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).

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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!

writing

Writers Wednesday – The Latest About My Writing Practice

Hey everyone! There is only one more Writers Wednesday for 2021: can you believe that 2022 is almost here?

I’m still working on a few writing projects, so I don’t have any major publishing goals that I’ll be accomplishing this month. However, I did finish the last chapter on a BIG writing project that I’ve had for a while, and I’ve even done a mock cover to the book (I may end up changing it, but for now, I like it). In a way, the book is “done”, but because I’m a bit of a perfectionist, I will be editing some more and maybe tweaking the cover a bit before I publish it. However, I’m excited that the writing is finished, and I can focus on polishing it up and preparing it for publication. I’m thrilled that the book will definitely be published in 2022.

My business coach advised me to write daily, and, while I understood the importance of practicing my craft, I had been slacking and she pointed out that this needs to be a priority. So I’ve been writing almost daily and I’m enjoying how I’m making this part of my regular routine. I suspect that I’ll be done with my NaNoWriMo 2021 book before the middle of January 2022, and my edits for a previous NaNoWriMo story should be completed before the end of March.

I haven’t taken on any “new” writing projects over the past few weeks, because I really want to focus on completing the projects I’ve already started. However, every now and then I’ve gotten a book idea, and I job it down and put it aside until I have more time to work on it. It feels good to put my energy toward a project in motion and to see my current works-in-progress move steadily toward completion.

That’s all for my update, and I’m looking forward to sharing some of my 2022 writing goals next week. What are some of your writing updates? I’d love to hear all about them!

writing

Writers Wednesdays – NaNoWriMo Week 3

Hey everyone! I skipped the Monday and Tuesday post this week so I could concentrate more on my writing and filming (since I’m still adding content to my YouTube channel, as well). Whew, it’s been busy over here. But I’m loving it, and I’m excited to see how things go by the end of this month.

My word count isn’t where I want it to be . . . Yet. I know that I don’t have a lot of time left, but I have no issue writing huge chunks at a time, so I’ll leverage that skill and see what kind of progress I can make this week.

I did, however, want to post a quick update on what’s happening on my NaNoWriMo journey, so I filmed this video. As a bonus, I included a writing tip that may help you if you’re feeling stuck. Enjoy!

writing

Writers Wednesdays – NaNoWriMo Week 2 and Clarifications

Hello friends! It’s another Writers Wednesday and I’m excited to share my NaNoWriMo progress with you all! But first, I need to clarify something.

My blog is 100% my opinions, 100% of the time. I was recently harassed by a random visitor and attacked for my stance on Harry and Meghan. The insults in the response were vile and uncivilized, which is why you won’t find the comment anywhere on the blog: it was deleted and no response was offered. I wanted to state my stance on cyberbullying and digital violence for you all, but my good friend (thanks chica!) reminded me of the goal of this space and how to address this.

I will never entertain bullies that feel entitled to my attention. I will never allow hateful comments on my platform, nor will I engage anyone that leads with hate or violence. I will always protect my readers from comments that are mean-spirited and not constructive.

Further, I have chosen to ignore the bully and celebrate YOU ALL, my regular readers that have offered kind words and good energy for years. I am choosing to turn my focus to the good that surrounds me at all times. You all have made blogging worthwhile. The comments, private messages and overall goodness that you’ve brought to my blog is much appreciated.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Now, back to the topic at hand. NaNoWriMo kicked off last week, but it took me a week to pick out a book idea. That’s why I opted out of last week’s Writers Wednesday post: there was nothing to share with you all! I prefer not to do too much pre-planning for NaNoWriMo: I like to allow inspiration to guide me from the very beginning. But, since it took so long to find an idea, I’m behind on my writing schedule. I only have 1,500 of the 50,000 words I need to win NaNoWriMo (eek!) Fortunately for me, I have some time over the next few days that I can use for my writing. I’m thinking of setting up another writer’s retreat to give myself a block of time to work on my writing. And honestly, for someone that has been writing for just three days, I’m pleased that I still have so much momentum that I can leverage for the rest of the week and, hopefully, the entire month.

