Tag Archives: #amwriting #amblogging #amlearning

I’m a #Badass…who knew?

A few weeks ago I started reading this book: You are a Badass ( How to Stop Doubting your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life). I’ll admit this freely: the reason I bought the book when I saw it in Target is because I liked the cover. Something about the color and the graphics screamed  “Buy me!” at me.

Anyway…

The book is good. Really good. There are so many personal takeaways from each chapter that I could–literally–write a book about them! One of them I want to focus on today that spoke recently to me is the reason for this blog post.

Chapter 6 is titled Love the One You Is, and it centers around loving who and what you are and not comparing yourself to others. As a writer, I struggle with this concept daily. I am always obsessing that I am less than every single other writer. Less of a writer than Nora Roberts. Or Jill Shalvis. Or Sandra Brown. I will never write as well as, or as poignantly, or as humorously, as they do. I just won’t. One of Sincero’s tenants in Chapter 6 is, “Comparison is the fastest way to take all the fun out of life.”

Stop the presses! Forget about spoke to me, that line screamed from a mountaintop and echoed all the way to the moon and back.

I’ve always encouraged other writers to write the book of their heart. To write the best book, tell the story they want to tell,  their way and not be worried about what editors or beta readers will think. Be true to yourself as a writer and someone will want to read your work because it will resonate with them. Why, then, have I never believed my own advice? Why, then, have I gotten bogged down in the notion that what I write is never as good as what other writers write? Why, then, have I allowed my insecurities to mount, all the while pushing others to do their best work?

After reading this chapter in Badass and this quote in particular, it was like the heavens opened up after a torrential downpour and I finally saw the sun in all its glory.

A little cliche, yes, I’ll admit that. But it’s the truth. From the moment I read those words and allowed them to sink in deep to my soul, I stopped comparing myself to other writers. I am the best writer I can be at this moment in time. Me. I may not be as funny as Jill Shalvis, or be able to weave an intricate plot like Sandra Brown. And I certainly don’t have Nora Roberts’ unending supply of plots and characters. But I am the best me, the writer,  I can be right now.

And you know what? It’s a freeing notion. By not comparing my work to those I admire best, I have freed myself – some would say my muse – to write the way I want, what I want, and not worry about whether or not it will be liked. I like it! That’s what really matters. All the rest is cupcake frosting. And delicious though that may be ( I mean, come on! It’s frosting!!!) it’s not the reason I write. I write, first, last and always, for me.

yeah…I’m a Badass!

When I’m not being a Badass, you can find me here, still trying to be a Badass! Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

 

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It all begins with #MorningMotivation

SO, about 6 weeks ago I started using my Instagram account to post daily pictures and quotes about 3 concepts I strive for on a daily basis: self-motivation, believing in myself, and personal growth. Since I started that, my account has doubled in people who follow me. I didn’t start doing this, though, to garner new followers–although that’s a wonderful side benefit–but to keep me focused on those three concepts. Posting my daily motivational quote is the first thing I do in the morning, social media-wise, and it sets the tone for my day.

First, I find motivational quote. Pinterest is great for this.

I swear Pinterest was invented by a writer! Self-motivation has never been one of my strong points. Since I’ve been such a people pleaser throughout my life, I’ve tended to put myself second, or even third, when it came to encouraging myself and pushing myself toward a goal. I’m a great cheerleader – ask any of my friends – and I will push anyone towards the finish line of their choice. Myself? Not so much. Recognizing that, I started the daily motivations to help me focus on myself and what I want, for once. Some may see this as selfish, perhaps, but it really isn’t.

What did we ever do before the thought to use a hashtag for promotional reasons became a thing? After the motivational quote is uploaded to my account, I then promote it in an attempt to help others. The hashtag #PersonalGrowth is a great one for this.

I truly try to grow every single day: as a writer, as a wife and mother, as a human being trying to navigate through the quagmire our society has become. Uplifting my thoughts is a good way for me to start my day and do this.

