life curation

Book Publishing: Latest Updates

Hi friends! Happy Wednesday to you all. I wanted to quickly stop in and give you all updates on the publishing of my first book.

As you all know, I finished writing and editing my first book earlier this year. So after moving past my own internal resistance, I forged ahead with publishing. I’m still learning about Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and tinkering with the format of the book so it renders the way that I want. Right now, the pages don’t look like how I want them to look; that is unacceptable. I’ve done too much work on this project to drop the ball and get sloppy at this stage. Once I get the formatting right, I’ll be well on my way.

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Between the blog and my book, I’ve been busy

There’s a lot involved with taking a book from idea to published, but it’s been an educational process. I’m proud to make it this far, but I have to see this through to the end before I’m truly satisfied. If you’re inclined, please send me good publishing vibes! I’ll keep plugging along, and I’ll keep you all posted on what’s happening as I go through the process.

Take care, and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!

life curation

Let Inspiration Lead You

Happy Saturday, friends! I recently experienced a major positive shift in my energy, and I wanted to share what happened that turned things around a bit. Now, the positive shift doesn’t mean that things are completely perfect; in fact, nothing is truly perfect in my life right now. However, this shift was powerful enough to give me a significant “push” when I wasn’t feeling inspired to do anything at all.

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Letting inspiration guide you is as simple as letting go

Earlier this week, the word “lagniappe” crossed my mind. Lagniappe is a Creole term meaning “a little something extra”. It’s a little gift or token that may be given for anything or nothing. Usually, little shops in New Orleans (though this might also happen in other parts of Louisiana, I’m specifically referring to New Orleans because I’ve been there) will throw in a little extra gift when you purchase something, or even give you a little token just for stopping by and chatting with the staff for a bit.

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A common sight in many shops in New Orleans – masks with all sorts of fancy designs

I hadn’t thought of the word in years but here it was, on my mind. I just figured that meant it was time to plan another trip to New Orleans (which would be fabulous!) and let the thought pass. I went on with my day as normal and didn’t think any more of it.

Two days later, I went online and read some posts in one of my coaching groups. I saw a post from a member that was unclear on what she needed to do to resolve the issue that she was facing. I thought a writing technique that I first read in Write It Down, Make It Happen by Dr. Henriette Anne Klauser. I flipped through the book, located the technique I wanted to describe to her, and posted my response.

After writing the response, I flipped to the back of the book, right before the bibliography. Right there, in the middle of the page, was the word “lagniappe”. For clarity, Dr. Klauser is not Creole nor does she write about life in Louisiana or anything else related to that part of the world. Literally, the word was on the page, like a beacon, telling me that what I needed was sitting on my bookshelf all along.

I’ve been languishing a bit because my dreams need fine tuning. It’s funny: I actually have almost everything that I want. I’ve spent years getting clear on my desires and successfully co-creating everything that I’ve wanted. I’ve traveled to places that I couldn’t imagine that I’d ever see in person. I’m in my dream field: the one that took me NINE years to get into. My family is healthy and happy, and I earn enough to do everything that I want to do (with proper planning, of course). By all accounts, I’m happy with my life and everything is great.

But my daily passion is lacking. I knew that I needed to get clearer about my art career goals as well as a few other “bucket list” items. I didn’t realize how much being “comfortable” and uninspired could negatively affect me, but now I know. So the next few weeks will be all about getting clear and finding my passion again. Now, don’t get me wrong: I love my life and find a lot of joy in it daily. But my drive was gone because I’ve already gotten so many of the things that I wanted.

I mean, what do you do when you got everything you wanted?

It’s simple: you find new dreams. You get some new goals. You find a new passion because that passion is what keeps us going.

So I’m taking some time to get quiet and let inspiration lead me. I think I know where it’s going to take me: there’s a dream that I’ve been tossing around for a bit, but I needed a little extra clarity on how I’d like for it to look in my real life. So I’m going to reread Write It Down, Make It Happen, spend some time just doing what sounds like fun (because having fun is great for setting things in motion), and allowing my new dreams to reveal themselves to me.

Have you all had to “recalibrate” your dreams? I’d love to hear how you did it: feel free to comment below and let me know how you tapped back into your passion after a period of feeling uninspired.

Take care, and enjoy your Saturday!

life curation

Welcome December: Looking Forward, Looking Back

Can you all believe that we are here at the end of another year? This time of year always leaves me in awe: the dates are long but the years are short, as I’ve heard it described. I have written a post for every day this year, so you already know what my year was like. I haven’t been feeling my best over the past few weeks but overall, I’m feeling good about my year.

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The beauty of today, the first of December, is that there are still time to accomplish one (or more!) big goal(s) before the year’s end. Even if you haven’t taken action since before my Finish 2018 on a Strong Note post, there is still time to do something that you’ll be especially proud of. I will be reviewing my last Goal Update post and seeing what I can take care of before the end of the year. Feeling under the weather has slowed me down a bit but it hasn’t stopped me, and I’m determined to make this December count.

