writer

All posts tagged writer

The Happy Writer!

Published May 20, 2019 by Maryanne

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Putting down an author just because they are not YET a “best-selling” author is a poor man’s mindset. It’s those who do not give up who win. Even if they don’t become best-selling authors, sustainability accounts for something too. Royalty checks, book signing events, and interviews on radio shows all add up. Getting offers to write blogs from all over the world and helping people write books to make their dreams come true is a blessing. It’s super fun earning money while you sleep too!
I’m living the dream and have been earning a living as a writer since 1995! I’ve been in magazines all over the world. I’ve interviewed some of the most incredible people including Henry Winkler, Tommy James, and Peter Murphy. 
I’ve had free meals in restaurants all over New York City. I’ve been on the guest list at countless concerts. And best of all, it doesn’t feel like WORK because I LOVE what I do.
Unstoppable with no plans of retiring! Because if I stop living my dream, I will DIE inside! 
So, when you meet a writer, do not ask them if they are a Best-selling author. A better question is “Are you happy?” And be prepared for an answer that will give you the greatest contact high ever!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing, and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books (which both mention how she was inspired by Freddie Mercury): 

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways to Become Your Own Hero” will be available October 2019. To pre-order, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

Know Your Worth

Published March 24, 2019 by Maryanne

DSCF3485Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

#sundayblessings So blessed to have created a life I most love — wife, author/writer, speaker, creator, self-employed, cat mommy  🙏

In my last blog I wrote about how the world views artists, creators, writers, poets, musicians. If you’re not super famous, people falsely assume you’re not doing too well, which is incorrect.

Over the past 20+ years as I was making a good living as a writer, I’ve seen it all with friends in my creative circles. People will try to low-ball you to get a service. Some may want to barter (something I will do with good friends, but not with a client). But the worst of all is when another who is also in a creative field will try to downplay your success in order to make himself or herself look “better.”

That’s really sad.

First, since we’re all in the same game of life, we should elevate each other. That is why we are put here on Earth. When the love vibration is the biggest vibration you can offer, it’s absolutely amazing what comes out of it.

I’ve been so blessed these past 20+ years to rub elbows with other creatives in my journey. The ones I remember most, and keep in my inner circle are those who have been incredibly supportive. Those who don’t feel that complimenting me on my talents makes them question their own.

You see, knowing your worth is not an ego thing. It’s a thing of confidence. When you are at a point in your career, knowing that you get the job done–and done right, you are able to charge as much as you want for a blog, for a painting, for a class…whatever.

You stick to your price.

And that said, stick to your confidence too. Don’t let anyone low-ball your talent, or your confidence. Know your worth.

If you work for yourself in a creative field, or any field, I’m sure you may have heard the following snarky, or perhaps ignorant comments from people who don’t get it:

“Self employed…that’s hard.”

“I feel better having a real job.”

“What you do is a labor of love.”

Working for yourself, yes, it can be hard. Even if you’re a famous rock star there are lulls in your career. Sometimes I tell myself I’ve had more comebacks than Cher.

But guess what? I am DOING IT. And I have been doing it. Writing professionally since 1995. And speaking professionally since 2014. It is a REAL JOB and I make a good living.

More important, I am happy.

By now, I’m well past the point of caring what others think of me or trying to impress people. I’ve been waking up every morning with a smile on myself, since 1995, saying to myself, “I’m a writer.”

If I dropped dead over 20 years ago, my life was already complete. It just gets better and better over the years. Every few months something great happens that I would have never imagined.

What others think of me doesn’t count, because I know my worth.

I believe in myself and I feel truly blessed.

And unstoppable.

Don’t let anyone stop you either!

Fellow creatives, share your stories below!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for motivational speaking engagements and is the author of the following books: 

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways to Become Your Own Hero” by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta will be available October 2019. To pre-order, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta 

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

“On the Guest List” by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

“On the Guest List” is available directly from my publisher, Next Century! To get your copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Guest-List-Adventures-Music-Journalist/dp/162903908X

“Love Cats” by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

“Love Cats” is now available on Amazon! For paperback, go here:http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1681020513 and for Kindle, go here:http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YBGVJQS/

 “The Gypsy Smiled” by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

“The Gypsy Smiled” is now available Amazon! For paperback go here: https://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Smiled-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta/dp/1545447470

And for Kindle, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Smiled-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta-ebook/dp/B074VC7MT9

 

 

I’m an Author, Why Would I Want to Be a Sales Whore?

