Posted on 4 Comments

January Updates and #IWSGQOTM

#IWSG Angell's 4 Authors Do you have a word of the year?
Hello Lovelies,
December was a crazy busy month between re-releasing Elements of Broken Mind,  The DreamMaker2023Q1 challenge, the 12 Days of Indies 2022,  and expanding my Quick and Dirty Annual Marketing Guide. This month is almost jam-packed, as I am looking for beta reader feedback on  Quick and Dirty. (If you’d like to sign up, please fill out this google form and I will be in touch next week!) am working to wrap up the course materials for Maximize Your E-newsletter Masterclass, re-releasing Quick and Dirty and then working on An Angel’s Dance re-re-release. Also hoping to schedule my PMP exam,  figure out why my dryer is not working (it’s been a whole saga) and figure out what is making my husband sick (an even bigger saga). While also making time for my personal and professional goals.  It’s only a couple of days into 2023 and I’m already feeling a bit overwhelmed. But that is not the word I want for 2023.

IWSG Question of the Month

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!
Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post. And please be sure your avatar links back to your blog! Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.
Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

Remember, the question is optional!

January 4 Question – Do you have a word of the year?

Is there one word that sums up what you need to work on or change in the coming year? For instance, in 2021 my word of the year was Finish. I was determined to finish my first draft by the end of the year. In 2022, my word of the year was Ease. I want to get my process, systems, finances, and routines where life flows with ease and less chaos. What is your word for 2023? 
I have really been searching and searching for the right word. I have a large list of goals(15, to be exact) and they are a wide range of goals that are all focused on growth but growth didn’t feel like the right word. I also considered balance as a good key word but that didn’t resonate with me either as I am always seeking balance. After a lot of soul searching for just the right word, I finally settled on the best word and when it came to me my soul did sing.
Transformational- (as defined by the Cambridge  Dictionary)

able to produce a big change or improvement in a situation:
Action to encourage home insulation by the EU represents a potentially transformational event for government-funded installation agencies.
transformational acquisition/deal/merger
a transformational strategy/reform/step The company’s chief executive described the transaction as a “transformational step” in implementing new corporate strategy.
transformative ideas/experiences
This goes beyond just growth, this is exponential growth. Several of my goals this year will lead to major changes in our lives and working together will align us in a whole new way. But transformational change is overwhelming and scary. I hope I am up to the challenge, am really excited to pursue this new path for us, and I am putting all the most powerful energy into making this transformational shift.
The awesome co-hosts for the January 4 posting of the IWSG are Jemima Pett, Debs Carey, Kim Lajevardi, Sarah Foster, Natalie Aguirre, and T. Powell Coltrin! Be sure to check out their posts and the rest of the awesome members of the IWSG blog hop!
Until Next Time,
Keep Reading!
Posted on 4 Comments

December 2022 Update and IWSGQOTM

#IWSG QOTM Are the holidays a time to catch up or fall behind on writer goals?

Hello Lovelies,

I know it’s been a minute. The surgery took more out of me than I expected and while the results have been absolutely worth it (I’ve already lost 90 lbs!) I am still struggling to recover. I have just gotten to the point where I can manage more than just my health and day job but only a little bit more. I get about an hour a day to work on all the other things. I am striving to prioritize projects because jumping from one thing to the next doesn’t work. But I miss doing the Insecure Writer’s Support Group so here I am! and we have a great question of the month for December.

 

IWSG Question of the Month

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!
Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post. And please be sure your avatar links back to your blog! Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.   

December 7 question – It’s holiday time! Are the holidays a time to catch up or fall behind on writer goals?

