One-Hit Wonder Syndrome

It’s a perfect day to talk about an interesting phenomenon – why one-hit Wonders are a thing. A one-hit wonder, is when an unknown band creates a song that goes wildly popular overnight and become instantly famous. They then go on to make other songs because their fans demand it, but those songs don’t catch on and the band slowly fades into obscurity. That band is only known for their one and only hit.

Here are some famous one-hit wonders:

  • “My Sharona” by The Knack
  • “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell
  • “Come on Eileen” by Dexy’s Midnight Runners
  • “Tubthumping” by Chumbawamba

It’s been pointed out that several of these bands did later go on to have other songs hit the charts and rank in the top twenty, but in comparison to the one song that made them famous, the other songs never achieved the same popularity.

One-Hit Wonders in the Business World

The one-hit wonder phenomenon isn’t unique to just the music industry, a similar thing happens in the business world as well. We see it when someone who has never run a business has a great new idea for a service or product and it takes off. Suddenly they are famous for their awesome thing and everyone is talking about it.

What often happens next is that they get an offer they can’t refuse to sell the company for an ungodly amount of money and they return to square one – coming up with an idea for a new business. But this time, the world is watching.

Suddenly, there is a huge amount of pressure to come up with not only something good, but something that could take off again like what happened before. At this point, one of two things can happen, either they fold under the pressure and can’t come up with anything, or they hold this unfounded belief that creating a groundbreaking idea is fairly easy because they’ve done it already. The latter often will then create something uninspired or useless and fail spectacularly. With the world watching, it’s that much more devastating.

But why?

When someone unexpectedly finds success, but hasn’t yet racked up several failures under their belt, they never experience the hardships that give people perspective. The hard work they did must be all that is required to achieve wild success. Everyone else who fails must not be working at the same level. Sometimes, they even start believing that they have a special talent that granted them this success. Other people just aren’t as special as they are and that’s what makes them fail.

What they don’t realize is that wild success, especially in a business venture, requires more than just hard work. A series of uncontrollable factors must line up at the same time, such as what is popular in the market at the moment, what needs exist among buyers, and what has recently caught everyone’s interest. Should the timing be wrong and these factors not present to make a product look even more desirable, then no amount of hard work can make the product go viral. Yes, it can be successful, but not wildly so.

One-Hit Wonders in the Writing World

Yes, this is a real thing, although it presents itself differently. There are a rare few authors who find wild success with their first novel. The novel itself is something they’ve worked on for possibly years and years before going through the process to find the perfect agent and publisher who were willing to take a risk. As with businesses, the same uncontrollable factors are at play here as well. There has to be a significant group of people hungry for this type of book all the same time. Sometimes this is because a wildly popular movie has turned a new group of readers to the genre. Sometimes the global social climate makes certain titles much more appealing.

With authors, everyone who loved their first book are far more willing to pick up the second, which means there is already a certain level of success already baked in when they release that second book. But, there is also a lot that can go wrong. They had all the time in the world to finish their first book and no expectations. This can make writing easier and creativity come faster.

When writing a second book, often that same author will have deadlines and also the fear of trying to live up to the expectations of their fans. They have to produce something better, faster, and under pressure. While some writers can rise to the challenge, many end up creating a product that isn’t as good.

The moral of this story

The lesson here is that failure is a vital part of learning to appreciate success and being able to replicate it going forward. For those who had a lucky break their first time at the bat and perhaps hit a home run, that doesn’t make them the best player on the team.

Don’t be afraid to fail. It’s the best teacher of experience you could ever have.


Hi everyone! Jodi here. I’ve been enjoying writing these little Friday tidbits for the past while and sharing my thoughts on life, the universe, and everything. But, like all good things, it’s time for a change. At the end of October, these Friday notes will shift exclusively to my newsletter and this blog will be dedicated to weekly book and movie reviews and the occasional important announcement.

Don’t miss out – join my newsletter today. You’ll get updates, freebies, links, and all sorts of fun stuff.

Taunting Karma

Remember how last week I was so wonderfully excited about the coming of fall and how I loved all of the cozy comforts of snuggling and cocoa? Yeah, I taunted karma, and she came after me with a stick.

I forgot it would be midterms for my kiddos this week.

