Here I am again, doing exactly what I said I wouldn't - disappearing into the realm of reality. I know, how dare I. Just when I was making amazing progress, life had to kick me in the arse. Isn't that just typical?
To recap what has happened over the past few months, I ended up running into some health issues. Luckily it turned out to be nothing major, but I never want to be in the position where I am faced with my mortality at such a young age (I'm only 31!) ever again. For a few months, I was teetering on the "is this cancer" edge only to come out on the fortunate side of the results. I was lucky where far too many are not, and there's no guarantee I'll always be cancer-free. At this point, I'll take what I can get.
At this point, I'm focusing on moving forward. I've got a lot on my plate, but with some hard work, dedication, and intense scheduling, I have faith that I can get back on track with my health and everything else I've got going on. So where do I go from here?
I think that's the million dollar question. Where do I go from here? First, I will be setting deadlines for my next two books to be released in the next three to four months. I am sending out for cover art and some additional ads before the end of this month as well as finishing the rough draft on at least one of the two. You should see Thea's Reawakening and Falling Undercover come out before the end of the summer!
So where does that leave Legacy of Secrets?? While it is still unfinished, it is coming along. Blood Promise will be my third release this year, likely this fall, and I will then be aiming at beginning Shattered Secrets. I'm not going to lie, I'm not sure if Shattered Secrets will be the end of the series for good, but it will be where the story will end for now. Their world exists within mine, so you never know when they'll decide to tell me more tales.
Lastly, I have to work on my long awaited science fiction novel. This Stephen King meets M Night Shyamalan lol. Ruination will be an epic tale and equally exciting and terrifying. It's going on be one of those books that I will have nightmares while writing, but it will be absolutely worth it, in the end. I'm hoping to release Shattered Secrets and Ruination next year as they are both large projects. I might have a few smaller works here or there, but only time will tell!
I'm working on my online presence and social media posts. Look out for more updates on Instagram as it is the easiest platform to "see" me these days. Keep an eye open for regular stories and exclusives only on IG. If you don't follow me, you should be!
Check ya next time!
So many authors I know or come in contact with have somehow managed to skyrocket themselves to the bestseller lists of various publications or organizations. I think it's great to see traditionally published and independently published authors on the charts, but I can't help asking myself what they are doing to get there!
The only books I've published are Legacy of Secrets and that has hurt me, to a degree. As an independent author, I've heard that the more book we put out, the better off we're going to be with rankings, etc. The problem is, how am I supposed to put out quality work on a regular basis? And how regular is regular, anyway? Wouldn't it make more sense for me to release fewer works that are quality versus quantity? I just don't get it!!
I think we independent authors get so caught up in how to get ahead and stay there, we lose our spark. We didn't start writing to compete with algorithms, we started writing to tell our stories and live out our dream as published authors. How do we break the cycle?
Short answer: I haven't a clue! I wish I could say I wasn't one of the authors who've been rank-obsessed, but I'd be lying. It's hard not to watch your ranks at any given point throughout the day, week, month, etc. When we're responsible for our own marketing, we want to see if any of it is working and rankings are the fastest way. So how to we measure our success?
This one, I can answer. Your true success isn't measured by your rankings or sales, but rather by the act of publishing in the first place. By living your dream, you already are successful! Does it mean you're the most successful you'll ever be? No, but it means you have done something a lot of people haven't - made one of your dreams come true.
So, while I'd love to be in the bestsellers lists and top rankings, I am at least happy with the fact that I'm doing my best to fully realize my dream by continue the journey. There's no telling what I can achieve if I don't stick with it and push myself out of my comfort zone. It's all about the joy of telling the tale, and I do enjoy it!
Until next time!!
At some point in your life, there's something that causes a spark throughout your body; something that literally sets your soul on fire. No matter how big or small, you can't stop thinking about it and you want nothing more than to experience that spark again and again.
So what is it? For me, it was the first time I picked up a pencil, when I was seven, and was given free reign to create a story that was my own. I didn't have a guideline or any rules, it was just mine. It was from that story everyone realized I had a knack for life's issues and could create a completely fictitious story rooted in reality with dynamic characters and conflict. It was at that moment, I became a writer.
The rest of my school career, I took to poetry, even having many published in anthologies. It was surreal that anyone could see something I created in such a massive way. My dream was to write and publish and be seen as the type of rock star Shakespeare once was! I mean, who wouldn't want that?
But, as with any dream, making it a reality is one of the hardest things you'll ever have to do. Where most people fail is putting the work in to make their dreams come true. The journey is different for everyone, but the payoff is worth it. The key is keeping your goals in sight and not letting failure dampen your spirits because YOU WILL FAIL a few times before you get it right. It's inevitable and absolutely necessary.
