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In Search of Courage!

Introvert Inspiration & My Top 12 Indie Publishing Tips

Oftentimes I feel like the guy in the glider. Floating around searching for a direction or place to go. But my journey over the past couple of years has finally landed me in a harmonious place. I'm so excited to share pieces with you every week and now, proudly announce the launch of my book, In Search of Courage, for March 31, 2020!

Steve Friedman's story provides inspiration for those who struggle with introversion, and empathy for the rest of us who work with and love them.

Friedman presents a story of his battles to cope with introversion from an early age. To combat the pressures of adolescence and corporate America, he adopts addictive behaviors that threaten his health and his family life. Friedman faces many forks in the road, often struggling to make the tough decisions to find peace and happiness. What would you do when faced with such adversity?

You will find yourself rooting for Friedman while also testing your own mettle. In Search of Courage is a fast read, but the lessons will inspire for years to come.

I'm so honored to receive such supportive testimonials from highly respected authors. Please check out their books too!

"While searching for personal courage, Steve Friedman transcends individual conflicts to explore themes of self-awareness and belonging. In the tradition of Maya Angelou, Richard Rodriguez, and Paul Monette, In Search of Courage illuminates, through a very personal lens, universal insights bright with wisdom and heart."

-Roger Leslie, PhD; Author of From Inspiration to Publication, My First Last Year, and Owner of Paradise Publishing House

"Kudos to Steve Friedman for sharing such a personal journey through the challenges of being an introvert in an extroverted world. As an introvert myself, I can relate to so many situations in his captivating book. This book will help others feel less alone in their own journeys."

-Stephanie Chandler, author of The Nonfiction Book Publishing Plan and CEO of the Nonfiction Authors Association

"First-time author Steve Friedman shares his personal stories in such a way that we care for him while learning about ourselves. It was almost as if I could feel his pain, anxiety, and sadness as he endured each struggle. I couldn’t stop reading to find out the next roadblock he faced along his journey and how he coped with it. Well done!"


A RAINBOW just hit our website! Because embracing our introversion should be exhilarating and lead us to go BEYOND INTROVERSION, click here to check it out!

Top 10 Indie Publishing Tips

When I started writing again in 2018, I never pondered the publishing path that lay ahead. But this past summer I had the opportunity to consider a hybrid offer or my own self-publishing path. Though gracious for the offer, I opted to go Indie, partly to maintain full control, but largely because I thought I'd like the activity. As a career supply chain guy, project management fell in line with my task-oriented mentality. So in June, I set off on my own publishing journey.

Here are my Top Twelve Indie Publishing Tips (so far):

  1. CHOOSE Indie! If you like project management, timelines, learning new things, and maintaining business and artistic control, great! But also be prepared to spend a lot of time researching, contracting, and monitoring. It's not for everyone. But if it's for you, dive in! It's been a rewarding surprise on my journey.

  2. Do it your way! Everyone is different and has their own strengths and weaknesses. Leverage your strengths. Dip your toe into new areas to stretch your comfort zone. Ask and listen to other's paths, but chart your own course!

  3. Realistic expectations! Broad brush costs after content editing... INDIE: $2-$7k HYBRID: $10-$15k TRADITIONAL: $2k (but you may get an advance; however, less than 15% of manuscripts get a traditional contract and it may take 2 years for those to be published). I didn't think about publishing until I was nearly done writing my book, so this was new and surprising. Depending on your goals (family heirloom or best seller, hobby or business, extra cash or primary income source), study your options and pick wisely.

  4. If you opt for INDIE, create a detailed timeline with everything you can think of through launch and update weekly.

  5. Learn! Podcasts (Sell More Books Show, Creative Penn, Marketing Book Podcast, Self Publishing Show, Author Friendly Podcast, The Author Biz) are great and plentiful. Facebook Groups (Ink Slinger Self Publishing Support, Self-Publishing and Book Marketing, Aspiring Memoir Writers, Writers of Non-fiction, How to Publish Your Book, Nonfiction Authors Association, Writer's Digest Community, Writers Helping Writers) and conferences are all very helpful, as are the myriad of books on the subject. People in the writing and publishing industry are so giving and informative. Keep adding to that detailed timeline.

  6. Research contracting (editors, graphic design, print & distribution). I used the resources above to learn about my needs and develop a short list.

  7. Don't skip contracting for editing and cover. It's what elevates your voice and your work.

  8. Provide extra time in your schedule for all the "discoveries" along the way.

  9. Start Marketing early. Establish a website, start a blog, become active on 2-3 Social Media sites depending on your subject and interest. Consider speaking opportunities, Amazon/Facebook Ads, and more. There are LOTS of options but you have to choose what is right for you (see the theme?)!

  10. Business Aspects include setting up your publishing company and imprint, considering LLC, creating checking account. It's pretty simple, but must be done before publishing.

  11. Administrative tasks for publishing will include ISBN creation, Copyright registry, and lot's more. Again, not difficult but takes some time.

