It’s time I get back to the 52-Week Blog Challenge after a brief hiatus. I’ve been finalizing two books to come out this year, and I wrote the end to another book also coming out in 2019, but that has nothing to do with this blog hop other than I’ve been busy, busy, busy! ❤ #WritersLife
This week’s topic sounds like a similar topic from the last two years:
Week 32: For an author, does life exist outside of writing?
I can only answer for me and whether life exists outside of my writing world. This answer is twofold. Putting words to paper took the back burner for a lot of years while I grew from a child to a teen to a young adult to a wife. I raised a family and worked outside of the home. These were happy times, but the need to write was always there.
Through the years, I always scribbled down words be it a poem or a short story, and I knew one day I’d write books. It just wasn’t the right time back then because I had a life outside of writing. What I didn’t know was how important it would become one day. Or how much time it would take to keep up with the business side.
Moving forward many years when everything about my life changed. Kids live their own lives, but I still receive much joy from spending time with them. Retirement allowed me to write full time, so nowadays, creating stories is my life, and no, I don’t have much of a life outside of this career, but I do make sure to find a balance that works for me.
I still have friends that I had when I was young and raising a family, plus new friends. They know of my dreams. We still go out to walk together, take little day trips, socialize, and continue to talk about my writing and books. However, I don’t do as much with them as they’d like.
Family and most friends understand that this is how I roll these days. Still, they would prefer I had an equal balance of life and career. I do keep my heart and soul in harmony. If I won the lotto or sold hundreds of books a day, I’d be happy to give the same amount of time to work and life–maybe even more to LIFE.
What about other authors? Participants in this blog challenge will tell you by visiting the 52-Week Blog Challenge blog for links to their blogs.
I appreciate your visit today. Enjoy what’s left of summer. It goes by too fast.
And now, I’m going for one of those walks.
The BALANCE sign is made of metal and hangs on my refrigerator by magnets on the back. While shopping with my son and daughter-in-law, I purchased this at a quaint little store in a small town nearby. As soon as I saw it, I had to have it! ❤
For me as an author, I have to ask myself—what is one without the other?
Here we are again with our third topic for our 52-Week Blog Challenge from Marketing for Romance Writers org—#MFRWauthor.
Reading became important to me at an early age and has carried over into adulthood. I love reading.
I don’t know when I began reading because I don’t remember a time I didn’t. It’s the same with writing. Having a pen or pencil in my hand came as natural as putting food into my mouth.
Can a writer not be a reader?
I’ve heard a handful of authors say they never read. This isn’t the same as a writer saying they don’t take time to read—like me lately, which leads me into writing. At the moment, I write more than I read books, but I miss reading.
At a young age, I knew I wanted my name on books.
It took many, many years to see my name published on a book. As a child, I had created my own books with construction paper for the cover and lined paper for the interior complete with bad drawings—probably stick-figure characters.
I hold on to things I’ve written, but I don’t have my early self-made books. Strangely, I do have teen poems packed away in hiding. It’s enough for me to know writing began early. I had no choice, for I had to get words on paper, which sometimes meant adding stories to enhance comic books! So, writing is like breathing.
Today, writing is my life.
Don’t forget, it takes more than writing a book to be an author.
Writing related work can consume your life if you let it. Everyone in your life won’t understand this. A high percentage of a writer’s life is more than sitting down and banging out words unless you have the money to pay for assistance to help with the non-writing part.
One day, I hope to cut back from around 85% of my time spent on writing and related jobs to around 40% (Gasp!), but I want it to be my choice. I’d love to enjoy a fuller life and tackle the fun adventures on my Bucket List. Oh, and get back to reading for pleasure and photography, my hobby.
Find the other authors in this blog hop at this LINK. Cheers!
I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog challenge posts. I’m sorry for being so lax in getting to yours, and posts by other bloggers I follow, too. I’m coming close to finishing a draft for a book coming out late this year, then I can get back to finishing another one. Not to mention I’m having covers rebranded for one full series. Choosing images takes me a lot of time. All this while trying to have somewhat of a life outside of writing.
New Year Tips:
Are you messing up your checks by writing 2018 in error? To prevent from doing this, I always write the new year in the first ten or so checks because I know I’ll mess up until I get used to writing “2019.”
Remember to update your copyright year on your websites.
This is a topic I didn’t want to write about because it puts my heart on the spot. With our 52-Week Blog Challenge almost over, I didn’t want to skip this week, so here I am.
There are so many things I’m grateful for each day.
Where shall I begin without making this an autobiography? Haha. Don’t worry, I’m teasing.
