Need writing motivation? Love kittens?

I found a fun website that combines writing motivation and kittens. I couldn’t resist filming a quick video to share it with you.  I came across the website, written kitten while searching for tangible writing rewards to help writers stay motivated.

Watch the video here

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I admit this isn’t exactly what I was looking for but it served its purpose. It motivated me to write. The moment I stumbled onto it  I jumped in and started writing and earned myself a couple of cute kittens.

Of course, they weren’t real kittens but the next best thing, adorable kitten photos! The website is simple to use.  Just set a word writing goal for yourself, type into the provided text box, and get rewarded with kitten photos when you hit your goal. You can select 100, 200, 500, or 1000 word goals.  The kitten photos are pulled from flicker.

Write words and get kittens!

Need writing motivation? Love Kittens?

Not a kitten fan? No worries, you can select puppies or bunnies for your reward.  Yes, this is a simple concept but if it helps you write it is certainly worth its weight in kittens. The best part? This is completely free. You write words, get kittens, and make progress on your writing.

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My Experience:

When I was finished earning kittens, I simply cut, copied, and pasted my writing into my Scrivener file. Unfortunately, you can’t take the kittens with you but you can come back anytime and write for more kittens.  I recommend this website if you enjoy baby animal photos and enjoy setting small goals with instant rewards.  I doubt I will be using this daily but it is a fun way to mix up your writing routine and rewards.

So, how about you? Do you love kittens, bunnies, or puppies? Have you tried written kitten? Did it work for you? Do you have any writing motivation tips to share? Let me know!

Motivation Monday: 5 Tips to help you get and stay motivated.

Are you struggling to stay motivated? Procrastinating? You are in good company. I have been having those issues that last two weeks. It was beyond frustrating. It seemed that the more I focused on the problem the bigger it got.

I am the sort of person who likes to get to the root of the problem and fix it. I did some research, soul searching, and then came up with a plan to put into action. I wanted to share some of what I learned with you.

Watch my 5 Tips for Motivation Video

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What was causing my lag in motivation?

Summer. That’s my excuse and I am sticking to it. I adore summer. Hot weather, swimming, and not having to take the kids to school are all things that make me smile. I made the mistake of trying to do too many work related things. I felt like I was missing the summer fun and suddenly writing became a chore.

The next issue was that I did not have dedicated end time for my work day. I  was spending a lot of my evening time writing and working. All of that caught up with me and I found myself procrastinating about writing and then feeling guilty. On my research quest about I discovered a profound truth.

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Are you getting a bigger reward from NOT DOING the task than you are from finishing it?

Think about it. While procrastinating about writing I was doing things I enjoy. Reading, taking photos, playing around online, and swimming. I was rewarding myself for not doing the task. Even though I felt guilty about not writing I was still getting enjoyment from the things I was doing instead of writing.  The trick is to flip this. Reward yourself for finishing the task not putting it off.

5 Tips To Get & Stay Motivated:

  1. Make a list of Instant Gratification Rewards: Make a list of small but enjoyable things that you can reward yourself with immediately after finishing the task. Example: Write 30 minutes and then reward yourself by watching a funny video, reading a few pages, or having a treat.
  2. Use your rewards: Remember the key is that instant gratification. You want the rewards to keep you motivated. If you cheat yourself out of the reward you may find yourself lagging in motivation and rewarding yourself by procrastinating.
  3. Make a detailed schedule: Have a clear start and end time for the task. Don’t just plan to write 30 minutes today. Plan to write 30 minutes between blank time and blank time. Give yourself a deadline.
  4. Flexibility: Allow yourself some flexibility when things you can not control derail your plan. Don’t beat yourself up or feel guilty. This will only set you up for procrastination.
  5. Remove Distractions: When you have specific deadline and time set for the task set yourself up to succeed by removing all distractions.

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This week is already off to a great start. I took 3 days off from writing to research and enjoy life.  On Saturday morning I wrote 3000 words for Camp NaNoWriMo and it was amazing because my motivation was back.

What helps you stay motivated? What rewards to you rely on to stay motivated?

 

 

Writer Tool Kit: Is Skillshare worth it?

Is Skillshare worth the cost? Let’s take a look the pro’s, con’s, and my personal experience.