In my case, I've bounced around a few places before finding a home for my books. I still self-publish, but I do so with a platform that allows me to focus on the important part, like writing the book, and not so much on formatting, etc. Granted, I still have to market and find covers and what not, but I control the markets, money, and all the rights to my work. Would I love a deal with a traditional publisher? Um, yeah!! The reality of that happening is almost nil seeing as though I don't have an agent and almost all of the major companies don't take unsolicited work. So, self-publishing is where it's at for me.
My dream is not even close to being accomplished yet, but that's okay. I knew it was never going to be an overnight thing. What's important is that I'm working, every day, to do something to work towards my goals. Tonight, it's a blog. Tomorrow, it's hitting a certain word count. The day after, it's another word count and so on.
The bottom line - never give up! Keep pushing yourself and don't be afraid to take reasonable risks. It's never too late to go for your dreams, but you must be ready to commit to yourself and whatever it takes to get you there. What's the worst that can happen?
'till next time!
At some point, you begin to realize things about yourself. You notice that you always put your shoes on the same way or you follow the exact same routine without deviation every day. Or maybe you feel like you're missing something if you decided to skip stopping for coffee or breakfast. Some people, more severely, literally cannot function without doing certain things a certain way. At what point are you actually a prisoner of your own mind?
For me, it is almost relentless fear that something is severely medically wrong with me. I end up stressing myself out so bad that I literally manifest the very symptoms I'm petrified of and the cycle repeats over and over. It's terrifying and exhausting. Every little ache or pain means something shockingly severe is wrong with me and I panic. I know it's irrational and completely unfounded, but that doesn't mean the monster in my head is going to just go away. No, it just yells louder.
My monster is anxiety and it can be relentless. Most of the time, I am perfectly fine aside from boughts of insimnia here or there. Other times, I have trouble focusing or staying awake. I may obsess over things like symptoms of illnesses I almost certainly don't have, but swear that I do. I also get increasingly worried about my husband hating me or wishing I was better, prettier, thinner, and pretty much everything I'm not. I can be short-tempered or easily upset and could cry about anything. Those are the worst days - days I wish I didn't have to ever endure again.
How do I deal? Sometimes, not very well. I'm horrible at self-care. Having three kids and a husband and a full time job doesn't leave me too much time for, well, me. At any point, I am pulled in a million different directions and will gladly triple the load for those I love because that's the kind of person I am, but it's so unhealthly and slowly eats away at my mental health. We all need to recharge and I am trying to find my way.
Why do I bring any of this up? Simply because this is my outlet. This is my distraction and part of my self-care. Writing and reading are just things I need to do. I calm down, I rationalize, I imagine constructively, I give my mind something to do that isn't abusive to my well-being. Most of the time. This isn't an exact science, after all.
If you struggle with a mental illness, don't be afraid to put yourself first. Tell your loved ones what you need. Tell your doctors what you need. If they won't listen, find a different doctor until you find one who will. You know yourself better than anyone so you better fight every single day to make your time on this earth exactly what it needs to be, happy, healthy, and full of love, because you deserve it. Don't let anyone dismiss you and know that there is always someone who loves you and will fight along side you.
ALWAYS KEEP FIGHTING
NEVER GIVE UP
YOU ARE WORTH IT
....and so am I
IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS STRUGGLING AND NEEDS HELP, PLEASE CONTACT THE NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION HOTLINE AT 1-800-273-8255 OR GO ONLINE TO HTTPS://SUICIDEPREVENTIONHOTLINE.ORG. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
So there's this on the web, I'm not sure if you've heard of it, called Wattpad. This particular website is a place where readers and writers can engage, similar to other social media outlets. What makes Wattpad unique is that you can reach your audience and get feedback before self-publishing or pitching your title to a traditional publisher. What's pretty amazing about the site are the authors who've received publishing contracts due to their popularity there alone. It's definitely an untapped resource!
Now, as an author, it's a bit painful to put work into something and have it available to be read for free, but honestly, we give away so many copies of our work a year, it's really no different. I mean, the whole goal is to grow in your skills and your audience and Wattpad offers that option. But just like anything else, it takes work and dedication. Nothing ever happens over night.
The reason I bring up Wattpad is because I'm going to start posting short stories and other projects there every other week, at least. I have a ton of ideas for projects, but most of them are just for fun or to help spark my imagination. I feel having these works in a place where they might bring some of you joy makes the most sense. While I think all of us budding authors have dreams of one day hitting it big, I write because I love it, not because I want to get rich.
The content I have on there is old right now, but I will be updating it soon so keep an eye out for that post. Hopefully, I'll get a good anthology of short stories going and I'll publish it once I feel I've done enough damage!
Click the link below to jump to my Wattpad profile to read my work and follow me!!
I'm a writer, a mother, a wife, a friend, a sister, and a daughter. My journey as a published author is in full swing and I'm inviting all my friends along for the ride!