You can’t expect to accomplish anything if you don’t accept and aspire to my third daily tenant, #BelieveInYourSelf.

No one is going to magically make you a success in life. You have to work for it and you have to believe that you can succeed. And you really need to believe it. Just saying the words mean nothing. Deep down in your very soul, you must feel as if you can do anything you set your mind to. Anything. Believing you can do something is the most important tool you have for achieving personal success.

Having a positive outlook in and on life can go a great way in making your days better. There’s a mindset that believes what you speak out into the universe is what you’ll get sent back to you. Negative thoughts, morose mindsets, and critical thinking, if put out there, will become a major factor in what is given back to you from other people and the world in general. Having a positive outlook, not believing everything you do is going to wind up bad or not to your liking, goes a great way in making your days happy and productive ones.

Everyone knows my favorite book of all time is The Little Engine who Could. I truly believe this is the best book about self-motivation and self-actualization ever written, and it’s a children’s book! But, adults can get the takeaway message — he thought he could, so he did — as a mantra for their lives. That little engine let nothing stand in his way to prevent him from getting up and over that hill. Again, this book was written for children to help them accept, see, and know that they can do anything they set their minds to. Why, as adults, do we forget that?

SO, that’s how I start my day. Every morning of every day. Thinking positively, believing in myself, and recognizing I must grow to survive. It all beings with #MorningMotivation

Other places you can find me being positive are: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

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Goals, Actions, and Plans….Oh my!

So the New Year is 10 days old and I’m already hearing people have broken their NY resolutions. I’ve even seen it with my own eyes at the gym. Last week I had to wait for a few machines because all those people who vowed to lose weight and get in shape for 2018 were all gung-ho about hitting the gym every day and sweating the fat off. Fast forward to week 2 and most of those people are back to sleeping in and saying, “I’ll exercise later/tomorrow/never again.”

This is the reason I don’t make resolutions. It’s too easy to break ignore them.

Instead, as I’ve said before, I make a list of goals every year that I want to accomplish during that year and then make an action plan for those goals. Just saying, “I’m gonna hit the gym more this year,” doesn’t put any action behind the process. How often? When? What body areas are you going to center on? Those questions need to be asked and answered with a PLAN.

Remember the A-Team  (the television show, not the horrible and lousy movie remake) and the line George Peppard always said when they finished a case? “I love when a plan comes together.”

Yeah. And, duh! What’s the significant word in that line? PLAN PLAN PLAN PLAN PLAN.

In order to have an effective plan, you need to define the actions to bring that plan to fruition. Once you do, you’ve formed your GOAL.

Seems common-sense-y, doesn’t it?

So, one of my goals this year was to get my life more organized. You might think since I have the luxury of being a full-time writer that there wouldn’t necessarily be a need to get organized. I mean, don’t I just write every day?

Yeah, but….

This year I wanted to set a goal for the number of books I’m going to write and for the number of blogs I want to do each week, so I bought a planner with one section devoted to PROJECTS. Here’s how my process goes:

  • 5 days a week write a minimum of 2500 words daily in your current WIP. No less.
  • On Sundays, writer your 2-3 blog posts for the week.
  • Schedule your Social Media posts days ahead of time using Hootsuite. Book those posts on Sundays.
  • Shut off the phone alerts and all SM alerts while performing #1

Now, if I write 2500 words minimum 5 days per week I’ll have 12,500 words written a week. My books usually range 75000-90000 words, and using this formula I can write a book in 7.2 weeks ( 90,000 words) That’s less than 2 months!!! Yowza. And I’m a good record keeper. This is the daily word count for a Christmas book I just sent to my editor for review:

REGINA daily word count

November 27, 2017                           0                      1064                           1064

November 28, 2017                         1064               1379                           2443

November 29, 2017                         2443               441                           2884

December 4, 2017                            2884               2517                           5401

