Archive Monthly Archives: May 2016

How do you Define Success?

I’m one of those people who constantly doubts myself. I make decisive actions and don’t regret my choices, but I do doubt my capabilities. Do you do that?

When I release a book (I’ve released around 42 now), I have to hurry and hit publish, then walk away. Because I’m not only an author, I’m also a reader and I’m human and I compare. I constantly compare myself to other authors and let me tell you. In my mind, I come up short.

Isn’t that crazy? That I come up short in MY OWN MIND. Me. The one person who should love me the bestest doubts me the mostest! (Yes, not the best words, and yet, I know you get it.)

When I have a pep talk with myself, it sounds like this:

Me: You’re doing great.

Me: No, I could do better.

Me: Stop. What more do you expect from yourself besides your best?

Me: Greatness.

And yet, who determines that? Who determines my success or failure?

Me. And I’m the worst judge there is.

I started this journey back in 2007. My first book was published in 2009. My second in 2011. Then I started down the indie road. And that has been the greatest adventure.

My reviews have been great. I love the positive and negative ones. I’ve had tremendous reviews from both ends of the spectrum and I’m grateful for all of them.

And my income has been satisfying – but not at first. Want to see some numbers? I’m very private, so this is really difficult for me to do. But I’ve had a lot of people say, well, you’re not making it unless you make it onto a List or you’re making $12,000 a month or more.

And I have to tell you that… I used to believe that. I used to believe that other people’s standards determined my happiness. Determined my success or failure scale. But I just saw a panel that was being offered in a pretty big class and the author stated that she was making 3 to 4,000 dollars a month – and that is success.

Um, hey, wait a minute! I make that on my low months. That’s my low month. I can’t believe I can type that. I didn’t start making more than $200 a month until May of LAST YEAR. 2014.

And contrary to what a person in my RWA group said, I started making this BEFORE Bookbub. Although, I did have tremendous success with my BB ad (and I continue to do so because it’s an amazing service). I want to make sure that is clear. (An aside, at the time, her comment really bummed me out. But now I can look back and say, that’s okay. I know she’s coming from a strictly traditional supporting POV and I’m a hybrid.)

Wow, I didn’t see any sort of incline in sales until I’d been writing 7 SEVEN years. We read all the time about authors that did it in one year or two years. Or whatever. I’ve been doing this seven or eight years now.

I’ve been doing this for so long. I’ve seen the “one hit wonders” pop up and I know secretly that they have worked their butts off and we’re just now hearing about them – they’re making $20k+ a month, or whatever – which is awesome.

Here’s where my pride takes a hit. Jealousy. It’s ugly. But where most people wanted the successful to fall, I didn’t want that. All I wanted was to be there, too. And the fact that I wasn’t, bummed me out. Big time. Cramping my productivity. Ever gotten like that? There were “so many big authors” that it made me feel like I was doing something wrong.

Why was I immediately assuming I was doing something wrong? How about, I was traveling my own path, learning at my own pace, becoming my own author, finding my own voice, being me?

But before, I used to focus on what they were making and how I wasn’t measuring up. Now, I compare myself to myself. Where I am now compared to last year and the year before and the year before and the year before – because I’ve been doing this a LONG TIME – and the year before is gradually getting better and better.

I’m growing as an author, a writer, a business woman, a teacher, a critique partner, a formatter, a “boss”, a mom, a wife, a “whatever hat I have on at the moment”.

That is true success. To me. My continued learning. My continued development. My SELF GROWTH. My level of gratitude.

Because I’m so grateful. It’s overflowing. It’s all-consuming. And I don’t say it enough.

You know what? I think my favorite part of this entire job is the people. I meet so many great people. I get to talk with my newsletter recipients (my Survivors) and we have some great discussions.

I get to meet so many people on FB. I’m working toward including Twitter in my relationship building, but I’m focusing mostly on Newsletter and FB because I understand them, the ideal and theory behind them. I can’t wait to start the conferences and meeting people that way.

I couldn’t do this without the readers. Or the people on my team. Or any of the support. Or any of the other voices in my head.

But to everyone who has a part in this crazy ride of mine, I want you to know you ARE APPRECIATED.

I’m grateful. So grateful.

Thank you. Such simple words which don’t even grasp or convey the depth of my feelings. My emotions that well inside me until I tear up. I’m so grateful.

I’m grateful for you.

Thank you. And I hope you feel a little bit better wherever you are in the journey you’re on, in whatever industry or path you’re following.

