Happily Ever Author is a group run by Pagan on Facebook. She posts prompts to get authors to socialise and share what they are working on and to set goals. She sometimes gives prizes (I got a YouTube guide) and sometimes she promotes her books and other group (Paperback Kingdom).
Paperback Kingdom is a Facebook group linked to services she offers such a course, 1:1 coaching, etc. I can’t tell you much more as I’ve not paid for the additional content.
Pagan set her Happily Ever Author group members a challenge in December to start doing the prep work for a new novel in 2019. This was supported with videos where she shared her tips and techniques for doing this, from how to come up with a story idea, outling, character development, etc. These were really useful and I would like to watch them again.
Although, all I have written is the opening to my story (Scarlet House), I do feel more prepared and clearer about what I will be writing. I can’t wait to finish my current editing project so I can start on a brand new novel for 2019.
Have you discovered any awesome writer groups online?
The other day, I got my badge notifiying me that I have been running my blog now for two years!
Here are the top five lessons I have learnt:
Focus on one blog
I started off with three blogs, one for writing, one for beauty and one to share it all. Now, I have one blog. And, it is so much more easier. Don’t restrict yourself, write whatever you are passionate about – chances are, other people are too. I now have the problem that I have so many ideas and not enough time to write it all!
I’ve learnt the importance of having a content schedule and using the ‘schedule’ feature in Word Press. This has enabled me to ensure that I am delivering a variety of content and keeps me accountable to a regular timetable.
When I started my blog , I didn’t have many followers. There are posts that I think would benefit my readers but didn’t reach the audience. By linking back, I can refer people to old content that is still relevant. I’m also looking at reworking some of these to give fresh content.
Images make your posts stand out. It is great if you are able to produce your own images but it is not always possible. I have discovered Unsplash.com a great royalty free website that has loads of free photos for you to use. Another great site I use all the time is Canva.com as they have brilliant templates to make blog titles, instagram pictures, etc.
Share to social media
At first, I was quite shy to tell people that I was blogging. I still am shy about it but I am getting better. Whenever a post goes live, it automatically shares to Twitter and Goggle+. In addition, I often post to Instagram a prompt to tell my followers what new content is on the blog.
I am still learning everyday, but I love blogging and I am getting more confident with it. Have you got any tips for me?
Here is a pretty diverse list of shows that feature writers from publishers to bloggers and everything imbetween.
This show is a creepy love story from a serial killing stalkers point of view. The narrator describes what he can see in third person which feels unnatural and works really effectively.
This show made the list because the MC owns a bookstore and is stalking an aspiring author. The aspiring author is portrayed really well. She is struggling financial and often procrastinates instead of writes – eek.
Liza is in her 40s, her daugher is off travelling and her husband has left her. After putting her career on hold to raise her family, she finds returning to work impossible as everyone thinks she is too old, so Liza pretends she is 26 and lands a job.
This show made the list because it is hillarious and the industry Liza works in, is publishing.
The Peanuts Movie (2015)
The movie is about Charlie Brown trying to win the heart of the little red hair girl that has moved to town whilst Snoopy is working on a script.
Okay, this is a movie but there is a Snoopy TV Series but I’ve not been lucky enough to watch it. This made the list because there is no other cartoon about a scriptwrtier dog that has quite as many memes as Snoopy, thanks to his cartoon strip.
Jane the Virgin
I’ve had to update my post to include this series. I love it. I find the narrator hilarious, and the story lines are very OTT but this series is addictive and pretty easy viewing if the kids are about. In addition, Jane is an aspiring writer that gets a book deal by writing novels based on her life or those close to her. This drama has drama!
This British comedy follows to Script writers that move to LA following their big break.
This made the list becasue the two main MCs are scriptwriters. In true British style it is painfully honest and the pair will find that things don’t go quite as they planned as things are changed and pressure is put on them… but delivered in a funny way.
