Wednesday, January 17, 2018

I Did an Interview About Freelancing

Hey all!

Sorry for the radio silence. I've basically got hired for a big job on the Thursday after IWSG and today is the first day where I wasn't either on the job, or recovering from the job.

But while I was away working, an interview I did on freelancing went live on Ronel the Mythmaker's Blog, so if you guys are interested in that aspect of my career, please do head over and say hi.

If everything goes smoothly, I should be back on Friday.

XoXo

Misha

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Insecure Writer's Support Group: ........ Already?!

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a monthly bloghop where writers can share their doubts, fears and insecurities with each other. It's a nice way to vent, but also to realize you're not alone. If you'd like to sign up, click here.

Also, if you'd rather read this post on a Wordpress blog, click here.


You know, you'd think that starting fresh for the New Year would leave me fresh and renewed and at least a little less insecure than usual, but alas... No. 

What's the problem? Oh, it's an old one. I have it frequently...

Namely, the sheer staggering amount of items I have on my to-do list. Except this year is worse. Why? 

Last year, I kept track of my list with a diary and pens, which meant that I had at most 20 tasks on a given day. But I switched to Trello last year, which is the same thing, except digital, which means I can set myself an unlimited amount of tasks. 

And it seems like my life has taken it upon itself to meet that challenge. 

On January 1st, I cleaned up all my lists, starting from scratch with only my goals as a starting point. 

Then I started adding the little tasks I have to do from day to day. And added... and added. 

And in two days, my list of things I need to do today shot up from 0 to 30. Count them. 30 items. 

*Cue maniacal laughter* 

To be fair, I can shift a lot of them out to other days, but for some reason, I'm just not getting to the ones I deem to be essential, like having to spend at least 20 minutes today on editing my book. I literally can't figure out where I'm going to squish that in yet. 

And this is supposed to be a day off. 

Whelp!

How are you doing? Do you also feel like 2018 is starting like an avalanche?

Monday, January 1, 2018

Got Goals? Bloghop Pt 2: My Goals for 2018

This blog post is part of my update for the Got Goals? Bloghop. For those of you who are wondering, a bunch of us have set some crazy or just crazy important goals, and once a month, we post updates on our progress toward those goals. For more information or to join in the fun, click here.

In Part 1, I shared how I did with my 2017 goals, but today, I want to take a look at what I want to achieve in 2018.

I've been struggling to wrap my head around goals this year for some reason. Maybe it's because I feel like I'm hopelessly behind on everything, or maybe it's because everything feels like it's up in the air, which makes planning ahead for a year a bit difficult.

But... I do feel like I get more done if I do have a goal frame-work in my life, so I'm going to try.


Okay. So. My goal is to make a living as a writer (which also includes using my writing and publishing knowledge), but for that to work, I need to sort my life out in general. (Again. *Eye roll.*)

So I'm going to go back to categories this year.

Five-Year Goal: Make a Living Off My Writing

Technically I achieved this last year, but I'm going to keep the goal as is, because I'm still far from the number I want to reach. Also, I do want to change the way in which I'm reaching this goal. 

So, my goals towards my Five-Year Goal are:

1) Earn $2,500 per month by the end of this year.
2) Change the profile of my earnings so a third of my income comes from publishing and/or selling my own work. 

This brings me to the next break down of my goals: 

Writing/Publishing Goals

First, I really need to write more, but I also really need to publish something. I can't keep skipping publishing years. 

1) Write or edit something of my own every day. 
2) Finish and publish Wo6C3.
3) Publish the sequel to Endless and/or
4) Publish my historical romance. 

This brings me to the next heading, since it's no use to publish without marketing: 

Marketing Goals

These are a bit more varied, but somewhat more involved than you'd think. 

1) Update my website. Yes, I have a website, for which I pay hosting, but it's so out of date, like before-I-split-with-my-publisher old, so I never link to it, which I find to be sad. 
2) Create a newsletter. Finally have a big enough readership to justify this. 
3) Update The Vanished Knight, The Heir's Choice and Endless to reflect everything I've learned in the past two years. (Like better formatting, since I'm way more experienced now than I was when I started self-publishing.)
4) Be more active on my social networks. (Which includes figuring a content strategy I can actually stick to.) 
5) Ramp up marketing for Wo6C3 as I prepare to publish it. 

