Results and how they’re achieved

So here’s a question I’ve been rolling around in my head a bit:

Is a thing accomplished because of the preparations or in spite of them?

I’m not sure that’s exactly how I wanted to phrase that, so let me elaborate.

When it comes time to sell your home, you basically just need to find someone to buy it, sign some paperwork, exchange money, and the thing is sold. That’s essentially it. If you use a real estate agent, they may put it up on the Internet on the local home listing site, then another agent with a buyer comes along, the real estate agents hash out the details on your behalf, but the rest is the same.

But it is possible that you will clean the house first. Maybe you’ll put out throw pillows and remove all your personalization. Professional photography and videography are options to put on the Internet, and maybe you even have a website created just to list details about your home that will let people immerse their imaginations and find your home through Google instead of a Home Shopping Mall website (you know who I’m talking about if you’ve bought or sold a home in the last ten years).

So the question is: did your home sell because it was for sale, or because of all the prep work that happened (the cleaning, staging, photos, video, website, postcards to neighbors, etc)? If you just cleaned and staged your home and slapped it up on the local home listing site, would it still have sold? What if you had moved out first and then put pictures up of empty rooms? Would it have sold as quickly then?

I can offer this scenario in a book analogy, too.

If I write a great book and pop it up on Amazon and Smashwords, will people find it and read it? Assuming I have a great blurb, spot-on keywords, and an adequate cover, will it still sell? Do I have to also place an ad on Facebook, have a mailing list, curate a Pinterest board full of things to do with the book, schedule Tweets, and maybe create a book trailer for YouTube? Will the book sell in spite of the marketing, or because of it?

I don’t think the house sells because of the extra preparation, but I do think that extra preparation sells the house. Does that even make sense? Probably not to everyone, but I’ve seen it. Great homes don’t sell and there’s jack shit wrong with them. Moderate homes jump off the market because of the effort put in before and when they’re first put up for sale.

And in the other scenario, the book is going to sell to more people more quickly because of the ads, tweets, mailing list, etc because you’re putting it in front of more eyeballs. But, as a writer, your time is better spent writing another book. Once someone finds one spectacular book, they’re going to want more, and you want to have more to sell them.

All of this was to say: if you’re in the business of selling things, consider that the extra effort at the start may make the entire process move more quickly, or it may just keep you from making more sales.

Or maybe all of this was to say: damn it, I just did all this work to market your home and you went ahead and sold it in the first week on the market! Was that really necessary?

Answer: yes. Yes, it was.

Advertisements

Time to Play?

There should always be time to play.

If I could line up all the little blips when I’m distracted by the TV or mindlessly surfing the Internet or checking to see if I’m going to get paid on that job this week, then it feels like it would be easier to find my time to play.

If I could wake up when I want and get straight to work, then it feels like it would be easier to find my time to play.

It’s hard to remember when my mind is constantly one place that there are things I could also be doing.

Stupid stress.

and by play, i mean write.

Y writer no writing?

I am alive! It was a close thing, let me tell you.

And it’s not over.

But the terrifying thing on Monday did not kill me. This is the good news. The bad news is that the terrifying thing pointed out that maybe I cannot make writing a full-time gig this year.

There’s a certain amount of relief in saying that, you know?

My free time, of which I have a small amount, will now primarily be taken up by things that can bring income into my pockets. With the stress that’s been swirling around lately, that’s not writing. It could be, but it’s not right now. Maybe once I cool down a bit. When my mind clears.

(The saying that is plastered on my writing laptop, that waiting for inspiration to write is like standing at the airport waiting for a train tickles the back of my brain, a painful suggestion that maybe I should be trying to write anyway.)

In the meantime, I will be cleaning other people’s homes on a part-time basis. I will also be typing for money. I’ll get better at both with practice, as one does who is willing to learn. I hope it will be enough, and then I still get to see my family.

Ultimately, I remind myself that our family is generally healthy, and as long as we have each other, everything will be okay. It might suck, but it will be okay.

That is the status of things. Happy March.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

*raising hand* I’m over here

My first February post!

I have been spending the time between now and my last post figuring out what doesn’t work for me, both in my writing and in life.

I’ve been slowly reading The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle, and enjoying it. I’m nearly finished.

I’ve been trying to get a meditation habit started. It works just fine on weekdays. I’ll take a shower and meditate after getting dressed but before going back downstairs. On the weekends it’s easy to skip, but I didn’t this morning. I didn’t do the full time, but I’m going to try again later.

I’ve not been able to wake at my preferred waking time in the mornings. Technically it’s not that I’ve not been able to, but that I simply haven’t. I was waking up at 5 a.m. for a while last year and I felt so incredibly productive. I believe I should probably reread the book that got me in the habit in the first place. That might help.

I’ve not been writing regularly, and I really don’t know why. I think I have ideas, and I think they’re good ones. I suspect it could be that I’m not doing my writing first thing in the morning, because by the time I get home, I am just so mentally exhausted.

Not an excuse, I know.

Valentines Day has come and gone, the Eagles won Super Bowl LII, and my father-in-law passed away just recently. Because of the distance and work obligations, I won’t be able to make it back for the funeral, and that is quite a disappointment.

That’s the full updates to share, I believe. I hope everyone is having a lovely February!

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Still here

Greetings and salutations! I took a little break to work on some business planning, and somehow National Novel Writing Month snuck up on me.

