Posted in Creative Living, The Currents, The Writer's Life, Uncategorized

February Recap & March Goals

Well, here we are at the beginning of another month. I’m sitting down with my planner, notebooks, worksheets, and being midful to stay optimistic about the month ahead. There are some big things on the horizon for me. I’m trying to pull myself out of a major depression that seems to have settled on me in the last couple of months. (This is an ongoing battle for me.) Trying to keep my focus on where I’m headed, and the progress I have made.

Recap:

I did get the framework set up for the companion YouTube Channel for this blog. There aren’t any videos yet. I am working on finding a way to film so that I can get content up. Definitely meant to be part personal vlog and part curated content. So feel free to pre-subscribe so you’ll get notified when the first video comes up this month.

I also got the design work done for promotional materials that will be part of my booth at the Tyler Paranormal Convention in April. I’m very excited about that event. Frankly, any event that gets me out of the house and among people again is exciting after all the time in lockdown. It isn’t like I had an exciting social-life before this began. However, I am attributing some of this depression and anxiety to the fact that what little social interaction I had outside my immediate family has been halted for way too long. For goodness sake, I’ve resorted to trying EHarmony at this point (which is a great fail that I will discuss in a later post). So, yes, I am looking forward to having the ability to get out and meet people again on a more regular basis. Anyway, all that’s left is to place the orders for the new signage, promotional merchandise, and some new business cards.

Carry over items from the February list will be to continue working on the revisions for the new book. I am thinking that I’m about to call it ready for the editors. I’m excited about this series. It feels much more naturally dramatic and relatable to me. I hope that you readers feel the same way once it is out there in the great wide world.

Uncle Joe’s Coffee & Cones in Gilmer, TX

March Goals:

  • Finish the revisions on the new book project.
  • Hit the coffee house more often for a work session!
  • Start the outline for book two.
  • Hire an artist to work with for creating the logo/art and cover art for this series.
  • Get myself registered for nail tech school (attending this fall so I can get my certification and license).
  • Get the promotional materials and product inventory ordered for in-person events.
  • Get the inventory done and topped off in time for Paracon!
  • Get to filming for the Make Mine Bold YouTube Channel and start posting video content.
  • Plan a writer’s retreat weekend away somewhere pretty and inspiring (preferably with a pool).

Yes, those goals include a “side-hustle” plan. But, with Texas opening back up and all the restrictions being lifted on masks and isolation, it is time to start thinking outside the box again and looking at more events for the books. It’s also time to think about just getting out more in general. I’m glad that I have found a local spot to take my laptop and set up for a change of scenery. Local coffee houses are always good things. I think the one I’ve found in Gilmer is fun and quirky. While I always have the option of a more hipster experience by going into Longview as well. Something a bit more sophisticated is still eluding me though. Starbucks just doesn’t cut it for me anymore. I prefer local shops to big franchises these days. And yes, atmosphere plays a big part in my choices of where to spend my time out of the house.

On a more personal note, I have to get more focused on wellness this month. The battling with depression has been going on for months but, has become more difficult to push through in the last few weeks. Since the lockdowns put me out of a regular job, I’ve had no insurance to be able to go to the doctor for anything. As someone who was on maintenance medications for diabetes (among other things), this has been a problem when the refills ran out. But, I have a doctor’s appointment to try and set things back in order this week. Cash prices for everything means that it is going to be expensive but, it has to happen. Just like I also need to make an appointment for Pip to get his annual physical and shots. As I told him if I have to go and be poked and prodded, so does he.

Okay, it is time to get to work on things but, more coming this week for the blog! I know I skipped over a week, and I’m trying to be more consistent.

Tell me what your biggest goal for this month is in the comments! Let’s try to cheer one another on this month. Lord knows we can all use some support at times.

Posted in book news, Marketing, The Currents, The Writer's Life, Uncategorized, Writing & Publishing

January Recap & February Goals…

From the writer’s desk.

I always said that I wanted this blog to be a window into my corner of the world. So, this year, I’m trying something a bit different with the blog. Along with various articles, I’m going to share some of my process in creative living. I’m big on motivation and inspiration here, but I admit that there is also another side to this way of living and that includes setting realistic goals and getting the work done.

