Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Happy AND Healthy!

Hey, I’m back!  No, not really, but I do have a couple things on the calendar today.

First, Alex Cavanaugh, Stephen Tremp, L. Diane Wolfe, and Michael Di Gesu have teamed up for a Blog Hop that focuses on health.

This is an issue with many bloggers who have expressed gaining weight over the holidays and other negative health issues that they are dealing with. Here is a Blog Hop that can help us make 2013 a year that we can help turn the tides!

The Objective: Share with everyone something you have done that affected your health in a positive way. You can share an awesome low cal low fat tasty recipe. Post simple tips to lose weight. Or a testimony on what has helped like joining Weight Watchers. Recommend a routine like P90X or Insanity. Or stretches one can do while sitting in their office chair working or writing. We’re sure people have countless great tips and ideas they would love to share. 

Well, I can’t say I’m the healthiest writer on the planet, ‘cause I’m so NOT, but a few years ago, before I started writing, and after I’d gained too much weight to be comfortable with, I joined up with Positive Changes to help get my head back into proper perspective.  PC is a hypnosis center, and before you scoff, it really, REALLY works!

My father used hypnosis to get over a 30 year smoking habit.  He did so in two weeks, cold turkey, without any problem whatsoever.  So I decided to give it a try for weight loss, since that’s what PC specializes in and is most noted for. 

I went in for monthly hypnosis sessions, about 30 to 45 minutes each, which were recorded to a CD that I uploaded to iTunes and put on my iPod.  I listened to that recording every single day.  Plus, I attended weekly classes they offered on nutrition and exercise.  That’s what the sessions focused on, as well.  From there, I found it easy to focus on my diet and exercise and I lost over 50 pounds in 8 months. 

So if you have a problem committing yourself to eating better and exercising everyday, consider hypnosis.  I really does work!  During your sessions, you are always in total control and are completely aware.  It’s all about relaxation and being open to suggestion.  That’s it.  Of course, you have to stay vigilant, even after your program is complete.  I’ll always have my session recordings to listen to whenever I want or need to.

Second, I’m way out of practice on this sort of thing but…I was tagged by the effervescent Tammy Theriault in the Happy Meme and have been nominated for the Happy Award!  

Must be all that happy dancin’ I’m always doing on Facebook every time someone posts an awesome review! 

Not much to this one, really, just thank the one who tagged you—THANKS TAMMY!!—list 5 things that make me happy, and tag five more shiny, happy people.  So here goes…

5 things that make me happy:  having my son back home for college, watching my 125-pound  submissive snow dog play with my 7-pound alpha cat, having writer friends who understand the joys and pitfalls of publishing, selling the audio rights to my book, when readers tell me how much they enjoyed my story.

Tag, you’re it:

  • Alex Cavanaugh, who, I know, never does these sorts of things, but come on!  Who else do you know who always seems so happy?  
  • Donna Weaver, who’s only days away from releasing her debut!  How could she NOT be happy?
  • Mary Pax, who’s the most prolific author I know.  No wonder she’s always smiling!

  • L. Diane Wolfe, who always seems to have her act together, which = happiness
I'll be back on Monday for Donna's launch, next Wednesday for the IWSG, and then on Thursday for Lisa Regan’s Aberration Bloghop which has lots of cool prizes!!  Until then...

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

IWSG: My Daily Addiction

It’s the first Wednesday of the month, time for

Hi, my name is Nancy and I am an addict…

I never wrote my novel with publishing in mind.  It was simply a lark, something I wanted to accomplish.  Once I got into it, though, I found I loved it.  Keep in mind, I knew nothing about writing fiction, but I did have a good education and was an avid reader.

I was fortunate enough to have all the critical plot points, so once I was finished and thought, “Hey, I might have something here,” all I needed to do was research what it takes to get published.  Trouble was, there was a lot on that list.  But I did it.  I jumped through most of the hoops.

I found querying to be an especially brutal one, demoralizing, really.  But I made it through, not the wholly traditional way—I bypassed the agent—yet I still managed to snag a book deal.  I thought, after edits are done, I’ll have all the hard parts behind me.  Yeah, not so much. 

I always thought publishing would bring me this huge sense of accomplishment, that I’d be nothing but happy, happy, happy.  But then I became obsessed.  Addicted.  It’s a daily struggle really.  They don’t tell you that once you’re published it’s all about selling.  But I didn’t know how to do that.  Marketing is not in my tool belt.  I’ve had to learn as I go, and I’ve learned I suck.  But still, I make progress, even though it is a struggle.

To gauge that war, I check my rankings on Amazon, constantly, both US and UK.  I hop on Goodreads to see how many people have added my book to their TBR list, how many new ratings, new reviews.  Same with Amazon.  I’m always worrying about where the next review will come from, will it suck, will it be amazing?  Will it spike my sales? 

So, as you can imagine, each day brings either a huge high of happiness or a face-planting low of failure.  One day, I’m up, the next, I’m down.  Some days, it’s up and down and up and down all within a few hours.  Oh cool, a great 5-star review on Amazon, YAY!  Let’s watch my book climb up Amazon’s Top-Rated in Romantic Suspense list, or Mysteries and Suspense, where it can really be seen.  Happy dance time!  Then I watch as my ranking gets higher and higher, which, of course, means no one has bought a copy that day.  When it goes above a certain threshold, I practically have a coronary. 

It’s driving me CRAZY!!!  I feel like an addict who craves the bottle or the needle or the pipe.  The information on Amazon and Goodreads is my drug.  I have to know.  I have to know!  Now, now, now! 

Well, I’ve reached my breaking point, I think.  I can’t do it any more.  I’ve had a lot of highs in the last week.  One of them was that my fans expect another book.  My readers message, email, text, and Facebook me, telling me this, yet I sit on my ass and obsess over numbers and rankings, and I’m getting nothing done.  I’ve been told, it’s easier to sell if you have multiple titles.  Well, that’s what I want to focus on, giving my readers another roller coaster to ride.

So I’m disconnecting, pulling back from the Internet.  Not completely.  But a lot.  I’ll still try to post to my blog on Mondays, but only if I have something important to say.  I won’t be around as much, to chat and comment, but I’ll be lurking.  I don’t want what I’ve been experiencing to be what publishing is all about for me.  I want that feeling I had way back in the beginning, when I sat at my desk, writing my book, living with my characters, creating a brand new world.

My name is Nancy, and I am a writer.  So watch me write.