Category: It's Worth It by Kitty Bucholtz

Kitty Bucholtz
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Belated Happy Valentine’s Day!

February 16, 2024 by in category It's Worth It by Kitty Bucholtz tagged as , , ,

Belated Happy Valentine’s Day! Or…not. It’s not for everyone, apparently only for those in love. And that leaves out a lot of people. But maybe today we can look at it as just a celebration of love. Familial love, brotherly love, these are as important as—arguably more important than—romantic love.

So, what can we do today to be more loving?

You might be thinking, well, all those people fighting can just stop. That would be a great step. (That’s what I’m thinking!) But unless you’re one of “those people,” that isn’t something you can participate in. So, what can you do today to add more love to the world?

Here are some of my ideas based on my own life circumstances:

  • Text or email each of my siblings to tell them I love them.
  • Text each of my nephews and niece to tell them I love them.
  • Send a handwritten note to a couple of my closest friends.
  • Say thank you to the person who cleans our apartment building lobby.
  • Send a short email to my readers, not saying Happy Valentine’s Day but “Thanks for being part of my life.”
  • Rub my husband’s shoulders instead of asking him to rub mine.
  • Smile and tell the grocery store clerk to have a great day!

Funny, the first two were easy, then I had to sit here and think about what *I* can do today or this week. But once I got past the third or fourth bullet point, the ideas started flowing!

I hope you’re thinking of some things you’ll do. No matter how small it is, it will make a difference, so do it! At the very least, it will make you feel even a little bit happier to bring a little happiness to someone else.

And that’s worth it.

Have a wonderful day!

P.S. If you’d like to read a short Valentine’s Day story with superheroes on a date, a villain, and a happy ending, try My Bullheaded Superhero Valentine, a side novella in my Adventures of Lewis and Clarke superhero series. I hope it makes you smile!

My Bullheaded Superhero Valentine | Kitty Bucholtz | A Slice of Orange
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More of Kitty’s Novels

ROMANCING THE PAGES

Buy now!
ROMANCING THE PAGES
ADVENTURES OF LEWIS AND CLARK BOXED SET

WELCOME TO LOON LAKE

Buy now!
WELCOME TO LOON LAKE

LOVE AT THE FLUFF AND FOLD

Buy now!
LOVE AT THE FLUFF AND FOLD

LITTLE MISS LOVESICK

Buy now!
LITTLE MISS LOVESICK

A VERY MERRY SUPERHERO WEDDING

Buy now!
A VERY MERRY SUPERHERO WEDDING

UNEXPECTED SUPERHERO

Buy now!
UNEXPECTED SUPERHERO
MY BULLHEADED SUPERHERO VALENTINE

SUPERHERO IN DISGUISE

Buy now!
SUPERHERO IN DISGUISE
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Creating a Community on Ream by Kitty Bucholtz

January 9, 2024 by in category It's Worth It by Kitty Bucholtz, Writing tagged as , , , ,

Have you heard of Ream yet? It started in May 2023 as an alternative to Patreon especially built for fiction writers. It’s kind of a combination of a membership and a Facebook group and a blog, a way to bring your fans together and get them chatting about your books.

When it first started, I looked into it and decided it wasn’t for me yet. But it has grown a lot in the last seven months, with all kinds of features that I’m excited about. And — just a few days ago — they launched a new look for their home page that is a step closer to the discoverability we’re all craving. Keep in mind, one of the founders, Emilia Rose, writes (very) steamy romance and so right now, the site seems to be mostly authors and stories who haven’t been able to find a place on Amazon. Not Safe For Work (NSFW) content. So maybe don’t go wandering around there on your lunch hour. Haha!

Even though I’m a “clean” romance author (not a great word, as if other romance is unclean – haha! – but it’s the word used), and I’m not sure how many like me are on Ream yet, I’m super excited about the possibilities there! It will allow a free/public tier that you can use to get more followers, and then additional paid levels like on Patreon. You can offer early access to your work in progress, exclusive bonuses that you can’t get anywhere else, Zoom calls and book clubs (for your books or for others you’re reading in your genre), autographed paperbacks — really, anything your creative brain can come up with! And you’ll have the email addresses of your paid subscribers so you can stay in touch with them.

I don’t know about you, but I can get really lonely writing away in my office, wondering if anyone is reading my books and what they think of them. (Yes, I can tell if people are buying my books, but is anyone enjoying my books?) So I’m excited about the feature that allows subscribers to comment publicly on the WIP story they’re reading, and for everyone to read everyone else’s comments. This is a great way to have a big beta reader group and could help you create better books as you write.

