As an author, the holidays should be a plethora of ideas and writing and geez…sometimes the blues…horror of all horrors for a romance writers. So, over the years, I’ve decided to work out those scenarios to make sure I have it all under control. Here are some things writers can get down about after the holidays and some ready solutions.
1) Problem ~ Having two books out at the holidays. Discussion and Solution ~ I’ve always thanked my lucky stars to have two books out at the same time. Not that I don’t write fast, I do but the chances of two new releases overlapping is a rarity for me. Except for this year. At first, I didn’t know what to do but decided to do the best I could. One book released on the 1st of December and the second on the 23rd of the month. That gave me plenty of time to do promo for all. Part of the solution is to schedule your slots well before your actual release date. On both of them, I had my link two weeks early and scheduled accordingly. And with HootSuite, you can schedule tweets and Facebook posts ahead as well.
Once you have done all you can as far as outside promo, just talk to friends, family and anyone who will listen without being pushy or overbearing. People want to know what value your book will bring to their lives even if it’s only for the entertainment value. If you do it in a casual way without being annoying, people are more likely to remember your name and possibly even your book. If they remember your name, chances are they will look you up.
2) Problem ~ Not getting one thing you wanted. Discussion and Solution ~ Over the past few years, I’ve been pretty specific about what I need or want for the holidays. I’ve tried to make sure nothing is out of someone’s price range and that it is something I will use or need. As I’ve gotten older, I know I don’t need or want as much to make me happy. Besides, it’s just more to worry about, clean up or just never use and that isn’t good. Once, I did ask people to donate because I felt I had too much but that didn’t work out for me too well. This year though, when presents were opened not one request had been honored. At first, it hit me hard that no one had paid attention to me or taken what I said seriously because I was meticulous this year. Then I smacked myself up the side of the head and brought myself to my senses. At least I have a family to enjoy and love, who cares if they don’t get me exactly what I want…it is truly the thought that counts. And this situation can happen at birthdays or any holiday where you give or get something.
This year I also heard a story that I immediately thought of after all the presents had been opened. I read on Facebook about someone who didn’t have money to give all the people in her life gifts, so she did what she could and knitted them all hats. This included an office giveaway. When she gave out her gifts, one person literally threw it down and said they didn’t like it and would never wear it. This woman’s feelings were very hurt so she suggested that the other person donate the hat if she didn’t like it. That person laid more hurt on by saying she didn’t have time for such nonsense.
Because of my ugly thoughts and that story, I realized I hadn’t been counting my blessing daily like I should. I am blessed with good writing, good author friends and a great supportive family. I really couldn’t ask for more. What’s a few gifts I don’t really want? Not much in the scheme of things.
When this happens to you, for whatever reasons, just think about the good things in your life. Don’t dwell on the negative as it isn’t at all productive for you or a healthy writing career. Crap happens and how you deal with it in life and on paper can make or break you as a person and a writer. The choice is yours.
3) Problem ~ Not having enough time to do it all. Discussion and Solution ~ First, time is a misnomer in my opinion. Everyone has exactly the same amount of time but it always seems as if some of us don’t have enough, some have just the right amount and others plan so effectively that they always have plenty. I have personally been on every bit of that spectrum and this year I was definitely on the not enough end. I know I am better when I plan things out but recently I’ve had a tendency to over-plan my time and therefore, I still don’t seem to have enough to finish all the projects I want to finish.
And to be honest, the solution is very easy. All one needs to do is to take a yearly planner and write down your daily goals, weekly goals, your monthly goals and your yearly goals. But the real key to making this all work is to make each and every goal realistic for you. Sure, you can have a page of what you’d really want to do for the year but if you can’t make the daily word count to make that happen, why torture yourself and make yourself feel bad for something you can’t accomplish? If you can only write 1000 words a day, make all your goals revolve around that number. Always make your goals for what you know you can do instead of what you want to do.
Yes, your goals can change and you can adjust your calendar accordingly. Sometimes, you discover you can add more words to your daily count. Sometimes you realize you can do a novella a month or submit two ideas to your agent or publisher. Just remember, whatever you decide, you need to fit it into your range of ability.
No, that doesn’t mean you can’t do your wish list for the year. You can but you should choose the stories you’re passionate about to complete first. Once those are done, dive back into that list and see what more you can do…always realizing that you’ve at least achieved your original goals first…and now your pushing yourself for a little more.
These are the few things I’ve had to deal with not once, not twice but many times in my forty – yes, count them – 40 plus years of writing. It’s something I’ve had to deal with a few times but this year was the only year I’ve all of them happen at once. 2016 was a hard year for many people but I’ve learned so much from things like having to deal with all these problems in the same year while doing an international move plus a move from one state to another.
Perspective is an important thing and tool for a writer. We have to see life from the perspective of our characters. Sometimes it’s important to put things into perspective for our own lives lest we get lost in things that don’t really matter.
Here’s hoping all your holiday wishes came true…
Santa’s Miraculous Christmas
After receiving a heartfelt letter from a little girl, Santa realizes he is no longer relevant in the world of humans. Apparently, they have too many problems for a good dose of Christmas joy to cure. Santa believes the world no longer needs him or Christmas and decides to go on vacation in the Caribbean instead.