Usually, December is a slowdown on my goals as I am typically doing the 12 Days of Indie, a weeklong goals masterclass, and working on my Annual marketing and business plan. However, this year I am just ramping back up after surgery. I am going to do 12 Days of Indie very differently this year as past years have just been so time-consuming. If you are an author who would like to participate in this free marketing event, be sure to join my FB group Authors Anon as I will be sharing info closer to in that group.
If you struggle with setting and achieving your goals, be sure to join my DreamMaker Challenge as I will teach you how to set SMARTER goals and how to plan for both personal and professional goals and keep them on track throughout the year.
The awesome co-hosts for the December 7 posting of the IWSG are Joylene Nowell Butler, Chemist Ken, Natalie Aguirre, Nancy Gideon, and Cathrina Constantine!
Be sure to check out their posts in the IWSG, as well as all the other awesome authors who participate!
Stay tuned for some great reviews coming over the next few weeks as I catch up on my read and reviews.
Until next time,
Keep Reading!
Posted on 6 Comments

August 2022 Update and IWSGQOTM

do you try to be more original or do you try to give readers what they want?
Hello Lovelies,
I am so sorry I missed last month’s check-in. Things have been a bit chaotic and last month was super stressful with a lot of things on hold. Fortunately, I am able to report that a lot of those things on hold have finally shifted and we are no longer stuck in a holding pattern!
My husband finally got and started a new job so the financial stress is slowly mediating itself. My son started his new job too so now we’re all working towards our goals!
I got my surgery approved the end of last month. It is scheduled for August 30th so this month is going to be very heavily focused on getting ready for that. I have to say, I’ve been very pleased with the last several months of progress. I’ve already lost 34 lbs so my liver should be nicely shrunk down and not impede surgery.
As a lot of my saved surgery money had to go to helping pay bills while my husband was unemployed, the next couple of checks will be focused on rebuilding that fund. Then we have to rebuild our general nest egg. But once that is done, back to focusing on re-releasing my books and courses. Still prepping everything so that once the money comes in I will be set to rapid re-release.
I expect the next couple of months to be very busy and very gratifying! Now, on to the IWSG question of the month!

IWSG Question of the Month

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!
Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post. And please be sure your avatar links back to your blog! Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.   
The awesome co-hosts for the August 3 posting of the IWSG are Tara Tyler, Lisa Buie Collard, Loni Townsend, and Lee Lowery!

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

Remember, the question is optional!

You ready?
Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

When you set out to write a story, do you try to be more original or do you try to give readers what they want?

Honestly, none of my 1st drafts are focused on the reader. They are always focused on the story that needs to be told. When I am plotting, I will get the main points of the story I am inspired to share down. Then from those bones I will determine genre. If it isn’t one I have been reading a lot of lately, then I will do a quick bit of research on what are the most loved and hated tropes. (GoodReads forums are a great resource for this!) then determine which of them make sense for this story and figure out how to weave those in. Once I get the plotting done, I let my characters drive and direct them to the plot map when they start to veer off course.
It isn’t until the editing stage where my main focus becomes the readers. But even then, I am still staying true to the story I felt inspired to share. I am pulling quotes that I think will resonate with readers for advertising, tweaking sentences to make them more appealing to readers, and developing my reader personas for marketing purposes.
I believe there is an audience for every story. I don’t write my stories to that audience, I find the audience for the story.
I know this means a lot more work for me, but I don’t mind the extra work.
Thanks for stopping in.
Until next time,
Keep Writing!
Posted on 3 Comments

June 2022 Update and #IWSG Question

June 2022 Update and #IWSG Question
Hello Lovelies,
Whew, May was crazy busy, between promoting my challenges (which both kicked off today), wrapping up my PMP certification application, hitting the final stages of my surgery approval process, getting little man through to graduation, and helping both my men with their job hunt. Just reading all that made me tired! But as I am still the main provider in the household, no time to rest. June will be heavily focused on releasing my course Social Media 101, promoting my current offerings, re-releasing The Clear Angel Chronicles, and then finishing up with The Hunters Saga re-release. Plus I expect to get more information about sitting for the proctored PMP exam and prepping for surgery. I just started keto again for the surgery prep but there will be some additional steps a few weeks before surgery so…  a lot going on! Whew.

#IWSG June Question of the Month

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!
Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post. And please be sure your avatar links back to your blog! Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.   
The awesome co-hosts for the June 1 posting of the IWSG are SE White, Cathrina Constantine, Natalie Aguire, Joylene Nowell Butler, and Jacqui Murray!

Struggling with something to say?
Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience, or a story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

Remember, the question is optional!

