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Author of The Pornographer's Daughter providing commentary on pornography, life and much more.

Filtering by Tag: publishing

Going Back to Where it All Began

Kristin Battista-Frazee

My Teacher Rick Walter

My Teacher Rick Walter

It’s always good to reflect back to the beginning. It gives you a chance to see how far you have come and gives clarity for future plans. On Sunday, March 22 I presented at The Writer’s Center and it was wonderful to recall the start of my writing career.

I first came to The Writer’s Center in 2006, and I didn’t have grand plans to be become a famous writer (although it would be nice) I just wanted to become a better writer for work. I enrolled in a business writing course where I met Rick Walter, teacher extraordinaire and perpetual optimist. Rick was the catalyst for me embarking on this crazy endeavor to get published. He took a genuine interest in my efforts to improve my writing and even after the workshop ended, we would meet to review my work. Most importantly Rick believed in my writing potential. 

Read full blog at First Person Plural.

Five Things I Learned as a Social Worker

Kristin Battista-Frazee

I’m a marketing professional and author, but also a social worker.  I earned an MSW degree from Columbia University and since graduation my career has taken many interesting turns. I was a geriatric social worker who moved on to marketing and communications roles in Washington, D.C., and this fall I will publish my memoir, The Pornographer’s Daughter.  I have always relied on my social work skills to move forward in my career.

Social work is not confined to working for the government or counseling. It’s a multi-faceted profession with many different opportunities within your grasp.  In honor of Social Work Month (a little late), here’s the top five things I learned as a social worker.

  1. The world is a big place. We don’t exist in a vacuum and realizing just how diverse the world is will bring you needed perspective in your career and life. Understanding the importance of cultural competency in social work practice is also applicable to functioning effectively in a growing global economy. Cookie-cutter approaches don’t work and a better understanding of how someone’s culture impacts their beliefs, behaviors and viewpoints makes products and services more accessible to a boarder audience.
  2. People are complex. Understanding the complexities of human behavior will give you the upper hand. Learning clinical skills and the impact of mental illness, culture, trauma, addiction, divorce, discrimination, socioeconomic status and host of other things will help you better recognize someone’s underlying motivations and actions.
  3. Small things make a big difference. A smile. An understanding gesture. Writing to your Congressman.  Signing a petition. It’s these types of small things that can develop rapport with a challenging client to move a project forward, build a counseling relationship or even start a movement to right an injustice. Do all the little things you can, they add up.
  4. Things are not always what they appear to be. The world is unpredictable and situations are inevitably various shades of grey. And not just black or white, good or bad, right or wrong but a mixture of everything in between.  The more comfortable you are with uncertainty the better. 
  5. Take a risk and bend the rules. As a social worker, someone else’s well-being is often dependent upon you taking a risk or advocating on their behalf.  This skill applies any type of career and bending the rules, if done ethically, has value.  If you want to learn something new, don’t wait for someone to teach you. If you see an opportunity, take it. If someone needs help, do something to help them. It’s quite simple, social work, or any great career, has always been about getting your hands dirty, jumping in with both feet, doing something you feel passionate about, and just plain fighting for what you believe in.

These are skills social work has taught me and so far, they have served me well. I hope you thanked a social worker in the month of March for all the fantastic things they do.

What Survivor Taught Me About Publishing

Kristin Battista-Frazee

  I'm a pop culture junkie and love the reality show Survivor. The social game theory that plays out week after week with starving contestants in unusual locations is fascinating to me. The blend of personalities, ambition and push-to-the-limit qualities I think is a blueprint for many work and personal situations and indicative to publishing and writing my family memoir. Here’s what I mean:

The sandy beaches and clear blue water seen in Survivor locations look like paradise but is not. What truly awaits people in this blissful setting are days exposed to the elements, crippling self-doubt, fear of rejection by your fellow tribe members and confusion about who you can REALLY trust. It sounds great to say, “I’m writing a book” but you will face many of the same things Survivor’s contestants contend with especially the rejection and self-doubt. How you overcome these obstacles will determine your success in the publishing game. And when millions of hours have been invested in your book project you’ll do any amount of scrambling, editing, and bargaining to not get your project voted off the island.

Going to Exile Island to write your book in isolation is never a good idea. While you’re gone you’ll miss out on opportunities to sharpen your game strategy and to figure out how the ground is shifting beneath you. That’s why writing groups, workshops, networking opportunities and research are all important to making your book a reality.

Striking a balance between learning how to be self-sufficient and build a fire and forging key alliances are essential to your survival in the game. You need to query lots of agents before you find the right one and build good working relationships to reach your ultimate goal of a million dollars and the title of “sole survivor” or in my case a book deal. Fire is life in this game too, so learn how to make fire. You need that passion and the ability to boil water and stay warm to sustain you over the long haul. Writing a book takes a long time.

No matter how hungry you get on the island or in writing your book you don’t need to eat nasty bugs, rats, sea slugs or whatever else has protein.  You can make irrational decisions when you’re hungry because you think your going to die of starvation if you don’t get an agent or publisher. If you sign with a bad agent or don’t get a fair publishing deal all of your hard work could be lost. Just wait until the next reward challenge, a better deal is right around the corner if you can be patient and think carefully before you make decisions.

“The Tribe Has Spoken” is never truly the last word in your ultimate fate, future or success of your book project. Just because a group of people, agents or publishers think your project isn’t good doesn’t mean its not. You can count on showing up on the jury or becoming the most popular Survivor contestant to never win the game and parlay your exposure into a grand career.  The publishing biz is subjective, have faith and you will publish.

Never give up on finding the hidden immunity idol or all the tools you’ll need to write your book. And once you find the idol certainly don’t give it away, use it strategically to get further in the game.

So for me the key to getting published— Outwit, Outplay and Outlast.

Reblogged from www.sixgreatbooks.com