Monday, October 3, 2022

Third Quarter Review

I'm sure you can guess / imagine how I did with my goals in the third quarter.

Not very well.

Not that I was really focused on them since Mom took a turn for the worse and then died.

I'm giving myself a complete pass.

The only two things that got done were reading and sending postcards to my grandma, including the terrible news that Mom--Grandma's only daughter--had passed. Yeesh.

But as I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I had/have pondering to do. And boy have I been pondering.

In reality, a majority of my 2022 goals were things other than writing. Okay, barely a majority, but still a majority. Six of ten, to be precise. So most of them can and should remain in play. 

I'll still write to Grandma.

I'll definitely be working on getting our eating habits back on track. 

I'll be (sloooowly) working on trying to fit exercise back into my routine. Recently it's consisted of upping my average daily steps count and pulling weeds, but as the weather finally cools off I may want to spend less time with the weeds.

And housework ... better / more housekeeping is always the intent. I'm slowly, slowly getting things done again. There's no real schedule, which I need, but now that I have a few extra hours at home every day, I have the time and energy to get things done.

I'll always be a reader. Always.

I definitely won't get the Etsy inventory doubled as planned, but I'll keep plugging away at making new patterns. I'm not sure it's worth all the work to be honest, as least as far as the hockey jerseys are concerned. My best seller is still the Harry Potter Spells Sampler... I can create a hockey jersey to order in a day or two, so spending my time on those will probably come to an end. Little to no return on that investment of time.

* * * * * *

As far as the writing--that's really where the pondering comes in. I recently watched a YouTube video by one and only guru, Becca Syme, of the Personality Strengths for Better Faster writing and other things. And what she said...completely true and in context of her that most books don't sell.

Now her topic and specific point are of no consequence, but the fact that most books published don't sell at all or don't sell at a sustainable rate is important in my decision making.

Do I want to keep writing? Do I want to keep spinning my wheels for little or no return?

To date, I've published twelve individual books and one box set of three books. I've spent close to $4000 on all twelve between cover art, editing, and ISBNs. I've also paid for conferences and travel. I've bought SWAG and taken out advertisements. I've paid organizational dues. At this point, I'm still $650 in the hole after first publishing in November of 2017.

At this point, I'm not planning to attend anymore conferences. There's not enough ROI to justify them. If I do events, they'll local with minimal costs: gas and maybe a small fee, depending on the event & venue. But there's still no ROI for my time and I've discovered that if I don't have physical, print books for these events, then I make zero sales. If I decide to invest in print copies...well that's racks up my expenses amount, doesn't it?

My expenses are at a minimum this year and I'm making enough monthly, that I might bring in just enough to finally break even by the end of the year. Except I'm sure there are things I've paid for or bought that I missed in my original calculation... But neither here nor there.

Do I still have books I want to write? Yes. I'd at least like to finish the two series in progress. That's four more books, two in each. After that...I'm just not sure. My process isn't working as well as I'd like, which has been an issue for a few years. Unless I improve the process some way, some how and make it a little smoother and easier, I'm not sure I'll want to keep going.

I feel like there's a switch on something that needs flipping. But where that switch is or what it turns on--I have no clue. Which is a bit of a problem.

But maybe I can catch up on all my reading / watching / listening to blog posts, podcasts, and webinars about the craft of writing for enough light bulbs to go off that I'll feel comfortable and ready to keep writing after those four books are written and published.

* * * * *

As an aside, I bought my 2023 planner a little early. I wasn't planning on buying it until November-ish, but I couldn't wait. The upcoming year is a clean slate with a few things already lined up to look forward to. I haven't done much but log family birthdays, though, because those are never gonna change. It's still a little too soon for much else just yet. But I just wanted it...

* * * * *

In other news, the annual encore showing of the stage production of Frankenstein starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Johnny Lee Miller is coming along in a few weeks. DH and DD have agreed to go (it's the night of DH's birthday, so I asked if he'd be interested and he said yes! So then I asked DD so we could make an evening of it, and she said yes as well. So yay! I hope they enjoy it as much as I do. This'll be my third viewing... :0)

And that, my friends, is all I've got.

Here's to a great week. Catch you on Thursday.

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