Going forward, there are a few things I’m mulling over for 2019. For one thing, I want to bring back my book reviews. I’m reviewing a book this month, and I’ll continue doing one per month until inspiration leads me to something else. I’m also going to be more diligent about creating content for my YouTube channel, since I like the thought of being able to communicate across different platforms.

This is going to be a fantastic month. I’m claiming it right now!

life curation

Take This Course Before 2019

I know we’re all excited to start 2019 on a strong note, and I’m all for finding (and sharing!) the tools and resources to make this our best year ever. So, I’m going to do a mini-series called the 2019 Toolkit. This is informal, but as I find things that I think will be useful to you all, I’ll share them here and tag them for your convenience.

I’ve come across this particular course multiple times over the past six or so years, and each time I see it, I’m impressed by the high student ratings and continued popularity. Learning How to Learn, a course available through Coursera, is a powerful tool for setting the tone for 2019 successes. The class is 12 hours of study, so 30 minutes a Day is more than enough time to complete the course by the new year.

life curation

NaNoWriMo 2018 Week 1 – Updates, What’s Working for Me

I’ve got NaNoWriMo updates, everybody! I have 7,000 words written so far. Only 43,000 more to go! Considering that averages out to 1k words per day, I’m feeling pretty good about my numbers so far. I’ll be writing a lot more over the next few days since I anticipate having some more downtime (not to mention I’ll have to make up for a few days where I won’t be able to do much writing at all).

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I just want to share a bit of what I’ve used this first week to help me make progress on my writing goal. What I’ve found it helpful is to set aside 15 minute chunks of time to write. Of course, I always end up writing for longer than 15 minutes, but at least if I set aside the time, it’s more likely that I will not only write for that time but I will also write even longer than I originally planned.

I also find that I’m challenging myself to see how many words I can write in 15 minutes. I’m seeing that it’s normal to get at least 300-400 words written in 15 minutes (if I haven’t thought out what I want to write before I sit down). However, if I have a good idea of where I want my story to go and what dialogue I want to capture, I can easily squeeze out 500 words in 15 minutes (full disclosure: I type at about 75 or 80-ish words per minute, so that helps). I’m trying to get my words up to 700 in 15 minutes: imagine how many pages I could cover if I committed to 1 hour a day at 2800 words in an hour! I know, that’s pretty ambitious (even for me) but I like thinking about the possibility.

Finally, I’ve been writing my story slightly out of sequence. I started writing the beginning, but then I jumped and started writing the last couple of chapters. That made it easier for me to stay interested in this book idea, which goes a long way in making sure that I actually finish it!

Those are all of my NaNoWriMo 2018 updates for this first week. So far, things have been going well and I’m looking forward to telling you all about my progress next week, as I think I’ll be doing this each week until the end of the month.

Alright friends: it’s time for me to get back to writing. I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!

life curation

Excited for NaNoWriMo

I can barely contain my excitement. It’s NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writer’s Month, for those that have never heard of it before. This is possibly my favorite month of the year, because no other month gathers so many writers together to churn out a novel within 30 days.

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Now, a novel written in 30 days won’t necessarily be the next great American novel, but the main thing is to get into the habit of writing daily and capturing your creativity in words. So many people want to be writers, yet, they never can quite get their time or support network together to undertake the task. So their great book remains unwritten and inside of them. It’s tragic, really: how many of us were changed by something that we read? Imagine how many additional life-changing moments are out there, sitting the recesses of someone’s mind.

NaNoWriMo is especially beneficial for me because I love having a clear goal that I can work towards. 50,000 words in one month? Lofty goal, for sure, but completely possible. What’s really great about NaNoWriMo is that there are Meetup groups that form specifically to support one another during this month. I may attend a gathering before the month is out.

Are you all participating in NaNoWriMo this year? If so, please let me know in the comments below!

life curation

Finish 2018 on a Strong Note

Hi friends! Can you believe we’re already in the month of NOVEMBER? I know, time flies when you’re having fun!

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With two months left in the year, you probably think that you won’t be able to do anything impactful before the years end. Nothing could be farther from the truth! 60 days is more than enough time to do something that will really help you to finish 2018 on a strong note. If nothing else, you can get a good running start for 2019.

So take out those goals you had for 2018 – you know, the ones that got lost in the sauce sometime in February – and give them a good once-over. See which one would really mean the most to you, and get started on it NOW! If you need an idea for how to get started on your goal, I have a post about one of my sneaky tricks for successful resolutions.

Start by doing something today that will take you five minutes or less (preferably less). Take the action immediately, and you’ll already feel like you’re headed in the right direction. As for me, I’m spending 15 minutes today on my “big goals” – five minute on each of my 3 goals – to get some momentum going. And then I’ll be jumping into my writing, because it’s NaNoWriMo! Check out tomorrow’s post for more about the NaNoWriMo festivities for this year.

Talk to you all tomorrow!