Updates

Progress Update

Update

Oh my gosh, guys, things have been one whirlwind of a mess after another. Nothing has gone as planned and progress has slowed, but sometimes you just have to roll with the punches. Here is an update of what I’ve been dealing with:

  • I sent out my manuscript to some beta readers and frankly, the feedback wasn’t good. Many stopped reading all together.
  • My dad ended up in the ICU to the point where he had to have someone with him whenever he left the house (and to be honest, I went over there to check on him even when he didn’t leave) my kids and I walked with him every day to get his strength back up and to keep his diabetes under control. He’s doing a lot better now.
  • Shortly after his recovery, they purchased a new house and my kids and I helped them move (as much as we could)
  • Guess the hospital needed someone in our family there, because I ended up there while helping them move. Ive had muscle spasms in my back (under my shoulder blades) and though I tried all my stretches and techniques to loosen it, I couldn’t move without pain shooting there. At 2am, I couldn’t take it any longer and went to the ER.
  • Then, the flu ran through the house so my kids were both sick and my husband had a cold.

With all that going on, I just didn’t have the motivation or strength to keep things going as they were. So, I’ll update you where my progress is with each of my usual categories and what’s happening to get back on track.

Books

Book Update

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

Series Update

The response from betas affected me more than I would like to admit. After going through eight chapters, I realized what they were all talking about.

Even though I can swear that I’ve gone though that manuscript more times than I can count. I can even remember changing a large section. I take responsibility for not getting the right copy to my betas.

Where the right copy is, I can’t seem to find. So it’s back to square one; taking the feedback I’ve received and revising it until it’s ready for another round of betas to read through it.

This is one hill on my journey and I’ve learned that even though Scrivener creates backups for your work, Prowritingaid may not transfer your stuff back when you’ve gone through it with their software. Time to add saving a copy to my checklist and update my process.

Stand Alone/Possible Series

I have nearly finished the book. You know, the one I’m still deciding whether to make a series or a stand alone and the definite stand alone is still on hold as I work through my problems. To be honest, a break was necessary and all those things piling on top of each other, forced me to do what was necessary for me to keep going.

There are just times you need to take a break from things and come back to it with fresh, new eyes. Let me tell you, it’s been eye opening.

To Be Read

One of my goals was to NOT add to my To Be Read list and I have only added books where the author has asked me personally to read. Boy have I found some great stories.

I myself have not added to that list, and I’ve begun reading through them. You would think being on break would have made more time for reading, but I just wasn’t into anything that dealt with writing and that included reading.

Yeah, crazy, I know. I never thought I would say that, but it’s how things happened.

Short Stories

As things have thawed, including me, I have plans to get back to this soon. I’ve finally figured out how to make Trello work for me and I’ve been slowly adding the things to it that I’ve been putting off. Short stories are one of them, but I’ve got some in mind that I’ve written down (you know some just won’t leave you until you have it down on paper) and I will have those to you by the end of July early August at the latest. Don’t worry, I’ll update my Trello boards to include that.

Beta Readers

This is what started my downward spiral. I’m the type of person who lets EVERYTHING get to them and I’ll dwell on it forever. It’s something I’ve been working to get better at for years.

The problem was that I put so much time, energy, and soul into my book and the feedback was, well, brutal. I was not expecting the reaction I got from something I worked so hard on.

As I worked through the feedback (mostly of the one person who read the whole book), I realized my mistake, and it was mine. The copy I sent to the beta readers was not as polished as I could have made it. Though I remember changing sections or deleting sections, I have not been able to figure out what happened to the changes, this is where my progress hit a snag and may have not saved when I should have.

So, those of you that read even a portion of that story, thank you so much, and I want to apologize for what was not my best work and I’ve been working to make sure that doesn’t happen again, while I update it to a better form of the previous version.

Communication

Communication

Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

The most important part of this blog, what you take from it and how I can communicate with you, my readers.

Blog Update

The one area where I feel like I’ve keep up with my writing, though I did take the two weeks off after my dad and I were in the hospital. I did my best to keep up with the topics planned and give you fresh inspiration, thoughts, and inklings that come to me.

