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!

 

6 Productivity Thoughts for the Holidays

by Jeanne Takenaka, @JeanneTakenaka

A few years ago, my schedule and pace exhausted me. A traveling husband’s schedule, boys’ activities, Christmas concerts, preparing and mailing out our Christmas letters, wrapping gifts . . . all of it caused me to forget how to breathe deep and sleep hard. I was running on crazy/busy/empty/breathless. I literally only inhaled shallow breaths.

In writing life, I concentrated on my third story, blogged, and was trying to build a platform . . . on top of all the real-life stuff. God warned me—I was headed for health troubles.

There are times when we need a little grace. During those busy weeks between Thanksgiving and the end of the year? We need a lot of grace.

What should we do when we must step back from our normal writing pace, but we still want to be productive?

Never fear. There are smaller, less-time-intensive tasks we can do to move us forward during the busy holiday season and organize us for next year:

  1. Give ourselves permission to rest. Agents and editors usually take this time of year off to catch up and to focus on family and friends. Unless we’re on deadline, we should take a cue from them and give our bodies, minds, and spirits space to rejuvenate.
  2. For bloggers, it’s okay to take a break from active blogging. Most of our readers are also busy with Christmas schedules. They may not visit as often anyway. We should let our readers know what we’re doing so they don’t worry about (or forget!) us.
  3. Look at what is and isn’t working with our blogs and platforms. Is it time to update our themes? Which social media posts are drawing/not drawing attention? Check logistical things like gravatar and bios and see if they’re current.
  4. Be on the lookout for ideas to begin posting on our blogs and social media sites in January. If possible, find an idea/series that can pique your readers’ interests based on the themes you write about.
  5. For those who have tons of pictures, this can be a good time to pull out the laptop (or phone or wherever they’re stored). Delete duplicates, blurry photos, and other photos that no longer speak to us.
  6. Give ourselves permission to fully engage with family and friends. This is a special time of year. We should be intentional with our time. When we’re with loved ones, let’s love well.

Writing life should take a back seat to real life.

After that Christmas season, I made some changes—for my sanity and my family’s.

Our boys’ schedules still run us a little ragged, but taking a break from most things writing in December has lightened my spirit. Come January, I’m eager to get back to all things writing.

And, I’ve learned how to slow down and breathe more deeply.

What about you? What tips would you add for those who want to be productive but not stressed during the Christmas season?

TWEETABLES:
Tweet: 6 Productivity Thoughts for the Holidays by @JeanneTakenaka via @NovelAcademy #writing https://ctt.ec/FTRqm+

Tweet: What should we do when we must step back from our normal #writing pace, but we still want to be productive? Tips shared by @JeanneTakenaka via @NovelAcademy #productivity https://ctt.ec/f2BjI+

~*~

Jeanne Takenaka writes contemporary fiction that touches the heart. She won My Book Therapy’s Frasier award in 2014 after finaling in the contest in 2013. She was a Genesis 2015 finalist in the romance category, and she finaled in the Launching a Star Contest and the Phoenix Rattler in 2012. An active member of RWA, ACFW and My Book Therapy, Jeanne blogs about life and relationships at http://jeannetakenaka.wordpress.com. A graduate with an M.A. in education, she resides in Colorado with her husband and two exuberant teenage boys who hope to one day have a dog of their own.

 

Why is a Writer Like a Bumblebee by Angela Arndt

You’ve heard the story that, after an extensive study, a scientist proclaimed there was no valid reason a bumblebee could fly? It turns out the study was completed in 1934, and there have been one or two advances in the field of aeronautical engineering since then.  Shout it from the rooftops: “Science proves bumblebees CAN fly.”

This morning, I saw a bumblebee in our yard bouncing from stem-to-stem. When its little body landed atop one blossom, the branch swayed way down, almost to the ground. But, instead of flying away, it stayed aboard and vibrated its tiny wings just little harder.

I admit it, I’m curious; I did a little research on this intrepid insect.

  • Bumblebee nests may be underground, in abandoned mouse holes, or bird boxes – any place that’s dark and quiet.
  • If you robbed a bumblebee nest, it would yield only get a few ounces of honey. In comparison, if you harvest the honey from only a few frames of honeybee comb, your output would be closer to a gallon.
  • Bumblebees pollinate some plants that honeybees can’t, including tomatoes, Brazil nuts, cactus, and eggplant.
  • The name, bumblebee, means “clumsy.” (They don’t seem to care.)

So why is a writer like a bumblebee?

  1. A writer should be a writing machine, even if when if the product crashes-and-burns. Remember: just flap a little harder and hang on.
  2. Writer’s lairs are usually in the unused, forgotten, dusty parts of the house. However, writing dens belonging to the species, published author, tend to be gorgeous and well-lit.
  3. All writers may not produce the same amount of honey (or money), but all writers must write.
  4. All forms of writing are valid. Novellas, short stories, articles and flash fiction can be as compelling as full-length novels.
  5. If an online reviewer, from the genus trollus, calls your work “clumsy,” ignore them. The data needed to make that determination won’t be available until you’ve left this earth. In the meantime, write like a bumblebee.

Writers of the world, let’s make this our rally cry: “Bumblebees CAN fly!”

Eh, maybe not.

~*~

 

fb-Headshot aearndt 82113When Angela Arndt is not watching bumblebees or robbing honey bee hives, she enjoys writing mysteries set in small Southern towns. Coincidentally, she, her husband, and their three very large dogs (a lab mix, Staffordshire terrier, and a 12-pound poodle) live in the middle of a big wood outside a small Southern town. She would love for you to visit her website, or Seriously Write, her team blog.