When the going gets tough writing the story, how do you keep yourself writing to the end? If have not started the writing yet, why do you think that is and what do you think could help you find your groove and start?

This is actually something I’ve been struggling with a lot the last two years. Other than Las Immortales, which I wrote for the Halloween Frights, I’ve not written any new fiction in several years. I have figured out that part of the struggle is because I have all these other things I’m trying to re-release, and part of the struggle is just so much going on in my life and never having time to get back into my writing schedule. So that is why I have been systematically working on getting all that other stuff back out there then will tackle the writing of new projects. You know how you eat an elephant, right? One bite at a time. Same way you eat a herd of elephants. And with 17 books and 5 courses, I am definitely working through a herd, lol. But I can feel myself getting closer every day. And once I get this all worked down, I saw the most success when I was part of the 5 am writer’s club. I would write for an hour every day starting at 5 am. then go for a walk before getting ready for work. I expect to get back into that routine but instead of writing, I will be focusing on re-creating. Then that routine will be all set so I can move on to writing once I get stuff caught up!
 How about you?
You ready?
Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!
Until Next Time,
Keep Writing! 
Posted on 9 Comments

May 2022 Update and #IWSG Question

May 2022 Update and #IWSG Question
Hello Lovelies,
Man, oh, man. Where do I even begin? The May theme for IWSG re highs and lows accurately reflects how my April is going. From the weather not being able to decide if it is winter or summer to crazy chaos at the day job, to my becoming the sole provider of the family- this month has been a roller coaster of emotions and contingency planning. Going into May, I am still reeling. My first gut instinct was that I needed to start applying for new jobs. My commission-based job even in the best months barely made half of what he makes. And to say that commission hasn’t been great for a bit now would be an understatement.
But I haven’t finished my PMP Certification which would go a long ways toward me getting paid what I am actually worth. Plus, I’m so so close to approval for the surgery (all I have left is the surgeon’s consult then final approval from insurance.) I cannot throw out all I’ve worked for in hopes of getting a better-paying job. Statistically, my husband is more likely to get a new job than I am.
So we did a quick evaluation of our financial situation and agreed to stay the course but up the speed with which I am working towards those things. I also decided to finish up some merchandise listing on my site and to run The 30 Day Marketing Challenge and the DreamMaker Challenge in June, while offering up to 50% on everything in my store.
We have a razor-thin budget that will only last us 3 months if I don’t bring in more $$ and I would be crushed if this crisis completely derailed everything we’ve been working so hard for. That was struck home even more when I found out my company laid off a ton of people last week. The manager thought she was making me feel better by telling me that “you are not affected”. Yeah, sure, not affected at all. I’ve worked at enough start-ups to know that sudden and unplanned layoffs going into your busy season is not “what’s best for the company”. There is so much more they aren’t telling us. So I have to push everything in place as fast as possible because if I get laid off too?
Needless to say- still spinning contingency planning. But I REALLY feel like this month has just been this:
But I’m not Legolas.

#IWSG May Question of the Month

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting! 
Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

Remember, the question is optional!

May 4 question – It’s the best of times; it’s the worst of times. What are your writer highs (the good times)? And what are your writer lows (the crappy times)?

This is so interesting as my Facebook buddy Devani Angeli shared a pretty cool thing that all creatives can really connect with, I think. And it really reflects the theme for this month.
What they don’t show you is that you go through this every. Single. Time. And sometimes you fall in the swamp and have to swim out, which also super sucks. And sometimes after you get out you are so coated in the muck that you can slip right before the finish and slide back in. Then have to clamber back out and fight through back to that peak “This is one I’m Proud of”.
I go through this process with every project- books, courses, creating challenges, building marketing plans, everything.
Creatives are not being melodramatic when we say that we put our blood, sweat, and tears (and money) into our projects. Authors calling books their book baby are not being hyperbolic. I’m a mom. I know.
But as brutal as most of the journey is, when it’s complete it is such a relief and so much pride. I would argue that the worse things go in the middle, the more rewarding the completion feels. That is such a rush.
I keep going back. I can’t help myself.
And I think part of the reason that I am struggling to re-do all my work is that it is not as much about the creative journey as it was. It is now just repackaging what I’ve already done.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!
Don’t forget to check out the awesome co-hosts for the May 4 posting of the IWSG are Kim Elliott, Melissa Maygrove, Chemist Ken, Lee Lowery, and Nancy Gideon!
don’t miss the other participants in this Blog Hop!
Until next time,
Keep Growing!
Posted on 1 Comment