January was a month of resets for me. It didn’t quite feel like the fresh start it normally does. This is perhaps because there were still some big things looming over the newness of it all. There was, for many, still a great deal of anxiety and unclear direction with how to deal with life. The world has changed and it seems that there will never be a sense of normal again. It has me questioning what will be normal as I figure out my own next steps. I didn’t hit all my goals for January. However, I did make some hefty progress and get a sense of direction that I desperately needed.

Work on the new series is coming along nicely. I’m about to the stage where I can start developing the cover art and deciding when to release it to the public. Before I do that, I’m going to make some changes in my process and try to use feedback from pre-release readers to make it better. More on that later though.

In the meantime, I’ve started a sale over on Amazon for the ebooks of the Slauson Cove Series. You can find it here on my Amazon Author Page. And be sure to follow me on Facebook, Instagram, or Mewe if you would like to get the play by play on promotions. Ebooks are on sale for $4.99 right now through February 14, 2021 at Midnight.

I’m still learning how to navigate all the promotion parts that Amazon has. But, hiring a PA to handle that side of the business isn’t in the budget. So, I’ll flounder about until it is an option and figure it out as I go.

February feels a bit different for me. I’m full of ideas, optimism, and looking into virtual options to interact more with readers and other writers. The idea of a YouTube channel hasn’t left my brain yet. I am just not that comfortable on camera and I am too critical of myself when I edit. So, I think that if I do it (at all) it will be more of a vlog and livestream option to involve myself in building a virtual community to talk about creative things, life, and maybe review some products. Thinking in terms of write-a-longs, maybe a virtual writer’s retreat could be an option. We’ll just see. I’m brainstorming that still.

Also on the list for February is:

  • get some merch together for Slauson Cove to offer online
  • get stock in for signed copies you can order through my website
  • I also need to get a PO Box or mailbox somewhere so that I can send and receive packages easier.
  • Book more in-person events for the year to promote books
  • Get new signage and business cards in for those events
  • And of course, sell some books, get some new reviews, and do some promotion for the work out there.
  • Finish my 2nd draft for the new series and create some promo & teasers for that.
  • Also start outlining for a personal development book that I’ve had an idea for.

Yep, it’s a busy and short month to get it all done in. I also still have course work to finish. We’ll see if I can tick those boxes off this month. Right now I’m motivated. It is keeping that momentum going that gets tricky.

Do you have any tips and tricks for helping to stay motivated?

Posted in Lessons Learned, Reviews, The Currents, The Writer's Life

Planning for change…

In an effort to be transparent, I might have a slight addiction to stationery and planners. They are my most-purchased items when I go to the store. I have wishlists on my Amazon dedicated to pens, notebooks, planners, stickers, journals, and the like. I’m a girl who is more excited by a gift card to Staples, Office Depot, or Hobby Lobby than I am jewelery. I know, many will find this strange and unusual. I also know that I’m not the only one out there.

I’ve spent the last week sitting down with some of my tried and true planning products to consider goals for this year and how to reach them. I want to write about my goals as a matter of keeping a record, but I also want to give my fellow planner addicts and those who are looking to get more organized my recommendations for tools based on what works for me. I’ve tried so many over the years that I know I can give you some great feedback on these. I’ll likely also do a video review at some point in the future as I pursue another goal. Right now, I’m not an affiliate for any of these products. They are simply honest recommendations based on my personal experience.

There are two major considerations for me when I choose a planner now; functionality and cost. As a student I need something that is affordable and will also allow me to track all the things that I need to for my schooling, business, and life in general. I need a planner that serves as a place to document life and creative efforts while also being easy to use and take with me. I personally prefer a pen and paper planner to a digital one. I love my iPad and I have experimented with a digital planner but, when all is said and done, I keep going back to the paper versions.

For the creative focused with plenty of time on their hands, nothing beats a BUJO. Bullet Journaling is the epitome of cusomized planning systems. There are no hard and fast rules for it. It is also probably the most affordable at the minimalist level to get started. I adored the versatility of this and honestly, if I weren’t so busy, I would keep doing my own because it is a hybrid of journal and planner that you create with a simple notebook and pens. Sure you can embellish with washi tape, stickers, and stencils. There are some awesome artistic examples out there. And if you search on YouTube there are loads of tutorials. Some of the best notebooks I’ve used for this have been the EXCEED brand that I’ve found at Walmart for about $7-$9. But you can also adapt any notebook you choose for this purpose. The biggest con for me was the amount of time it took to set it up and actually do the planning every day. I decided to find something that already had a basic usable structure for my use.