How is NaNoWriMo going for you all? I’d love to hear all about it!

writing

Writers Wednesdays – The November Writing Plan

Happy Writers Wednesday! As I wrap up the month of October, I’m so pleased with the writing progress I’ve made. My October writing plan went like this:

  • Finish writing a book
  • Finish editing a book
  • Publish a book

The question, of course, is, Did I do all of that?

Yes, I did! I published Let’s Go to Kenya, my first children’s book that explores one of my favorite African countries. I also finished my first round of edits to my mystery novel, the first full-length book that I’ve ever written. This is only one round of edits (there will be more!) but it feels really good to complete those edits for the first time. Finally, I finished writing one of the books that’s been on my laptop for years, needing just a couple of chapters to be officially “completed”.

Now that I’m done with my October writing plan, it’s time to move on to November. And for November, I’ll be participating in National Novel Writers Month (NaNoWriMo). I haven’t even begun to think about what I may write next month, which is kind of the point. I want to just let my fingers fly across the keyboard and let the ideas come to me as I type. I love allowing the story to unfold as I write instead of overthinking about what to include.

During the month of November, I’m taking a break from publishing some of my books, and focusing instead on writing. I’ll also be posting weekly updates of my NaNoWriMo experience on this blog, because we all know how important accountability is.

Are any of you planning to participate in NaNoWriMo? Let me know in the comments below!

*****This post contains affiliate links.

writing

Writers Wednesdays – How It’s Going . . .

Y’know, I absolutely love doing Writers Wednesdays posts. I often struggle to come up with content for these posts (especially if I’m doing a writing break) but I love that the commitment to only talk about writing – either the art or the business side of it – on Wednesdays keeps me accountable, even on a little level.

So today, I’ll continue in the spirit of accountability and tell you all what I’m currently working on, and how its going. As you recall from the last Writers Wednesday post, I have a writing plan that covers completing one work, editing a different work, and publishing yet another work. I, like many people, find it easy to get distracted, and when that happens, my writing progress slows down to a crawl. The objective of the writing plan is to infuse some major forward-moving energy into my writing practice.

The status of the writing plan is this: so far, so good. I started off with the editing project, because that’s my least favorite part of writing. I reread one of my completed books that I had shelved a while ago (the idea was that I would eventually come back and edit with “fresh eyes”) and realized I had even less love for editing than I recall. I seriously considered picking up a different book and editing that one instead. However, I’ll stick with the book I initially selected. It’s the first novel I ever wrote, and I would love to make some editing strides with it, so I can (hopefully) publishing That’s why I’m saying “so far, so good”: by pushing through (what I feel is) the most unpleasant part of writing, I know that the rest will be a breeze.

More about the So Cozy: Hygge Journal in a moment . . .

I’ll be finishing the first round of edits this week, then I’m leaping right into finishing a book I’ve been working on for almost two years now. I only have about 2-3 chapters left; fortunately for me, once I start writing, the process goes quickly. The trick is getting into the flow: it’s hard to hit my stride when I’m thinking about the other 4,739 things I have to do. On the bright side of things, the editing process has forced me to be ruthless with my schedule, so I don’t have to hunt down my free time in order to complete the chapters that still need to be written.

The last phase of the writing plan is to publish a book. I have a great book that I have already edited extensive over the past few years, that just needs some minor tweaks, illustrations, and a great cover. Once all of that is done, it should be ready for publishing. Knowing me, I’ll probably add quite a bit of additional text to it (just so I can hit a page count that seems appropriate for the subject matter) but I find a lot of consolation in just knowing that the books is more than 80% ready to be released into the world.

If, for some reason, that book isn’t able to be published, then I’ll make it my goal to publish two more children’s books before the end of the month. Those books are simply enough to be written without a need for extensive editing, and I love that I can get that sense of accomplishment without having to make a major time investment in the creation process. I already have two children’s books in progress, so finishing and publishing them would be a breeze.

