Lessons Learned after a week in the 30 Short Stories in 30 Days Challenge

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It’s been a fun full week (okay 6 days) in my 30 short stories in 30 day’s challenge. I’ve learned a lot so far and I’m sure I’ll learn even more throughout the month. A few things I’m really happy to share are discussed below.

1 – Yes, you can write 30 short stories in 30 days. I’ve done 6 in 6 days so far.

That being said, I’m finding some of my short stories could be sections of one of my other series or books. So, it’s possible they’ll be adjusted and absorbed. It caught me off guard that I was doing that. I’ve shared sections of the longer stories that will likely be sucked into the other books and I’ve shared one so far that’s a complete short written in a style that’s not my typical.

2 – Experimenting is fun.  Experimenting in genre, style, and voice has been a challenge in itself, but it is a fun one.

It has been a whole lot of fun to explore different tones and voices. With a novel, you are creating a long piece of work. This could potentially be hundreds of thousands of words. With a short story, you’re only in that tone, voice, setting, story format for up to tens of thousands of words. Once you’re done, you can pivot to something else completely.

3 – Being prolific is a matter of practice.

Years ago I created numerous short stories amid my epic-length Scifi stories. These stories were produced in the same two years or so. That’s not counting anything else I was creating and writing. When you create more often the stories get longer and more involved and are finished faster. When you take a long break you find your skills are there but your production isn’t. Sitting down every day for this challenge has fed so many new ideas both in universes already created and for new tales not started. It is worth the fun involved! Keep at it, you’ll see things come together.

4 – Video write-ins are fun.

Video write-ins are fun and enjoyable despite whatever may happen. I haven’t been as consistent as I would like to be with it so far. That has a lot to do with situations in my home that limit my ability to get on the camera. Do you find Write-Ins enjoyable?

Okay, so that’s my current take away with my 30 short stories in 30 days challenge. Do you have any challenges you’re working for this year?

My newest asset in the fight to do ‘all the things at once’

One of the things that I struggle with the most is trying to do all the things at once. “Do it all NOW” Syndrome? Everything’s a syndrome these days 😉

For me that can be anything from formatting the new books (yes there are several that are ready for formatting) to editing the older books in prep for print. It’s so much fun to look at the writing and jump into that. It does need to get done to keep things running smoothly. Then kids jump in and have something that needs to be done so I’m going to ‘do that now’ too. Then when I’m in the middle of whatever kid related activity, I get a private message on one of the many venues that people reach me at, and I have to pause to do that, return to kids things and then remember there’s more work! ACK!

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Let’s be completely realistic here – When you have your hands full with work, kids, and household to run, it can be overwhelming on your own. Add basketball practice, games, and coding lessons into the mix and your day has gotten even bigger (or is that smaller?)

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Realizing I’ve got limitations – where I distract myself from work with work – I have found a great resource for helping me get back on track. It’s one of those things where I don’t know how I’ve gotten by without one. It seemed simple enough, get help with book reviews before I knew it,  I had hired a really incredible Virtual Assistant. She’s fantastic, persistent, and a translator so …. Xarrok, Knights of the Immortals, and anything else I’m working on will likely be translated into Spanish. That’s exciting to me.

With her help taking care of the distracting things, I have been able to replan the writing time, help the kids, and organize my to-do list in an effective manner. So simple. So obvious. And so – What was I thinking before? It’s awesome.

Now, that doesn’t mean I don’t have a regular schedule. It’s a requirement for any business. But something that many may not know, I also homeschool a niece. A fun additional item that is mixed into my day. Both working for myself and teaching require a plan and set time for everything. It’s not easy to make everything move together in a seamless manner, thus why I sought and found help.

Hiring help isn’t something everyone can do. This means additional support structures should be put into place. That doesn’t mean external support in all cases. This could be things like a written To-Do list via Google Tasks, with updates for how long things should take and when you should move onto the next step. It could be a partner who emails you to check in with you. I found accountability partners are wonderful help. A simple email at the start of the week and a phone call toward the middle with a week-in-summary helps make certain things get done. A blog can also be used in the same manner.
Time is always either our greatest ally or our greatest foe. For most of us, it’s a foe. Never enough of it to get what needs to be done accomplished. It’s important to set a schedule, stick to it. If something is distracting, find a way to eliminate the distraction. It might be hiring a really talented assistant or it could simply be shutting down the internet for a distraction-free business/work time. My best solution was to find Daniela. Yours might be setting alarms on your phone, or shutting down internet time. Each person is different. Take the time – it’s well worth it to spare – to review what you are doing, where things aren’t falling into place, and develop a plan of action. If you’re not sure how to go about it, find a friend or mentor to assist. If you need a good VA who might have more time to spare – message me. I’m happy to pass on her contact 😉

My best solution was to find Daniela. Yours might be setting alarms on your phone. Each person is different. Take the time – it’s well worth it to spare – to review what you are doing, where things aren’t falling into place, and develop a plan of action. If you’re not sure how to go about it, find a friend or mentor to assist. If you need a good VA who might have more time to spare – message me. I’m happy to pass on her contact information – with her permission, of course 😉

So that’s my rambling for now.  I’ll write more soon. And I’ll write more about what I’m doing to find time and set a structure to my day soon. What are you doing to better your work day? Your personal life? Do you have tools or a support system that helps? What do you suggest for people who are looking forward to reviewing their available time?

