The Alter Ego Handbook

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I’m excited to announce my newest project, an e-chapbook of short prose called “The Alter Ego Handbook.” It can be downloaded for free at https://yavanikapress.wixsite.com/home/our-titles….

Big thanks to the folks at Yavanika Press and artist Phil Openshaw for the amazing images that were included in this chapbook.

“Adrian S. Potter’s 'The Alter Ego Handbook' is full of wonderfully wrought contradictions and conflicts, a prose feast of a dialectic in an attempt to answer why “villains seem more compelling than heroes.” And it is in this imperfect union (never becoming a true balance) that we come to appreciate caution, rationality, and even denial, as well as the “poor decisions…the fumbling over details, the clutching onto wrong things.” Phil Openshaw’s photos of double images perfectly complement this stunning collection of the self and its love-hate relationship, with its sometimes destructive shadow side.”

— Kyle Hemmings, Writer and Photographer

Check out The Alter Ego Handbook - download your copy now!

https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/21d2c2_03522f10c7c84340a05a8d03a97e1642.pdf

New Work in Pioneertown

Pioneertown is an online literary journal publishing both traditional and genre-bending work. Named after an old western movie town in the Southern California desert, Pioneertown aims to establish a collection of work new and needed on the literary scene.

Here is something new-ish from me for you to read online in Pioneertown – a set of prose poem-like vignettes like called “Notes for Novels I’ll Never Write.”

And it’s not just a catchy title - these are premises to manuscripts and short stories that I never applied myself long enough to finish. I was literally squeezing out some tasty literary lemonade out of lemons with this one.

Check it out if you get a chance. A huge thank you to Brenna Kischuk and the staff at Pioneertown for publishing this work!

http://www.pioneertownlit.com/notes-for-novels-ill-never-write-by-adrian-potter

Journaling to Improve Mental Health

Photo by  Ana Juma  on  Unsplash

Photo by Ana Juma on Unsplash

Keeping any type of journal will help with improving any mental health issues. However, if you want to tackle a specific problem you’re having, it will help to determine the right type of journal to keep. Keeping a particular kind of journal may work best for your issue.

  • Boosts Your Mood – If you want to boost your mood, keeping a gratitude journal is where it’s at. Once a day, preferably before bed, write down what you’re grateful for today. It might not seem like much but it’s powerful for going to sleep & thinking positively about your life.

  • Increases Your Sense of Well-Being – As you write out your thoughts, you’ll start seeing issues from a new angle just because you’re opening your mind to think about it. This is going to make you feel more capable of dealing with whatever happens.

  • Lessens Symptoms of Depression – Understand that depression is different from sadness and that you likely need a counselor. Writing it all down can make it seem less horrific so that you can feel better. Plus, you can look back at days you thought life was "over" and see better days after.

  • Reduces Anxiety – The problem with anxiety is that it was designed to help us get away from immediate danger. It triggers the "fight or flight" response. If each time you have that anxious feeling you choose to write in your journal how you are feeling and why, then you’ll start to control it better.

  • Lowers Avoidance Behaviors – Many people who have mental health issues practice avoidance behaviors such as not going to places that cause them anxiety, or not doing the things they need to do due to how they feel. When you write it out, it helps you get the feelings out but do the thing anyway.

  • You’ll Sleep Better – Pouring your heart out into a journal is a great way to get things off your chest. However, for sleep, go to the gratitude journal and write down what you’re thankful for today and go to sleep thinking of that.

  • Makes You a Kinder Person – Exploring your emotional state and accepting your feelings while you work through what makes you who you are in your journal is going to make you naturally more empathetic to others too. Letting go of judgment for self improves your thoughts for others also.

  • Improves Your Memory – This is almost a situation where you want to say "duh" but it must be said. Writing down things helps you remember them because you can go back and read it, but also because the act of writing something down enables you to recall it.

One thing that can help you make your journaling work is to learn how to keep one effectively. Make some journaling rules, do it every day to create a habit, and keep it private unless you decide to let your therapist see it or you decide to use it to help others. This is for you and only you for the most part.

 

Tips for Making Journaling Part of Your Daily Routine

The way to ensure that journaling works for you is to do it long term. Long-term journaling gives you more insight into your life because you’ll be able to reflect on the past, present, and even the future (sort of) to try to get answers in your life.  

But first, you must dive in and do it steadily. And you need to do it daily to make it a consistent habit. Below are some simple tips for making journaling part of your daily routine.

  • Make It Easy – If you don’t make it a huge deal, it’ll be simpler to get done. For example, it’s easier to use a pen and paper rather than a computer for most people. You can have the book in your bag or on your bedside table or wherever you plan to write. I personally find it useful to keep it nearby at all times in case inspiration strikes at some random moment.

  • Select a Time That Works For You – The best times to journal are early morning or right before you go to bed. However, these times might not work for some people. If you know a better time, do it. For example, some people like journaling while on lunch at work. It’s up to you. Think of what part of the day that you have the most creative energy and opportunity, and then try to include doing some journaling during that time.

