It’s a Beautiful Day to Follow Through

Happy Wednesday to you all! Central Pennsylvania is filled with sunshine – and humidity. But that’s okay. It’s summer! It’s time for beaches, cookouts, hiking, and all those other fun things. That is, if that nasty virus doesn’t interfere. Life as we knew it will never be life as we know it again. I’m not pessimistic. I’m realistic.

Part of reality also is this is a busy week. So I don’t have a lot of time or a lot to say. I guess the two go together well. I do want to check in and just say, “Keep at it.” Whether it’s writing or anything else, whatever you find to do, do it with everything that is in you. Don’t quit. Don’t allow discouragement to define your day. Don’t give in to the temptation to put off those things that must be done today. Be active and productive.

Okay, friends. That’s it for this week. If you have any topics you’d like to discuss, just drop me a suggestion in the comments section, and we’ll see where it leads. Until next week . . .



Business as Unusual

These are unusual times we’re living in. Our collective heads are spinning trying to figure out what’s going on, how to make the best of the new normal, which isn’t normal at all. Still, we adjust. We push through. And we’re here are on the other side, at least for now. Come October, we’ll likely be back in it. Yes, unusual times for sure, but the unusual business of writing continues.

When someone asks you, what business are you in, how do you answer? Do you default to your day job – or do you proudly tell them you are a writer? It seems to many people, being a self-published author isn’t an actual business. Then what is it? 

For some, writing is their day job. For many, it is a hobby, and what a wonderful hobby it is! Still, there are many who write part time. If you see writing as your day job, or you write part time, it a business. I wonder – do you see it that way? Do you approach your writing as a business?

Have you noticed it is hard to sell books these days? Books are not a necessity. There are so many other avenues to claim our hard-earned money. Food and housing must come first. Gas prices are rising again. Insurance premiums climb higher. An author must compete with these – and there are the other authors, the competition. If your goal is to sell books, then you have a business complete with competition, expenditures, oh, and tax reporting.

Let me share some quick thoughts about the business. If you consider writing a business, maybe you need to write – a business plan.

C. S. Lakin says, “Not using a strategic plan is akin to wandering lost in a desert with only a quart of water and a bad sense of direction.” She then lists four key areas to tackle in setting up your business plan. I’ll list them for you here:
1. Vision – where do you see  yourself one year, two years, five years from now?
2. Strategy – how are you going to get from here to one year from now?
3. Tactics – the actual methods you will use to get from point zero to the future. This will include self-imposed deadlines.
4. Action – it should go without saying that if you go through the planning and do nothing, nothing will happen.

Working together all four points will give you a solid business plan that will get you to where you want to be. You build on these four key areas as they relate to your specific situation. Put it in writing and remind yourself often of your goals. Re-access where you’re at and change your plan accordingly from time to time.

That’s it for another seven days. Enjoy them.


A Taste of Freedom

After several months of lockdown (hmm! Isn’t that a term used in prisons to confine the prisoners?), we’re finally free to be out and about in PA. It’s a good feeling. Four walls get a little boring after a while. I hope you all are safe and healthy and continue to prosper.

The past few months have been hard for most of us, and my heart goes out to those who have suffered during this time. Some are left with deep battle scars. Some are left without a loved one. Still, God is good, and whether we realize it, He is still in control. He did not cause the virus. He is not to blame, but He is in control.

America was founded on the premise that all humankind is created equal and is entitled to enjoy the right of freedom. At the risk of sounding political, our rights slowly have been stolen away from us while we slept. That’s right – while we slept. We have given them away. At least in my mind, there’s no question our rights have been trampled by overzealous government, especially at the state level.

But is that the real problem? Maybe the real problem is we allowed ourselves to be trampled. Yes, there was and possibly is a real threat, but I believe it could be handled without taking the rights of the citizens. I may have a small platform, but I want to make a difference. We simply can not allow big government to rule us. We are still (or should be) a government by the people for the people. Be careful. I sense more trouble on the way. Oh well, it is what it is. Enough complaining for today.

Let’s get down to business. As writers, no doubt we have watched webinars on writing, taken courses on writing, collected a variety of notes, and we do our best with the gift we have been given. That’s all very good, but sometimes I find it confusing. So many different ideas. So many ways to do the same thing.

That being said, it’s all very good. We can learn much from the above. But I’ve been thinking (watch out!), what if we turned this site into an online writer’s club, a place where we could safely share and critique each other’s writing. A place where we can share ideas and develop our writing style. A place where encouragement abounds, but a place where love abounds. If we are to improve, sometimes love must be tough. We need to hear not just the good, but the bad and the ugly to truly develop. I believe writers know good writing when we see it, and I believe we know bad writing when we see it. Could it be that other writers know more than YouTube?

Anyway, just a thought. It may or may not be something to consider. I need your input so let me know what you think in the comments below. Until next Wednesday . . .