What a dreary Monday! Monday’s are a struggle, but when you wake up to rain and bone chilling cold, well, it puts you in the wrong mood. So, let’s talk patience. LOL! Yep, that word that we’ve forgotten existed…
Patience by definition is the ability to take things in stride, not rush into something, without getting upset. In other words, even though you want to do something so badly that you hit the start button before you have everything ready. And that’s where you get into trouble.
Here’s what the Bible says: Romans 12:12 “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
And I know how hard it is to be patient, especially when you have a new release coming. Here’s an example: You’ve finished your current work in progress, but you need to edit, then send to your editor for more edits, then add those new edits, market for the new release, make sure the cover is ready, etc… You get the point. But the problem with all of this is that it takes time to do all of this, and all of this is important. If you jump into the pot before the grease is hot, well, you’ll just end up soggy.
It’s like putting a puzzle together. You can’t rush to the last piece without putting all of the other pieces together first. It’s impossible, so you have to patiently put the other pieces together. The same with publishing a book. One step at a time…
So, here’s my advice and believe me, I’ve been there and done that. Make sure to check all the boxes before you hit submit. You wouldn’t publish to Amazon before you had a cover, would you? Then don’t publish before you’ve got the steps completed in order to put out the best book you possibly can.
Patience is something we have to work on. Me included. If you feel like you’ve just got to do something, then start on the next project and market like crazy for the one you’re about to release. But make it right the first time and the patience will pay off.
Happy New Year’s Eve everyone! This year has been so different from what we wished for only a year ago today. Life had changed for almost everyone and the way we do things is different. But life goes on and we have to make the best of every situation.
My writing has been going along fairly well, which is surprising to me. So many writers have said that this year has made them less productive. I’ve focused on the positive, giving someone else something to get lost in. Our goal as a writer is to entertain and make our fans feel as though they’ve been taken to another world, time, or place. That’s been my focus.
As I prepare to start 2021, there will be many changes coming. The new series, In Harm’s Way, will be one of those changes. It is something totally different from my normal sweet romance. The whole idea of the series is to help people find their faith even in a difficult time. And each one of the books explores a different type of disaster. It’s labeled a Christian Suspense Romance Series. I plan to take the reader on a journey of fear, love, faith, and excitement.
So, what are you doing to change things up for 2021?
I know, the dreaded TAX word. As an Accountant, this is the time to gear up for the new season that is coming in only two weeks. 2020 was a crazy tax season with extended deadlines, call meetings and lots of questions. Let’s hope 2021 goes smoother.
But, as a author, there are many things to think about. If you’ve earned royalties, then you’ll need to file that. I do have some light at the end of that tunnel though, expenses…
Here are some of the expenses that an author can claim:
Educational courses to help with writing
Office supplies – pens, paper, ink, notebooks, etc.
Subscriptions to writing sites or programs
Fees for book signings (Hopefully you were able to get some in before things changed)
Computers (Remember to delegate the percentage you use it for writing.)
That’s just a small list. But, hopefully you did great this year and need to claim some expenses.
Can you believe it’s a week until Thanksgiving? This year is flying by and in my opinion, that could be a good thing. It’s been a crazy year!
Just Let It Go…
It’s the same with writing. If you have a story line that keeps bugging you, then let it go. As in, let it go where it needs to. Most writers will tell you that if a story starts in your brain, it will drive you crazy until you do something with it.
Now, it’s not to say that some of the ideas that come through your head are publish worthy. If I had a dollar for every story idea I had that flopped before the first chapter was done, well, let’s just say, I’d be in a good position. Sometimes though, it’s hard to Just Let It Go…
Don’t waste your time on stories that don’t go far. You need to focus on those stories that can go the distance. As I said in an earlier post, make sure that your story can make it through plotting and scene set up. Then, you’ll have a story to publish.
It’s mighty cold here in Georgia on this Tuesday morning. As I write this post, the fire is crackling and popping in the fireplace, keeping me toasty warm. Do you enjoy a good fire on a cold morning?
