How to Publish a Book, Lose Weight, and Find True Love

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One day you wake and realize you're an indolent cynic so you decide to close the box of donuts, get out of the bathrobe, and do something with your life. This can be difficult if you've never ventured beyond the corner bakery. If you're committed to accomplishing a few big ticket items, here are some suggestions to try before you melt into a unused puddle of mush.

Publishing a book will challenge your brain. Start with a sizzling idea and a word processing program, and you can have a book written and published in four months. Allocate several hours a day to write and focus on your project. Aim for 2,000 words a day, every day and you'll have 14,000 words in a week, 56,000 words in a month. After two months, you should have 112,000 words. Hire a professional editor to cut out the bad parts (expected to toss 60,000 words) and polish the manuscript. Then ask a few beta readers to critique the manuscript and adjust as necessary.

While the editor is working, hire a professional graphic artist to design a cover. Get some quotes from the most famous people you know to include on the back cover. Establish your own publishing company, register it with the state, buy an ISBN number and a bar code, write your publishers page, dedication, and acknowledgements, and have the graphic artist format the manuscript for publication as a paperback and an e-book. Research online resources for complete details.

Set up an account with a book publishing company, such as CreateSpace. Submit the cover and manuscript and wait for them to upload your book to amazon.com. Then order a proof copy, read it thoroughly, email any edits, order another proof, if necessary, and then push the "publish" button. You'll have your book in a few weeks. Total cost, depending on expenses for graphic design, editors, and the number of pages, could be around $4 per book so set your price accordingly. Then the work begins as you market and promote your work. The odds are against you. According to a story in the New York Times, most self-published books sell fewer than 150 copies. But you'll have produced something not many people have finished, and you'll have gifts for several decades.

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Losing weight is easy. Eat small amounts of healthy, organic food and exercise daily. I really wish I could do that. Being sporadically disciplined over the years, I've repeatedly lost and regained the weight of a Buick.

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Finding true love is difficult but not impossible. You can't rush or plan it, but don't panic. Sometimes it takes half a century to get it right, but don't give up or settle for less than you deserve. Trust me.

So, now you have some ideas for what to do with the rest of your life. After you achieve your first worthy goals, gleefully choose other projects: volunteer at a worthy local charity, run for office, travel to a secluded yoga retreat, or take piano lessons. You may have unleashed your dormant, inner warrior. And if you still crave donuts, take a few boxes to share with a youth group or senior citizen facility. Compassion cuts the calories.