Strength: Since my early beginning—I learned in order to survive—I had to be strong. I’m grateful for that strength. Basically, I’m grateful that I know God, and that he has, and does protect me in life or death situations.
Each Day: Some years ago, I had a severe back injury and again two years ago. Ten months ago, I had some scary health news. I’m grateful for each day I can rise and shine to a normal life.
This one gets to me and can make me cry bittersweet tears. It might sound silly to you. I’m grateful for my empathy—that I cry over Kodak Moment commercials, humans being kind to one another and to animals. Happy endings. This stuff melts my heart in ways I can’t control, nor do I want to. I’m grateful to experience this emotion.
Children: I’m grateful for my oldest son. He’s one of the first best things that happened to me—he changed my life. To this day, I’m grateful he can live his life with strength and passion in whatever he does.
I’m grateful for my youngest son who changed my life in other ways. I’m grateful for his compassion and joy for life. I’m grateful that he has found the most wonderful woman to go through life with—my daughter-in-law, Christie.
Friends: Of course, I have to say how grateful I am for the fantastic friends I’ve had and still have in my life.
Love: I’m grateful to have known true love and to have been loved.
I didn’t know I could go on and on with this topic until I put my fingers on the keyboard and started typing, but I’ll only mention a couple more things yet I’m leaving out so much.
Reading and WRITING: I’m grateful for my READERS, and those I work with in my writing career. Every single day, I’m grateful and thankful for this gift I get to do full-time, and yes, I call it a gift.
However, concerning writing full time… I’ve learned that dreams can come true, and I’m learning now that dreams can end. If I have another publishing year like 2018, I’ll reluctantly force myself to be grateful for a new kind of job. I’m not a quitter, and I’ll never stop writing, but my days of writing for publication will come to an end if that happens. I’ll still finish the book commitments I have planned for 2019. No matter what though, I’ll always be grateful for the ability to put sentences together to create a story.
I hope it goes without saying, but I’m grateful to have you here visiting and reading my posts. Thank you.
Check out this week’s post about the Kindle Book Review #Giveaway where I’m one of the sponsoring authors. No purchase necessary to enter for a chance to win a $500 Amazon eGift Card.
This Blog Hop Challenge is counting down. If you haven’t visited the other authors participating, I’d say this is a good week do check them out.
I’m sure it all started with the library and reading. For as long as I remember, I loved the books themselves as much as what I found inside of them. I knew… It seems like forever that I knew my name would be on books one day. Maybe the idea stayed in my head on purpose. Did I keep the thought there on my own accord so I wouldn’t give up the dream? If not, why and how did it continue to nag at me until I did something about it as a grown woman with a family? It doesn’t matter—the dream or calling came true.
My parents fought a lot. Reading, and writing poetry helped me to escape the noise. As a young child, outside of school I didn’t have many kids to play with while growing up in Detroit. There were no kids in my neighborhood. Brothers and cousins were my friends and playmates—all males by the way. It was no wonder I grew up a tomboy starting out reading comics and climbing trees with my youngest brother.
It wasn’t until we moved to a suburb while in third or fourth grade, that I had kids in my neighborhood and developed friendships, a boyfriend, and my first kiss at around eleven. Haha. As a youngster, I’d walk to my small-town library as often as I could. Then magic happened when I grew old enough to drive. I took myself to larger libraries and bookstores.
My toddlers grew into youngsters and they always accompanied me to bookstores and libraries, and they were encouraged to go as young adults. Today, only one of my boys will read a novel. The other one reads more technical kinds of things like magazines/blogs to feed his own interests. One of them used to write poetry, but I don’t think he has time anymore. I’m glad in a way because his poetry, like much of mine, stemmed from sad happenings in his life like a broken heart, for instance.
Without having the opportunity of having books at hand at a young age, who knows if my dream of writing books would’ve come true? I like to believe it’s more than libraries and books that brought out the writer, but the combination and the life experiences dished out to me, both good and bad, along with perseverance, a calling, or what have you, contributed to fulfilling a lifelong dream.
So, what do you think?
As children, some of us liked magic and fantasy, more than reality. So, we became writers. ~Dr. SunWolf, professorsunwolf.com
Hello everyone. I’ve been neglectful of posting on my blog, and I apologize for not getting around to yours, either. I do miss visiting with you. I’m making my appearance on Facebook and Twitter to stay updated. Yes, I’m still here, but my blog is lonely. Remember, at the end of 2017 one of the writing topics for the 52-Week Blog Challenge was about resolutions. One of my writing goals mentioned a major revision on two books. I’m deep into this as we speak. #LifeGoesOn
In other words, I’m consumed with this project and working long hours each day—ten to twelve hours while arguing with my muse at night to put down her lariat and go to sleep.