I want to say ‘thank you’ to all those who have supported me, commented, and liked my work. It means the world to me.

Connections

One of the places I felt I was slacking, but again, this break got me to really think about what I want out of it and I really want to provide you with helpful, inspiring, and even funny content to keep your day entertaining. So, I’ve got more content coming to my Social media channels. Care to see what I’ve been adding or want to stalk me? Links Below!

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

Twitter

Business

Business Update

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

New products

I’ve been thinking about adding products that would benefit you readers and writer alike. I’ve been hard at work creating digital products as well as items you can purchase. If you would like to stay up to date on what’s been added and when things are up and running, check out my newsletter where you’ll be updated on all thins I’m working on, products, writing prompts and more. Click here for more.

Video

Seriously, I didn’t realize how freakin’ hard it was to get on camera and actually talk without freezing up or stumbling over words. On the back burner until I’m ready – I’m chicken in front of a camera and refuse to wear makeup, but you’ll see me there eventually. I promise.

Other Items

Interests

Image by Lorri Lang from Pixabay

Educational Update

I’m always looking for books, email courses, online courses that will help me with my writing. I’ve taken a few (or are in the process of taking them), so that part is going well. I’ve got to catch up with one. I’m a bit behind, but I’m gaining momentum so I believe I’m doing well here.

Art/Music

Something I wanted back in my life was drawing and playing my guitar. Two things that brought me joy and I felt I excelled at. I’ve started a drawing challenge with my sister, so I’ve finally started drawing every day, but the guitar hasn’t made it into the plan… yet. It’s going to though. This is a promise I made to myself.

Sometimes you need something for yourself.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, you can plan all you want, but life will find a way to put you off track. It’s not what you can do to stop it; it’s how you handle it when it comes around. That break did wonders for me and I highly suggest taking one yourself if you’re feeling too overwhelmed.

Don’t forget, if I can get through all that, you can traverse what has been put in your path. Remember one step at a time. You’ll be over that mountain in no time!

Spring Break

(Spring) BREAK

March and April bring a whole new perspective to the word ‘break’. As the days wear on and things are now becoming mundane and ordinary we feel underwhelmed (or overwhelmed), uninspired, and are in need for the chance to refresh our minds and bodies. To calm the raging monster within that’s telling you it’s time to take a break from life and just relax and rejuvenate your soul.

Why You Need A Break and Why They Matter

 

working hard

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There are times when your mind and body are no longer in sync with each other, when you may be just going from day to day, doing the same things. You’re not as excited for the things you used to get pumped about and in order to get that exhilarating feeling back, you need to relax and let go of the things that are attacking you at the moment. You need to let them slide away to leave you with a clear mind.

You and your body need rest and relaxation to refresh not only yourself but your mind as well. Running on like the energizer bunny is only going to create a cranky, irritated soul with resentment and overwhelm. As with sleeping, you and your body need time to just do nothing for very little; to do something that doesn’t take a lot of thinking and something you consider fun. Not only do you need to relax, you need to preoccupy your mind with things that don’t relate with work, the house, or anything else you normally stress over.

Signs It’s Time to Take a Break

Other than just feeling like you need a break, there are signs that tell you it’s time to step away and get some much needed R&R.

Frustration

                                                                                                                                                                                          Image by punttim on Pixabay

Overwhelmed

One of the first ones, is the feeling of overwhelm. Perhaps you are trusted to do more at work, but you also have to worry about the house, the kids, and anything else that comes along that needs your attention. And although you may have a system down to take care of each item, you feel like you’re falling apart. Trust me, I have had that feeling. One minute you’re rolling along a smooth road, everything is getting done and you’re getting ahead, then something comes along and now your road is bumpy. Everything is starting to pile up and your sense of accomplishment is now a sense of dread.

Tired/Insomnia/Irritable

As with overwhelm, that smooth road brought excitement, accomplishment, and the strength to keep moving forward, but that bump you hit (who knows what that was back there) is now bringing you every other bump you would have not otherwise noticed. With all the bumps and divots, you are now feeling tired all the time. You’re no longer sleeping well and you dread getting up in the morning to even do basic things.

