I have so exciting news! You all know Sunday Morning has been a long time coming. There were bumps in the road, to say the least, but now it’s finally here. Sunday Morning has a release date and I’m running a special offer on Patreon for the occasion!
Until 11:59 pm EST on Monday, April 15, I will be running a special offer on my Patreon page. I’ve run this offer before and, because I had to push the release date back, I decided to run it again and give people an extra shot at it.
If you become a patron between now and April 15, you’ll get a care package sent straight to your door with some Sunday Morning goodies in it!
The package will include:
A signed, print copy of Sunday Morning
A hand-written thank you note
And other goodies!
You will have to be comfortable giving me a snail mail address. It doesn’t need to be your home, but an address that you can get the package from. This information will be kept confidential and deleted as soon as I get confirmation that you received the package.
With that in mind, feel free to head over to my Patreon page for more info! You can sign up at any tier and get the package plus all the rewards that come with the tier you join at.
As always, there’s no obligation. Just trying to find ways to give back to all the support you guys have given me over the years!
I guess you’ll be wanting to know more about this, huh?
As I said, Sunday Morning has had some hiccups. Real life stuff happened and I needed to push the release date back a few times… remember this was originally planned to be released in January? Then February?
Well, I’m not holding back anymore. No more waiting. I’ve set a release date and it’s final.
Sunday Morning is coming Tuesday, April 23, 2019.
I am beyond excited and totally freaked out at the same time. There’s still so much to do in just three weeks, but I know I can do it. I can’t wait to share this project with you. Who knew my Short Story Sunday posts would get its own spotlight?
My Patreon special offer ends on Monday, April 15 and the book will be released just one week after that! Whether you decide to join Patreon or not, I’ve been creating public posts on there this week and will continue to do so for the next few days. Be sure to check those out.
As always, thanks for reading and sticking by me through all this. It means the world.
Thanks for reading! I hope you’re just as excited as I am for Sunday Morning! Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.
Patreon is a membership platform where you can get closer to some of your favorite creators and show them how much you love their work. These creators can be anyone from an artist, musician, gamer, YouTuber, writer, graphic designer, and so much more. Art is everywhere and we are all artists in some way.
There’s a lot of misconception about Patreon. Unless you’re some sort of artist, freelancer, or entrepreneur, most people tend to think Patreon is just a “donation” platform. I’ve been part of Patreon for almost a year now and I still get people commenting and asking me why I ask for donations from people.
Now, there are a ton of places out there where people can ask for money. Patreon is one along with Ko-Fi, Kickstarter, or some people just leave buttons to they PayPal. For some reason, people only tend to question Patreon. Yet, the other platforms are completely normal to them. Of course, this is just what I hear and maybe I don’t pay enough attention to the others, but I’m going by what I’ve experienced and what I’ve witnessed.
This is probably one of my longest posts, but it would really mean a lot to me if you read until the end.
When I started this journey – you know, the whole writing and blogging thing – I never imagined I would be here, in this spot, in this very moment. I never imagined my blog would have over 6,000 followers. I never imagined I’d be in the process of self-publishing a novel.
I never imagined I’d be doing a whole lot of other things as well. This includes book publicity, co-hosting a Twitter game, contributing to other websites plus an online magazine, and so much more. So, when one of those doors opened, I jumped on it. I thought it would open way more doors – which it did, but not in the way I had expected them to.
I worked. A lot.
I was working in a preschool classroom making $14,000 a year. Yeah, a year. A full-time job that was making me just a tad over $1,000 a month. On my third year working there, I realized the substitute teachers got paid more than me. Even though I was part of a classroom working with a great team and working with the same kids for 180 days of the school year – plus the summer program – I realized I was at the very bottom. I got three sick days a year. No personal or vacation time. No benefits or insurance. One, because I was still under my parents and two, because my co-worker, who was the same level as me, carried the insurance for her family and ended up getting $1 paychecks and owing money because she didn’t make enough for the insurance and taxes and everything else to get taken out.
I soon realized I was nothing in the eyes of the town I worked for.
I wrote and blogged in the early morning hours. Then went to work until 2:30 in the afternoon. Then I babysat for a few hours after that. When I got home around five or six, I ate dinner, and wrote and blogged some more before going to bed just to wake up and work another 12-hour shift.
So, I quit my preschool job in June 2017.