I’m not only revising one book, but two, because Nora and Tristan had two books.
Why would I do this to myself? When I finish my revisions, this will be one complete book where part of the first book will flow into the second book as one complete story.
Part of one book you ask? This was the culprit keeping me awake at night, but after two weeks, I figured it out. The books are Cowboy Boss and his Destiny and Tristan’s Destiny, Double Dutch Ranch Series: Love at First Sight. I’ve deleted over 90K words from Cowboy Boss and his Destiny #1 and a little from Tristan’s Destiny #1.5. Take that, book pirates!
Cowboy Boss will never be the same book as it is now, and in fact, I’m getting ready to pull these two books from publication until the revision is finished, reedited, and formatted. It’ll be fine for new readers to begin the series with Heartbreak’s Reward, book #2 in the series or Whispers of Forever, book #1 in the spin off series.
Does this sound easy? I hope you said no. It is not easy.
Another reason for doing this is because I have learned so much and come a long way since I wrote Cowboy Boss. This book no longer reflects the other books in my series, nor does it reflect my writing of today. Therefore, this no longer fits as my series starter. So, yes, I’m doing this major revision for my future. Am I taking a chance by doing this? Yes. Am I hesitant about doing this? No. (not any more.) Am I scared about doing this? Terrified.
If you’re a writer, you’ve probably heard that writing is a marathon not a sprint. Consider this another mile in my marathon. #WritersLife
Oh, woe is me… The life of a writer. Oh, for joy… The life of a writer!
Cowboy Boss and his Destiny had originally been written as a standalone happy-go-lucky holiday story. It never turned out to be a holiday story or a single-title book. When I first wrote the book, I knew about half way through, this would start a series. Sure, it is a happy-go-lucky love story, but…
A reviewer called it a Hallmark movie with sex. However, the comment wasn’t meant to be positive. This book has its lovers and haters. (Read my Open Door Closed Door post.) To add some angst and more emotion and conflict to Nora and Tristan’s life, I gave them book 1.5, which will be added to the new version of Cowboy Boss as a complete story that flows together as one. LESS than a fourth of Cowboy Boss readers are reading book 1.5, anyway, but a lot of that book was necessary to further the series.
I’ve saved around 10K of Cowboy Boss before it blends into the new version where Tristan and Nora’s bond is put to the test and takes my characters on a more dramatic journey in this new version of Cowboy Boss and his Destiny, #1.
There are many dilemmas facing me as I decide how to publish this BRAND-NEW version:
Will this new version be a 2nd edition? If this is a 2nd edition, the original versions will remain with reviews intact.
Will I delete the original 1st editions and start all over? Will retailers allow me to do this? I want the original versions to disappear.
Will I re-upload this over the original book #1 then delete or unpublish the original book #1.5, which doesn’t show up in my series, anyway? Regardless, book 1.5 will go away one way or another. Of course, the reviews will go with it, and this book gets the best reviews. I’ve saved them.
While I’m on the subject of reviews: Reviews help tell readers, someone is at least reading the book. No reviews make it look like the book is just sitting there unread. Who wants to take a chance on that book?
Whoops, I digressed from the topic here—revising books.
I hear a lot about upcoming or new authors not wanting to self-publish. I get where you’re coming from. I had to make that choice once.
Making a revision like this to benefit my writing career would never be possible if I hadn’t published these two books myself. Nor would I be able to change the cover or pick the images for all my covers, especially my handsome heroes. I love having this control over my own books.
My next dilemma here is to change or not to change the cover. With this story now being so different, I think it deserves a new cover. Update: I changed the cover and it was the right decision!
If you’ve read this far, thank you for sticking around. I must be making up for lost time with all these words.
Have any of you published a 2nd edition? If so, what became of the 1st Edition? I don’t think Amazon will let us kill off the first edition if we publish a 2nd edition. In fact, I’m sure they don’t pull a first edition, and the upside to this is to have reviews available, albeit, new reviews will have to be garnered for the 2nd edition. I plan on finding out before I make a decision.
The entire series to date:
There it is, folks. I laid it on the line, and I’m hoping for the best.
