Why SplitSeed?

Posted by on Mar 5, 2014 in Uncategorized | 2 comments

Why SplitSeed?

So, why would we name a writing, editing, and publishing strategy company SplitSeed? Over the past six years of helping over 100 bestselling, entrepreneurial, and first-time authors edit and write their books for a variety of publishing platforms, we’ve realized that the role we play is really one of nurturing new ideas in written form so they can bear fruit in the lives of others. These ideas are much like seeds just beginning to split open and grow, and the support they get at the beginning can truly make all the difference. Why Ideas That Grow? We believe a book that truly impacts readers long term must have at its heart a living idea that is bigger than the individual author. So an idea that grows is an idea that can no longer be contained by a single individual and is ready to bear fruit in the lives of others. We help authors identify the idea that’s growing, find the right environment so it can continue to grow (publishing strategy), and nurture it so it can bear fruit in the lives of their readers (writing and editing). How Can SplitSeed Help Me? We are a full-service writing, editing, and publishing strategy team who provides authors at any level in their career with book strategy sessions, publishing strategy sessions, book writing plans, writing coaching, ghostwriting, manuscript reviews, manuscript editing, and proofreading. You will always find patient support, expert feedback, the eagerness of a lifelong learner, and passionate enthusiasm for your growing ideas as they are beginning to take the form of a book. Now that this part-time solo practice by an “accidental editor” has taken on an identity and life of its own, I have to thank some of the amazing people who nurtured this particular business idea at exactly the right time: Paul Hubbard, my renegade friend, independent author, and first client. The courtesy and respect you had for me as a brand-new book editor is the reason why I had the gumption to hang out a shingle in the first place. Thank you so much for your fiercely uncompromising integrity that continues to inspire and impress me. Martha Rogers and Don Peppers, legendary 1to1 marketing experts and bestselling business authors. I’m not sure you really knew how inexperienced I was when you hired me to edit and manage your textbook revision, but your generosity is responsible for my shift from editing as a part-time hobby to a full-time freelancer. Even more importantly, your books, particularly Extreme Trust, convinced this English major and divinity school grad that doing good business really was doing good, and companies committed to creating win-win relationships with customers could make the world a better (market)place. David Hancock, founder of Morgan James Publishing. Thank you just isn’t enough. Without your trust in me and your innovative publishing model that helps fill the chasm between self-publishing and traditional publishing, so many living ideas would have died on the vine. Our connection enabled me to move from solo freelancer to bona fide business owner and hire a like-minded team. Ben Rooker, my partner in life, learning, and business. I was stunned, then overwhelmed, and then immensely grateful when you offered to leave your own career in design and sales to jump on board. This business couldn’t exist without your...

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Element 8 of the Creative Process: Rest

Posted by on Nov 12, 2014 in Tips | 0 comments

Element 8 of the Creative Process: Rest

Video Content: Element 8: Rest Have you ever felt guilty or ashamed of not producing enough as a writer? Hi, this is Amanda Rooker, Executive Editor at SplitSeed, and today’s tip is the final tip in our series on the creative process. It is Element 8: rest. Ideas that grow are meant to be shared. So if you have gone through the process of growing your idea into the form of a book and sharing that book—that idea—so that it can bear good fruit in the lives of others, you’ve earned a well-deserved rest. Now that time of rest may vary from writer to writer. Some writers just need a couple of weeks off before new ideas start growing again. Some writers need a couple of months. Some need a year, and some need more than a year. It all depends on the kind of person you are, the kinds of ideas you tend to grow, and how much energy they take out of you as they are growing within you. The same is true in the natural world. The season of winter may look barren, but actually the plants or the trees are just saving up energy until the time comes for them to be fruitful again. So if you are in this period of rest after you’ve produced your idea and published it and shared it, just know that rest doesn’t necessarily mean doing nothing. You can still incorporate some of the elements of the creative process into your life so that you know that you will be ready to receive those ideas when they come to you. Remember to spend plenty of time with the Source (the sun for your ideas). Remember to incorporate the element of water, of taking care of yourself. Also remember to spend time in the garden—to spend plenty of time in your imagination to notice what seeds are there and might be ready to grow. So the next time an idea plants itself in your imagination, you’ll be much better at recognizing it and tending it and allowing it to grow according to the rhythm and schedule it needs than you were the first time. This concludes our series on the Eight Elements of the Creative Process. Just to review: Element 1 is the garden, or your imagination. Element 2 is the seed, or your idea itself. Element 3 is the sun, or the Source of energy for your ideas. Element 4 is water, or self-care. Element 5 is weeding, or removing negative beliefs. Element 6 is pruning, or revising your manuscript. Element 7 is harvesting, or sharing your book with others. And Element 8 is rest. If this series was helpful to you, I hope that you’ll share it with the writers that you...

