Posted in Bookish Goodies, Books, Inspirational Mugs, Phone Cases, and More, Self Publishing, Society6, Time Management For Writers, Writing

Big Things Are Coming In Febuary

January was a productive month. That is big news for me and for you. It means that big exciting things are coming in February. I am not going to spill all the details today but here are the headlines.

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Do you struggle with finding the time to write? Do you have difficulty writing when it is time to write? I feel your pain because I have been there and done that. The good news is that I have a solution to share with you. Time management is the answer and also the focus of my blog and videos in the month of February.

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The other BIG news is that I finished my writing prompts book! It is one step closer to being in your hands. In February I will be launching and publishing it. I have already started the process of adding beta readers and reviewers to my Book Review team.

Want a free copy of my book? It is not too late to sign up for my book review team. You will receive an advanced reader copy of my book in exchange for your honest review and feedback. What are you waiting for? CLICK HERE

I will have 2 new designs up in my society 6 store next month. If you loved the January design below you will adore what I have coming for you next month. As always, just search for author April in the society6 store, select the design, and then the product you would like the design on. Easy Peasy.

 

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New Book Lover Design Available in My Society 6 Store. 

Excited to see what February brings! Have a blessed and bookish day my friend. XOXO (1)

 

 

Posted in Goals & Goal Setting, Life, Motivation, Productitivity, Quarterly Goals, Self Publishing, Uncategorized, Writing

How to Make New Years Resolutions that you can stick to in 2018

Let’s be honest. We are in the 2nd week of 2018. How many of us have already failed or forgotten about our New Years Resolutions? How many of us are still trying to figure those out?
I know that I have fallen into both roles many times in the past. This year, I am still in the process of planning my resolutions because I want resolutions I can stick to. I want resolutions that are more than something I think about in January.  I am going to walk you through a process of making resolutions you can stick to.
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Words are important.
So, let’s start by defining what a resolution is and what it is not.  A resolution is defined as a firm decision to do or not do something. Doesn’t that make the whole New Years Resolution thing sound easy? All you need to do is make a firm decision to do or not to do something.  The bad news is that a resolution without a plan will probably fail.  Only 8% of people achieve their resolutions and 80% fail by February.
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I witnessed this happen year after year when I worked at a fitness center.  In January the gym was flooded with new members. By March the gym was back to normal, with only a few of the new faces sticking around. Don’t give up yet you can be the new face that sticks around. You can be in that 8%.  Put my Four P’s of Resolutions to work for you.
P= Plan
Resolution to Goal  
The first step to making a realistically achievable resolution is to take your resolution from that firm decision to a goal.  A decision no matter how firm, means nothing if you don’t do something about it.  A goal has a deadline. A goal is a decision with an end date. The top New Year’s resolution that people make is to lose weight. So, let’s practice with that example.
Resolution: I am going to lose weight.
Goal: I am going to lose weight by December 31 of this year.
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P= Plan

Goal to Great Goal:

A great goal is big, achievable, specific and written down.  Simply by writing your goal down, you have a greater chance of achieving it. Making it specific will make it achievable. Once you know
Goal: I am going to lose weight by December 31 of this year.
Great Goal: I am going to lose 50 lbs, and keep it off by December 31st of this year.
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Great Goal to Realistic Plan of Action
If you have gotten this far with your resolution you are ahead of the pack. If you want to increase your chances of achieving your goals you need to take things one step further and create an Action Plan.  One way to do this is to brainstorm all of the ways you can achieve the goal. Once you have all your options on paper you can begin selecting the best options for you and build a plan.
Action Plan for losing 50 lbs by Dec 31
(This is just an example of what I might include if this was my goal, not a suggestion that this is how you can lose weight)
* Track food intake daily
*Break down how many lbs you need to lose each month to achieve your goal
* Get a personal trainer or create a workout and nutrition plan
* Work out X number of days per week
*Replace 1 meal with a healthier option each week
*Find a support group, a workout buddy or accountability partner and set up daily, weekly, & Monthly check in’s.
* Pray Daily for Strength
* Make a list of nonfood rewards
* Add deadlines to all possible action steps and put them on your calendar.
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P= Partner Up

Action Plan to Partner Up

Once you have an action plan there is another important step that many are apt to skip. Find an accountability partner to share your goals with. This works because it is harder to give up when you know someone knows what you are doing and will be checking in with you. You can also join communities and groups of like-minded people online or in person.

Knowing you are not alone in your quest will equip you to succeed and a community can provide a wealth of encouragement and knowledge.  Which brings me to my own personal method of making my resolutions.