That’s my not-so-brief explanation of how things are going. Things are moving along, and I’m pleased. Oh yeah, that reminds me: I’m trying to promote my books more (I think it’s about time that I started acting like a real author and publisher LOL!) So, for each Writer’s Wednesday, I’ll highlight a book that I have created, that I think would be of interest to some of you. The book for this week is the So Cozy: Hygge Journal. It’s the perfect little journal for capturing all of your autumn musings. The journal is super-cute and a really nice size (6 in x 9 in). Also, it’s only $5.99USD! If the cover isn’t a design that you love, never fear: I have multiple cover options. I’ll feature some more of them in the weeks to come.

That’s it for today. I hope you all are having a great Wednesday, and I’ll tlak to you all soon. Take care!

***This post contains affiliate links.

goals · writing

Writers Wednesdays – The October Writing Plan

Happy Writers Wednesday! Recently, I’ve been thinking about the remainder of this year, and how I’ll be approaching this time frame as respects my writing practice. And to be clear, this is DEFINITELY a practice: I’m aiming to make it more of a consistent habit going forward. Fortunately, I’ve already been improving my writing consistency over the past couple of weeks and seeing the results.

That being said, I found myself taking an hour long ride with one of my friends, and I mentioned, very briefly, my October writing plan. It was such a succinct, easy way to vocalize how I envision some of my works-in-progress (WIPs) moving forward. So, here’s my little plan, as I would like for it to play out:

  • Finish a book (Part 1)

This part of the plan is all about finishing a rough draft of one of my WIPs. This isn’t about editing; as any writer will tell you, trying to write and edit simultaneously severely impacts your speed and disrupts your creative flow. So, I’ll just be writing the ideas as they arrive, with the focus on completing a story. I’m really excited about this, since I have several books that have fallen into my creative purgatory of sorts.

  • Complete the first round of edits for a book (Part 2)

This is my focus for one of the books that initially completed several years ago (2013, as a matter of fact). I’ve started doing the edits a while ago, but never made it past the first few chapters. It’ll be nice to see this book finally get the full editing treatment. I know this is only the first of (what I anticipate will be) multiple rounds of edits, but I can’t get to the finished product until I do the editing process to my satisfaction. This will probably be the most intensive part of my plan, but it’s also the part of the process that I’m most looking forward to completing.

  • Publish a book (Part 3)

I could do a really simple book (like another children’s book), just to ensure that this goal is met. However, I’d rather take the time to actually publish something that I have already edited and that has been waiting to be released into the world. I have one book in mind, but if I don’t choose that book, there’s at least one more book that is pretty much ready to go (outside of some light editing, and some formatting magic).

I’m anticipating that I will spend roughly 10-12 days on part 1, 15 days on part 2, and 3-4 days on part 3. But, those are just rough estimates, based on nothing more than what I expect will take me more or less time. I could easy finish all of these things before the end of the month, but I don’t want to rush myself (in case I have a day or two when I really don’t want to be bothered). Also, I know that I’ll likely hop from task to task, based on inspiration, and any given day could include me working on all three parts of my plan. Time will tell what this actually looks like in practice.

That’s it for the October plan! Do you all have any writing plans for October? I’d love to hear all about it!

goals · life curation · Uncategorized

August Goal Updates

It’s almost the end of the month, so it’s time to do a quick recap of how my annual goals are progressing. There is at least one goal that I’ve reached, a couple that I’ve revised, and others that are still in progress. As a quick reminder, here are my 2021 goals:

  • Publish 5 books
  • Lose 15 lbs
  • Manifest 3 international trips
  • Earn 6 figures in my businesses
  • Read 100+ books
  • Luxury purchases – Hermes, Christian Louboutin, Sophia Webster, Ralph & Russo
  • Cure my fibromyalgia

And, here is an overview of the changes I’ve made to my goal list:

  • Publish 5 books – DONE!
  • Lose 15 lbs
  • Manifest 3 international trips – Manifest 3 incredible trips before the end of the year
  • Earn 6 figures in my businesses – Earn 5+ figures in my business
  • Read 100 books
  • Luxury purchases – patronizing at least 3 Black-owned luxury brands
  • Cure my fibromyalgia

As you all can see, there are some changes to my list worth noting, as I discussed in my July Goal Update and my book publishing posts. Other than the completed items, everyhting else is progressing as expected.