The word “again” is in my title… I’ve reblogged the post before, and I even reblogged the Reblog. Yes, I’m rolling my eyes at myself. Why do it again? I’ve had many new followers since 2011 when the post had been written, and new followers since 2013 when I decided to repost. I’ve lost the ability to reblog the post again, so I have to link to it. My writing has changed and improved so much since I wrote the post, which makes me proud to know I’m still learning. https://maryjdresselbooks.com/2011/08/02/inspiration-from-long-ago/
This is inspiring to me because I had someone else tell me at the mere age of thirteen what I had known all along. “You should be a writer.” Those of you who have been around here since 2011 or even 2013, you’ve seen this, so I apologize for talking about and linking to this post yet again. But to this day I give thanks to my seventh grade language arts teacher. I realize this post is more inspiring to me than you, but since it’s Tuesday and time for Tuesday Inspiration for the Muse, this is what I’m posting today. On a side note, thanks to all of you who have stuck around since 2011.
Do you remember who or what inspired you to follow your dreams?
Yesterday, Monday May, 29th, was Memorial Day–a Holiday in the United States observed on the last day of May to honor men and women who died in the U.S. Military. When a holiday falls on a Monday, my week is all messed up, and WOW this is Tuesday. My muse reminded me to spread around a little bit of inspiration, however, this has nothing to do with my persistent muse, other than a kick in the butt to post today.
Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride. ~NISSAN
I found this image below and it reminded me of my own bicycle in my living room of all places. My son hooked it up to what is called a Trainer. He and his wife ride outside a lot, I mean A LOT, so last summer he brought this over and hooked it up to my bike. I asked to borrow it so I could get off my computer now and then to get some exercise during the winter. If only I used it more often. 😦 If I really wanted to make life a “journey,” wouldn’t I take the bike outside? LOL.
My journey these days is in my head where my muse lives. I think she lives in my head. She can live anywhere she wants as long as she stays with me. Either way, it’s a good idea to enjoy the ride while doing whatever it is you/we/I do because life is a journey. The fun part about WRITING is when you arrive at the end of one journey, you get to start another one. Yay!
I believe the message from my muse today is to stay on that journey to get to the end of this challenging book I’m writing because I’ve wanted to throw my hands up in the air and start all over. What? Start all over? But, I did start all over, and therein lies the problem. I’ve started over in a book written for a different genre in a different setting. Since I’ve written about this before, I won’t bore you by going over it again, but I finally found my way in this story and it’s close to the end in the first draft. I can enjoy this ride again. To my stubborn little Miss Sexy-Innocence muse, I say thank you for the shove and for figuring it all out.
Week 16—Marketing for Romance Writers 52-Week Challenge Blog Hop #MFRWauthor
Topic: My Biggest Dream in Life
Folks, I am living my biggest dream in life, up to now. I call myself a full-time writer. Each day on the job for more than thirty years, I hoped, dreamed that one day I’d stay home and write full time. The lucky day finally came in 2011. Retirement! My dream came true, but little did I know one day I’d need my book royalties to survive.
At work, I’d scratch out a few of my words before they slipped from my mind forever, but this wasn’t enough. They needed to be chapters, not words. Fortunately, my vacation schedule allowed me to write all summer and holidays, but returning to work in September caused an ache inside. My dream seemed out of reach. I wanted my dream, even if it meant doing nothing more than entertaining myself.
The topic is for My Biggest Dream in Life, but I have other writing dreams not yet fulfilled— Why not write them here now?
To become a New York Times Best seller.
To make the USA Today Best Selling List.
You get the picture. It isn’t something I dwell on, but it’d be nice. The way the New York Times has changed their rules, this isn’t going to happen. Who is happy about this change? Not romance writers and certainly not Romance Writers of America®. Thank you RWA for sticking up for us.
In reality, having a ton of readers who love my books, is more important to me than hitting one of these lists.
At least I can call myself an International Amazon #1 Best Seller. THANK YOU readers for making it happen. The first time I saw the orange Best Seller sticker beneath my books, it took me over the rainbow. Can you imagine what would happen if I’d hit one of the bigger ones. Another dream come true? Sure it was.
Photo Credit: schurch at Morguefile.com
If I can go out on a limb here, another dream would be to see my stories made into movies.
Are there any authors who don’t want this? I see these stories in my mind like a movie, but this doesn’t count. It’s still fun though, to watch my characters run around in my brain. I only wish they wouldn’t when my head hits the pillow. (Not really. Ideas come to me in bed.)
Photo Credit: krosseel at Morguefile
Since I don’t want to sound too selfish mentioning only my dream, I have dreams for both my boys and the rest of my family to be healthy and happy, and to be able to enjoy life to the fullest—to follow and find their dreams. And to have a world where they can live peacefully in their future. Of course, I have my own personal dreams outside of writing yet to come true.
It took me a lifetime before this dream came true. Don’t give up on your dreams.
Thanks for visiting.
This is a blog hop. Please visit the other authors who are participating. I wonder how many have the same dream as my biggest dream in life. I bet when I read theirs, I will discover dreams I didn’t know I had.
