books · career · writing

Writers Wednesdays – August Writing Accomplishments

Happy Writers Wednesday! I’m happy that I’m finally entering the period of my Four Months, Four Goals challenge (if you didn’t read that post, it’s linked here). To briefly recap, I’ll be spending the next four months hitting a single major writing goal for each month, then coming back to share my accomplishments as they are achieved. My focus is publishing the book that I’ve been working on for the past couple of years (I can’t believe it’s been that long!) But, in order to make that happen, I had to get clear on what my next steps are, so I can move definitively in the direction of my goals.

That being said, my August writing accomplishments were great, and I’m pleased with what I got done during the month. I found some information I needed to redo two portions of my book: I had written two examples to illustrate points that I made, but I wanted better suited examples. I easily found better examples to use, and these incorporated seamlessly into the outline. I’ve also been editing other portions of the book: rereading various sections and ironing out the kinks in the verbiage and clarifying anything that didn’t flow well.I love the progress I’m making, and I’m excited to see how much more progress I’ll make in September!

That’s it for today. I’ll talk to you all soon: take care!

books · finance · reading list

Writers Wednesday – What I’m Reading

Happy Writers Wednesday! Today, I’m sharing the book that I’m reading for the next couple of weeks, and I’m already looking forward to giving you my review in the near future.

The book I’m currently reading is Start Late, Finish Rich by David Bach. I’ve already praised David Bach on this blog (Smart Women Finish Rich was a gamechanger!) And it’s been a while since I did a deep-dive into Bach’s material, so it overdue for a read (and some rereads).

I’m looking forward to gleaning some tips that I can share over here, and finding ideas that I can incorporate into my own plan for financial freedom. While I’ve made some great choices over the past few years, I’m always refining and adjusting my plan to better suit my current and future circumstances.

In my opinion, your plans for financial freedom should be a living document (for lack of better verbiage). These should evolve, grow and adjust as you mature and discover things about yourself. So, learning what a later-executed plan looks like is a great idea, as even those that prepared well for older age may find that they need to pivot and make drastic changes at any point.

That’s it for today’s post. If you’re familiar with David Bach’s work, I’d love to hear your thoughts below. Other than that, I look forward to chatting with you all tomorrow. Take care!

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*This post contains affiliate links*

books · business · writing

Writers Wednesdays – Why It Takes Me Forever To Publish A Book

Happy Writers Wednesday! Today’s topic is was a question that I posed to myself recently, after feeling frustrated about the timelines for my works in progress (you can see my writing goals from now to December in this post). I find myself with a great idea, which I develop – sometimes to the point of completion – then there is this extraordinary “dead period” that happens once the work is done.

I had to ask myself, “Why does it take me forever to publish a book?” This isn’t referring to my children’s books, which are fairly simple and can be completed once I have enough photos that aren’t protected by copyrights. This is talking about my original works, which I’ve already finished writing and that seem to take FOREVER to get to the point of publishing. These should be ready to publish quickly, but they always appear to be stuck in the queue for longer than I think they should be.

As I asked myself about why it takes so long, it hit me: I’m stuck in analysis paralysis when it comes to publishing. I am constantly running various scenarios in my mind, and, as a result, very little tangible progress is made. I often find it much easier to blog, since these are short little glimpses into my daily life and passing thoughts. But book writing and publishing? I overanalyze to the point of ineffectiveness.

I would normally put forth a challenge to myself at this point, but, realistically, I’ll likely feel paralyzed every time I publish, regardless of how illogical it is to feel that. All I will vow to do is to try and remember to come back to this post the next time the analysis paralysis hits me. Maybe if I remember this post, I’ll be able to summon enough courage and reasonableness to move past my overthinking and to just leap into publishing. Only time will tell if I take my own advice, right?

books · business · writing

Writers Wednesday – Four Months, Four Goals

Happy Wednesday! As the month of August is already past the halfway mark (really, where does the time go?), I figured now would be a good time to look forward to the last four months of the year, and consider what I want to accomplish related to my writing.

In September, I intend to finish my edits for the book that I’m publishing in November. I want to complete the edits no later than September 15, so I can give the book some “space” before publishing. I always enjoy coming back to a book and refining it more before I release it to the world. In order to give it space, I have to finish the book several weeks before I do the last publishing steps. I’ll also share the book with my beta readers and hope for some fantastic feedback to incorporate when I do my final refinement of the book.

For October, I will continue September’s work: somewhere in the middle of the month, I’ll be doing the final review of my book and put the finishing touches on it. But, before I get to the middle of October, I’ll work on the cover, and begin doing a big marketing/social media push for the book. I’m focused on bringing eyes to my book and connecting with my ideal readers.

Usually, November is my time to participate in NaNoWriMo. I’m not sure if I will participate this year, but *if* I do, it’ll be a secondary (or maybe even tertiary) goal. My primary goal is working on book sales. This also works along with getting testimonials and growing my network, as these are crucial to sustaining the success of my book launch and sales.