I’m planning major promotional activity for my businesses starting in mid-September. I ordered some samples so that I can determine which Black-owned luxury brands are ones that I want to invest in. I’m still working on my fibromyalgia cure, as well as my weight loss. My book goals are still coming along well, and I’m feeling confident that I’m closer to my goals than I could have ever dreamed.

That’s it for August! Sometimes, there aren’t major changes: there may only be incremental steps that will eventually come together to create enormous shifts. But those small steps are worth praising, thus this post. I hope you all are doing well and making progress toward your goals for the year!

writing

Writers Wednesdays – A New Booklet Coming . . .

I hope you all are having a really great week. This is going to be a short post, because I’m not working on any longer writing projects this month. I felt this was a good time to take a quick break, since I intend to doing some intense writing sessions starting in the fall.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

However, I did have a mini-project that I wanted to knock out this week. I had this genius “flash” of inspiration while driving a few days ago, and I felt very drawn to putting that idea into writing, then publishing it as a free booklet that I will offer here, as well as on my publishing website, Bronze Butterfly Books. I’ve been keen on creating more freebies for visitors because I know how much I’ve benefited from the materials that other content creators have generously offered on their platforms.

So today and tomorrow, I’ll be writing all of my thoughts that I want to put into the booklet, then I’ll spend some time editing and structuring the booklet over the weekend. The goal is to publish the booklet before the end of the month (just a few days). I’m eager to have it ready by September 1st, and the only way that will happen is if I work on it, starting today.

That said, that’s all for today’s post! Stay tuned to see what the booklet will be about, and I’ll talk to you all soon.

business · career · writing

Writers Wednesday – Is a Writing Coach Necessary?

Happy Writers Wednesday! Today’s topic came to me after I spoke to several people that are part of writer support groups, or they have gotten writing coaches to assist with creating their books. Further, I’ve seen numerous advertisements for writing coaches that are appearing on the scene, all claiming that they will help the aspiring authors to finally release their works into the world.

The question on my mind (and possibly your mind) is this: is a writing coach necessary?

Personally, I’ve never used a writing coach, but given how many delays I’ve encountered on my writing journey, perhaps a coach would be a good investment! That being said, I will admit that I don’t think a writing coach is necessary for *most* people. I think that there is only a tiny subset of people that actually need a writing coach. However, I believe there are enough people in the subset to provide an abundance of potential clients for writing coaches.

My recommendation for anyone considering hiring a writing coach is to go through this list of questions and see where you fall on the writer spectrum.

  • Are you having difficulties with determining which direction your writing needs to take?
  • Do you need regular external motivation in order to work on your writing project?
  • Do you struggle with structuring your writing?
  • Do you have questions about writing that can’t be answered through other means?
  • Do you generally respond better to verbal instruction, as opposed to written directions?

Answering “yes” to any of these questions may make you a prime candidate for a writing coach. I’m still of the mindset that the best way to write is to problem solve for yourself, then, after you’ve hit a wall, consider reaching out for help. However, everyone is different, and what works for me may not work for you. I do think there’s some value in the practice of solving your own problems through your own efforts, but I’ll be the first to admit that time is precious and if a coach can save you time and energy, then it may be a worthwhile investment.

I’m curious: have any of you ever hired a writing coach? What was that experience like? Also, if you’re a writing coach, please comment on what that experience is like for you, and how you can help aspiring authors. You can leave your comments below.

That’s it for today! I look forward to talking to you all tomorrow. Take care!