Writers Took Kit: Skillshare Video

Skillshare is an online learning community where anyone can discover, take, or even teach a class. They have over 15000 classes, 2 million students and payout over 5 million to teachers. The classes are presented in video format. In most cases,  the instructor provides optional assignments. You can post your work and communicate with the teacher. They have  free classes and premium classes that you pay a monthly (auto debit) fee for and are able take as many classes as you can cram into your schedule

 

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My experience:

  I was instantly intrigued by Skilshare. I love suck up knowledge. On my first search  I didn’t find any free classes that appealed to me. So,  I decided to activate the free trial for access to a wider variety of classes. I wasn’t in the mood to enter my credit/debit card information at the time. I intended to do it later.

And I forgot about it.

When a fellow writer recommended it, I decided to give it another try.  I am glad that I did. I have been a premium (paid) member for two months. One month was a free trial. I have taken at least 15 classes and for me it is worth the cost. The knowledge gained has been immediately helpful to me. The classes I selected were focused on marketing, promotion, and building an audience. I have not taken any of the writing classes that they offer.

The Pros:

  • Wide variety of classes and instructors to choose from.
  • You can take as many classes as you like.
  • Work at your own pace.
  • Skip head in a lesson or go back.
  • You can retake the same class if you wish.
  • Community learning environment
  • New classes are constantly being added.

The Cons:

  • Sifting through the many classes to find the best one can be time consuming.
  • The quality of the videos and instruction varies from class to class. Most are well done but I have found a few that were not worth my time.
  • The monthly billing.  They will not forget but you might! Not only the impending charge but that you have a multitude of classes at your disposal.

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Skill Share might be worth it for you if

  • You enjoy video based classes.
  • You like the flexibility of working at your own pace.
  • You love learning enough to fully utilize the classes that are available. In other words, are you just going to sign up, take a class or two and then forget about it? If so, the free trial might be perfect for you, as long as you don’t forget to cancel it.
  • If you can remember to cancel your subscription if you are not using it enough to justify the cost.

 

Free 60 day trial

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Tips for using Skillshare

  • Watch the intro video to each class. It can be tempting to skip but this will give you a good idea if the instructor and content is worth your time.
  • Do the assignments. Yes, they are optional, but you will get more out of it if you put more into it.
  • Decide what you want to learn before browsing the classes. This will help you stay focused on taking classes that fit your personal goals instead of being tempted by other classes.

What are your thoughts on Skillshare? Have you used it? Do you have a favorite class or instructor?

Motivation Monday: Struggle = Progress Plus Vlog with Writing update.

Difficulties. Roadblocks. Setbacks. The list of obstacles that seem to keep us from making progress and achieving out dreams can seem endless. If we focus on these things in a negative manner it is easy to find out selves in a pit of discouragement.We begin to doubt ourselves and our dreams. We have reached a point in our journey where giving up seems easier than trudging though the troubles.This is a good time to remind ourselves of an important truth.

Video: Struggle = Progress Motivation & Novel Update

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  • Struggle ultimately leads to progress. It is in seasons of difficulty that we learn important lessons. As in nature, intense conditions often birth the most beautiful and sought after things – like diamonds.

Let’s dig deeper into that for a moment.

The formation of natural diamonds requires very high temperatures and pressures. The organic process of diamond formation requires four key ingredients: carbon, pressure, heat and time.

Like diamonds, when we persevere we become stronger. We come out on on the other side of our roadblocks with things that we did not have before. Knowledge is gained. Compassion is born. We are strong and sturdy. We have the ability to shine because of the difficult times we endure.

Imitation diamonds are easy to find and so are people who appear to be something they are not. These may be the same  people who achieve things by taking shortcuts and avoiding roadblocks but in the end they are only shortchanging themselves. True diamonds have a  strength, hardness and beauty that can not be imitated. Strength is built from time, heat, and pressure. Imitations may have sparkle and appeal but they are not true diamonds.

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Watch my youtube Video – novel update and inspiration on this topic

I have experienced this in my own life. From childhood the odds were stacked against me. A family history of alcoholism, mental health issues, abuse, neglect shaped my childhood. I was crushed to see my dreams fall apart after being raped and becoming pregnant at 14. The years that followed were not easy. I struggled to finish school, be a parent, find a safe environment and deal with depression and anxiety. I was not able to graduate high school but I did get my GED and job at the age of 17. Although college did became a reality for me at 20, it was not the path I had dreamed of. I wanted to finish high school, go to college, write books, have a nice house and then adopt children. In that order.