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P = Pray

Can you skip this step? When I make my own resolutions and goals I may fail or succeed.  When I am relying only on my wisdom, wants, and strengths it is always harder and more overwhelming to reach my goals. That is where prayer can be a game changer.

Going to God and asking for his wisdom and guidance before making a firm decision to do something or not to do something always gives me peace, clarity, and a focus that I can’t get on my own.

I encourage you to take this step. If you have already set goals for the year it isn’t too late. It is never too late to go to God and ask for his guidance. It might just stop you from wasting valuable time on something you were never supposed to tackle. It might just give you the clarity that you are on the right track. It might reveal another goal altogether. When I invite God along, follow his leading, and rely on him I am set free from relying on myself.

My Story

This happened to me this year. I decided to choose a focus word, theme word, or soul word to base 2018 around. I love words and It sounded like a neat way to keep focus. I dug through a list of suggested words and picked one that I liked.

Then in a later prayer, God gave me a different word. With the word came a promise, clarity and focus that I did not have the word I picked on my own. I will be sharing my F Soul Word for 2018 and why you might need one too in an upcoming post.

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P= Put Your Goals In Front of You

The last P is to put those goals somewhere you will see them every single day. You want as many visual reminders of your goals and dreams as you can make. It is easy to loose focus if your goals are shoved in a notebook in the back of your desk. Here are a few ways you can keep your goals front and center. Tell me how you do this! I would love to know.

  • Create a vision board
  • Create a graphic with words and use it as your screen saver on your phone and computers
  • Pick an object that relates to your goal and keeps it around you. If your goal is to lose weight you might pick out a goal outfit and keep photos of it on your desk, phone, or even in your car.
  • Write your goal on every page of your wall calendar
  • Post it’s on your bathroom mirror, tv, or radio in your car.
  • Write it down every single day.

 

 

Posted in Goals & Goal Setting, Life, Motivation, Self Publishing, Uncategorized, Writing

Writing Tips, Truths, & Encouragement

Are you a writing a book? Dreaming about it? Just finished your first draft or planning to write 50,000 words during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November?  I want to offer up a bit of my journey, a few tips, some truths and encouragement to you.  Much of this is writing advice I wish I had known when I started. Some of it is writing advice I ignored and wish I had not.

Watch My Writing Advice Video Here (As always, my video and blog content coordinate but they are not identical content. You will want to read and view!”

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First, let’s start with celebration.  I want you to celebrate every step of your journey.  Deciding to write a book is a big thing. Celebrate that. Celebrate your first draft. Embrace it for what it is, you telling the story to yourself so that you can shape it into a story for readers.  It will be a mess and that is okay. Writing is a craft. It will require practice, constant learning, and a lot of emotions. Be prepared for that but don’t look at your first draft as a failure. It is your teacher. It is the first step in your book’s journey. Celebrate.

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When you finish celebrating your first draft your next question might be the same as mine.  Now what? It is time to revise, self-edit and begin shaping it into something a reader will love.

BUT FIRST… I want you to put it away. That’s right. Put it away for at least two weeks.  Don’t read it. Don’t edit it. Just don’t. I ignored this advice and it was awful. You need to distance yourself from the story. Trust me. If you don’t trust me, you will understand why you should have later. ( I won’t say I told you so, I will send a hug and tissues.)

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If you are unsure what to do next, I recommend finding a few good critique partners to take a look at the first draft or your outline. You are not looking for someone to correct your punctuation and grammar you are looking for writers who will provide feedback on your story, plot, characters, and settings.

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Outline. Outline. Outline.  I recommend a great outline before you ever write your first draft. I recommend knowing everything you can about your characters and story before you start writing. You may be the writer who has to write the first draft and then dive into an outline. You are only going to find this out by trying different methods. It is never too late to outline.

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Research, listen, know your genre, and learn from other writers. Try out new writing and outlining methods. If it works, keep it. If it doesn’t toss it ( the advice or the method, not your book)  or tweak things to fit your needs. Don’t stay with a method that is not working for you.  Try something else. As you evolve as a writer, you may want to try the things that didn’t work for you in the past.

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Experiencing an emotion doesn’t make it true. You may feel HATE your book. You may feel love your book. There is a good chance your emotions will swing between the two and give you motion sickness.  That is normal.  But, feelings don’t always point to truth. The important thing is to remember that feelings shift. The truth is that you will have strengths and weakness in writing. Find out both. Embrace the good and improve the bad.

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Don’t Judge your 1st draft by someone else’s published work. Do you know how many times the story was written, edited and revised before it hit the shelf?  Do you know how many people had their hands on it, shaping it before it was published? If you think you are the only one who will shape your book or should shape your book, I encourage you to reach out to published authors and find out what goes into that book on the shelf.

