Got Goals?

Just the other day I wrote here about goals, or rather about my failed attempt at the goals I had set for myself in 2016.  Here we are, the 2nd day of January, and I have once again written out my goals for the upcoming year.  Here’s the thing though, I made a point to make them more accomplish-able.  Last year I specifically promised myself to finish 2 of my books I am writing.  I did not.  Yeah, I had writer’s block, and some family drama that sucked my creativity and motivation away, then stomped on it and promptly shoved it down a black hole.  So instead, I wrote 1. Write OFTEN, and consistently.  Because really, isn’t that what is important here?  That as a writer, I am WRITING?  (Maybe I should make one about not using CAPS so often…)

2. Continue working on my Social Media presence.  This is simply a continuation from last year.  I have my facebook page, which I post links to the posts I write here, and update my very, VERY (there are those CAPS again) slow progress.  I also have a Twitter account, which sadly I use once every 2-3 months.  But hey! At least I am not overusing it right?  I would say Instagram, but my daughter has taken over my phone with her account for now and until I upgrade and she moves on to her brother’s phone, well, I am without.  And honestly, I am not sure how having a stellar IG account will bring readers to my books.  Will it?  Do you IG as a writer?  (I am assuming someone out there who writes might be reading this and answer me…  I love comments!)

Writing more posts here, is the obvious first step to building an SM presence.  See goal 1. But, what are other ways I can build a fan base?  Besides finishing and publishing a book.  How does one go about improving and building a blog readership? Can anyone out there point me in the right direction?  That would be awesome, thanks.

3. I applied to college.  Yes, I have already been to college.  I graduated Cosmetology school thankyouverymuch.  However, goals being what they are, what I wanted to be when I grew up changed.  So off to college, I decided to go. Applied.  And now waiting.  See, I have to also be accepted.  It is taking forever, in case you are wondering.  Also, I am not patient.

4. I NEED to be more structured and organized with my time and my life in general.  I make plans, then immediately forget I made said plans.  I commit to something, do well for about 1-2 weeks, then get busy, and again, forget.  Pinterest has a ton of ideas on how to be more organized, how to use a planner, where to buy the planner, and how to decorate and prettify the planner.  Spending hours on Pinterest reading and pinning how to be more organized might actually be keeping me from accomplishing this particular goal.  (back up goal: quit Pinterest)

5. This one is relatable to almost every other goal.  Be more consistent.  Write more, work out on a daily basis, finish what I commit to, on and on and on.  Just do what I set out to do!  And then keep doing it.

6. Not sure if I have mentioned before, but besides becoming a published author, I also want to own a cafe and bookshop.  I love baking, and I do some from home for profit.  So hopefully, 2017 will see my customer base for what I bake grow.  This always makes me nervous, as I am one person and am a bit afraid of becoming overwhelmed and taking on too much.  And then not being able to complete an order, or the quality would suffer.  I have a tendency to be an overachiever.  Somehow or another, all those career goals tie together.  YES, they do.  Don’t argue with me.

7. Learn a new skill.  This could be anything.  Rock climbing, water skiing, (not really that one, just throwing it in there) formatting a blog.  Perhaps tackling the scary world of fondant cake decorating.  Or math.  Now wouldn’t that be useful?  As long as it isn’t common core, I’m good.  It’s important to learn something new every now and then.  Hopefully, I learn one or two new things in 2017!

8. And because every list needs a fun goal, VEGAS.  I have NEVER been to Vegas.  Now, I don’t gamble, it makes me so sad to watch people fritter away what you just know is their rent money, alimony, car payment, grocery money.  I want to run up to them and urge them to Stop! You’re never going to hit it big!  This year is a rather “big” birthday year for me, so my goal is to take a girls trip to celebrate it right!  I want the food, the dancing, I want to see shows, and chill by an insane pool.

There you have it.  Not a huge overwhelming list, but doable.  Goals that will hopefully cause some growth, and help me become a better person.  I would love to finish 2017 out by pulling this list back out and being able to draw a line through each one on this list.  How about you?  Do you make a list of goals at the beginning of each year?  How have you done in the past accomplishing them?

