Pacing Yourself

Wednesday, September 5, 2018 1 comment

One of the biggest things I've learned from my writing career is to learn how to pace myself. Everyone works at different speeds and has different circumstances, and even those things change over time. For some they are working at a comfortable and manageable pace, but for others it can be stressful and even overwhelming.

If you fall into the latter category, it might be a good time to step back and consider why this is happening. Has it been happening for years or months? Was it happening when you started your career or did it change over time?

Try to pinpoint the moment or maybe the month it began. Did you decide to take on more work? Double your daily word count? Accept more responsibility like beta reading? Or did you have a real life change like marriage or divorce or having a baby?

It doesn't have to be anything big necessarily, even small changes to our routine can throw off our pace. Usually we can find a way to adapt, but maybe we were unable to go back to the way things used to be. It's not uncommon for people to expect things to fall into place. However, that's not always how life works.

Take for example the daily word count. When I was writing after publishing my debut novel under my real name, I set easy to reach goals for myself. If I wanted to publish by a certain time, I had to determine how many words I could reasonably handle to write daily or every other day to reach that goal. For my last two full-length books, I had a personal aim of 500-1000 words per writing session with the ultimate goal of at least 15,000 words per month. It worked out well for me back then. It doesn't now.

What changed? My life did. I went from a single go-getter author to a girlfriend, then fiancee, and now wife. Of course I don't regret falling in love, but it did interrupt the pace I had prior.

I fell out of my routine because of my new life with my now husband. Attempts were made to write off and on, but the time I had available was more and more limited. Eventually I was so out of practice that when I did have time to sit and write, my skills were beginning to slip into old habits of poor structure and stilted dialogue. It became extremely frustrating and caused me to dread sitting down to write because even if I could somehow manage to write 500 words, they would likely be deleted the following day. Since I wasn't able to keep a steady flow of words going, I couldn't have a steady release rate of actual books either, which added to my initial frustration.

In recent months I've had to step back and evaluate what I want and how I can achieve it. And the most necessary thing for me was to learn how to pace myself. Can I write 500 words a day? Maybe, but I don't force it if it's not happening. I give myself a pat on the back for getting 100 new words because those are 100 more than yesterday and I'm extremely proud of that fact. I've also taken a look at other aspects to my writing career: social media, author bio, ebook content, etc. There have been things I've put off for weeks/months/years that I can set aside a block of time to accomplish. They may not be words for a book, but they are still necessary parts of the whole picture as an author.

The same can be done for you. Can't write 1000 words a day like you used to? Aim a bit lower for a week with 500 per day, or do 800 a day on weekdays and take weekends off to regroup. Figure out the pace you can handle right now and work your way up to more at a later date. Have you been slacking on your social media accounts? Take half an hour once a week to schedule posts for the following week.

It's all about learning what you can and can't do at this moment, and also how to adjust your routine and free time to accomplish your goals easier. It may take some time to figure it all out, but it's worth it to prevent burnout or even possibly quitting entirely. Take a moment to consider where you're at and what you can manage right now.

Today may be a 100 word day, tomorrow could be 500, but no matter what, take care of you. Being stressed and overwhelmed isn't a good combination and can inhibit productivity. Pace yourself. Take your time. Learning to adapt to changes can help your career be the success you want it to be.

| Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads |
| Instagram | Lilly's Lovelies |
| Subscribe to my Newsletter |

Why I Pulled My Books From Kindle Unlimited

Friday, July 27, 2018 No comments

If you follow me on social media or are a member of my reader group on Facebook, you'll have heard about me pulling my books out of Kindle Unlimited.

You may or may not remember me saying that the time before this one would be the last KU attempt... and I honestly thought it would be! I don't even know what possessed me to do it again when I knew it wouldn't be worth it, but this time? I really truly am done with KU. All of my currently published books won't go back in KU again.

The main reason why I pulled them is that in the long run it isn't worth it. My page reads did increase after I ran a couple 99 cent and free sales, which was pretty awesome, but it wasn't enough.