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Don’t give up. You have a dream. A passion. A desire. An idea. You and your story matter. No one can tell it like you. I want to see you make it come true.

Have a blessed and bookish day my writing friend!

Posted in Book Reviews, Books, Indie Spotlight, Self Publishing, Uncategorized

Indie Spotlight Review: Ingrid, The Viking Maiden by Naomi Jan Kelly

Ingrid intends to be a strong Viking shield maiden. She is determined to prove to her family that she has what it takes, in spite of her small stature and the coddled life they have given her. When she convinces her friend Shelby to stowaway on one of the boats with her she quickly discovers that she may have taken on more than she can handle. Her voyage turns into a magical adventure when she finds her self-shipwrecked and at the mercy of some strange creatures and faces the truth about her hidden memories and abilities. Ultimately, Ingrid must choose between the path she always wanted and one chosen for her.

Watch my video review of Ingrid the Viking Maiden

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What I loved about this book:

  • Grand adventures with unexpected companions
  • Mixing the Viking lifestyle with magic
  • Ingrid grows as a character and learns to rely on her strengths
  • A bit of romance, a strong friendship, and Ingrid finds a rather grumpy new pal
  • Great setup for sequel, I want to know what happens to Ingrid
  • It was a quick and easy read.

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Who should read this book:

  • Fans of Vikings and magical beings
  • Readers who want a taste of romance that doesn’t overwhelm the story
  • Readers who like quirky sidekicks might enjoy Ingrid’s new pal
  • If you like a light fantasy read mixed with a touch of history.

My Personal take on this book:

Well written, easy to read, and entertaining. It kept my attention and I felt satisfied at the end. I enjoyed reading this magical Viking adventure and look forward to the next book from this author.

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You can find Naomi Jane Kelly’s book on Amazon. It is currently available as a kindle unlimited selection.  Visit Naomi’s website to learn more

Have you read a great indie ya, fantasy, sci-fi, or historical fiction book? I would love to hear more.

Posted in Anxiety & Depression, Book Reviews, Books, Self Publishing, Uncategorized, vlog

Indie Spotlight: Anxiety Girl

Anxiety Girl by Lacy London

Do you struggle with Anxiety or know someone who does? The title of this book and the focus on Anxiety is what prompted me to read this book. I am glad I did. I deal with severe reoccurring depression and generalized anxiety and I enjoy reading books that address with those issues in a responsible realistic manner.

If you want to hear more about my personal mental health issues check out my Anxiety Girl Review on YouTube.

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While I did not click with the main character right away it did not take long for me root for here when she began to experience anxiety. The author did an excellent job portraying the experience of anxiety.

This story follows Sadie, a young woman who finds herself battling a broken heart but soon discovers that there is a lot more going on inside her. Anxiety takes hold and she no longer finds it easy to to hide her troubles. Deep in anxiety  with her life falling to pieces Sadie struggles with fear, shame, and comes to the realization that she needs help.

What I Love:

  • Realistic portrayal of anxiety
  • Supportive characters who help Sadie
  • The unsupportive characters show a realistic portrait of how people tend to misunderstand
  • Well written & Easy to read

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Who Should Read:

  • Anyone who deals with Anxiety or Mental illness
  • Anyone who loves and cares for someone with Anxiety or Mental Illness
  • Fans of Contemporary Fiction
  • Those who are already fans of this Bestselling Author

Get the book $2.99 or read free with Kindle unlimited

*price at the time of review

 

Posted in Goals & Goal Setting, Quarterly Goals, Self Publishing, Uncategorized, vlog, Writing

Quarterly Writing Goals

Can you believe it is already May? I wanted to take a quick moment to share my writing goals for the upcoming months. I have a lot to accomplish. Including a big goal. Can you guess?

Want to watch my  Quarterly Goals Video ?  Includes a sneak peek of the next item that will be featured in Friday’s Writer’s Took Kit Video.     Click here for the Video

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Of course, my biggest goal for the next 3 months is getting my novel ready to submit to my editor for a developmental edit. I also want to continue with my marketing plan and some of that is reflected in writing goals.  I tried not to go goal crazy this quarter because writing, editing and revision my work in progress is a huge task.

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Whew! I am exhausted just looking at the list. I know that there is a lot of work that must be done to complete these tasks in three short months. I am ready to get to and make it happen.

What are your goals? Do you do quarterly, monthly or yearly goals? I do  a combination of all three and then break them down to weekly and daily goals. It really helps to keep me on task.