April 2022 Update and #IWSG Question

#IWSG Angell's 4 Authors April 22 update

Hello Lovelies,

It’s amazing what a difference a month can make! March was busy, busy and I’ve made some great gains on my goals. The consult on the 15th went well and we’re just waiting for insurance to approve the bariatric surgery to determine next steps. In the meantime, that hope got me trying other solutions and I found this awesome THC balm that helps reduce the pain significantly by treating the sore muscles and tendons and decreasing inflammation on the nerves. That has allowed me to increase my physical activity. While walking causes greater irritation and inflammation, I’ve found that my under-desk elliptical isn’t as hard on my body and that combined with strength training has allowed me to systematically work up to 50 min of low-impact physical activity 4-5 days a week. This is the sweet spot required for the surgery to be successful. I’ve also started the diet amounts to get my mind and schedule adjusted. Several of the people I know who had surgery all say their lack of preparation there was what led to most of their complications.

This weekend I am going swimming and will see how that does for a low-impact workout.

My kiddo has finished all of his sports last weekend and is excited to start swimming with me so we look forward to working together on that. He has also enlisted my help with his gap your business plans so that will be fun quality time together.

As for the PMP certification, I am trucking along. I have all my required CEU courses selected and just have to systematically work through them. I still have about 24 hours to go and have set up a schedule to make that happen a bit faster. I spend a half-hour every weekday (while also doing my under-desk elliptical.) and am trying to get in 2 hours each weekend. Hopefully, that will be easier now that the kid’s sports are done. Though I can’t really call him a kid anymore as he turned 18 on Monday and is now legally an adult!  At this rate, it will take me about 5 more weeks to finish the CEUs and be able to apply for the PMP test.

A small and unexpected progress towards my rebuilding goals came when the person I’d reached out to The Hunters Saga covers last summer reached back out. Their life has settled and they are trucking along on the covers for the series. We have a great concept idea for the paperbacks and I am so excited!

Here is the final front cover for The Hunters.

The Hunters 3rd edition

Each cover will follow the same theme, with an element from the book being the prominent feature.

I’m so excited to get this moving along as time allows but my health and the PMP cert are my top two priorities for April. I will be doing more on the blog with my Sunday holistic journeys and hope you will join me with that. Now on to the main show:

#IWSG April Question of the Month

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!
Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post. And please be sure your avatar links back to your blog! Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.   
You ready?
Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!April 6 question – Have any of your books been made into audiobooks? If so, what is the main challenge in producing an audiobook?

I actually am excited to complete the audiobooks for The Hunters finally. I spent years trying to figure out how to do this in a cost-effective manner. I have a small confession to make, I actually am not a fan of audiobooks. I often lose my place and get distracted when listening to them. But I loved the old radio show samplings with multiple characters and sound effects so I wanted mine to be something like that. But finding narrators proved difficult and expensive. So I decided to put my theatrical training to use and read the different characters myself, then learned to edit in the sound effects myself.
It has been a long journey that I hope to complete this year as I focus on re-releasing The Hunters Saga.
The few people who’ve listened to samples have found it delightful, but they’re not big audiobook people either so who knows?
My hope is to use the funds from The Hunters to be able to hire a male reader for the Clear Angel Chronicles and then I will read the female parts and he will do the male parts.
The awesome co-hosts for the April 6 posting of the IWSG are Joylene Nowell Butler, Jemima Pett, Patricia Josephine, Louise – Fundy Blue, and Kim Lajevardi!
Be sure to check out the other stops on this fun blog hop!
Until next time,
Keep Reading! 
Posted on 4 Comments

March 2022 Update and #IWSG Question

March 2022 Update and #IWSG Question

Hello Lovelies,

Can you believe it is already March? Well, February did not go as planned. There were a bunch of shifts for me at the day job and that cut down on my hours of availability. Mounting stress around the world, still struggling to recover from Covid, and my bathroom remodel finally finishing up really ate into my availability and I just cannot work 60 hour weeks anymore.