It was a rough decision for me to quit. I loved the teachers I worked with and I knew I would really miss the kids. Honestly, if I didn’t need money to survive in this world, I would have stayed. But I just couldn’t. I wanted to be a writer and I had my blog well established at this time. I talked to my parents and thankfully, they were supportive and encouraging enough to allow me to quit my job and pursue my writing career.
I still babysat in the afternoons though. I was still the director of my church’s Sunday school program, which paid me as well. So, I was losing $14,000 a year, but I was still making money for me to get by.
The summer of 2017 I had an internship with a book publicist with the option of it becoming a part-time job in the fall. I thought this was my foot in the door. I could put the preschool jobs behind me and focus on writing, blogging, and everything in between. I could finally work in the writing world.
Once the internship was over, however, I got one paying job and then… nothing. It took a few months for my employer to reach out again saying there were other jobs lined up. Then nothing still. It’s now been a year since I’ve heard anything.
That’s not all that was short lived.
That was disappointing to say the least, but I had still learned a lot and was able to move forward, hopefully to do some things on my own. I still had babysitting and Sunday school, after all.
Well, no. Before the 2017-2018 school year began, my church asked me to help with the email list and the Facebook page. I agreed. In October, I asked where my paycheck was for September and the answer? “Oh, I forgot to tell you… you’re out.”
My church, at the time, wasn’t doing well financially, and apparently, I was the one they decided to cut completely. So, now I had no book publicity jobs and even though I was still doing the work for my church, it was all volunteer-based.
I was still babysitting three days a week. Except the father became a firefighter and his work hours were weird. He worked mostly nights so he was home during the day, which meant they didn’t need me as often. At most, I was making $25-$50 a week. In the spring of 2018, they told me they wouldn’t need my anymore. Their oldest was going to middle school the next year and between the father’s work schedule, they knew she’d be able to be home alone for an hour or two after school.
“When one door closes, another opens.”
Not in my case. One door opened and everything else locked me out – including the door that opened.
In less than one year, I quit my full-time job, lost a potential part-time gig, lost my compensation for my church despite still doing the work, and lost my babysitting job. I was left wondering, “now what?”
What do you do when you take a big risk and it doesn’t work out?
I’ve been job-hunting since June 2017. Just because I took a risk, doesn’t mean it didn’t scare me. I’ve applied to quite a few places since then. Unfortunately, nothing has ever worked out. Apparently, you need experience to get experience and even though I do a lot for this blog, it’s a “personal” blog and therefore doesn’t count as experience because it’s not for a “third party.”
I’m easily stressed. I panic a lot. I can’t predict the future. I can’t know cause and effect of my actions and my decisions. I often wonder so many “what ifs” about my choices.
What if I had waited a year or two to quit my job? Or not quit it at all?
What if I had started looking for a new babysitting job earlier to fill in the lost time?
What if I didn’t agree to do so much for my church? They didn’t pay me any more, but it’d be a weight off my shoulder.
I often wonder if I did something wrong or maybe I didn’t do something well enough. Why did my church decide to cut me off completely instead of docking a little bit of pay from everyone? Why did I never hear back from that book publicist? My work was often praised, but was that just a front? Maybe it was more work for her to have a middle-man and I just complicated things.
I guess I’ll never know the answers to these questions, but the fact remains – I made decisions and this is the result.
Now what do I do?
I was at a loss of what to do. I had heard of Patreon from a lot of the YouTubers I watch. I didn’t think it was something I’d be able to do though, even though there are plenty of writers and authors on there. For a while, I thought I had nothing to offer.
In addition to everything I do offline, I do a lot online as well. I run two blogs, I’m working on various novels, I co-host #TheMerryWriter on Twitter, I’m on the Editorial Board for the 85K90 writing challenge, and I contribute game reviews to two websites as well as help out with social media and contribute to the magazine for one of those websites. I did an unpaid freelance gig because I wanted to help a friend and I wanted to get more experience, plus I was hoping to develop a working relationship. Once the gig was over, I never heard back from her.
I don’t get paid for any of these things. I do them because I enjoy them. I like learning new things and I like to help out. I’ve met a lot of people and have made a lot of friends these past couple of years. However, if money didn’t make the world go round, I would not be writing this post.
In doing all this though, I realized one thing.
I do have something to offer.
I wouldn’t have so many followers on my blog if you guys didn’t enjoy my content, right? If you hated my articles, if you didn’t care for my writing voice, or if you thought my creative writing sucked, you wouldn’t be reading this right now, right? (Of course, this is a super long post, so if you’re still with me – thank you!)
