“I found myself wishing I could go back and tell the (3 years ago) version of myself a few key things that would have made all the difference.”
How long have you been an Entrepreneur?
Did you leave a job to become an Entrepreneur?
What is the name of your current project / company?
Whispers from Cat
Please describe for us in 1 sentence your current project.
Self-publish high-quality and engaging stories, expand my social media network, and continue to blog on subjects I’ve learned along the way.
Where did the idea of your current project come from?
I eat, drink, and breathe writing. This is a passion of mine that began young and has never let go. With the tools available to me online, it’s the best time for me to work to make writing my career.
Why do you do what you do?
It’s difficult, loving anything with all our heart. Especially when we’ve been pushed down, left behind, or told that we’re just not good enough. There is nothing that hurts more in this world than to have loved and lost.
However, picking ourselves up, brushing away the dust, and continuing down the paths of what we love most is what defines us; what shapes us as people.
Which is why I will never stop writing.
There are few things in this world that call to me more than the written word. No matter what odds are stacked against me, what abuse of the system there may be, I can’t let these stories–these characters–sleep in silence. So I will press on, tell the tales that need to be told, and heaven help the ones who stand in my way.
What’s the one thing you wish you could go back and tell your younger self?
I’m a believer that even the smallest change in a timeline could alter everything that happened. So, if I could tell myself anything, it’s this: “Someday people will appreciate what you do. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”
What’s the most important piece of advice would you give to someone just starting?
There are three things to this endeavor that someone just starting out needs to know:
1. Be open to criticism
2. You can’t do this alone
3. Don’t give up
This is a world where, as an author, you need readers. To gain readers, you need reviews and for reviews, you have to garner interest. It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, effort, and patience. The learning curve is sky-high. To soak in as much knowledge as possible, you must be able to accept criticism and at times change what you thought was correct the first time. It can be so difficult to not take it personally, but it’s an absolute requirement.
What is the hardest thing you have had to do regarding your business?
Forcing myself to write. Many writers depend on “the muse:” the little voice in our heads that tells us the next direction to go with the story. Most days, I don’t have one. Sitting down at a blank screen or empty notebook is one of the most intimidating things I have to go through when starting a new story. Even so, I’ve learned that getting words down on the paper is more important than leaving it empty..
What does your typical day look like?
Coffee first. Always. Afterwards, I schedule 3 or 4 tweets on Twitter, update and check Facebook, then respond to any e-mail, Facebook, or Twitter messages. Then I set three or four hours aside to write without distraction. If I’m just beginning a story, this can include outlining the story, research on the setting, or creating character sheets. When time is up, I take a break and play video games or watch Netflix. Afterwards, I like to plan my next blog post, work with my cover artist on what covers I’ll need next, and finish off the evening with more writing or reading.
If you were to start again, and could change one thing, what would it be?
I would publish what I wanted to write from the get-go. For a few months, I chased the popular genres on the market and I hated writing for them. Stories where I enjoy the characters and plot really shine against the ones I forced myself to write. I wound up removing the genres I wasn’t comfortable with from all sales channels in the end..
What is the most important thing in life?
To recognize and celebrate personal success, no matter the magnitude. It could be finishing a chapter, querying an agent, or finishing the first draft of a manuscript. Rewarding ourselves for these milestones is vital to keep motivations high.
What is one problem you encountered as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
As a writer, there are a handful of options to find success. The first choice after finishing a manuscript is whether to self-publish or follow the traditional route of publishing. When I first looked into self-publishing, I never realized how much there was to it. All of the methods of distribution, social media, handling everything from editing to cover design by myself. I was overwhelmed. I sought advice from others in the same industry through Twitter, local writing groups, Amazon’s forums, and Facebook. I overcame my concerns through trial and error and finding what readers were drawn to and enjoyed. It’s still a learning process, but I enjoy the challenge very much.
Tell us something unique about yourself.
I love video games, anime, tabletop games, and miniature painting. I have four rabbits that I love and I’ve dabbled in cosplay for the last decade.