Finally, December is all about closing out open projects and clearing my slate for the upcoming year. I am trying to sync up my activity with the seasons, and heading into the winter is the perfect time to wind down and prepare for the incubation that comes with the winter months. I’m looking forward to resting, enjoying a few months of decreased activity, and savoring the fruits of my labor from the previous months.

Those are my four goals for the next four months. What goals do you all have?

books · life curation · reading list

Writing Wednesday – Five Books That Changed My Life

Several weeks ago, I shared a video on my YouTube channel, highlight five books that changed my life.

I realize that was a very bold claim, and it could be interpreted as the most important books I’ve read in my life. However, that interpretation would be incorrect. Books that change my life =/= favorite or most important books. Some of the books that rank as most important to me are books that haven’t actually “changed” me, but have entertained me thoroughly, or reminded me of something rare or precious, or that are just stellar examples of writing mastery. So, books like And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, or A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith haven’t necessarily changed my life, but they rank among some of the most important books I’ve read.

That being said, we’re talking about life changing books that I think could be useful to some of you. These books helped me with money, love, conscious creation, friendship and more, Without further ado, here are the five books that changed my life:

  • Ginie Sayles, HOW TO MEET THE RICH for Business, Friendship, or Romance – A couple of years ago, one of my favorite role models, Ginie Sayles, gave me an endorsement on her author’s page, after I shared that her book, Writer’s Block is a Crock, helped me write and publish my first book. I was so excited that I made a post about her generosity and support. Well, as much as I love “Writer’s Block is a Crock”, there’s a book by Ginie that I love even more . . . and that’s “How to Meet the Rich”. Having your own vast resources is a wonderful thing, but your ability to do good and really change the world is enhanced when you have a network with high net worth! I love how she not only shows ways to meet the rich, but also all of the ways to nurture reciprocal relationships with these individuals. This is a great book for networking with various goals in mind (either business, friendship/social, or romantic ends).
  • David Bach, Start Late, Finish Rich – Similar to Ginie, David Bach has been discussed over here previously. I sing David’s praises because his work was fundamental in providing me with an excellent foundational education in personal finance. No matter what your age is, Start Late Finish Rich is a great book to introduce yourself to his strategies for creating financial freedom. I highly recommend any of David’s books, but this is a great one for starting on the path to wealth.
  • Helen Gurley Brown, Sex and the Single Girl – This book was fundamental in understanding the joy and pleasure of being a single woman. I learned so much from Helen regarding all of the perks that you can enjoy before saying “I do”. I got to reconnect with some of those delights when I divorced! Despite this book being published 60(!) years ago, so many of the tips are still relevant today. It’s still a fun read!
  • Shelley Branch and Sue Calloway, What Would Jackie Do? – I love all things Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and this book was a fabulous addition to my Jackie book collection. What Would Jackie Do is a combination of self help, biography, and etiquette lessons all in one. I often refer to this book when I need to recall how to make the perfect alfredo sauce from scratch, or how to approach my interior decorating budget, and even what I should do to enhance my career. Yes, it covers all of these topics and more. Fabulous read – highly recommended (naturally)!
  • Dr Henriette Anne Klauser, Write It Down Make It Happen – I won’t rewrite my review of this book, because I’ve already talked about it here, here, and here. I come back to this book again and again because every time I read it and try some of the writing exercises mentioned, my life shifts in significant ways.

Here is my video reviewing the books mentioned above:

What books have changed your life? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

books · culture · international · life curation · travel

Becoming Bilingual – 5 Free Language Resources That Aren’t YT, Duolingo or Podcasts

As an aspiring polyglot, I’m always reviewing language tools and resources that can help me fast track my mastery. Naturally, I dove first into Duolingo, YouTube and various podcasts. But, there are limitations with those resources, and sometimes you just want to try something different.

If you’ve been trying to learn a language but you want to go beyond YouTube videos, podcasts and Duolingo, then this is the post for you! I’ve located five other language learning resources that can help fast track your language learning, give you some much needed variety, and are all completely FREE! I discuss these options in a YouTube video (the link to the video below).

  • Amazon Kindle ebooks – This gives you a great source of free ebooks in various languages, as well as some free instruction books, too. To find them, search for books in a particular language, then filter by price (lowest to highest). Filtering by price shows the lowest priced books first, so you can quickly identify free publications.
  • MIT OpenCourseware – If you’re interested in college-level language instruction, this site is excellent. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) archives resources from courses taught during prior semesters. The courses include syllabi, worksheets, exercises, and links to other great resources. To find these courses, look under the Global Studies and Languages department.
  • Foreign Service Institute (FSI) Free online course material – This page speaks for itself: it’s the material developed by the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) to instruct diplomats before assigning them to foreign posts. These classes are developed to quickly acquire mastery at the highest levels of language. The link has lots of languages available, especially some that are somewhat rarer and harder to study online.
  • Alison & FutureLearn – Both Alison and FutureLearn offer language classes that are paced and offer certificates of completion at the end of the course (the documentation of completion has a cost). This also gives you the advantage of participating in group discussion and other ways of interacting with other learners.
  • Internet Archive – There is a host of free archived materials on this website, including movies, music, books and newspapers. Find the kind of material you want and filter it by the language that interests you.