  12. Celebrate! Plan a launch party to celebrate all your work and get the word out. Make it fun and memorable!

If these steps sound horrible, find another option. If they seem daunting, don't worry. If they seem intriguing, join the INDIE wave! I'm happy to connect via Facebook!



CLIMBING KILI- Choices, Choices, Choices... (10/16/19)

Next year my daughter and I will tackle Kilimanjaro together. Though I haven't hiked regularly in a long time, I used to go out with my dad a lot when I was a kid. I spent an afternoon hiking to our favorite spot and reflecting a few months after he passed...

November 28, 2013

Dearest Dad,

Today, I’ve come to visit you at Peavine Falls. It’s a beautiful clear, chilly day at Oak Mountain. I piloted the hike down to the falls with the experience and familiarity that will never leave me. I remember the narrowing path, each of the twists and turns, the trees I held as I navigated around exposed roots. I hear the birds chirping in the distance. I see the tree branches filled with an array of colors, waving in the occasional breeze. The trickle of the waterfall below signaling the dryness of the summer as it fades away.

I hear you questioning why I came so ill-prepared. Where is my water? My map? My compass and snack bag? I chuckle, and yet, I am here, with you. Perhaps one last time.

It’s been five years since I’ve been here. I feel close to you here. I miss you terribly, each and every day. I think of you and your unflinching love. I think of your resilient, devoted personality which you passed on to me. I didn’t recognize the gift back then and, if I did, I didn’t want it. But I carry you with me every day…proudly.

I stare into the trees as I contemplate my letter to you. They seem to be leaning toward me, as if they embody you and you are striving to listen to my unspoken words. I think you would be proud of the work I’ve done over the past few years to fix my life. I’ve tried to listen to what you taught me, your subtle yet powerful examples. I look down into my laptop screen, and the reflection is my own, yet I see you…your thick brows, prominent nose, and smile which you can’t help but twist until I laugh.

It’s funny, as a kid I felt like perhaps we spent too much time together – dragged off on hikes on dirty, bumpy trails without TV or friends. Our times were spent with agonizing silence. Yet now I realize, that in between your long work weeks, you chose to spend time with me. Time away from the rat race of life and the stress of a house full of teenagers and real-world issues, and come to nature with me. Nature provided the peace and tranquility you yearned for; the peace I’m now realizing I too crave. To instill appreciation of the brilliance of nature in me for the rest of my life was indeed a gift. Ours was perhaps an unspoken love in many ways. We rarely talked in depth…about girls, life, money, dreams, concerns, aches, or pains. Yet, now, I feel like we understand each other. That our thoughts, cares, hurts and coping passed between us to some degree, albeit with a heart wrenching three-decade lag.

You’ve inspired me to write a book, to capture my story for myself and my family.

I wish we had talked more, to know more of your past – your childhood, your relations with your parents, your battles and your eventual acceptance of your own personality which I so reluctantly received from you. What drove you, what inspired you, what saddened you, what made you most happy? We didn’t talk about this openly, but I suspect I know, as my answers to such questions were hatched from yours.

Forever more, I wear your wedding ring on my right hand, a tribute to my unrecognized right-hand man all these years and in hopes of emulating your character and making you proud of me as a husband, father, and mensch.

I’m ready to walk back up the trail now.

I love you lots and carry you with me always.

Talk to you soon!

Love Stephen



Sunday is National Day on Writing. Grab your computer, your phone, a pad of paper or a napkin. Don't plan it out. Don't aim for perfection. Just write what's on your mind. Let it flow. It can be a journal or a poem or sci-fi or fantasy or a romance story. Get lost in your imagination. Just a few minutes may unleash a lifetime of excitement!


3 Ways Writing Has Been Therapeutic for Me and Could Be for You Too

For anyone who is interested in leading a healthful lifestyle

by Danny Forest / The Writing Cooperative

I really connected to Danny's brief article. He reflected:

" 1. I don’t open up when people don’t ask me questions

2. I ask questions, but I feel awkward following up on subjects I don’t know."

I relate so much to both of his statements. I think these two items caused me such stress over the years. As a team leader in corporate America, part of my job was to ask questions and provide my advice and perspective. But the stress those two expectations placed on me was something most introverts can relate to but most extroverts cannot connect with at all. But as Danny's states, introverts NEED to write, to process moments and to get our voice out there. The world needs the introvert's voice, and writing is a perfect venue to do just that.

ASPECTS IN ART: Witchy Woman (10/2/19)

"The Witchy Woman" by Jennifer Friedman / What a perfect creation for Halloween month! She is strong, powerful, and mysterious. You can even (literally) see the fearlessness in her teeth! This collage is 100% ripped out of magazine pictures and then carefully assembled to evoke a spine-tingling chill. Step back and she is spooky. Look closer and amaze at her hidden friends and messages. Enjoy...if you dare!

I'd love to hear from you via Facebook, LinkedIn, or Email. As always, if you leave your Email on our website, you won't have to chase around to find our blog on social will drop right into your Inbox for you to scan at your leisure. Thanks again!!!







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