Another affordable option that is highly effective in terms of goal setting and task management is maybe a surprising one. Momentum Planners by Productive Flourishing (found here) was a surprising find for me. The price point of $18 gets you a digital, full-featured, printable planner that will help you stay motivated to reach those goals by tracking progress on tasks. They are minimalist in design focusing more on function making them great for people who like a less artistic approach. This one works well for business needs, academics, and even for writers. This allows you to get a year overview of your goals, break it down by quarters, then monthly, weekly, and finally daily. The pros to this system are a big list really. What I would take away is that you have the ability to make changes as needed without all the erasing, white-out, and correction tape. Simply print out a new blank page. The form-fillable PDF also allows you to keep things neat despite character limitations in most fields. They do offer a printed and bound version of this in limited supply at the end of the year prior. For my money, I like the PDF and being able to print what I want. I use this one as a worksheet to get the goals down, actionable, and generally keep a relevant copy of the yearly, quarterly, and monthly printed and with my other planners.

I’ve used the Erin Condren Life Planner for years. However, recent experiences with their customer service and delivery have really ruined a great product for me. So, while I find it useful and stylish, I think this will be my last year investing the $60 in this planner. It has served as a way for me to do a bit of goal setting, planning, calendar keeping, and memory keeping. But I am looking at other options for 2022. I’ll post about those later. The Life Planner is great because of the customization. There are different layouts to choose from and custom covers that are personalized. I have a number of these and I admit that I will be sad when I’m not using them anymore. Space for reflection and goals was a plus for this year’s edition. But that $60 price point is a little steep in my opinion.

As a daily planner, I’ve been using the Daily Passion Planner. I have to say that I think this is a great option for someone who likes the BUJO but needs something that already has a structure to embellish if they’re up to it. The compact sizing is great for on the go in a purse or backpack but also gives ample writing space by putting a great layout for schedule, goals, tracking space for mood and emerging ideas, and still giving the opposite page in a dot grid for journaling or lists as you need them. I feel like this will end up being a go-to for me. It has a yearly and monthly calendar along with a prompted check-in and goal worksheet. While it hasn’t replaced my usual journal, I do feel like this gives me a more focused idea of where my time goes and thoughts on various projects and ideas for changes based on how the days go. The only drawback I’ve found is that the book is designed to last 3 months, not a full year. However, they offer a buying discount if you get more than 3 at a time. So, that helps. Plus Passion Planner in general has free printable downloads so you can try the format first. They also give a planner away for every one that is sold. So, it’s a win-win in my opinion. I know plenty of start-ups, artists, and students who can use that help. Monochrome makes it easy to print off a version of your own if purchase isn’t an options. You can find them here at Passion Planner. They do have a larger format Annual version that may become a go-to for me in replacement for the Erin Condren product though. Definitely check them out.

I admit that, being new to the iPad, I’m not familiar with digital planners and I’m open to options if you have suggestions for me to try. Given some of the changes in plan for me, I might find them useful. So, I’d love suggestions for those that you use and love. I’m juggling multiple goals this year including writing new books, writing the blog, and a full-time course load with school. So it is important for me to keep myself on track. What planning methods do you use to keep yourself accountable and on track for your own goals?

Posted in My Process, The Writer's Life, Uncategorized, Writing & Publishing

Starting Where You Are…

Welcome to 2021 everyone!

I could do a whole post lamenting the woes of 2020. It was a complete disaster in so many ways. Yet, looking back doesn’t serve my purpose today except that we should take it as a lesson that life is not always certain. With that being said, we have an opportunity for a fresh start here. I encourage you to sit down for a moment today with a piece of paper or a journal and put down your thoughts about what you would like to accomplish in this new year. I realize the task is daunting for many. For me, I’ve realized that all the floundering of 2020 has failed to serve a purpose. I’m tired of feeling like my life is on hold. So it is time to get on with the process of seizing opportunity instead of focusing on the limitations.

