The Two Worlds is Live!

Did you have a Happy Thanksgiving? I can't believe we're in the holiday season already. Christmas songs are already playing on the radio, yikes!

The Two Worlds went live on November 23rd as planned, despite me being very sick (stupid head cold) and moving to a new place. Talk about dedication!

Now that The Two Worlds is out in the real world, I can focus the majority of my attentions to my next paranormal romance. I'm super excited! It was tough choosing between the second installment of The Two Worlds or a new story all together. But I think after working on my first novella for almost seven years (yes, you read that right), it's time for me to try my hand at a novel.

For those who have published a novel or novella already, how hard was it for you to start your second book?


The Two Worlds is almost live! It'll hit an Amazon shelf near you on Nov. 23!
Now that I'm 99.9% done with this book, I find myself thinking about writing another one. But, I'm having a hard time getting motivated. I already have two chapters written for a paranormal romance book that I'm interested in finishing.  It's such hard work!
I think I'll start working on a book after we move to our new apartment December 1st. So, I'll start getting down and dirty December 3rd.
Part of my hesitation is being unsure whether the road for the next book will be as rough as The Two Worlds. I had to learn as I went, and it sucked. Sorry other newbie writers, no sugar coating here! I tore my hair out trying to get that story out and had to grow up along the way a bit.
Now that I know how to outline, edit, and submit for beta reading, I feel slightly more confident. But the act of writing still terrifies me a little bit.
I think my best bet will be to just not think about it too much and just do it. Que sera, sera, right?

Balancing Writing and Living

"I believe that being successful means having a balance of success stories across the many areas of your life. You can't truly be considered successful in your business life if your home life is in shambles."-Zig Ziglar

Over the last few years I've matured quite a bit. This isn't to say I don't have a lot more growing up to do (because I do, trust me!!). But I'm learning what it means to actually LIVE life. I mentioned in the previous post that I was only sticking to two goals for 2013 so I wouldn't stress myself out. Let me explain that decision:
When I decided to take writing seriously a few years ago, I was more focused on blogging. Everywhere you looked, there were posts and articles about the "secrets of successful bloggers". I had been blogging successfully already since 2005, but when 2009 came rolling around, I threw out all of my knowledge from experience and started focusing on making money from blogging based on what the experts were saying. From there, I also started focusing on writing for money as well.
Big mistake.
In my experience, any time you take a creative thing that you love and try to force it to make a profit (painting, music, writing, etc.), it's going to backfire. In one of my favorite books, Boss Lady by OmarTyree, his main character Tracey reminisces, 'And those who create for the love of ART are CONSISTENTLY getting better, but those who create for the love of money...those guys are forever getting worse.'
I had to learn that the hard way.
I threw out passion and went with writing what sold. I started cooking/lifestyle blogs even though I had nothing to say about those topics. I tried writing personal finance, even though I was still trying to fine tune my own personal finance. I tried freelance writing but  I wasn't committed enough. Each time I failed and became more discouraged. But much like dieting, instead of taking a step back and reevaluating why I was failing, I just blindly jumped back on the bandwagon and hoped the next time would be different.
It wasn't.
I was stressed and stretched too thin. On top of being 1000% focused on different writing goals, I was also trying to get healthier and have more of a social/personal life. Needless to say, I was failing in those arenas too.
The situation reached a boiling point when I stopped writing a few months ago. I stopped working on The Two Worlds, stopped blogging, stopped writing articles. I was sick of writing and was seriously thinking of giving it up. What was the point? I was beginning to hate the whole act of creating.
That mental break was the best thing that I could have done, whether I knew it at the time or not. It gave me time to recharge my batteries and think long and hard about what I wanted to do with myself. I toyed with other career venues (such as being an archivist), but kept coming back to writing fiction. And so, I decided to pick back up my pen and get to writing characters the way I wanted to, not the way the experts were telling me.
I'm still learning, of course. Writing faster and more efficiently, editing with more accuracy, and marketing are all areas that need improvement. But I'm not killing myself to get there. That comes with time, not a hundred goals per month.
This new attitude has just recently spilled over into other aspects of my life--such as working out (I was trying to go from having two knee injuries to running in a race within a very short time and it wasn't working) and my personal finances (I'm 25 years old, not going to be a millionaire anytime soon!).
I'm just trying to live for life, not for goals or to-do lists. And this type of thinking is inspiring me in more ways that I ever would have imagined.

Goals for 2013

I love numbers. Seriously. If I wasn't so interested in writing, I would be in banking. As a matter of fact, my first job out of college was in insurance. In a year's time, I was promoted twice and federally licensed to sell annuity products and insurance.

I also love goals. Anything that will push me towards a successful future is right up my alley! Which is why every year, I sit down and write out my career goals for the next year. Some years I'm successful, other years I'm not.

For 2013, I'm sticking to my earlier resolve and not over-extending myself.  I decided my goals are:

1) To write one book (or novella)
2) To post to this blog twice a month

Very, very low key goals for myself. Usually I have a five page plan with charts, market research and LOTS of numbers, but I'm wanting to keep my stress down in 2013. (More on that later...)

I figure if I have easy goals, I will still feel challenged enough (writing a book is not easy after all) but able to accomplish my goal.  It's the basic idea behind S.M.A.R.T. goals.

What about you? What are your writing or personal goals for 2013?

November is Upon Us!

NaNoWrimo is upon us and despite all of my excitement, I decided not to participate. I was a bit disappointed, but also very relieved. I have so many things going on in my non-writing life, I felt like it would be a disservice to The Two Worlds and myself to focus on yet another project before my current ones were wrapped up.

That being said, The Two Worlds is scheduled for release on November 23! I'm so excited! Things that are on the to-do list are:

-Amp up my marketing. I really want my friends, family and followers to know about my debut release! My goals are to create a Facebook page, and finalize my Amazon author page.

-Throw a debut celebration! It's right around Thanksgiving and I'm already planning on spending it with friends. So the timing is perfect, I just need to finalize a few details...

-Interact with more bloggers and writers. I'm thinking of taking a few weeks off to recharge my batteries before starting the second installment of The Two Worlds (or my first romance novel, not sure yet). It would be nice to catch up on my reading and interact with other fabulous bloggers.

For those that are participating in NaNoWriMo 2012, good luck!