Between the work in real life and online, I’ve learned a lot. I have a good amount of skills. It’s taken me a while to realize it because with the lack of communication and the lack of compensation, I always wondered if I wasn’t good enough or if I was doing something wrong. I never knew and I’ve finally decided to step up.
I work hard. I put my heart and soul into my work. I’m often the first one to jump up and volunteer to do something if it helps someone else out.
But my writing has suffered for it. My mind has suffered from it. Everything all at once is stressful and then to end the night by job hunting when I already have like, five or six jobs, takes a toll. I can’t keep giving away my work for free.
So I joined Patreon in February 2018.
It was a long shot, but I bit the bullet and decided to join Patreon. I work night and day and I create a lot. As a creator, I feel I should get compensated for my work. No, I’m not looking for donations. I’m looking to be compensated for my time, for my hard work. I’m looking to build a community and get to know people who enjoy my work. I want to keep doing this for a living and, without something like Patreon, I fear that will never happen.
I’m still trying to figure out to make my Patreon page the best it can be for my patrons. I’m trying to be better at promoting it. I’ve always felt funny self-promoting… I don’t know why. Maybe I feel like my work isn’t good enough, but then, if that’s the case, why am I doing any of this at all?
Plus, if I’m going to be self-publishing books, I need to work on my self-promotion and marketing skills anyway, right?
So far, Patreon has been a wonderful experience. I’ve met a few new writers through there and I’ve loved being able to share my journey with my patrons as well as support other creators through Patreon.
Getting an email saying someone became a patron of yours is the best feeling in the world. That feeling isn’t because of the monetary value, but it is because of the money itself. Let me explain what I mean:
Money is sacred. We all have bills to pay. We all have groceries to buy. Maybe your saving up for a new video game or that shiny new car. Maybe you’re trying to whittle down your school loans. So, when you get an email saying, “Hey! This person gave you $1 – they really must like your stuff!” It means the world. It means that even though you have a mortgage to pay, you decided to spare a dollar on me, a stranger, simply because my work makes you happy. Because you believe in my work. Because you want to support and encourage me to continue to work.
I’ve worked and reworked my Patreon page a couple times to make it the best it can be for you guys, my patrons. Of course, I’ve been promoting my Patreon more than I used to. However, I’m not asking each and every one of my 6,000 followers to join. If you can’t afford it, don’t do it. If you don’t want to, don’t do it. If you enjoy my stuff anyway, reading and commenting on this blog is great. Reading my books when they come out is great.
I’ll still get crap for it, but I don’t care anymore.
“So, you quit your job and now you’re asking for donations?”
That’s the biggest comment I get whenever I mention my Patreon. But now you know. I quit my job thinking I was all set and I wasn’t.
Maybe I was naive to think that. Maybe, out of all the work I do on and offline, I should give up a couple of them. Maybe I should stop working “for experience” when I already have a lot. Maybe I should stop thinking I’ll “grow” with these people, these websites, these companies.
I know all this now, though I didn’t realize it then. I know I’ll eventually have to give up a couple of these jobs so I can work on my own creative projects. I know, once I find a paying job, the free ones will have to be given up, despite how much I enjoy doing them, aside from the money part of it.
I don’t regret anything.
Life isn’t perfect and the choices I’ve made in the past were the “right” ones at the time. Life loves to throw a few curve balls here and there and, despite my panicking, I know I’ll figure it out at some point.
I did find a new babysitting job for this year. They’re paying me more and they needed me for more hours than the family did last year. Plus, their friends need an occasional babysitter so I sometimes have double-duty.
I’m still running the Sunday school program at my church. I’m still doing the Facebook page, running the newsletter, and now managing the website. We’re in the process of getting a new Reverend and when all is official, the first thing I’m going to do is talk to him about getting paid again. The church is doing well financially again and I definitely deserve to get compensated for all the work I put into it.
In the end, though, I still have bills to pay. I still need to save up to hire an editor for my books. That’s why I chose to join Patreon. I know a lot of people out there enjoy my content and maybe they’d want to see more of it through Patreon.
Thanks for reading.
Seriously, if you read this far, I really appreciate it. I’ve been trying to write this post for two weeks. It’s been on my mind for a while and I think you guys deserve to know why I joined Patreon and why I’ve been pushing it more. I’m not looking for “donations” because I quit my job. I’m just trying to make a living like everyone else.
