WHERE I'M AT SINCE MY LAST POST
OH HEY. I’ve been in freak out mode on and off since my last post. I have less than a month before My Lullaby of You is out in the world. Sixteen days, in fact. SIXTEEN DAYS.
On that note: My Lullaby of You is now available for PRE-ORDER on Kindle!
You can also sign up to be a part of theRelease Day Launch on June 16th.
Other than freaking out, not editing my next book, and hating every form of formatting, I’ve been great. Which leads us to today’s very fitting post.
WHAT YOU CAME FOR: FIVE THINGS KEEPING ME SANE
This post idea came from the lovely ladies over at the Straight and Curly Podcast. This episode, in fact. Give it a listen if you have the time, it has some really great advice.
My five things in no particular order:
1.Audiobooks. Audiobooks keep me company on my work commute which is roughly 40 minutes in the morning and anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour in the afternoon. It’s been a bit hard to get used to, but with audiobooks I don’t have to listen to the same five songs the radio plays and I don’t feel like I’m wasting my life away in my car. (INTJ over here.) I use Hoopla and borrow the books from my library. So far it’s been working out great and I’ve listened to some pretty awesome books like The Dream of You, Girl Wash Your Face, The Best Yes, Bittersweet, and I’m currently listening to Reading People.
2.The song Reckless Love by Cory Asbury. I first heard this song at Church during worship and fell in love with the words and the melody. It’s serving as a daily reminder that God has been so good to me and is with me always as I’m going through some personal stresses in addition to my book release.
3. Sofabar workouts. If you didn’t know, I figure skated for 11 years. I found Sofabar’s workouts searching for stretching videos on YouTube and found one geared towards figure skaters. Her workouts are saving me right now because they are quick, effective and she has such a good variety.
4. Where I live. Seems like an odd one but I absolutely love where we live. When I turn onto our street after a long day (and they all seem to be long lately) I feel a wave of calmness wash over me and I instantly feel so much better. Like the whole day was worth it because I get to go home afterwards.
5. My Husband. Yeah I know it seems cheesy and corny, but seriously I’m not sure how I would have gotten through this past month/year without him. He is my number one fan and cheerleader for me publishing my books and gets on my case when I whine and say I’d rather watch Vampire Diaries and mindlessly scroll through Instagram instead of figuring out how to upload my files, reading drafts, or writing my next book.
Honorable Mention: Homemade granola bars, this recipe in particular!
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS
What are some things that are saving you right now or making your life easier? I’d love to know!
WHERE I AM AT SINCE MY LAST POST
Hi friends! April seemed to fly by. Since my last post, I have mainly focused on my marketing strategy for My Lullaby of You and getting all that needs to be done for the release date of June 16th!
In other news, I've been editing my next novel, going through a self-edit checklist and digesting all that needs to be revised, deleted, added, etc. to make it as good as it can be. You'll be hearing all about this process in a later post.
And lastly, out of nowhere, the idea for the sequel of previous mentioned next novel, started to take shape and is pouring out of me. A novel hasn't freely flowed like this in AWHILE. I love it when the magic happens.
WHAT YOU CAME FOR: SUMMER READS
The hubby needed a few things from Amazon and asked me if there was anything I needed so we could reach the minimum amount for free shipping.
Did I need anything?
Books are a need right? :)
Here is the list of books I am planning on reading this summer! (Most I already own, two I just bought and the rest I will borrow from the library.) It's all about balance, people.
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS
Are you planning on reading any of these?
Have you already read them?
I'd love to know your thoughts!
WHERE I'M AT SINCE MY LAST POST
As you can tell, I am not that great at being consistent at blogging but! I am going to try something new and post the first Friday of every month. I'll be talking about writing, publishing, and random other stuff that I feel like sharing. I'm hoping that telling you will hold me accountable to this promise. So! stay tuned.
This month's topic is an information dump of all the resources that helped me get through indie publishing.
Now that I am about three months away from publishing my first novel, I have decided to share the resources that got me through it and are still getting me through it. I owe almost all of my answered questions, methods and knowledge to these blogs and resources.
I hope whoever comes across this, that it helps you on your journey!
WHAT YOU CAME FOR: THE RESOURSES
Writing Lara Ferrari (If you need writing tips, advice, templates, checklists, a cheerleader. Seriously one of the best blogs and resources I've come across)
NY Book Editors (very helpful concise blog posts)
DIY MFA (If you want to get an "MFA" without going back to school)
The Write Life
Writers Edit (Also has great self-publishing tips)
The Book Designer (Joel Friedlander)
The Creative Penn
Jera Publishing (Get their Game Plan Guide!!! It helped me stay on track and take one thing at a time when I started to get overwhelmed with the business side of indie publishing)
The Book Life Report (Sign up for the newsletter! It'll keep you in the loop with the latest indie published books and news relating to publishing.)
A Novel Chat
The Book Marketing Show ( recently discovered this one and so far loving it.)
Your Creative Life ( No longer running, but well worth binge listening to all the show episodes!)
Kobo Writing Life
Straight & Curly (Not so much about writing but both women are writers and talk about self-improvement)
A SIDE NOTE:
There are a lot of methods, opinions, and how-tos for indie publishing and the information overload can get overwhelming REAL quick. Take everything you read with a grain of salt. If you aren't sure how to do something, take the time to research it fully before committing to something based on it working for one person. Also, don't be afraid to ask someone directly. You'll be surprised at how many respond back.
