HOW TO USE SCRIVENER (TOP FEATURES) | VIDEO TUTORIAL

Today I give you a video tutorial explaining just how Scrivener works along with sharing some of the best and most helpful features a lot of writers don't know about.

Scrivener is a powerhouse, but you don't need to know how to use all of it to see how it can transform your writing process!

Don't let this awesome program intimidate you. Level up your book-writing process from Microsoft Word and Google Docs with this video!

PLAN WITH ME (INDIE AUTHOR) | November 28, 2018

Find out how I'm getting myself back on track to finish 2018 strong after an incredibly crazy month of getting sick, my kids getting sick, going to the 20bookto50k conference, being with my sister as she had a baby, getting sick again, and hosting Thanksgiving! Phew!

After a month of not writing or setting any kind of goals, I'm diving back in with this plan with me.

How's Your Author Business Doing So Far This Year?

I’ve mentioned before that I plan quarterly.

I usually check in quarterly too, at least with myself, and spend time making note of how far I’ve come in the last 3 months, where I need to pivot, and where I want to go next.

Now that fall is upon us and kids are back to school, it’s the perfect time to ask yourself how your author business is doing so far and pivoting as necessary.

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Goals change, and that’s okay.

Back in January, I shared a post containing my 2018 goals (and how to plan by quarter).

Today, I’d like to let you know how my author business is coming along so far and what’s next for me.

And of course, share what’s changed. :)

The plan was to do this in July, but… #momlife.

Here’s my 2018 progress so far and how I’m pivoting, by quarter and overall.

By the way, I’d love to hear from you as well! Don’t forget to comment below.

Business Revenue

2018 Revenue Goal: $24,000

I’m just under $9,000 for the year so far, but I have another book to come out (plus plans to level up my book earnings).

I only published my first book of 2018 in April, so it almost feels like 2018 just got started for me. But already, it’s almost over!

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The bad thing? The more you make, the easier it is to spend money and blow it on ads with zero or low ROI and other such things. It’s important to be smart with the money you make! No point in going from making $1K to making $10K only to blo $9K.

So yeah, lesson learned. I’ve spent money experimenting with FB ads, but I’ve set them aside (again) for now.

And I’m hoping to hire a trusted PA (who knows what she’s doing) to do my AMS ads. Lately, I’m finding it hard to gain traction with AMS ads, and of course, the reporting is the worst.

I also invested money in conferences (ticket, flight, accommodations, meals), which (in my opinion) is worth it.

A huge part of my spending has been investing in the two launches I’ve done, but I’m doing way better about keeping spending reigned in.

For book 1, #TheRealCinderella, my priority was reaching as many readers as possible, but with the next book, my ad spend was way lower, and I only made about $500 less.

Publishing Schedule

My goal is to publish 3-4 new books this year, and I’m on track to hit that! I’ve published two books and will be publishing one more.

I’m also trying to transition to publishing every 3 months to every 2. That would be amazing.

WriterMom

I absolutely love spending time working on this blog and my YouTube channel.

But I’ve learned that I need to put my fiction first.

WriterMom was the first thing to go when I decided to level up my author business. I gave up weekly YouTube videos and blog posts and only kept Monday Must-Reads and the Saturday morning newsletter so I could focus the majority of my precious time on writing fiction.

These days I’m not even spending a ton of time on marketing.

This is going to remain the same the rest of the year and for the foreseeable future.

I’m bringing back WriterMom videos/blog posts but every two weeks. The goal is to work on getting ahead of schedule and do WriterMom stuff on the weekends, but I’m still working on that.

And I won’t be editing videos. I’ll just go live on YouTube and hope I don’t mess up too much. :)

First Quarter Goals

Bold means completed.

Main Goals

  • Publish book 1 of new series

  • Finish updating WriterMom blog/autoresponder/social media queue and grow WriterMom

Smaller Goals

  • Post weekly YouTube video and share

  • Create WM editorial calendar for Q1

  • Get self-care habits back on track (sleep, working out, water, morning routine)

  • Tidy Kon-Mari style (clothes, books, papers)

  • Draft/dictate collab book

  • 2017 Taxes

What can I say? I’m guilty of trying to do too much.