I took a week off the grind to mentally recover and re-evaluate. I realized in my current physical state I am very limited in what I can do and trying to force myself to push through that is doing more damage than good. Trying to focus on too many things means that I am not getting enough done in any one area and I can’t keep circling like this. So I have decided to scale back and focus on the top three things that are impacting my life, make major progress on those to set me up to bring the other elements in as I get stabilized.

So for the next bit my primary focus is going to be on my health, my family, and getting my PMP certification. I’ve accepted that I need to explore more aggressive means of dealing with my DDD and SS and am exploring a surgery that my doctor hopes will help. I have a consult on the 15th of this month but I suspect that it will take time to address this element of my life. Should know more at my next update.

The PMP certification is the thing I expect will be resolved most quickly, but even that is quite time-consuming. I have about 30 more hours of education needed and have to put together proof of my project hours. So I expect it will take me more than a month, even with it being my primary focus.

As for focusing on the family, my youngest is a senior and that is quite time-consuming, especially with his sports and performances. Add onto that, the demands my condition place on them and the stress quotient is really high. As hard as it has been for me to adjust to my new limited level or normal, it’s been really tough on them. They’re the ones left to cover what I can’t do. We are striving to find a balance, but that’s tough too because from day to day what I can handle varies greatly. So we’re constantly trying to adjust and adapt, which is mentally and physically exhausting. It has eaten into their self-care time and increased their stress levels, which really sucks.

So we’re working on ways to parallel work so they can help with parts of a task that are difficult for me, but they aren’t stuck doing it all. It’s a work in progress, but one that needs my attention before we all hit burnout. I’m really hoping the first two goals achieved will help alleviate a lot of the struggles around the third goal. Time will tell.

I will continue doing the IWSG posts each month- to keep myself accountable and to keep in touch, and will continue working on re-releasing my books (Just got contacted by the cover artist for The Hunters Saga and will be moving forward with that as time allows) but will likely be less active on social media and re-releasing old posts. As every good project manager knows, a project’s timeline is impacted by time, money, and resources. I don’t have enough of any of those right now.

 

#IWSG March Question of the Month

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!
Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post. And please be sure your avatar links back to your blog! Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.   
You ready?
Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

March 2 question – Have you ever been conflicted about writing a story or adding a scene to a story? How did you decide to write it or not?

Every single series. Actually, I debated for years whether to even write Hell School as it is very triggering for me, as it is based on my own experience with a stalker. When I run into these issues the first thing I ask myself is whether it is integral to the story. If yes, it gets written. If no, I ask is it integral to character development? Yes, write it. No, then I ask myself what is the purpose of this scene?
If it is just for shock or solely to elicit a response from the readers, I don’t write it. That’s not my voice.
The few scenes I was very nervous about writing, I got feedback from my betas on it. Most of them hated those scenes but also agreed that they added an important element to the story that would be lost without it. Ironically, those scenes are the ones that most often get mentioned in reviews too and most of them don’t say it should be taken out.
So my system seems to be working for me.  Want to see how others handle this?
The awesome co-hosts for the March 2 posting of the IWSG are Janet Alcorn, Pat Garcia, Natalie Aguirre, and Shannon Lawrence!

You can see the rest of the hop at IWSG Bloghop

Until next time,

Keep Writing!

Posted on 22 Comments

February 2022 Update and #IWSG Question

#IWSG Feb 2022 update and Question

Hello Lovelies,

Happy February. So glad to say that. January was a disaster! I got Covid the first of the month and was down in bed for almost 2 whole weeks. I am still struggling with a nasty cough and getting winded during random activities. It has also put me behind on my goals. But I keep trucking. I finally got my 2022 resolutions sorted after a lot of soul-searching. I created an aggressive schedule to get me back on track and while I have yet to maintain the schedule, I am definitely seeing a lot more progress towards goals. I began seriously tackling my PMP certification requirements, am on schedule to re-release Elements of a Broken Mind this month and hopefully will have Angel’s Dance ready end of Feb, early March for a big promotional push for the series in March. *fingers crossed*.

