Life style reboot and wallpaper destruction

LIFESTYLE REBOOT — defined– “CHANGE” – and not just any old change either. It’s a big thing. It’s a life altering thing. It is the one thing that no one WANTS TO EVER DO. It’s the result of cataclysmic situations that you cannot control and have to make a change because of them.

How do I know this is the time for a reboot?

  1. A doctor is making you do it or you will die.
  2. You will go homeless and hungry if you don’t.

Yes, it is that drastic. And (insert maniacal laughter) I am on this path at the moment. I keep thinking I will wake up to find things are going to get better. I keep thinking … “Well, change can be good.” But there are some things even in a reboot that you cannot control and that is why I feel so manic. 

So, what am I doing now?

Well, it doesn’t sound very interesting, but — I am ripping wallpaper off the walls. 

This is REAL LIFE.

This is a soul-sucking endeavor too, let me assure you. I have looked at this wallpaper for nigh on thirty years. Who would have ever thought that wallpaper would go out of vogue in my lifetime? If this wallpaper could talk, it would sound like Sadhguru. 

But let me tell you about it really quick. In the 1980s, when this house was new, the “in” thing was wallpaper with country style. And it always had a border on the top of it and sometimes on the bottom of it and sometimes on the sides of it…yes, it did, and it coordinated with the wall design. 

Here it is in all of its ugliness:

life

And well, because it is now not so cool to have all this glorious wall covering- I am getting rid of it. Making the old dame look as modern as possible. Controlling what I can control. Doing what I can do. And … well, it feels weird. I have asked my dead mother a half-dozen times what she thought about all this. She hasn’t answered yet.

So the journey continues. Sometimes I just want someone to put their arm over my shoulder, a cold beer in my hand, and say, “Here’s some chocolate, and six million dollars.”

 

 

Goal-finish this year with three books published!

Have you accomplished any of the goals you set back in January? I have! And today I want to talk about how I did it and how you can too. Goal-setting is seriously the best thing you can do if you want to move your writing career ahead.

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stevepb / Pixabay

Here is another post about goals with my acronym BRAIN : http://wp.me/p3VxaG-1kO

So, back in January, I said I wanted (goal) to get my first mystery, Disk of Death released this year. I did that. I also said I wanted to finish edits on book two. Not only did I do THAT but I also released it. Now book three is in the wings and I am feeling great.

But my biggest goal was to double the amount I made last year in royalties.

As of today, I have done that and plus more.

This is a wonderful feeling, you guys. It is proof positive that:

  1. Series books sell
  2. Releasing them close together is a good way to increase sales even more

If you are contemplating a romance series, or a mystery series, or a series of any kind, I am here to tell you, it is a very good plan. 

I have heard some industry pros saying that releasing books close together doesn’t really work unless you have three to five books to release in quick succession. I did it and I didn’t have but three books and one isn’t out yet. Well, the year isn’t over yet either, but I am telling you, it does work quite effectively.

So, this is your mid-year wake up call (yes, only a few months late!) – get busy. We are about to move into the season where book buyers are looking for good reads to keep them company during the long winter months. Not to mention the Christmas gift-giving rush. So now is the time, dear writer friends. 

Get out there and release those books!

make

Five Actions to Beat Procrastination

I think I have found about five actions you can take to beat procrastination.

Procrastination is the action of putting off doing something, a postponing of a deadline. 

actions

Have you ever procrastinated? I think we all have. Especially in school. We didn’t really WANT to put in the work to finish that science project, or that history project. We didn’t want to work on that speech debate in college either, did we?

Well, procrastination is my favorite friend these days. I mean I have been inching toward the third book in the Shannon Wallace mystery series. I selected a few images over the weekend that might work for a cover. I did a bit of editing. So, it isn’t like I am not doing ANYTHING. But my deadline is today, and it is going to go right by unfinished. Unnoticed. Unaccomplished. In other words, no action.

I have some good excuses. One being that I have a hurt foot. Yeah, too much treadmill time might have been a bad idea.

But while I wait to see if normal activity is going to make it swell again, I have to ask myself–

What can I do to  be more proactive, more productive?

geralt / Pixabay
geralt / Pixabay

Five actions you can take now

  1. Actually do the work. Spending time with other writers can be fun, and the talk between you really enlightening, but getting the writing down is more important. Actually take the actions to move you forward.
  2. Minimize distractions like the games on Facebook. These are the bane of my existence. I have to make myself ignore them. Do not take actions like these.
  3. Time yourself. Set a clock and don’t allow yourself to wander from the job at hand. It’s okay to set timed deadlines. Tell yourself you can go play that game after 20 minutes of work. Then get back to it after 20 minutes of game time! Actions can be fun.
  4. If deadlines shut your creativity down, then don’t do that. Find another way to increase your activity level. Like…a chocolate bar! Actions like these might increase productivity like a dangling carrot. Hehe…only if you are a fitness maniac like me.
  5. Examine what it is that isn’t working. This may be a put-the-earbuds-in activity. Sometimes we need to shut out ALL distractions to be focused on the situation at hand in order to fix what is keeping us from going forward with it. Taking action means being focused.

