Writing Advice From The Pros: What To Keep & What To Let Go – Guest Post By Sharon Ledwith

Wow, that decade zoomed by! I honestly don’t know where those ten years went, but what I do know for sure (quoting Oprah) is that a lot has happened to me personally and professionally since 2010. I’ve lost some people (and pets) by death, and by choice (toxic relationships), worked with two publishing companies and one literary agency, had my hopes dashed only to realize that it was for my highest best anyway, and transitioned from living in cottage country to surviving in the suburbs of sultry, southern Ontario. I’ve had a total of five books published (Woohoo), done book readings without breaking out in a sweat or fainting, and though self-doubt creeps in from time to time, I’ve learned what self-love really means in this crazy, on demand world we are presently living in. Rather than go on and on, I thought I’d share my decade experiences by breaking it down for you in three categories:


What have I accomplished in the last 10 years? So much! I started my blogging journey May 4th, 2011 before I even had a publishing deal—which BTW—I received in August of that same year with a new publishing company called Musa Publishing. This is where I earned my author chops, so to speak. What was expected of an author—which was pretty much everything from promoting to marketing to creating a social media presence to writing my next book, and what a publisher did for their authors. I went from zero experience on the internet to feeling quite comfortable navigating through cyber-space. I received a grant to help build a website to house my first book: The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis and the ones that followed, and celebrated the best book launch ever on May 19th, 2012 surrounded by friends and family who knew how hard I’d worked trying to get published for over fifteen years. I wrote the prequel to The Last Timekeepers series, and received another contract with Musa Publishing. Then…everything changed.

We moved from our house on the lake to a house in the suburbs in the summer of 2014. What I couldn’t have foreseen was Musa Publishing would close their doors in February 2015, leaving over 300 authors stranded, without contracts or support. Thankfully, I had attended a book expo in November 2014, and there I met my future publisher, Mirror World Publishing. In the last five years, we’ve worked together to bring two young adult book series out into the world, The Last Timekeepers time travel adventure series, and Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls teen psychic mystery series. And since then, I haven’t looked back.


Now that the fruits of my labors are realized, I know I need to continue on my path to write, promote, market, engage, and connect with people who are looking to escape into my fictional worlds. So, it is my hope to write books that will entertain, educate, and inspire both young and young-at-heart readers for generations to come.

 A few Mirror World Publishing Authors


What are the lessons I learned in those years?Being an author isn’t for the faint of heart. I’m so not kidding. The biggest lesson I’ve learnt is that no one is going to care more about your book than YOU do. Period. So do the tough stuff. Get your hands dirty. Experiment. Beg for book reviews. Share helpful content. Be kind to others going through the same thing. Always add value. Go the extra mile. Think of all these acts as your karma bank account, and it will compound by leaps and bounds.


Make a business plan. Remember, writing is a business. So treat it this way. I began writing my ‘Master Business and Life Plan’ on March 9, 2011, when I was researching how to start up a blog. This plan has evolved and grown throughout the last nine years, and will continue to do so. I’ll admit, not everything gets crossed off the plan, but it does give me an overview on where to adjust for the future, and where I’d like to be at the end of the year.


Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. At the beginning of this decade, the thought of standing up in front of an audience to read an excerpt or visit a school to share my writing journey with students made my teeth itch and want to hide among the shadows. But, I authored up. I faced my fears, and pushed myself enough to get over whatever it was that made me feel this way. Lack of self-confidence and self-esteem be damned. I learned to love who I’d become, what I’d accomplished, and where I’m heading these past ten years. And from where I stand, the future looks so bright, I’m gonna need shades!

The Last Timekeepers Time Travel Adventure Series (so far…)

What do I need to let go of, drop or release that doesn’t serve me? This is a BIG one: Stop comparing myself to other successful authors. By all means, I should learn from them because success leaves clues, but my journey is not the same as their journey or experiences, so there’s really no comparison. I must drop this, put on a pair of blinders, and focus on MY path.


This is a HARD one: Approval from others. Since we were children, all we wanted was attention —first from our parents, then friends, later co-workers and bosses, and loved ones. We’re hard-wired for this. The truth is that the only person whose approval really matters is our own. That’s it. We need to have our own backs. Trust ourselves enough to stand in our truth. This will definitely be a work in progress for me.