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Element 7 of the Creative Process: Harvesting

Posted by on Sep 12, 2014 in Tips | 0 comments

Element 7 of  the Creative Process:  Harvesting

Video Content: How do you know when it is time to publish your manuscript? Hi, this is Amanda Rooker, Executive Editor at SplitSeed, and today’s writing tip is Element 7 in the creative process: harvest and share the produce. One of the true joys of gardening is that after your long work of nurturing your plants in the garden, you get to share the harvest with the ones that you love. You get to share it with family, with friends, with neighbors—you get to share your abundance with the people who can really benefit from it. And the same is true with the writing process. Once you finish your book, we all have the joy of sharing our idea so it can bear fruit in the lives of others. Now, how does the gardener know when it is time to harvest? To put it simply, it is when what they see in their garden matches what they saw on the seed packet that they bought when they planted those seeds in the first place. And the same is true for the writing process. When the experience of reading our manuscript matches the experience of seeing the image we saw at the beginning of the process, we know it is time to share it. Before we share it, however, we definitely need to pull in a team of people to partner with us to share it in the best way possible so that it is easy for our readers to access. And that will involve bringing together professional copyeditors, proofreaders, interior designers, cover designers, e-book formatters, printers, distributors – everything you need to polish and produce and distribute your book so it is easy for your readers to find and to buy. There are many ways to publish, but that is not really the focus of this tip. What’s important to know is how to recognize the point in the creative process where you bring in your team to publish. You know it’s time to publish when you read your manuscript, and you see that image clearly reflected back to you that initially inspired you to go through all of this work in the first place. So, Element 7 of the creative process is harvest and share the produce. For more writing tips, visit us at split-seed.com, and if this tip was helpful to you, feel free to share it with a writer that you...

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Element 6 of the Creative Process: Pruning

Posted by on Aug 7, 2014 in Tips | 0 comments

Element 6 of the Creative Process: Pruning

Video Content: Have you ever wondered when the best time is to involve an editor in your writing process? Hi, this is Amanda Rooker, Executive Editor at SplitSeed, and today’s tip is number six in our series on the creative process. Element number six is pruning. If you have herbs or fruit trees in your garden, you know the importance of pruning. Herbs grow best when you pinch back the tops and allow the leaves to keep growing; otherwise they will quickly go to seed and stop investing their growth energy in producing the fruit or the produce that you want—which, in the case of herbs, is leaves. The same is true for fruit trees; it is important to prune excess branches off of fruit trees so they can shift their energy into growing the fruit rather than just using all of their growth energy into growing new branches. The same principle applies to us as we write books. We need to prune our writing in order to produce the best fruit in the form of our book. The leaner our writing can get, the more likely it is that our readers won’t have to use most of their thinking energy merely to understand what we are saying, but if they can easily understand what we are saying, they can instead focus their energy on applying it to their lives. That’s how ideas actually take root and bear fruit in readers’ lives, which is what all of us want as authors. It’s why we write our books in the first place, to help our readers make real change. So, what does pruning look like? Perhaps the best word for pruning is revising. This might be when you consider bringing in a writing coach or an editor to help you compare the current state of your manuscript to the initial image you had for your idea in the first place, and help you determine where and what to prune.  But if you have a clear vision of that central image for your book, you can absolutely do your own pruning. Here’s how: when your draft is complete, simply take a bit of time away from it, get the image of your core idea clear in your mind, and return to your manuscript, reading it through with this core image in mind. Check to make sure it is coherent with that image and takes your readers on a clear journey from where you know they are starting, to where it is that you want them to be. Now, you may realize that you are too close to your work and can’t see the forest for the trees. That’s when a developmental editor or writing coach can be very helpful in your revision process and make sure you are staying true to your initial vision. So that is the role of pruning: to cut off the excess prose that is straying from the central image of your book so that it can bear fruit in the lives of your readers. For more tips, visit us at www.split-seed.com, and if this tip was helpful to you, feel free to share it with a writer that you...