Much Love ❤

Shayna

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2016, You won’t be missed…

So it would appear we have reached the end of this tumultuous year.  2016 was a year of political upheaval, an onslaught of celebrity deaths the likes of which we have never seen before, familial drama, the list goes on and on.

And while it also seems as though I didn’t move from where I began last January, I am sure somewhere, buried in this year, a move forward must have happened.  I made a list of goals at the beginning of this year.  Studied and stared and made promises to myself for three entire months and then forgot about them.

Today, I dug them back up, and discovered… duh duh duuuuhhhh…. I completed, NONE of them.  Not a one.  Some I started, some I thought about, a few I made serious attempts at.  I joined several Writer Meet Up groups, but to be fair, while I was willing to attend them, they never hosted any meetings and eventually disbanded.  So 1 point for me!  No money was made by writing this past year, and I have no idea if I actually grew my fan base, whether on Twitter, or on the Facebooks.  Important connections are made through social media these days, and will most likely continue to be the way we all network.  There is always next year I suppose.

So here is to a new year, a year of new goals to make, and maybe accomplish, here is to growth, in whichever direction we choose!  2017, prepare to be conquered!

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I Get Lost

I have come to the conclusion that the reason I like Sci-Fi so much, is because it is an escape from reality.  Books are great for that in general.  You find something that catches your interest, and then become lost inside a world that is different from your own.

Science fiction does that for me, to be apart of a world, that has very little in common with the actual world, and I am allowed, even if for a moment, to forget reality for a while.  My reality in general isn’t all that horrific, at least not now as an adult.  As a child, when I first discovered the Horror genre, it portrayed something much worse then what I was going through, so I read as much as I could.  Probably not the best choice for an 8 yr old, but I was reading well above my level and needed something that not only challenged me, but would engage me.

And while I know I will write in a few other genres, I actually have two other books in process that are simply adult fiction, Sci-Fi is my first choice every time.  Maybe, it will allow someone else the ability to escape a sad existence, or maybe even give them the strength to continue on.

I guess the take away from this, is read whatever you can get your hands on, figure out what speaks to you and use it to bring out your creative side.  Books will always be a valid escape, whether you are writing or reading.  You might just have something locked inside, and with the right motivation, it could become a book.  Even if it is just for you, there is healing in words.

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It’s The End Of The World As We Know It, And I Feel Fine?

The end of the school year is upon us.  To be honest, I am not sure how I should feel about it.  I am thrilled that I won’t have to get up every single morning at 6 am, my sleep is very important to me.  As I am sure it is to most parents out there, who dread the routine of dragging kids out of bed, and rushing around like a crazy person getting them ready for the day.

Then again, there is something to be said for a quiet house.  I am kind of ok with sacrificing those 2-3 precious hours of extra sleep in the name of 6 hours of peace.  Those are the hours I tidy up the house, do laundry, work out, and catch up on shows I love, get work done!  All of the domestic things I do during the day, so at night I can hide out and really get some work done.

So with the school year ending, my kids will be home. ALL. DAY. LONG.  Just last night, I was editing, in my room alone, and my lovely daughter came in, with both the dogs.  She proceeded to chat me up, while the dogs chased each other in circles across my feet barking, while she continued talking to me or yelling at them to stop.  I had to work really hard to not lose my cool with her, she was wanting to spend some time with me, and I don’t want to miss out on that.

I feel like I get so little work done when the crazies are home every day.  Although they are older now, and spend a lot of time running the neighborhood with their friends, there is a slight chance I might be able to get everything done as I do while they are at school all day.  (Insert sarcastic tone here)

However, I do need to finish editing so I can wrap this first novel up.  I have so many books planned out to write and I need to finish this one and get it headed towards publishing so I can start on the next ones.  How does one accomplish this?  Do you write out a schedule for the day and stick to it? Penciling in family time, domestic goddess time, and work time?  Or set aside 1-2 days a week to get all cleaning done, prepping meals for the week to make it easier and the rest of the days split my time between entertaining children and friends and work?

This applies really to so many of us.  Not just those of us writing for a living, but anyone who works from home.  So tell me, how does your summer look?  How do you prioritize to make sure you are balanced?

Tell me your summer plans in the comments!  Share how you manage to get it all done!

Much Love ❤

Shayna

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Born This Way

So, I know in a past post, I talked about how several very well known authors had persevered through receiving several rejection letters before going on to become the writers of books we all know and love.