5 Quick Updates

Just sending out a quick update for all of my readers and friends. Wish I had made this site a long time ago. Things have been very busy for my family recently. I’ll leave that for another post. This one will update you a bit on some new projects that I’ve been consumed by.

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  1. There’s more Xarrok to come! Newest release is in the final stages of development and should be out the last week of the month. Additionally, I know many of you have heard me discuss Greshna’s Escape – Seeds of Revenge. That book is going to be available only through my website. Watch this page for more details on that shortly.
  2. My children have started writing Animal tidbits. They both enjoy learning about animals and my daughter has a dream of becoming a rescue one day. As part of that, we’re excited that she’s begun her research, with the incredible support of her brother. We will be putting out shorter versions for the Ebooks and the print will have tidbits, games, images and so much fun!
  3. I’ve been doing a lot of research on Women’s Health Issues. It seems there aren’t enough books that provide information for the most basic things women go through. I plan to make research easier for other women. Watch for that arrive the start of the year 🙂
  4. For years, Xarrok.com has remained neglected. That is about to change, but to start with, don’t hesitate to visit http://xarrok.info in the coming weeks. There will be some fun opportunities there.
  5. Watch for some snippets and guides that will be available for SciFi authors in the near term. We do a lot of research, this will provide a series of books that will touch on science basis, scientist speculation, and resources for your own development. It’s not going to be a long series or long books. They are going to be designed to develop a quick reference for an author who doesn’t need the internet distraction. I know the research process often leads me to the distraction, making the book writing process so much longer. It’s the hope these reference guides will help with focus, and avoid internet or facebook time sucking experiences.

Is there anything you’d like to know about? Drop me a question and I’ll try to get it answered ASAP 😉

Knights Newsletter and more personal stuff

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That’s the link to the fun place you’ll get great stuff for Knights of the Immortals! Can’t wait for you to see the rest of the series. So far 1-3 are in print. 1 and 2 are in eBook. 3 will be soon as will 4. 5 is done and ready to go. 6 will be a blast but not available until Sept.

 

Six is being rewritten The entire manuscript disappeared with the loss of my last computer back in Dec. All of the backups are corrupted because of how it was lost. Life happens, often.

I’m giving away some fun free stuff with the newsletter so don’t forget to grab the link and get signed up 🙂

 

Things have been crazy hectic here and the next month will be. All of it will be positive with a plethora of fun announcements coming one after the other in the coming weeks. Even a fun book tour will be hosting Knight’s Apprentice. I’ll tell you more on that as I’ve got more. ENJOY!

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Hello Friends!

This is an exciting place for me. More than just talking about books, I’ll share about myself, my family, and my fantastic support team. We have a plethora of fantastic involved fans with unique and fun stories to share. That’s going to be one of my favorite things to talk about.

Watch for the list being set up. I’ll have some perks that’ll only be available to those who jump in my newsletter. It’ll only be a monthly thing, with a few more that’ll come in as new books are released. Some of the things you’ll see include the opportunity to get an early copy of my books before they are released, cover reveals for you, and unique swag giveaways. It’s going to be a fun adventure.

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I work with Midnight Rose Publishing authors, which is a fantastic team of authors who are working together to expand reach, improve reading experience, and support one another. The group is fantastic. Watch for more about each of them. I promise, if you enjoy my books, you’ll love many of theirs too. It’ll be absolutely fun to share.

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Oh, and this year you’ll get a preview of Ripper Chronicles, a new scifi series that is scantly related to the Xarrok universe. It follows a small, hunted group of mercenaries who learn everything they believe is a veil for the unthinkable. Their adventures across the more localized sectors of the Milkyway will prove both entertaining, and intense. Rachel is the captain of the Ripper. The AI of her little ship is named Jack, and he’s as snarky as she is tough. Believe me when I say nails don’t stand a chance against Rachel. It’s exciting to consider introducing them to you in more detail. I’ll plan to share an excerpt soon.

Before this gets too long, I’ll call it a day, but watch for more to come! It will.