With that said, I have to do one final plug – I’m running a special promotion for my debut book. If you become a patron at the $1 tier than you’ll get an exclusive promotion box which will include a paperback copy of the book, a bookmark, a handwritten thank you note, and a special surprise. This offer ends in four days on January 20, 2019. So, if that’s something that interests you, then you can head over to my Patreon page to learn more.
As always, thank you for reading and for all your support – on and off the blog! If you liked this post, please share it around.
A new year comes with new writing goals! Except these goals are more or less the same as last year’s… meaning, these goals are whatever I didn’t finish last year. I got a lot done in 2018, but… you know what? Let’s just get into it. Here are my writing goals for 2019.
85K Writing Challenge
I’ve talked about this not too long ago. I’ll be participating in the year-long 85K writing challenge. I plan to get a few projects written, edited, and ready for publication. Between this challenge and three sessions of NaNoWriMo, I think I can do it. It’ll certainly keep me busy, but I’m looking forward to the challenge and I’m beyond ready for it.
So, which projects will I be working on throughout the year? That’s the million-dollar question.
George Florence & The Perfect Alibi
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, then you’re certainly familiar with George and Lilah. This dynamic duo have been in my head since 2011 and it’s finally time I kick them out of the nest and they see the world. I still have a lot of edits to go through and I’ve started sending it to my local writer’s group again.
My original plan was to try to self-publish it this year but I’m think it won’t be until 2020 now. I’ve been coming up with plans, deadlines, and a timeline for it all. They will get their chance to see the world soon, I promise. I know it’ll never be perfect, but there’s still some tweaking that needs to be done.
I also need to hire an editor. So, if you’re looking forward to this book and have been enjoying my content for quite a while, please consider joining the journey on my Patreon. It’s an exclusive community where you’ll get inside access to my books, writing process, and a lot more. I’m trying to reach a $500/month goal so I can save for a few months to afford an editor. Every bit helps and I’m looking forward to sharing the process with you all!
Sunday Morning (Vol. 1)
This book was supposed to be self-published in just a few days. Unfortunately, 2018 had to get a few final punches in during November and December and I was unable to work on this book at all. I had to push back the release date, but that’s okay. It’s still going to come out, I’m still going to do it. Slow and steady wins the race, people. I’m super nervous about it but completely excited at the same time.
I’ll be posting more updates on this as the month goes on though. As always, my patrons get a first-look at it all. Also, since I needed to push back the release date I’ve decided to bring back the promo-box!
If you become a patron at the $1 reward tier or higher, then you’ll get an exclusive promotion box mailed to you. Of course, you must be okay with giving me some sort of mailing address so the box can be sent to you. I promise the address will be deleted once the box is sent and that will be the only thing I send you.
Yes, there will be more. Since the first book is just about done, I’ll be starting work on the second book to be released at the beginning of 2020. I’ll definitely be utilizing the 85K challenge to get this book in order throughout the year.
Yeah, I know. I work on secret projects a lot. My patrons don’t even know what this is yet. This is something I’ve thought of doing for a while but never thought I could pursue it for some reason. With some of the things that happened in 2018, some changes coming to this blog in 2019, I realized that this is something I can do. And I’m going to pursue it.
I’ll be using the 85K challenge to its full ability for this project as well. This project is in the pre-planning stages and I’m not even sure how it’s all going to come together yet. With that said, I’m not sure when I’ll be ready to announce it, but I’m sure it’ll be sometime in 2019… otherwise I wouldn’t be mentioning it now.
Submissions & Contests
One goal I make for myself every year and don’t always follow is submitting my work to magazines, other websites, and contests. I’d like to submit a poem, flash fiction, or whatever at least once a month. Twice a month will be ideal, but with everything else I have planned and going on, we’ll see how it goes. As long as I submit something once a month, I’ll be good.
I have a lot of pieces sitting in my writing folder on my computer and none of them are doing anything. Surely there’s a couple that’s worthy of winning a contests or being published in a magazine, right? I just need to take the time to scour the Internet for the right fit for those pieces.
Wish me luck!
That’s All… I Think.
I believe I’ve covered everything. It’s a lot, right? I know, I’m wondering how I’m going to do it at all. Honestly, if I get just two of projects done, I’ll be happy. I know it’s a lot, but I’m ready for the challenge and I’m eager to get started. I can’t wait to see what I can accomplish in 2019.
Oh, Wait. Two More Things.
…But I’m not going to mention them just yet! Just be on the lookout early March for one of them.
