2017 Reflections

The Discoveries, Lessons and Learning's

This year has been a big one for me, with lots of lessons, learning’s and discoveries. I thought this would be a great place to start the first post from.

Some of them, while perhaps obvious, took me by surprise. One such discovery relates to my job. It’s not the fact I dislike it or are starting to resent it for the time and creativity it takes away from my writing.

It’s the realisation that another job, any job, probably won’t fix the problem. The “job” I really want is to be a full-time author, writer and speaker. So that’s what I’m working towards. Getting to the point where I can replace the income from my job so I can focus on my writing. I’m hoping I can do this in a much shorter time frame that Joanna Penn’s 13 years!

I’ve revamped and relaunched leoniehope.com as my author website. The intention being to create a one-stop shop where people can come to connect with me, hire me, and learn from the information shared. I’m also setting up a Facebook page dedicated to helping aspiring authors and writers to write, publish and promote their book. It will be called The Hopeful Author (thus the name for this blog), and will feature the posts I write here.

I published my first softcover book in 2017 through CreateSpace – 2018 Numerology Guidebook: Plan, Schedule and Organize Your Year for Success (also available in an eBook version). This was a huge learning curve, and reminded me why I’d only ever published my two other books as eBooks. I underestimated the time the whole writing and publishing process would take – from writing the book, editing, formatting, and cover design, to the submission process to get it published and up on Amazon. I’ll be sharing more about this in future posts.

I’d also never really considered the health implications of writing full-time before, but I came face-to-face with them during the whole publishing process. Writing and creating are things I love, so I tend to lose track of time while doing them. I found myself forgetting to eat, drink water, and exercise regularly, things I normally have no problem doing.

I discovered that setting a timer to have regular breaks, walking first thing in the morning, and having a drink bottle full of water ready to go before I started writing all helped. I’d love to hear what you do to make writing healthier.

Another thing that surprised me was a post I read from Tara Moss about her Pandora English series. I’m a huge fan, and have been expecting book 4 for some time now. I wrongly assumed she hadn’t finished writing it yet. Turned out the book is ready to go and just waiting for a publisher.

It made me sad and a little angry that a publisher has so much power over what books I can and can’t read. I wondered how many of other series I enjoyed reading this has happened to as well. Has that happened to you? Post in the comments below which series you enjoyed that suddenly stopped without explanation or completion.

This is really where self-publishing comes into it’s own. You get to decide what gets published and when. I wonder if Tara Moss has considered self-publishing this series? Clearly she already has a following, and self-publishing can give her more creative control over her books.

Yes, a learning curve would be involved. Yes, she may need to find other editors, printers, book formatters, and designers etc. to work with (if they’re locked to the publishing company). Yes, it would take some hard work, effort and a change of mindset to pull it off. Would it be worth it? I believe so, but only Tara Moss can make that decision.

Taking into account everything I learned in 2017, I have set myself some new goals for 2018:

  1. To publish 2-3 non-fiction books this year. I’m looking at possibly creating a series around the different elements of the writing and publishing process.
  2. To learn more about writing fiction (there’s a James Patterson course which sounds pretty good). I have an idea for a series floating around, but it needs to be fleshed out more.
  3. To develop some healthier habits to support my body while I write. Ideally I want to cut out processed foods, eat more clean protein, and increase my cultured/fermented foods.
  4. To start using some of the resources I already have. I have some great books, audios and courses from some amazing people like Donna Eden, Christie-Marie Sheldon, Joanna Penn, Nick Stevenson, Derek Murphy, and Mark Dawson. I just have to start using them.
  5. To work on replacing my current job income so I can be a full-time writer, author and speaker. This is where some of the above resources will help.
  6. To surround myself with like-minded people. I aim to do this by finding and connecting with other authors and writers. This could include joining writing groups, attending conferences and possibly creating a podcast.

What are your goals and aspirations of 2018? What do you need help with? Feel free to share in the comments below.

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