Published March 21, 2019 by Maryanne

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Me, signing a free copy of my latest book, “I Don’t Want to Be Like You”

…for a little girl who was bullied.  #givingback

I was definitely a late bloomer, but from as far back as my 30s, I was making a living doing something I love — WRITING!

First, as a journalist, then an author. Am I a best selling author? No, not yet. But am I working enough to make a great living, to have a newer car, to go to concerts, Broadway shows, buy cool clothes, obsess over shoes, and give back to the community? YES. YES. YES!

Friends, I am living the dream! I’m a writer!

I’ve been writing professionally since 1995. Now that I’m an author, I get advances and royalty checks. I also help others write their books. And get a sweet dollar for doing so.

Yet so many people are in denial about me. For example, those who are constantly hounding me to join them in their Isogenix endeavors, their Young Living endeavors…from make-up to insurance policies…All those “get rich quick” things that people are forever pushing in my face. 

Now, let me ask you something? Would you ask Freddie Mercury to sell Isogenix? 

No, you wouldn’t. Because he’s a creative person. I AM A CREATIVE PERSON TOO! And if you’ve read this far, I’m sure YOU ARE A CREATIVE PERSON! So, why on earth would I want to give up my God-given talent to push product? That would be like having a 9 to 5 job. TORTURE! I would not be creatively satisfied. I would not be emotionally satisfied. I just might take a gun to my head and blow my brains out if I had to sell Young Living oils. Even if I did make $15,000 per month like some do. That’s not me!

Making money is easy. Making money as a creative person is a little bit harder, but we do it. Not everyone can be a Mark Twain, but if you get up in the morning and are able to say something like, “I’m an author!” or “I’m a musician” or “I’m an artist” — you, my friend, are so blessed.

Let the sales people be sales people. Good for them. God bless them. But God chose YOU to be one of the out-of-the-boxers. Keep following your dreams. I assure you, the money will follow!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for motivational speaking engagements and is the author of the following books: 

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways to Become Your Own Hero” by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta will be available October 2019. To pre-order, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta 

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

“On the Guest List” by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

“On the Guest List” is available directly from my publisher, Next Century! To get your copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Guest-List-Adventures-Music-Journalist/dp/162903908X

“Love Cats” by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

“Love Cats” is now available on Amazon! For paperback, go here:http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1681020513 and for Kindle, go here:http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YBGVJQS/

 “The Gypsy Smiled” by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

“The Gypsy Smiled” is now available Amazon! For paperback go here: https://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Smiled-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta/dp/1545447470

And for Kindle, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Smiled-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta-ebook/dp/B074VC7MT9

Take the High Road, Don’t Low Ball!

Published January 31, 2019 by Maryanne

Maryanne summerDon’t let anyone low-ball you! 

As a self-employed business woman (ghost writer, blogger, Facebook updater, author, speaker) each year I compare the market as to what others in my genre are making. That’s how I come up with my prices. I’ve been self-employed since 2009 and for the most part, I’m living the dream.

Every now and then, I get a potential client who wants to price haggle. That’s when I have to pull the reins in and say, “This is not a good fit.”

You can read my article “The Four Types of Clients You’ll Encounter” and see why you shouldn’t say “yes” to every potential client: https://patch.com/new-jersey/verona/bp–the-four-types-of-clients-youll-encounter

I am writing this blog to encourage self-employed people, especially those who are just starting out, to not let anyone low-ball you. Know your worth and increase your prices each year, or every other year.  AND I would also like clients to stop price haggling business professionals like they’re at a yard sale! It is not cool!

Since 2009 I’ve been helping people write their books. Many of them are now on Amazon; some doing incredibly well. I’ve written four books myself, two picked up by a traditional publisher. My fifth is a self-help book. It’s is going to be published by KiCam and is set for an October 2019 release (see here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/).

With all that, it’s safe to say I know a thing or two about the publishing industry. So, it’s highly insulting when a potential new client asks me, “Is that your final price?”

Yes, it is. Or should I go much higher so you can haggle me down to my “final price”?

A few days ago I met a woman who had an incredible story. In fact, it was so incredible that one of my friends in the traditional publishing industry said she’d take a look at the story and possibly publish it.