 

#IWSG February Question of the Month

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!
Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post. And please be sure your avatar links back to your blog! Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.   
You ready?
Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

February 2 question – Is there someone who supported or influenced you that perhaps isn’t around anymore? Anyone you miss?

After walking away in 2019, I lost touch with a lot of my network. I was hardly online, and did nothing with the book world for over a year. When I came back in 2020, I was focused on doing the work, not rebuilding relationships. And even with that, I struggled a lot. It wasn’t until late 2020 early 2021 that I started reaching out to rebuild relationships. I was shocked to find so many reviewers and authors who also hit burnout and walked away in a similar time frame.

And as I work to republish my books, I find more and more to miss. One of my earliest connections was a book reviewer named Justin. He seems to have walked away from his book blog and his GoodReads librarian work. I’m sad.

Amanda Baily, who founded OWS, seems not to be doing much with her writing and that is a shame. She still is passionately sharing memes about reading and creating, but is too focused on a day job to pursue re-publishing her works. Which is a shame as she was a very gifted writer.

Joshua Robertson and his wife Diane both walked away from writing as well, again a huge shame as both are extremely talented fantasy writers. Though, I see teasings of both maybe exploring coming back or at least promoting their current publications and this makes me so happy!

While Rebekah Jonesy and Isa McLaren, who were on the board with my at OWS, have started their own publishing house and are releasing books like crazy, I haven’t been able to really reconnect with them and I miss the good times working together via video chat.

Angela Chrysler and Timothy Bateson, who were amazing connections I made through B2B CyCon also seem to have left the book world.

There are so many more who’ve gone on to other things and it makes me sad. But at the same time, I am grateful for the good times we had. Grateful for the ways that they inspired me to keep going on my journey, and hopefully I was able to inspire them too.

The reality is that whether you are reviewing or publishing, the book world is very transitory. We are all seeking a connection and often looking for monetary goals as well (as anyone in business should do, nothing wrong with that.) but when we don’t hit those goals, many move on to other things.

This is why it is so important to support creatives- whether it be book reviewers, authors, or other creatives. Buy from those you can, but even just a comment on a video, or a blog post, lets us know you care. The internet gives us a great opportunity to reach so many but it also is a massive sea that we can easily feel adrift upon. For many, we are working full-time jobs and pursuing our passion, that life imbalance is a recipe for burnout!

So please, let us know you care with a like, a comment, a purchase. Help us keep providing for you by letting us know you appreciate us.

And don’t forget to check out the awesome co-hosts for the February 2 posting of the IWSG are Joylene Nowell Butler,Jacqui Murray,Sandra Cox, and Lee Lowery!

You can see the rest of the hop at IWSG Bloghop

Until next time,

Keep Writing!

Posted on 4 Comments

January Update and #IWSG Question

What's the one thing about your writing career you regret the most? Were you able to overcome it?

Hello Lovelies,

Happy New Year! 2021 was brutal for me, especially at the end and I missed for the first year in many, many years, doing my New Year’s resolution planning. (Imagine my surprise when looking at my analytics to see my Dreammaker Challenge coming up at the top of my analytics this last week!) My husband and I had all last week off and spent a lot of it reflecting and kind of discussing goals but nothing like my normal planning. So I will be working on that this month. (Better late than never.) As part of that process, I have been really reflecting on what I want in life and where I’m going.

Heidi Angell January Update

I think part of my struggle is that I have sort of been in an existential crisis of sorts since 2019. My career goals are hard to set because since 2019 I have been torn on where I’m going. As for personal goals, my health has been a top priority but despite joining several health and wellness programs, that continues to decline. As a couple, my husband and I have already achieved a lot of our “dreams” and are trying to figure out our next 5, 10, 15 year vision. It is really hard to set goals when you don’t know what you want that big picture to look like.

And that is a perfect segue into this month’s IWSG prompt.