For many people the idea of starting something new is at the back of their mind. Immediate needs take a front seat in difficult times. I think it is important to realize that this may be the very time you should put the effort into a creative endeavor. Many of us still find ourselves looking for work, stuck in lockdowns, and trying to cope with our changing world. It’s the perfect time to consider starting your own side hustle and create something that you can be proud of.

When people ask me what I do and I tell them that I’m a novelist, the thing I hear most often in reply is something similar to, “You know, I’ve always wanted to write a book.” When I inquire as to why they haven’t the answer is usually that they wouldn’t know where to start. And it’s the same of many creative avenues. People love to paint, sculpt, or create crafts and they are envious of those who make their way into creating a business around it. The truth is that a little ingenuity and passion go a long way. There are people out there who can help take your ideas and give you the path to turning them into a reality. The question is are you motivated to do it (whatever that “it” is for you)?

For the aspiring authors out there, working with a coach can be just the catalyst needed to finish that book and get it out to the readers who are waiting for it. A lot of things go into creating a novel or a series of novels. It isn’t a sprint to write a lengthy piece of fiction, it is a marathon. Completing that race takes time, dedication, training, and moral support. While a coach can’t replace a writer taking the time to put the words down, they can help with moral support and providing direction on a project. As someone who has completed the process of writing several books, I can say that I would have benefited from hiring a coach early on in my efforts. With specific feedback on a manuscript while writing it, I could have avoided time-consuming rewrites due to holes in my plot or flat characters. With accountability and encouragement, I also could have completed projects faster and with more motivation to put them out to readers which only would have served to get me to this point in my career faster. Now that I’ve completed several novels of my own, I’ve decided that I would be open to coaching other aspiring authors. If you’re looking for that sort of support, definitely feel free to get in contact with me via email.

I can’t remember where I heard this but, it made a lot of sense. “If you do something that you love, you will never work a day in your life.” It’s true. I know what it is like to feel weighed down by a job that just sucks the life out of you. I’ve worked at many of them. It’s something I have learned I really don’t want to do again. So, I’m doing what I love and pushing this year for it to be a primary source of income for me. But doing that isn’t always easy for everyone. There are expenses to any business start-up. Shoestring budgets are a real thing, especially for those of us who are without jobs thanks to the events of the last year. But, you start where you are, with what you have, and you figure out how to make it work as you go along.

Being an author in the 21st century is more than just writing a book though. To that end, I need to make some changes to my approach as well. Yes, there are books to write. There are also other things that I need to put the focus on in terms of getting known. Books don’t sell unless people know about them. So, this year will be about blogging, vlogging, and getting more interviews and reviews for the work out there as well as the new projects coming out. I’m preparing for filming and regular blogging here. I’m also blocking time for new projects, collaborations, and generally being more active in my approach to online marketing. God willing, I’m also trying to book some in-person events for the year. Hopefully, the events of 2020 will stay in 2020 and not follow us too much into this new year.

If you think about it, the past year took our whole world virtual. We met in Zoom Meetings, Google Hangouts, Facetime, and through Skype. We shopped virtually, had our food delivered virtually with apps like Grubhub and DoorDash, and we even went to school virtually en masse. This change alone should give us all a bit of pause to realize that being at home doesn’t mean we have to be alone or unable to do things. We just have to be a little creative to get the same results. People still need to shop, be entertained, and figure out ways to keep in touch. And while it sometimes feels like we’ve all suddenly become agoraphobic, I think we can all appreciate the time we do get to be together now.

2021 will present her own challenges. That’s something I’m certain about. I think it is important to focus on what we all can do to make our lives a little better as we go through it. So, connect when you can. Pursue something with a passion. Reach out when you need help coping with whatever life throws you. Live life as best you can and let the rest go.

Leave me a comment and let me know what your goals for the new year are. Is there some project you hope to finish? Is there somewhere you would like to go or someone you want to spend more time with in 2021? What’s the current plan to do the things you want to?

For me, I’m continuing my education efforts. Still planning on being a teacher in the next few years. I’m also making it a goal to put out two books this year, launching a new series. I’m going to start a YouTube Channel / Vlog as well. So, if you have questions or topic suggestions, I’m open to those. And I would like to work with a few aspiring authors this year to help their writing dreams come to reality.