Pretty Little Liars (2010)
I absoultley loved this TV Show. It is about a group of friends that are terrorised by an anonymous person going by the name of ‘A’.
This show made the list because two of the main characters are writers. Aria eventually becomes a publisher and helps her fiance Ezra with his novel. There are a few occasions that I felt the show was unrealistic but I didn’t care because the story lines are gripping, complex (sometimes I did get lost) and these teens are so cool.
The Vampire Diaries (2009)
A school girl falls in love with a vampire and this brings a whole lot of drama into her life and others living in Mystic Fall.
This show made the list because the MC, Elena, writes a diary – is it a stretch to say it is an autobiography.
Gossip Girl (2007)
An anoymous reporter shares gossip about the elite social crowd’s drama. She posts online using the psydemo going by the pen name of Gossip Girl.
This made the list, not because of the anonymous reporter but because one of the MCs, Dan Humphrey, dreams of being a writer. Not only that but Nate Archibald works at the Spectator for a short stint.
Desperate House Wives (2004)
This TV series follows the lives of women living in Wisteria Lane following the death of one of their neighbours/friends.
It is probably a bit of a strech to add this to the list because Susan who during the series gets a job as a Children’s book illustrator is never really seen working, except when she is an internet ‘model’.
Jonathon Creek (1997)
This British crime investigation series involves a jornalist working with a magician to solve unusual crimes.
This made the list because the jounalist is recording and writing about the unusual crimes that they have worked on and solved. There is also some light comedy between the pair.
Sex and the City (1998)
The show follows a group of friends living in New York and trying to find love.
This made the list because MC Carrie Bradshaw writes column for a magazine.
And, I’d like to wish a Happy Birthday to Sabrina Sheldon of Hustling Writers Community (Facebook group). She set group members a 100 word writing challenge for her birthday.
When I told her, I had written this blog post she asked if Castle (2009) made the list. Unfortunately, it hadn’t as I’ve never watched it. It’s now on my ‘to watch list’.
Have you seen it it or any of the shows I listed? Can you think of any other shows I’ve missed?
I hope you find this resource useful. If you notice my calendar is missing any events that you feel ought to be included, please comment with the link. I’ll then check it out and add it to the calendar to help other writers out.
I am one lucky girl. My husband spoilt me at Christmas to lots of makeup from my wish-list.
Here is what I got:
Two eyeshadow palettes from Tarte:
The differences between them are explained below but I wanted to cover what I love about both of them, just once.
The palettes feel very strong and sturdy. I’m not sure how deep the pans go, but potentially they could be very deep.
I love the big mirror in the lid. I think it slightly magnifies my face so I can see myself more easily.
Both palettes come with a leaflet giving two example looks that can be created and instructions on how to achieve it.
Tarte: Rainforest of the seaeyeshadow palette volume II
This palette is able to create everyday looks or dramatic evening looks. As I don’t get out much in the evenings, I’m choosing to use the darker shades to softly line my eyes. There’s a mix of matte and shimmer shadows.
Tarte: Rainforest of the sea has highlighting eyeshadow palette vol III
This palette has lighter shades and good for daytime looks only. All the shades have a shimmer. Although, I don’t find this palette as exciting, I do feel it is more practical for my lifestyle and will get used more.
Tarte: Lights, camera, lashes 4-in-1 mascara
So far, I am getting on alright with this mascara. Any mascara makes my lashes look better (or at least visable). It hasn’t irritated my eyes or left smudges or flakes under my eyes. I like it.
Tarte: Rainforest if the sea radiance drops
I had no idea what this was when I added it to my wishlist but it’s a best seller and I was curious. I’m still not sure even now I have it – lol.
It comes out on a pipette and is an oil. The oil has a gold shimmer to it. Is it skincare, makeup or a hybrid of the two?
I’ve been dabbing it on like a highlighter and like the effect. It makes my skin look healthier like I am glowing.
Two Axiology lipsticks
Before I go into the shades I want to tell you why I love these lipsticks.
