A Writer’s Serendipity or How Research Saved My Book

As a blogger and science nerd, I try to keep up with science news from a variety of sources. Oddly, that curiosity rarely benefits my writing. My writing style follows a diagonal on the chart below: Lawful Plantser, True Plantser, and Chaotic Plotter. And that’s pretty much how my research goes, too. I start with a plan and end going off script. This is the story of a writer’s serendipity or how research saved my book. My Research Method Targeted research is when one narrows their topic and is very selective in choosing books and articles for said research. Targeted research is always my intent, it rarely is what gives me the most inspiration. I love Google Maps. They allow me to “travel to” areas I’ve never visited. But the maps don’t give me the smells, the texture, or the mood of the place. For those, I search out travel blogs, expat blogs, and personal blogs. Sometimes, I reach out to a blogger for more details. Usually, bloggers respond with more information than I need. And that’s a lovely thing. Sometimes, I need more hands-on research. That may mean a visit to a museum or a road trip to a […]

What Flavor of Success Do You Want

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines success as “favorable or desired outcome.” That’s like trying to eat a large designer cake in one bite. There are as many interpretations of that as there are people on the planet. And there are traps within personal definitions of success—traps where you give the responsibility away to others. As a result, it’s hard to pin down what success means to you. If you don’t define success for yourself in a realistic way, you may inadvertently say no to success. Think of success in simpler terms. What flavor of success do you want? What does it look like? How do you measure success? Is success a book published, a book sold, a certain number of books sold, a certain amount of money earned? All the usual definitions may leave you unsatisfied. Why? Because most of those things are not in your control. What You Can’t Control You can’t control readers Not how many you get nor how they respond to your book. Even when you do mega-research on your genre, you have no control over a single reader.  You can’t control sales. Certain marketing maneuvers will increase the possibility of sales, but you cannot control the number of sales […]

Hits, Misses, and Challenges

It’s the beginning of a new quarter. Time to review the hits, misses, and challenges of my intentions for the last quarter. And as everyone knows, the last month of the last quarter was a doozy. This whole first quarter challenged me in unexpected ways.  1st Quarter Intentions If you recall from my post describing intentions, I make a list of intentions for four areas: Making, Managing, Marketing, and Home. At the end of each quarter I review my intentions so I know what my hits, misses, and challenges were. So you can follow my analysis, here’s my list of intentions for the first quarter of 2020. Make:  Resolve problems with the first half of my WIP.  Finish the first draft.  Blog three times a week.  Publish three monthly newsletters. Manage Change to a different email service. Finish an online copywriting class. Read a book once a month. Make regular Social Media posts. Market Complete a second class on Amazon ads. Get new covers for My Soul to Keep and Fellowship.  Print new bookmarks. Increase the size of my mailing list. Home Bring my husband home from the rehab center. Rearrange the bedroom to make it more caregiver friendly. Prepare a […]