You Live, You Learn… Lessons Learned this Year

Since the end of the year is coming faster than we would like, I thought I would let you all know what lessons I’ve learn this year.

They say you learn something new every day, whether it’s something small or something big and you may not realize you did learn anything, but I bet you did.

There are no affiliate links contained within this post. All opinions are my own and I provide the links to the curious and the readers who are looking to find something helpful within their lives and businesses. 

Below are some areas of my life and what I learned this past year within those areas:

Home

Home is where the heart is… it’s also where my children are, my bills, and all the problems that come with owning a home…

Family

Family is everything. Not that I didn’t already know that, but a reminder is sometimes needed when you are so busy time flies before you sat down to enjoy time with those you love. The balance between work, home, and life can be difficult, but is essential to provide the necessary attention to each. I’ve learned that I can write in the morning or evening. At first I thought my focus was only good in the early morning, but lately to adjust to schedules, I’ve found I can write in the evening. (Especially when I have virtual write-ins to help such as WordNerds) I’ll play one of their many virtual write-ins to keep me focused and get as many words down as I can! I love it!!

Kids

I’ve found that my kids will surprise me at every turn. It’s amazing what you will learn and notice when you take the time to watch, listen and participate in what your children are up too. Their generosity, creativity and sometimes their attitudes astound me. I love playing games with my children and discovering what they learned from their studies or everyday life. It really is amazing… and entertaining!

Home

When you own your own home, you never know what will go next. (And that goes for cars as well.) Our home is quite old and we originally planned to fix it up and bring back the old charm of the building, but we have been here for over nine years and we have painted the kitchen twice, replaced a few of the cabinets and redid the kitchen floor. Some days I feel like everything is going wrongwith our him, but really, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Owning our home has taught us so much about loans, our finances and what is needed in maintaining it, it has become a great lesson for our children as well as they see what we go through with owning it.

Business

To make money… What money?

Marketing

The one thing you need, but it the one thing you never want to do.

Ads

We, and when I say we, I mean my husband and I, have tried working with ads (Facebook/Amazon), but they only time we saw any difference was when we invested quite a bit of money. Now, we did do research before creating the ads and posting them. It’s something we can look into when we are better established, but as for now we are going to stick with other forms of marketing such as my text topic.

Email

Though this one has been really hard for me to start, get subscribers and then provide great content that I put it off for so long. I finally created a giveaway to gain subscribers and promote my books and store items. Now I need to continue to send great content and that is my problem, but don’t worry, I’m creating a schedule to keep you all up to date on everything! Plans are great!!

Store

One of my newest additions to my products is my new online store. There you can find book, series, and character related items to fill your home, your hearts and your lives. I am so looking forward to adding new items as books are released, along with any other book related item I believe will improve your day, lives and homes!! You can check it out HERE!

Others/Extras

I am really excited about this one, I have some thoughts on another product for you to love and enjoy. So excited that I will be keeping this one to myself and will announce it when the time is right, but know that I am working on it and hope to get it out as soon as possible. Want to get updates on this and other things happening over here? Sign up for updates HERE!!

New Programs

The joy of the new thing(S)

Mailerlite

I just stumbled onto this one and right now I am loving it. This email service provider and with all the features at a lower cost, I couldn’t be happier. I love the drag and drop feature, as well as creating landing pages right from the same software. I love that everything is in one place. Want to check it out? Click Here!

Scrivener

Scrivener is a program I have had for over a year, but I have to say it is my most used software for my business. It does take a little bit of time to get used to, but I won’t use anything else. I love the project targets where it will keep track of word count, characters, or pages within a document. The ease of moving chapters and scenes if fantastic and I can set targets for each scene and chapter if I like. There is so much you can do with his software. I love it!!

Both

Finances

YNAB (You Need A Budget)

I have to give credit to my sister Tamara for introducing this program to me. This one definitely took some time getting used to, but we are really amazed by it. It’s like having envelopes to place money into for each category (or bill, account, and extras – like vacation) and save money by adding to each when you get paid. There are an array of tutorials online that I have fully taken advantage of while learning about this program. One thing I like is that I can create more than one budget, so I can create one for our personal account and another for my business all on the same software. At $50 a year we found it completely worth the investment. Learn more about it HERE!

Patience

Something we can all use more of…

Writing/Re-writing

I’ve come to realize that like most new authors that it takes patience when writing or re-writing a book. I’ve now decided to do a full re-write on two of my books, but feel it is totally necessary for the plot of the stories. So, now I’m writing three books to keep up with my series. I dislike the thought of having to re-write books. Sometimes it is necessary to make the story the best it can be.

Editing

Editing my own books it one of the most tedious tasks for me and takes me so long to get through. I realize it will take time now after going through it three – four times  and it has taught me to be patient even with myself as I work through plot holes, consistency and other factors.

Publishing

Publishing when I first published my books went so well it was amazing really. Then when I decided to redo one of my covers and resubmit it, when I did I ran into a snag getting it republished to Ibooks which rejected it. Hence the need for a slight re-write on that book. I guess when I started I didn’t pay attention to submission guidelines for the distribution I wanted. I’ve learned to keep a copy of guidelines close at hand to be sure my books don’t violate them. In this case I had to have someone tell me exactly what the problem was so I could fix it and resubmit it. It will be back up on Ibooks soon!

Organization

One of the things I really struggled with was finding the right planner and though I am a very creative person I didn’t want to take time to create my own. Well, guess what? I ended up doing just that. I figured if I wanted a planner that worked for me in my home and business I had to create the darn thing myself. It’s quite simple but has all the things I feel are important to my home/personal and business all in one place.

Accountability

When I first started writing fifteen years ago, I had no way to create accountability. I would write off and on and it became more of a hobby than a career choice. Creating a plan and sticking to it has become a part of my daily routine. I have a calendar with my blog posts, writing fun topics, writing/business deadlines in one place so I can check them off and get notified when something has become late. It’s a great feeling to stay up to date and not fall behind.

Comfort Zone

Man, if I could get out of my comfort zone, things would be soooo much better and easier. With anything else, this area is getting better, slowly, but it is getting better. I’ve branched out and my goals for next year are to step out even further. We shall see how well I adjust to that come next year. As for this year, I have made some major steps forward with communication with my readers and others. With accountability, my goals, projects and everything else is put into my calendar with due dates and deadlines. I feel pretty good for next year!

I’m sure there is so much more that I have learned this year, but I didn’t want to bore you with a novel on that. What have you learned from this year? I would love to hear from you!!

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