For me, sitting by a warm fire inspires me to write more. Why is that? I love to come down the hall on cold mornings and hear the crackling fire. As soon as I have a cup of coffee in my hands, I stand in front of the fire, letting it warm me to my soul. It’s a wonderful feeling.
Not to mention I’m finishing up the last of my Christmas romance, which comes through easier with a cozy fire. Now just to get up my Christmas tree and decorations. But that will have to wait until after the upcoming busy weekend.
Enjoy every moment… Listen to the crackle of a fire… Give yourself a moment every day to just be…
Good Thursday morning. Monday, we took a day trip to the North Georgia mountains. It was a much needed trip to getaway and reboot. I love the mountains. It’s one of my favorite places.
The leaves were still pretty, even though they most had already turned. The picture above was from the side of the road. We’d been driving on winding roads and found this lookout. When we got out of the car, the temperature had dropped over 10 degrees from the previous stop at the orchard. There was no sound other than the wind drifting through the leaves. It was breathtaking.
This little waterfall was at our next stop. Just the sound of the water trickling over the rocks had such a calming effect. I could have camped out beside this waterfall for days. There is nothing quite as reflective as a day spent in nature. The beauty of God’s creation can take you by surprise and leave you with so much hope and belief that everything is alright.
This valley was beautiful. We were headed out of the high mountains and started through this green pastureland in the valley. There were old barns and fences that made the writer in me want to know more. Who had lived there? What had life been living here in the valley of the mountains? Did they have horses, cows, chickens, and other animals? Did the beauty of the mountains make them smile every morning when they walked out to see the beauty around them? Just a few thoughts I had as we drove through this little valley.
As you can see, we had a wonderful day trip. It only took us two and a half hours to get to this beautiful place where land meets sky. And it was worth the drive. To get there, we had to go through downtown Atlanta. It always amazes me how much the city has changed since I was a young girl traveling with my parents to the mountains every fall. I still get that little girl feeling as we pass by the tall buildings.
So, hope you enjoyed the small look into our wonderful trip. I shared all of the photos that were taken over on my Facebook page. It only takes a moment away from normal life to get a treat. Take every chance you get to get away for a while. It was just a day trip, but it did so much to refresh my mind and get me back on track. Don’t let life pass you by. Find joy in the little things.
It’s hard to believe that I’m finishing the last book of the Wishful Harbor Series. I’ve enjoyed every moment of writing this series. The characters will always hold a special place in my heart. And the town of Wishful Harbor will draw me in and send me on a journey where the scent of sea air and the sound of sea gulls overhead fill the air.
Saying goodbye to anything isn’t easy. In life, there’s so many things we have to say goodbye to. But with a book series, even though the series has come to a close, the books will be there to read over and over. The memories will be there too.
Over the years of my writing career, I’ve said goodbye to many series. The Five Oaks Ranch Series is still one of my bestselling series and it continues to gain momentum. I’ve had so many people write to me about adding more books to that series. Maybe one day, but for now, it’s just a dream…
In January I’ll publish the last Mistletoe Ranch book. And I just published the last book from The Journal Series. With each new series, there has to be an end. New things need to start and life goes on. But the memories will forever be there along with the laughter, tears and thought that went into each word.
Starting in 2021 I’ll be starting a whole new series, one that will pull everything out of me. I’m so excited about it. I’ve not spoken much about it, but in the coming weeks, I’ll post some snippets and info on it. But for now, let’s just say, 2021 will be filled with mystery, intrigue, and romance.
For now, I’ll go back to my writing and the cup of coffee that’s growing cool. But I’ll ask one question, how do you handle saying goodbye?
Good Tuesday morning! Let’s talk about reviews. Yes, I know, some say don’t read them. Some say read them. Me, I read them. But how do we react when we read them? Anger? Confusion? Laughter? Happy? Sad? There’s a lot of things that go through your head when you read reviews of your work. But I have a couple of things to discuss with you about them.