First Quarter Reflection

It was a very interesting first quarter. I’ve pretty much scrapped WM new stuff (except the newsletter and MM) to go all in on my fiction.

I was spreading myself too thin and trying to do too much when I don’t want that jam-packed lifestyle.

I didn’t publish in March as planned due to a flaky cover designer and deciding to bring on an editor, but I’m almost there!

Figured out a better process and more committed/productive than ever with Google calendar.

What didn’t work:

  • Trying to grow WriterMom AND my fiction

  • Doing too much

  • Editing books I didn’t like

  • Not sleeping enough/taking care of myself

What worked:

  • Google calendar to schedule tasks daily

  • Dropping off toddler with a sitter for a few hours some days

  • Focusing on doing 2-5 things/day

  • Staying off social media

  • Taking weekends off

Second Quarter Goals

Main Goal

  • Publish and launch #TheRealCinderella LIKE A BOSS (deadline: April 26, aim for April 24)

Smaller Goals

  • Finish reworking and drafting collab book by May

  • Write book 2 and prep for launch in July (ended up being August)

Second Quarter Reflection

The collab book did not happen. Hoped to catch up on it, but only got about 23K before the project got stuck/stalled. We both got super busy over the summer.

So instead I focused on the #TRC launch. It was my most successful launch to date, although I got behind on book 2.

Not on track for July, especially after everything that happened in June (no kitchen, house hunting, buying a house). I lost so much momentum on edits.

But my most important goal (the launch) did happen in addition to family time (weekend trip).

What worked:

  • Being up by 6am, working until 9am before the kids woke up

  • Planning my day and week

  • Using mywriteclub to regain momentum on edits

  • Word count chart in Scrivener

  • Launch spreadsheet with deadlines

  • Got up to 3K/day (new threshold for me)

What didn’t work:

  • Trying to write during such a big launch

  • Getting stalled on edits

So where am I going next? I’m already working on my third quarter goals (technically ends at the end of this month). I’ll let you know how it all goes at the end of the year.

I’m also still editing for clients here and there.

But the important thing? I intend to end 2018 on a high note.

How about you? How is 2018 going for you so far? Do you have any questions for me?

Resources mentioned above:

- how to plan quarterly (and 2018 overall goals): https://www.writermom.net/blog/2018-g...

- mywriteclub: https://www.mywriteclub.com/beta/

- all my Write to Market videos: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...

- Saturday morning newsletter (insider tips and updates on my author business): https://www.writermom.net

BEST BOOKS FOR WRITERS: FAVORITE READS FROM 2017

In today's video, I share my favorite reads from 2017. This list will include something for everyone, whether you’re into fiction or only non-fiction, I think you’ll find something great to read.

So last year, I set a goal of 50 books to read. This was scary to set such a high number, but I did it and I’m so glad because I read so many good books. I think I was wasting a lot of time just rewatching old TV shows, but now I’m spending more time than ever consuming new stories and non-fiction.

In 2018, my reading goal is 60 books. I'm upping my goal again, but I'm also ecstatic to be making even more room for reading in my life and become a better storyteller through reading.

Here are my favorite reads from last year (my affiliate links):

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If you’ve been in a reading rut or are looking to level up your life, I definitely recommend you start with some of these books. And if you’ve read some of these before, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. I read and reply to all of them.

One of the most important things you can do for yourself as a person and as a writer this year is to read more books. It’s why I’m making reading one of my top priorities in 2018. It makes me a better storyteller and helps me level up. And I know it’ll do the same for you if you give it the time.

As always, thanks for watching, subscribe so you don’t miss future videos, and keep creating your art.

MY WORK FROM HOME MOM ROUTINE: HOW I PLAN MY DAY

In today's video, I’m giving you an inside look at how I plan my day and get so much done. 

