Good Things I Learned in 2012
There will be posts galore that reflect back upon 2012. This is not quite one of those posts because part of my 2013 simple plan is to just be…a more beautiful me. I’ll eventually explain. Onward.
This last year isn’t a particularly gratifying one because I remember the last days of December 2011 all too clearly (even for me, even though I can’t always remember what I did last week or the day before or the hour prior). I was exhausted. I felt I had reinvented the word, in fact. I’d just finished my third novel, but I was so tired by the time I was done that all the joy about its release was already gone. The novel went on to become a best seller on Amazon. All three of my novels did well and hit the Best Sellers list (paid) by May of 2012, but that’s not the point…and I should probably just leave it out, but whatever. Onward.
So I spent the year feeling tired, out of sorts, full of angst and generally feeling sorry for myself. Why was it so hard? Where was the joy I had two years ago about writing? I felt like a failure on too many fronts: housekeeping, kidkeeping, bookkeeping, marriagekeeping, bodyandsoulkeeping, and beautifulmekeeping.
My house stayed messy most of the year. I can count on both hands the number of times I cleaned it. I was out of focus on all fronts. We went on vacation and I worked on my fourth novel. We went hiking in the woods for three long days and I fretted about the lack of a bathroom, the fact that putting my leg up high enough to climb over a boulder was almost too much, there wasn’t cell service, and I couldn’t work on my fourth novel.
Every day of this year, with the exception of those three hiking ones, I worked on my novel. Every day. Even when the kids were home all day for Thanksgiving break, I worked on my fourth novel. But. I’m. Still. Not. Done.
See a pattern?
Housekeeping – I love a clean house. I had a Brazilian housecleaner who used to clean with lemon-scented cleaner and when I smelled that scent when I first walked in, it was as good as a spa visit. So for 2013, I’m hiring her back because here’s what I’ve discovered: I hate cleaning the house. Hate it. I have no problem buying cleaning supplies; in fact, I love that part, but the cleaning? Not so much. I can’t get to it and write full-time. Done deal. Mrs Meyers here I come!
Kidkeeping – Despite the fact, that my kids are pretty tired of everything I make (reheat, shove in the oven on 350 degrees and forget about it), I will try to be more inventive with the menu offerings. I will keep up the attendance at their volleyball and football games and not bring my iPad Mini to their games. I will do this with the help of Pinterest. Thank you Pinterest guys/gals for inventing this little gem just for collecting recipes alone. I will be present. Read on.
Bookkeeping – I have searched high and low for the perfect book about how to write, how to market, how to sell, how to read, how to find the time, how to publish, how to blog…Blah, Blah, F*cking Blah. Whatever. I run four blogs on three different platforms (one is officially a website with a blog). I’ve written and released three books. I’ve won an award. I’ve sold over 11,600 books in eighteen months on my own. I’m giving myself permission, here, to move on. KO, you have permission to call yourself a professional writer and move on. You know how to do this, so go do it, girl. That is all. I’m calling out one book in particular that helped me the most in getting to this point: Rachel Aaron’s 2k to 10k Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love – (I’ve read her blog posts and carefully printed them off. I think she’s on to something.) I’ve read everybody else from Blake Snyder to Alexandra Sokoloff. All good, but this girl lays it out and tells you exactly what you need to do to accomplish your goals when it comes to writing and finishing a book. It’s amazingly simple, but it’s writers like me, who tend to over-analyze and overcomplicate every flipping thing, that can benefit from her simple instruction.
Marriagekeeping – This is a whole ‘nother post (not written yet). I have been nicer this year and will continue to work upon this aspect of me. I’ve discovered all it takes is one kind word, one zany smile, or a little joke to keep things on an even keel. I have figured out the proper daily dosage and have seen exceptional results. That is all.
BodyandSoulKeeping – Bodykeeping first…After the less than enjoyable hiking experience with the fam-dam-ily in August, I vowed to try again with Jorge Cruise’s The Belly Fat Cure. This is after trying the HCG drops in June for three weeks, mind you. Here are the HCG Diet Drops results for me YMMV: Six pound loss; out $120 bucks; headaches galore; and finally a plateau, which means on 500 calories a day I didn’t lose any more weight. You can imagine how desperate I felt at that kind of caloric level, with a headache, and very little weight loss to show for my sacrifice. Remember Linda Blair’s famous cinematic scene in The Exorcist? Not good.
So, I reread Jorge Cruise’s The Belly Fat Cure and went off sugar on August 11th. I’ve been at just twelve to fifteen grams of sugar a day, since August 11th up until December 17th. (Damn you Hershey’s Kisses Candycane.) I’ve lost twenty pounds. I plan to double-down on this commitment beginning January 2nd and even climb back on the Elliptical and accomplish more. I feel better, amazingly better. Sugar is in everything. Don’t try to skip out on trying this on your own because it’s hard to maintain. Buy his book. Use Stevia as a supplement. Feel better. You’re welcome.
The SoulKeeping part – I gave away a lot of books in 2012. A lot. (And for me, it was like giving away part of my soul). Two things I learned from this experience. People love free. People don’t read the free (they seem to be collectors, more than readers). How do I know? Well, at that giveaway rate, I should have more than a 100,000 reviews by now, if those readers had read the books that I offered up for free. So, I’m done with free—in the sense that I’m done with exclusivity shackles that came with a certain program promoted by the Zon that also included an unexpected addiction to the rankings obsession that you also got…for free. There are other marketing methods. I know there are authors that use them successfully. I’m not ruling those out, but this part of free is done for me for a long while. I feel better. I feel great, just like giving up sugar, it feels fabulous to be done with free. My books are available everywhere for every reader (in print at $15.99 or as an e-book for $4.99) unless the online book retailer is having a sale which is just a beautiful bonus.
BeautifulMeKeeping – Lastly, I just read a blog by Danielle LaPorte that made me cry. This can be attributed to the singular focus I have had for the last twelve months on getting novel #4 done. In the process, I managed to lose all sight of the joy of writing and wore myself out. I was on a deadline. Christmas. Shristmas. I didn’t have time!
After reading her post, I have completely changed my perspective.
My desire for 2013 is simple: to be a beautiful person and write and finish a beautiful book at some point.
After you’ve read her post, you will understand why I state it this way. Whereas, before, I would have added concrete stuff that included words like: best seller, agented, and the New York Times, but now? I know the simple wish / desire to be a beautiful person, who writes a beautiful book, is the best part and the only one that matters for my book, for my life, for me.
Have a beautiful 2013. See you soon.