I’m not quite up to speed yet, but the fact that I’m excited to see where this story will take me I think is a really good sign.

Other things that are happening include doctor appointments flu shots, plumber visits, writing events, and teenage dramatics. Pretty normal and to be expected, to be honest.

That’s all I have for today. The past two days of writing were slow (as you can see in my pretty new header image), but I hope to pick it up, as I have a meet-cute to write and a couple characters to torture.

Project “Runaway with my free time”

180 fiction words, 316 total words

It’s too bad that I discovered the Lifetime app with several (at least 10) seasons of Project Runway on it, because it’s been several seasons since I watched, and I love that show. So I’m letting it suck a lot of my time.

180 fiction words, 316 total words

But I made sure to get enough words last night to not make this my worst week ever.

I also made sure to get something published and off my plate so I could focus on the current work, and hopefully get the long fantasy that’s been hanging around since April off my plate before November. I think after I finish what I have started currently and get it up for sale, I’ll be in an okay place to really focus on November’s romances.

We’ll see.

I actually got quite a bit done in the last week. I published two things. One was a collection of previously written stories, and I did that in ebook and print format, trying KDP’s Print service for the first time. The second was just a short story, but I published wide, hitting both Smashwords and Amazon. I think that’s going to be the best path for me going forward. I tried Kindle Unlimited, and I don’t feel good with the results.

Regarding KDP’s Print service, it went well for me, but I have a lot of practice with CreateSpace already. I wasn’t able to order a proof copy before putting the book up for sale, and that will be a huge detractor for people new to publishing. On my first two or three books, I had major issues with both interior and exterior files, and it took three proofs with the first, two with the second, and one on the third to get comfortable with my templates and margins.

So even though there weren’t a lot of words written, I did get a lot done. That helps me feel better about the numbers.

On to the next week.

Monday Wednesday

94 fiction words, 351 total words

Starting my work week today feels weird. It will be very nice to have a three day week, but then next week will stink because it’ll be full. Oh well.

Yesterday’s experiment where I tried to quickly use KDP’s print book feature to publish the ebook I’d just done kind of failed. It wasn’t quick, and I ended up having to format everything like I usually do for print, which means lots of InDesign. I’m super grateful to have that tool at my disposal. Working without it would be a pain in the patootie.

94 fiction words, 351 total words

I also watched The Giver with Elder Youth, and Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 by myself. The second film made me laugh about as many times as I rolled my eyes, so while it was a success, I didn’t like it as much as the first film at all.

That’s all I have for now. I’m off to do some things I probably should have worked on much earlier than today. Bleh.

Hangin’ with the Fam

So I’m on vacation with a couple parents, a sister of a parent, youths, parents of a parent, and soon, the youth of a sister of a parent. We went down to the beach today at Junior Youth’s insistence and had fun. We collected a lot of broken shells, got our cropped pants thoroughly soaked, Junior Youth swam, and I took a boatload of photos.

It might be more appropriate to say I took a flock of photos.

<<insert cute picture here>>

Atlantic Ocean, beach, and small flock of seagulls
Actual cute picture inserted

I wrote a tiny bit last night.

38 fiction words, 211 total words

Mostly to say that I did. They weren’t great words, but meh.

It’s vacation. 🙂

Speaking of, I had a few minutes to write but now it’s time to move on to the next thing. Shoes, socks, and pain relief.

Stuck in a rut

106 fiction words, 369 total words

Yesterday at work I was rushing to get everything done. Yesterday at home I was finishing the things I hadn’t gotten done at work. After that I was trying to come up with good cover art for the short I have to publish and was failing, miserably. Since I’m going out of town I’d love to have that taken care of before, but it may not happen at this point.

Since I was failing at the cover art, I forgot to write until late. I added a few words onto the long fiction I’m stuck on, and called it a night.

106 fiction words, 369 total words

Today will be trying to get ready for a short weekend trip, and then when I get back I’ll do more getting ready to go back to work, so I need to prepare to write in small bursts at the start and end of my days, which is likely all the time I’ll be able to carve out.

I don’t know what to do about the cover, though.

Roller Coaster Day

1,222 fiction words, 1,343 total words

Yesterday I finished a short story! Today I have to publish.

Tomorrow I go on vacation when the Youths arrive back from school, so I need to prepare for that this afternoon/evening, and do laundry tomorrow.

I got a new phone and a new phone number yesterday. I didn’t plan on it but it was necessary and now it’s done and I need to deal with the disorientation that has resulted in its purchase. (It’s really pretty, though.)

Two grandmothers of two different friends are experiencing serious health issues, and hugs are required.

Panera didn’t have my chocolate croissant last night, nor my soft dinner roll. They did have my preferred chips alternative, but not my preferred chocolate chip cookie alternative except in the bag of 12. Their policy is now something along the lines of “we’ll make it right”, so I got a bag of cookies for 99¢. Win!

I am a trusting individual bordering on gullible. Not that anything bad happened as a result of that – good actually – but I’m very close to gullible.

1,222 fiction words, 1,343 total words

Those words finished my favorite of the recent short stories I’ve written. I think the hardest part is in front of me now that I need to choose keywords for that story. Deciding on good keywords that will bring readers to my book and get them to put it in their cart is a skill. I envy those who find it comes easily to them. I can only hope that at some point I will have enough practice that I can stop complaining about it.