Things begin to irritate you, those tiny things that should be brushed off as natural habits or actions are now getting on your nerves to the point you may be snapping at those you care about. That is not the way you want to live your life, right?

No Motivation/Ambition/Unfocused

That speed racer that was forging ahead at full steam, is now searching for any reason to not continue with what has to get done. Your motivation, ambition and focus to complete tasks and get ahead seems so far away that you’ll never catch up with the trailing rope behind the train of tasks. Your mind is wandering to all the things around you, rather than those that are right in front of you, and your attention is taken up by all the little things that could be put off for another day. What once felt like an easy ride has now turned into one of struggle and a fleeting grasp at the rope. One you may not have the strength to pull yourself back up to the train.

Mistakes/Regret

When you’ve run yourself to the point where you are making small mistakes all the time, ones that you regret, but can’t really control. (You could if you weren’t suffering, but when things reach this point, it’s nearly impossible to control.) That’s when you know you need to take a break. Speaking from experience, I’ve been so overwhelmed, tired and unmotivated that I began making small mistakes that just added to the pile that was growing, which caused more mistakes, more regret and a lot of frustration. Continuing as I was, was not an option. I needed a break!

Health Concerns

This could just be eating more of your favorite junk food, or maybe you skip a meal because you’re just not hungry. Perhaps you pick up a bad habit, like smoking or drinking to make yourself feel better or to take the ‘edge’ off. (That is not going to help, trust me and it may cause further health problems) When you start making bad health choices like eating a lot or nothing at all, you refuse to get even a walk in and your body is reacting to the stress in unusual ways; that’s when you know there is something wrong and you NEED a break.

If you get this far, I urge you to take a really hard look at what you are doing and fix it. This is not where you want to be, trust me. Yes, I’m speaking from experience. I was so overwhelmed, letting everything get to me that I barely ate anything for weeks and ended up in the hospital because my body was reacting to no nourishment. I knew I needed a break and it resulted in me leaving my job. Now, I don’t suggest you leave your job, but for me it was the right decision. When your health is declining, you need to take a moment and think about whether you just need a break or you need to leave in order to get better.

 

Ways to Take a Break

The first thing you need to do is decide if you are in need a shorter or longer break. That is something you need to decide, I can’t tell you which you should choose. You should have in inkling of which you should do.

Break

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Now let me list all the ways…

_____cations

These are all the, you know, vacation types. Vacation. Staycation. Play-cation. Whether you need to get away, you want to stay in the area or at home, or if you want to do something to have fun. Do what you deem best.

Relax

Create a list of all the things you find relaxing and do them all. Take a bath, read a good book, take a nap, walk in nature, listen to soothing music, you get the picture here. Whatever you find relaxing, go for it.

Activity

Though you may not find it relaxing, there are those of us who need to move or do something. Find a way to expend the energy that is still relaxing, like taking a hike, playing a board game, fly a kite or even coloring with crayons! I love to color with my kids! That is something that is relaxing for me.

Motionless

Here is where you will sit still or hardly move, but I promise you’ll still find it relaxing. Try star gazing, watching the clouds, or even meditating or getting a massage. You never know how relaxed you’ll feel after watching the clouds as the roll by.

No Electronics

I know, I know, your whole life is on that device, but we are trying to get you to not stress and to relax. Those notifications can live without you for a short time. If you let those around you know that you’re going to be unavailable for a time, they should get along fine without you. Turn them off and find out just how much quiet and relaxation you can enjoy.

Events

Going to events or attractions can be relaxing as well. Places like the aquarium, the zoo, farmer’s market and museums can bring you peace while learning and seeing something new or what you haven’t seen in a long time.

Final Thoughts

Everyone looks forward to spring break, but have you thought about what you NEED and what kind of break you should take? If you’re like me and need some much needed R&R, try some of the things from this list. May you find peace and relaxation when you need it most.

Know of any other ways to relax and rejuvenate your mind and body? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear them!