Happy New Year, friends!! I hope the first week of 2021 was a beautiful surprise, with more peace and more joy and more hope than you expected. (With one glaring exception, that’s how my week went.)
I emailed my list this week and encouraged them to believe that each of us can change the world with our books and writing. I shared what a nurse friend told me, that when she loses a patient all she wants when she comes home is to escape into a story with a happy ending. Now, more than ever, I want to be part of encouraging those with necessary and difficult jobs to keep going.
And I want to encourage you to keep writing stories that help people feel connected, stories that give them hope, or nonfiction books that help people where they need it. If you’ve been stuck in your writing, if 2020 seemed to have stolen your artistry or creativity, maybe my Finish Your Book one-to-one book coaching can help. Reach out to me (kitty at kittybucholtz dot com) and let’s talk. Finishing your book and getting it out into the world is a worthwhile use of your time this year!
You may know that I always have an Encouraging Words episode on my podcast on the first Sunday of every month. This month’s episode is a great boost to get 2021 on the road to being a great year. I hope it encourages you!
I’m excited to share with you that I have a mini-season on my podcast all about editing in honor of all the first-drafting that went on in November for National Novel Writing Month. Five episodes of editors and agents talking about editing and giving you their best tips. Jennie Nash, my first guest, even gives you two handouts!
Check out the episodes every Thursday on WRITE NOW! Workshop Podcast. You can find it on your favorite podcast app or watch the episodes on YouTube. Be sure to subscribe, either way, so you don’t miss out! In 2021, I’ll be moving to seasons, which means there will be a couple weeks in between without an episode and I don’t want you to miss anything.
As we finish up a difficult year, I also wanted to share my Encouraging Words episode with you. I hope you find it uplifting and hopeful. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!
I titled this post “Blank is a Daily Struggle” because each day can bring its own set of challenges. Sometimes for me writing is a daily struggle, my health can be a daily struggle. Our finances and dealing with our children. In essence, everything in life can be, well,…a struggle.
Since we are all writers here, I’m going to focus on how writing is a daily struggle. I work almost full time now and finding the mental capacity to write has become a new challenge.
I tried writing after work, but most days I have no mental capacity left. I’ve tried to plan in the morning, and then I had 8am calls every day for a few weeks, and that routine went out the window. So, right now I focus on different times each week and weekends.
I just didn’t want to sit. Of course I had been sick all last week and resting when I wasn’t working, so I was a little done with the messes in my house and inability to move around without being lightheaded.
So instead of pushing myself, I gave myself grace. And focused my energies where I seemed to want to go. It helped. It was like I needed to clean off the desk so I could start new.
That’s how I try to approach each new day.
One of my favorite things to do each morning is focus on the fact that it’s a NEW day. And each new day is a re-start to whatever happened before.
It’s not always easy.
But sometimes it helps immensely.
A clean slate to start new. New words. New projects. New edits. It doesn’t matter how much I did or didn’t do the day before, what matters is how purposeful I am today.
The planner I’m using this year – My Brilliant Writing Planner – has sections to focus on ourselves as a whole. Physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social, sensory, creative. We are made up of all these parts. But we don’t always pay attention to all these parts of ourselves.
When something is a struggle it could be that we are out of balance with one of these and we need to take time to replenish ourselves in a way that continues to help us function the best we can.
Just something to think about.
Just some rambling thoughts this month, as I try to balance life. Each day does feel like a daily struggle if I allow it to overwhelm me. I’m trying really hard not to do that. And I just wanted to share in case you were struggling too. I hope you find some encouragement in my words and that you have a blessed day.
If you are interested in checking our the 2021 My Brilliant Writing Planner, take a look at this website. She redesigns them every year and this year there are multiple sizes and types. I find them very adaptable to my needs, and I know Kitty has mentioned she uses them too. I already have mine!
I wrote a post recently about Finding Motivation to Accomplish Your Goals, and showed a few pics of the inside of my planner, if you wanted to take a peek.
Since May is all about Star Wars, I thought I’d start with a famous Yoda quote and apply it to a building your brand message:
“Do or Do Not, There is no Try”Yoda
How does this apply to your author platform?
And sometimes this fear prevents us from doing anything about it.
But that’s exactly what I want to encourage you to do. Do something! Don’t just say you will try. And know, whatever you do, it doesn’t have to be 100% perfect. It’s most important for you to do.
Yes, I know, all the different variables to building your author brand can be stressful. But keep in mind, I’ve seen several small businesses evolve and grow in their online presence. It has opened my eyes to the fact that they did not get to their current place overnight. There’s not a magic switch that turns on everything perfectly. Most sites have evolved over time, trying things that work and don’t work and making adjustments as they work out the kinks.
Our author websites and social media are just like this.
That’s what happened with my Marketing for Authors newsletter. I saw a graphic I liked and wanted to make it into the brand for Marketing for Authors. But no matter what I did, it wasn’t working the way I pictured it. And so I put off sending out my newsletter, or doing anything else for that matter. Not very business-minded, was it? So, I too am right in the thick of it, challenging myself with starting over and moving forward.
I’ve since chosen a simple design (thanks Canva!) and color scheme that I can incorporate into my training materials easily. And if I need to change some things as I go, I’m okay with that.
Here’s my new logo.
What do you think?
I’m super excited about it. I didn’t overthink it like I usually do, and I can incorporate the colors into my training materials. The only issue is when I print it on my home printer, the color comes out a little more blue than what it looks like on the screen. Since most of my stuff will be digital anyway, I’m moving forward with it. And boy does that feel freeing.
I understand how much establishing brand and building content is complicated and time-consuming. That’s where I want to help you in figuring out what works and to offer encouragement.
For myself, I’ve written my first newsletter and I’m ready to send it out (you can sign up for my free newsletter here). I’m also preparing to teach my first online class and give my first zoom interview. I’m trying not to over think things, but just take baby steps, one step at a time.
I hope to encourage you in the same way.
If interested in learning more about brand and SEO, take a look at some of my past posts:
Or you can visit my website by clicking on the button below.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year…
To reflect on our goals and all that we’ve accomplished, so loved ones will hear!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
Many times when we are working by ourselves, at our desk, with our words, we find ourselves deep in the minutie and seeing only all the things we have still left to do.
We may not have met any of our aggresive goals each month, or even each week, as life intrudes on a daily basis for us all.
For me, I’m rounding into my eighth year and still haven’t published my book. (I started this journey in 2012). If I focused only on that one thing, I would be frustrated, disappointed, and inclined to throw my hands up and say that I’m done.
But if I count
I’ve actually done a lot.
Not to mention the weekly critique meetings with my two lovely critique partners, where I’ve gotten some fantastic feedback on my manuscript, and the helpful feedback I’ve been able to provide in return.
Then there’s the pitches I’ve submitted for teaching at more conferences for next year and the deadline dates for contests I hope to be ready for.
All of that tells me I’m making progress.
And I wouldn’t be able to track my progress, if I didn’t take the time to write out these things I’ve accomplished throughout the year.
So, I encourage you to take a step back and think about what you have accomplished in 2019.
There’s a lot of things we do to put words on a page and turn them into a great story. Don’t discount any of it. Whether it just fills our soul to inspire, or gives us tools we can apply to our writing, it all helps us continue on our writing journeys.
Have a very Merry Christmas! I’m thankful for you all.
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