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  • Blog

    Moving forward and maintaining momentum on a Musical Monday

    9/13/2015

    To be a writer you need to write.
    Any Way You Fight It - Upper Crust Series - Monique McDonell - Original CoverI haven’t been much of a blogger lately and my social media engagement had been down as well, I suspect.

    Sometimes I really fret about that stuff – you can’t sell books without an online presence if your books are sold almost exclusively online. You lose visibility and people forget about you, or so everyone says.

    On the other hand you can’t sell books if you don’t write. Without that stage you have nothing to sell. That’s a fact.

    For the last couple of weeks I’ve chosen to focus on the writing and not get quite so distracted by the business and promotion side. Who knows if that’s a good strategy or not but I do feel more energetic, more engaged with my characters and more enthusiastic about writing so those are all positives.

    Any Way You Fight It, Book 3 in The Upper Crust Series is off at the editor now and will have an October release. Any Way You Plan It, Book 4 in the series is with the BETA readers now and Books 5 and 6 are ready for reading too. And I have a Christmas and a Summer/Valentine’s novella ready for readers as well.

    I guess that means I need to take a little break from the writing and get back to the promotion and other aspects of the writing business because that’s what it is, a business. I already run another small business so I guess this makes me a entrepreneur, with two businesses on the go.

    Like any business this one has goals – I want to get those four Upper Crust and two novellas published by January, I want to get better at organising my promos and newsletter, I have sales goals and marketing goals and now all I need to do is maintain momentum. Yeah, that’s the hard part.

    This song came me into my head yesterday for some inexplicable reason…and it reminded me of Marissa and Mike in
    Any Way You Plan It…so here we go an old Australian ’80s classic by Jenny Morris for Musical Monday.

  • Blog

    Goal setting and maintaining momentum

    7/27/2015

    Beach and Surf ClubIt probably seems weird to have a picture of the beach beside a post on goal-setting. Beaches and goals are not exactly natural friends. Or are they?

    The truth is writing is a lonely pursuit. You sit with your bum in the chair trying to block the world out and be creative. It’s not a group pursuit. when it comes down to it you just have to do the work all by yourself. Yes you pay editors and proof-readers but you still have to create something for them to work with.

    I love setting goals. I know this makes me a weirdo. I’m not a competitive person except with myself. The truth is deep down I’m a pretty lazy human being. I need goals or nothing gets done.

    This year I set myself the goal of writing #1000wordsaday and I’m actually ahead of schedule. so far this year I’ve written 240,000 words. That’s more than 1000 words a day. In order to do that I have had to create a system for success. I run a small business, I have a family, I have friends and I like people so to get everything done I need a system.

    Not only is writing solitary but I work from home, alone. That’s a bucket-load of alone time. I probably spend more time alone than just about any person I know around my age. The truth is I’m a very social creature, which brings us to the beach.

    My Facebook posts and Twitter and Instagram feed make it look like all I do is go to the beach and drink coffee. “When do you write?” people ask me.

    Well let’s break it down. I don’t have a commute and I eat at my desk so that’s maybe two hours I have that a lot of people don’t. I work alone so there’s no gossiping at the water-cooler and I know from experience most people spend at least half an hour a day doing that.

    So if I spend and hour at the beach having coffee with a friend it’s time that someone else might spend doing those things. Not only that by choosing to go somewhere beautiful and inspiring I return to my desk energised.

    I’m not a morning person. I get up and do all my tedious admin first up. If I am meeting someone at the beach I’m back at my desk by lunchtime…and then I write. That’s my most creative time. I’ve had my treat now it’s time for business.

    That keeps my on track for my goals. If I’m too punitive with myself or too isolated I feel my creativity wane. I become dull and so do my characters. We all need balance in our lives or we lose momentum.

    When I set goals now I ask myself:
    – Is that realistic? (Do you have time? Do have the resources?)
    – Can you sustain that? (I can do 50,000 words on month but not every month).
    – Do you want it badly enough? (If I’m half-hearted to begin with I always fail).
    – What do you need to reach this goal? (Coffee? Company? Solitude? New software? You have to set yourself up to succeed).

    That’s how I set my goals and maintain my momentum – and get to go to the beach. What about you?

     

  • Blog

    Maintaining Momentum on #MusicalMonday

    2/8/2015

    Monique McDonell Books and ChampagneAnother Monday rolls around.
    I missed the last couple but the end of summer and back to school activities distracted me and something had to give. That’s life isn’t it? It always feels like something has to give.

    The truth is my one and only child entered Yr9 (9th grade) and every time I think of the fact she has only 4 more years of school and will soon be 18, well I feel a little bit sick inside. The truth is time is flying by at an alarming rate and as I’m powerless to stop that I find the need to balance any decisions I make about how I spend my time around that disturbing notion. I don’t think I’ll look back and think “I wish I’d written a blog post rather than taking my daughter to lunch” and if I do, I can live with that.

    What I haven’t let slide is my commitment to writing #1000wordsaday. As you can see by my slightly faulty counter (I need to find a new one – let’s add that to the to-do list) I have managed 44,000 words since January first. That includes a novella, extra scenes in Book 2 in the Upper Crust Series and the same on books I write under a nom de plume.

    I’m an all or nothing girl. I’m in or I’m out. That’s me, for better or worse. Some days I have written 3,000 words that’s true but mostly I’ve just tried to consistently write the 1,000 words every day.

    A couple of tips if you are doing this:
    – it easier if you don’t skip a day
    – stopping in the middle of a scene can mean you don’t struggle when you start again
    – editing is a separate thing so don’t use that as a reason/excuse to not write
    – a little bit of caffeine never goes astray (and a glass of wine will probably stop you in your tracks)
    – being a member of the Facebook group I set up has been essential to my success, accountability helps.(Feel free to join).

    I was hoping to have Book 2 in the Upper Crust Series out in February but I’m bumping it back to March. The world won’t end but the book will be better for it.

    I’m actually working on Book 4 in the series and I saw a song on Rage last night. (Australians will know what Rage is). Leave me home alone and I will stay up till 2am reading and watching Rage…my inner 18 year old is determined to live on. Now of course I can’t find the band anywhere…2am brain is not the best one…so instead I give you this one of my always makes me happy songs.

  • Blog

    Maintaining momentum

    2/27/2013

    Finding Nemo Dory Just Keep SwimmingSometimes being a writer is hard. One of the hard parts can be maintaining momentum.

    Sometimes we just stall.

    I haven’t blogged for over a week. Partly because my life got busy but also I just lost momentum. It happens to all of us in life across many areas (I realise there are a few freaks out there that’s not true of but I do believe they’re the exception not the rule.)

    That whole “just do it” catchphrase sells a lot of sneakers but it’s also true to say that a lot fo those shoes spend more time under the bed or in the box than they do on people’s feet exercising.

    I think sometimes giving ourselves permission to have a break (which I did this week) rather than feeling guilty and still doing nothing, is a much better idea. With social media, the internet and forums thrown in with everyday life, family commitments and work I think we all need a break from time to time.

    Now I feel about more energised and ready to take the advice of Dory and” just keep swimming” or writing as the case may be.
    1 Comment
    Betty
    2/28/2013 09:10:13 pm

    Interesting thought. I agree, Just Do It sells sneakers but sometimes in life it is better to take a break and recharge the batteries.