Hi and Welcome to the A & J PEI Treasures E Jean Simpson Author Blog Post and Podcast. I’m your host, Jean coming to you from the beautiful Province of Prince Edward Island, Canada!! Today’s podcast and blog post centers on one of the philosophies I have of life. Begin with a Dream…and repeat. If you want to learn more about how this fits in with life and art, then stay tuned!
Most people have a dream that is unattainable or unlikely such as win the lotto. As they say, lottos are just a tax on people who are bad at math…though enough people do win to make it seems more easily attainable than some things. The thing about dreams that are not highly likely to be obtained, the person tends to get discouraged by not being able to reach it. Of course, one thing leads to another and they get sidetracked along the way. Things don’t always turn out the way you think they should, but dreams and goals still remain important. As C.S. Lewis said, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” So, when things take a downturn in your life, make sure you have a goal or a dream that keeps you moving forward.
I have always been a Maritimer. I was born in the Maritimes and even though I had to leave during a lot of my working life, I always knew I would want to come back to the Maritimes. I once told a cousin, I dream big. I want to move back to the Maritimes and have a dog and cat. I have attained that dream. You see what I mean about having a dream that has some likelihood of being reached. It is more motivational to have reached a dream that is realistic because then you can dream a new dream and set a new goal and sometimes make them ever more ambitious. Prince Edward Island was where I really wanted to come home to. So, now we have our little piece of land and are within a short walk to water. Though not everything is perfect, it is what I wanted out of life. I either am easily made happy or I have to get better at dreaming. I’ve never been all that into big or fancy. For example, my wedding dress was on sale $50…of course that was over 30 years ago too. Though a big house would be nice, it would require a lot of care anyway. So, I kind of tend toward realism with my general life dreams.
Now, you say, you are living in the Maritimes, and you have your dog and cat. Now what? Well, as one attains the larger goal, in our case, we found that the property needed work, so our goal is to get the place up to what we would want. Flooring, painting, roofing and all the renovation work has been part of our work projects and with limits on budget, we tend to do the work ourselves. It has allowed us to gain some YouTube videos for some of our projects. We have other projects that we’ve done for YouTube as well. We do all the video work ourselves and all the project work we possibly can ourselves.
Then with COVID, I was given an opportunity to reawaken a long forgotten dream which was to create some sort of artistic life for myself. I chose e-books as I had a very limited budget and had played with writing earlier in life. I have to complete all the work to do it, but I create. I can’t do designed book covers, I have to make my own. I don’t stop writing because it isn’t easy. I love all the creative work that I do. I believe that people are at their best when they are working on something, being busy and productive. People who do not have anything to do tend to get in trouble. I’ve seen it over and over again. They look for something to take up their time. They get into things that they generally wouldn’t if they were busy and generally not always the best things to be involved in. So, this is where goals and dreams are a good idea. Always keep one or two on the back burner. I highly recommend it. One is always happier when they are doing something productive. Destructive activity doesn’t really make anyone happy. Oh people think they are having fun while messing up someone else’s stuff or putting down someone or trolling. They think they are enjoying themselves, but how much can someone like themselves if they have to put down others to feel good about themselves? The other thing people get into is alcohol and drugs. It is better to be busy and working on something. It’s better to have a goal or a dream that keeps you on a path toward higher aspirations.
Then I decided that I wanted to bring our beautiful area and Province to life for others who could not be here. Not everyone can travel. It is a way to give people a look at the beauty that surrounded us. So, I now have my Twitter account and I have my e-books on Amazon and am working toward putting them on Smashwords as well. I have opened a blog post and podcast for the blog post thus giving people various options for accessing some of my work and bringing the beautiful Island of Prince Edward Island further into the view of the online world. It is life in the Maritimes that has reawakened my love of nature and photography. I write when I can. I also have to maintain the social media for our A & J PEI Treasures. So, my new dream was to open our area to the world who cannot be here and show what a lovely world we live in. I am able to show our beautiful area around Prince Edward Island on social media and in my e-books. All my work uses photography from various locations in the area. Some of my e-books show areas that we had lived in previously. They all tell a story; our story and the story of the areas that we have seen. You see, to me, writing is a creative life affirming project. It is creating beauty and allows people to see and create their own idea of what I have in my e-books and photography. I see so many who want to write to make money and this seems the overriding impetus. Not that making money is bad. I’d be happy to make money from my writing, but it is not my first thought when writing. Some also place focus on writing to have a top selling book. This is not bad, but it does make creativity and creating take a back seat to what is popular and what will sell. If everyone does that, then I fear we will become a cookie cutter world with nothing to offer but ‘viral’ stuff. High quality artists have always bucked the trends and the trends changed somewhat as a result. New ideas come to life. There has been the same sort of thing going on for generations, but within it lies the seeds of creative endeavours. They may take a lot longer to get notice or interest, and they may not. But, being creative allows you to put yourself into the art and your creativity may awaken others to a new or different method of being. Life is about what you make and give out. It’s not about what you can take or take from others. It’s about what you can give. At least that is my philosophy.