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Element 5 of the Creative Process: Weeding

Posted by on Jul 24, 2014 in Tips | 1 comment

Element 5 of the Creative Process: Weeding

Video Content: Are you in the thick of your writing process, but find yourself losing energy as you’re writing? Hi, I’m Amanda Rooker, Executive Editor at SplitSeed, and today’s writing tip is Element 5 in our series on the creative process. Element 5 is weeding. If you’ve been following our tips on the creative process, you might be wondering, When do I actually get to write? I’ve got all these different practices that I’m doing in my life, but none of them are actually about the writing process. What I usually tell writers is that you know you’re ready to start writing your first draft when you can see the concept of your book as a full, single image in your head. For some of you that image may have appeared right when you got the seed of the idea. In that instant, you could see the full picture of what your book was going to be about, in which case that would be a great time to start writing. For some of you, you might have received the full image gradually, perhaps as you spent more time with the Source as time went on. Either way, I’d encourage you to start writing whenever you have that clear image of your full book concept visible in your imagination. Usually by the time we get to Element 5 in the creative process, most people have a clear, single image for their book process, which means most people are writing their first draft. They’re in the thick of growing their idea. So, to follow our analogy with gardening, the plant has broken through the surface of the soil, and it is starting to visibly grow. Now, if you have ever gardened, you also know that if a plot of soil regularly receives plenty of sun and water, other things besides the seeds you plant will also grow—in other words, weeds. So it is very important to be diligent about visiting your garden and pulling out the weeds that can threaten to choke out the growth you have so carefully nurtured so far. The same is true for the creative process. For us as creative thinkers, the weeds are our negative thoughts or beliefs that can distract us from the writing process or creative process. Beliefs like, “I can’t do this…This is taking too long…I don’t know what I’m doing…Why did I ever start this?…This is a bad idea.” These negative thoughts will choke out the growth of your idea (which is probably growing exactly according to its design anyway), and will distract you from the sometimes long-term process that writing is. These are the weeds that we have to pull out. So how do we pull out these weeds, these negative beliefs and thoughts? We use the power of our imagination. Most of you have heard that Einstein said the power of the imagination is the greatest power on the planet, and you’ll understand why if you practice the creative process for any length of time. So you imagine these negative beliefs as literal weeds in your garden. If you can imagine your idea growing like a plant in your garden, and these negative beliefs as weeds threatening to choke out the life that you have so carefully nurtured, simply imagine...

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Element 4 of the Creative Process: Water

