Sunday, October 19, 2014

I Can't Do It All

I am finally coming to realize that I can't do it all.  No one can.

Despite the fact that there are many things that I want to do, I can't do everything. That means I'm going to have to put some things aside so that I can focus on a few things and do them well.

That's a really hard decision for me to make.  Because I know that one of the things that is going to have to take the back burner for awhile is writing fiction.  Don't get me wrong - I'm not going to stop entirely.  But I need to choose my priorities.

Obviously, one of the things that has to take priority is earning enough money to pay bills and such.  And since we're planning to move in the next year, we are going to have to have some money set aside for that.  So, yes, I'm going to be putting more focus on earning money immediately, instead of some long term things I was doing.  And yes, that means I'll be taking on new clients.

I'm going to put up my price info and stuff like that again here soon.  The testimonials, price packages, etc.  They do seem to help when it comes to bringing in clients.

I'm also going to write for some content mills.  As much as it is not my favorite thing to do, it does pay the bills.

The other priority is my two residual writing sites.  Writedge and Daily Two Cents are growing so fast and they are at the point where we are finally starting to see some income for us.  Between me and my business partner, Michelle, we easily put in 6-8 hours of work a day on the sites so it would be nice to start earning accordingly from them.

Fiction writing is going to still be there.  But I'm thinking of working on some longer works that will have more shelf life.  The short stories that I've focused on can bring money in fast but the money only continues to come in for as long as you are putting out new stories.  I'm not sure what I'm going to work on but I'll think about it. :)

Do you ever find that you are trying to do too much and as a result nothing really gets done?

Saturday, October 18, 2014

A Successful Blog Move and Rambles

Well, that was not so difficult! I managed to get all the posts and pages moved over and a new pretty theme installed. Got the domain pointed in the right place, too! 

I have a few more things to do but for the most part I am pretty happy. :)

This week...

Has been nothing but crazy! Besides the fact that all my sites were hacked and redirecting to adult sites if you viewed them on a mobile device and hostgator has not responded to my ticket yet (closing in on 72 hours now), there has been lots going on.

My daughter and granddaughter have been here all week. Don't get me wrong, that's a good thing. I love having time with this sweet face! means I have gotten very little else done. Much less than usual even and in not the most productive person at the best of times!

So, come Monday I think it is time to get it together.

Not just with work but in the personal life, too.

I'm going to start getting up at a decent time so that I can be productive in the morning. I'm going to use Cold Turkey to block certain sites while I am working.

I'm also going to eat breakfast and start spending some time on the treadmill that is currently just taking up space in my living room. I downloaded the C25K app on my phone and I'm going to start using it even if I have to do each week several times over before moving on.

I'm also going to try to quit smoking again.

Why am I doing all this you ask?

Because my husband and I have decided to move back to Winnipeg next summer so we can be more involvedin our granddaughter's life. We don't want to miss out on all these great years. And to be involved like I want to be I need to get in the habit of taking care of myself!

So, that's what is going on!

Moving the Blog

Well, I'm attempting to move my main home blog from my own WordPress hosting to Blogger hosting.  Why?

Because HostGator sucks!  So big time.  For the second time in a year my sites have been hacked and it has been over 48 hours with no response to me ticket.  So, I'm giving up on paid hosting.

One of the reasons I'm not moving to another paid host is that I just can't justify paying for it when most of my blogs don't make that much in advertising.  But I like blogging and I don't plan on giving it up any time soon.

So, hopefully, I'll have my whole blog imported over here soon.

Picture belongs to me, please don't steal it.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

31 Videos in 31 Days Challenge

I've always loved making YouTube videos.  In the past I've been all wrapped up in this idea that I have to have a niche.  And yes, that's the best way to do it if you're really focused on making the money.  But how about YouTubing just because it is fun?  Just because you want to?  Just to talk about things that are important to you?

And that's what I decided to do.

I'm going to try to do 31 videos in 31 days on whatever topic I happen to feel like talking about at the time.  It might be a rant one day or a "how-to" video the next day.  I think it will be interesting to see what happens - if anything.

