Why I Don’t Do Newsletters, plus an update on Never Change (Book #3)

I could make this a one sentence post: Because I don’t have time.

But let me flesh this out a bit more. I have a newsletter program set up, along with 50 subscribers. Many experts in the writing world advise authors to have newsletters to announce contests, new releases, and to keep in touch with their readership. I love the idea of a cute monthly newsletter, complete with awesome graphics, links, quizzes, and trivia, yet at the same time it seems daunting.

Daunting because I’m terrible with graphics, it takes me a long time to learn new programs, and the energy it takes just to think about putting together a newsletter steals away from the energy I need to simply write. My focus now needs to be writing my third book, Never Change. I use other methods to connect with readers, mainly my Facebook reader group, Instagram, Pinterest, and this blog. I know I haven’t been too active recently on this blog, but my intention is to make this like a newsletter.

That’s not to say I’ll never do an official newsletter. Perhaps somewhere down the line I’ll have the time to put into it, or I’ll be able to afford a good PA (personal assistant). Or maybe I’ll never do one, and that’s okay, too. Honestly, I subscribe to probably 10 author newsletters, and really only open a few, if any, per month. I feel bad that these authors spend time making newsletters that only a small percentage actually read. Right now, in this season of life, I’m not willing to put forth the effort for such a small return.

Thank you to those who’ve subscribed to my newsletter, I really appreciate your support! However, the best way to follow me is through the methods I’ve mentioned above. (Links are on the right side of the page).

So here’s my latest news, for those who are interested: Never Change (Faithfully Yours #3), is still in the rough draft form. I’ve written almost 50,000 words. That’s a little more than half-finished. Now that my kids are back in school, I have more time to write, so my plan is to finish this rough draft within the next four weeks. Once it’s finished, I’ll polish it up and hand it over to my beta readers. While my beta readers have Book #3, I’ll start working on Never Give Up (Faithfully Yours #4).

I’ll keep you posted as things happen, but my plan is to release Never Change by the end of February, 2017. I’m hoping (crossing fingers) to release Never Give Up by the end of 2017, or early 2018. Beyond that, I have plans for a box set with tons of extras, including Never Let Go (Book #1) written from David’s POV. That, I’d love to publish by the end of 2018.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to message my FB author page, https://www.facebook.com/annecarolauthor/

As always, thanks for your patience and support!

~ Anne

 

 

 

Starting Over

In a few weeks, my sons will return to school – and I have to admit I’m looking forward to a return to routine, as well as a quiet house on my days off. So why do I feel a twinge of guilt at my joy? You see, my younger son will be starting high school, which means in just four years, I’ll have two college-age children.

That scares me. When I think about life three-four years ago, it feels like yesterday. Time is moving too fast for me, and in a blink of an eye my “babies” will no longer need me like they do now. They may be living across the country for all I know. Or they may choose to stay closer to home. Nevertheless, life will look very different.

It’s for this very reason you haven’t heard much from me on this blog over the past year. I’ve been too busy soaking up these last few years of parenting children at home. Parenting teens is a huge job. When I think of all the things that need to be taught over the next four years, it overwhelms me – from juggling academics, band, and sports to how to drive a car; from how to prepare meals to learning to work with difficult people. The physical exhaustion of parenting littles has evolved to a more emotional and mental series of tasks.

My priorities have changed dramatically since last fall (2015). Not only did our older son start high school (and in the process, adding a load of activities), but my husband and I were in a serious car accident in November. A drunk driver hit our car and then plowed into a second vehicle. Fortunately for us, our airbags deployed; but sadly, the passenger of the other car passed away after four days in a coma.

Even though we were physically okay (aside from whiplash), I struggled with anxiety, depression, and guilt for months afterward. My second book, Never Fall, was published nine days after the accident, but my heart wasn’t into it like with my first book. I didn’t feel like writing for a long time, and then my busy season at work arrived. Any hopes of a fall release of Never Change, my third Faithfully Yours book, vanished.

It’s now August, and I’m happy to say I’m about a third finished with the rough draft of Never Change. I’m aiming for a late February release date. I feel bad I’ve let down my readers, yet I know they’ll be patient and understanding. The thought that I could’ve been the one who died in the accident woke me up to the notion I need to put my family first. The lady who died had two sons in college, and I’m sure those boys will be cherishing every moment they spent with their mom. I don’t want my sons’ memories to be me sitting in front of my laptop 24/7 while they play video games in the other room.

The end of tax season and several wonderful vacations this summer have revitalized the itch to write, and I’m happy to say I’ve come out of my funk. But now the challenge is establishing the balance of writing and caring for my family. Until my last breath, they will always be my first priority. I could’ve done without the trauma of the car accident to reach this revelation, but I’m glad I can take something from that awful event.

So I guess you can say that I’m starting over, taking it one day at a time, and enjoying the writing process.

Thanks to those who’ve read my first two books. Never Change is coming along, I promise you!  I appreciate your patience.

~ Anne

#writing #romanceauthor #lifebalance #parentingteens #selfpublishing

 

 

 

 

Housecleaning at midnight

I’ll admit it.  I’m disorganized.  And while I don’t necessarily think I’m lazy (the past week certainly disproved that), I do tend to go about my duties at a slower pace than my go-getter husband.  It’s times like these I wish I could find a support group for time management flunkies.

One of my friends texted me earlier, saying she was overwhelmed with all her different occupations – putting on craft fairs, doing holiday photo shoots, and substitute teaching – not to mention her duties as a wife and mother.  I texted back that “I’m right there with you”, and then suggested (in jest) that we escape to a tropical island where hot cover models serve us cocktails, and there are no concerns over laundry, housework, childcare, or our day jobs.  Yeah, right.

So here I am, the night before my live book release party, blogging instead of cleaning the house.  The house is a pigsty, and I’m hosting a party here tomorrow evening.  I must be crazy.

I’d get into all the sob story details of why I’m feeling so overwhelmed at the moment, but nobody wants to here that. Let’s just say my first book released a week ago, my husband has been traveling almost nonstop for a month, and I got hit with a huge work project this week which I had to bring home.  Oh, and it’s Christmas season.

Which is where that support group would really come in handy.  I realize that if I’m going to continue advancing my writing career, at the same time keeping my part-time accounting job (because somehow I’ve got to pay for book expenses), I really need to streamline my life and stick to a routine.  One that allows me to actually sleep at midnight; not clean the house.

Speaking of that, I’d better get to it.  I know everything will look great tomorrow – nobody’s here to inspect my house – and the party will be a nice time to relax and enjoy my friends.  I’ve been looking forward to this celebration!

And next week, I’ll take another stab at time management.  We’ll see…

~ Anne