Posted in book news, My Process, The Writer's Life, Writing & Publishing

Let’s Go Wrimos!

Yes, I know, it is insanity to the outside world. However, the month of November is when writers from all over come together to kick the blank page’s rear and produce what could very well be your next favorite book. What’s more? It could be by your next favorite author who, after this year’s success, decides, at last, to stop waiting for people to tell them it’s worth a contract and publish it themselves. There is so much talent in the Indie Community. And it is, all too often overlooked in my opinion.

 

Are you a writer? Do you have a novel sloshing around in that big beautiful skull of yours? Have you ever wanted to try to write a longer story or turn that campfire ghost story into something that others can enjoy? Well, then come to join the rest of us! You’ll find amateurs and professionals alike who take part in the challenge to pen 50,000 words in November.

Yes, it’s a lot of words. But you won’t be alone. Writing every day, it is a goal of 1,666 words per day. Though, (here’s my NanoWrimo trick to preparing for interruptions of the holidays) I always strive for 1,800-2,000 instead. That usually puts me ahead of the game for winning the challenge. But, I don’t always win and I don’t always participate.  Last year, I started and then found that with my job, and the other obligations I had, getting that many words in just wasn’t going to be possible. I still managed over 30,000 for the month though. And that’s 30,000 I didn’t have before.

For many of us, we already write on a daily, or almost daily, basis. So adding a new project to the mix is a change. The added perks of local write-ins with other writers, forums and groups on social media dedicated to discussion and cheering one another on, and after parties to celebrate the wins and successful addition of words make it a unique time of year. In fact, it has been so beneficial that National Novel Writing Month (lovingly called NanoWrimo) has created Camp NanoWrimo events throughout the year to accomplish the same sense of camaraderie and motivation as the original. Some of us set bigger goals. Some of us are happy to hit that 30,000 or even 20,000 mark. The point is to get writing!

Today is Day One! The idea that you have to spend months preparing is rubbish. You start where you are. Novels are typically longer than 50,000 words anyway. Consider this your crazy way of getting all that story out on the page and then you can spend another session, or the rest of the year, adding to it and refining it into something that is amazing.

What am I working on this November? Well, I’m going off the beaten path a bit with something completely new. New characters, new setting, and a new plotline than I usually write. If you want the details, you should join me over on the NanoWrimo site: Here’s your link!  You’ll find all the information I have available for this one and I’ll be sure to update it.

Also, I’ll post weekly updates here on the blog.

Before I dive into the writing pool; let me just say that I had a great time at the East Texas Booktacular taking Beyond The Storm for its’ first spin on the events table. Copies are available in paperback and Kindle ebook on Amazon. If you’re interested in signed paperback copies; I have news. I’m working on a way to have you order direct from me. For now, if you’re interested you can email me at annebellewrites@gmail or you can PM on Twitter or Facebook for details. I’ll be happy to invoice by Paypal and get them to you in time for the holiday gifting season! You know, readers never have too many books.

Posted in The Currents, The Writer's Life

The Currents April 2018 & Goals

Welcome to April folks! The start of a new adventure and some really exciting things coming up for me. Conventions and speaking engagements abound in the next two months and I am loving every minute of this. I won’t lie. This feels right to me and I know that I am beating a dead horse with friends and family but, I need more of this. More time to focus on what I truly love and meeting the people who make it possible.

So I have decided to give you all a little look into my world in a series of posts on Monday to tell you what I’m currently reading, listening to, and what my free time is spent on. This seems to be what people want to know about authors after all. So, who am I to keep that info secret?

What I am reading?

Well, I’m finishing up Dan Brown’s Origin on my Audible at the moment. So far so good. I’ve been a fan of the Robert Langdon stories since I first heard of The Davinci Code. I understand readers desire for series work. It had been a long time since I’d read any of his work and picking this one up was like revisiting an old friend. I’ll have to review it when I finish it.

On my Kindle is a copy of a rather interesting little memoir piece by Peter Hockley called Four Nights With The Devil.  I’m fascinated by the stories of how people change spiritually and convert over to Christianity. It usually reaffirms my own faith in God and the belief that He speaks to everyone individually. Being met on our level and the spiritual path ahead of us unfolding in a way that we understand it, well, that’s an epic and life-changing experience. Again, I will have to review it when I finish. This one could spark a bit of a reflection for me though.