I won't lie and say the money doesn't  matter.  It would be nice to see my YouTube income grow a bit.  At one point I was up to about $15 a month or so, which added nicely to my Adsense income from blogging.  But I haven't made a lot of videos in the past year or so and that made it drop drastically.  So, it would be nice to see that increase again.

Of course, I'll put all my videos here, too, so put your email into the subscribe box on the front of the site or click the Join My Email list link either at the top of the site or at the bottom of this post.

So, I've done 3 so far.

A couple things I've noticed:

  1. I blink - a lot.  Isn't that weird?  I have no clue why I do that and I didn't really notice it before.  LOL

  2. I need to start getting dressed and doing my hair and putting make up on more often!

  3. I like the sound/quality on my iPhone better but I hate the way it shows in that tiny little bar.  I wonder if it would be better if I turned it sideways or if the video would just be sideways?

  4. I need to try my camera again that I bought specifically for the purpose of making videos.

Here's day 1-3 of the videos (and no, I'm really not sick in the third one - late at night, no makeup, and bad lighting!):

Friday, September 26, 2014

I'm In Love With Fall!

This is my favorite time of the year!  I love everything about fall.  I love the colors, the smells, the weather...

If I could find a country that had fall most of the year I swear I would move there.  Unfortunately, fall seems to get shorter and shorter every year.  The leaves turn colors and fall off the trees so fast that if you blink you might miss it!

Right now, everywhere I go I see gorgeous colors.  The weather here is a little warmer than I like it but it is still nice because I know that pretty soon the leaves will be gone and the snow will come and it will all be over for another year.  So, I'm trying to enjoy it!

A couple of Instagram pics for you (please follow me on Instagram!  I'm kind of lonely over there!)

What and How Do I Write?

As most of you know, I'm a writer. But some of you might not know exactly what I write so I thought I'd write about that today.  If you have questions afterwards, please feel free to ask in the comments!

What Do I Write?

There are two things that I write: fiction and non-fiction.

The non-fiction that I write is mostly for clients.  That's still my bread and butter.  Mostly now I write for one client, a private college in Canada.  I write about job search and careers and I have been doing that for about 4 and a half years.

I also write fiction.  I write short stories (usually between 5K and 10K words in length).  Sometimes they are stand alone stories and sometimes they are connected as a series.  These are my favorite thing to write.  It allows for more creativity and they are a lot more fun than non-fiction.  I hope to be able to earn a living from writing fiction in  the near future but I may eventually transition to longer stories.

What kind of fiction do I write?  Well, I'm not going to tell you much except that they are adult in nature. I use a pen name.  Will I ever reveal that pen name?  Someday I might but right now there are people that just don't need to know.

How Do I Write Fiction?

I'm not as structured with my fiction writing as I'd like to be.  Mostly I write when the inspiration is there.  The story idea comes to me and I might jot down a few notes and then I start.  More often than not I have a general idea and I get started and the rest of the story, the characters, and everything else comes out as I put the words on the pages.  It might not be the best method but it is mine.  I'm trying to get into a habit of at least writing down ideas as I get them because if I don't I lose a lot of ideas.

I write on Word.  I know a lot of people use special programs like Scrivener but I don't.  At least not now. I bought Scrivener and I have it on my computer but I was so confused by it and didn't have a lot of time to use it so I went back to Word.  Sometimes I use Google Docs if I know I will need to continue to work on it somewhere else.  Google Docs is great for people who do some writing on their phone.  Yes, I write on my phone.  I tend to have at least one story going in Google Docs at any point in time.  That way, if I'm sitting around waiting for someone or sitting in bed late at night or whatever, I can write something while I'm waiting.  I've been known to get out 1000 words at a time this way.  On my recent trip I got more than that done while I was on the bus.

Where Do I Publish My Stories?

I used to publish them all over the place but recently I pulled almost all of my stories from other booksellers and put them up on Amazon in their Kindle Select program.  With the release of Kindle Unlimited (pay $9.99 for a month and read all you like) because I'd read about the success that other writers were having with it.  I think the Kindle Unlimited programs is a great option for anyone that writes short stories.

How Much Do I Make?

I'm not rich from writing, if that is what you are wondering! LOL - not yet!  I've been hovering around the $100 a month range for a couple months now.  Not exactly where I want to be.  But I do have a plan!