December 5, 2017                            5401               1622                           7023

December 6, 2017                            7023               2468                           9491

December 7, 2017                            9491               2174                         11665

December 10, 2017                         11665              4307                          15972

December 11, 2017                         15972                2876                          18848

December 12, 2017                         18848                  597                          19445

December 13, 2017                         19445                 2301                          21746

December 14, 2017                         21746                 1438                          23184

December 18, 2017                         23184                  2448                          25632

December 19, 2017                         25632                   2000                          27632

December 20, 2017                         27632                   3138                          30770

December 21, 2017                         30770                    1961                          32731

January 1, 2018                               32731                        5482                          38213

January 2, 2018                               38213                        2578                          40791

January 3, 2018                               40791                        1275                          42066

January 4, 2018                               42066                        3222                          45288

January 5, 2018                               45288                        3812                          49100

January 6, 2018                               49100                        3106                          52206

January 7, 2018                               52206                        696                           52890

Finished!    1.7.18             23 days and a total of 52,890 words.   For me, this isn’t bad!

So, plan+action=goal.

Easy peasy.

When I’m not putting action behind my plans you can find me here, but only after I’ve written my daily 2500 word minimum!

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#Menopause Tuesday

If it’s Tuesday, then I’m taking about Menopause. Click here to read today’s post: Crepey Skin or Creepy skin.

And if you’re looking for me, I can usually be found here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

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#2018 word of the year….

In 2016, my word for the year was YES. Instead of the usual knee-jerk NO I gave to everything, I decided to say yes to everything. It was a good year. In 2017 my word was COMPROMISE. Since I have a my way or the highway personality, I thought this word and the thought behind it would help me in my interpersonal relationships. And it did. Big time.

For 2018 I needed a word that would propel me into writing more and, thereby, produce more so I could get published more. Since I’m the type of person who gets easily distracted – the main reason I don’t listen to music when I write – I needed something that would help me remember to stay the course and not let little things pull me away from writing. Little things like the desire to watch The View, or read a book, or watch a Housewives episode.

That word is FOCUS.

My steps toward being more focused on my writing aren’t many, and that’s a good thing because there are less to remember and get frustrated by.

  1. Utilize a Daily Planner.   You would think because I am such a plotter for my writing I would already do this. You would be wrong. This year I purchased a three-ring binder that holds 3 separate notebooks. One is my TO DO list for each day. One is MY FITNESS list so I remember to track what I eat, drink, and to remind myself to exercise. The third is a PROJECT MANAGER that lists all the works in progress I’ve got going on and their end dates, and ideas for new books.
  2. Set break time. If you work at a job in an office, or a school, or anywhere, you have built-in breaktimes. I’ve never done that. I simply sit at my laptop and write until I get bored ( or distracted) and then do things that waste time.
  3. Turning the alarms on my cell phone off.   Every time my phone dings with a new email or Fb post or Twitter notification, I stop what I’m doing and grab my phone. This pulls me out of creativity mode and at this stage in my life it’s wicked hard to get those lost writing thoughts back! Alarms are shut off whenever I’m writing now.
  4. Clean up the workspace and keep it tidy. Another no-brainer, but I have a tendency to not put things back where they belong in my office, so my desk is littered with reference books, sticky notes, pens and loads of other accouterment that can be very distracting. Keeping my desk tidy is a good way to avoid having my eyes drift to all the mess and then get distracted with putting it all away. 

So, four little steps that I think ( Hope. WISH!!) will help me be more productive in 2018.

While I’m focusing on what I need to do, you can be distracted by finding me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

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One year ends, another begins…..

Making a New Year’s resolution is something a lot of people do once that clock strikes midnight on 12.31

Lose weight, exercise more, be present and not preoccupied, put down those devices and engage personally. Those are just a few of the ones my friends have told me they are going to resolve to make in 2018. They, like about 85 percent of the population, make resolutions and then don’t follow through for the entire year. The reasons? Varied, but ranging from boredom to maybe making resolutions that were unattainable, or too hard, or not specific enough.