Also, I had to factor in the page stuffer issue. If you haven't heard about that, here's a good article to get the lowdown on it. Fortunately, Amazon has been cracking down on this. I read about several well-known page stuffing authors having their books pulled. So, I'm grateful Amazon has been willing to fix this for the KU authors who follow the rules.

Even with page stuffers gone, it's still not entirely worth utilizing KU for me. Having my books wide feels like the right thing to do.

As of right now, only four of my books are out of KU and wide again. Two of them (Here All Along and More Than Words) are still in until next month because that's when their exclusivity with Amazon ends. I'll be doing something special with those two books in the near future, so be on the lookout for an update next month.

Thanks for reading!

| Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads |
| Instagram | Lilly's Lovelies |
| Subscribe to my Newsletter |

When life gives you oranges...

Friday, May 11, 2018 No comments
We all know the phrase "When life gives you lemons,  make lemonade", but life doesn't always give you lemons. Sometimes it gives you oranges. "Is that a bad thing?" you may ask. And, no, it isn't a bad thing if you don't mind having orange juice. But if you wanted lemonade then, well, you're outta luck.

What's the point of this analogy?


It's no secret that the last two and a half years have been a struggle for me when it comes to writing. My last official published book was Can't Stay Away on February 29th 2016 (I'm not counting the poetry book I published under my married name or the re-release of Here All Along with bonus epilogue). Back then I didn't expect it to take long to get a new book released. I thought I'd have a new one out by summer or fall 2016. When that didn't happen, I figured I'd get something out in 2017. And when that didn't happen, I had high hopes that I could publish in early 2018.

Then that didn't happen either.


Life wasn't handing me lemons like it used to. It was handing me oranges. Limes. Grapefruit. Things that were still good, but just weren't what I needed.

What does this all mean?


After a great deal of soul searching and talking things over with a couple friends, I've come to the decision to go on hiatus for a few months. What kind of hiatus? I'll be taking a step back from the professional aspect of my writing: no planned releases, no deadlines, no publishing.

For the last two years I've been talking about what I'm working on and what I'm planning on publishing next. And every single one of these stories I've mentioned hasn't come close to getting published. It's frustrating to me that I haven't been able to follow through, but I'm sure it's even more frustrating to my readers who have been anxiously awaiting a new story from me. I don't want to be one of those authors who makes release promises they can't keep.

As of right now, I'm taking a breather. I need to get everything about my author career sorted as well as new stories written. I have to do it at my own pace, without any pressure of completing anything by a self imposed deadline that I might not meet. I don't want to fall into a habit of rushing the process and publishing something that isn't good quality.


How long will this hiatus last?



At the very least I'll be taking the summer off, but there's a good chance I'll take the fall off as well. It all depends on how the first few months go and how much I'm able to handle and accomplish.

I'll still be around of course! On Facebook, in my FB group, on Twitter, and Instagram (see links in my signature below to follow), as well as a possible blog post when inspiration happens. I don't want to just seem like I've fallen off the face of the earth. So, follow me everywhere and stay in touch. As soon as I have things back on track, you better believe I'll let you all know.


Thank you so much for reading, for listening, and for being awesome! Love you!



| Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads |
| Instagram | Lilly's Lovelies |
| Subscribe to my Newsletter |

Shaded With Love Volume Five Coloring Book is LIVE

Friday, March 16, 2018 No comments


I'm in the latest Shaded With Love coloring book and it's now available for purchase!

US: http://amzn.to/2FSLsiO
UK: http://amzn.to/2HvQcrA
 

Thank you for your support of Shaded with Love: Coloring Books for a Cause! 100% of proceeds from this volume will be directly donated to RAINN - The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. RAINN is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE, online.rainn.org) in partnership with more than 1,000 local sexual assault service providers across the country and operates the DoD Safe Helpline for the Department of Defense. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help survivors, and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice. For more information visit www.rainn.org.