Musically speaking I have been leaning toward more instrumentals these days. Lindsey Sterling features heavily in my playlists for when I am writing. The addition of the mellow sounds of Josh Groban and Michael Buble interspersed with a bit of Norah Jones and Florence and the Machine.  My tastes are pretty eclectic. I’m sure that the preference may change with the week depending on what happens throughout the week.

Curious about anything else? Drop it in the comments and I’ll respond.

So moving on to goals.

I’ve decided to do Bi-Monthly Goals this time. Quarterly was just too much time to track these. So I’m shortening the scope of the list in an effort to actually be successul at it.

  1. Get my revised drafts out to my Beta Readers of the next release. (Yes we are almost there folks.)
  2. Post a minimum of 8 videos on the Youtube channel. Youtube is a challenge thanks to subpar internet upload speeds living in the country. I’m not the only one using our service so, I can’t be selfish with it. One a week may be all I can manage for now. I’ll go with it.
  3. Blogging 3 days a week. Yes, that means more check ins and more rambling for all of you to see.
  4. Book my first 5 video clients.  After making my book trailer video (You can see it here) I had a lot of people asking who I had create it. So, I’ve decided that I would like to start offering it as a service that people can get affordably for their own book or project. In fact, I am working on a couple to build my portfolio now so that I can show a variety of styles. If you are interested in having one done, see my website for more details.
  5. Complete the outline for Armageddon Rising Book Two. Yep, that’s the next big project. I still have plenty of research to conduct though.
  6. Tyler Paranormal Convention : Complete my presentation and make a sales goal I’m setting privately
  7. Geekend : First Author’s Panel and of course a private sales goal.
  8. Have 25 Youtube subscribers by May 31st.
  9. Get over 200 newsletter subscribers by May 31st.
  10. And Finally… Write another novella work for my Investigators from Exorcising The Past. I think I want to make this a regular thing for serial fiction.

There you have it folks! My 10 goals! Don’t miss the recap on Youtube to see if I met them. Yes, I’ll go on camera for that. Seems a good way to hold myself accountable.

 

Posted in Lessons Learned, My Process, Nonfiction, The Writer's Life, Writing & Publishing

The Waiting Game…

We spend so much of our time waiting.

Seriously think about it for moment. We wait to grow up. We wait to have an education. We wait for appointments. We wait for payday, the weekend, our favorite shows to premiere a new season, movie releases, and other trivial things. I am currently waiting on that lovely refund from the IRS as a further example. Aren’t we all? There are things that are worth the wait, of course, like finding the love of your life before you settle down. You’ll just have to take my word on that one. I should know. But what truly baffles me is how we wait to take the steps to live our best lives.

We’ve all found ourselves stuck in the rat race. There are all sorts of ruts and traps to fall into. We settle into many roles in life without even realizing that we’re doing it. I know I did. And in some ways I still do. But, let me just say that a shift is happening for me. It is as much spiritual as it is mental.

In 2017 I spent a lot of time thinking about what sort of life I want to lead. And through my journaling and letters I discovered that I have been my own biggest obstacle in living that dream life. I’d almost be willing to wager a bet that, if you were to really think about this, you would find that you’re in a similar position.

I’m a plus size woman. That fact alone presents a whole list of obstacles in life. Society honestly treats plus size people differently regardless of the circumstances. I think that this, combined with conditioning by various life experiences, leads me to a place where I imposed many restrictions on myself as to what I could do in life. That eventually led to a bevy of excuses to procrastinate.

  • I’ll wait until I lose 50 pounds before I take new headshots.
  • I don’t want to do a book launch until I can wear that dress in the back of my closet.
  • I don’t want to film videos because I look awful.
  • I don’t want to spend money on my hair, makeup, etc until I am able to go out more.
  •  I’m not going to put myself out there because all people will see is fat
  • No one will take me seriously as an author, blogger, vlogger, speaker until I look like x, y, z….

Yes, I’ve said all of these to myself at some point. Some of them more recently than others. And they are all completely ridiculous reasons for not chasing my dreams.