Posted by on Jul 17, 2014 in Tips | 0 comments

Element 4 of the Creative Process: Water

Video Content: When you are working on your creative projects, do you find yourself using only your brain and forget that you also have a body? Hi, this is Amanda Rooker, Executive Editor at SplitSeed, and today’s writing tip is the fourth in our series on the eight elements of the creative process. And today’s element is water. But first, I’d like to back up a little bit and review the first three elements of the creative process, because today with the fourth element we are making a bit of a shift. Element 1 was spend time in the garden. Element two was the seed of your idea. Element three was the sun, or spending time with the source. Now each of those elements were primarily about being. They are either about noticing something, receiving something, or just basking in the presence of something. They weren’t much about doing. With element number four, we are making a shift into doing, which may be a relief to some of you. Back to the fourth element, which is water. In a garden, plants need water almost more than anything else. And this is something that the gardener has complete control over. It is up to the gardener how much water the plants get. Water, for us as creative thinkers and as writers, includes the self-care practices that we do to take care of our bodies, because our body, our mind, and our spirit are all connected. They all support each other. As we are writing, we can’t forget about our body, even as we use our mind and our spirit. Self-care practices include exercise, eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, spending time with friends—all of those things that take care of yourself that begin with the body and then extend out to support your mind and spirit as well. For the creative process, getting enough rest is so crucial. Spending social time with loved ones is important. And spending time away from your creative work is important. So as you are working on your book, make sure that you remember that you are not just a brain, you also have a body, and your body fuels the kind of work that your brain is able to do. Element four of the creative process is water. For more tips, visit us at www.splitseed.com, and if this tip was helpful to you, feel free to forward it to a writer that you...

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Element 3 of the Creative Process: The Sun

Posted by on Jun 19, 2014 in Tips | 0 comments

Element 3 of the Creative Process: The Sun

Video Content: Element 3: The Sun Series: The 8 Elements of the Creative Process Has developing a book-length idea taken a lot more work than you thought it would? Hi, this is Amanda Rooker, Executive Editor at SplitSeed. Today’s writing tip is the third in our series on the creative process. Today we’re going to talk about the sun, which is the source of our ideas, and which enables our ideas to keep growing and grow in the way they were intended to grow. If you think about a physical garden, and if you’ve been following our tips so far, we have our plot of land, which is our imagination. We have the seed of the idea itself, which has come to us from a source outside of ourselves and is an idea that will grow beyond ourselves. The next element we need is the sun, and for the creative process, the sun is the source itself. This is the point in the process where I am particularly tempted to just take my idea and run with it. After all, I have my imagination, and I have my book-length idea. As I get a vision of what that idea is, I tend to think it is up to me to make that idea happen, to write a book about it, to get it into print, to share it with others. A lot of the writers I work with feel that way as well. The truth is that we have another resource available to us that actually helps our ideas grow, so we don’t have to feel like we have to build them all by ourselves. And, that is our source, or our creator. You might call it God, or the universe, or inspiration, or a muse. But whatever you call it, we all need it every moment as we are trying to grow this idea, not just as a source of the idea itself. We need it to sustain us as we are developing this idea as well. So, once you have connected to the source to receive the idea in the first place, it is very important that as you continue to develop it, that you keep spending time with that source to allow your idea to grow in the way that it is supposed to grow. This analogy with gardening, specifically how plants use the sun to grow, is really apt here, because there are certain plants love the shade; they don’t need too much time in the sun in order to grow. There are certain plants who love the sun and need lots of sun in order to grow. Our ideas are like that as well; every idea needs a different amount of time spent with the source to grow well. Also, every person is different, in terms of the amount of time he or she needs to spend with the source. It really is up to you as a creative thinker to figure out how much time in the source you need for your idea to grow well, and what kind of process you want to follow in order to connect with that source. Last time we talked a little bit about a beginning process you can use to connect with the source, but the...

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Element 2 of the Creative Process: The Seed