What are some of your writing goals for 2019? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.
I have no intro for this. The past few years I’ve been updating my weekly progress for NaNo. So, I’m doing it again. Here’s my NaNoWriMo 2018 Update One.
My daily goal is always to write 2,000 words. I like the even number over 1,667 words. I also try my best to get it done by the time Thanksgiving rolls around at the end of the month. Here’s how I’m doing so far.
Day 1: 2,203 Day 2: 2,125 Day 3: 2,175 Day 4: 2,114 Day 5: 2,061 Day 6: 2,132
Day 7: Haven’t written yet this morning!
Week One Total: 12,810
Not bad, right? I had a steady stream of words each day. Day 3 was Saturday as well as Double-Up Day. I don’t know why I thought Double-Up Day was later in the month, but I wasn’t planning on that. When I found out I had decided to attempt 4,000 words.
I ended up not getting the chance to write until much later at night. I usually write early in the morning but I didn’t make my word count that day until around 10-10:30 at night. It just so happened that other things were going on that day (good things, of course) and I had decided to put my attention towards that instead of focusing on writing.
I thought Sunday, November 4, would be a good day to write 4,000 words and pretend I did it for my own Double-Up Day, but that didn’t happen either. I was at church for a few hours, got my 2k in, and then had other work that needed to be done. Maybe this weekend I can aim to give myself a mini writing marathon.
I spent the whole week working on my Short Story Sunday 2019 project. That is, if you don’t know, 52 shorts/flashes – one for every Sunday of 2019. These will be under my Short Story Sunday category next year.
I also put the last finishing touches of November’s short story for my patrons. They’ll be getting their exclusive story from me on Saturday, November 10. If you’d like to receive a patron-only short from me each month, then please join me on Patreon for only $1 a month. If you want to see what it’s all about, you can check out my Patreon page here.
I’ve also been working bit by bit on Sunday Morning. I’ll have more information on that as soon as I can, but if you’d like to be the first to know, then Patreon is a great place to be.
NaNo Week One
I can’t believe the first week of NaNo is already done. It was a good week though and I feel like I got a lot done. I’m happy with my progress and I’m looking forward to what I’ll get done in week two.
How did week one go for you? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.
NaNo begins in two days! Two! Can you believe it? NaNoWriMo 2018 has come up so fast that I’m not sure what to do with myself. I’m usually more prepared but this year is different. I know what I’ll be working on and it’s nothing new, which is usually what I try to do.
The whole point of NaNoWriMo is to spend a month writing 50,000 words and just getting the basic bare bones of a first draft of a novel on paper. The challenge is also to start something new. You can prep, but you can’t do any writing until midnight November 1 and you keep writing bit by bit each day until the end of the month. I always try to start something new, but I haven’t the past couple of years. I have so many projects that I don’t want to bury myself deeper.
This makes me a NaNo Rebel.
I don’t mind though. The point is to finish something (or start something) and to make progress. Any progress is progress, no matter what you’re working on or how far along you are in it. Or eve how far you manage to get in a certain amount of time.
I write my short stories in advance for my Sunday blog posts. I usually write them during a Camp NaNo session (because, as I said, I try to start a brand new novel each November). I didn’t work on next year’s stories though during April or July… I don’t know why. I honestly can’t remember what I worked on instead.
Still, I’m going to work on these quick flash fiction pieces throughout the month and get the majority, if not all, of 2019 written. It’s 52 stories. I’ve done it in a month before, I can do it again. I’ve already gotten all the prompts and the layouts down. I just need to write the stories.
Speaking of my Short Story Sunday, I’ll also be working on Sunday Morning. I have another round of edits to get through as well as publishing duties to do. Again, unless it’s Camp NaNoWriMo, I try not to edit. But this is something I need to get done sooner rather than later.
If you don’t know what Sunday Morning is, you can check out this post here. This book is being supported by my Patrons on Patreon. If you enjoy my blog and my creative writing overall, please check out my Patreon. It’s an exclusive community where you’ll get an inside look at my work and we can chat easier with one another as well. There are special rewards and, if you give $1 a month beforeDecember 9, 2018, you’ll get a special promo box for Sunday Morning when it’s published!
George Florence & The Perfect Alibi
I won’t be working on this one as much or as hard as I probably should. However, the other two projects are going to take priority. I’ll still give this one a bit of attention though. You can be sure of that.
What are you writing for NaNo this year? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.