With virtual school this is a whole new beast to figure out. Some teachers are doing great and it’s easy to figure out what their expectations are. For these classes, its easy to have confidence that we are doing what needs to be done to stay on target.

Then, there are a precious few teachers who are trying really hard to teach virtually, but haven’t mastered communicating, well, anything. My kids want to do a good job, and heaven knows I want them to do a good job. But for a few classes, we aren’t sure what that looks like.

That means that this week I get to spend lots of extra hours helping kids write essays, research topics, learn Spanish, take videos for virtual PE, and for my youngest, stay on his Zoom calls.

And karma wasn’t done at that.

Several important appointments also ended up being scheduled all this week. These are the kind of appointments that in a perfect world I’d schedule at least a week apart because they really stress me out. But at least they’re over now, right? It’s like ripping off a band-aid to do them all at once, right? Maybe. In this instance it feels like the stress is cumulative. Instead of suffering low grade stress for longer, I get to have massive stress spikes that feel like you need to scream but can’t because it would freak out your family, so you push it all way back down instead.

Because that’s super healthy.

Thanks Karma. I know I brought this on myself, but the irony of it all is amusing.


Hi everyone! Jodi here. I’ve been enjoying writing these little Friday tidbits for the past while and sharing my thoughts on life, the universe, and everything. But, like all good things, it’s time for a change. At the end of October, these Friday notes will shift exclusively to my newsletter and this blog will be dedicated to weekly book and movie reviews and the occasional important announcement.

Don’t miss out – join my newsletter today. You’ll get updates, freebies, links, and all sorts of fun stuff.

The Sixth Month of a Crisis

September 2020 marks the sixth month that the world has been forced to adapt to a new way of life. Congratulations for making it this far, it hasn’t been easy. We’ve learned new ways to stay safe and still get the things done that need doing. It seems natural that at this point we should be coping fairly well with the situation.

But, the reverse is true. For many, this month marks the hardest struggle so far. Everyone’s emotional batteries are drained, the gas tank of motivation has run dry, and no matter how hard we push, it seems like we can’t get any momentum. We are all tired.

This is a well-known phenomenon that happens at the sixth month of a crisis. It is at this point that our reserves that we’ve been slowly chipping away at, finally run out. The well of our ability to handle change finally dries up.

Fear not. There is some good news. While we all might hit our lowest points yet this month, we aren’t condemned to stay there. Within a few weeks, the fog lifts and the energy and drive to get stuff done returns.

For me, this sixth month mark happened at the same time as the kiddos starting virtual school. These first few weeks have been a challenge as we are learning how to handle teachers expectations and complete assignments. I thought my frustration and exhaustion was a direct result from feeling like I had too much to do and too little time.

It’s a relief to hear that it’s not all because of a shifting work load. At least not all of it. The amount of stuff that needed to be managed quadrupled overnight while I’m still stuck with the same 24 hours that everyone else has. But, there was a very real sensation that I was scraping the bottom of the barrel while trying to juggle cats at the same time.

I’m glad to know that at least part of this struggle comes from the fatigue of hitting the sixth month.

So if you’ve found that these last weeks have felt harder, you aren’t alone. Literally everyone will hit this low point. Give yourself some grace, allow yourself to take the time you need to rest and adapt, this low point won’t last forever.


Thank you dear reader for stopping by! If you’d like to be notified of future posts here at JodiLMilner.com, be sure to ‘subscribe’ using the handy links. Or, even better, sign up to be part of my mailing list and get a signup bonus of one of my short stories for free.

You can also find updates and post notifications on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram – chose the one you like the most!

Fear is the Mind Killer

The new Dune is coming out and I’m both excited and worried. With such a huge universe and, dare I say, cult following, the production company can’t afford to screw this up. The trailer I saw looked awesome, so my hopes are up. Then again, my hopes were sky high about the new Mulan, and the reviews are all pretty bad.

I’m crossing my fingers anyway.

That’s not what I wanted to talk about. Today, I wanted to talk a bit about fear as it relates to anxiety and all those other pesky negative emotions. The subject’s been on my mind off and on for a while now. I’ve used the whole “fear is the mind killer” spiel as part of my Writer’s Block class. Fear and anxiety are often a symptom of a larger worry that’s preventing someone from reaching their creative goals, and just like in Dune, you have to face it and let it pass through you.