Here’s my video, discussing the ways to use these resources:

Those are the five free resources I can recommend for language learning, outside of the most popular recs. Do you have any language resources that work for you? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

books · business · writing

Writers Wednesdays – July Writing Accomplishments

As i reflect back on the month of July, I feel so much pride. I made PROGRESS with my writing, and my books are inching closer to completion. I love it!

I did some more editing to my main work-in-progress (WIP), and set a launch date of November 1st. I’m really excited, since that book has been my passion project – the one I’ve been most protective of – for months now. As the release date draws closer, I will share more details and, of course, there will be some sort of giveaway to celebrate the launch!

Now, I’ve promised, multiple times, not to start any new works. I was determined to focus on completing projects before starting new ones. I’m so proud that I kept my word to myself: I didn’t start any new works. However, I did, on a whim, compile several WIPs that were loosely related as far as subject matter goes. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that I had enough material and structure to create the book I’d always envisioned that I would write! Now I’m fleshing out my ideas and doing some additional research on a few things. This is so exciting, and it’s using so much content that I’ve already written!

Those are my writing updates for July. If you’re a fellow writer, what are you working on in August? I’d love to hear about it!

books · writing

Writers Wednesdays – The Books I Planned To Read On Vacation (& What I *Actually* Read)

Initially, I planned to take a couple of hardcover and paperback books with me on vacation. However, my space was at a premium, and I wasn’t able to take any physical books with me. Fortunately, I have the Kindle app on my phone, so I had a way to access a library (my digital library, that is).

Now, I did a whole YouTube video with my hardcover and paperback books that were *supposed* to go on vacay with me. Here’s that video:

The books I discussed in the video were The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, Caring Economics edited by Tania Singer and Matthieu Ricard, and By The Pricking Of My Thumbs by Agatha Christie.

In actuality, the books I read while I was gone were Longevity by Maria L. Ellis, MBA and Take Back Your Life by Tami Stackelhouse. These were both digital books (ebooks) downloaded into my Kindle app before I left home, that I read while I lounged poolside in Spain (bliss!).

I’m glad that I chose to read some of my ebooks while I was away, since I tend to prefer paperback and hardcover while I’m at home. Being able to read anywhere I have my phone or laptop was a blessing, and these two books were instrumental in me defining several things I could do right now to uplevel my health (which is why I’ll be reviewing both of them in the weeks to come).

That’s all for my travel reading list! What do you all like to read while traveling or even during your staycations? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

*This post contains affiliate links.

books · career · writing

Writers Wednesday – My May Writing Goals and Accomplishments

Hey friends! I hope you all are doing well and enjoying your week. I haven’t written about my writing goals and practices in a while, but I did a couple of videos about my goals over on my YouTube. Here is the first video, outlining my May goals:

And this is the second video near the end of the month, where I describe how things went with my goals:

Considering that this is about 17 minutes of video content, here is the TLDW (too long, didn’t watch) version of the videos above:

Start working on the template for a workbook (that is a companion to a book that I’m currently editing) – I did begin the process of working on that template and seeing it come together has been great. I still have a lot to do, but I’m very happy that I began the process.

Begin working on the next couple of children books – I have selected the countries that will be profiled in the next couple of children’s books, and I’ll be releasing those over the summer. I originally planned to put the finishing touches on the books over the Memorial Day weekend, but life happened and I had to delay the work until a few weeks from now.

Designing a July to December planner – I found a planner that works for the remainder of the year: no need to design one!

That’s it for my writing goals and what I accomplished in May! I’m looking forward to sharing some great accomplishments in the weeks to come!

books · writing

Writers Wednesdays – Writing Is Contagious

Happy Wednesday, friends! I hope you all are having a fantastic week. This will be a (relatively) a short post because I’m reading books, writing books, and trying to manage my energy levels with the many other things I have going on in my life. It’s all good stuff, but whew, EXHAUSTING! I take comfort in knowing that this is just a season, and things will go back to quiet sooner rather than later.

As someone that believes in universal laws, such as law of attraction and law of assumption, I believe that we tend to get more of what we’re creating in our lives. Thus, if we’re working hard, we find more opportunities to work hard. If we’re regularly feeling joyful, we tend to have more instances to relish joy. So you can imagine that I was not surprised that, in the midst of me working diligently on one of my books, one of my dearest friends announced that she is writing a book of her own!

Photo by Charlotte May on Pexels.com

I’m so proud of her efforts and her vision for creating the personal brand and legacy that she desires for herself and her lineage. I know her book will be stellar, as she does this (and everything) with excellence. And the theme of her book is fascinating: I can’t wait to read the finished product!

Energy is contagious, particularly when you’re in a group that is “tapped in” to one another. The more frequently you engage with aligned individuals, the more that your collective energy will be shared and grown. So if you want to accomplish your writing goals, tap into a group of writers that are engaging JOYFULLY with their work. Unhappy writing energy is just as contagious as the good stuff, so choose carefully. Pick your group wisely, then get ready to see the shift in your own life.

That’s all for today. Have a great day, and I’ll talk to you all soon!