Category: It's Worth It by Kitty Bucholtz

Kitty Bucholtz
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And Then There Were Two by Kitty Bucholtz

July 22, 2023 by in category It's Worth It by Kitty Bucholtz, Writing tagged as , , ,

When I got married 33 years ago, I knew there would be a lot of combining things in our lives. John taught me to enjoy comic books and Dungeons & Dragons. I helped him discover a couple chick flicks he could watch multiple times.

What I didn’t expect to share was my identity as a writer.

At first, it was really difficult for me, a middle child, to share a place I’d carved out for me. (Middle children out there, I bet you understand.) But over time I not only got used to the fact that my animator husband had started writing middle grade superhero stories, I decided to help him get them published.

Insert long story here about sending the book out to agents. (Many of you know this story.) So John decided he’d follow me and self-publish.

And since I’m a book coach and help people not only finish their books, but self-publish their books…yup, I had another client! (This one pays with kisses and backrubs and…ah-hem…moving on!) So as we insert another long story here, I’m now officially a publisher since I publish two authors. Whoa!

Let me know if you’d like to know how that’s working and I’ll make a point of writing it all down and posting it here. Meanwhile, I’m doing the publisher thing and promoting a book! 😀

Life as a Teenage Superhero is free through the end of today, Saturday, July 22, 2023, on all Amazon stores that sell ebooks. (I never thought I’d have to add those last three words, but the new Amazon store in Sweden doesn’t sell ebooks yet!) If you enjoyed the Harry Potter books, you might love Life as a Teenage Superhero. And if you have kids or grandkids from about 8 years old and up, they may love it too! (Also available in Kindle Unlimited for the next 90 days.)

We’ve got John’s second book in the 11-book series, Get a Half-Life, up on pre-order on Amazon with new books in the series coming out every 2-4 months. One of the new things I’ll be doing this year is creating a second print edition that is specifically for dyslexic readers! It’s a busy and exciting time to be a writer — and a publisher!

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What Do I Do with AI? by Kitty Bucholtz

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

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been on our radar for years, and on our fiction radar for decades. But since OpenAI opened its doors for anyone and everyone to try out ChatGPT six months ago, it seems AI has exploded across the world and across industries.

If you haven’t played with it yet, you might be wondering — what can an author do with it anyway? (Besides ask it to write a book for you, which would actually take about as much work as writing it yourself to come up with something really good and not generic-sounding.) Turns out, there are lots of things.

  1. Back cover copy — My husband’s first book just released (yay!) and he used ChatGPT to help him write better back cover copy. He entered what he’d written himself and then asked for help to make it stronger.
  2. Your book description on the sales page — Same guy, same book. He then asked the AI to read the book descriptions of a couple competitive authors on Amazon and rewrite his book description to sound more like the ones on those sales pages.
  3. Brainstorming plot holes and writer’s block — I used ChatGPT to find out what a lawyer (the hero in my current chick lit) might do in this or that situation. I asked it to give me three ideas of what might happen after this or that event. I asked it for ten more ideas, then I asked for more details on one of them. Suddenly, my block was gone and I knew what I wanted to write next.
  4. Fictional poetry or song lyrics — Since we can’t legally use more than a small number of words in poetry and songs (it’s easier for me to just say “we can’t use it” and be done with it), what can you do if you’re not a poet? Give ChatGPT some guidelines and ask it to write x lines of poetry for you in this or that style. Voila!
  5. Actual poetry to give to someone — Say, in your spouse’s anniversary card! John and I just celebrated our 33rd wedding anniversary a few days ago and I was gobsmacked at the short but lovely poem he’d written inside. I asked him if he’d written it or just found someone’s poem and written it in. When he paused, not answering either way, I started laughing. “Did you use ChatGPT?!” He looked away, trying to hide a smile. “Maybe a little. But then *I* made it better!”

The free version of ChatGPT can do a lot, but don’t expect it to “get it right” on the first try. You need to understand how to ask it questions to get the best answers. And you need to know enough about the topic to know when it got something a little (or a lot) wrong, or when its answer is just too generic to be useful. The newer paid version is already miles ahead of the free one, but you still need to understand how to ask your questions.

I’m going to be showing my group coaching clients how to use the free ChatGPT for brainstorming, how it’s different from “Googling” something, and the specific and helpful ways it can make your writing life easier. And more fun!

If you’ve used it, what do you feel it has done well or poorly? If you haven’t used it, what makes you want to try it or makes you shy away from it?

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Are Lacy Panties Holy Underwear? by Kitty Bucholtz

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

I’m not being blasphemous. It’s actually a funny story from earlier this week. I was in a Zoom Bible study and we were talking about the body of Christ, and how we make up all the parts of the body, and I was super tired and blurted out — “Yeah, even the underwear!”

Hahaha!!! Then I tried to explain — “You know, when I’m thinking too highly of myself I remind myself that I might only be the underwear.”

My friend Charlotte said, “But you’d be the lacy underwear, Kitty.”

“Yeah, that’s true,” I said. “The bride of Christ isn’t wearing granny undies. She’d be wearing lace. So she’s probably wearing Victory’s Secret lace underwear.”

Hahaha!!!! It took a minute for us to get back on track after that!

