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Don't let #Doubt extinguish your #Sparks. Find the #Sparks you need to ignite your stories, dreams, and life.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Organization Tip: Bullet Journals #AuthorToolBoxBlogHop


I love journals, and when I found out about the concept of a bullet journal, I was thrilled because it combines journaling and lists, two things I use to stay organized.

There are bullet journals with actual dots scattered across the pages. The dots are like the lines on lined pages; you write between the dotted lines. But you don’t need an actual bullet journal, any journal will do.

NOTE: I'll also add that you DO NOT have to follow the bullet journal "guidelines" below. I actually don't use the symbols anymore. I just use bullet points to keep track of the writerly (and fun) things I do each day. You can make it your own!

There are several things you can do in your bullet journal:

-      Number the pages so you can create an index at the front of the journal. Whenever you add something new to your journal, you can put it in the index so you can find it easily.

-      Monthly Log – On a couple of pages, create a list of all the dates down the left margin with the first letter of day.

For example:

Then use the log to keep track of things on your schedule, such as appointments, birthdays, and big tasks.

-      Daily Log – Put the date at the top and beneath it, record the tasks you need to do that day or the things you did, events, and notes. Either create the daily log as you go or the night before. Don’t do it so far in advance, because things change.

-      Journaling – At the end of the day, you can write about your day on the next page following the daily log.

-      Symbols:
          - A bullet is for a task.
          - When you complete the task, change the bullet to an X.
          - If you have to have the task to another day, change the bullet to >
          - If you scheduled the task (such as a dinner date), change the bullet to <
          - And events like a birthday are represented by an O
          - For any notes you jot down that day, indicate it with a –
           - An asterisk shows priority to a task. *
          - Did you get a new story idea, use an exclamation point. !
          - If you need to look into something (research), draw an eye.
          - For tasks that are no longer relevant, simply cross it out.

     For more information visit:

     Bullet Journals for Readers:

     On Litsy, I’ve seen the most creative bullet journals made by readers that lists the books they want to read that month (these people can read a ton!). Many of them turn a spread of pages into an actual bookcase and hand-draw tiny books with the titles on their to-read list. It’s impressive! But others just make a good-old-fashioned list. Doing this helps them to keep track of any reading challenges they may be participating in, and there are many on Litsy.

     Bullet Journals for Writers:

     I don’t actually use my bullet journal to store my to-do lists. Instead, I put my to-do list on a scrap piece of paper on my desk. I have a new one for each day, and whenever I complete a task, I cross it off. At the end of the day, I create a new one for the next day, transferring over any tasks that weren’t completed, and throw out the retired to-do list.

     For my bullet journal on the other hand, I like to keep track of all the things I do (from my to-do list) for my writing career, from writing and editing to publishing and marketing. I love this because it’s a log I come back to it if I need to know when I completed a specific task. It’s also great proof that writing is my full-time career, if that should ever be questioned. lol And it’s nice to see all that I accomplish.

     What I Put in My Bullet Journal:

     - How many words I write.
     - How many pages I edit.
     - How many review requests I send out.
     - If I write/schedule blog posts.
     - If I record or upload new YouTube videos.
     - Updates I make on my blog or website.
     - When I order SWAG or items for book events.
     - When I schedule or send out a newsletter.
     - Blog Hops I participate in.
     - Anything I do for a blog tour or upcoming release.
     - Any promotions I set up.

     You get the idea. Everything is documented. Even non-writing things are documented, such as fun family stuff and errands I do. I’ve actually needed to look at my bullet journal to find out when I had a car repair done, so when I say this journal is something that you’ll come back to again and again, I mean it.

     Other Lists You Can Create:

     - Things you want to try in terms of book promo.
     - The steps you need to take to self-publish your next book.
     - A chapter by chapter outline for your current WIP.
     - Character profiles.
     - Story ideas.

     Oh, and you don’t need an actual bullet journal. Mine isn’t.  Use what you want and make it your own!

     QUESTION: Do you journal or make lists?


Catch the sparks you need to write, edit, publish, and market your book!