This is an HONEST one: Releasing expectations. When I was a girl, I had a plaque hanging on my bedroom wall that said, ‘Blessed are those who do not expect, for they won’t be disappointed.’ Now that’s some sage advice! So, going back in time, as I love to do when writing my books, I realize having expectations gets in the way of what the Universe has planned for me. Adopting the mindset, ‘Everything happens for me, not to me’ has helped tremendously, and I know that by releasing expectations, I make room for more positive energy to come into my life.

Released in 2017 and 2019: Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls (so far…)

As this decade closes out, I encourage you to ask these three questions, and see how far you’ve come. You just might realize that ‘you’ve come a long way, baby’! Please share your findings if you feel obliged. Would love to read your comments. Cheers, and thank you for reading. Happy New Year, and wishing you and your loved ones, health, happiness, wealth, and all the best in the next ten years ahead!

That was amazing! Thank you, Sharon. I always enjoy when you share your wisdom with us.

Sharon Ledwith’s #authorlife Experiment: Making the Unfamiliar, Familiar

Last month I followed Sharon’s #authorlife experiment on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Her challenge was to post a new photo and tell us how it illustrated her life as an author.

Post after post revealed parts of her life that I recognized in my own and inspired me with new ideas. By the end of the month I was really glad she took the challenge because I felt a new, deeper connection with her.

Now you get to read how the challenge effected her and what might be in it for you if you tried to do the same. She’s already warmed up the hashtag for you.

Last Photo Of Sharon With Her Buddy

I’m sure you’ve heard that getting out of your comfort zone can be a painful, often scary experience, but the end results usually end in transformation and growth. Right? Well, I recently watched a YouTube video done by Canadian entrepreneur Evan Carmichael about trying to share an image of yourself on your social media accounts for 30 days straight, and then seeing what happens after the month has ended. The thought of doing that made me squirm inside. You see, I’m an introvert at heart, and like to keep my personal life…well, personal. Sharing an image of myself—with all my winkles and flaws—a day for an entire month seemed downright weird and just a little egostical. Besides, what kind of image would I post, and what would I talk about? Then, I approached my publisher, Justine with this idea, and she suggested that I share an image of a day in the life of an author, and call it #authorlife. My eyes widened, and I resonated with her suggestion immediately.


So, choosing the month of September 2019 for my #authorlife experiment, I decided to take a shot and put myself out there for 30 days sharing what it’s like to live in my ‘author’ shoes. And yes, it was scary, and yes it was painful, but I managed to complete this task, not missing a day, but one—September 10th, the day after we put our 12-year-old Labrador down. I dedicated that #authorlife spot to my yellow fellow, who went peacefully in my arms the day before. I was a mess and grieving for weeks after that, but plodded on, taking selfies and sharing what I was up to each day. It was awkward and hard, but I managed to make the unfamiliar, familiar, and I found it got easier to find things to share and talk about.

I’ll Miss You, Lorri Carpenter

Using my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts, I shared book marketing ideas, books I’m reading, a dedication to my dear author friend, Lorri Carpenter who passed away the same week as my dog, my morning exercise regime, took you grocery shopping, for a walk, paying bills, researching for my work-in-progress, flashed shameless plugs, and the list went on. After all, life if full of mundane routines too. And a writer’s life is no exception. I’m sure Stephen King still takes out the trash or puts away the dishes. Makes us human, and more relatable.


One of the most cherished #authorlife images was taken on Labor Day with my dog just before I took him for his walk. It was the last photo I have of him before he passed on a week later. You can’t get moments like that back. Ever. So I would like to think that this little experiment was a success. Personally and professionally. I managed to get way out of my comfort zone, build up my social media platforms, engaged with people who seemed quite interested in my journey, had fun, got creative, and shared a piece of myself that I would have never shared before. Did this result in more book sales? Not sure, but I really don’t care. This was about growing as a person, getting more self-confident, and seeing how much I changed throughout the month. Especially when I wasn’t wearing any makeup! LOL! How brave was that? Wink.

One Of The Most Commented On Posts!