Ream Stories logo

There are so many things about Ream that I’m excited about! I’ll be launching my page later this week (and continuing to tweak it as I learn more), so check out reamstories.com/kittybucholtz in a few days. I’m meeting with half a dozen writer friends a few times a month to discuss what we’re learning from the podcast, the Facebook group, and the help center so we can share and make changes to our plans. Several of our pages should go live in January and we’ll immediately be able to connect with fans at the free level. We’re all really excited about building a community. And it doesn’t hurt that over time we’ll also be creating another revenue stream. 😀

I’ll let you know next month how my first month has gone. Meanwhile, you can learn more about Ream here on their LinkTree. Let me know if you have questions, and I’ll try to answer them for next month!

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3 Steps to Planning Your Year by Kitty Bucholtz

December 9, 2023 by in category It's Worth It by Kitty Bucholtz, Writing tagged as , , ,

There are a lot of ways to plan out your year. I’ve spent most of the last two decades doing very detailed planning that got right into what I’d end up doing each week. I decided on the big tasks and goals, and then broke them down into quarters, then months, then weeks. Then each week I would work on those smaller tasks on whatever days seemed to work best in the moment.

But sometimes you need to walk away from the granular so you can stay focused on the big picture. If that’s what you’re looking for, I can help you get your year planned in three easy steps.

  1. Do a brain dump of every single thing you can think of that you’d like to do this year. Add to it every single thing you can think of that you know is already going to be on your calendar. (Weddings, babies, vacations, writers conferences, everything.) Also, write down the things you need to do for yourself in order to make it through the year in a mentally and physically healthy way. (Yup, talking self-care here. Mental health day each month? Lunch with a friend on a regular basis? Exercise?)
  2. Now pick the #1 task/goal you really want to do even if nothing else gets accomplished. The very most important. After that one, pick one or two more that you really want to accomplish.
  3. Now break down those top 1-3 tasks into chunks. Look at your calendar to see where you have those other big life events, and plan around them. (Be sure to include “white space” for traveling, un/packing, planning, etc.) Write the first bits of what you need to do into your calendar for the first 1-3 months. As you get those smaller tasks done, add more as you go along. Now you won’t be overwhelmed with a year’s worth of stuff you want to do, but you can still stay on track to finish your top goals.

I hope this helps you get started on how you’d like to spend 2024. I’m getting more and more excited about the new year the closer it gets! See you on the other side! Happy New Year!

Some of Kitty’s Books

ROMANCING THE PAGES

Buy now!
ROMANCING THE PAGES
ADVENTURES OF LEWIS AND CLARK BOXED SET

WELCOME TO LOON LAKE

Buy now!
WELCOME TO LOON LAKE

LOVE AT THE FLUFF AND FOLD

Buy now!
LOVE AT THE FLUFF AND FOLD

LITTLE MISS LOVESICK

Buy now!
LITTLE MISS LOVESICK

A VERY MERRY SUPERHERO WEDDING

Buy now!
A VERY MERRY SUPERHERO WEDDING

UNEXPECTED SUPERHERO

Buy now!
UNEXPECTED SUPERHERO
MY BULLHEADED SUPERHERO VALENTINE

SUPERHERO IN DISGUISE

Buy now!
SUPERHERO IN DISGUISE
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How to Do a Year in Review by Kitty Bucholtz

November 9, 2023 by in category It's Worth It by Kitty Bucholtz, Writing tagged as , , , ,

One thing we hear a lot of this time of year when we talk about annual planning is that we need to do a “year in review.” We’re told to make note of what worked this past year, what was more difficult than expected, and to decide what we’ll continue in the next year and what we’ll stop.

But what’s the best way to look at it?

If I sit here and think for a few seconds, I would say this past year has been tremendously difficult. (Just shy of “It sucked!”)

If I think about it for a minute, I remember than I got to travel three times this year – three times more than I have since the Covid pandemic began. That’s a win! But the rest of my life still sucked.

But if I get something to write with (pen and paper, computer file, phone note) and close my eyes and try to go through my whole year, looking at my calendar as well, I see something entirely different.

The root of my financial troubles was me not leaving any savings for slow months, but putting every dollar I earned against my credit card balance. Cash flow trouble. Something I can avoid in the future now that I understand it from first-hand experience. (It seemed like such a good idea to pay down my credit card as fast as possible…unless you get to a month where you don’t have enough for even the minimum payment. Oops.) While the short-term results were painful, the lesson learned for the future was invaluable.

