#MayShowers

I’m firmly on baby countdown time, but there are still a few things on my list for the month.

After finishing April off clear and my launch going pretty well, I’ve been thinking more about what the rest of the year looks like in my writing. As all of us know, we can only take one month, one week, one day at a time and so on. I’ve been trying to be realistic about what to expect from myself since my earlier goals seemed a bit loftier than I was able to accomplish.

My aim every month is to execute every goal that I express to all of you. It isn’t just for the surge of success from getting the work done. It is because I believe that one of the best ways to motivate each other is by sharing in success. With all of that being said, here are the things that I hope to accomplish during the month of May.

May Goal List:

-Focus on blog growth and promotion

-Begin a Shifter Short Series

-Continue Promotion of The Alpha’s Dream

-Have a healthy and happy baby

-Throw a wonderful birthday party for my oldest little

Just four short things on my list right now. The bulk of my energy will definitely be going to being a new mama all over again. Every time I give birth, I feel like I’m starting over from scratch. It’s the same awe, and sleeplessness that I had the first time. My goal list reflects this in my workload. I can’t stop being an author because I am a mama. I am both. They both need my energy and attention.

I will accomplish everything on this list and keep you updated. Keep your eyes peeled for my special delivery posts once baby is here. In the meantime, stay occupied by reading The Alpha’s Dream and signing up for my newsletter. Don’t forget to leave a review!

Joy.

 

#marketingmayhem

Being an author has many layers. It is easy to imagine the creative process is something most of us enjoy. However, it is not the only process that must be addressed. Particularly in cases like mine where the all facets of writing and publishing fall on my shoulders.

Almost three years ago now I started a small self publishing company called Moody Writer Publishing, LLC. There have been a few titles published under my little label and ultimately I’m proud of its minor success.

As I made the decision to  finally publish my own work, there is one thing that has remained to be true. It doesn’t matter the work. It doesn’t matter how many long hours or how much love or how great the book is that is produced. What determines sales is how well it is marketed!

For most authors, this means starting to build an audience well before the first word is even written. It means long hours on social media, and popping into groups, and any other forms that could prove to be beneficial in even minute ways.

The author platform is to be taken seriously, because cutting right through the love of the art is the realization that it is work.

Writing is a business. Even those who write as a hobby know that if they want more than their family and close friends to read it they must save some energy for marketing their work.

This is precisely where I am. In truth, I’ve been editing and revising my marketing plan for The Alpha’s Dream since its inception. I’m still clumsy about it. I have no idea if the methods I am using will work, but in business you do what must be done.

Right now, I’ve limited the companies that I will work with until I can see what results will come. As a family of soon to be three children, my husband and I have to be extra critical of how we spend our income. There is no room for waste.

Everyone knows that what you can’t pay for in money, you pay for in time. Marketing  for The Alpha’s Dream has proven that to be true over and over again. The fact that I have to limit the work that I outsource doesn’t mean that it doesn’t need to get done. It only means that I have to do it for myself. The late nights have not ended with editing .  Instead of staying up to write that last chapter, or edit that last paragraph, I am sending out arc copies and blasting other blogs.

When you have a small publishing company, you are essentially self-publishing. I am my own PR person. I am my own secretary, hype woman, beta reader, first tier editor, and somewhere in there the author too.  Self-published authors are always at work.

It would be easier to take my polished manuscript and send it off to publishing companies and imprints and just wait for someone to pick me up. It’s a strong, and beautiful romance novel. I have faith in it and that is exactly why I do the hard work.

I hate marketing.  I hate the business of writing. The courting and researching, and logistics of sales are taxing on my introverted, right brain, and creative heart. However, I am more determined to be successful than I am to have it easy. So, I put in work.

When you see The Alpha’s Dream blitzing everywhere, know that’s just me being extra for my dream.

Joy.

 

 

#MarchMadness

Woot! I’m ready for all March has to offer. At this point, I’m about six weeks from my first release and in a frenzy to get things done well. Don’t worry. I’m still mostly optimistic that it will all get done. Mostly, because I am working my behind off to make sure it does. The struggle is real, but so is the hustle.