Do you know what that means? As opposed to self-publishing (which most unknown authors do) it means the publisher was going to consider taking on this project and financing it. So, to use me as an editor, this potential client would still be way ahead of the game even though she thought my services were pricey. She wouldn’t have to pay thousands of dollars to a self publisher. She wouldn’t have to pay an agent to find her a traditional publisher. I could have helped her save so much time and money. But, no, because my per-hour price was too high, she took it upon herself to disrespect me and yell at me. Whoa, what a foolish woman!

I politely told her, “This is not a good fit. If you are worrying about money now, the project may never be finished.” And I hung up on her.

Nothing comes easy in life. If you want singing lessons, you pay by the teacher’s price. If you want therapy, you pay the psychologist’s price. If you want a health consultation, you pay the nutritionist’s price. So, if you want a good ghost writer/book editor, you pay their price. Get it? Got it? Good!

Try price haggling your doctor next time you go for a flu shot. (Or whatever it is that people do when they go to doctors. I don’t know, I don’t do doctors…but that’s another blog). My point is, if you want a good product, from a professional (that would be me) who has over 20 years in the publishing industry, you are going to pay for top quality.

Clients who have succeeded in working with me, from start to finish, have nothing but good to say about my work ethic. If I wasn’t that good, I wouldn’t be in business for so long. And it just keeps getting better because everyone who I helped write a book, tells their friends about me and I get their service too.

I’ve had many happy customers over the years, but I have to say, the happiest was Antoinette and Domenic Lombardi. I helped them write and publish their book 200 Letters, 62 Years and a War which was their love story. Soon after they started dating, Domenic went to serve in the Korean War. During that time, he wrote Antoinette 200 love letters. When I wrote the book in 2015, they were together 62 years. To this day, they send me a Christmas card every year, with a handwritten note, “Come visit us.”

But that’s besides the point. I don’t have to convince readers how good I am. I know I’m good. If I wasn’t, I still wouldn’t be doing something I love all this time!

So, if you hire me–or any professional–take the high road, don’t low ball. If you can’t afford a service, it may be God’s way of telling you to “wait, it’s not time yet.” But that’s between you and God, not you and the professional.

It’s more respectable to say to someone, “I can’t afford this…yet” instead of taking a shit fit over a price you feel is not affordable (as that lady did to me.)

If you want a ghost writer to help you write a book, it’s simple. Save your money. Or just own up to the fact that you’re not ready to write a book. If you want to do something, you’ll make it a priority. It’s as easy as that. Otherwise, this is not something you’re dying to do. Unless you want something so bad you can’t breath, you probably should be dreaming about doing something else.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is a motivational speaker and the author of “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” which addresses her experiences with being bullied. You can order the book from Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

Her next book “BeExtraordinary” will be published in October 2019 by KiCam. To pre-order or visit the landing page, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

To book Maryanne for a speaking engagement, contact her at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com

Why I Left Young Living

Published January 22, 2019 by Maryanne

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Perhaps “left” is a strong word. I didn’t exactly “leave” Young Living. I just decided to forfeit my status as a Young Living Star and save $100+ per month.

When I was first exposed to Young Living oils,  it wasn’t a bad thing. I loved the oils. And I still do. For four years I was excited to try various oils each month as well their soaps and body lotions, which are incredible.

Sales is not my forte, but I did manage to get a few people on my down line simply by speaking, organically about the oils and products in passing. I had a decent run of receiving small checks each month as well as free product for accumulating reward points.

There were times when I had a full bathroom cupboard stocked with about four YL toothpastes, five soaps, and three body lotions. In my kitchen cupboard were over 20 oils from their Vitality line that I’d never use in food because they are way too potent. Honestly, I’d rather use fresh herbs as spices than Young Living oils. And while some oils are great to use to help you get over certain ailments, hey, I’m a very healthy person. So, to be honest, I rarely use Young Living oils for my health! And, finally, there was all the stuff I’d never try–stuff I just wasn’t interested in. Currently, I have some favorite oils that I use as perfumes, but they are definitely going to last for at least the next 10 months.

When I gave up my Star status, and forfeited my Essential Rewards and the ability to get a check each month, which had now dwindled because the people on my down line who purchased the most had also left, I stayed on board because as I said, I do like their stuff. But four months later, there must be close to 100 bottles of oils in my house that I rarely use! When I thought about their fabulous body lotions, I signed in to get some for the winter. Then realized, there are body lotions by other companies that are just as clean and smell just as lovely, but cheaper.  I didn’t order anything. But who knows if I will in the future? As of now, I’m just not feeling it.