 

That is not what happened. My path was different and very bumpy but it got me where I am today and I am thankful for every painful and joyful moment along the way.

 

So, I encourage you to take heart if you are under pressure and feeling discouraged. You are in the process of becoming a strong, beautiful, rare, and deeply valuable person.  Don’t forget to watch my vlog on youtube. It tackles this same subject & idea from another angle. Plus, you will get my novel & life update sprinkled in it as well.

As, always thanks for joining me.

Have a blessed & bookish day!

 

 

May Owlcrate Unboxing: Comic Explosion Plus Announcements!

It is Owlcrate Unboxing time! Actually, it is way past that. I filmed the video a last week but I am just now getting it posted. This box was worth the wait! Comic Explosion was the theme and OwlCrate had already let us know that we would be getting a Funko Pop figurine. I was beyond excited about that but afraid I would get one I did not like.

Hop over and watch the Video!

Oh my Gosh… I got Wonder Woman! I could not be happier. I adore her outfit and sword. I keep her on my desk with the Wonder Woman Candle that was ALSO in this box! It is tropical scented and I think it has a nice  hint pomegranate. It is adorable sized ( which is small but calling it adorable is a great marketing tool – and accurate. It is adorable. I don’t even care that is not very big.

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Here is a quick list of what was in this months box:

  • Funko pop figurine
  • Adorable sized candle
  • Comic inspired button with coordinating zipper pull/keychain
  • Organic Coffee Candy
  • Art Card
  • Comic layout spoiler card
  • Next months theme card
  • Author Letter & Signed Book Plate
  • Sample Chapter of AFAR  graphic novel
  • Eliza and her Monsters Novel

I enjoyed all the items. I ate the coffee candy before taking a good photo. I thought about photographing the empty wrapper but I decided to discard the evidence of my candy binge. I do love coffee flavored candy.  I don’t like most “hard” candy but coffee candy is the exception.

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The graphic novel sample chapter is impressive. I started reading it but then I spilled coffee on it. Gotta wait for the pages to dry before I finish it. Just call me a coffee klutz.

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I loved the author letter. The letter has become one my most anticipated things in the box. Don’t forget to watch the video – I read part of the letter.

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I have not had time to read the book but I am dragging it along with me on vacation. I love the exclusive cover.

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Please excuse the terrible background in the prior photo. Everything I have done this month has had to be done in a rush and I overlooked some details. I also had a lot of issues filming the video. I kept mispronouncing BASIC words and rambling. I had to edit out a lot of the video.

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Next month sounds like a dystopian theme! I am excited to see if I am right about it. They are also including an exclusive item from the FIZZY FAIRY APOTHECARY.

I think there is still time to sigh up for the June box! Get your box

I also share a few announcements on my video. I have an author newsletter than you can subscribe to.  It will be monthly or bimonthly and feature exclusive content, occasional freebies, giveaways, and news about what is happening with me and my books.

I have new bookish designs, inspirational items, and author related goodies in my  new Society6 store.  You can get my designs on mugs, phonecases, and other products. See my Society6 stuff

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Last but not least, I have an INSTRAGRAM only giveaway going on. You can win one of my society6 items or a Amazon gift card prize pack.  So follow me on instagram, find the giveaway post, like, comment and tag a friend.

See the Post and some of the goodies

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Thanks for joining me! Have a blessed & bookish day!

 

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.

New Vlog Post! The Young Elites

Are you ready to hear about a book you should read? Good! I adore this book. Go buy it. Borrow it. Steal it if you must. Just kidding about the last part. I just posted my video book review of THE YOUNG ELITES by Marie Lu on my youtube channel. Jump on over and check it out! The vlog also includes my wrap up of the awesome books I read in April.

Click here to watch!

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This is a spoiler free review. My question for you faithful reader/video watcher is do you like the spoiler free review or would you like to see a more in-depth review? Please let me know.

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As always, thank you for reading and watching!

Have a blessed, beautiful and bookish day!