Would I do it again? Not for 30 days straight, but I’ve decided to keep posting my #authorlife images at least once or twice a week. It’s an investment in my self-worth, and hopefully will help other writers by giving them ideas or letting them know that they’re not alone in this crazy publishing business. Plus, you put yourself out there, and connect with people on a different level where you’re not pandering to them, but giving them a smile or helping hand instead. And that’s what I call success in any vocation. I want to thank all those who traveled this #authorlife journey with me, and commented on, liked, or shared what I’d been doing that day. Your kindness and support are so appreciated.

Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/young adult time travel adventure series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, and the teen psychic mystery series, MYSTERIOUS TALES FROM FAIRY FALLS. When not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, exercising, anything arcane, and an occasional dram of scotch. Sharon lives a serene, yet busy life in a southern tourist region of Ontario, Canada, with her hubby, one spoiled yellow Labrador and a moody calico cat.Connect with Sharon Ledwith:

Sharon’s Website: www.sharonledwith.com

Sharon’s Blog: http://sharonledwith.blogspot.com/

Sharon’s Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/seledwithThe Last Timekeepers Series Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/The-Last-Timekeepers-Time-Travel-Series/373953795955372

Twitter: @sharonledwith: https://twitter.com/?iid=am-82952056813386643146889016&nid=23+following_user&uid=525750371&utm_content=profile#!/sharonledwithGoodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5821744.Sharon_Ledwith

What’s your favorite part of this post? I’d love to know!

Thanks for reading!

Gina

Should You Publish Under A Pen Name?

You’ll face many decisions in your author career, including which name to write under. Four experienced authors have teamed up to share their perspectives and offer you the opportunity to ask questions. We write in various genres, so hopefully you’ll see yours represented.

Read at your own pace. We’ve given you time to look through without rushing.

Here are bio’s and links for each of our authors.

Gina Briganti

Connect with Gina on her website, www.ginabriganti.comFacebook, Amazon Author Page, YouTube channel, Instagram ,Twitter, and Goodreads. There are exclusives and announcements that are shared only in her newsletter, which you can sign up for right here

Gina Briganti writes fantasy and sci-fi romance in north Texas. Real -life should be fantastic, too, which is why she also writes holistic health non-fiction.

Her constant companion is a special soul who masquerades as a dog.

Sharon Ledwith

The Last Timekeepers Time Travel Adventure Series:

The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis, Book #1 Buy Links: MIRROR WORLD PUBLISHING ׀ AMAZON ׀ BARNES & NOBLE ׀

The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret, Book #2 Buy Links: MIRROR WORLD PUBLISHING ׀ AMAZON ׀ BARNES & NOBLE ׀

Legend of the Timekeepers, prequel Buy Links: MIRROR WORLD PUBLISHING ׀ AMAZON ׀ BARNES & NOBLE ׀

Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls Teen Psychic Mystery Series:

Lost and Found, Book One Buy Links: MIRROR WORLD PUBLISHING ׀ AMAZON ׀ BARNES & NOBLE ׀

Blackflies and Blueberries, Book Two Buy Links: MIRROR WORLD PUBLISHING ׀ AMAZON ׀ BARNES & NOBLE ׀

Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/young adult time travel adventure series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, and the teen psychic mystery series, MYSTERIOUS TALES FROM FAIRY FALLS. When not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, exercising, anything arcane, and an occasional dram of scotch. Sharon lives a serene, yet busy life in a southern tourist region of Ontario, Canada, with her hubby, one spoiled yellow Labrador and a moody calico cat.

Learn more about Sharon Ledwith on her WEBSITE and BLOG. Look up her AMAZON AUTHOR page for a list of current books. Stay connected on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, PINTEREST, LINKEDIN, INSTAGRAM, and GOODREADS. BONUS: Download the free PDF short story The Terrible, Mighty Crystal HERE.

HL Carpenter

HL Carpenter is a mother/daughter duo who write family-friendly fiction from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, the Carpenters enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity. Visit Carpenter Country at hlcarpenter.com.

