone who read and commented on yesterday’s portion of ‘The Man in the Attic’! Help us spread the news about the Xsardis Chronicles through your Facebook and Twitter accounts!

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Today took an unexpected course. I anticipated it would be primarily school work, but there was some shopping that had to be done for one of my projects. My mom and I ended up running errands for most of the afternoon. But by the end of the day, I had finished a big project that will hopefully earn me three credits, spent lots of time with my mother, and enjoyed dinner and a movie with my parents. Awesome!

A day like this seems to leave me hungry for writing. The words and ideas were overloading my brain cells by the end of dinner. Of course, when I got to my computer they took a while to return to me. Once they did, my brain was set on fire again and I can hardly wind myself down for sleep. As my Facebook post said, “Novel writing is bad for one’s sleeping habits…” but very fun! I am on the verge of beginning an exciting part of my story and I can hardly wait.

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Authors’ chief struggle is not deadlines. It is not criticism. It is not even writer’s block, despite how I splutter about it. The biggest struggle is, in fact, a very common problem no matter what line of work you pursue: fear.

What we write is so close to our souls that our hearts threaten to break every time someone reads our work and is less than nice about it. criticism is key amongst writers. Without it we cannot get better. It is part of publishing and school and everything in between. So many people never get past the notebook-stage because they do not want to share their work. Before this is you, there are steps you should take. (For this blog I will use the example of a poet.)

Get your work out there. Start a blog where you publish your poems. Force yourself to put up two or three a week, giving you a feel for deadlines, feedback and generally understanding what publicity feels like. This also serves to get your name out there. Who knows but that you could start to have a very faithful following? A book offer might follow.

Don’t bury your blog. Sometimes authors can write their poems, post them and then forget. Don’t let this be you! Make your Facebook status that you have new poem up, add a comment on Twitter. If you are really brave, post on relevant groups’ Facebook walls about your poem.

Share your poems with friends and family. You will find that the pressure of having someone else read it will make your work better. If they offer criticism you will be doubly blessed (though it will not feel like it). Force a day to come when you can share your work with other writers, who may be in the media business or blogging. Getting your work into the hands of people in your industry (even if the poems are not perfect) is a very, very good thing. Name recognition is key.

These three suggestions are difficult and often overlooked, but they are baby steps that will keep you from losing your will to publish. Criticism is never easy. Sharing is always terrifying. Just yesterday my Rhetoric professor read a paper that I knew to be terrible and I squirmed under her perceptive eye. Soon I will begin editing Xsardis with my mother and it is going to kill me to cut out phrases and characters. Blogging even can be difficult. I erase dozens of Facebook statuses for the few I post. But letting your work out for people to see is key if you want to be a writer. Practice!

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