Posted by on Jun 6, 2014 in Tips | 0 comments

Element 2 of the Creative Process: The Seed

Video Content: Series: The 8 Elements of the Creative Process Element 2: The Seed Have you ever wondered where ideas come from? Hi, this is Amanda Rooker, Executive Editor at SplitSeed. Today’s writing tip is the second in our series on the creative process, and today we are going to talk about the seed.  If you’ve listened to our last tip, you know that it is very important to first locate where your garden (or your imagination) is when you start to think about developing a book length idea. So, we are in our garden­­; we know where that is and we have the soil prepared. But, as we all know, soil by itself does not produce plants and fruit. We need a seed to do that. So if you think of your idea as a seed, then you will be one step closer to producing book-length ideas that grow. So where do these seeds come from? Just like seeds come from a source outside the soil, the seeds of our ideas come from outside our imagination, outside our own mind; they come from a source outside of ourselves. You might call that source your muse, your inspiration, God, or the universe. But this source is real, and it truly is outside of yourself, so in order to get seeds that produce good fruit, or a book-length idea that produces good things in the lives of your readers, you need to open yourself up to that source. Some of you may already have a practice that you use every once in a while or each day to connect to that source. But if you don’t, here is one idea that you can try. Begin by getting still and quiet. Recognize where your ideas are located, which is your imagination. And set the intention that you would like to connect to the source of creativity and that you would like to learn from it. And just sit, being present in your imagination, and see what ideas occur to you. You may already see some ideas growing there, but just see what comes, and know that those beginnings of an idea, those pictures you are beginning to see in your mind, may be those ideas being planted straight from the source. Those are the seeds of your ideas. So recognize that it is not enough to know where your imagination is and to rely on it to produce good ideas on its own. You need a seed from a source outside yourself. Open yourself up to that source for those ideas, and you will be able to produce book-length ideas that grow. For more writing tips, visit us at split-seed.com, and if this tip was helpful for you, feel free to share it with a writer that you...

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Element 1 of the Creative Process: Spend Time in the Garden

Posted by on May 22, 2014 in Tips | 3 comments

Element 1 of the Creative Process: Spend Time in the Garden

Video Content: Series: The 8 elements of the creative process. Element 1: Spend time in the garden. Have you ever wished the creative process was a lot less mysterious and a lot more practical? Hi, this is Amanda Rooker, Executive Editor at SplitSeed, and today’s writing tip is our first in a series on the 8 Elements of the Creative Process. Gardening is actually a great analogy for understanding the creative process, and our first element is to spend time in the garden. Last year I went to great effort to plant several different vegetables in our backyard garden, and it just didn’t yield much at all. Why? I got too busy and I never spent time in the garden after I planted. Obviously we can’t grow or tend anything if we don’t spend time in the garden in the first place and take note of what needs to be done. What does this mean for you as a creative thinker and writer? Our garden is where our living ideas are planted. So to spend time in the garden, first we need to know where the heck it is, right? This may sound very esoteric and mysterious, but it’s not. It’s very practical. You know where it is. You might call this place your imagination, your mind, your heart, or your right brain. Personally, I call it my right brain, because that term means something very specific to me, but you can call it whatever you want. Whatever it is, even though you can’t see it, it is a real place inside you. And you need to know where it is and spend time there on a regular basis. So how do we spend time in our garden? The easiest way is simply to imagine ourselves there, walking around in our imagination. Not doing anything, but just being. Noticing. Absorbing. Learning. Being receptive to ideas that grow means choosing to be – not to do, but to BE – where they are. The more you apprentice yourself to the metaphor of gardening, the more practical and straightforward the creative process will become. You’ve got to know where your ideas are planted within you if you are to recognize them and nurture them in the first place. So element 1 of the creative process is to simply spend time being in the garden. Start by thinking about where your ideas originate within you. Take a moment to get quiet and still, and literally imagine yourself in that place within, wherever that is for you. Take note of what’s there. Are there any ideas there that seem like they could be applicable to others besides yourself? Are there any ideas that are ready to grow? In our next tip, we’ll talk about Element 2 of the creative process, which is the Seed itself. For more tips, visit us at split-seed.com, and this tip was helpful for you, feel free to share it with a writer that you...

