BookCon: A How-To.

A How To.

Unlike it’s predecessor, Comic-Con (which is now in its eleventh year), BookCon is a relatively new convention.  Started in 2014, BookCon is run by the same company that runs Comic-Con – ReedPOP – and follows on the heels of BookExpo, the largest and longest running annual book trade fair in America.  But while BookExpo is geared more toward professionals – publishers, writers and educators – BookCon is for the fans.  It hosts Panels, Meet-and-Greets, Giveaways, Autographing sessions and Fan Meet-Ups. Last year, BookCon took place in Chicago and was only one day long, but this year, it was held at the Javits Center in New York, Saturday and Sunday, June 3rd & 4th.  I was lucky enough to attend…

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How to Write a Blog.

How to write a blog.

It’s easy to feel like you aren’t a real writer when no one can see the fruits of your effort. If you’ve started to cringe when you tell someone, “I’m writing a novel” or you hesitate to call yourself a writer to your friends (because you don’t have any searchable content out in the world), blogging could be for you.  Writers write.  And if you don’t exist as a writer on the Internet, you don’t exist.  Don’t wait until you have a book to build your brand.  Now is the time! Continue reading “How to Write a Blog.”

Join My Guild.

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Hey, I’ve got some exciting news! I’ve just joined Patreon! In case you’re wondering, Patreon is a simple way for you to contribute to my work on my first book The Craftworker’s Guild and get cool rewards in return. If you help me build my Guild from the ground up, you’ll unlock exclusive access to my members-only Patreon feed, get sneak peaks of what I’m working on, have access to writing, podcasts, sketches, outlines and a behind-the-scenes window into my writing process.

Find out more here: https://www.patreon.com/Leighhecking

SELL OUT: Does Art Suffer from Success?

Sell out - Leighhecking.comWhen I was sixteen, I was a fan of a one-man-band, Dashboard Confessional.  My friends and I traveled miles to tiny clubs all up and down the east coast, stood shivering outside in line in winter in bad neighborhoods, got our ribs bruised up against the partition in mosh pit, covered our backpacks and messenger bags in band pins from Hot Topic, went thirsty or hungry or without sleep – all to hear the soul-bearing lyrics of someone we considered to be a modern day poet. Continue reading “SELL OUT: Does Art Suffer from Success?”

How to Write Anywhere in the World.

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As someone who travels frequently, I find that a change of scenery can inspire and inform your writing, but often doesn’t make for the best work habits. Whether you’re trying to take in museums on holiday or traveling on business, the following tips will help you to get your work done anywhere in the world.

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5 Ways Perfectionism is Keeping you from Living your Creative Life.

We’ve been taught to think that perfectionism is a good trait.  No one ever goes into a job interview promising to do less-than-perfect work.  In fact, potential job candidates are often coached to answer interview questions about their greatest weakness as, “I’m a perfectionist in everything I do.”  But is perfect attainable?  Or even desirable? Or is perfect holding us back?  Is our mental image of that “perfect” thing keeping us from doing anything at all?

Ruby-Sparks

In Ruby Sparks, Calvin’s Creation of the Perfect, Manic-Pixie-Dream-Girl Backfires when his Creation starts to have a life and feelings of her own. Continue reading “5 Ways Perfectionism is Keeping you from Living your Creative Life.”

What’s stopping you from going on a Writer’s Retreat?

A few months ago, the idea of an “Artist and Writer’s retreat” wasn’t remotely on my radar.  I was about to finish a one-year teaching contract in Korea and was looking for my next job.  Would I stay in Korea, go back to Japan,  return to the States or go somewhere completely new?  The possibilities stretched out before me, but none of them felt right.  Something in me resisted the idea of entering a classroom again.  I loved teaching and my kids, but I needed a break.  Not a vacation, crammed with sight-seeing.  My soul was crying for a return to itself.

la_muse_from_the_river_in_the_valleyLa Muse Retreat

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You Have the Right to Happiness.

Anyone who’s familiar with the United States Declaration of Independence is probably familiar with the following passage:  All men are created equal & independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent & inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness.

(Let’s just leave the part about being “created equal” alone for the moment – because we all know that’s a load of bollocks, right?  We may have been created equal, but America has never been a country that has treated people of different genders, races, ethnicities and faith-backgrounds equally.)

Today, I want to to talk about happiness!

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The Pursuit of Happyness

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If Not Now, When?

Five years ago, I was working in a beige cubicle with no windows in downtown Chicago. There was nothing wrong with my job on paper – the pay was good, I had fabulous coworkers, a healthy working environment and a relatively stress-free commute.  Every morning, I arrived early to enjoy my Venti Starbucks coffee before my coworkers began to trickle in and I thought, well, it’s not happiness, exactly, but I’m content enough…I think? I didn’t technically have anything to complain about.  I had job security and health insurance.  I didn’t bring my work home.  So, I gained a few pounds from being largely sedentary and snacking on the pastries that inevitably filled the break-room at lunch.  So, there were lulls of boredom or stress when working up to deadlines.  So, it wasn’t my life’s passion…

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My cubicle in Chicago (with bonus cupcakes – thanks Dad!)

Continue reading “If Not Now, When?”