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Author Goals for 2015 Pt. 3: Reviews & Conferences

This is a continuation from Monday’s blog, The Serendipity of Christmas Generosity. It took time to get to the place where I was ready to commit to writing after the events described in my previous post. But that bit of serendipity certainly affected what I’ve done this past year as well as where I’m going next year. In Part 1 of this series I shared an overview of my goals and now I am posting a discussion of why each is important to me as a writer this year. Part 2 covered why I want to engage with a local writer’s group.

This week I decided to take on two goals in this post.

Reading GroupReviews

One of my goals was to read and review more books. As I mentioned in my original post about my goals I’m a VIP member of Rave Reviews Book Club and to meet my membership requirements I need to review a minimum of four books. I’ve already reviewed one so I need to review more. However, I’d also like to review more than three books during 2015.

Why haven’t I been more busy with this goal this year? I’ve been busy with a big revision of my own book. I’ve also been busy with growing this blog, social media and my crowd-funding campaign. Now that I’m done with my revision I can focus more on reading – just as soon as I replace my broken e-reader.

However, the main idea behind the goal is to connect and give back to fellow authors. Initially, I’ll be targeting my chosen genres – fantasy and SciFi. I’m even considering posting my reviews as blog posts as well as on Amazon, Goodreads, etc…

Conference Attendance

HandshakeI already attend a local conference which is convenient and inexpensive. While I enjoy the conference and all that I learn as well as the interaction with other authors, I do want to experience a different conference.

Much like my first goal of attending a writer’s group, I’d like to network with a wider range of authors. I’m looking for something close, convenient and inexpensive. However, another goal is to simply get out of my regular schedule and nurture both my creativity and motivation. Along the way, I hope to learn more than a few things.

What goals are you considering for next year? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

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Clip art licensed from Microsoft Office.

A New Author’s Year in Review Pt. 3

This is a continuation from Monday’s blog, The Serendipity of Christmas Generosity. It took time to get to the place where I was ready to commit to writing after the events described in my previous post. But that bit of serendipity certainly affected what I’ve done this past year as well as where I’m going next year. In Part 1 of this series I’ll revealed how I’ve progressed this year in several ways but now I want to get more specific starting with my email decisions. Part 2 covers my choices with email.

HammerAfter I obtained my domain registration and email address hosting, I then launched my website. I knew the site would be a work in progress which didn’t bother me too much. The one thing that gave me pause was blogging. I’d never blogged though I knew a little about it. I was hesitant to proceed with the activity.

But why would blogging leave me hesitant? After all, I am a writer. What left me with qualms was the amount of regular content I needed to produce. I didn’t think that I had what I needed to develop content frequently. What would I write about? What about the time commitment? My main concern was starting a blog and then doing nothing with it when it’s supposed to be an enhancement to my longer content.

I started with infrequent post but researched how to blog and what kind of topics I could share . Here’s where I made a mistake. I committed to that crowd-funding campaign too soon. I needed to build my blog with regular posts. True I could have blogged more during my campaign but because of the campaign I lacked focus for the task.

Once I completed the campaign, I took a look at my blog analytics. They were abysmal. Clearly I needed to address this. I made a commitment to myself to blog more frequently and try a variety of different types of posts. I started hosting blog tours more as Typingwell as engaging in a guest post. Re-blogging is now a regular element of my blog. I write more related to what I am doing and how. Along the way the blog grew by a great deal. It’s not a huge thing but growing is good.

Looking back on the last seven months, I’ve come to enjoy blogging and I’ve learned a great deal too. Now I post a blog Monday through Friday and have a Newsletter. I may not keep up this pace next year but I certainly have fewer concerns about blogging now that I’ve committed to it. I look forward to learning more about the activity this coming year. I’m also going to expand the types of posts to author interviews while continuing to host more blog tours and guest posts.

I plan to share more about the details of how I started, what I used and the reasons for my decisions – good and bad – in the coming weeks. I’ll also use another series to discuss my plans for the upcoming years and why I’m setting such goals. Along the way, I’m also planning to reveal what I hope will be a helpful Scrivener template related to all these issues and how I plan to move forward. Again, I’m sharing this for other new or floundering would-be authors so if you know someone giving a it a go as a writer please share my posts with them.

The Bow of DestinyHow did you start your blog? Do you struggle to produce content? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my Contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

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Clip art licensed from Microsoft Office.

Managing Scrivener Projects & Templates Pt. 3: An Author’s Platform

Having An IdeaScrivener has been a key component to improving my productivity this year. I’ve recently written about various uses for Scrivener such as blog posts, newsletters and even template email messages. Additionally, I’ve shared about using Scrivener templates including some resources for these. In my last post I shared about managing templates.

One of my common writing topics is project management. I’ve written several posts during the year that address issues specific to writing. I’m also currently reviewing my year as a new author which, in part, refers to some elements of the same subject.

I had a copy of Microsoft Project available when I started planning my author platform. The software is used mainly for large projects among numerous people and it’s a tool to help keep everything on schedule. So in organizing everything I needed and how I was going to execute each stage of constructing my writing platform I gave Project a try.

But this software never quite satisfied me. While it’s useful for scheduling, it never suited my needs. Being date-oriented, Project left me dis-oriented when it came to managing all the aspects of writing.

Recently, I got to thinking about the topic again. Scrivener came to mind as something to try. After all, Scrivener is ideally built to manage writing projects. Why not expand that to managing all the data for my writing platform?

Under ConstructionThat’s just what I’m in process of designing – a template for an author’s platform. I’m still putting all my ideas together but I’m basically organizing the template to help authors plan and manage their web presence, social media information, a writing inventory and much more.

I’m going to take my time but I hope to have it ready later this week to share. I envision it as been an author’s hub of activity where they can manage book launches, submissions, etc. Writing is a daunting profession as it is but trying to track everything gets to be confusing. The beauty of Scrivener is that you can link to or even save all kinds of files into a project – even a Project file. This type of flexibility allows an author to centralize their activity into one location that either references important information or includes it outright.

Interested? Then check back on the News page and I’ll announce the blog post containing the free download. I’ve already got one template posted this week for Newsletters which you can download for free.

Available at Amazon, Smashwords and All Major E-Book Vendors!

Available at Amazon, Smashwords and All Major E-Book Vendors!

Are you trying Scrivener templates out? Are you already using them? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my Contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Clip art licensed from Microsoft Office.

Also, in no way do I represent Scrivener or sell the product. All questions about the product, its sales, support and licensing for your own computing needs should be referred to the company.