Then I was thinking that’s probably true. As much as we try to be “good,” we don’t always succeed. Sometimes there are holes in our faith. And lace has holes. So our faith — my faith, for sure — is probably more like lace underwear than sturdy granny undies. Hahaha! Of course, that analogy only goes so far since sturdy cotton lasts a long time, longer than lace. But you see where I was going with it! Haha! Sometimes I blurt out the strangest things when I’m tired! (And guess what conversation is going to find its way into this book or the next one!)

Whatever your views on cotton vs. lace  😉  I hope you have a beautiful Holy Week and a blessed Easter!

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Trying vs. Training by Kitty Bucholtz

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

A few days ago, my friend Joe sent a link to a podcast episode he thought some of his friends would like. Now Joe is a professional personal trainer and very athletic, so when I started listening to the episode host, Craig Groeschel of Life.Church, talk about jujutsu and wrestling, I was thinking that Joe overestimated my interest in getting more fit. Hahaha! (Joe helped me get in better shape when I was training for a half marathon a couple years ago.)

But as I listened to this episode I started thinking about writing. What is the difference between “trying” and “training” when it comes to writing, finishing, and publishing books?

To give you an example, I’ve been “trying” to finish rebranding and republishing my backlist for the last two years. Two years?! Yes! And I can explain every single thing that has come up, gone wrong, had to be fixed, and all the reasons finishing has been bumped lower on my priority list every month. But that is what “trying” looks like.

I’m trying, but I got busy.

I’m trying, but I got sick.

I’m trying, but I had to wait for my audiobook narrator to be free to make the changes.

I’m trying, but after I upgraded Vellum a couple of my old files wouldn’t open.

I’m trying, but I should put my clients’ work first ahead of my own, always.

And on and on. See any of your excuses — good reasons — for why something in your writing life still isn’t done?

Now let’s compare it to training. When I’m training to run a half marathon, I have to commit in advance to 4-6 months of work because I’m about to pre-pay for that race. At the beginning, I’ll need to take about 5-10 hours a week to focus on running and weight training. By the month before the race, that number is up to at least 15 hours a week. That’s just to finish the race, avoid injuries, and be in the range of my average time. To try to beat my best time will take more work (i.e., more time).

Sitting here in my warm living room on a snowy cold day in March, that doesn’t sound too appealing. (If I’m thinking about it on a day the sun’s out, it gets more appealing! Haha!) But I really like the idea of beating my best time, faster for me than I’ve ever run before, at the age of 55 (in two weeks!). After all, I beat my best time two years ago when I was 53. What if I could have my all-time fastest race when I’m 60?

Now I’m weighing excitement against what I’ll have to do (see above) and what I’ll have to give up (time that I could be writing, watching TV, hanging out with friends).

That’s the difference between trying and training — what am I willing to commit to, what will I do more of, and what am I willing to give up in order to meet my goals?

I had all of these ah-ha’s going off in my head during that 30-minute podcast, and I immediately saw a couple areas of my writing life where I needed to STOP TRYING. “I’m trying” is often a phrase that is waiting to be filled with excuses (even good ones!). But “I’m training” says I’m learning how to do what I need to do, I’m applying what I’m learning, and I’m going to keep evaluating my progress and tweaking what I do.

Whether we’re on book one or book one hundred, there is someone we can learn from. If something was working for us once but no longer works, there is something we can tweak to get back on track — or get onto a different track we now want to be on.

What’s going on in your life, writing or otherwise, that is now waving its hand at you, shouting, “Over here! Stop trying! Start training!” You can do it!

And it will be worth it! 😀

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Do You Need More Time for All Your Goals? by Kitty Bucholtz

February 9, 2023 by in category It's Worth It by Kitty Bucholtz, Writing tagged as , , , , , ,
where is my life going

Subtitle for This Block

Title for This Block

Every year, when I write down all of my goals, the list contains enough stuff to last several years. And after I trim it down to the essentials, it’s still almost definitely more than I can accomplish in the next 12 months. But I always want to try! Haha!

Do you have a lot on your mind and in your heart to do in 2023? I’m with you, friend! But there’s a saying attributed to the famous American businessman, Peter Drucker: “You can’t improve what you don’t measure.”

So let’s work together and both achieve more this year than we did last year! We’ll write down our goals AND how we’re going to measure them. As we keep track, we can look for ways to improve what we’re doing — and get more done.

And not just “stuff.” If you’re looking for someone to help you get off the couch and clean the house every Saturday, there are better people out there to help you with that. 😉 I’m talking about looking at the next 10-12 months and focusing on the most important things to you — finishing and publishing one or more books, helping your daughter plan her wedding, gain some muscle and lose some fat, do something from your bucket list.

I teach a class that’s helped hundreds of writers over the last two decades to get more writing done. Going the Distance: Time and Project Management for Writers. And with my new and improved version, we’ll look at my WHOLE PATH System to working on your whole life, not just writing in a vacuum.

The class will be online and self-paced, so you don’t have to show up at a certain time. But as a bonus, I’ll offer 4 live Q&A sessions during February and March. If you can’t make it live, you can send me your question and I’ll answer it so you can watch the recording.

Now is the time to get focused on what’s most important to you. And starting February 20, you can get the help you need to write more with less stress and more peace and joy this year!

I’ve created a couple short videos on my YouTube channel to help you in the meantime. The first is Easy Planning for the 3 Most Important Things in Your Life, and the second is Micro- vs. Macro-Planning. I hope you find them useful and encouraging!

And I hope to see you in class! 😀

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