All in all, it is far more important to be gentle with yourself, especially if you have some injury like I do that is keeping your activity limited. But if you have to be off your foot(feet) then try to make some time to get your writing in. Even two pages or 500 words is an accomplishment you can take pride in.

geralt / Pixabay
geralt / Pixabay

Taking some of these actions will shoo away the blues for most of us.

Heck, this blog post is over 400 words. See, I took my own advice!

 

4 Ways to Prep a Product’s Launch

Recently, I was listening to a podcast and heard one of the hosts talk about a webinar coming up to help writers make their lives more efficient. This sort of thing is not new. In fact, more and more authors are creating products, webinars, and training items than ever before. It is a little concerning to me because I have always heard “those who can, do – and those who can’t, teach how to do”.

(this post contains links to things that explain what I am saying-follow the links to get a better understanding)

geralt / Pixabay

I worry that these authors are not making enough money with writing books, e-books, and audio-books, so they are moving on to set themselves up as authorities in particular subsets of the writing industry and creating training items (ie. products) to augment their finances. Well, to say they are setting themselves up is a little negative, and I don’t mean it that way at all. They ARE authorities, obviously. But isn’t writing what they really do?

At any rate, I ain’t mad at them. I would create a product too, if I could figure out something that I am that good at. You know, being a writer takes a lot of talent also. But no one wants to watch me type out a manuscript via video. Although I did see one author who did that.

 

products
geralt / Pixabay

The problem with products

The problem with these training “products”, (whether webinar or book or something else), in my opinion, is the price.

Now, I have not ever been good with math, but – hey, even I can figure out that the target audience for these things is all wrong. Writers are poor. Even more poor than artists. We are literary paupers. In the voice of my sidekick character, Dwayne Brown, “We ain’t got no dough.”

PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

The good thing about buyers

Nevertheless, I have always said, if you want something badly enough, you will find a way. There always seems to be income for the things we really want. Buyers will lay out the cash if it is something that they perceive they really can benefit from.

So, if you want to create a product, a webinar, a series of training videos on how to do something, here are a few things that you should focus on NOW.

BUILD AN AUDIENCE

I have been trying to do this since starting this blog way back in August of 2013. I have had podcasts, videos, and blog posts in order to give readers variety. Check out the podcast on its own site here. That is a pre-requisite for building a product. Build your audience first. Get some folks interested in what you do, who you are.

MAKE FRIENDS, INFLUENCE THEM

Every time you make a relationship with a reader/viewer/listener you are building on the trust factor that is needed for them to ever want to buy something that you produce. You have to give a lot of info and free stuff to your readership in order to ask for a paid response at some point.

BE A MASTER OF YOUR DESTINY

It sort of goes without saying that you have to be a student before you can be a teacher. If you are going to be teaching something about social media for instance, you need to master social media in advance of launching that product. Be a product of your product.

EMAIL LIST ANYONE?

Yes, this one is talked about a lot and I guess it is important. I STILL haven’t mastered it yet, so yeah, talking about building an email list sounds a little silly coming from me. But the official gurus on the subject say DO THIS NOW! Don’t wait until you are trying to launch something to build an email list. It is the best way to stay in touch with your potential product purchasers.

I hope this post has made you think a little harder about what you can do to build up your authority ranking before you put out a product to augment your bankroll.

Fitness and health are important at all ages, but this post is mostly about me and what I am doing these days. Hope it encourages you!

health
stevepb / Pixabay

Wow. I am falling behind on my blog posting. This has been a strange month, to be sure. I have been doing a lot of physical things to improve my health, and that has taken the number one spot for time. Also, I have been cooking more, and eating less. Strange to say that in that way, but it’s true. Cooking more meals but eating less food. I have been eating a lot less BAD food, I should add. My weight is down, and my doctor is going to be amazed at me when I go to see him again.

The problem is: I WAANT TO BE BAAAAD.

Have you ever felt like you were trying to do something that was good for you but you just WANTED to be bad?

That’s how I feel MOST days. I am giving it 100% effort, but only feel like doing it about 20% of the time. I have pushed through these mean “it ain’t worth it” feelings often. I think it may be just a plateau time. I am already where I want to be health-wise, but weight-wise, not so much. According to my fitness assessment, I have thirty pounds to lose. Gosh. If I lost that much more, I would be a bag of bones.

Nevertheless, I am going to keep going.

When the weight loss and the health benefits really kick in, I know I will be glad I pushed through it.

Here are a few things I am doing:
1. Cooking healthy foods. Including casseroles with broccoli, cauliflower, and spaghetti squash. *if you are not following me on Facebook you should! I post pics there*
2. Exercise in some form or fashion every day. Gym days every other day as often as possible.
3. Meditating and breathing deeply. If you do not make it a POINT to breathe deeply often (like several times an hour) you will find you no longer have the lung capacity you used to have. I feel so much better when I take time to do this.

What are you doing these dog days of summer to get fit and stay healthy?