I sit here tonight thinking about where I would be if only I had listened to myself and trusted my gut when I was young and full of confidence. At least, I could fake it when I needed to because I was angsty and rebellious in my own way. And yes, I could be a lot further along in this writing and promotion career. I’m not the spring chicken I was but it is never too late to start doing what you love.

So tell me what is holding you back from pursuing your own dreams? For me it is more than the weight or size issue. But, I’m telling you, I’m tired of excuses. I’m reading more, writing more, trying new things, and just going for it.

I want to cultivate some content for my Youtube Channel based on this issue: Overcoming Your Obstacles To Living Your Best Life. So your feedback will help me to really delve deep into how to deal with those issues and find ways to move beyond them so that you can do what will honestly make you thrive in life.

Don’t want to comment publicly? That’s okay! Email your feedback to me at annebellewrites@gmail.com and I’ll do my best to respond. I’m thinking I may even do a few interviews on the topic as well. So, let me know if you’d like to be included if you care to send me your story.

Posted in My Process, The Writer's Life

Start Where You Are… This Means You!

The biggest hurdle to any worthwhile endeavor in life is getting started. At 39 years old, I’ve learned this to be true of everything in life. Starting as a baby learning to walk or talk and up to now as I truly start to make a concerted effort to change careers to more artistic endeavors. Getting started is always the hard part.

I’ve started many new things in this budding new year. I fully intend to make this my best year ever. If it turns out poorly, it won’t be because I was slacking. There are three major areas of my life that are in a current state of overhaul.

  1. My career – I make no secret about wanting to eventually leave the day job in favor of working my author platform so that I can write books, help others do the same, and really do something I am passionate about in life. Starting where I am in this area means I am writing more, publishing new material, and working on this platform thing. The YouTube Channel is proving the bigger of those challenges. And I think I might have been a bit too ambitious when I said two videos a week. Fact is, I’m starting small here with the wrong computing power to do that. So, once a week is going to be it for a while until I can upgrade here.
  2. My Health – Last year was a challenge. But with heart surgery and things being back to “normal” for me, it is time to get my butt in gear and focus on getting healthier. So, I’ve joined a local 24 hour access gym and this week I start with the concerted effort to move more. I also bought healthy options for food throughout the week to make it easier for me to make healthy choices. So we’ll see how things go.
  3. My social life – To be perfectly honest, there isn’t much going on here. I’m content to be single for once. Focusing on that career and healthy lifestyle changes keeps me busy enough. I know that I should add more time with friends and maybe even try to date on occassion. I don’t really think that I have the time for that. I’m committed to my dog at this stage in my life. Yes, I am chuckling at the idea even as I write it. It is the truth though. I’ve been through the wringer with relationships. The only thing I am sure about is that my dog is loyal, fun, full of love, and super cuddly. I think we have a beautiful thing going on here. Since not many men can deal with the ambition and what it takes to be successful in this I think I’ll stick with the pup. Maybe I’ll add in a few more Saturday afternoons with friends though. I could use some fun in my life.

The bottom line here is that you have to start where you are. None of these areas are at an ideal time for me to start focusing on them. But, I’m making efforts where I can.

The one area that I don’t think needs to be spoken of is creativity. My life is creative by nature. If I am perfectly honest, I’m feeling it may be a bit too creative. I have too many irons in the fire and not enough space to do them justice. I need to give the space an overhaul and bit of a facelift I think.

I haven’t been at the easel in months. It is just taking up space at the moment. I need to try to find some way to organize the supplies so that I can stow it all away until I’m ready to just back to canvas. I’m in desperate need of functional bookshelves. I have research material all over the place that needs to be organized so that I can easily find it.

I need to set up recording space for the Youtube videos. I need better lighting to do that where I am at home. That takes space. So I’m going to have to get creative with that. On that note, I also need digital space and an overhaul in my set up. It is time to make the switch to Mac I think but that takes a big investment. I need a system that I can use for video production though. So, I’m going to have to find a way to make it happen.

I’ll make do until I can make changes though. I’m tired of using the excuses to stop my journey to being a success. I start where I am and with what I have. It can only get better from there. And that’s true for you as well.