How Long Have I Been Writing Fiction?

I've been writing fiction since I was about 13 and I wrote my first novella.  I don't remember a lot about it but by the time I was 13 I knew that I wanted to write for a living.  I got sidetracked with writing non-fiction, because it pays immediately.  But I started writing fiction again about 7 years ago.  I had no clue what I was doing though and hardly made any money.  About 2 years ago I started putting stuff up on Kindle.  Still no clue what I was doing but I was thrilled to start seeing a little bit of money from it.

Do I Really Believe I Can Make a REAL Living as a Fiction Writer?

Yes!  I do!  I am seeing it happen more and more often these days. Colleen Hooper was living in a double-wide trailer and wondering how she was going to pay her bills when she wrote her first New Adult novel.  A year later she was in a house and on the New York Times Best Seller list.  Jasinda Wilder and her husband were in similarily dire situation when they started writing steamy romances in their basement.  Now, she's also a NYT Best Seller and more than making a living.  Eve Carter is doing the same thing.  There are lots of success stories.

And someday soon, I'm going to be one of them!

Ok - this is the time when I tell you that you can ask me questions.  If you ask them in the comments I will either reply or update the post!  So ask away?  What do you want to know?

Saturday, September 13, 2014

A Short Trip, Bronchitis, and Keeping Busy - and Pics!

Wow, it really has been awhile since I've added a new post here hasn't it? I have to admit, my mind is all over the place these days.  Let me try to give you an update...

Well, first, I got to see my daughter and my granddaughter!  I was in Winnipeg for a whole 6 days.  I stayed at my Uncle's place (fabulous 2 bedroom apartment downtown in a highrise - the Milkbox as it is affectionately nick-named by Winnipegers with an awesome view of the city - pic to follow) and tried to spend most of my time with my girls but I also got to see a few other people.  It was especially nice to see two of my bestest friends every, Theresa and Sue-Ann and catch up with them and make a trip to one of our favorite places in the city, Celebrations.  I swear, I cannot get enough of that quirky, fun place. I also got to see a few other people but regret that I didn't get to see Corrina, another old friend from even farther back (we used to live together for several years and she helped create some of the wildest memories in my life), and a more recent good friend, Lou.  I haven't seen either of them in too long and hopefully next trip we can make it work.

On Day 2 of my trip I went in search of Timmie's coffee and got caught in the rain.  I found refuge in a mall, which of course was air conditioned like crazy.  Probably not idea as two days later I started getting sick.  By Friday night I was so sick I could barely stand and went to bed early. Saturday was exhausting and I was glad to get back on the bus and come home.

Unfortuantely, by the time I got home that cold had a good grip on me. I finally went to the doctors when I realized it wasn't going to go away by itself and found out I have bronchitis again. Anyone who has ever had that knows that bronchitis is a true bitch and once  she's with you she digs in her claws for the long haul.  I still have it! As I result, I haven't had a decent night's sleep in a week.  But I have medication and I think it is finally starting to kick in and I think last night might have been better than the rest of the week.  I'll have to ask my husband!

I've been trying to write more fiction lately but not terribly successful. I am just so tired from the trip and being sick that I can't focus on very much.

The most productive I've been is taking care of the quality control on Daily Two Cents and Writedge. And that has been a huge task lately.  Some idiot must have put links to our site on a black hat forum or something because we've been getting over run with spam/spun posts.  It's the kind of posts that serve no other purpose than gaining links and trying to get traffic to specific sites where the "writers" (and I use that term very loosely) can make money.  Now, don't get me wrong - writing articles with links to your own site or even links to some affiliate sites is not discouraged.  We're fine with that.  But we do have some rules. The main rule is that the article needs to MAKE SENSE! Don't submit a pile of garbage and expect me to publish it. The other thing is that you can submit an article with a hundred links and expect it to be published.  We aren't a link farm. Relevant links are absolutely allowed but at least have the courtesy to read our FAQ page to find out how we allow links and how many you can include!

Seriously, it's been making me a little crazy!

Anyway, that's been it lately.

Here are some photos from my trip that you might like:

Awesome views from my Uncle's balcony:

Yummy eats!

Corydon Avenue - my favorite place in Winnipeg

The cutest girl in the world!