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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How to Move Your Author Business Forward Every Single Day, No Matter How Crazy Your Schedule Is

In today's video, how I've managed to publish several books since 2014. I may not be nearly as prolific as those book-a-month writers, but I've also been in college, been a student teacher, had a baby, been a teacher, gotten married, bought a house and moved, had another kid, become a freelance editor, and so much more. 

Find out the system I use to keep moving forward every single day, even when all I have is a few minutes (and especially when I only have a few minutes). 

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Other things I talk about:

  • how to create a daily to-do list you'll actually complete
  • how to decide what to focus on (so you don't waste your time)
  • what not to focus on (the time-wasters)
  • what I do when life gets REALLY crazy
  • how I find time to write, market, and do other business things even when you have a day job, kids to take care of, etc
  • how to keep track of your to-dos

Lessons Learned So Far, Reviewing Goals, & How to Finish 2017 STRONG

In today's video, I teach you how to review your yearly goals and pivot if needed so you finish the rest of the year strong! 

Spoiler alert: my year has not gone as planned! 

lessons learned so far 2017 blog post image.jpg

I also talk about:

  • the essential questions to ask yourself as you review your goals
  • how my mid-year review went
  • why it's important to accept that things don't always go as planned and be kind to yourself
  • what I'm struggling with right now
  • how I'm pivoting for the rest of 2017
  • what I'm doing now that I know I'm definitely not going to be able to accomplish everything I set out to do in the beginning of the year (and why I shouldn't)
  • what I am making a priority
  • an excellent strategy for when you feel overwhelmed with everything on your plate and don't know where to start
  • the #1 most important thing to remember as you continue on with your year

Camp NaNoWriMo 2015: Day 29 (Never Stop Making Progress!)

Oh boy. So this last part of the month did not go as I planned.

I got bombarded with lots of day job and wedding planning stuff, and the truth is I chose not to make writing a priority during those several days. Very on and off, mostly off the past week or so.

But I’m back on the daily writing wagon, even knowing that I’m not going to meet my 40K goal.

And I’m completely okay with that.

Right now, this manuscript (Unforgettable Love) is at 30,608 words (77% done!). So yes, I’m slightly disappointed in myself because I could have easily won this challenge I set for myself, but I’m still very happy and proud of the 30K I have so far (with one more day to go).

Yes, I wanted a completed manuscript, and I fell short of that, but I’m almost there.

Things came up that I didn’t expect, but the important thing is that I didn’t do what I would have done a couple of years ago and just completely abandoned the book until months later.

Instead, I’ve adjusted my goals so that I’ll finish this book by May 15th at the absolute latest, but I should be done well ahead of that new schedule. If I just write 600ish words a day, I can make that new deadline. But it’s much more doable and I’ll also have time to exceed if I can and work on a ton of other stuff that I need to do (writing, marketing, exercise, and wedding stuff).

The most important thing I’ve learned so far is that you can’t stop making progress no matter what.

No matter what.

Be it five minutes a day. 100 words. 500 words or thirty minutes if you can. But don’t skip a day. Because it will turn into two and then three.

I said several posts ago that my goal was to get to 3-4K daily. I still want to do that, but right now, I can’t do that daily amount so I’m scaling back to 1K a day until the wedding passes and I take care of some day job things that are coming up. I’ll produce slower but consistently until I can push my productivity to higher levels. Because it’ll mean another book formatted, marketed, and published, another written, yet another outlined.

How did you guys do during Camp NaNoWriMo?

Below is a quick summary of the progress I’ve made (and not made) the past several days that I did not publish a writing diary.

Day 23: 04.23.15 Thursday 0 words

Day 24: 04.24.15 Friday 789 words

Day 25: 04.25.15 Saturday 0 words

Day 26: 04.26.15 Sunday 0 words

Day 27: 04.27.15 Monday 0 words

Day 28: 04.28.15 Tuesday 2111 words

Today’s Data

Total Words: 1038

Total Word Count: 30,608

Camp NaNoWriMo 2015: Day 22

7:46pm So it's not even 8pm, and I've met both of my big daily goals. Write enough to stay on track for Camp NaNoWriMo and exercise.

I'm very surprised. Today was hell at the day job. I had to stay very late with no breaks, and I came home practically brain dead at about 3:15pm. Completely wiped. I went straight to bed to recuperate for at least an hour. I closed my eyes but couldn't really fall asleep. It was close to four, but I just couldn't bear to leave bed yet, so I caught up on blog reading. Then I tried to nap again but the fiance got home, and I made myself finally get up. The slight headache I had all afternoon got steadily worse. I had a snack and watched a bit of Netflix at the dining table.

Then I had the laptop open and ready to start, but I just could not get rid of this headache. So I closed the computer and worked out. That usually makes me feel better mentally. It did for the most part. I ran to the shower, grabbed the toddler, and brought her to her 6:30pm Wednesday church class.

I brought my laptop, and this is where I'm at now. I procrastinated a bit, but finally got started writing at 7pm. Her class ends at 8pm, and I made it my goal to finish my 1700 words for today by then. I had time for two pomodoros. I set the time for the first, but I was on a roll, so I didn't stop until 7:38pm when I crossed the finish line.

I'm so happy. I wrote probably my favorite scene of the book so far tonight. Carlos and Naomi's relationship is beautiful. The words were flowing, and I just kept thinking how far I've come as a writer. Like, hey, this doesn't completely suck! It's actually kinda good! Yay!

Don't you love these kinds of moments? I live for them, especially when the words get stuck, and they're not very good.

So anyway, I'm including Tuesday's and tonight's stats below. I know I forgot to post last night. No details on that since after today, I can hardly remember my name :)

Tuesday's (Yesterday's) Data

Total Words: 2067

Total Time: ?

Total Word Count: 24,919

Today's Data

Total Words: 1751

Total Time: 38 minutes

Average WPH: 2765 (new record!)

Total Word Count: 26,670