Tina Griffith

I was born in Germany, a little more than 60 years ago. My family came to Canada when I was of school age, and I’ve been here ever since. When my kids were little, I wrote 27 children’s books, worked in television and radio, and worked as a professional clown at the Children’s Hospital. After my husband of 25 years passed away, I began to write romance novels as a way to keep the love inside of my heart. I now have 11 romance novels for sale in the amazon bookstore, and while all of them have undertones of a love story, they have different genres; murder, mystery, whimsical, witches, ghosts, suspense, adventure, and my sister’s scary biography. ‘The Elusive Mr. Velucci’ is nothing short of a very romance love story, where nobody dies, but it will bring a lump to your throat as you continue to wish that Enrico and Sadie find each other again.

See Tina Griffith’s Amazon author page here.

See Tina Nykulak Ruiz’s amazon author page here:

Thanks for watching! We wish you all the best in your author career.

It’s Launch Day! Blackflies and Blueberries by Sharon Ledwith

Here it is, the long-awaited second installment in Sharon Ledwith’s teen psychic mystery series, Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls. Lost and Found featured a protagonist with the ability to talk to animals and the local animal shelter in peril, now trouble has found its way to Fairy Falls once more, this time in the form of Hart Stewart – an illiterate young man with the ability to touch and object and know its past!

About Blackflies and Blueberries:

BBcoverlowres

The only witness left to testify against an unsolved crime in Fairy Falls isn’t a person…

City born and bred, Hart Stewart possesses the gift of psychometry—the psychic ability to discover facts about an event or person by touching inanimate objects associated with them. Since his mother’s death, seventeen-year-old Hart has endured homelessness, and has learned ways to keep his illiteracy under wraps. He eventually learns of a great-aunt living in Fairy Falls, and decides to leave the only life he’s ever known for an uncertain future.

Diana MacGregor lives in Fairy Falls. Her mother was a victim of a senseless murder. Only Diana’s unanswered questions and her grief keeps her going, until Hart finds her mother’s lost ring and becomes a witness to her murder.

Through Hart’s psychic power, Diana gains hope for justice. Their investigation leads them into the corrupt world threatening Fairy Falls. To secure the town’s future, Hart and Diana must join forces to uncover the shocking truth, or they risk losing the true essence of Fairy Falls forever.

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal

Publish Date: May 17, 2019

Publisher:  Mirror World Publishing https://www.mirrorworldpublishing.com/

Follow the Tour: https://saphsbooks.blogspot.com/2019/05/virtual-book-tour-schedule-blackflies.html

Sharon Ledwith and pets #3

About the Author:

Escape to the past and have a blast

Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/young adult time travel adventure series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, and the teen psychic mystery series, MYSTERIOUS TALES FROM FAIRY FALLS. When not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, exercising, anything arcane, and an occasional dram of scotch. Sharon lives a serene, yet busy life in a southern tourist region of Ontario, Canada, with her hubby, one spoiled yellow Labrador and a moody calico cat.

Learn more about Sharon Ledwith at the following online places:

Sharon’s Website: www.sharonledwith.com

Sharon’s Blog: http://sharonledwith.blogspot.com/

Sharon’s Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/seledwith

Sharon’s Author Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Sharon-Ledwith-210150205690477/

Twitter: @sharonledwith https://twitter.com/sharonledwith

Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5821744.Sharon_Ledwith

Goodreads Book Page: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45259122-blackflies-and-blueberries

Amazon Author U.S. Page: http://www.amazon.com/Sharon-Ledwith/e/B0084DUHJO

Amazon Author U.K. Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B0084DUHJO

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/seledwith/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sharon-ledwith-4a33b213/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/seledwith/

Café Press Shop: http://www.cafepress.ca/sharonledwith

Readers’ Favorite: https://readersfavorite.com/author-area/358311

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/sharon-ledwith

Buy Blackflies and Blueberries:

Mirror World Publishing:  Paperback: https://mirror-world-publishing.myshopify.com/collections/poetry/products/blackflies-and-blueberries-paperback

Ebook: https://mirror-world-publishing.myshopify.com/collections/poetry/products/blackflies-and-blueberries-ebook

Amazon.com: https://amzn.to/2VPEljd

Amazon.ca: hhttps://www.amazon.ca/Blackflies-Blueberries-Mysterious-Tales-Fairy-ebook/dp/B07QNSPTXZ

Kobo (CA): https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/blackflies-and-blueberries

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/blackflies-and-blueberries-sharon-ledwith/1131285253

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/ca/book/blackflies-and-blueberries/id1460196300