Getting Started with Your First Book

Alas, the flooring is all done!

I still have to install the transition strips, but that’s a project for another day. It will be done by the weekend however, along with my spare room being painted. That room now sits completely empty, except for the paint can in the middle of it.

My thought was to put everything back and paint in a month or three, but my boyfriend convinced me now is the perfect time. I have to admit he’s not wrong. And it will be nice to have one more thing checked off the list.

My office was the last room to be done, and I have to say this is much nicer than the carpet that was in here. Moving my chair is now effortless. In fact, I have to be careful because it rolls too easily. I somehow foresee myself forgetting, and rolling back into the bookshelf when I push myself away from the desk.

Disclaimer: Links within this post are either to my own products, or products I endorse. I may receive a small commission should you make a purchase through an affiliate link, at no extra cost to you. My blog is supported through commissions and sales of my products. Plus, if you like what you read you can show your support by pinning this post, sharing on social media, or buy me a coffee.  Thank you for your continued support.

If someone had told me a year ago that I would be installing vinyl planking I would have told them they were nuts. Even when I picked out the colours I didn’t see myself doing any of the installation; yet here I am with some new experiences under my belt.

Granted I didn’t do the entire house alone, but I did enough to know it’s not something I’d want to be doing full time. Kudos to the professional flooring installers; they are definitely worth the money they charge. (I had the linoleum in my bathrooms installed by a local flooring company. That was NOT something I was willing to tackle.)

Don’t be afraid to take on new challenges. Or try new things. If it works out that’s great! If it doesn’t, then at least you can say you tried.

Writing a Book

The same goes for writing. If you want to be a published author, you first have to write your book. It is scary in the beginning, and all the self-doubt can be paralyzing.

But don’t listen to the negative thoughts in your head. Or for that matter, to the naysayers in your circle. Do what makes you happy, and if that involves writing a book, then go for it.

It doesn’t matter if you write fiction or nonfiction. The goal is to get your story/knowledge out there. Take a few minutes and do some brainstorming. Write out your ideas, or use a mind map to get your ideas out. The latter is a great tool to use if you’re more visual.

The Process

Once you have some topics/story ideas, work on your outline. For the sake of simplicity, I’ll concentrate on nonfiction in this post. Although I also write fiction, I take a different approach to it than I do my non-fiction.

If you’re having trouble with your outline, consider turning it into a series 10 questions your audience wants answered. Each question is a chapter and every subtopic is a supporting question. For example, your might have an outline that looks like this:

Chapter One: What Is Calligraphy?

  • Where Did Calligraphy Originate?
  • Why Do People Use Calligraphy Today?
  • What Can I Do with My Finished Calligraphy Work?

Chapter Two: What Supplies Do I Need?

  • How Do I Know If I Picked the Right Pen?
  • Do I Need to Use Specialty Paper?
  • Which Ink Should I Buy?

You can use as many questions as needed in each chapter to share your information. Some chapters may need several questions to cover all of the points you want to share while others may only need three or four questions. Don’t get hung up on how many questions you have right now.

When you’re finished with your outline it’s time to flesh it out. Answer the questions as thoroughly as you can, without boring the reader. Keep your tone friendly, and it doesn’t hurt to add a little humour in as well.

Once you’ve finished your first draft, it’s time to polish it. This is where your editing comes in. Sometimes it helps to take a step away from it for a few days or so, and look at it with fresh eyes. You’ll find sentences you want to reword, or you may omit entire paragraphs.

It’s all part of the process, but is a necessity if you want to create a book others will want to read and learn from.

For a more detailed look at writing nonfiction, you can pick up my 12 Module Course here. If you have any problems with the download please contact me. It’s a small price to pay for a course that can be the beginning of a regular stream of passive income for you.

The hardest part to anything new is getting started. Once you take the first step (even if it’s a baby one) the rest will fall into place.

What’s something you’ve done that scared you to death at first? Let me know in the comments below.

Why I love living in the country; and 3 things you can do to experience the quiet of country life even if you live in the city.

I am and have always been a country girl; even when I lived in the city in my early 20s. The older I get the more I appreciate the quieter lifestyle living in the country has to offer.

Plus, I get to see some really cool things!

Disclaimer: Links within this post are either to my own products, or products I endorse. I may receive a small commission should you make a purchase through an affiliate link, at no extra cost to you. My blog is supported through commissions and sales of my products. Plus, if you like what you read you can show your support by pinning this post, sharing on social media, or buy me a coffee.  Thank you for your continued support.

The country life has been an inspiration for my novels, and it keeps me grounded when life gets a little crazy. And it has definitely been crazy a time or two since my 50th birthday rolled around.

