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!

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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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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!

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!

books · writing

Writers Wednesday – Latest Writing Updates

Happy Writer’s Wednesday! I’m so happy to share these updates because I’ve been deep in the throes of embracing the lifestyle of a writer. Part of my journey is continuously stepping into my future self, and being a successful writer is part of the experience that I’m creating for myself.

I’m working on editing two of my older works. I want to give you all a deadline of when these will be read, but that’s so unrealistic for me at this point. I’ll just announce when it’s done, and we’ll all celebrate together when it happens! I’m really happy that one of them is (at the time that I write this) 70% edited. I have had this story in my files for nearly 10 years! I’m eager to polish it up and then offer it to the world.

I also have two works in progress (WIPs) that are still in their infancy. But, I’ve been very cautious about leaping into new projects related to writing, because I have a history of strong starts and nonexistent endings. So I think about the stories but I don’t invest a lot of time into writing them out, because if I did, I’d take too much energy that should be devoted to finishing one of my WIPs that is further along in the process.

Anyhoo . . . I did a video about my latest writing projects. You can see it below:

Also, if becoming a writing is something that you’ve always wanted to do, but you have some other stuff you’re trying to resolve first (sometimes we don’t have the bandwidth for our dreams because our lives are overwhelmingly busy or stressful), here’s a tool for you. Check out my Create Your Vision journal collection: these can walk you through the process of creating more space for your dreams and stepping into your dream life.

That’s it for today! How has your writing journey been going? I’d love to hear all about it!

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books · reading list · writing

Writers Wednesdays – February Writing Accomplishments

Happy Writers Wednesday! This post is the February update (obviously).

I wasn’t able to read all of the books on my reading list because I had some unexpected obligations pop up throughout the month that took up a LOT more time than I anticipated. No worries, though: I’ll be able to read these books in March instead. I will focus on finishing my women author books first (since it’s Women’s History Month).

As far as my writing goes, I made some progress. One of my “finished” works would be far more impactful if I included some peer reviewed research and journal articles, so I started compiling a list of sources to reference.

So, that’s it for the update! I’ll have more details to share next week. I’ll talk to you all soon!

books · culture · reading list · relaxation · words of wisdom · writing

Writers Wednesdays: What I’m Reading This Month

Happy Black History Month! I know I’m a bit late with this post, but I’ve been trying to get back on track with my writing and filming schedule (no easy feat, but I’m getting there!)

I posted a video on my YouTube channel last week, discussing the Black authors that I will be reading this month (I originally had five hardback and paperback books, but also added some digital books to the mix, just in case I finished before the end of the month). I’m focusing on reading up on a few different topics (not just self help!) and branching beyond American-centered stories, which is new for me.

Here is my book list for the month: I’m looking forward to diving into these.

I Am Your Sister by Audre Lorde is the book I’m reading first. You all already know about my love for Audre (I posted some of my favorite Audre quotes a few years back). This book is DENSE, so I already know it’s going to take me a bit more time, and a subsequent read (or two, or three . . . ) to get a good grasp of what she believed and taught. After I finish that, I’ll dive into Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. I’ve heard the title before but I’m completely unfamiliar with the plot of the book so I’m really looking forward to this one.

It wouldn’t be my book list is I didn’t include at least one self-help/advice book. Drop the Ball by Tiffany Dufu promises to show me how to achieve more while doing less. Less effort, more results? Sign me up!

The next two books are about the history of Black entertainment in the US. The Power of Pride by Carole Marks and Diana Edkins spotlights the superstars of the Harlem Renaissance, including some lesser-known luminaries of note. Then, I’ll be enjoying Brown Sugar by Donald Bogle which focuses on Black actresses, singers and other entertainers from the 1920s to 1970s. I’m really excited for both of these books, since I’m in love with all things vintage.

*If* I can get through the main book list, then I have a few others that I can read, that should cover me until the end of the month. The first is The Source of Self Regard by Toni Morrison, a book that I purchased last year in anticipation of a book club meeting that I planned – and failed – to attend. In any case, I’ve always loved Toni Morrison (I’ve posted about her here and I also wrote about her here, after her passing) and enjoyed her works immensely, so this should be a great one.

Finally, I have one more book that made it onto my back-up list: Clay’s Ark by Octavia Butler (I previously read Wild Seed and Mind of My Mind, in this set: “Seed to Harvest: The Patternist Series“). As a huge Octavia Butler fan (I posted about her ages ago), I’ve been eager to get back into reading her books, and Clay’s Ark was next on my list. And, since March is Women’s History month, I can always continue my reading streak and carry this book and the Toni Morrison one into the next month, if I run out of time in February.

That’s my reading list for the month: I’m looking forward to each of these! Do you have any books you’re reading this month? I’d love to hear all about them in the comments below. Also, here’s my YouTube video, discussing these books a bit more:

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