Enter the Locklin clan, intent on keeping with tradition and showing Santa the error of his ways. Join all of Santa’s Elves as they come to the rescue of our most sacred holiday.
He gave a big sigh, then snuggled her neck. “I think he’s tired, Angie. He’s tried hard not to take on any of the world’s burdens but now those problems are affecting the kids of the world. You heard about the one letter from a kid in a war zone. How awful their life must be?”
“I can see being tired. I can see not wanting to take on any other responsibilities but I’m afraid that’s the world we live in. Everyone is going to have to tackle these distressing subjects.”
“The only thing I want to tackle is my wife.” He leaned over and kissed her. “Can we talk about this later?”
“Ardan…Santa has always been there for us…for all of us. We need to try and help him out of his funk or whatever you want to call it.”
His hand caressed her breast under the soft cloth of her sweater. “We’ll talk right after I have sex with you.”
Her warm breath fanned along his cheek from her low laugh. “Are you telling me you have it bad buster?”
“More than bad.” He moved her hand to his crotch. “Feel how hard I am for you?”
“You better be,” she murmured, slipping her hand under his scrubs. They had come directly from the clinic when Janice had called them.
eXtasy Books ~ http://www.extasybooks.com/santas-miraculous-christmas/
Amazon US ~ https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NAMG27E
The World Romance Writers wish you joy and love this holiday season with a collection of heartwarming romances filled with Holiday Magic. This anthology features stories, from far and wide, included contemporary and historical romance, futuristic time travel romance, and romance touched with magic by Award-Winning and Multi-Published Authors: Rose Anderson, Lynn Crain, Gemma Juliana, Cara Marsi and Jenny Twist.
Come enjoy the many flavors and flavours of our English language.
The Angel of the West Side
By Madeline Archer*
During the Great Depression, newspaper reporter, Jack Kennelly, went to the streets of Chicago hoping to find proof that good still existed in the world. What he discovered was the West Side had its own angel, and her name was Ruthie.
Her Magical Vienna Christmas
By Lynn Crain
Cryptographer Elizabeth “Lizzie” Camden is more in turn with numbers, cyphers and puzzles than she is with the real world. When her job takes her back in time to 1874 Vienna, she’s more than surprised to find Michael Sondervan there as well. She hadn’t seen him since college when he broke her heart.
Michael has always regretted the way things turned out between him and Lizzie. When he needs someone to figure out the cryptic warning, he knows he needs the best. And Lizzie is the best. Giving her a magical Vienna Christmas in the bargain, he hopes will bring them together and prove his love for the only woman for him.
To Kiss a Prince
By Gemma Juliana
Princess Isabelle de Lily knows no life beyond the seclusion of Chateau de Lily. The family castle was frozen in time, frosted over with ice and snow before her birth. The witch who placed the 99 year curse on her family only left one loophole. The curse will fizzle and ‘melt’ if one from the royal enemy clan miraculously finds his way to her castle and professes his true love for her on Christmas Day. Citizens of Chateau de Lily hold little hop of that happening since everyone who tries to cross the ice floes dies. Only the resident, ever-loyal, royal wizard Zoltar, who has been in service to Isabelle’s family since long before the curse was cast, believes miracles of this magnitude are possible. Twenty-five years have passed but as Zoltar continues experimenting in his dungeon laboratory, he believes this will be their final Christmas spent in icy isolation.
A Very Vegas Christmas
By Cara Marsi
Can things get any worse for Las Vegas event planner Amanda Moreau? Her boyfriend dumped her for a stripper; she’s arranging a Christmas wedding for a Bridezilla; and her mother is playing matchmaker from 2000 miles away. When she meets hunky and ever-so-sweet Erik, who’s in town for a conference, she begins to hope her luck is changing. But Erik has a secret that threatens to split them apart.
By Jenny Twist
Jim Durrant, university don at Oxford is trapped in the memory of his lost, beloved wife. When his family comes to stay with him for Christmas, he and his grandson write their letters to Santa Claus and Jim asks for the impossible – the return of his dead love.
Amazon Universal Link ~ http://mybook.to/Hol
Amazon US ~ https://www.amazon.com/Holiday-Magic-Rose-Anderson-ebook/dp/B01MXQQQJM
Barnes and Noble ~ http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/holiday-magic-rose-anderson/1125245793
Books2Read Universal Link ~ https://www.books2read.com/u/b5OW5G
iTunes ~ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/holiday-magic/id1185242112
Kobo ~ https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/holiday-magic-2
Smashwords ~ Pulled from here for various reasons.
About Lynn Crain
Award winning author Lynn Crain has done it all in her life. From nursing to geology, her life experiences have added to her detail rich stories. She loves writing full time as she weaves contemporary, fantasy, futuristic and paranormal tales, tame to erotic, for various publishers. Her home is in the desert southwest and she’s just returned from her latest adventure of living in Vienna, Austria while her husband worked his dream job. You can find her on the web at www.lynncrain.blogspot.com. She loves hearing from her readers at firstname.lastname@example.org.