The first Wednesday of every month is the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Posts go up the 1st Wednesday of every month. Check it out here and join if you need support with your writing. Don't forget to stop by and say hello to the co-hosts: Diane Burton, Kim Lajevardi, Sylvia Ney, Sarah Foster, Jennifer Hawes, and Madeline Mora-Summonte!
My recent book, Leaves of Fall, had a good release. I had a bunch of tweets, all the bloggers who signed up to help posted, I got great reviews, and my giveaway had a lot of entires. The support was awesome. The only real bummer was sales of the actual book really sucked. Pre-orders sucked pretty well, too. It left me feeling conflicted. On one hand, I was happy with the release, but on the other, more sales would have been nice and I felt hurt that more family and friends wouldn't shell out 99cents for my book.
People are willing to rain down support when there's no money involved, but as soon as that price tag pops up, crickets chirp. And I get it. This post isn't really me complaining, "Why won't people buy my books???? Woe is me!" I know because I am the same. I've seen something I want, looked at the price and said, "NOPE!"
We all wish we had enough cash to spend it whatever or on whoever we want. But we don't. And understanding this and knowing I do it as well really helped with dealing with lack luster sales. It's nothing personal, not a slight against me or my writing. It's just life. Like bad reviews, crappy sales happen. Realizing and accepting that, honestly, makes me feel better.
What are your thoughts on this? Am I on to something? Got a different opinion?
2019 is the year of productivity for me. I decided I wanted to be organized and set a schedule to stick to in order to be more consistent. Before, I'd worry about being productive 24/7. It resulted in me being too exhausted to write. I was spending too much energy on worry about getting stuff done and that left me with no energy to actually do stuff. Then I'd guilt trip myself as a result.
So, in 2019, with the help of Kathryn Lang's Whiteboard of World Domination, I made a weekly schedule and daily to do lists.
Alternating writing and art, I make daily to-do lists, one for each day, the month, and for chores.
At the beginning of each day, I write down tasks. There are some I do daily, like Swagbucks (I talked about what that is in my IWSG post.) A dash next to a task means I do it every day. I mark a D for done instead of checking it off and rewriting it the next day. Those I ensure I get done every day and are usually the first things I work on.
The other change I've made that has been a huge improvement in my productivity is I clock out. Hubby comes home at noon and I eat lunch with him. I don't write or paint. I break for lunch. Then in the evening, I clock out for the day. Anything I didn't get done gets moved to the next day.
I've only been doing this for a couple months, but it's been a tremendous help in keeping me consistently productive. I'm also not feeling as worn out all the time. When I sit down to write, 99% of the time I write. Even when I'm tired. Same for my art. I'm getting stuff done and it feels really great.
How do you stay productive? What tricks and tips have you learned? Curious to try mine? Have you checked out Kathryn's Whiteboard? Did you read my IWSG post on how to earn a little extra cash to help with book marketing?
The first Wednesday of every month is the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Posts go up the 1st Wednesday of every month. Check it out here and join if you need support with your writing. Don't forget to stop by and say hello to the co-hosts: Fundy Blue, Beverly Stowe McClure, Erika Beebe, and Lisa Buie-Collard!
I thought this month I've share a couple links to some sites I use to earn cash to pay for book marketing (and craft supplies) since I don't have a job. Now, these are referral links so I get points or some form of reward if you sign up.
First up is the one I've made the most from: Swagbucks. This site has a bunch of different things you can do to earn points. One point equals a penny. You get 2500 and you can cash out for $25. I manage to cash out about twice a month, but I also have the time to spend doing things like surveys to get to that point. Every morning I spend between 1-2 hours to hit the daily goal. Usually through surveys.
It also has shopping where you can earn points. Vista Print is on there and a lot of authors use it, so even if you don't do anything else, you can do that and earn some money back on something you already use.
Next is Survey Savvy. This is a survey site, but they also have an app you can put on your phone or desktop and earn $5 for each device. You don't have to do anything else because they're tracking what you're activity. Hubby doesn't like that, but I point out to him that Google, Facebook, and Twitter are already doing that, so I might as well get paid for it. The only downside to the phone app is I have to turn it off if I want to do anything then turn it back on. I think it has something to do with the VPN they use to encrypt the info. I can deal with that annoyance for $5 every month.
Last link I'm going to share is Achievement. This is for those who have FitBits. Just connect it to your FitBit profile and it grabs the data and gives you points. When you reach 10,000 points you cash out for $10. This one takes time, but you don't have to do anything extra. I've only cashed out once, and as you can see, I'm almost there again. Excuse me while I go for a walk.
These sites I've used and actually earned money from. Survey Savvy only sends checks. Achievement pays through PayPal. Swagbucks has a host of options like PayPal, Amazon or Visa gift cards, and more. You won't be rolling in dough like I've seen people claim (usually on Pinterest) but they do pay and you could at least buy a promo gig on Fiverr or gift an ebook to someone as a giveaway prize.
Are there any sites or apps you use to make some extra cash to put toward book marketing?
The first Wednesday of every month is the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Posts go up the 1st Wednesday of every month. Check it out here and join if you need support with your writing. Don't forget to stop by and say hi to the co-hosts: Raimey Gallant, Natalie Aguirre, CV Grehan, and Michelle Wallace!
I'm happy to report few insecurities this month. I've figured out plot points for some WIPs I'm working on and have been getting words down. Fatigue hasn't been bogging me down and making everything difficult either. I'm enjoying this feeling while it lasts.
This month's optional question is: Besides writing what other creative outlets do you have?
Regular visitors to my blog already know I have a few creative outlets besides writing. I paint, create jewelry and magnets, and knit.
The nice thing about these outlets is they don't require quite the brainpower that writing does. Knitting especially as I'm usually following a pattern, and I've been doing it since I was around 7 years old, so I can do certain stitches without looking. They allow me to be creative on days I'm too tired to string a sentence together. They're also super relaxing and a few give a nice instant gratification boost where as writing it can take months to years before the book is done and in your hands.
I have a Facebook page for them called Hi-5 MI Designs. #Shamelesspromo. I used to have an Etsy shop, but my chronic health issues made it too difficult to juggle everything needed for that on top of writing. Instead, I just stick with local craft shows. (But I'm totally open to shipping items to people if they see something they like.)
How are your insecurities this month? Do you have crafty hobbies? Or an Etsy shop?
* Marie Landry
* Story Dam
* A to Z Challenge
* Alex J. Cavanaugh
* Larry Kollar
* C. Lee McKenzie
* A Book Lover's Playlist
* Cherie Reich
* M. Pax
* MJ FiField
* Melissa Barker-Simpson
* Christine Rains
* Heather M. Gardner
* George McNeese
* Lexa Cain
* L.G Keltner
* Sarah Foster
* Chrys Fey
* Liana K (Youtube)
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