  • Get a Drink and Eat a Snack – Don’t allow your mind to manufacture any excuses or extraneous thoughts while you’re journaling. Make sure you’re fed and hydrated before you get started.

  • Create a Comfortable and Accessible Space – It’s easier to delve into your thoughts if you’re comfortable and not thinking about how bad your backside hurts on a chair or how uncomfortable your wrist feels. Some people like sitting at a desk, some in a comfy chair, while others prefer relaxing in their bed while journaling. Choose wisely.

  • Combine It with Something Else You Enjoy Doing – If you enjoy working out, why not journal right after you are done? If you have a daily activity, add journaling to it. It’s a variation of habit stacking and it’ll help to establish your new journaling habit quickly.

  • Use Relaxing Music to Set the Mood – I know that some people prefer silence, and that’s okay if you do. But consider trying some music that doesn’t have words and that you find relaxing. It might help you to gather your thoughts and to remain calm and focused.

  • Utilize a Particular Type of Journal – For some people, using a style of journaling like bullet journaling, prayer journaling, project journaling, and more, works better since it defines some rules for entry. The constraints can help guide you towards your goal.

  •  Consider Using Prompts – With a simple Google search, you can discover journaling prompts for any type of journal you want to use.

  • Reward Yourself – When you have been diligent for a month writing in your journal, take some time to read what you wrote, then reward yourself for succeeding.

To truly experience the full benefits of journaling, it needs to be done nearly every day. Therefore you need to find savvy ways to incorporate journaling into your daily life. The best way to accomplish this is to make it easy and turn it into a habit.

From Dream to Literary Greatness

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If you’ve ever written anything, from a paper to a novel, you know how hard it can be to come up with the best ideas. Writer’s block hits us all from time to time, and that includes published authors. Authors work very hard to craft compelling stories that their readers will not only enjoy, but love. For many this takes years of hard work and planning. It may even mean hundreds of rejections, thousands of edits and loads of re-writing. They may draw upon their own life experiences, or the tales of others, or simply upon their imagination. Some authors however, get lucky and dream the entire thing. 

Since science is still a little uncertain as to why we have dreams in the first place, they have an almost mystical quality about them. It may not be magic, but it can seem like it. Our dreams can be filled with bizarre creatures, people, and scenarios. Even from mundane activities to fantastical situations, they can be quite memorable. For some authors, this makes them a great starting point for novel ideas. 

If you yourself are an aspiring writer or creative, there may be a way for you to tap into your dreams as well. Thinking of your book or project as you fall asleep is one of the best ways to dream about it. Even if you aren’t lucky enough to stumble upon inspiration as you sleep, it’s important to remember that creativity is deeply personal, and finding what works for you can take time. For the full list of books inspired by dreams, plus some tips on creativity, check out this link and visual by Sleep Advisor: 

https://www.sleepadvisor.org/books-inspired-by-dreams/

 

Personal Development on a Budget

Photo by  Samuel Zeller  on  Unsplash

I have another new-ish article over on Medium as part of my Secondhand Inspiration Project series called Personal Development on a Budget. If you get a chance, check it out.

It’s all about discovering various low cost, high yield ways that you can improve yourself, even when your money is tight or your free time is at a premium. The article was motivated by the following quote:

“Personal development is the belief that you are worth the effort, time and energy needed to develop yourself.” ―Denis Waitley

I hope you find this article useful. Be good.

https://medium.com/datadriveninvestor/personal-development-on-a-budget-6b2240709288?source=friends_link&sk=856c07dfd104dc438932e83b55db53a1

Finally.

Stop Before You Start

My newest post for The Secondhand Inspiration Project over on Medium is focused on Avoiding Bad Habits that Die Hard with Warren Buffett

The quote that I used as kindle for my flame is: “Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.”

Develop enough discipline to avoid any new bad habits. And stay inspired.

https://medium.com/datadriveninvestor/stop-before-you-start-8fa1b683d766?source=friends_link&sk=d696a50d7bbd0167acf50ae67745f970

Resource - Top Promo Tips from The Muse and The Marketplace 2019

This resource is such a goldmine that I must share it.

As Tyrone Li mentions on the BookBub site, GrubStreet held their annual Muse & The Marketplace conference for writers in April. There, "authors, agents, and editors hosted talks and panels on craft, the publishing process, and book promotion strategies. We gathered lots of helpful publishing insights and promotional tips on a variety of topics, from marketing on social media to participating in bookstore events-- and even to dealing with author envy! We're excited to share some of these tips with our readers who couldn't attend, and hope you find these takeaways useful."

You'll find those tips online at https://insights.bookbub.com/promo-tips-muse-marketplace-2019/. There is some great information here. For me, the author social media hints and the insights on juggling a day job with your writing practice to be particularly helpful.

Lessons Learned from Female Literary Characters

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Literature is incredibly important for personal growth. Many lessons we learn are from the books we read with characters that stick out to us in a special way. Set aside time to read some of the remarkable tales of women in literature, you’ll be astonished at some of the epiphanies you will takeaway to incorporate into your life.