Make them work for you…
What am I talking about? Well, hear me out… Bad reviews can go two ways, one being they are just nasty and have no meaning for your writing, or two, they are well thought out reviews that can tell you something about the work.
Let’s talk about some ways to use bad reviews to make your work better. Here goes:
1: There are misspelled words and grammatical errors!
We know that it doesn’t matter how many times your work is edited and even if it’s by the best editor out there, mistakes can be missed. I’ve read some of the bestsellers out there that have some mistakes that weren’t caught. SO, use that bad review as a reason to read through your work just one more time with a critical eye.
Now, do remember, some people are not experts and what they think is a grammatical error, really isn’t. But, I still go back over my work, just in case I missed something, or my editor did. It’s worth the effort in the end. Especially if you get several reviews about the same problem.
2: The book was left on a cliffhanger!
Ok, this one shocked me the first time I read it. When I read a book that’s part of a series, most of the time I expect a cliffhanger to get me to read the next one. Think about a series on television. They always leave you at the end of the season wondering what the heck just happened and what will happen next. The reason I put this one in my post is because if you get this and it bothers you, then insert a sentence in your description that says, ‘This book ends on a cliffhanger’. That way you don’t have to worry about a reader not understanding that it’s a series and can end on a cliffhanger.
3: The characters were not fleshed out…
If you get this one, maybe look back at your work and see if you never described your main characters. I know that as a reader, I love to be able to picture the characters in my mind. I’ve received this type of review before and realized that I was so into writing the story, I never fleshed my character out. Yep, that was a facepalm moment for me. Go ahead and add a little description, because as a writer, you know in your mind that you have a picture in your mind of the character.
4: The book was too short… or This book was too long…
Now this one took me by surprise. But yes, reviewers have opinions on the length of your book. There are those that don’t like them too long and those that don’t like them too short. My thoughts on this are, input in your description, at the end, ‘This is a novella’ or ‘This is a full-length book’. Maybe that little key point will stop some of those lower star reviews.
5: The story doesn’t flow well…
Now this can be a problem if your story doesn’t flow well. My suggestion is to read the manuscript out loud and don’t do it as the writer, do it as a reader. Meaning, in your mind, you’re the reader wanting to be entertained by the story. Believe me, I do this with my books before I publish them and its eye opening. Sometimes I wonder what on earth was I thinking…
Now there are many more aspects of reviews to look at. Also look at the good ones. This keeps you motivated and let’s you know what your dedicated readers loved. Of course, there will always be those that give a bad review just to do it. I’ve had those.
If you do have a review that’s particularly nasty and doesn’t match your book, report it to the distributor whether it be Amazon, Barnes and Noble or iTunes. I had one that mentioned characters that weren’t even in my book. I reported it to Amazon and the review disappeared. But I had one that didn’t represent my book and they didn’t take it down.
The moral of the blog is this, use even the bad reviews for good. Let them roll off your back and move forward. Now, if you get only bad reviews, then I would definitely take another look at the work. But hey, smile and keep writing. A writer has to have a thick skin. Sometimes when I get my work back from my editor, I have to thicken my skin and push through it. So, keep up the good work!
As always, good writing and May God Bless You…
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Good morning! It’s been a while since my last post, but I’ve been super busy getting my latest manuscript finished and sent to my editor. I want to share with you what I’ve learned over the last couple of months while working on my newest project.
1: Write what’s in your heart. Don’t let others tell you what you can and can’t write, all that does is tamp down your inner voice. So, fill your pages with what your heart gives you and trust it.
2. Give your writing all that you have. When you get done writing each day, you should feel drained because you’ve put everything into it, but also feel accomplished because you’ve given your muse free reign.
3. Never write something that doesn’t feel right. If it doesn’t feel right, then it shouldn’t be put on paper. Go with your instinct.
SO, do you write from your heart? That’s what I did with the manuscript I just finished. I’m satisfied with the results, which is surprising because I always have that little doubt with each piece of work. But not this time.