So February Goals were good, and I got a ton of things down on my personal goal lists as well as my author lists. I think I’m on pace to do pretty well this month too, but I’ll need your help with a few. Namely my ARC Reviewer sign-up. If you want to be involved, follow the link and get your free reads!

On to business. I have several things on my lists for the month of March. Let me share them with you now, along with the ones that were migrated from February.

March To-Do Goals:

-Send The Alpha’s Dream off to the Editor

Build my ARC Reviewer Lists

-Send of First Newsletter

-Execute Phase 1 of Marketing Plan

Migrated Goals:

-Finish Second Novella

-Write/Edit 2 Shifter Shorts

Ultimate goal for March is to successfully complete everything on the lists. I want a clean slate coming into April. Hold me to that one! What are you working on this month? Comment below.

Joy.

17 things I will do in 2017

So, great. I’ve made my goals and now I’m on my way to executing them all. Well, here are still some things that didn’t make the list…sort of. They’ve been upgraded to a list of their own. Sometimes, success between major goals is spread out. They tend to require more, planning, or resources or whatever. These 17 things to do in 2017 only require my willingness. They are a great way to litter small successes in between major accomplishments without being overwhelmed.

Don’t take this list as seriously as your goal list. It is fine if it has some heavy hitters. Mostly this list should contain short and quickly executable events that will boast your confidence and determination.

Think of it as a fun way to include those things that didn’t seem important enough to make my true “goal list”, but were still things I wanted to do. They are in no particular order, but that isn’t to say I won’t treat them like it. I’ll update as I go, which ones I’ve followed through on and which ones might be more difficult than I intended.

Some of the goals here are fun adventure type events I’d like to share with my family and others are just bucket list items that made the shortlist. Have a read through and then leave a comment to  tell me yours!

    1. Read  75 mixed genre books.
    2. Spend 1 Saturday a month with my Grandmother exclusively.
    3. Take a baking class.
    4. Write two shorts a month in addition to published work.
    5. Visit Houston like a tourist with Children.
    6. Build a dollhouse and kitchen set for the little loves.
    7. Sew 5 dresses start to finish.
    8. Learn to re-twist my locks.
    9. Visit Baltimore, Maryland for future book setting research
    10. Take a Creative Writing course
    11. Take my  darlings to a Book Festival.
    12. Take a photography class or several.
    13. Conquer my body discomfort with a Boudoir Photo Shoot.
    14. First stay at Disney World Resort
    15. Visit New Orleans like a tourist without Children 🙂

(Research of Course.)

  1. Build my Social Media Platforms to 3,000.
  2. Master five staple meals!

I’ll keep you guys updated on what I complete. Comment with what makes your list!

Resolutions-The Umbrella Solution

I’ve been a fan of New Year’s Resolutions for as long as I can remember. There is something refreshing about reflection on past choices and ambition for something better culminating in a new outlook. the New Year, New Me was built for people with my wavering optimism. Much to my chagrin, it often leads me with the same results when the enthusiasm wears off.

In the past, I’ve been guilty of keeping some resolutions and breaking others. The ugly details generally include weight loss and bad habits I  should have abandoned. As I’ve gotten older and a touch wiser I’ve come to realize that resolutions like any tool are only as effective as the user’s ability. If I was going to keep a resolution – really stick to it – then I had to edit the way I was approaching these opportunistic rebirths.

It took some time to come up with my resolution  this year. Since my goals are specific to certain sections of my life, my resolution must be an umbrella. It must cover everything that I hope to accomplish and still leave room for more. So, I don’t say I’m going to lose ten pounds by June. Instead, I say I will have revamped my approach to healthy living in 2017. The process is the exact opposite of my goal setting method, but more on that here.

Having spent most of my life winging resolutions because of course. I’ve noticed having a more definable way of picking them has been the remedy for my inconsistent success. Of course it would be, success is measured in consistency and consistency is contagious. It is not a far leap from successful resolution to reached goals. All you have to do is the work, and trust the process. Here are the five ways I determine my New Year’s resolution. Use them how you will or not at all, just be sure to leave me a comment on your resolution thoughts!

