Category Archives: My Books

F-n Good Article

Amateur vs Professional. Can anyone really define the difference, the grey area, the line in the sand between these two categories bestowed on creative people? Artists? Authors? Well, maybe and maybe not.

What I like is that this article tried to draw the line and define the difference. At times the article is gut wrenching. At other parts, I find myself nodding my head in agreement. Yes, yes, so true…

Do you want to know for sure if you are an amateur or professional artist? Do you already know? Read the article here.

This is a fu–ing good article because each time I read it, and I’ve read it many times over the past three years I see more wisdom and I also recognize the lies I tell myself.

In my most recent reading, the advice in warning number 7 gave me prickles on my spine and at the base of my neck. Ugh, yes I tell myself… ugh. Number 7 – “Amateur artists never finish their work.” There are several projects I promised myself I’d complete this year (2016) and they are still on the table. A second Conscious Curiosity book for the self – yep, not yet started, but I said I would. A Dorkey Doodle coloring book that I created – yes, almost complete, yet stalled…. Then there is a set of postcard designs I made initial sketches for… another stall… and I could go on. and on.

I guess I’m still in amateur stage, but this saddens me to say, because on another level I feel like I AM a professional. I have given myself to making art and writing for so long that I cannot even imagine myself doing anything else anymore.

Enough lamenting. Professional vs Amateur. Who really cares? Why label? Why categorize?

Anyway, if you’re interested, it IS a very good article: 9 Warning signs

I dearly hope you are kinder to yourself than I am to myself.

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Face Fear

There is quite a lot to learn about fear. We can focus on it, forget it, or face it. The thing is, I have noticed that what we ignore tends to stay stuck. I do not want to stay stuck in fear. Do you?

Your fear is the most boring thing about you.
— Elizabeth Gilbert

Below is a sample from a journal page of the fears I faced a year ago when I choose to write and self publish my book, Conscious Curiosity.

“I fear that I will not reach as many people as I wish to reach with the content in this book. I fear a dud, like the cheap smoke bombs my children used to buy in China Town in San Francisco. They’d light the fuse…wait…and nothing. I have written and shared what I think might help, but I may be creating a dud…a project I launch, I promote, I wait, and I find nothing on the other end but myself still wondering about how to make a more three dimensional and full life with my partner in life and with myself.”

I faced my fear a year ago and self-published my book in spite of my self-doubts.

Now, a year later, I continue to face fear. Daily. I write or draw or paint and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes, I move through the day reciting to myself, “I am enough” and “hello fear, let’s play today.” I do this in the hopes that fear listens and realizes, “yes, she is enough and she is ready, let’s let her have this project.” Then, I create. The projects I work on, I am prepared to share. Even with fear coming along for the ride.

Picture of Conscious Curiosity open on a table.

During the writing process of my first book, I had decided at some point that I am willing to put myself out there. Willing to take a risk. Willing to create even if I did not find readers. Fear lurked in every corner every day. The more I worked the smaller fear became.

I will continue to write more, draw more, paint more, and share more.

I face fear. Do you?

PS. I significantly lowered the price on my book. You can now purchase it at $13.00 instead of $19.95 (use the link above).

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Designed to Sell: Turn Your Creativity Into a Career

Catchy title eh?

I took it from another blogger/on-line business, please see credit below.

One year ago I self-published a book that I had designed to sell. I created every page, every word, the cover, the content, the chapter breaks, the paragraphs, the font – yes, even the font! I had plans to sell a minimum of 400 copies, I felt that if I could do that then, “I would be an author!”

Picture of Conscious Curiosity open on a table.

Picture of Conscious Curiosity open on a table.

I sold 79 copies.

I gave away about 18 copies.

I am an author?

I ran marketing on my blog, Facebook, Amazon, and through word of mouth. I placed it in two retail stores for sale.

None of this was enough to: “turn my creativity into a career.”

Or maybe it does? The career definition does not include income… or maybe it does…. does it matter?

All of what I did makes me proud. The book sales. The recognition, and proud that I listened to my inner muse, followed through, made the work, shared the work, and also that I can say today: “One year ago I published my first book.”

You can still buy a copy on CreateSpace:

Conscious Curiosity: Communicating to Connect

Or Amazon.

Several months ago I promised myself I would begin another book. That has not happened yet, but the itch is getting stronger. And as Elizabeth Gilbert would say, the idea wants to be brought forth, if not with me, it will travel to another. I don’t want this to happen, I want my next book idea to be written by me.

When I do my next work I am going to work to please my inner muse. My creativity is too important to me to give it the nomenclature of “career.”