My general daily routine has changed a bit over the years as I've been a college student, been a teacher, and gone from one kid to two, but one important thing has remained the same for a few years now (one thing that has been crucial in me writing and publishing 8 books).

Also, for the past few months, I’ve settled into a new system that works pretty well for me (no burnout in sight!). 

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Today’s video will give you some tips on how to be productive when you still have parenting, other work, and household responsibilities to fit into your day. 

I'll take you from the beginning of my day, starting with my morning routine, what I do first thing when that's done, managing household and mom duties, plus getting some down time before getting into bed. 

My Creative Mom Planner plays a huge role in helping me balance it all, stay on track, and keep focused. Check out the daily blocks I use in the video and see if they might work for you!

What are you struggling with when it comes to getting more writing done?

MY 2018 THEME, GOALS, & HABITS + Q1 GOALS (HOW TO PLAN YOUR YEAR BY QUARTER)

In today's video, I share my 2018 goals, habits, and theme.

Plus, I share why I now plan by quarter as well as what specific goals I'm striving for during the first quarter of the year!

If you'd like some new year inspiration and tips, you'll love this video. 

Here's what I discuss:

  • What I failed to mention in my 2017 in review video (how did I do as far as $$?)
  • The phrases, mantras, habits, and mindset that I'm going into 2018 with
  • Why I'm switching to planning by quarter instead of by year
  • Big picture goals for 2018 (like revenue & hitting publish every 3 months)
  • My specific goals for the first quarter of the year (2 big goals plus a handful of smaller goals)
  • My #1 tool for 2018
  • Why I'm convinced that 2018 is going to be so much better than 2017

Find the video helpful? Remember to subscribe so you don't miss the next one! Sign up in 3 seconds on my homepage. 

The Key to Your Breakthrough Year in 2018: The Creative Mom Planner is Here!

The Creative Mom Planner is here!

Designed specifically for moms who running a business while raising a family. No more trying to fit all your to-dos inside your head or using clunky systems that don't work.

This life planner was built for you. 

Get an inside page-by-page look plus tips on how to best use the Creative Mom Planner in today's video.

This planner is for writers, authors, freelancers, bloggers, YouTubers, coaches, course creators, and other women entrepreneurs with big goals in their personal and professional lives. 

The Creative Mom Planner is available now in print and digital form!

Grab yours today at: https://www.writermom.net/planner

HOW I STAYED SANE DURING THE HURRICANE (AND 5 DAYS OF NO SCHOOL)

HOW I STAYED SANE DURING THE HURRICANE (AND 5 DAYS OF NO SCHOOL)

My family spent the entire week dealing with Hurricane Irma. It wasn’t nearly as bad here in northeast Georgia where we live as in Florida, but there were tons of fallen trees and many, many families without power for days. 

Were you or your loved ones in the path of the hurricane? Let us know in the comments if you were able to stay safe and dry!

As for us, school and work were pretty much cancelled on Monday and Tuesday so all of us were home. We lost power Monday evening for 3 hours and then again all night, but we were some of the lucky ones. Several of our family members lost power for two whole days or longer. 

School has been cancelled every day this week with many road closures due to fallen trees and power lines and tons of people still without power and/or water. 

We hunkered down, though, and were pretty much fine. My biggest hurdle was trying to stay focused on work during the storm. 

How to Win Your Day, Be Happier, & More Productive

In today's video, I discuss how I start my days out so that they feel like a win. 

It all starts with your morning routine.

I discuss:

  • why a morning routine is the key to winning your day
  • how to set up your morning routine
  • how a morning routine has made a huge difference in my life and business
  • how to go from frazzled and stressed in the mornings to starting the day on your terms (and become way more productive)
  • 6 things you can include in your morning routine so that you focus on self-care and setting the right tone for your day
  • why this will work for everyone, even night owls and people who "just aren't morning people." Former night owl here :) 
  • why I won't go back to late nights
  • how to get started
  • my recommended book on sleep, especially if you're having trouble getting good sleep and understanding why it's essential for productivity, losing weight, and more
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