My health was another big stressor this year. While I knew that I was learning how to heal from burnout the last few years, I hadn’t fully realized the impact of peri menopause in addition. I started out the year practically homicidal. But I was put on HRT (hormone replacement therapy) in mid-February and my symptoms quickly evened out. I wasn’t 100% back to myself, but at 80-95% (depending on the day), it was a huge relief!

Unfortunately, that 5-20% still bothered me with brain fog and fatigue, feeling like I couldn’t keep two thoughts in my head half the time. That doubled the amount of time it took me to do client work and my own work, which made me feel like I was getting further and further behind every month. Then after my half marathon, I caught a terrible respiratory infection that knocked me out for a couple weeks. A few weeks later, I caught Covid for the first time.

While between them it felt like I lost a good two months in trying to get healthy again, that time also made me think about how I’m living my life without much white space right now. That’s not what I want. I’ve had a half-finished puzzle on the table for a couple months because I keep telling myself I don’t have time to play right now. What’s that about? That’s something I want to actively plan to change next year.

These are only a few of things I came up with when I spent more than one minute thinking about the year. Turns out, there were a lot of good things in my business and personal life in 2023. In addition, of course, to a lot of lessons learned, and a lot of unfortunate things I couldn’t do much about. But once I could see these things written out, I could start seeing a much clearer picture of what the year truly was like.

That allowed me to start a list of what I wanted to change (quite a few things) in 2024, what I wanted to do more of, and a few things I needed to cut way back on. When I start my annual planning for the new year, I’m going to take this new, more complete, list and look at if from the standpoint of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT). I’ll also compare my bigger life goals against the year – am I living my life with purpose and loving everyone as much as I can?

So how about your year in review? Can you take longer than a few minutes and really think it all through, write it down and take a solid look at it? I think you’ll find some really helpful information to make next year better.

And I bet you see a bunch of things to remind you that this past year was even better than what you remember!

I hope you take the time. It’s worth it.

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The Menopause Effect – It’s Real by Kitty Bucholtz

October 9, 2023 by in category It's Worth It by Kitty Bucholtz, Writing tagged as , , ,

This year has been <insert adjective here> for me! Which adjective to insert seems to depend upon both the hormones, or lack thereof, coursing through my body and how I’m managing my mindset during this phase of life. Some of the things I’ve said about the year include horrible, difficult, super tough, disastrous, a waste — all variations of “hard” but with a lot more emphasis and/or emotion coming through with some of them.

However, some of the other adjectives I’ve occasionally inserted have included a learning experience, eye-opening, difficult but with lessons I want to share with others. (Okay, not simple adjectives, but you get the picture.)

I’ve gone from being seriously pissed off at everyone, hating life, wishing it all away, and being seriously depressed to getting some hormone replacement therapy (HRT) patches and finding my real self again! (I feel between 90% and 99.9% better most days.) I think my husband wants to give my doctor a Christmas present this year! Haha! Life was tough on him, too.

Now, I was raised in a time and place when women’s health, particularly reproductive health, was never discussed “in polite company,” meaning only to a doctor in the most dire cases. My mother didn’t say much more than she had to, and although as a teenager I knew all the angst was caused by hormones and it would eventually even out and go away, no one told me I’d have to go through it all over again!!

Even though I spent the first 50 years of my life allowing myself to be too embarrassed to ask any more questions than necessary, the next few years got increasingly difficult and confusing and I needed help. I finally talked about some of it to a friend, and then starting Googling anything I could find on this transition. The results were dismal, mostly articles by white, middle-aged, male, American doctors saying, yup, these are the symptoms but there’s nothing you can do about except wait it out, and don’t worry, it’ll go away in five to ten years. This is where I remember my always-near-the-surface rage hitting new heights.

When I spoke to a writers group a few months ago on a writing topic, but happened to mention the effects of peri menopause on my writing, I found that most of the comments in the chat were variations of “Thank you so much for talking about menopause!”

Shocker! Shocking enough for me to choose to get over being embarrassed!!

So here I am, along with a few friends, talking about menopause and hormones and all the crap that goes along with it…but also all the things we’re trying and what we’re each finding makes a positive difference. We’re recording our conversations and putting them on my YouTube channel. Here’s the first one. Please let me know in the comments here or, preferably, on YouTube if this is helpful and what else you want to talk about. Right now the calls are being recorded at 6:30am ET, 12:30pm CET, and 9:30 or 10:30pm in Sydney depending on when you read this and whether everyone has gone through the Daylight Savings Time changes. If you want to be on one of the live calls, let me know. We might be able to change the time at least sometimes. Meanwhile, I hope it helps and encourages you and the people around you. We’re not alone! 🙂

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