I won’t share everything I wrote this year for my class with Julie Hedlund – it’s too long! Instead I’m sharing the parts I posted in our private Facebook Group. It all started with surprises. I had 20, but these are my top 4. SURPRISES:
1. I discovered a month before self-publishing that Neil Armstrong's name and image are trademarked. OOPS!
2. Within a day or two I had a few friends who helped me figure out what to do. It took a month, but 17 days after my original book birthday, Neil was published
3. The best 2-fer ever - The day I watched my daughter get married. That night I saw the sonogram of my first grandchild
4. Best of all, here's one of first photo ops. Look at all that hair!
It’s great to look back at 2019. I had 34 successes, more than 2018, but I’m only sharing the Fab Five.
1. I self-published my debut chapter book, NEIL ARMSTRONG’S WIND TUNNEL DREAM.
2. Neil was ranked #4 on Amazon over Christmas. He’s #8 today, but he’s still on page one in those all-important search results. ‘I am over the moon!’
3. I'm on track to self-publish my debut picture book, LAKE FUN FOR YOU AND ME in May.
4. I have a debut group and a May 20th interview already scheduled for the lake book.
5. Best of all, I've been a grandma for almost a month! 2019 was a very good year!
Disappointments, Judgements, The Truth, Learning, and Action Plan
I wasn’t going to share this with the private group, but confession is good for the soul, so I did, and I’ll share them with you too. I wrote five, the number Julie recommended. This disappointment encompasses elements of the five I put down.
DISAPPOINTMENT - I’m not getting enough done – writing, marketing, using my blog, etc.
MY BIG FAT JUDGEMENT - I don’t push myself hard enough or use my time well enough. URGH! There’s always more to do – no matter how hard I work.
MY HEART KNOWS/THE TRUTH - I’m learning as I go. I do as much in a day as possible. There is no more than my best.
LEARNING - In 2019 I learned how to target an area and stick with it. In 2020 I need to extend this to the business side of writing.
MY ACTION PLAN - Each Sunday I’ll target one piece to write during the week, one place/thing to market, and one way to grow my blog. The next Sunday will find me reviewing, re-targeting, re-engaging, and repeating,
I wrote last about disappointments, but this section is a real morale booster. Every year it makes me realize how blessed I am.
I found 23 things to be grateful for last year, more than 2018. They’re mostly people, ranging from my family and friends to the writing community. They also include you, the people who read my blog or bought my book. I’m grateful to all of you.
Last year I picked “Know When to . . .” from Kenny Rogers’ song, “The Gambler.” This year my word is balance. Sorry, no song, but balance is something I’ve always struggled with.
I tend to put more time into work than anything else, especially when I was teaching. My father was a principal, and I was a daddy’s girl so I put my heart and soul into teaching. It got trickier when I married and had a family. Now as a writer, I want to balance work with family and fun. Here’s to this year’s adventure with balance.
Writing Prompt for this Year: During a visit to the library, a book flies off a shelf and bonks you in the head. What book is it, and what happens next?
I searched the shelves for the new book about Elizabeth I.
Thud! Thud! Thud! I turned and stared. Three books encircled my feet. I’d read two – The Royal Diaries Elizabeth, Tangled in Time, and the new one, The Heretic Heir. (YA title)
Tangled opened and whispered, “You’ve been reading about our girl since you were little. Now, write about her.”
My head spun. I stumbled, sat on the floor and held my head in my hands. “Me? I’d love to, but which one? The toddler who lost her mother. The girl who watched her stepmothers disappear. The imprisoned princess. Which!”
The book answered, “Read us again. Open your imagination, and you’ll find your story.”
I nodded, picked up the books, and checked them out.
I already have a chapter book idea, for Elizabeth. It came to me like magic!
When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!