books · writing

Writers Wednesdays – September Writing Accomplishments

Hey everyone! Happy October to you all. It’s time for a writing update, because I haven’t been posting regularly on Wednesdays during this period of increased editing activities.

I’m happy to share that I’m still on target to reach my November publishing goal (as I explained in this post). I’ve finished all of my major edits, and I’m letting the book “sit” undisturbed while I tool around with making a cover and as I consider adding images within the body of the book. This is probably my favorite part of publishing, because it gives me a break from searching for the right word, and it causes me to turn my attention to the aesthetics of the book.

In a couple of weeks, I’ll give my book another once over, probably reading it aloud to see if the words flow easily, as well as add any additional thoughts that I think will help best convey my ideas. Until I resume editing, I’ll be considering my book marketing approach and seeing if I want to promote the book through traditional means, or opt for a more passive, organic approach. I’m not sure yet, but I’ll see where inspiration leads me and make my decision based on that. Following inspiration may seem like a silly way to go about determining how I want to sell this book, but I’ve found that TRUE inspiration has always led me to the right path. So I’ll go with that and let things unfold as they will.

That’s it for the September update: short and somewhat sweet. I’ll talk to you all soon!

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 · 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 · 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!

writing

Writers Wednesdays – Time for a New Laptop!

Hi friends! I hope you all are doing well and enjoying the week that you desire. I’ve been tying up some loose ends before I resume regular posting, hence my absence. I know that a post went up yesterday, but that post was premature and will be rewritten and reposted in the near future. Also, I have a little announcement tomorrow that will explain more of the “loose ends” that I have going on in the background.

Anyhoo, you aren’t reading this because you’re interested in my loose ends. This is Writers Wednesday, and I’m bringing up a writing-related discussion.

Y’all. It’s time for a new laptop. And I (low key) dread having to choose one, for multiple reasons.

For those that know me offline, you know why this isn’t my highest joy. For those that don’t, I’ll share a little tidbit about me with you. I’m actually quite tech averse, and I don’t enjoy having to get the “latest and greatest”. I prefer to use what I have until it no longer serves me, and then I upgrade when I don’t have another option for making my existing technology work for me. I don’t “spoil myself” with tech purchases (I prefer experiences and luxury enhancements for my personal environment instead). I’m still very much an analog girl, and, had it not been for my fibromyalgia, I’d prefer to write most of my books longhand. So purchasing new laptops, tablets, phones and the like aren’t things that I enjoy from a consumer or creator standpoint.

All of that being said, I am the possessor of an older laptop/chromebook (2018!) and I’m getting messages about certain apps that will no longer be updated on my device. Also, the device is moving much slower than I prefer (age and amount of files that I have on it are slowing it down), so I plan to put my crucial files on a cloud drive, then retire this device. I’ll probably give it to my daughter for her web surfing needs, since I’ll be able to speed it up a bit once I do a factory reset on it. I know, I could just do a factory reset and use it myself, but it can’t serve me well if I cannot use certain apps. So I’ll get the new device and the one I’m currently using will be the family/web surf computer.

So now, I have to choose a new device. I’m fairly certain that, while I am an iPhone enthusiast, I don’t want a Macbook at this point, nor do I want a standard laptop or desktop. Chromebooks are still my preference for their speed and how the limited space forces me to be selective with the files that I download. I’m considering getting this Acer Chromebook: the screen is just a little smaller than what I’m used to, but it ‘s still a great size and should be fine for my writing endeavors. It also has 64GB eMMC storage (the internal data storage I need).

Now this Acer has the same size screen as my current chromebook but has double the eMMC of my current device (it would be a jump from 16 GB eMMC to 32eMMC). This device has less internal storage than the first one I’m considering but it is one pound lighter than the other device (which matters to me if I’m traveling with it). It’s a little more economical than the first chromebook but the savings is not significant enough to make that a deciding factor in my selection.

If you’re wondering why I’m only looking at Acer Chromebooks, I can assure you, the reason is simple: I’ve had good experiences with the two Acers I’ve had, and I find their design simple enough to not be overwhelming but fast enough and powerful enough (when they’re still new-ish) to get the job done. I’ve used other laptops and chromebooks, but Acer is perfect for someone like me, that isn’t really interested in having all of the bells and whistles.

I’ll be choosing my device by the end of this week,and I’m excited! I’m looking forward to working on a new chromebook.

That’s it for today! Have a good one, and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!

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This post contains affiliate links.

writing

Writers Wednesdays – Camp NaNoWriMo

Hey friends! Happy Writers Wednesday! Despite being part of the NaNoWriMo festivities multiple times over the years, I didn’t realize there was a completely separate writing challenge that happens every April and July. This challenge is Camp NaNoWriMo, where authors can work on any writing project during these months, and authors set their own goals for the month (no 50k word requirements, as is the case with November’s NaNoWriMo challenge).

Photo by picjumbo.com on Pexels.com

Since I didn’t learn about this challenge until last week, I won’t be participating this month. But, I may consider it for July: after all, I have a few projects that I would love to bring to a close before the end of the summer. I like that this challenge allows you to set your own goals, so you can figure out, for yourself, what success will look like.

Are you participating in this year’s first Camp NaNoWriMo session? Have any of you participated in Camp NaNoWriMo before? I’d love to hear about your experiences!

business · writing

Writers Wednesdays – March Writing Accomplishments

It’s time for another writing accomplishment update! I have some good news and some not so good news (nothing life-changing or devastating, just a little disappointing) about my writing practice. Let’s dive in!

Photo by OVAN on Pexels.com

The good news is, I worked on my book in the month of March, and, as of the time of this post, I’ve edited more than 70% of it! If I’m diligent, I can be done with this first round of edits by mid-May. Then I can put the book down fora bit, then come back to it for Round 2 of my edits. I am so happy to see some progress on this work!

The not so good news comes down to two things: firstly, the amount of time I spent editing in March, and secondly, the gaps that need to be addressed in the story. I did my last edit on March 14, because my life suddenly got much busier (if you saw my Monday post, you’ll hear part of what was happening in my world). So, while I understand why I spent less time editing, I was still a little disappointed that I lost some of that precious editing time. The disappointment has passed (thankfully) but I learned a valuable lesson: even a few minutes of work on my book every day will feel better than thinking I’ve lost a block of time.

The second point refers to something that isn’t great for my editing timeline but a fantastic “find” when it comes to the story. I uncovered multiple “gaps” in the story that need to be addressed either directly or indirectly. I’m thankful for the editing process, which helps me to see where my story can be improved, but I know that this adds quite a bit of time to my timeline (hence the mid-May completed editing goal). I’m okay with that, since the discovery of these gaps will help make my story much smoother and cohesive.

That’s my writing updates for the month, and I’m looking forward to seeing how this all comes together in the next few weeks (mid-May will be here before you know it!) Take care friends, and I’ll talk to you all soon!