But, then, the biggest reason of all–Young Living is not my passion or my dream job.

When it comes to work, there are two things–and two things only–that I am passionate about. That’s writing and public speaking. I’ve been incredibly blessed that I’ve been able to make a living as a writer since 1995. Not that many people are as fortunate. For me to give up writing and public speaking, to invest in Young Living full time would be like Cher doing  infomercials; a total waste of talent!

Why on earth would I want to sell oils when I could be (and am!) writing books?! It just doesn’t make sense, right?

For years, in the business world, people have been saying, “Do what you love and you never work a day in your life.” Well, that’s me, especially since I ditched Young Living.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is a motivational speaker and the author of “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” which addresses her experiences with being bullied. You can order the book from Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

Her next book “BeExtraordinary” will be published in October 2019 by KiCam. To pre-order or visit the landing page, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

To book Maryanne for a speaking engagement, contact her at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

Author Versus Journalist

Published December 27, 2017 by Maryanne

sam_3971 - book signing2014, at my very first book signing

If you are reading this, chances are you do not know me as a writer. I’m not a famous writer and probably will never be. Nor will I ever win a Pulitzer Prize. I know my limitations. But I can say, for most of my adult life, writing has been my “day job” and I make a comfortable living as a writer and editor. Yeah, I beat the odds. I get to work in my pajamas.

As I wrote in my first book, “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” it took a long time to earn my bragging rights. Coming from a single parent family, I never had the opportunity to go to college. But I know many people with degrees that don’t follow their dreams as I did! I always wrote here and there — and finally got published. It was sweet extra income while I worked in offices for publishing companies or music businesses. I never took a job I didn’t have extreme passion for.

When I first started writing full time as a journalist, it was because I made my way into the door. I was first hired as a typist at a NYC publication. While there, I told a few editors that I like to write. Then bam! Eventually I was writing about everything — food, theatre, advertorials, features, business, and even sports. I was officially a journalist — in New York City!

I’ll never forget how long it would take me when I first began writing articles. I’d be up until 4 a.m. Then, the more I learned, the faster I got. I take pride in the fact that I could write a 500+ word article, that needs minimal or no editing, in less that an hour.

Back then, seeing an article I wrote hanging up in a restaurant in Chelsea, NYC, was a thrill. Having actresses and rock stars write me letters thanking me for my articles was euphoric. I ate at restaurants for free; got guest-listed more times than I can remember; and received hundreds of gifts and freebies just for acknowledging someone in an article. And this went on for years — now decades.

Writing an article is instant satisfaction. You write. You get published. You get praise. Writing an article is fresh and current. But when you’ve been a journalist for as long as I have, it’s natural to go the next step. No, not author — editor.

As an editor, I started my own home based business and helped dozens of people pen their memoirs and fiction books prior to publication. During this period it dawned on me that I should write a book. I gathered my thoughts together and in three years wrote three books — two self-published and the final was picked up by a traditional publisher.

What came with published books was equally as satisfying as journalism. Anyone who has had a successful book signing knows what it’s like to feel like a star. Anyone who has received a substantial royalty check has that feeling of arrival. Anyone who has had someone they admired endorse their books knows what it’s like to have butterflies in their stomach. And it’s the most surreal thing in the world to wake up in the morning and say to yourself, “I’m an author” and you know your life will never be the same from that moment onward.

But the thing is, writing a book is harder than writing an article. That’s why I didn’t want to write a book to begin with. Work shouldn’t feel like work. There’s a saying, “If you do what you love, you never worked a day in your life.” Writing articles isn’t work for me. It’s a need; a desire. I must write articles, like I must have food and sex and music and love and all the good things life has to offer. Writing a book is like having a slice of pizza. I enjoy it, but it’s not necessary to my being. I’d much rather edit someone else’s book.

Currently I am in the process of writing two more books and will use any excuse not to work on them. Last they’ve been touched was over the summer. And the only time I feel a bit of guilt is when a fan of my books approaches me at a signing and asks when my next book is coming out. It breaks my heart to tell someone, “Probably 2019,” but that is the truth. If that! It could be 2020. Or never.