January #IWSG Prompt

For those not familiar with the Insecure Writers Support group, here’s a quick recap:
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!
Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post. And please be sure your avatar links back to your blog! Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.
You ready?
Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!
This month’s optional question:

What’s the one thing about your writing career you regret the most? Were you able to overcome it?

I think most of you know my greatest regret is wrapped up in OWS Ink, but I really reflected on this hard last week as part of my trying to figure out what I am doing with life in general. My regret was definitely not in joining OWS because I really needed to be part of a collective at that time. I think I would’ve hit burnout and walked away from the writing world far earlier if I had continued plugging along on my own. There were other things in my personal life causing chaos and without people who needed me to show up, I probably would’ve walked away a lot sooner. My frustration definitely is around how it all collapsed and where that left me. I still have not recovered and part of that recovery is tied to that existential crisis I mentioned above.

Last week I watched in 20 books to 50K as author after author posted their 2021 wins and goals for 2022. There is a part of me that resented so many posting over 100K incomes with only 3-5 years experience and another part of me that wanted to slap myself for those negative feelings. Even in my hay day, I never broke through the 6 figure barrier, and now I cannot even manage to re-release all my books and courses, let alone do the kind of rapid release that some of these people are doing.

And with those negative feelings in place, I struggle to commit to re-releasing my courses. Especially as more and more authors are also offering courses.

As I continue to try to land a good job in marketing, I find myself questioning my marketing skills. I am currently working in sales and know this is not a career path for me, but I feel stuck and don’t know where else to turn.

Hence the existential crisis.

So I guess the short answer to the “have you recovered from it” is…. not yet.

But I will keep soul searching and keep working towards goals. I am taking my time with plotting my future because I cannot keep in this stuck holding pattern. This overachiever is feeling very broken from not being able to achieve anything this last year and of course, that is a vicious cycle that I do not want to repeat for 2022.

Thank you for letting me be very vulnerable with you and share this deep struggle.

The awesome co-hosts for the January 5 posting of the IWSG are Erika Beebe, Olga Godim, Sandra Cox, Sarah Foster, and Chemist Ken!

Be sure to check out the other awesome posts on the Blog Hop
And until next time,
Keep Reading!
Posted on 5 Comments

November Update and #IWSG Question

What's harder?
Hello Lovelies,
Man alive, October Frights was a blast and it got me creating new fiction again. I LOVED it.
So, to keep in the spirit, I decided to do NaNoWriMo this year. It’s been a hot minute. But some of my best works came out of NaNo and it’s great for keeping me motivated with that collective word count goal. I need that motivation! If you’re participating in NaNo, feel free to follow me!
I am working on the 3rd book in The Hunters Saga, The Counsel, for NaNoWriMo, as well as working to get the first books re-launched under my own umbrella.
Combine that with prepping for holidays, and reconstruction from a bathroom leak, November is shaping up to be a CRAZY busy month. Definitely need the motivation vibes from everyone!
On to the main event!

#IWSG November Prompt

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!
Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post. And please be sure your avatar links back to your blog! Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.
You ready?
Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

This month’s optional question:


What’s Harder to do, Coming up with Your Book Title or Writing the Blurb?

Honestly, I am the worst at titles. I either tend to go too esoteric (Elements of a Broken Mind) or too basic (The Hunters) and trying to match for genre is just…. ugh.
The blurb, I actually find a lot easier. I get more words! Lol.
But, I also am lucky to have built up a pretty awesome community and with both, I always shop them in Author Anon and after getting their feedback and tweaking, I shop them in my reader support group Heidi Angell’s Geek Street Squad. I used to use other groups to shop but found that the feedback often conflicted and was so divorced from who I am as a writer, my brand, and my audience. So now I just stick to these two groups. If you are an author who would like help shopping your titles, blurbs, covers, marketing content etc. I welcome you to join Author Anon. If you love my work, come join The Geek Street Squad!

Thank you to the awesome co-hosts for the November 3 posting of the IWSG, Kim Lajevardi, Victoria Marie Lees, Joylene Nowell Butler, Erika Beebe, and Lee Lowery!

Be sure to check out the other awesome posts on the Blog Hop
And until next time,
Keep Reading!