If you are still looking to find some great lessons to learn from female figures, why not pick up a book with one of the best female literary characters! Redbubble.com has put together a list of 12 Lessons We Learned From Female Literary Characters including quotes and the messages we derive from those excerpts. We never stop learning if we never stop reading. Happy reading and learning, go women!

https://www.redbubble.com/life/female-literary-characters/

 

Inspire Your Inner Lion

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My newest post for The Secondhand Inspiration Project over on Medium is titled Being Brave with Mary Tyler Moore.

The quote that I used as kindle for my flame is: “Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.”

Stay inspired.

https://medium.com/@adrianpotter/inspire-your-inner-lion-f99f1dd92740?source=friends_link&sk=9477d2e4dd7e22379dd0571136ecd5af

Advice on Submitting Your Poems

Photo by  Frame Harirak  on  Unsplash

For those who are looking for a little bit of guidance in finding a home for their poems, I have dusted off and reposted an awesome resource. Check out “How To Submit Poems To Literary Journals And Magazines” at Writer’s Relief. Follow these seven steps and you’ll find your work in the limelight in quick fashion.

http://writersrelief.com/2010/01/11/how-to-submit-poems-to-literary-journals-and-magazines/?fbclid=IwAR0dNHqY4hVS6MmrpmWSdFLpDo1sbr00EBYK9J_h8NSgNokW0XwXEYTt0hQ

Introducing…The Secondhand Inspiration Project!

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What is The Secondhand Inspiration Project?

It’s a new mission I’ve developed over on Medium. Periodically, I pull together a post that starts with a motivational quote and goes wherever my musings lead. The idea was born out of my obsession with inspirational quotes and self-help books. This, mixed with a need to sometimes use prompts for my daily writing practice, sparked this initiative.

I already have several entries at Medium for The Secondhand Inspiration Project. My goal is to post some links to catch everyone up on this relatively new pet project. From there, I’ll be sure to update this blog after every new entry.

The first entry of The Secondhand Inspiration Project, Go Farther, was based on a famous quote by Wayne Dyer: "It's never crowded along the extra mile." Check out this post and just maybe it will provide you with a little secondhand inspiration.

https://medium.com/@adrianpotter/go-further-a7413df120a4?source=friends_link&sk=fbf834d3db736379c3c4c5ff057bec48

Must Read Books that Have Made the Largest Impact

Photo by  Glen Noble  on  Unsplash

Photo by Glen Noble on Unsplash

The right words ignite a spark for change. They lead movements, challenge societal norms, and question authority. And when a writer decides to pen their stimulating thoughts onto paper, people read them over and over. Their books spread throughout the world, inspiring people to take new paths and introducing them to their unique perspective.

The books that have made the largest impact throughout history date back to the early ages of 1000 C.E. up to the dynamic modern era of the early 2000s. And people still flip through their pages, craving to absorb the timeless knowledge from each writer.  

There are religious texts, like the Torah, the Quran and the Bible, then there are philosophical and political musings like The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and The Jungle by Upton Sinclair. Millions of people flock to grab a copy and align it with their values. Other books marked important steps towards international human rights, like Thomas Paine’s work of The Rights of Man.

Of course, the above mentioned are only a small sampling. Largest assembled this list of 25 powerful and influential books, so you can explore a host of other masterpieces that people still read today through their list.

https://largest.org/culture/books-largest-impact/

Author Website TIps

Photo by  Raul Varzar  on  Unsplash

Photo by Raul Varzar on Unsplash

Poets and writers are always looking for a way to “pop” and appear vivid against the blah backdrop of the internet. Creatives are attention whores – me included - and the only way to make an impression and find greater success is to stand out.

As part of my endless/obsessive pursuit of improvement, I discovered this new-ish article by Robert Lee Brewer about “five things author websites need to find more success.” There are some solid takeaways that both experienced and novice writers with websites can put into practice and find results. Enjoy.

https://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/5-things-author-websites-need-to-find-more-success

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Closing the Deal.

Writers spend a lot of time focusing on the craft of opening lines. This is true for fiction, poetry, essay, and even speeches. But what about endings? Aren’t they important, too?

Of course they are. And in this piece from the Washington Post, Ron Charles gives some much-deserved love to some of the more impactful closing lines in literature.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/entertainment/books/best-last-lines/?utm_term=.662e77c2e80c

How To Feel The Funk

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It’s been a long time, I shouldn’t have left you…but I’m now back on the blogging horse, ready to ride again.

Though I’ve been silent on here, I’ve been showcasing my voice all over the place. I’ll slowly catch everyone up on my latest publications and new projects in the next few weeks on this blog.

First up – I want to announce my new-ish micro-chapbook of six poems called “How to Feel the Funk” published by the Origami Poems Project. So get down, get into the groove, and go get your electronic copy of this micro-chap here.

https://www.origamipoems.com/poets/366-adrian-s-potter