Have I been going nuts or what? Sure, I’ve had to ask myself that question. Why?
I’ve had this cowboy aka soldier living in my head for months now. At times he thought HE was the boss, and other times he let me have my way. Occasionally, he needed to be smacked, but other times only a hug would do. He’s been shot at, nearly blown up, out of control, in control, had his heart ripped out, has been doubtful yet confident, angered, but more importantly–loved.
Trust me, the heroine in this book has needed a lot of support from her author, too.
Cover reveal coming soon. I can’t wait to share.
First round of edits are done, except for tweaking a few things before it goes back to the editor.
Still hopeful about a late spring release. I appreciate your patience if you’re waiting for this one.
There’s always a “but,” isn’t there? He isn’t the only cowboy swimming around in my head. As if I had nothing else to do, I began to revise another book that is already published. That was a crazy thing to do you might say. Maybe. I had to update back matter so heck, why not go a little further. Okay, a lot further. I’m still not finished.
Would you believe two more are in there too? I must have a lot of empty space for all these characters to be floating around in my head. The hero for book four in my ranch series has squeezed himself right in there with the others. I wonder if anyone has a clue who he is yet. I left a big hint in Tristan’s Destiny Book 1.5. I can’t give anything away though.
Maybe you think that’s all the cowboys I think about. Wrong! I have also started writing a third book in the Bull Rider Series. A holiday with Velia and Caulder and then some. You know how family oriented they all are, so they’ll be visited by a few others because after all, I write books with strong family ties.
You may have noticed my home page has changed. That’s because I have left my other website, and don’t get me going on the host for that site because I’m not happy with them. I transferred my domain name to my blog here, which is now going to be my website. Still following me? Eventually, I’ll go through another change but I will still be right here.
Author Brand Logo…
Speaking of website, have you noticed my new Author Brand Logo? Thanks to Dawné Dominique at DuskTiDawn Designs for creating it for me. Get used to seeing it around.
I’ll be moving so that is on my mind as well. Before moving, I will be unpacking “junk” from my last move so I don’t have to re-move anything that is, well, “junk.” Do any of you know how to add extra hours to a day? Please let me know if you do.
I have no idea where I’ll end up. Literally.
Is all this excuse enough for you to forgive me for not being around my blog? I apologize for being a bad “Blog Mom” these past few months, but when these heroes start running around my brain demanding their own stories, I kind of let them take over for a time. Hah! I haven’t even mentioned the heroines who demand equal time, too. In reality, this is a good thing…
I blame my sexy innocent muse. I’m so very thankful for her…
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Image came from: booksrevisited.com/shop/booksrev/216226.html
I’ve been reading since I was a kid—even before I knew who Mark Twain was. Why did I say Mark Twain? Today I was reminded of a book my dad encouraged me to read when I was a kid. One of them was “The Prince and the Pauper” by Mark Twain. For the life of me, I have no idea why this book sticks in my memory. I wasn’t interested in reading this book.
Because it was about two young boys? Why would a little girl want to read about two boys? Well, I was a tomboy and I did like comic books. Ah ha, that must have been his reasoning. Either way, my dad was adamant about me reading. (He read all the time, and I have a feeling he wanted to be a writer instead of a construction worker/ truck driver.)
In fact, he joined a book club, and books were constantly being delivered to our house, for me. Too bad I don’t still have those books. The thing I remember about the books that were delivered, was the different colors, and the bindings all had different colors too.
Purple stands out in my mind when I think of this book. One was white with a purple binding. The books from this club didn’t have a picture on them. I might have read them if they had a picture on the cover, but I believe these books were written for kids older than me, even though I could read most of the words.
Funny, but I don’t remember my youngest brother reading books, or being asked to read, although he read comic books with me. When I think about it, I was about eight years old or younger, so my brother would have been about six and a half. Of course he wouldn’t have read Mark Twain. So why did I have to?
Did my dad see something in me at that young age that told him I needed this? Thanks, Dad, for encouraging me read. He also made, or encouraged, my brother and I to do homework in the summer. The man made me write outside of school! Thanks again, Dad. LOL Do you have a favorite book you read as a child?
I browsed for covers that might trigger something, and when I clicked on this plain cover, it reminded me of the book. What struck me about this book link on iTunes was a comment on the page that says it all. Check it out. It’s the one that says it will stick in your mind forever.
Thanks for stopping by to read.
Might as well add a Mark Twain quote while I’m at it. I have no proof Mark Twain actually said this, so please correct me if I’m wrong.
Life is short, break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that made you smile. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
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