Monday, April 10, 2017

Kudos, Newsletters and Grandchildren

You want to know what I'm doing right now if you're reading this on Monday. MOWING the grass. Already. The warm winter and all the recent rain have turned my lawn into a tropical forest. Taxes were as terrible an experience as we expected, financially. Ouch, ouch, ouch.

I read a lot of blogs and attend writers' meeting and conferences. I'm always looking for ways to promote and market. I haven't found the one I'm looking for. The one where I don't have to do anything. Readers just magically find my books and love them. One thing I hear over and over again, is that I should have an author's newsletter. I subscribe to some newsletters that are about writing and not promoting one author's books. Like the IWSG newsletter which is always informative. Anne R. Allen write a blog post comparing the pros and cons of newsletters versus blogging. She read my mind.

A big kudos to CPRW, the local chapter of RWA. I've been a long time member of this dynamic group and am currently serving as secretary. CPRW recently won RWA's Award of Excellence for a chapter of less than 50 members. It's pretty amazing to all of us, but when we list all the things we do, it's not so surprising. Like the current 50/50 that started a week ago. With the encouragement of group cheerleading and no excuses, I wrote over 14,000 words on my new WIP in only seven days.

I had my first chance to babysit the new granddaughter this past weekend. Those Mom muscles are a bit atrophied. My biceps were actually sore from all the use of carrying around a month-old eight pound baby. Next time you see a mother carrying a child in one arm and a few packages in her other, appreciate her strength a little bit.

Don't forget to stop by the IWSG today for another great post to kick off your week.

Who helps motivate you to write even when you'd rather be out mowing the grass? Do you receive a lot of newsletters in your inbox. Have you ever wondered how mothers manage to lug around those fragile but heavy offspring hour after hour?


  1. Good luck with the grass Susan, how wonderful to babysit your new grand daughter.
    My only grand daughter was born on my birthday 16 years ago next month.......brings back the memories.
    Have a great week.

  2. I even did some landscaping-related stuff this weekend - I put plants in colorful pots and put them in the front yard. That's about the extent of my green thumb. :)

    How wonderful for your group! Congratulations!

  3. I used to think my sisters were wimps until I watched them carry their babies around for hours on end. Motherhood is not for the weak.

    re: newsletters
    I don't get a lot of them anymore.

  4. I had a newsletter when my series was coming out, but I slowly weaned away from it.

    If you find that magic way, please let me know.

  5. Yes, moms have to be strong, especially when three children want to be carried all at once.

    There's always something else to do that takes you away from what you should be doing. That's when i turn to structured procrastination (yes, it's a thing, if you haven't looked it up, it does help).

  6. Sorry about the taxes, at least they are done for this year. Hopefully you will be by your granddaughter a lot so as she grows you will get used to her weight. The wee one is about 24 pounds now and he is at the stage where he wants up abd down. Good exercise.


  7. I don't think I'd ever rather be out mowing the grass lol yeah, when you find that marketing technique let me know. It sure takes some to hold them for a while.

  8. One thing about being retired, our taxes are easy. But I liked your Star Trek cartoon. So very true. Grass, what's that? Spring just may be creeping up on us right now.

    I held my goddaughter at her christening, many years ago, and remember my arms were aching like mad at the end.

  9. Well, I would personally do just about anything to avoid mowing the grass, so I've never had that particular problem. :)

    Moms are amazing. I marvel at their strength.

  10. My mom muscles have atrophied, too. Even before the surgeries (abdominal), I had a tough time carrying around my great-nephew who loves getting picked up (he's not quite 2 yet).
    Moms are super strong!

    Lawn mowing is sometimes a great time to daydream/creatively think through story ideas. So, maybe you're really working while mowing?

    Hooray for your RWA chapter!

  11. Mom muscles are amazing! I brainstorm while I'm out mowing, and so it is productive in a way. I do get a lot of newsletters, and while I have one of my own, I do enjoy blogging more. I keep the two things separate too.

  12. New grandbaby, what a wonderful thing. Children do get heavy. I've seen many a young mother corraling a brood. I don't know how they do it. But you do when you're young.

    I'm not an expert at marketing. But I would judge the key would be getting out and meeting people. With so many books out there, it does make your book become something to consider. I don't recommend singing and dancing in the median of a highway though. ;=)
    I think some people write too much. I know they say you need to see something so many times before you buy. But when I have a limited time to read, I scroll by the more prolific blogs.

  13. Hi Susan - funny I love mowing the grass ... but I don't now need to do it every week and I love that smell of new mown hay ... as to ouch, ouch, ouch to the taxes -sorreeee! Wonderful to have your granddaughter for a few hours - just so cuddling and endearing .. cheers - Hilary

  14. I carry around my 16 lb. cat all the time like a baby, so I guess you could say I've got some killer guns.

    I don't subscribe to a single newsletter. That whole thing just seems so outdated now. Not just that, but we live in an era where we already get up to 10-20 (or more) e-mails per day, usually all junk. It's hard to make yourself stand out as not junk.

  15. "I haven't found the one I'm looking for. The one where I don't have to do anything."

    Hahahaha. You're funny.

    Very cool on the grandbaby.

  16. No mowing of grass here in Michigan yet, but if we have another week of good weather, it'll be time again.

    I haven't yet decided if I'll stick with my blog, do a newsletter, or set up a facebook fan page. Some combination of all three is probably best, but I don't know what that combination is.

  17. I'm not a fan of newsletters, but maybe that's because I can't visit some sites without getting pop ups asking me to sign up for one.

    Clearly you need to practice carrying around the baby more. You should visit more so you can do so :)

  18. Luckily, living in an apartment, I don't have any grass to mow. I don't think I would like it very much.
    I only subscribe to a couple newsletters. I don't really like getting a ton of emails to read through all the time.

  19. For me, all the other things I need to do always win over writing. I'm trying to change that mindset, but when the sun is shining and the flower beds need work, it's hard to resist the urge to dig in the dirt.

  20. AHA! I rent so I don't have to worry about mowing grass. =P LOL Sometimes when I'm not feeling like writing, I make myself do it with the promise of doing whatever chore I would have used to procrastinate on writing. It's weird, but it works.

  21. I had forgotten how strong certain parts of my body got when carrying babies around until I watched a friend's baby. My arm was killing me! I find it interesting how our bodies adapt to things like that.

  22. Blogging and Facebook with the occasional Twitter (although I'm not sure how effective that one is) are my marketing efforts, such as they are. I took a really long blogging break, but I still kept up with Facebook and Twitter. We do what we can. I don't care for author newsletters personally, although they work for some and are rather a fad at the moment. Such as in everyone is saying "You really MUST have an author newsletter!"

  23. Hey, when you find that marketing strategy (the one where you don't have to do anything), please share.

    My youngest was 10 lbs. 3 oz. at birth and gained three lbs. before his four week check up. By the time that boy could walk on his own I had the muscles of an Olympic weightlifter.

  24. I think a newsletter is a good idea, Susan. I do subscribe to a few author as well as publishing house newsletters. Mostly to stay updated on what's new with them. Because life gets busy, and there is always the chance that we miss out on things we would have loved to know about. This way, I don't miss any news from my favorite authors.