I found it interesting that a few people on that list, had pursued something other then writing in college.  A few hadn’t even attended college.  Now, I do not believe, and maybe I am only one of a few here who feels this way, that you need to study literature in order to be able to write a best seller.

My college education consists of 2 years of Bible college, (bet a lot of you didn’t know that one!) and 1500 hours of Cosmetology Education.  Yes, I became a hair stylist.  A hair stylist with an immense love of books.

I have always loved books, from the moment I could pick one up, for some reason however, I never even considered studying literature as a career.  I had contemplated Pediatric Oncology, Physical Therapy, Art Major, Interior Design, Music, the list goes on!  I almost went to Pastry School, but Cosmetology won out some how.

And then, my love of writing came back with a vengeance and I couldn’t stop thinking about picking it back up again.  I think pursuing other paths can give a writer a little bit of depth, or perception they might not otherwise have.

J.K. Rowling became a French major, John Grisham started out in accounting, Ray Bradbury didn’t even attend college, and wrote his novels in public libraries.  Life can be one of the greatest teachers. You can’t learn everything you need in high school, college is a wonderful experience, but the real world can trump all of those things.  I fully believe I can pull from so many of my experiences out in the real world when I write.  And no, I haven’t ever been a vampire, futuristic lawyer, or alien, but I have read about them in a myriad of novels, and I do know a blood sucker when I see one!

My point here, is even if you haven’t considered a writing career, you don’t have to be stuck in whatever you majored in while in college.  Unless you are a doctor, then, you should be a doctor.  I love doing hair, still, sometimes.  And I do envision myself owning a little cafe with a book store attached to it someday, but more then anything I want to write.

Writing is what I was born to do.

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If I Gave You The Truth

It has been about two weeks I think since I sat down and worked on finishing my book.  Which I continue to claim is so very close to being done, and I am.  But not writing anything isn’t going to get me there, now is it?  Life has spun into fast forward, and I have been busy with kids, and trips, and all kinds of things, things that oddly enough are not writing.

Why am I not writing?

Busy-ness is definitely a part of it, sometimes sheer exhaustion plays into it, but I also think that  I might be a little more discouraged then I thought I was.

Writing a book is a bit like having a baby.  You put all this time and effort into nurturing and growing, and making it into this amazing thing you want to share with the world.  But sharing it is incredibly hard because it is your very own, and you want everyone to love it as much as you do and see its potential.  Even one no, one, its not what we are looking for, one person simply brushing it off like I haven’t breathed my very heart into this work, it can be enough to stunt any writing efforts for quite a while.

Now to figure out not only how, but where to dig deep enough to find the inspiration and motivation to finish, and finish strong. A no doesn’t have to be the end, it shouldn’t be the end.  The question is, am I good enough for it to just be the beginning of great things?

 

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The Writing On The Wall

Everything you write, if you are a writer, counts as, well, writing.  I feel bad some days if I am not solely focused on my writing, or rather, my main writing project I guess I should say.  However, I have several writing projects going on at one time, and working on content for this blog, as well as my newest venture.  My brain is consistently running, I fall asleep writing one blog post, forget it when I wake up, then frantically try to remember what those first great sentences were.  Let’s just say what I am writing now, was not what I was writing last night.  (It’s just as great though, right? 😉 )

My novel is also writing itself in the background of my brain.  Unfortunately, I am not always capable of accessing my computer so I can get it written down.  Life obligations pop up, get in the way sometimes, and push my good intentions right out the window.  Not an excuse, just adulting.  A lot.

My goal for this week, and yes, I realize it is Wednesday already, is to reevaluate my list of goals I wrote out for 2016, revise and add a few things on.  My priority of course is this novel, which if I am honest, I think I am a little bit scared to finish it.  Once it is done, then I am sending it in to the publisher I have a contract to sign with.  Or do I not?  Do I send it elsewhere, do I attempt to self publish it?  Which, of course, is another completely different route, that is even more terrifying.

Writing can lead to clarity, but there are rare moments when it only brings more confusion.  This is one of those moments.

Whichever moment you are in, keep writing.  I know I will.

Much Love ❤

Shayna

 

 

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