Firstly, they contain no harmful ingredients. They do not support animal testing at all. They are certified vegan and don’t use palm oil.
I love the lipstick cases. You push the base and they pop up. It’s so satisfying! They look beautiful and are recyclable.
Axiology: Lipstick – The Goodness
This was my most used lipstick of 2018 and it ran out. I’m so glad to have it back. I’m sad I caught the tip in my excitement getting it out and now already looks used.
This lipstick is a shimmery nude shade. It’s just for lips but I like putting it on my cheeks too as a highlighting blush. It is very pretty and natural.
Axiology: Lipstick – Worth/Radiance
This will be my lipstick on 2019! It is an orangey red shade on me and looks gorgeous. It’s quite subtle and sadly doesn’t last long so needs to be reapplied but it is such a pretty colour. I love it.
Nui Cosmetics: Liquidfoundation – Intense Kanapa
This is my favourite organic foundation. I apply it with my fingers or a sponge. You can build it up easily to get the coverage you need and has a nice smell to it.
Would I recommend?
Yes! My husband has done really well. I am so happy with this haul which will keep me going during maternity leave.
Everything feels good on my skin, doesn’t irritate and looks awesome. I feel excited to do my makeup and play with my new products.
Have you tried any of the above or get any new beauty products for Christmas?
I’m excited and motivated for 2019 and the goals I am setting. There is a lot I wish to achieve so staying motivated will be key to keeping on track.
Jewel of the sea (formerly Drift)
First Quarter:Another edit
Second Quarter: Query agents
Third Quarter: (if no bite) Self Publish
Fourth Quarter: Promote novel
Diamond in the sky (formerly Glide)
First Quarter:Finish novel
Second Quarter: Edit novel
Third Quarter: Query agents
Fourth Quarter: (if no bite) Self Publish
Second Quarter: Finish novel
Third Quarter: Edit novel
Fourth Quarter: Query agents
First Quarter:Start novel #NewYearNewNovel
Second Quarter: N/A
Third Quarter: N/A
Fourth Quarter: N/A
All year: Submit to Little Mum Mag & to Ginger Parrot
Blog: Keep up with two posts a week
Blog: Start including links to my previous posts within new posts
Blog: Rework old posts to give new life & build advice collections
Blog: Aim to read 6 books a year (or more)
Instagram: Try to post three photos/videos a week
Twitter: Take part in Twitter events like #PitMad or #AskAnna
NaNo/NaPo: Take part in challenges that don’t distract from my overall goals
YouTube: Try making a video once each quarter, working towards once a month
First Quarter: Get my bodacious body back (diet & exercise programme to achieve a more healthy me)
First to second Quarter: Working together course (be able to effectively support my sons school)
Third Quarter: Enjoy the summer & making memories
Fourth Quarter: Return to work (will be requesting part-time hours but may have to work full-time)
All year: Scrapbooking (my son is now 5y old and I still haven’t started his. I need to do this).
All year: Crochet – I learnt to crochet in 2018 and if I don’t want to lose the skill I need to keep practicing.
All year: Journal – I’ve always wanted to get into it as I love the creative way of expressing yourself and being organised.
Working together course: See above
Write story books for children course: finish course
Write romance stories: start & finish stories
I know it will be hard as my children will always come first. If they need me (i.e poorly) then I’ll lose my evenings when I’m most able to work on my goals. But, I won’t give up.
I’ll check in on my goals through out the year and adapt them when necessary. For example, if I got an agent, whatever they need me to do would take priority. Returning to work will be an adjustment and if it’s too much I may have to lower my ambitions so they are manageable.
Any progress is better than nothing at all. I often focus on what I haven’t done so checking in on myself is actually quite rewarding. It makes me acknowledge what I have achieved and adjust my plans so I am pushing myself sufficiently without killing myself.
Do you set personal goals or new year resolutions? What are your plans for 2019?