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS
What are some of your favorite blogs and podcasts on writing and publishing? I'd love to know!
HAPPY NANOWRIMO FRIENDS!
If you woke up this morning bright eyed and determined to start strong on day one of this crazy 50,000 word journey, high five.
If you didn't, I completely understand. I almost didn't do it this year.
A few weeks ago I saw an Instagram post from one of my writer friends saying that they were thinking of doing something called "reverse nano" which is basically modifying the word count to be really heavy at the beginning when you have a lot of inspiration and motivation and then slowly decreasing the word count to then be one word on day 30.
Reading about this other way of doing nano got me thinking... What if I could develop a nano plan that fits with my full time work schedule and fits with how my writing routine normally works?
Now enters a little history: Last nano was a pretty bad fail for me. I think I managed roughly 10,000 words, if that. And I felt completely awful and disappointed at the end of the month. So much that I was about 80% sure I was not going to do it this year or any year after that. Since last nano [working on the same project] I was able to add another 7,000 words to my novel in the midst of getting married and moving.
All of these words took place on my lunch breaks. I get an hour lunch break at my full time job and I could average between 1100-1300 words in that hour, depending on interruptions.
So, I played around with the idea of taking that average of 1,200 words per day on lunch and then how many words would then need to be written on the weekend to keep me up to speed for hitting 50,000 words on day 30.
Here's what I came up with:
MONDAYS: REST DAY / CATCH UP DAY
TUESDAY - FRIDAYS: 1,200 WORDS X 18 WEEKDAYS IN NOVEMBER
SATURDAYS: 3,550 WORDS X 4 SATURDAYS IN NOVEMBER
SUNDAYS: 3,550 WORDS X 4 SUNDAYS IN NOVEMBER
TOTAL WORDS: 50,000
If you are like me and work 40-45 hours a week or more and have the ability to type to your heart's content on your lunch break, this plan might work for you. Or if you naturally have more writing time on the weekends than you do during the week, this plan might work for you too!
I am really hoping this helps me reach 50,000 or get me close to that glorious number without feeling overwhelmed or behind.
Like all good things, I'm giving this plan the hashtag #theworkingnano
Feel free to create your own version of the plan or just tag along this month to see how it works for me :)
I'll let you all know how it goes!
Now get writing.
Waiting to succeed is not the same thing as failure.
I’m trying to make that my mantra as I decide to push my publishing date for MLOY. I know I haven't really announced when it was going to be published anyways, but I was getting close and I was on track for what I had planned.
So what's changed?
Well, I'm getting married and moving this year. I do believe it’s possible for me to do those things and publish a novel. I do believe I could do it.
Should I? Should I put that much on myself? For two things that have a hard deadline of needing to happen and another that I have the ability to take my time on. Should I?
It's a hard decision. One that I feel like means I'm failing in some way if I chose to move my publishing goal.
And that’s when the love of my life says this:
Waiting to succeed is not the same thing as failure.
I'm good at doing too much. I’m the queen of it. Publishing My Lullaby of You is so important to me and it’s the part of a journey I've worked long and hard for. It’s one that I've dreamed of happening for a very long time.
Which, in turn, makes me realize this:
I want to do it right.
I want to do it well.
I want to enjoy doing it.
So, friends, MLOY will not be getting published this year.
I still plan on getting the novel completely ready for when it's time. I still plan on posting my love for books, writing, and life. I still plan on making time to write my current work in progress. I still plan on building the relationships I've made on the lovely bookstagram / indie author community and making more.
Thanks for listening and letting me vent about this crazy, exciting, rewarding, changing, challenging journey.
HI THERE! I hope you had an awesome summer and did many many things. I'm sorry if you still haven't accepted that it's over...but it is.
If you are curious what I was up to, keep reading!
You might have noticed already, but after some thought I have decided to change my social media platform name! I will now be alia rose writes.
You can find me on the following social medias using the new name:
Till the next post!
the answer is A LOT.
On this road to publishing I've drowned myself in information. Which, big picture is not a bad thing. It's great that so many authors/marketers/designers have blogs where they share their journeys, things not to do, tips to definitely do, free guidebooks, etc.
But I've learned something. It overwhelms me. I have an entire spreadsheet of links categorized for different stages of my indie publishing and I seem to be stuck even with all the info. I look at other aspiring indie authors and new indie authors and they've done it! And they've done it in a lot less time it's taking me. You are probably shaking your head and thinking that I shouldn't be thinking this way. You're right I shouldn't.
Which is why I'm complaining about it here.
Since I have been going through a weird period of writer's block, I've decided to share a project a did recently.
I decided to make a dining table after finding out how expensive it is to buy one. Average small four person table is around $500 dollars and that's without chairs! True, I could have gone for the the cheap option of a Walmart bundle for $150, but coming from an architectural and interior design background, it wasn't going to happen. It doesn't help that when you get out of architecture school you have this weird sense that you have the ability to design and make anything so why the heck would you buy it?
Flash forward, this is how I built a table for under $120:
There comes a point in your life when you label your current state as a quarter life crisis.
And in retrospect, that’s what it is and even though I have read countless hilarious and relatable articles defining just that. It doesn’t really help. I still space out and think about the overwhelming-ness of life and the self-inflicted pressure.
I'm Alia. A writer, reader, traveler, dreamer, and to do list maker. You'll find a little bit of it all here.