Because you’re doing awesome. You’re amazing. And we can’t run someone else’s race. We can only run our own. Alongside each other.

Won’t you run with me and share your story?

What do you define as success and have you shared your gratitude today?

Broken Trails, book 1

Broken Trails, book #1 of the Montana Trails series

Broken Trails

IBOOKS  KINDLE  NOOK    KOBO

A LONELY COWBOY … A WOMAN SEARCHING FOR HOPE. CAN LOVE BRING ENOUGH HEALING TO CARRY THEM THROUGH?

Nathan Rourke lost almost everything he holds dear. What he still has, he’ll do anything to keep. His Montana ranch is not just a place, it’s his home and what’s left of his family.  He’s holding his own, making it work.

But then high-school sweetheart Emma reappears … and suddenly this cowboy’s life is as rough as a ride on an untamed bronc.

Emma Benson left high school without a word to Nate, rather than admit she was too ill to go on. Now she’s desperate to prove that she’s more than the disease that keeps her dependent on her family and friends. And she craves just one more chance at love.

Nate embodies the promise of a life free from the confines of her small world. But will loving her mean he must give up his own freedom?

No matter which path they choose, this young couple will be battling the odds.

SADDLE UP FOR A RIDE ALONG MONTANA TRAILS YOU’LL NEVER FORGET—LASSO YOUR COPY OF BROKEN TRAILS TODAY!

Survivor Friends, Continued…

survivorfriends

Murphy from Dianne

Murphy from Dianne

Peaches from Wesley

Peaches from Wesley

Peanut from Beth

Peanut from Beth

Pippin from Cassie

Pippin from Cassie

Pippin from Karen

Pippin from Karen

Riley from Linda

Riley from Linda

Rocky from Ginette

Rocky from Ginette

Sassy from Kathy

Sassy from Kathy

Stewart Little from Lois

Stewart Little from Lois

Tweedles from Pam

Tweedles from Pam

Zari from Cassie

Zari from Cassie

Zeus and Nike from Amanda

Zeus and Nike from Amanda

Chosen using Random.org, Zeus and Nike from Amanda win the signed paperback. 

Thank you everyone so much for contributing. I think this has been my favoritest (it’s not a word, but I’m an author lol) post ever!

Thank you! Thank you!

Survivor Friends

survivorfriends

I have had the privilege of getting to know my Survivor Newsletter members. This last week I asked them to send me pictures of their pets because in Book #2, Forbidden Trails of the Montana Trails series, Jareth and Cyan have some integral moments between them concerning pets.

Here are the pictures I received – there are a LOT of great pictures in there. At the end of the posts, is the winner for the signed copy of the Forbidden Trails paperback.

All pictures were sent with permission to post. All photos rights retained by owners of pictures. The intents and purposes of this post with pictures to share the friends of Survivor Team and a contest.

Abbie-Gail (puppy) from Kim

Abbie-Gail (puppy) from Kim

Annabelle from Sam

Annabelle from Sam

Annie, Ruger, Abby, Kenzie, Colt, Deeks, Deena from Neena

Annie, Ruger, Abby, Kenzie, Colt, Deeks, Deena from Neena

Rocky the cat

Rocky, from Ginette

Bailey from Lisa

Bailey from Lisa

Barb and girls

Coco, Rosie Zoey, Pippa, Luna, and Chica with Barb

Bitsy, Itsy, Tootsie from Linda

Bitsy, Itsy, Tootsie from Linda

Buster from Kira

Buster from Kira

Candy from Linda

Candy from Linda

Buttercup and Shea from Sue

Buttercup and Shea from Sue

Chloe and Talleyrand from Sandy

Chloe and Talleyrand from Sandy

Chuckle from Erika

Chuckle from Erika

Cinnamon from Karri

Cinnamon from Karri

Cody from Jackie

Cody from Jackie

Corgi puppies from Tammy

Corgi puppies from Tammy

Eclipses from Alma

Eclipses from Alma

Evie from Tara

Evie from Tara

Golden retriever from Tammy

Golden retriever from Tammy

Ladybird from Jodi

Ladybird from Jodi

Lilly from Dianne

Lilly from Dianne

Mindy from Kristie

Mindy from Kristie

Miss Jasmine from Carolyn

Miss Jasmine from Carolyn

Misty from Linda

Misty from Linda

To be continued in the next post! I’m at my photo limit…