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Tip 8: A Book With Lasting Value Is Grown, Not Built

Posted by on May 15, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Video Transcript: Are you concerned that you’re putting all this time and effort and money into writing a book, and you’re not sure it will produce a good return on your investment? Hi, this is Amanda Rooker, Executive Editor at SplitSeed. Today’s writing tip is A Book With Lasting Value Is Grown, Not Built. In the publishing world, we are in an era where any author can publish any book at any time. There are no more gatekeepers keeping you from you from publishing your book – as an author, you’ve never had more opportunities to share your work. But with this freedom comes an important responsibility. It’s up to you to be your own gatekeeper. It’s up to you to make sure you’re investing all this time and effort and money for good purpose. It’s up to you to make sure you’re producing a work of lasting value for your readers, and not just adding to the noise. And it’s a daunting responsibility. Today’s tip goes to the very core of our brand and what I believe is the secret to producing valuable work that lasts. At SplitSeed we believe that all authors have within them a seed of an idea that can grow beyond themselves and bear positive, lasting fruit in the lives of others. Sometimes the question is discovering what that living seed is. Sometimes the question is how to nurture that seed so it grows to maturity. Sometimes the question is how to properly harvest the produce. And sometimes the question is how to share the produce with those who can truly benefit from it. The point is that producing valuable work that lasts is a growing process, not a building process. Here’s the point, and the tip for today: work with lasting value is grown from a living seed of an idea planted within you – it is not built solely through your own effort. Now, building written works out of our own effort alone, out of our logical left brain only, is certainly helpful and necessary at times, but they aren’t likely to be works with lasting value. The truth is that building books solely from our own effort is a lot like building a tree: the result might be interesting, and it might even look a lot like a tree. But it’s not going to bear fruit because it’s not alive – and most people can tell the difference between something built and something alive. Plus it takes a lot more work to build something that looks like a tree than it does to plant a seed, tend it, and let it grow on its own, right? If you keep trying to build creative works rather than grow them, eventually you’re going to burn out as well. So if you want your books to have lasting value in our overloaded marketplace, make sure your book is rooted in a living idea that’s bigger than yourself, and don’t try to build it solely from your own effort. If you’re still not sure what the difference really is between a book that is grown and a book that is built, gardening is actually a great analogy for this kind of creative process. So beginning with the next tip, I’ll be walking us through the most...

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Tip 7: Let Your Responsibilities Fuel Your Writing

Posted by on May 7, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Transcript: Do you have a hard time finding the time to write? Do you believe that if you just didn’t have to do “x”, you’d be able to finish your book in no time? Hi, this is Amanda Rooker, Executive Editor of SplitSeed, and today’s writing tip is to Let Your Responsibilities Fuel Your Writing. This is a writing tip that really hits home for me. I’m currently working on a novel that I’m really having trouble prioritizing—and I tend to blame it on the fact that I have “so much to do.” My husband Ben and I happen to be at what feels like the height of our responsibilities in life, like many of you are as well. We own our own business, we want to be fully focused on our clients when they need us, we are parents to two very active sons, we do our best to run our household, and we have all the other normal responsibilities of life. To be honest, I really thought I would have finished writing this novel a long time ago. So when I read articles about successful authors, I tend to think, Well, if I didn’t have to do x, or y, or z, I would have finished my book, too. The assumption is that if I didn’t have all these life responsibilities, I could be a much more productive writer. I recently saw a quote at the Writer’s Digest website that really helped shift my mindset about this. It’s from David Brin, who is an award-winning science fiction author: If you have other things in your life—family, friends, good productive day work—these can interact with your writing and the sum will be all the richer. David Brin, Award-winning science fiction author Then it hit me: the problem is actually the solution. I’ve been looking at my life responsibilities as obstacles to writing, rather than viewing them as the very things that will give me the wisdom and experience to have something to write about in the first place. The key is to live in the moment and fully experience the insights and experiences as they happen – and allow those to fuel the writing time I do schedule. So if you find yourself overwhelmed by life’s responsibilities, and think “If only I didn’t have to do x, I’d be able to finish my book” – maybe this tip will help you as well. Your life responsibilities are not obstacles to your writing. They’re the very thing that give you something to write about. If you stay present in your responsibilities and use them as fuel for your writing time, you may find your writing time is all more fruitful and productive. For more writing tips, visit us as split-seed.com, and if this tip was helpful for you, feel free to forward it to a writer that you...

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