We had the good fortune of connecting with C. Darayl Howard and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi C. Darayl, what’s the most important lesson your business/career has taught you?
Getting a good night’s rest is the most important ingredient to being successful as an entrepreneur. You’ve probably heard the saying, “I can sleep when I die,” but my motto is if you don’t rest, how can you be effective when you work? That isn’t to say that I don’t work hard, because I do. As a writer, I have a million ideas floating through my head at any given time that I would love to just spill out at once. But that’s impractical. I’ve learned to pace myself and enjoy the creative process as it’s happening. My writing is important to me, and I want that to shine through in my art. The best way for me to do that is to work when I’m at my optimal best.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a ‘real-life fiction’ author and creating novels that ring true to life is my passion. Growing up, I was a voracious reader so writing comes naturally to me. The thing that sets me apart from most writers is my books are somewhat autobiographical. I write about the situations and people that have impacted my life. My work although highly embellished, has little pieces of myself intricately carved into the characters in my stories. It’s a form of self-expression as well as therapy. I love writing because I get to live out some of my wildest fantasies, while also letting the world in on the craziness that is my life.
I knew I wanted to self-publish my work early on, but I didn’t realize how much there was to learn. After spending countless hours doing research and gaining knowledge about the business side of indie publishing, I decided to launch my company LadeeBlogHer Publishing. It is not your typical publishing company in that we don’t actually publish books. What we do is help other indie authors to publish their own work while teaching them the fundamentals of self-publishing and marketing.
Writers don’t call themselves starving artists for nothing. Making money as an author is not a given, as their are upwards of 1 million books published by indie authors every year. I’ve learned that the toughest part of being an author is visibility, You can write the greatest story ever told, but if no one knows about it, you won’t sell any books. For that reason, authors must possess the notion that success comes from doing the work. For me, there’s no better feeling than completing a manuscript. I like to receive positive feedback from readers, but much more than that, I love knowing that I created something and put it out for the world to consume.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Any place there is water, good food, and shopping is a good time for me and Santa Monica has all three. I love going out to the pier and just watching the waves crash on the beach, and with the promenade just around the corner, I can people watch and get in some good shopping as well.
The last time I visited, I stayed at the Ocean View hotel and walked around downtown. I met a few interesting people to put it mildly, but a variety of people from all walks of life nonetheless. BOA steakhouse was just down the street from where I was staying so I was able to enjoy some great food seaside as well.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Without my mother’s love and continued support, I don’t know where I would be. She gave me the gift of spirituality at an early age and those times I thought about giving up, she redirected me right back to the source of my faith. I have to give her a shoutout for that and for always reminding me how proud she is of me.
Youtube: C. Darayl Howard