Your Brilliant Writing Year Free Interactive Workshop

Happy New Year!

Fresh starts. Making resolutions. Setting goals. A new year offers a clean slate to make positive changes.

And we’re here to help!

If you recall, last week I shared a new My Book Therapy product to help jumpstart your year, plan for success, and keep you motivated to achieve your goals. That’s right, The My Book Therapy Dream Keeper & Planner 2018.

As I’ve said–this planner is big, but then again, so is your life!

 

 

Check out this short video for a sneak peek of what’s inside:

So, what are you waiting for?

Click here to order your planner today: MBT Dream Keeper and Planner

Then you’ll want to register for Your Brilliant Writing Year–an interactive workshop on creating a strategy for a productive and profitable 2018. You will learn how to use the planner to its full potential. You will need to register in advance. Once you register, you will receive an email with a Quick Start Planner to help get you started. 

Click here to register: Your Brilliant Writing Year. 

We’ll see you Thursday, January 4, at 7 PM CST!

Until then,

Go! Write Something Brilliant!

What I did when my life and writing got out of control…

I know I’ve mentioned that when I started writing, I lived in Siberia. I had four kids, I was teaching ESL, going to the market every day and carrying home our food in a backpack, washing cloth diapers by hand (yes) and trying to learn another language. My plate was pretty full.

But I had this dream, see, the one that kept me sane late at night when Hubs was away, when the kids were in bed. I wanted to be a novelist. I didn’t know how it would happen, I just followed the nudge. Followed what brought me joy. Followed my talents and skills and passions to see where they would lead.

Nearly twenty years later, I’m a full-time novelist, written over 60 books, and run an academy for novelists. And I’m a wife, mom, grandma and I try to be a participating, good servant in my world. But it can be overwhelming, I admit it. (She says after feeding people for a week of Christmas festivities.)

For years, I struggled to find the right planner—one built for the creative mind, the spiritual person, an entrepreneur and writer and a busy get-it-all-done woman. I usually ended up with four planners—a journal for my inner life, a wall calendar for the family activities, a business planner for my marketing and speaking events and a writing journal where I could capture my brainstorming. I had to lug them all around in a big bag.

This year, I thought…I’ll simplify. (And, I’ll go to the chiropractor less!) I wanted a place for meditation and prayer, a place for my goals, a place for my daily logs, and a place to keep all my habits and daily tasks.

After all, this is the story of my life.

Working with a talented artist who understood the needs of a creator, I sat down and created a planner for a creative, busy writer. I synthesized the organization of a seasoned CEO, the motivation, and self-analysis of a life and business coach, the daily habits of a wife and mother, and the brainstorming techniques of a career novelist. Organizing them into logical (and pretty!) logs, I put together what I consider the perfect planner for a career novelist/authorpreneur/creative. Someone who wants their whole life in one, well, big book. One fabulous place to keep track of everything.

And, the really cool part is that this feels like a book, with the interior and cover set up like a novel. Because it’s the story of your life.

I’m so excited to introduce The My Book Therapy Dream Keeper & Planner 2018. Classy, Pretty, Motivational—the place to create your vision, stay motivated, ignite your writing, improve productivity, live with joy and get it all done.

  • Jumpstart your Year with analysis and planning to discover the most lucrative and joy-driven projects, a place for reflecting, dreaming big and following your passions.
  • Plan for Success with the Brainstorming and Project Boards to hone your ideas and create actionable projects. Quarterly and 90-day task sheets help you break them into energizing and goal-crushing tasks.
  • Make it Happen with the Month-at-a-Glance and weekly planners. You’ll see your projects take form.
  • Put Action to your Task List with the Daily Logs, a week-at-a-glance planner that incorporates not only your big projects but daily habits, menus and exercise/life activities.
  • Stay Motivated with the daily inspiration section and motivational quotes in the back.
  • Analyze and plan for the next amazing month with the month-end analysis.
  • Finish your year with a review and a plan for the next.

You’ll be amazed at the brilliant year you had.

And, don’t forget the BONUS STORYCRAFTING Section in the back. Brainstorming and plotting sheets for three books, including an indie-book project sheet to track your deadlines and finances!

This is more than a planner, it’s a keeper of your dreams. Because your story—the one you live and the one you create—matters.

8.5×11, matte cover, paperback. 490 pages (yes, it’s big, but so is your life.)

Some snapshots!

I’m not sure where you are in your journey, but if you’re a creative, a business person and a person who wants to incorporate their spiritual journey with the rest of their life, then this planner will help you keep it all in one amazing place. Get your copy today (and then attend my FREE webinar next Thursday on how to follow your joy and create your brilliant 2018 plan!)

Most importantly, it’ll help me keep all those deadlines for the brilliant (hopefully!) books I plan to write in 2018!

Your Story Matters!

Make it brilliant in 2018!

P.S.  If you’d like a PDF copy that is downloadable and printable, find it here!

 

Five Ways to Master a Deadline

by Connilyn Cossette, @ConniCossette 

I am a classic procrastinator. I was that student who wrote term papers at 3 am the night before but somehow usually managed to pull through and get good grades anyhow. Having continued this pattern of last-minute-tire-squealing-finishes into adulthood I had some challenges to overcome as a professional writer. 

