baby steps

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…

I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions.

My resolutions always end up like my “I’ll start my diet next Monday” promises – in a big old dumpster fire because they were are big and I expect results too quickly.

However I do believe in trying to find solutions to bothersome situations with tiny little steps and if I happen to try when it’s January or September, so be it.

Baby steps.

Like removing the Facebook app from my phone as of January 1…

Ignoring all that oh-so jaw-dropping drama right now in Romancelandia on Twitter…

Like no longer reading, reading and reading more books about the craft of writing when all I need is to simply write…

Like no longer researching about self-publish when I just need to complete a piece to publish…

Like limiting the time I spend admiring other people’s photos on Instagram…uhh…well, except for one artist’s IG where the thirst traps are too hard to resist.

 

In the past few days that I’ve committed to limiting distractions or not doing any of the above, I feel like I’ve recouped so much time.

More time to dedicate to reading which will help me add to my Book Review widget.

Yeah, baby steps.

What baby steps are you taking?

Bisous,

M

 

happy anniversary to me

Wow!

I’ve been on WordPress for 5 years and what do I have to show for it?

Did I finally publish a book?

No.

Did I become some kind of popular blogger?

No.

Did I make money from blogging?

No.

But I’ll tell you what did happen during those 5 years that’s more important than all of the above:

I learned the basics about blogging and got comfortable with expressing my thoughts in this space…

I learned to stop talking about my love of writing to those who think it’s unimportant because it’s not worth the frustration…

I’ve made a number of AMAZING online friends that I never would have met if it weren’t for taking a chance on that first WordPress Writing 101 course…

YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!

So happy anniversary to me and thanks for being the reason I keep sticking around.

Bisous,

M

 

 

(mostly) staying in my writing lane

A long while back, I started an off-shoot blog and my idea was to share a few personal anecdotes and my thoughts on the state of affairs outside of my writer’s blog.

You know, anecdotes about growing up in a world that didn’t glamorize, glorify or grant any attention to girls who looked like me.

A time where little Black girls didn’t see themselves in any light and even when they did, it was never a positive one.

A time where the hashtag #Blackgirlmagic would have been considered a terribly funny joke.

But thankfully with the power of the internet, the world is a much smaller place now and the world is finally recognizing that we are a force to be reckoned with.

Like this article from the Washington Post and this article below:

If you are looking to empower yourself as a Black woman, if you desire to level-up to be the best you can be for yourself and conquer the world alongside the squads of like-minded Black women waking up, there are resources and information out there to suit all needs.

I follow a handful of intelligent, life-experienced, and savvy female social media personalities who see us as “women first” (before anything else) and they have been doing an EXCELLENT job of providing guidance for years.

Naturally, I don’t blindly follow everything they say – I chew the meat and spit out the fat. I take what they say and then decide if it resonates with my personality and my world.

(I can privately share my handful with you if you DM me on Instagram.)

So with that in mind, I’m going to let that other off-shoot blog go. And there is no use in linking to it in this post because it will soon disappear into the ether early in the new year.

Besides the extra work and thought involved, I don’t need a completely different blog space to share my musings about non-fictional things that resonate with me.

As a storyteller, I can stay in my lane – my storytelling lane – and weave my messages and my experiences into my work, all the while using my main blog to voice whatever I like, whenever I like and however I like on other topics.

Like anyone else, there are different facets to me and that’s just the way it is. If certain readers don’t appreciate it when I raise deeper and more sensitive topics, so be it.

One thing is for sure, my niche readers and audience will stick around because they know that I’m writing for them just as much as I’m writing for myself.

Upwards, onwards!

Bisous,

M xoxo

a little indie love #nanowrimo

If you read my last post, you know how I’m approaching this year’s Nanowrimo this November…

I’m not going to write a daily post telling you what I did because that would just be plain boring but I will share something that I finally sat down and did today.

I made a list of all the indie books I have bought, read but haven’t written reviews for.

That’s what I did.

But I’ll be honest – if it hadn’t been for the severe rainstorm followed by a severe windstorm that knocked out my internet and cable, I probably wouldn’t have done it so quickly. I was blessed enough to not lose electricity and I had no flooding since I “triple” waterproofed my property a few years ago, but I had plenty of time waiting on hold with the electrical company to tell them about this…

Yeah, I’m lucky that when this tree snapped, it decided to fall AWAY from the property. Unfortunately it fell onto the electrical pole and I’m trying not to worry about it. Hopefully, the situation will be regulated soon.