It’s easier said than done. I know. Boy, how I know.

I got to stare down one such fear this week when I took on a new project. It’s wasn’t that I didn’t have faith that I could do it. With enough time and research I definitely could. The fear that was staring back at me was that it was new and there were too many variables that I didn’t understand yet. I was afraid that even with my best effort I was going to miscalculate and end up wasting a lot of effort creating something that couldn’t be used.

For me, time is precious beyond belief. The only thing more precious than time is the energy to be able to use it well, which is a subject for another day.

This stupid set of fears not only made finishing this assignment that much harder, it totally stressed me out.

Part of me believes that I’m the only one who rides this emotional roller coaster far too often for my own good. This isn’t true, of course. There are hoards of people who constantly push their limits and do amazing things. The difference here is that no one gets to see all the fear and anxiety behind their success. The part of the discussion about the price of taking even the smallest steps forward is often missing and all we see is how easy that success seems

Fun fact: Getting hard things done is, well, hard.

The great thing about facing challenge and finding success is that the next time you have to face a similar challenge, it’s that much easier.

I’m all for easier.

With each stair conquered there are less stairs to climb to reach the top.

Thank you dear reader for stopping by! If you’d like to be notified of future posts here at JodiLMilner.com, be sure to ‘subscribe’ using the handy links. Or, even better, sign up to be part of my mailing list and get a signup bonus of one of my short stories for free.

You can also find updates and post notifications on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram – chose the one you like the most!

Don’t Drop the Glass Ball

This week I heard an analogy that struck a chord with me about work life balance. The gist is that we are juggling several different elements of our life at any given time. These elements can include family, health, work, etc. All of these elements are important, but some are obviously far more important than others. Some of these balls we are juggling are made of rubber, but some are made of glass. Rubber balls can be dropped on occasion and not suffer for it. On the other hand, anytime a glass ball is dropped, you risk damaging or completely shattering it.

The original use of this analogy stems back to 1991 and the Georgia Tech commencement speech given by Brian Dyson. former CEO of Coca-cola Enterprises. While he considers lots of things to be glass balls and only work to be a rubber ball, the point is that when it comes down to it, some things are far more important in the long run than others.

Most of this week I’ve been really distracted. We started with Monday being a holiday which always throws me off balance. Usually Monday is my most productive day, but shifting my Monday work to Tuesday just feels wrong. Then, on Tuesday, we had the doom storm of death literally blow across the valley and rip out massive trees and power lines in its wake. Wednesday I embarked on a new endeavor, and new always causes anxiety regardless of how great the opportunity is.

The image of holding that glass ball and keeping it from falling served as a great anchor, even when things felt crazy.

Any one want one of my rubber balls? It seems I have waaaay too many.


Thank you dear reader for stopping by! If you’d like to be notified of future posts here at JodiLMilner.com, be sure to ‘subscribe’ using the handy links. Or, even better, sign up to be part of my mailing list and get a signup bonus of one of my short stories for free.

You can also find updates and post notifications on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram – chose the one you like the most!

The Power of Asking Questions

Photo by Emily Morter on Unsplash

I’ve taught a class about how to overcome creative roadblocks several times over the last few months. It’s become more and more relevant as the stresses of COVID and the political atmosphere have made creativity harder to find. The largest part of the class is learning to ask yourself questions and then allowing yourself to answer them honestly.

Questions have a power all on their own. They demand answers. Good questions lead to a greater understanding. Vague questions lead to more confusion. If you can learn the skill of asking yourself the right questions, you can solve a whole host of problems.

The other night I woke up to a panic attack. When it was happening, all I knew is that my mind was spinning and I couldn’t shake the feeling of being overwhelmed. It felt as if I had too many things on my plate and there was no possible way to get them all done. What was worse, it also felt as if there were invisible things on my plate that I needed to figure out, but no clues as to what they might be.

The attacks don’t happen often, thankfully. This one was caused by being overtired. The night before I hadn’t slept well because we were camping and I was too hot. Piled on top of that was the coming of another Monday and still not feeling confident about how online schooling was working for my kiddos and if they had the support they needed from me. I know the teachers are doing the best they can and I’m grateful for them. All I need now is for them all to agree to use the cool virtual teaching tools in roughly the same way so I can easily find what the assignments are and make sure they get done.