What is it you want to do in and with your life that you’re putting off for the right circumstances? How could you just jump right in and get started this week? What small steps could you take to make those circumstances happen for yourself?

Food for thought readers.

Posted in Lessons Learned, My Process, The Currents

Video Days…

Wow guys! I had no idea what an ordeal creating this content was going to be. I am still determined though.

As I write this, it is nearly 1:00AM and I have approximately 5 hours remaining on the rendering of my first video. I have no idea how long it is going to take to upload it to YouTube. But that will have to wait until I get up to be started. So, the video will go up at some point.

In the meantime, I did get my intro to load and I’m excited about that part. So I’ll be working on some other videos this week so I can get some content up but, so you can get the notifications and subscribe. Here it is!

I really wanted to show off the fun side. All the different things I do and I think I succeeded there. I may tweak it as I gather new experiences, clips, and images but for a start I think this is a good option.

I have learned a very important lesson though. I really need to invest in a better computer. This video editing is no joke. And I’m sure it will be a good investment. So, I’m already doing research. Glad this is coming up at tax time.

I know this is short but, I wanted to share what was accomplished. Now, I have to get to the day job in the morning so, I think sleep is a necessary component of my day.

Posted in Marketing, My Process, The Currents, The Writer's Life, Writing & Publishing

First Quarter Goals of 2018

Welcome back my dear readers!

I have to say, being back to the day job after the holidays is crazy and hectic. I feel all out of sorts trying to learn how to balance it all. But, I will find the right method and learn to do so. It is all a part of making some huge changes in how I’m approaching my life now. It is past time for me to really pour myself into the things I am passionate about. I’m so happy that you’re taking up the mantel with me or at least following my new adventure in life.

So, as the title suggests I am going to be talking about my goals for the first quarter of the year. I have to say that while I set a few last quarter as a trial there were a number of things that got in my way when it came to completing them. Although, I did manage to finish the first drafting of my WIP which was the big goal for me so, I’m super proud of that fact. Now it is time to go beyond that and really flesh out the story and add those details I think it lacks in places so that it can be ready for feedback before publication. Exciting stuff!

Oh and just wait until you see what happens next in Elora’s story! I’m so stoked for you to have it in your hands.

I digress though. So, back on track with goals for First Quarter of 2018

  1. Finish that revision phase for the WIP (Yep, that’s the second, as yet untitled, Slauson Cove novel.)
  2. Post twice a week here on the blog.  After this week, you’ll see posts coming up on Tuesdays and Saturdays here. So make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss them.
  3. Launch my Youtube channel and post two videos a week once that starts. – This one will be a learning curve and I’m not entirely expecting to reach it as it is written. But, I’m going to push to post some sort of creative living or writing advice video along with more of a vlog or day in the life video. More on the schedule as I see how it pans out. Trust me there will be links when it is ready.
  4. Grow my audience by a minimum of 250 new followers between my platform elements. That includes this blog, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and yes, I’m finally getting on the instagram band wagon. So, I’ll post links to all of those. Be a doll and share those links with people who may want to connect or learn more about some great reads.
  5. Answer all relevant comments on my blog and videos within 24 hours of them being posted. Yes that means interacting more with social media. This is definitely a new thing for me so, be patient with me.
  6. Build that email list for my bimonthly newsletter with the first 100 subscribers. Yes this is exclusive access to announcements before they are on the blog or on YouTube about the book, events, and giveaways etc. Keep an eye open for that. I’ll make a special post about it soon.
  7. Get that PO Box set up so I can post that for people to send mail to.

That’s it for this quarter. Of course there are plenty of other things behind the scenes like creating a launch plan for the new book, booking additional events, and making some other things happen. Cover art needs to be worked on, the book still needs a final title, and there is also formatting etc. So the work is never done. But, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

So what goals are you setting for yourself in the first few months of the new year?

Want ahead of the rush? Here are all the links to my social media for you to share and connect with me.

Anne Belle on Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/AnneBelleAuthor/

Anne on Twitter:  https://twitter.com/AnneBelleAuthor

Anne on Goodreads : https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8063125.Anne_Belle

Anne on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/passionforwords/

And as always, you can find other contact details in the contact tab here on the blog.

Happy New Year Folks. May it be happy and successful for you!