Of course media creation is not perfect either. I had things go wrong with accounts. I had to close some accounts. I had to follow up on some accounts. The problem with any online endeavour is that something can go wrong and some days it seems like it all does go wrong. I’ve had accounts messed up. I’ve found some of my work misused and misattributed. When this happens, I have, in the past, even had to file RCMP reports for anyone to take it seriously. There are perhaps some who make errors and they will take things down fast. The ones that intend to make what they can on the back of others will ignore you and hope you will go away. Those are the ones that I have had the most trouble with. They don’t have something they can do themselves so try to devalue the person who wants to offer what little they can to the world. Do not be fooled, these are not happy people and you must be wary of them.
I find that those who take the whole endeavour too seriously in the realm of money making tend to make the least progress. They are so busy trying to make a buck out of it that they lose something. The people who seem to have the more creative art of all sorts are those that create for themselves. Many of the great artists were not appreciated fully at first. Many kept at it despite the lack of appreciation for their skills. Some things are timeless. Some things are not. It’s up to each person to decide who they want to be and what they want to do with regard to art, authorship and in life. Few ways are truly wrong. I think if one does what they can and to the best of their ability, they often feel more at peace with their art form and their lives. It isn’t a hustle, it’s their aspirations and they follow their higher aspirations. Knowing right for them from wrong for them is a huge step and really isn’t that easy a step to take. It sounds easy. You hear the same complaints in the world of music where the musician is accused of doing it for the money and losing the art in the process in movies and reviews. This isn’t a new or unheard of concept.
What I suggest is that one forget the millions of voices telling you this is how you should be doing things. There are some things that you do have to follow. E-book formatting is not negotiable…you need to follow the formatting rules of the e-book. You need to follow the podcasting method that you choose. You need to have decent photographs or whatever art form you choose. You need to put the work in. This is not negotiable. But, be the seeker, the doer, the artist. I tried to read an e-book that was made for a course. It was offered free. I think I expected to see something about creative process. Instead it was a book full of how much money you have to spend, how you have to do it this way or that way. This is how you get passive income to get money to publish. Sure, if you can afford it, you can get things designed and done for you if you can pay enough. If you can’t afford to, then you do what you have to and often that consists of working hard to get your work out.
I’ve noticed some authors who try to follow every tip from every tip e-book/book. It didn’t make them better writers….it just made them frustrated and jump from thing to thing. They burn out, come back for a bit, and disappear again. Nothing is consistent. If you have a book or a painting or any other project in you and you want to do it, then do it. If you worry about following someone else’s formula for success, you may never get your art out of your head and onto a forum. Be courageous and dream big. Don’t let anyone take your dreams away. Fight if you have to, but keep your dreams alive.
That said, if your dreams change, that is a whole different thing. If you find that you aren’t happy with what you are doing, then it’s never too late to change direction and find a different way to process your life. As Joyce Meyer said, “It’s never too late for a new beginning in your life.” You can always turn around if you find yourself doing something not in keeping with your goals and dreams.
Just one more thing. I have one of my children’s e-books up for a 2021 TCK award Category is 5. General Non-Fiction. https://www.tckpublishing.com/2021-readers-choice-voting-page/ The Big Kids Magical Path to Colours in Nature. If you have a moment, we could use some votes.
Thanks for listening to my podcast and/or reading my blog post and thanks for your interest in A & J PEI Treasures!
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Keep watching for more e-books and more formats! I’m always working on something!