And then I have some more goals regarding my life, since being of sound mind and in good health actually helps me get more done. 

Life Goals

1) Be more healthy. Yeah yeah I know this one always gets up there, but this one is always the first goal to go when the wheels fall off, so I need to sort my shit out here. I only have to lose like 66 pounds or something now. Sigh.
2) Read for at least 15 minutes every day.
3) Rest from computer screens from sunrise to sunset on at least one day a week. 
4) Finish the needlepoint tapestry I started like two years ago.
5) Finish the oil painting I definitely started two years ago.

Okay those are the big ones I can think of right now. I'll probably add and deduct goals as I go, depending on how my year goes, but I feel like I hit all the important things. 

What about you? What goals did you set for 2018? Don't forget to sign up if you want to join the Got Goals? Bloghop. 


Sunday, December 31, 2017

Got Goals Bloghop Pt 1: How I Did in 2017

Hey everyone! I would feel like I'm totally going the Got Goals? Bloghop wrong if I didn't sit down and do a check on how I did on my 2017 resolutions.

After all, Got Goals? is about goals, which means the New Year's goals I set every year fall nice and squarely into that wheelhouse.

By the way, if you want a bit of extra encouragement and accountability this year, you're welcome to join in the fun. The Got Goals? Bloghop is a bunch of us setting crazy or just crazy important goals, and then posting monthly updates (usually on the last Friday of every month) on how we did. This month we're doing it a bit different because of the time around New Years being so hectic, but you can click here for details.

One more thing... If you rather want to see this post on Wordpress, click here.


Looking at how I did...

To be honest, I probably couldn't have left this post later than I have. Why? Because it really feels like I didn't achieve that much in 2017. I think the worst thing about 2017 was that I spent most of it fighting to keep afloat while never being able to stand still to actually build much toward my career. 

The only exception is my freelance work, but the truth is that freelance work, while saving our backsides multiple times this year, isn't really my long-term plan. (That would be... you know... writing.

That said, I'm not one to look gift blessings in the mouth, so I'm going to leave the whining there for now. 

So let me get down to business and go through my 2017 goals one by one. Another slight annoyance because I did it as a vlog and never wrote them down. Which isn't all that good for my keeping track of them, huh? This is me, then, listening to the vlog and transcribing the goals, then commenting on them.

Goal 1: Make a Living as a Writer

Hahaha okay. So this actually went well, but it also involves how I define being a writer for the purposes of this goal. And that is, not only as someone who writes but as someone who knows how to write and publish. So making money from editing for someone counts. 

Which is a good thing, because I'm in "making a living" territory now. When I recorded this goal, I was happy to say that I was earning around minimum wage in my country (around $300) every month, which was impressive in that I had only started this goal in September 2016. 

But basically, after January, there seemed to be a shift in the income I made from freelancing, and the average moved up to $500 every month. And in the last three months, that average shifted to $667 per month, which was equal to the salary I used to take from the old business I left. And in December, I almost made $1,000. Which is was awesome, because this was an amount where I could actually feel the money making things easier for my family. 

That said, I suspect the wheels will come off with the rest of my goals. Let's see...

Goal 2: Publish Wo6C3. 

Not even close, thanks to me needing to redraft a 250k-word monster during very possibly the worst year of my life. 

Goal 3: Publish the sequel to Endless.

Hahahahahahaha *sob*

Goal 4: Read 25 Books

I read 5 for fun. If you count the ones I read for freelancing, though, the number is closer to 30. It was a good year for that. And the nice thing is that I had the privilege of working on some amazing works with people, and learning a lot because sometimes the subject matter was out of my comfort zone.

Goal 5: Spend More Time Doing Crafty Things

This is did, which is probably what kept me sane. First, I made some baby blankets. Then, I'm also working on a needlepoint tapestry that I've been working on for a while now. It has close to 260,000 stitches, so I'm never wondering about what I need to do in the year. 