To those of you who purchased a copy of my book, THANK YOU!

Source of blog title: Designed to Sell : Turn Your Creativity Into a Career

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My Promise

I cannot promise you very much. But I wish to talk about promises anyway. You may know by now, I wrote a book and published it last year. Bla Bla, I know you’ve heard this before.

To finish the book, I was following a promise to myself.

Do you make promises to yourself? Ones you can’t keep? Ones you don’t keep? Are you already tired of the topic of making promises (aka New Years Resolutions)? We are already 15 days into the new year! Ack! You feeling it? Yea, me too! I have not focused enough to get going on any new new promises to myself! Except, I HAVE upped my workout routine! Ouch, my body is sore.

I’m still gonna talk about promises for a bit!

A few years ago I made a promise to myself that I would write a book and publish it. I had no publisher in mind. I had no plan for self-publishing. I had no idea how to self-publish. I only knew I would learn along the way. I knew I wanted to keep my promise to myself.

I wish now, that I knew what motivated the promise to myself so that I could conjure up that moxie again this year!

Let me be clear, when I promised myself I’d write a book, I did not know if any of the content would be of any use to others. I actually did not fully know what it was that I was going to write. I could only hope and pray and… write. The book got much fuller than I thought it would be. And then I published it. And now. Here I am, nine months later, and I’m still talking about the book – Conscious Curiosity! I promise you I will make new work soon (so that you can read about new stuff).

But, I still have a few thoughts about my book, Conscious Curiosity. I wrote the book so that people could figure out ways into deeper conversations with their partner. However, I cannot promise that people will have great conversations all of the time. Especially, not just because of my book! Heaven’s no! There is, as I have said before, no quick fix to life’s wacky moments and twists of fate. I am a dreamer, but also a realist.

I continue to dream of a world where we all are connected, and we KNOW that we are connected. In so knowing, we become and are kinder and more loving to one another and to ourselves.

Back to my book and my promise.

Conscious Curiosity changed my life. Or maybe it’s just me, and my husband and how we worked together that changed our life. Maybe life changed because that’s what life does. I’ll never really know. You could read Conscious Curiosity. I make no promises that it will change your life. Ha! Still, you never know…

Here is The Promise.

Did you notice the capital letters in: The Promise above? I am going to devote the next six weeks to exploring the idea of Conscious Curiosity, again. This time Conscious Curiosity: Communicating With Oneself (as opposed to Communicating to Connect, as in with a partner as my first book explored). I am curious if there is another book in me. I am curious if I could learn to be kinder and more loving to myself. I am curious about what would happen if I became consciously curious about connecting to my deepest being. This curiosity stems from two things: my first book and my new training in Yoga Teacher Training.

I promise to let my readers – you – know how I am coming along. Ugh, ok. There. I said it. Out loud – sorta – on the internet. Last time, the Docents of Long Beach Museum of Art were my cheering squad. Life is different up here. I am seeking a virtual cheering squad! Will you promise to ask me how things are progressing?

My promise to you is that the journey is worth the try. What will you try?

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My First Book

My First Book was released to the public 9 months ago!

I have had modest success. I also found out I love to write as much as I love drawing and painting. You can expect more books for me in the coming year!

My First Book is under my belt! Done. Finis! Accomplished. Self published!

You may purchase Conscious Curiosity here or request a book direct from the author — a signed copy — by emailing me at suzanne@suzannegibbs.com.

Designed to keep asking questions, even when you put it down.

Designed to keep asking questions, even when you put it down.

Have you ever wanted to write your own first book! You can! All you need to do is write and write and write some more. It takes a lot of writing because in the end at least 30% of what you write to fit into the book never makes it into The Book!

Maybe you have NEVER wanted to write a book, but you have wanted to make writing a daily practice. If so I have a treat for you! I would like to have you join me for one month to write together in a group. Keep reading, I’ll tell you more.

Since writing my book, I have kept writing most days. I write in journals, notebooks, inside books I am reading, on scratch paper, post-it notes, on my blog, on GoogleDocs, I tried Draftin (did not like it) and on Word documents — you name it! I have bits and pieces of writing all over the place!

During some months I have had the support of other authors and daily writers from around the globe. I joined an on-line writing circle. We write everyday knowing others are doing the same. No critique, no blaming, shaming or shunning — only honest to goodness encouragement.

Consider this an early invitation to add something NEW to your life in 2016! If you’d like to join Free Write Fling with me in February click here to learn more!

I wrote My First Book alone.

I have since learned that writing can also be enjoyed in the company of others. I am sharing this gift with you!

Maybe we don't need to walk alone.

Maybe we don’t need to walk alone.

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