In a funny way, being part of online school has taught me far more about my kids personalities than anything else.

When these panic attacks strike, it’s time to start asking questions. What are my biggest worries? What of these worries can I do anything about? What of these worries can I let go of? What plans do I need to make to address the things I can change? What needs to be added to my to do list so I can stop trying to hold it in my head? What needs to change in my schedule to accommodate these needs that hasn’t already been added?

As the questions keep flowing, the answers start coming. I write down everything with the intention that no one will see these words besides myself. This writing is a tool, not a product. Once all the questions have been asked and answered and my pages are full, I know what direction I need to go.

There are still stresses, and if I don’t take better care of myself, there’s a chance of another attack in the near future. But, I have a plan in place and the confidence in knowing that the plan works.

Here’s to conquering each and every one of life’s challenges, both big and small.


About Walls

This has been the slowest most frustrating summer–ever. Each day feels far too long and yet nothing really gets done. Things that do manage to get done don’t stay done for long. Don’t get me started on how I feel about the laundry or the wicked carnival ride of perpetual feeding and kitchen cleaning. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way.

When it feels hard to even get the basics done, it puts long scope projects in a particularly difficult category. They are always there, but since they aren’t immediately rewarding to work on it’s just so easy to let days and weeks slide past while other more urgent tasks fill up the space.

This challenge gets even worse when you’ve run up against a mental wall. Something is broken in the project and no progress can be made until it is fixed. Now, not only is the work not rewarding, but it’s downright frustrating. Add that to being stressed out about how to handle all the everything that 2020 is shaping up to be and guess what’s not being worked on even more. Yep, that long scope project.

This is where the time problem sets in. The reason these projects take a long time is that there is a heck ton of work that needs to be done, not all of it consisting of getting the actual words of the story onto the page. Needing two months to do a project and then putting it aside for a week here and there means the deadline is going to smack you straight in the forehead as it whizzes by.

And this is where I’m stuck. I hit a wall with a project I was terribly excited about at the beginning of the summer. The problem? I realized I didn’t know what the story was actually about. Without this critical marker, the prose had started to wander into uncharted territory on its own. I’ve done this mistake before. It means lots of painful rewriting later should it get out of hand. Which in turn takes longer, which means that deadline is going to be even harder to meet.

The good thing about walls is that they are only a barrier if you let them stay. This particular wall isn’t terribly large or even daunting, it’s just there being all wall like and stubborn. I know what needs to be done to fix the story problem and it’s not even all that hard. I’m ready to knock a great big hole in this wall, just as soon as I find the last box of Girl Scout cookies hiding in the bottom of my freezer. And finish the laundry. And perhaps weed the garden.

Gah! Okay. Should the wall still be there by the time I check in next week, send in reinforcements.

And ice cream.


Thank you dear reader for stopping by! If you’d like to be notified of future posts here at JodiLMilner.com, be sure to ‘subscribe’ using the handy links. Or, even better, sign up to be part of my mailing list and get a signup bonus of one of my short stories for free.

You can also find updates and post notifications on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram – chose the one you like the most!

A Different Kind of Tired

I know you’ve felt it, heck, you might be feeling it right now. There are different flavors of being tired. The one most associated with the word tired is that fatigue that results from lack of sleep or doing too much. If your stress levels have been like mine, you probably have had bouts of insomnia to accompany the whirlwind that is adapting to everyday life, which in turn makes the vicious cycle of being tired that much worse.

Photo by Abbie Bernet on Unsplash

Then, there is the tired that actually means overwhelmed. This is when there are too many items on the to do list, too many thoughts in your head, and too many responsibilities that you feel you can’t possibly meet. Often it’s not that there are actually too many things to do, it’s that trying to wrap your head around doing all of them is downright scary.

It gets even worse when any of those items are frightening by themselves. Lately, some of the simplest things have become scary. Before COVID, I never liked grocery shopping and treated it more like the Grand Prix; prepare ahead, plan my route, get in, get fueled up, pay, get out. The faster the better.

Going to the grocery store now has an extra layer of scary. Nothing like the chance of catching a horrible case of death to spice things up, right? There are all sorts of new rules that people should be following, but everyone you see are doing their own interpretation. Psst … the masks go over the nose, people.

