Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Checking Off Goals on the Path to Success #IWSG #writinggoals

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day.
The Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

IWSG Asks: What are your ultimate writing goals, and how have they changed over time (if at all)?  

Everyone has their own version of success and their individual way to reach that ultimate goal. It's rare to hear overnight success stories that are truly overnight. Typically, those "overnight" success stories took years to reach. And to reach that success, those people used mini-goals as stepping stones on their path.

A writer has to take mini-steps on their path to writing a book such as writing a page a day to reach a goal of 365 pages. A runner takes mini-steps before running a marathon such as running short distances and then gradually increasing that each time they run until they can reach that marathon length goal.

It's mostly about determination and plain stubbornness as well as having a successful mindset. Do you want to succeed? How badly do you want it? Do you want it enough to work at it for a long, long time? Whatever ultimate goal you have will undoubtedly take longer than overnight to reach. But, by creating mini-goals that lead up to that ultimate goal, you can give yourself a list of successes on that long path.

My ultimate writing goal is to have a successful writing career. My version of success is to be able to pay my bills with the money I make from writing. Financial independence is nice.

As my ultimate writing goal has remained the same over the years, I've had many mini-goals that I hope will one day lead to that major success.

These are a few of the items I've accomplished on my goal check-list over the years that I believe will help me reach my ultimate writing goal to make money with my books.

  • To write a well-crafted novel - I simply wrote for fun for many years before deciding to study the craft of writing, so it took some time before I felt confident that I had the ability to write something that didn't belong in a box under my bed.
  • To submit a manuscript to a major publisher - I submitted my first partial manuscript to Dorchester Publishing when I was 18. I got a very nice rejection letter with helpful tips to make my writing stronger. The editor encouraged me to keep trying.
  • To submit a story to a writing contest - I had submitted several poems that won awards and honorable mentions, but I was ecstatic to get 3rd place for the Gothic Romance Writer's Haunted Hearts Contest in 2008.
  • To have my own author website - Shortly after I got "the call" from my editor at The Wild Rose Press, I invested money in myself by buying a domain name and creating a website for my books. You can check out my website and let me know what you think.
  • To create and maintain a blog - I've been blogging for years. I believe this has helped me reach readers, but it's also connected me with other writers and authors which is a wonderful community where I can network and feel welcome. 
  • To publish a series - The Wild Rose Press has published The Merriweather Witches, my Regency-era paranormal romance series. 

There are still many mini-goals on my list that I haven't reached, yet. I hope to add them to the accomplished column one day soon! The way to reach success is to get there one step at a time!

Good luck!

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Happy Writing!

Monday, July 2, 2018

#BookReview: How to Train Your Zombie by Catherine Winchester

How to Train Your Zombie by Catherine Winchester

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

The zombie apocalypse, which has devastated the world, is in its final throes when Meg's husband is bitten. She has lost so much already that she simply can't face losing him too, so when it becomes apparent that he is about to join the ranks of the walking dead, she decides to employ her skills as a dog trainer and takes it upon herself to train him.

Not only must she face the dangers inherent in close contact with a zombie, she must also protect him from outside forces that mean him harm. Can she convince the handsome yet stern Colonel MacDonald that he deserves a chance? Can she stop him being used for vivisection? What about those who want to use him as bait for other zombies?

Join Meg during the final few months of the Zombie War, as she shares her, at times, gruesome, sad and darkly humorous story.

My Review

As the blurb suggests, this is a darkly humorous story. Told through Meg's eyes, she fills the reader in fairly quickly so you understand what kind of world Meg and her husband, Jim, are living in which helps explain the desperate lengths Meg goes through to keep Jim with her after he turns. It's a disturbing twist of events, but the catalyst propels the story onward which leads Meg to Don, or rather Don to Meg, and soon she and Jim find themselves on a military base where a group of scientists want to experiment with Meg's amazing zombie break through.

Although it could use a bit of editing, I still found it to be entertaining, fast-paced and emotionally satisfying. I was quickly pulled into Meg's story and felt compelled to discover what happened next to her, Jim and Don. I also like the way the author described the zombies and Meg's ability to train them. It was a unique take on a favorite supernatural creature. Ms. Winchester spins an interesting tale of survivors of a zombie apocalypse.

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