Not everyone can live in the country though; whether it’s by choice or circumstance. You can however, escape the hustle and bustle for even just a little while. And escaping the noise is great for physical and mental health as well.

  1. Take a drive outside of city limits. It’s amazing how much changes as soon as you’re outside the city. The air is clearer, it’s quieter, and you will most likely see some sort of wildlife (other than the city pigeons). And even if you don’t happen to see wildlife, you’re sure to see cows, sheep, horses, or other domesticated animals.
  2. Take a walk in a park. Many urban dwellers rely on public transportation to get around and may not have their own vehicle. If this is your case, hop on the bus to a public park in your city. The sounds of the city will most likely not be completely gone, but the trees and walking trails will bring some tranquility to the moment. Plus the walk along the trails will help you reconnect with your body and nature.
  3. Create your own oasis. If either of the above methods are unavailable to you, you can still tune out the sounds of the city. If you have a back yard you can fill it with trees, shrubs, and flowers to filter out the noise. A tall fence covered in vines is a great filter. Plus it’ll attract birds which will fill your neighbourhood with song. If you are limited to an apartment put on a nature sounds CD (birds, waterfalls, bubbling brooks) and settle into your comfy chair or practice yoga.
My morning visitor.

We all need some quiet time, cleaner air, and space. It’s amazing what a walk in the open air can do, no matter the season.

I’m grateful to have the serenity of country life, and in all honesty, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Do you have a way to enjoy the quiet, no matter where you live?

Getting Ready to End 2022 on a Positive Note, and Welcome 2023

I have to admit: I haven’t improved my procrastination situation any.

Getting back into a routine isn’t as easy as I thought it was going to be. I have become a little spoiled with not having to be anywhere in particular at any given time.

Summer is on its way out, and I have been working on getting to know my new house so I don’t have any unexpected major expenses. The recent expenses I have had have been completely planned; at least as far as my house goes.

My Jeep on the other hand: not so much. The joys of vehicle ownership, and having to rely on a dealership to make the major repairs. However, knowing some things about vehicles prevented me from being taken advantage of by a service tech. (I do believe he underestimated my knowledge just because I’m a woman.)

Disclaimer: Links within this post are either to my own products, or products I endorse. I may receive a small commission should you make a purchase through an affiliate link, at no extra cost to you. My blog is supported through commissions and sales of my products. Plus, if you like what you read you can show your support by pinning this post, sharing on social media, or buy me a coffee.  Thank you for your continued support.

2022 has been a year of some changes for me; with my move being the major one. I’m still not sure if it has really sunk in, and that I can do whatever I like to the house and yard. It definitely takes time and an adjustment period for it all to sink in.

One of my favourite things in my new house. Perfect for the chilly days.

As I adjust to this new chapter of my life I can’t help but feel blessed for all I have. I have a roof over my head, food in my belly, and the love and support of family and friends. Plus I get to spend time with a man who makes me feel good about me. And he doesn’t mind the fact we live in our own houses. (That in itself is a big plus for me.)

As the final quarter of 2022 approaches I do have a few things I want to accomplish before the start of 2023.

  1. Increase my Etsy Sales. My shops (NotJustAlpacaDesigns and TOLA50Printables) were put on the back burner during the move and now it’s time to work on both of them. What that means is getting back into designing both crochet patterns and printables. I’m looking forward to picking up my hook and yarn again.
  2. Get back into posting regularly. This isn’t the only blog that has been lacking in regular updates. My All-In Gardening site has been severely neglected as well. I have a couple of new e-books on gardening available on Kindle, and the links can be found on the site. (If you have Kindle Unlimited you can read them for free.)
  3. Finish the painting and install the flooring in the game room. Almost the entire house needs to be painted and the new flooring put in, but the game room is at the top of the list. I’m hosting Christmas this year and want it done so my nephews and other family members have a place to hang out.
  4. Make a conscious effort to be more present in the moment. I’m terrible when it comes to just enjoying the moment. My brain is always thinking about what needs to be done next, and I find myself missing bits of conversations. It’s time to really listen to others and pay attention: and just enjoy my small circle.(I think this is the most important one of them all.)

I would like my list to be longer, but putting too much pressure on myself tends to lead to frustration when I don’t get it all done. I’m finally starting to realize the world won’t end if I take time for myself, and to spend with family and friends. Some habits are hard to break but I’m doing what I can to get myself out of the rut I created.

Something to ponder: Enjoy the time spent with loved ones, because tomorrow is never promised. Take the time for others now, while you have the chance.

What is most important to you at this stage of your life?

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