Rule 1: No Small Potatoes.

Like I said before, I had to stop thinking of my resolutions like goals. Instead of making them unnecessarily specific, I had to broaden their reach. The trick is in the language.

e.g. lose ten pounds vs. revamp healthy living approach

In the first portion of the example, the language emphasis is on the number of pounds. In my process, that makes it a goal. In the second portion , the emphasis  is on healthy living. For some, these translate into the same thing. For me, one is about weight and the other is about quality of life. Quality of life is greater than weight.

Rule 2: Broad is not Vague

It is critical that in broadening your resolution it doesn’t become so thin that the goals it covers are barely encompassed. Your resolution should remind you of what your goals for the year are and flexibly address them.

i.e. I will be more mysterious on social media vs. I will be more protective of my private life on social media.

Saying you would be more mysterious does include privacy. However, mystery could be anything. I could be a thinly veiled comment toward an enemy or an elaborate lie that hides true intentions. Privacy carries very specific connotations. Yet, it covers a large area. Privacy could relate just as much to photo sharing as it does to beliefs and ideals. Privacy is a better choice in language for a resolution than mystery, because it addresses your concerns and has a clear interpretation attached to it.

Rule 3: Connectivity is key

Your resolution cannot be an umbrella if the goals you have don’t fit under it. Your goals can cover many factions of your life, but the umbrella method requires a thin thread or theme that connects all of them. Think of it like this. If you tried to use your umbrella to cover your car and yourself at the same time it will undoubtedly leave you wet.  So, your goals should have something in common that can be summed up and covered by your resolution.

i.e. My 2012 resolution was no regrets. Sampling of my 2012 goals were to explore different writing styles in business, say yes to more social invitations in my personal life, and to exorcise the shame I carried from past poor choices.

The theme for 2012 was to make my decisions knowing there would be risk and to not regret the outcome. It didn’t matter whether the outcome was good or bad. My umbrella was no regrets and my goals were all examples of situations I would normally formulate regret. Bind your goals to your resolution and it gives you a greater opportunity for success.

Rule 4: Mantras not Minutes

The break down of this is more for practical use. Your resolution should be no longer than three to five words. Crazy, right?!? Crazy good. Unlike your  goals, your resolution is supposed to carry over for the whole year. Thus, it should stick with you. Having a sentence that is three to five words long to cover your year makes it easy to remember. Your resolution is your mantra to be repeated to yourself over and over. It is not however meeting minutes rambling on with every detail you suspect is important.

i.e. (In 2017) I am determined and fearless. vs. I am determined and fearless to overcome any challenges that come my way as I embark on the opportunities that 2017 have to offer.

Need I explain more? The first option is short, can be clearly interpreted, and covers a theme of facing challenges – without explicitly saying so. Your resolution is for you. You don’t have to explain it to yourself. Make your resolution simple, memorable, and it will remain with you all year.

Rule 5: Think of it in terms of a year.

In my post, 5 rules for choosing a goal, I push for goals to have deadlines. Deadlines offer a direction and timing is important when working on specific goals. However, resolutions are not meant to have finality in the same sense. Goals need a finish, but resolutions are generally changes you hope to carry with you through life. Thinking of them in short-term timeframes isn’t as beneficial as thinking of them in over longer terms. Goals are a sprint, resolutions are a marathon.

i.e. Year of no regrets/ Year of being determined and fearless.

2012 was my year of no regrets and I still remind myself to make the choices I am drawn to even when I can’t predict the outcome. Earlier this year, I read Shonda Rhimes’, Year of Yes. In it, she talks about continuing passed her year mark. I’ve found thinking in terms of the year made me more likely to continue the process even after the “deadline” had passed. It’s a sneaky little trick, but it works and we’re all looking for something that works.

So there it is more or less. My Umbrella method for choosing a New Year Resolution. Results will vary according to your resolution and will, but otherwise you should be fine. A toast to meeting you on the other side of all we will accomplish in 2017 and to the methods that get us there.

Joy.