If you would like more information about Shaded with Love Coloring Books, or if you want information on participating in an upcoming volume, please visit us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/shadedwithlove/ Participants included in this volume are all a part of the indie book industry. I hope you enjoy coloring their pages, and further hope you find some new amazing authors, blogs, editors and companies to check out!

Participants: 2 One-Click Addicts A Page to Turn Reviews Amanda Leigh Amber Addison Amber Lacie Amelia Wilde Andrea Johnston Ashlynn Monroe Barb Shuler Betty Shreffler Blooming Books Brandi Aga Bree Dahlia C.J. Lazar Cassie Graham Cayce Poponea Chelle C. Craze Cheryl McMahan Cora Kenborn D. M. Earl Dani René Danielle Wright Darlene Tallman Deneale K. Williams Diana Marie DuBois Dirty Fairytales DL Gallie Dylan Allen Dyllan J. Erikson Eden Rose Elizabeth York H.M. Sholander Harloe Rae Jack Jameson Jaime Russell Jas T. Ward Jennifer Vester Jiffy Kate Jo-Anne Joseph Jordan Bates K. Renee Kaitlyn Ashley Kathleen Kelly Kathryn Kelly Kay Maree KC Enders Kelsey Elise Sparrow Kenzie Rose Kim Deister Kristie Leigh L.A. Ozz Lane Martin Lauren Firminger Leddy Harper Lexi C. Foss Lilly Avalon Lisa Shelby Little Shop of Readers LK Farlow M.A. Foster M.C. Webb M.E. Carter M.R. Leahy Mareta L. Miller Martina Marie Michele Shriver Mila Waters Misha Elliott Mitzi Carroll Nicky Fox Nicole Banks Nikki Ash Phoebe Alexander Reading After Dark Reagan Hollow Rebecca Gallo Renee Dyer Roux Cantrell S. Van Horne S.N. Garza Samantha A. Cole Scott Hildreth Socially Awkward Book Nerd Steffy Rogers Susan's Books I Like Sylvie Stewart Taryn Steele The Bookworm Box Tracie Douglas Tracy Millosovich V.P. Ortiz Verlene Landon Vicki Green Vivian Wood Xana Jordan


HAPPY COLORING!

| Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram |
| Subscribe to my Newsletter | Lilly's Lovelies |

Here All Along Bonus Epilogue, Shiny New Cover, AND Giveaway!

Thursday, February 15, 2018 2 comments

Hello lovelies!

I haven't shared a blog post in A WHILE and I feel bad about that because I had every intention of posting at least a couple/few times a month. I've been fairly busy since the start of 2018. But I'm here! And I'm excited to share with you the Here All Along re-release!

I designed a new cover and wrote a bonus epilogue to share around the FOUR YEAR anniversary of Here All Along. I originally wanted to write a whole sequel for Adrian and Hazel, but it wasn't happening. The furthest I could get was, you guessed it, this epilogue. I read over it not long ago and knew I needed to add it to this book for everyone to read. So I revised and edited it and here we are!


Every time Hazel Bell goes on a date, she returns home unhappy and disenchanted about love. At least her best friend Adrian Williams is always there for her, even more so now that they're roommates. After both of them have a bad night out, they decide to just relax and forget the world for awhile. It's been a long time since they've been alone together. They certainly weren't counting on the close quarters bringing out hidden desires. Now it appears their platonic friendship is being put to the test—one that neither can resist.

By the end of the night, will it be the end for Hazel and Adrian—or a new beginning?



Also, good news: Here All Along will be made into paperback in the near future! I have the inside part formatted and just need to get the full-wrap cover done. Once I have that, it'll be available for purchase. :)

Giveaway

A new cover and bonus epilogue deserves a giveaway, right??? At least I think it does. So, to celebrate the re-release, I'm giving away a special Valentine's themed gift (featuring a Valentine's box, scarf, socks, and chocolates) and Here All Along swag! This giveaway is US only, but there is a secondary giveaway of Here All Along swag for international entrants.


a Rafflecopter giveaway