Sunday, February 9, 2014

Doing Just What I Want . . . Sort Of

The other day someone asked me how I liked retirement. In 2009, I decided to retire a bit early and enjoy life. That didn’t mean lounging on Waikiki Beach in the shadow of Diamond Head every day reading my fill of mystery novels; it meant researching, writing, and publishing mystery novels. It also meant paying closer attention to my blogs and participating in writers’ groups. But I do enjoy plenty of leisure time because I do just what I want . . . sort of. 
That means that although my goals are set and my projects outlined, deadlines are not carved in stone. If there is a deadline, I can begin the project far in advance so as not to be rushed. This year my goals include completing and publishing a novel; posting interviews with the 13 authors involved in the mystery anthology MYSTERY IN PARADISE 13 Tales of Suspense; and participating in Arlee Bird’s April 2014 A to Z Blog Challenge
by writing and posting twenty-six articles with topics ranging from A to Z.
Marketing is an area where I need to improve, another goal. My focus for 2014 includes the novel WITH FIERY VENGEANCE published in December 2013. As the third book in the Pepper Bibeau mystery series, and set in Hawaii, I am having fun discussing the settings featured in the story. 

Yesterday I spent time at Paˋina Café for the monthly local NaNoWriMo group gathering. I had been in a quandary about my WIP because of indecision over the story line. Scenarios had been swimming around in my mind since I completed the first draft last November. As I typed out my thoughts at the cafe, everything fell into place. Doing just what I want, letting my thoughts simmer until the time was right for a solution to develop, worked better than trying to force a decision. 

That’s what I like about my retirement state-of-mind: Doing Just What I Want . . . Sort Of. While I must still take the steps necessary to move a project toward its goal, I have the freedom to do just what I want at any given time. This is my idea of stress-free time management, an enviable luxury. 

How do you manage your time?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


It is the first Wednesday of the month and time for the Insecure Writers Support Group, a group of writers I've watched from afar for some months and finally joined last month. Insecurity doesn't always display itself surrounded by pink neon lights. It creeps up or jumps out of closets at the most inopportune time. Marketing brings it on for me.

Do you know what is harder than marketing a novel? Continuing to market a novel after you get a less-than-stellar book review or when someone points out a seemingly “fatal flaw” in your published story.

It doesn’t matter how expert I’ve become at rationalizing, I still wake up in the early morning hours trying to justify my work so I can confidently move forward again.

The difficulty of merging into
marketing mode again
It wouldn’t be so bad if I'd gained some traction with a time-tested marketing strategy. But doing the actual writing puts me so far into the brake-down lane that it is difficult to get back up to speed and merge into marketing mode again.

One area of social media that feels more like a game to me though is Pinterest. When I came across a suggestion (from Lori Sailiata on Google+ ) about using the picture boards to market my novels, a thought popped into my mind almost in the form of a dialogue bubble:
Soon I was having fun again, knowing the hours “wasted” gathering relevant photographs was actually strategic marketing time well-spent. Compiling the boards has also rekindled my interest in the characters and story plotlines, so my marketing is more focused on significant scenes. 

One of the new boards, for my novel DEADLY AS NATURE, is available for viewing on Pinterest: 

How do you get past that “sinking feeling” after hitting a stumbling block in marketing?