Why am I talking about this, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you.

I’ve stopped making resolutions because I fall into that 85 percent. I start the year all gung-ho, losing weight, writing more, not getting so preoccupied. By about January 15th I’m already tired of it all. It’s too much work, too mind draining, I’ve got other things to do. These are all the excuses I give myself as an “out” for the resolutions. Besides, I still haven’t gotten into the habit of writing the new year date instead of the previous one on checks!

So last year I stopped making resolutions and began making goals. Calling my new behaviors goals instead seems to make me want to stick to them more, and even propels me to do so.

Last years’ goals were to write 5 times per week on this blog, finish 4 novels and get to the gym 5-6 times per week and to learn to compromise when asked to do something instead of giving a knee-jerk “no.’

1, 2, and 4 I did. #3 I had a little trouble with due to injuries and my arthritis flaring up.

This year’s goals are:

  1. Finish my current WIP by the end of January and submit.
  2. Write 2 more books and 1 novella by December 31, 2018
  3. write this blog 2-3 times per week and my menopause blog once a week.
  4. get FIT!!! I have to go on a cruise in the summer and I swear I am not going looking like I do right now. So it’s off to the nutritionist and the gym for me.
  5. Bump up the social media posts. I haven’t been on SM this week due to a death in the family and I’ve already lost 15 Twitter followers.
  6. Be present and engaged more. You know I’m a hermit in the winter. I vow not to be one this year. Still haven’t figured out how, though!

So, check back with me periodically in 2018 to see how those goals are going for me and if I needed to revise, revamp or even renege on a few of them!

Be well, Happy New Year and I’ll see you in 2018!

in 2018 look for me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

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When typing THE END is only the beginning…..#NaNoWriMo 2017

And so we come to the end of another November. Thanksgiving has come and gone, leaving behind 5-7 pounds on our hips; Black Friday has exited the building with only a few minor scrapes and bumps to our persons; Cyber Monday has crashed and burned, leaving our checking accounts a little lower in the cash flow department.

And, NaNoWriMo has seen another year, end. Another attempt at that 50,000-word minimum tome has come and gone, leaving many writers joyful, others struggling, and the rest of us exhausted and elated simultaneously.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could keep the writing momentum of this month up for all 12 months? Imagine being able to actually write 2-3 books a year. The big names in publishing do it, like Nora Roberts/JD Robb, Jill Shalvis, Sarah Morgan. These writers know the benefit or writing EVERY SINGLE DAY no matter what. If there isn’t blood shedding, the zombie apocalypse approaching, or the world ending in a vortex of wind and rain, these writers write every single day, bar none. No excuses. No whining. No dilly-dallying.

The fire has been stoaked – you’ve already spent the past 30 days writing something every day. Even if you didn’t make the 50,000 mark, you still have more on the page now than you did on November 1, right? So keep going.

I know I am…and will. Pages to write, books to publish. No Excuses.

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Big news and more work for me!

 

So, because I don’t already have enough to do– writing, marketing, promotion — I’m adding something new in the New Year: A monthly author newsletter.

Yeah, I know….

I’ve been avoiding doing a newsletter for 2 years for a number of reasons, but the main one has been I really don’t know what I’m doing !!!!! Setting up this blog was HARD enough and the only reason I didn’t jump off a ledge doing it was because my uber talented cyber bestie Jill helped me. And you all know most of the other techy stuff my daughter assists me with.

But this one I’m all on my own with.

So…..

If you want to receive my newsletter in your email box once a month–yay for supporting me!–but I’ll need your email addresses. You can either private message me on my facebook author page, or leave your email in the comments section below. If you leave it here, I will immediately delete it after I copy it so no one else will have it and bother you.

