Substack and Stuff

Although I didn’t get as much done this month as I would have liked, I’m still moving with forward momentum. Just because it has slowed to a crawl doesn’t mean that it’s still not moving forward. I haven’t stopped nor have I gone backward. So, that’s a win.

As I have said many times before, part of being successful is how you persevere when things go south. And right now, I’m persevering all over the place.

It would have been nice to get more done in July, but life happens.

Setting Up Substack – Kind of

This week, I set up a Substack newsletter. Unfortunately, I still don’t know exactly what I want to do with it. Currently, I kind of use Buy Me a Coffee as a platform for email marketing.

Kind of.

I’m trying to figure out how I can incorporate Substack into my weekly routine without it tapping out more of my time. As it is, I am stretched pretty thin.

I’m toying with a few ideas, such as doing more self-publishing-focused updates or perhaps diving deep into the story development of my projects. But I’m still not 100% sure what to write.

If you have any ideas, feel free to let me know. I’m going to do a bit of research this weekend on how similar professionals use their Substacks. But since I already have Buy Me a Coffee, I’m kind of at a loss.

Falling Behind Writing Fury

I am falling a bit behind in writing the first draft of Fury. It’s the sequel to the book I’m hopeful to publish in the next couple of weeks.

I’m not too far behind my goals as I’ve been working on it here and there. But due to the barrage of craptastic things in July, it’s been extremely difficult to make headway writing the book.

The goal was to have the first draft done by Halloween. I would love to give it to the beta readers as it might make for a great Halloween tale. And realistically, I should be able to catch up relatively quickly.

As of this post, I would need to write 1600 words Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. That’s when I have a two-hour block of time set aside specifically for this book. Normally, I can crank out anywhere from 1800 to 2000 in that time frame.

So, it’s not outside of the scope of what I can write. Yet, I do often take my time as I also try to write the best story I can before making edits.

Goals for August (Maybe)

As we’re wrapping up July, it’s time to start thinking about my goals for August. In reality, though, they’re probably going to be the same things I had planned for July.

That’s because so much kind of went in the crapper that it really needs a restart. However, I do have some ideas that are realistic for what I’m trying to accomplish this year.

Time Management

Time management is always a fall-back goal. That’s because I know there is always something to fix when it comes to how I plan and execute my day.

I have to say, though, that I’m doing much better in 2023 than I did in 2022.

Still, I know that I can get far more done in the day. Well, at least on the days when my daughter doesn’t wreck a car, Comcast doesn’t glitch out my Internet, or a family member doesn’t need a shoulder to cry on.

There are things more important than a career.

In any case, I’m going to see if I can at least surpass my current average for the year for daily efficiency. Since I keep track of every minute in my spreadsheet, I know exactly how much time I spend on projects.

Every minute and every word whether it’s for clients, blogs, books, or videos is recorded in my spreadsheet. A big part of that is because I love data and numbers.

Yep…can you believe I’m single?

In actuality, my spreadsheet has helped me determine prices for clients as well as publish my first book and a slew of other successes in my life. We all have our cup of tea, and geeking out with numbers is mine.

Blogs

WriterSanctuary is relatively close to hitting 10k views per month. For the most part, it’s the reviews that are driving traffic. I would like to keep the momentum going and at least break the visitor record for the year as a whole.

At the current rate of growth, the blog should break last year’s visitor count before the end of August. If things keep improving, WriterSanctuary should surpass its record of total visitors for the year sometime in November.

The other blogs still need a lot of TLC, though.

The plan for August is to keep working on content people want to read for all of my blogs. Although I have more of an emphasis on WriterSanctuary, I would like to see all of them pick up a bit before the end of the year.

At the end of the day, the blog content relies purely on my commitment to time management. Well, that and not having clients come up with new “ideas” to toy with.

Videos

Did you know that about 43.75% of subscribers to the WriterSanctuary YouTube channel do so for the self-publishing videos? This is a massive shift from a year ago when the vast majority of subs came from Textbroker content.

I was looking for a way to separate from content mills considering how the workflow for those platforms had been on the decline for the past few years. Not to mention the fact that I outgrew them.

I suppose that means I’ll have to focus more on self-publishing content. Of course, that is currently my primary interest, so it’s not going to take much for me to produce more videos for writing books.

Something else I want to experiment with is uploading YouTube Shorts. I just don’t know what to talk about for under 60 seconds. I don’t live all that riveting of a life. In reality, I’m kind of boring.

The goal for August is to work on creating some semblance of a decent YouTube channel. I haven’t been the most reliable when it comes to uploading. So, let’s start there, even if I think the topic is going to suck.

In reality, a lot of videos that I thought would do poorly are still in my top 20 viewed for the current month.

I’m also trying to set aside enough time to at least upload weekly updates for my weight loss journey on Sundays for CrossingColorado’s YouTube channel.

Books

I’m still working on having the first draft of Fury done before Halloween. Recent events kind of pushed it back a bit, but I’m still making decent progress.

However, I recently realized that Fury is going to be much longer than Kingmaker. So, I’m not sure when it’ll actually be finished. I set the goal for 85k, but I’m almost positive it’ll be closer to 100k.

Keep in mind that there is a lot more going on in Fury. Kingmaker was essentially the origin story with a twist. Fury is when a lot of things start kicking off.

Speaking of Kingmaker, I am still waiting on a cover and still have to get with readers for tweaks. I wanted it to be published on the 21st of July, but a lot of things kind of sucked the wind out of my sails.

For example, losing a car that week really didn’t help matters.

In any case, I’m still working on getting Kingmaker published soon and finishing the first draft of Fury. If all goes well (which rarely happens here), I should have the entire four-book series published by the end of 2024.

That’s a bit ambitious considering everything I do in the week. But in reality, it’s not totally outside of what I can handle when the stars align, clients leave me alone, and kids stop smashing the cars.

Life Happens, Roll with It

No matter how well you plan your days, weeks, months, or even years, life has a habit of happening. The best-laid plans can crumble to dust quite easily. But as long as you don’t dwell on the crappiness, you can come out the other side smelling like roses.

Sure, I am a bit frustrated that I have such a hard time getting things rolling in the right direction. But I don’t let it completely consume me. After taking a few breaths, I make another attempt to make things happen.

Will August be a shining example of what I can do? Who knows? Life happens regardless of the plan. All I can really do is the best I can to face the challenges and complications that arise.

At the end of the day, I refuse to give up.

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