But I digress…

I now have at least a dozen books on my short list to review and have jotted down what I liked about the characters and story lines to refresh my memory and to make my review write-ups easier.

And for the books I didn’t enjoy,especiallu due to the genre? I’m deciding to not review. It’s not the author’s fault if I didn’t enjoy the genre, right?

I know that Amazon and Goodread reviews are priceless so it’s about time I get back to doing this, especially since I follow a lot of these authors on Instagram and enjoy their work.

So I’m thanking 2 storms for giving me a kick in the pants to draft up my reviews. 🙂

What about you? Do you regularly leave a review of books on Amazon or Goodreads? Do you know that indie authors need reviews?

Bisous,

M

doing Nanowrimo my way

Okay, so starting today, I’m doing the Nanowrimo challenge like millions of other writers who are diving in for the next 30 days.

But I’m not doing Nanowrimo in the traditional way…

I’m doing it my way and no one is going to tell me otherwise.

i cant GIF

My goal isn’t to write 50,000 words by November 30. My goal is to write a little every day and do to AT LEAST ONE writing-related activity everyday for the next 30 days.

Why?

Because I have soooo many writing-related things I never prioritize because I’m either working on a scene I’ve been thinking about or catching up on something else.

Long story short, I’m aiming low.

And today, I managed to accomplish a few writing-related things…

  1. Yesterday, I was finally taken off the wait-list for a “how to” course on email newsletters. My newsletters have been lacking (to say the least ’cause I’m never quite sure what to share) so not only was getting off the wait-list great timing, I’m considering my sign-up as “accomplishment #1”. I’ve only heard good things about this course so I’m really looking forward to diving into it in January 2020;
  2. I read/cleared out EVERYTHING in my email account where I receive blog posts, newsletters and writing-related articles. Is it weird to say that it felt soooo satisfying to be at Inbox Zero? Sorry, it felt good!
  3. I finished editing the next installment for my Wattpad story. All that’s left is to spellcheck and I’ll post it.

Who knew that aiming for the minimum could give such good results?

And why didn’t I think about aiming low before?

Are you doing Nanowrimo? What have you got on your to-do list?

Bisous,

M xoxo

 

 

Bigger Is Not Always Better

Another A to Z Challenge is over.

I changed course like I explained in this post but I love how writing challenges always provide me with a base for a longer story and this last A to Z confirmed what I already knew:

Novels may be bigger but bigger is not always better.

Novellas are my “thing”.

I said “novellas”, not “telenovelas”, though I like them too.

With a novella, a story can be told more quickly and it’s a great way to decide if I want to convert a story into a lengthier piece.

And in these days of busy, busy, and more busy, readers seem to want quickie reads.

Novella, novel or a book the size of an old telephone book. What’s your preference?

M xoxo

Diverted, Not Defeated #atozchallenge

Challenges are always a great way to get me motivated.

However this April’s A to Z Challenge will become an OFFLINE challenge during May and June.

Not only do I feel at ease with my decision to change course, but I’ve lifted a weight from my own shoulders.

I can give you all the reasons (besides the usual) for why, but here are just a few:

  • it’s tax time and the ish needs to get done;
  • memoir writing and dance classes I signed my folks up for to get them more active and engaged requires temporarily switching up my schedule; and
  • doing ground work on a project now that should lighten my load later this summer.

But more importantly, I’m simply not willing to write anything just to post something to keep up with the A to Z Challenge.

I have other installments alread drafted but I prefer let my ideas develop organically. Going back and dropping Easter eggs into previous sections of a story is not easy and requires some thought.

And…I truly like where my story is going so I’m not going to rush it.

My email subscribers will continue to have access to my offline draft that is now open for “comment” but you’ll see that as of “H”, I’ve only been posting the songs linked to each installment I had planned.

That’s where it’s at friends – I’ve diverted but I’m not defeated.

So, if you just stumbled across my blog, for the rest of this month’s A to Z Challenge, I will only be posting the song links that inspired my A to Z Challenge story.

If you are interested in what I wrote from “A” to “G”, feel free to go back to the beginning by CLICKING HERE.

And like I said, readers who are on my mailing list will continue to have access to my in-progress story offline as well as be able to make comments.

Bisous,

M xoxo