I decided to do something different with my blog in 2015 in the hopes of helping my productivity and keep me accountable by tracking my days, kind of like the online work journal/blog. You can find all the Working Notes entries here.
Starting the Day with a Book
I woke late today, which means I was up with my alarm, instead of 5am. Since I didn’t have a lot of time before getting the kids up, I decided to read through my emails before skimming Pinterest (my favorite time waster of all time).
After I got the girls up for school, feed, dressed, hair done, and notes written for teachers, they headed out for their hour long bus ride. It’s the one thing I hate about living so far from town. An hour is a long time to be on the bus.
My actual work day starts around 7am, because kids are off to school and hubby is gone to work, so I can work in peace. Today I knew I could never start work until I read the last three chapters left on the book I started over the weekend. It’s a curse of mine, one that took me years to understand. I can’t start a story and not finish it. There is no such thing as one chapter a day or an hour a day unless it’s non-fiction. It’s all or nothing. It’s why I only read fiction on the weekends now.
So I started my day with a book. Then it was off to the Webinar I signed up for…
Listening to a Webinar and Lunch
A writer friend of mine told me about this Webinar, Author Marketing Live, and suggested that some of the speakers might help me make a decision about my author and cover design business.
I missed most the first event due to my shitty web connection that doesn’t like watching this live conference without stopping and starting constantly. It made it really annoying and distracting. I’m hoping I’ll get more out of the transcript of Zombie Loyalists: Using Great Service to Create Rabid Fans than I’m getting out of it now. Which isn’t much.
I skipped the first event to listen to the second event, 13 Reasons You’re Not As Successful An Author As You Should Be, live. While I’m listening Jim Kukral’s great points, I’m eating an early lunch and taking notes.
The 2 points that hit me the strongest were….
1) Put the extra amount of effort into the endeavors to be successful. For me this would be not putting the correct amount of effort into writing the book as I could and doing what I can to promote my work. When its time to write, I shouldn’t be worrying about client work that needs to be done later, or the next story in my queue. I should be doing everything I can to meet my deadlines and find the writing process that works for me to get the most done possible. As for promotion, I’ll have to think of ways to do it without feeling fake or extremely tired/depressed afterward.
2) Stop analyzing and start doing. I’m doing this right now with my newest pen name (which made more sense to do in December then it did in January), some books I want to write and under which name they will go, if I want to make a change to the genre I’m writing, and with book cover design business. I’ve been going around and around like a mouse in a maze until I’ve probably driven my poor hubby and my writing friend Ruth crazy talking around about it. According to Jim, I need to stop, look at my goals, and if it works for the goals I have, just DO! If I fail, I fail. But then again, it might just succeed. 😀
Heading out to feed the Critters
The Live event is over and it took me another 20 minutes to catch up because of the buffering, so now I’m heading out to feed the critters (meaning the stray cats at the barn, the bulls, replacement heifers, and the cows in the meadow) before coming back for the third event, one that I’ll probably be late for since my driver (a.k.a. Hubby) is finally back at work after two weeks being home due to his back issues and working a regular shift.
Back in the Office, or the Kitchen, for another Conference Presentation
The critters are happy, lots of yummy food for them, and I’m a little tired from all the jumping in and out of a moving vehicle and pushing hay out of the back of the truck, then loading the truck in 56F weather. It’s far too hot with the sun out and no wind. alone It’s least it’s 45 minutes of exercise and I’m just glad that there aren’t more cows like when I first moved here.
Now I’m back at the computer in the kitchen as I’ve abandoned my cozy little office space in the back of the house. Did this for two reasons: the fire needed to keep the house warm is in the kitchen and in the winter time it’s not only warmer but also brighter in here. Too depressing in my office with the horrible wood paneling and no way to open the curtains without freezing.
Anywhoo, I’m listening to another presentation, Building Amazing Author Websites: The Absolute Necessities. Deborah Carney had some really good tips, some I already do and others I’ve been wanting to do and haven’t gotten around to. So I took notes for things I need to work on sometime in the future.
The presentation was cut short due to slow loading time and because I have to leave to pick up the kids from school and hubby from the work. There are about 4 presentations everyday until Friday, although I’ll probably not get to listen to the last one today until tomorrow. And even then I’ll have to see if I can finish the first and third ones from today. Anyway, I better go.
Editing a Book for my Pen Name
In January I started working on short stories under a pen name as the stories were in a very different genre from what I usually write. The first story is live, the second is part way written, the third is planned out, and I went looking through my story junk drawer for material for the next round of stories. Which I’ve found and printed off over the weekend.
Tonight, I’m looking through the partial story, deciding on natural end points from which I can build a series of short stories or novellas while listening the the remainder of the Author Website presentation.
I’ll be going through this story every night after I feed and help the kids with homework until I have it split into parts. Then I’ll be going through each section and adding notes on what needs to be added and outlining each part so I change either make them 15k short story or 25k novella.
I’ll be releasing all these under my pen name throughout the year while I continue to work on The Queen’s Rebellion Trilogy under Stephannie Beman and planning out the next two books in the Children of Khaos Series.