sunflowers

I Don’t Know What to Do Next

Hey you guys! I’ve missed you. Please, please send me news of your adventures. My own to-do list is so huge, I don’t know what to do next. I do know that this September-y time of the year always has me fired up with a keen mind for work and the promise of exciting new possibilities.

Over here, things have been a complete whirlwind. We had such a busy summer, hosting lovely friends and family, our home was like a bed and breakfast which was a wonderful way to warm the place. But now, oh now I’m so glad the children are back to school. Not because I can’t handle having them at home one more second, honestly with the pool this year they were absolute angels. No, I’m just so damned glad to get into a routine. Some kind of useful, effective work routine.

And there is so much work to do that I am dizzy. Mamma S finally found a local job. She’s delighted to have a ten minute commute instead of the 2.5 hour (EACH WAY!) mess she had grown used to. We’re all so lucky to see more of her, and this means all of us grown ups have more time and energy for ALL THE STUFF. What is the stuff? Where do I start?

I’m thrilled to be very close to publishing my first book, “Keeping It Up: A Guy’s Guide to Great Relationship Sex”. I’ve found a wonderful team of designers to work with, I’ve finished my final re-writes thanks to my glorious team of handsome beta readers, and I cannot wait to get this book out there. My goal is to have it hit the press well in advance of the holiday shopping madness.

I’m growing my little business experiment as a professional beta reader. It’s proven to be a very enriching and educational way to earn some extra money. What’s a beta reader? It’s not an editor, but someone who reads a piece (manuscript, short story, screenplay) with the eyes of an avid reader. I give feedback on character, plot, continuity, plausibility – all the things that make a book stand out as a good read. I’m finding I’ve got a real knack for putting a fine point on what is working and what isn’t, and exercising my critical muscles has been very beneficial for my own writing. I’m running that side project over at Your Beta Reader. Please check it out and share it where you think it can help.

I finished the first draft of my novel! If you know me, you’ll know this is HUGE. I was so, so intimidated by the idea of writing fiction, I could barely get started. Some creative writing classes via Quick Brown Fox helped me ignite the fire, and sheer determination helped me stick to it. Frankly, I mostly have Nekky to thank. He was a fantastic audience for each finished chapter, and his enthusiasm for the story spurred me on. Just as your enthusiasm inspires me to post here. What can I say? I love an audience. Now, the draft is ‘steeping’ while I take a breather. It’s killing me not to get back into it, but everything I’ve read suggests that taking a break is really wise. I have lots to keep busy with, but it’s hard not to bust out those color-coordinated post it notes.

At the advice of several trusted Internet resources, I need to develop my brand. Part of the problem I’m faced with is not really understanding what I’m selling. Ultimately, I want to make a living writing and selling my books, but I think there may be more here – a bigger picture that I just can’t see. I’m not convinced I’m ‘life coach’ material, or that I have a unique product I can sell, but who knows? I’m trying to stay open, and receptive, and I’m reading lots and lots of inspiring stuff. At the very least, I’ll be able to make this blog prettier by the end of it all. Sigh…

As if this weren’t enough, in the interest in investing in ‘me first’, I’m also taking on some work for our family business. Something new for me that I feel challenged by. I’m hoping it will provide some additional income to finance all of my ‘passion projects.’ Self-publishing, and more importantly, marketing said self-published materials, is going to require some resources I just don’t have.

Per my last point, I’m exploring Patreon at the advice of a trusted artist friend. This is a platform where people can sponsor their favorite content creators and help them fund their projects.  I’m trying really hard to ignore the voice in my head who keeps yelling “who do you think you are?” and just focus on building a great profile for my body of work. I am an artist. I am an artist. My work is important and must be seen by the world. Again, sigh…

Now it’s your turn! Send me news! How are you getting back into the groove? Are your creative fires blazing? What are your own passion projects?

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