One advantage of being a newsletter subscriber? 2 actually. Monthly contests to win books and it’s a way for me to share deleted scenes from my books that didn’t make the digital cut despite being GREAT SCENES in my humble opinion.

Thanks for being so supportive, peeps. It will make this process easier.

While I’m setting up my newsletter, you can find me here:

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I get to do this and call it research! #ILoveMyLife

So yesterday I went to a bridal expo.

Hold the batphone, you say. Aren’t you married? Like, for a thousand years?

Yup, true.

Then why did you go to a bridal expo? you ask.

Research, I say. Research.

Let me ‘esplain.

For NaNoWriMo this year, I’m penning a new romance series about a family in the wedding business. To add some truthfulness into the narrative, I said to myself, “Self? Why not contact a wedding planner?” And then when I was driving to the gym the other day, I happened to hear a commercial about an upcoming bridal expo at one of my favorite places in New Hampshire, Alyson’s Orchard.

As soon as I got home I emailed the manager of Alyson’s.   I introduced myself, told her I wasn’t a bride-to-be (Not even close!) but that I wanted to do some bridal industry research for my new romance series. Luckily, she said, yes, I could come to the expo!

It was so much fun. I met some very lovely wedding planners, got some ideas about what’s involved in putting together a dream wedding nowadays – since I did get married a millennium ago, things have really changed –  and basically had a blast talking all things bridal with the vendors at the expo. One of my favorite people? Wedding officiant Jane E. Rokes. We talked for quite a while on all things officiant-related.

God, I love research!!!!

When I’m not out doing fun stuff, er I mean, gathering research, you can find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

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The day that changed my life

Another week, another interpretation of this blog title. Personal? Professional? Neither? Both?

Okay, throwing that virtual dart on the wall again I’m gonna go with professional.

The day I pick is the day I learned I was going to have my first romance novel published BY A REAL PUBLISHER!!!!

I was at the 2014 RWA conference in San Antonio – my very first RWA conference.

I’d already gotten the email from Rhonda Penders, publisher of The Wild Rose Press, that she wanted to see my entire manuscript after I’d come in first place in a contest she’d judged for unpublished writers. I’d sent it along about a month previously to an editor, who coincidentally, told me she would be attending the conference and thought it might be nice to put a face to my “email voice.” We decided on a date and time to meet.

At the appointed hour I made my way to the registration desk and met with the person whom I’d been corresponding for the past month. She was absolutely lovely. We discussed many things – the conference, the weather in San Antonio – but we skirted around the topic of the book she was reading for me. I thought that was a telling sign: she hated it!

Finally, I had to get to another course so I shook her hand and thanked her for being so kind and gracious in meeting me. Before she let me go she said when I got home I would be receiving an email that might make me happy. In a word, WRP had decided they wanted my book for their list. It took me a second to realize she meant they wanted to publish it. A loooooooooong-ass second. I was so silent, standing there, still holding her hand, I fear she thought I was having a stroke or some kind of medical emergency.

The moment dragged on and I swear I couldn’t form a sentence right then if I’d been jolted by lightning.

Suddenly, a group of women walked by, all laughing, and that noise jarred me out of my paralysis. I smiled – or I think I did – squeezed her hand, and thanked her. Again. Like, five times! She laughed, told me I was welcome and encouraged me to  get  along to my course.

I don’t think I did. If memory serves, I went back to my room and cried. For an hour. I cried so much I had to redo all my makeup before that evening’s event.

I honestly don’t remember much more about that day because all I did was replay what she’d said about publishing my book on a virtual and continual loop in my head.

That was 2014 and I was a naive addition to the publishing community. Three years later and I know a little more about what to expect after signing that contract.

But even today, every time an editor tells me they want my book for their list, I still feel like that naive little publishing-virgin and have my Sally Field moment.

 

It’ll be fun to see what the other writers in this blog hop have decided is their best day. Click on their links to read what they’d written for today.

 

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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, love, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Skater's Waltz, WIld Rose Press AUthor