Although I am still the Queen of Procrastination (Exhibit A: my usual sink full of dishes and perpetually unfolded laundry) I have gradually instituted some techniques that have served me well in meeting my publisher’s deadlines and have even produced the occasional shockingly-early turn in!

Dilly-dallying around and writing whenever the muse strikes sound fun in theory but it does not produce timely manuscripts and often ends up as an excuse for over-perfectionism, which will keep any artist from delivering consistent work. Even if you don’t have a contract yet, it’s best to start training now by instituting a solid deadline for yourself.

Here are some things you can do to make deadlines work for you, whether you are a traditionally published author, an indie author, or are working towards a writing career:

1. Be realistic. Give yourself a word count that is obtainable. Writing thousands of words a day sounds fantastic but keeping up that sort of pace long term will result in burnout. If you are just starting out, pick a lower word count and then gradually increase as your “writing muscles” get stronger. 

2. Bite size portions. A 90,000-word goal can seem overwhelming, but you’ve heard the old adage about how to eat an elephant (one bite at a time), you’ll need to apply that to your manuscript and take it one bite at a time. Consistency is the name of the game, so pull out your calendar and do some math. Make a daily goal, a weekly goal, and a monthly goal and then stick to them!

3. Build in padding. Life happens. Sickness, technical problems, children—it is inevitable that your goals will need to be adjusted when unforeseen issues pop up. When you divide up your word count make sure and build in some wiggle room, just in case.

4. Take a break. We all need rest and you will do your best work if you give yourself a mental break. I take an entire month off writing between books, which means instead of dividing my word-count goal by nine months, I only do eight months with six weeks devoted to editing. This way I come to the new book refreshed. Taking one day a week off is imperative as well. Use your Sabbath day to recharge those creative batteries.

5. Reward yourself. Hit your daily goal? Watch your favorite TV show. Knock out that weekly goal? Go someplace fun with your family. Master the deadline? Head to the beach for the weekend. Even accomplishing hourly goals can be easy if you bribe yourself with a few M&M’s (although your waistline will thank you if you pace yourself). Pick something that motivates you, dangle that carrot, then celebrate your victories!

Are you a procrastinator like me? What techniques work best for you in managing deadlines?

Tweet: 5 Ways to Manage #Deadlines by @ConniCossette at @Novel.Academy #writing https://ctt.ec/RATqW+
Tweet: 5 Ways to Manage #Deadlines by @ConniCossette at @Novel.Academy #writing https://ctt.ec/RATqW+

~*~

Connilyn Cossette is the CBA Best-Selling author of the Out from Egypt Series with Bethany House Publishing. Her debut novel, Counted with the Stars, was a finalist for both an INSPY Award and a Christian Retailing’s Best Award. There’s not much she likes better than digging into the rich ancient world of the Bible, uncovering buried gems of grace that point toward Jesus, and weaving them into an immersive fiction experience. Although a Pacific Northwest native, she now lives in a little town near Dallas, Texas with her husband of twenty years and two awesome kids, who fill her days with laughter, joy, and inspiration. Connect with her at www.connilyncossette.com.

When The Journey Seems Long

I like to think of myself as a patient person. I think we all like to believe we possess the characteristic of patience. But what happens when we’re faced with a huge virtual stop sign that holds up our plans?

That’s what I’m facing right now as a writer. As I struggle with the daily-ness of raising my family, supporting that family – circumstances become an unsurpassable roadblock living out my writing dreams.

Mind the Timeline

When we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary, my husband planned a surprise weekend in the hill country of Texas. (Yes, we have some hills.) While there, we stopped by this amazing prayer garden called “The Coming King Sculpture Prayer Garden” in Kerrville, Texas. It’s 23-acres garden, that contains a 77-foot steel cross, along with many other works of donated art.

The garden has a huge sign that delineates the time frame from conception of the idea to its completion. I couldn’t help but notice the time span: December 2001 to July 2010.

Then I thought about Biblical heroes who had to wait for their promises. You know that guy Noah? He built an ark and waited for rain. Conservative estimates are at 75 years. He carried out the task of building the ark and didn’t even know what rain was! He served faithfully with a looooonnnnggg wait time included. Hmm … is my wait really that long?

Recently, I bemoaned how little time I have to write and my ever-present competing responsibilities. My writer-friends gently encouraged me to see outside my narrow gray-colored lenses. Okay, it was more like a loving whack upside the head, but hey, it worked. I thought I would pass their insights on to you.

  1. Write. Keep taking baby steps. Write that sentence. Write the next sentence. Write the paragraph. Write the scene. Write the chapter and then the next. You will soon have a book. Large blocks of writing time in this season of my life won’t happen. (I’m writing this as I wait for my daughter at the dentist.) Take whatever time you can. Write from your phone if you have to, but write.
  2. Don’t compare. Several friends started on this writing journey at the same time as me. Today, some of them have an even dozen books written and published. God had to remind me, my timetable is not His timetable.
  3. Prioritize your priorities. My Mom went to heaven when I was two years old. That event has colored every aspect of my life today. She had four young children and within a year cancer had taken her life. I know we are not guaranteed tomorrow and I cherish the time I have with my kids. For me, during this season, writing comes after time with my children.
  4. Leave the rest to God. I’m striving for obedience to the calling He’s placed in my life. To write the stories He’s given me. I’m working to do what I can, learn what I can, and leave the rest in His hands.