Open to all from June 4th 2018 – July 6th 2018

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Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Creativity Boost from Your Power Element + GIVEAWAY

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a safe place for insecure writers of all kinds.


Catch the sparks you need to write, edit, publish, and market your book!

Write with Fey: 10 Sparks to Guide You from Idea to Publication offers an abundance of data in one handy book. From writing your novel to prepping for publication and beyond, you’ll find sparks on every page, including 100 bonus marketing tips. You’ll also discover how to write specific scenes and characters, adding depth to your work.

•        Spark One: Being a Writer
•        Spark Two: Story Essentials
•        Spark Three: A Book’s Stepping Stones
•        Spark Four: How To
•        Spark Five: Character ER
•        Spark Six: Editing
•        Spark Seven: Publishing
•        Spark Eight: Marketing
                                                            •        Spark Nine: Writing About
                                                            •        Spark Ten: Final Inspiration

With so much information, you’ll take notes, highlight, and flag pages to come back to again and again on your writing journey. Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iTunes / Kobo


Creativity Boost from Your Power Element:

For me, a power element is an element that you’re connected to on a deeper level that can boost your creativity and inspire you when you write (or any other time). This does not mean you are an element (that’s silly) or that you control an element (that’s not possible). This just means there’s an element that moves you in some way more than the others.

This may not be for everyone, and that’s okay.

The Elements:

How to Determine Your Power Element:

To determine what your power element is, go to a place where you can experience each element. Stand on a hill on a breezy day, sit by the ocean, watch a blazing fire, or walk in a forest. Just relax and feel. Which element brings you peace, strength, and inspiration?

Don’t judge past experiences of loving the beach as a reason to pick water as your power element. Immerse yourself in EACH element one at a time and compare each experience.

My Story:

I used to think earth would be my power element because of my deep love of trees and my enjoyment of gardening. Nope. My power element is fire. I feel comfortable and confident wearing shades of red, can meditate easily by looking into a candle flame, and I write so well while listening to the sounds of a campfire.

Coincidently, fire is an element I have the most experience with and fear the most, due to the brush fire that threatened my childhood home when I was a kid. That experience influenced Flaming Crimes.

Now, I listen to campfire sounds while writing and editing, I use candle flames to meditate, and wear red more often. Fire inspires me with my work, helps me to concentrate, and makes me feel confident.

But I still like to be around nature, stare at ocean waves, and dance to my own rhythm (air). I even listen to windchime music. It’s my second favorite meditative music to write and edit to. I chose one or the other depending on my mood.

Boost Your Creativity with Your Power Element by...

1. Listening to meditative music for that element as you pursue a form of art.

2. Writing in a place where you can be closer to that element. (By a fireplace, in a park, by a pond, on the…roof. lol)

3. Wearing the color associated with that element when you write or have to be authorly, perhaps for a public event. Earth – Green, Air – Yellow, Fire – Red, and Water – Blue.

4. Putting an image of your power element above your computer that you can gaze at while you daydream about your story's plot.

Whatever your power element is, experiment with music, colors, locations, and images associated with that element. See if it boosts your creativity or inspires you in some way. If it doesn’t, that’s all right. If it does, neat!

QUESTIONS: How weird do you think I am right now? Haha. Have you ever felt a connection to one element more than the others? 


Support for Fellow IWSGer!

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Pete and his friend Weasel thought they’d closed the Time Lock. But a young page from medieval times, Peter of Bramwell, goes missing. His absence during a critical moment will forever alter history unless he’s found.

There’s only one solution - fledgling wizard Pete must take the page’s place. Accompanied by Weasel and Fanon, Pete’s alligator familiar, they travel to 1173 England.

But what if the page remains lost - will Pete know what to do when the critical moment arrives? Toss in a grumpy Fanon, the duke’s curious niece, a talking horse, and the Circle of Stones and Pete realizes he’s in over his young wizard head yet again... Amazon / Nook / Kobo / iTunes


Open to all from June 4th 2018 – July 6th 2018

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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