My First Quarter Goals
January 2020 started with a lot of promise and hope. I am still trying to hang onto that feeling. It is not easy during this time of Covid-19 to keep up that optimistic spirit. Like many of you, I am still working and though there are safety measures in place, I don’t have a lot of faith in them. It is nearly impossible to protect ourselves 100% from the virus if we are out in the public, but are we, or am I making myself crazy worrying about something that may never be a problem for me or won’t be that bad if it is. I am trying to be cautious and smart but I’m also just trying to live each day. I have allowed myself to get overwhelmed and overwrought, it is time to take back control. Today, I’m celebrating each new milestone I have made in my writerly journey. So, join with me and celebrate your journey too. Tell me what this quarter has brought you. What did you do? Big or small, it is important to celebrate each day and each accomplishment.
One of the greatest things I did this quarter was take Sarra Cannon’s Publish and Thrive Course. I wish I had taken it sooner. This was an awesome program for indie authors. Even after publishing five books, there is still so much I needed to learn. After her Publish and Thrive Course, I decided to take her HB90 Bootcamp. Now this program isn’t just for authors, it is for anyone trying to get organized, but it does have a strong focus on authors because Sarra is an author too. She only offers these programs a couple of times a year but once you sign up for the program you can sit in whenever she is giving the course. She sends updates to her previous students and she gives free video lessons on YouTube or you can check out her website http://www.sarracannon.com. I know, I sound like an ad for Sarra Cannon and perhaps I am. Sarra is such an uplifting person, listening to her YouTube videos has been a great help to me during this pandemic scare. If you are looking for a great YA story, check out her The Witch’s Key videos, she has been doing live all month.
In Sarra’s Publish and Thrive Course she suggested authors have a newsletter to stay connected to their readers. As we have recently seen Facebook and Amazon do little to help us reach our readers and keep them informed. I started out with three people receiving my newsletter. My first official newsletter for April had 15 (two of those myself), and I have now increased it to 22 real followers. Nine of those in the last month. Thank you for supporting my efforts and I hope you like the new short story I wrote just for you.
While I have been struggling to write the new story (not because I don’t know what happens but because I am exhausted and just have no energy to write), I am happy to share some of Mike and Janie’s back story. It was fun to go back in time and write about how their romance started and tanked. I plan to use some of this in the novel but for those of you who signed up for the newsletter, you have all of the details.
Another part of the struggle is I have three stories planned and as a pantser I’m having to plan or plot my stories because it is too much to do in my head. I want to weave these three together and it feels like I am trying to unknot a necklace chain with low light. I know how to untangle it if I could just get a hold of it. I do have about 20K of this new novel written, that is probably a third of it. So, I am hopeful I can finish it this month. I just need to focus.
There is so much to learn when you are an indie author. After five books I still feel I do not know how to market or promote myself and my books well. I am constantly searching for ideas that will work and not cost a fortune. Those of you who repost my book promos and post reviews on my Facebook page, Amazon, Bookbubs or Goodreads, thank you. Your efforts do more to help me than anything I can pay for. I still believe that word-of-mouth advertising is the best advertising there is. Thank you for supporting my dream.
Many of you saw where I won The Heart of Carolina RWA’s Christine Hyatt Service Award. When I opened my box and read the letter, I cried. The award is for my work as moderator or as I call it, host of the Book in a Week challenge. This is a monthly writing challenge where participants set their own writing goals and we try to encourage each other to achieve it. We are mostly a group of women, with an occasional brave man joining us. We share our triumphs and our challenges. While I try to be cheerful and encouraging, I know there are times I drop the ball. When I do, there is someone else who takes up the slack. I couldn’t do this every month without the rest of the group. Some months there are only a few of us and others we fill the board, but many who aren’t even participating still take the time to cheer the rest onward. Being a part of this group has allowed me to reach my own writing goals.
Before I end this celebration, I want to thank the handsome firefighters and EMTs who recently bought my book, Red Steel. The book was a love story to the men and women who volunteer. I admire our local fire and rescue station. They were there for my family when we lost our home to fire and when my father died. They are true heroes. When one of the young firefighters sent me back a message that he loved the book and wanted to read the rest of the series, I felt I had accomplished my goals. I’m celebrating today, not a million sales. I may only have a hundred or so, but that’s okay, because I love writing the books and you like reading them, so I’m calling it a win.
Thank you all for celebrating with me as we close this quarter. I may not have reached all my goals but that’s okay, I still have plenty to be happy about. I hope you do too.
If you haven’t signed up for my newsletter please do, you do not want to miss Mike and Janie’s teen romance. If you have read my stories and you like them, please don’t forget to write a review, it makes a HUGE difference.
Newsletter button below!