Goal 6: Be More Social

I do think I was, but then, that was only because my benchmark was 2015, during which I saw very few people. I did sign up for more live stream chats and the like, putting myself out there more, which I also see as being in the spirit of what this goal is about. 

Goal 7: Get in the Habit of Writing Every Day

Not even close.

So Overall...

I actually did achieve more than I thought I did, although I managed very little in the way of writing, which upsets me. 

So I'm definitely going to have to pull my socks up in that regard. 

Come back tomorrow if you want to see what I want to do in 2016. 

But a New Year's Eve post isn't a New Year's Eve post without some nice thoughts, so here's a New Year's Poem I wrote. 




How did your 2017 go? Have you set goals for 2018? Don't forget to sign up for the Got Goals? Bloghop if you want to join in. 

Friday, December 8, 2017

Some Good News

Hey everyone!

Just wanted to let you know that the application has been approved and the license is being issued! Thanks so much for your thoughts and prayers!

Love,

Misha

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

A Glimmer

Hey all!

Once again I have news, which you can read by clicking here. Otherwise, I'm still seriously appreciating you guys' thoughts, prayers and messages of support.

Love,

Misha

Monday, November 20, 2017

Infinite Hiatus

Hi all,

I don't really have it in me to repost the whole thing here, but I very likely won't be online anymore past Friday. If you want to know why, you can read my post here.

Love you all.

Misha

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

NaNo Need-to-Knows: Tips for Week 1

Hey everyone, if you want to read my IWSG Post, you can find it here. If you would like to find the rest of the NaNo Need-to-Knows Series, just click here. :-)

Today is November 1st, so I shared my three best tips for NaNo Week 1. The script I used will follow the video, if you prefer to read.



Since you’re hopefully rearing to get to writing, I’m going to keep things as short and sweet as possible.

So tip number one is write something. Anything. 

A lot of writers get stage fright in the beginning of a writing project, because blank pages have a psychological impact on our creativity. So make sure your first page stops being blank as soon as you can. Even if you write something stupid like “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” or an entire scene about the character eating pancakes… whatever. Just write something down, because those first words will lead to more.

Tip number 2: Pace Yourself. 

Maybe you’re different to me, but I’ve always found that the first section of a book is the second easiest to write, following closely on the heels of the climax and resolution. So once you get past the first page jitters, the words will be flowing in something like a flood, and it’s easy to be tempted into writing thousands on thousands of words in a day.

But.

You need to avoid that temptation and cap that amount at slightly higher than your normal word count. If your NaNo word count target is already higher, cap it a the amount you need to write.

Why?

Because you’re not in this to sprint. NaNoWriMo is a marathon, and if you don’t pace yourself, you’re increasing the likelihood of burning out. I know writers who only draft in NaNo and take an entire way to recover because they burn themselves out. Don’t do that to yourself. It’s better to write 20k or 30k every month than 50k for NaNo and none in the rest of the year.

Tip number 3: Enjoy Yourself. 

With the high wordcount requirement and short time frame, it’s easy to get stuck on the challenge part and forget about the fact that writing is fun.

Don’t to that, because stress is so not good for your creativity. So yes, push yourself, but also remind yourself that no one will shoot your dog if you don’t win.

Best of luck! Are you excited to start or regretting your decision to join?

Insecure Writer's Support Group: Tired

It's the first Wednesday of November (which I still can't believe), which means it's time for me to join that famous bloghop for insecure writers everywhere, the Insecure Writer's Support Group.


So 1 November means it's time for NaNoWriMo, and not a year has passed since 2010 where I haven't taken part. Which means that yeah, I'm definitely doing that. 

(I'm also doing a blog and vlog series to help with NaNo, if you need an extra dose of help and encouragement. This week's vlog post will follow immediately after this one.) 

But in typical Misha style, it's 1 November and my month has already been screwed before it was even noon. 

So I don't know how I'm going to do NaNo this year. It's been hard enough to be creative this year so far, and now my life has dialed the intensity up to an 11. 

What about you? Doing NaNo? Feeling the pressure yet/already?