Photo by Scott Warman on Unsplash

This entire week as been filled with the dreadful anxiety that comes with being overwhelmed. This time it’s not the perpetual hedonistic treadmill that is policing my darling kiddos through the rigors of online school, we got that all figured out. It’s not even the ever growing pile of dishes that seem to spontaneously reproduce in the sink and then vomit out all over the kitchen. They’re annoying, but they don’t make my blood pressure go up.

Nope, the biggest source of my overwhelm tiredness hamster wheel is reaching the ‘you better get it done stage’ of releasing book two of the Stonebearer Saga. I’ve made so many promises to get it out earlier this year and I’ve broken everyone. After having to adjust my timeline so many times already, actually committing to something makes me break out in a cold sweat. The goal was to have it out in March. Yeah, that March – you know, the one when the world closed it’s doors and the economy started to slip down the drain.

If I commit to a release date again, I have to complete it. But this time, I’m armed with a manuscript that’s about five hours away from being called completely done. Which leads me to make the following announcement.

Drum roll please …

Stonebearer’s Apprentice will be released June 12 come hell or high water.

Photo by Austin Schmid on Unsplash

For early bird access to the cover reveal and preorders, come join my Fantasy Reader Community. My readers get everything from free ebooks from authors around the world, sneak peeks inside my writing world, random advice about life, and the occasional opportunity to help me shape the concepts I use in future stories.

This announcement also means that YES, I am looking for reviewers and friends on social media to help me spread the word. If you are interested, let me know and I’d love to work something out!

Squee! So exciting!


Thank you dear reader for stopping by! If you’d like to be notified of future posts here at JodiLMilner.com, be sure to ‘subscribe’ using the handy links. Or, even better, sign up to be part of my mailing list.

You can also find updates and post notifications on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram – chose the one you like the most!

My New Favorite Thing: Calm Stories

There’s something inherently soothing about listening to a story. It brings back memories of comfortable evenings curled up on a couch and having someone read to me, or listening to tales spun around a campfire under the glittering stars.

Lately, I’ve been indulging in audiobooks as an escape from the mundane. It makes doing housework and yardwork an excuse to get away from the well worn sights and complaints of being stuck at home. With a story in my ears, I can let my mind wander to a new place and step into someone else’s shoes for a while. Sometimes these places are fantastical and dangerous, sometimes they are familiar. It’s a nice change while it lasts.

Photo by Nong Vang on Unsplash

A week ago I spotted a new trend in storytelling and I kind of love it. It might be my new favorite idea ever. Just the thought of it makes me smile. Celebrities are reading bedtime stories to anyone who wants to hear them on the Calm app. Imagine that soothing comfort of being curled into a blanket and listening to a story, but this time it’s spoken in the warm tones of a character’s voice you love.

The celebrity that caught my attention was Jerome Flynn of Game of Thrones fame. He was the morally grey sell-sword who enters service as a bodyguard to Tyrion, one of the princes of King’s Landing. He’s got a deep calm voice with an ever so appealing soft Scottish accent. I wouldn’t mind drifting off to sleep listening to him tell a story one bit.

Meet Bronn, played by Jerome Flynn, one of my favorite roguish characters.

The Calm app is something I’ve used for meditation off and on. There is a little bit of everything in there so everyone can find something that works for them. I usually use the guided meditation with music portion of the app but am seriously considering listening to the bedtime stories next time I fight a bout of insomnia.

While there are plenty of different people reading bedtime stories, here are the ones that caught my attention –

  • Matthew McConaughey
  • Jerome Flynn
  • Lucy Liu
  • LeVar Burton
  • Bob Ross
  • Stephen Fry

If this sounds soothing to you, go check it out.

https://app.www.calm.com/sleep

Note, I’m not being sponsored or compensated in anyway for my review or post, I just really like this idea. Now to find some cozy headphones to wear in bed.

Oh wait, here’s some. Yep. I know what’s going on my wish list next.

Who would love to hear read you a bedtime story? Let me know in the comments!


Thank you dear reader for stopping by! If you’d like to be notified of future posts here at JodiLMilner.com, be sure to ‘subscribe’ using the handy links. Or, even better, sign up to be part of my mailing list.

You can also find updates and post notifications on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram – chose the one you like the most!

Jodi L Milner is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.