While I’m writing a book, and really getting into it, I can’t stop talking about it. When you’re in a groove, you’re in a groove. I’ve completed books quickly during afternoons of drinking a few glasses of organic wine. Then comes the hard part. Shopping it around to publishers. Or negotiating with self-publishing companies who prefer you use their packages rather than hire your own copy editors and book designers.

Honestly, the best part is the rejection letters. They do not accept your material, but are encouraging that they are sure you will find the publisher who is a perfect fit.

Then once you find that publisher, who is supposed to be a perfect fit, it’s anything but. Whether you self-publish or are published traditionally, beware of several months of headaches before, during and after the process. Be prepared to be persecuted by clueless betas, to re-do work that editors have fucked up, all the cover “do overs,” marketers who fall short, and those dreaded bad reviews.

Let me pause here for a second to say that a bad review for a journalist is a good thing. It means people are reading your work, which is good for advertising. It’s also humorous when you can share with your co-writers a letter to the editor bitching about you. My biggest laugh was when I wrote an article about tattoo parlors and an irritated reader pondered if I had a tattoo myself. (I have three). Or the times when I wrote about a band and you’d get a member who felt he didn’t get as much coverage as the others and go on an egomaniac rant via email — or even a phone call. (This has happened more than once).

As an author, it’s more personal. It’s your work, not the property of a magazine or a newspaper. You are no longer the reporter. It’s your baby. Like poetry. While a bad review is expected, doesn’t make it easy on you. You have to be able to take it.

I once gave a refund to a client who wanted me to help her write a book. She said, “I don’t want people to judge me.”

I told her, “Then you’re not ready to write a book. Because people will judge you.”

Not only will they judge you on the content of your work — but on the fact that you are an author. Other authors are competitive. Non authors will say things to downplay you. I’ve had an ignorant person ask me, “Do you actually make money off of those books?”

Uh, yes, I do. Especially at book signings or literary clubs. I make a killing.

I also make a killing by touching people’s lives with my books. One of the best compliments I ever received was from a woman who read “On the Guest List.” She liked that when I spoke about being part of the stage show for The Nuns that I had to work and diet to get my body in shape. She wrote me, “You didn’t make it sound like it was easy because it isn’t.”

Sometimes I’ll Google myself and see a glowing review for one of my books and it brings a smile to my face. I just want to hug the stranger who got me!

However, with all the pluses and satisfaction a book brings to my life, I’ll forever be a journalist in my heart. And here’s why:

  • I get to meet more people, especially children. (Nothing is cuter than a little kid jumping up and down screaming, “I’m going to be in the newspaper!” after you interview him/her.
  • The quickness of the truth. It takes about six months to write a book. You are focused on researching, reading it over and over to make sure you’re accurate. In writing an article, the truth is right there for you. You simply write the facts — who, what, where, why, and how.
  • The instant glory. You write, you get published, people are reading!
  • Getting out of the house. While it’s everyone’s dream to work at home in their pajamas — and writing a book will give you that luxury — life is short and it feels good to get out and meet people. As I wrote earlier, there’s free concerts and free meals; but there’s also tree lightings, winter walks, fashion shows … around every corner there is something to write about. And that’s a beautiful thing!
  • Sometimes people do your work for you. No, that doesn’t mean someone is ghost writing my stuff. It means if you get a kick ass interview with someone, the story practically writes itself.

But then again, a book is forever; and years down the road I’ll still be collecting royalty checks and doing book signings for a book that was written years ago. And someone on Amazon or Ebay will be selling my book for much more. Well, that’s book business.

Book Signing for “On the Guest List” for Nutley Book Club, Nutley, NJ

Published November 7, 2017 by Maryanne

DSCF0662From left – Maria Labadia, Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta, Kiran Patel

Last night I was extremely honored to do a book reading/signing for the Nutley Book Club, Nutley, New Jersey, at the Nutley Library.

Of all my book signings since I published my first book, “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” (https://www.amazon.com/Guest-List-Adventures-Music-Journalist/dp/162903908X) this was by far my favorite because the guests read the book prior to the event!

It’s the coolest feeling for an author to hear, “I wanted to meet you!”

We had a great time talking about the book and people sharing their own musical experiences. The one thing I always hear about “Guest List” is that even if readers don’t know the bands I’m speaking about, they are relating because of how my love for music translates on the pages. “Like reading a diary” I’m often told.

Prior to the reading, Maria and Kiran took me to a wonderful dinner at Luna restaurant. I had great conversation and laughs with two wonderful ladies.

It was indeed a five-star night!