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mari suggs

Wife, Mother, Author and Blogger of Life

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How to Take Action Toward Your Goals

November 14, 2017

Are you waiting for the right moment to come before doing what you want? For example, taking the vacation of your dreams? Moving to a new city? Taking a new job? Starting a YouTube channel?

Most of us have this thing—big or small, that we desire to do; yet, we are holding off until the stars align. The problem with this is that we don’t realize that the moment our desire was placed in us, the stars began to align. These so-called stars will not truly form until we begin to take steps to fulfill our desire. But why is it that most of us sit back and wait for the perfect circumstance to appear before we take action? I believe fear is obviously at the root of this waiting game.
 
The danger in waiting for the “perfect moment” is that IT may never come. There’s always going to be something that comes between us and that thing we want. If we allow fear to immobilize us, we may never achieve what we want, again big or small. We must be willing to jump before we are ready. 

In Lisa Nichols' book Abundance Now she gives an example of jumping before you’re ready.   She explains how people who jump out of planes jump out way before the parachute opens. “They fall a long way before achieving safety.  They have to give themselves this permission--to fall before they open their parachutes and soar.”

Nichols believes “jumping, regardless of the outcome is the real problem.” I agree with her. I believe this is at the core of why we sit by the side-lines, watching as others get to live the life we want. We are so afraid of the outcome: what if it’s not what I want? What if it’s exactly what I want and somehow my life changes? These thoughts confine us and make us live small.

Imagine this for a moment: Jumping before you’re ready.

I have a call to action this week: to simply do one thing you’ve wanted to do, and go for it without thinking of the outcome. You want to go swimming in the ocean but have been avoiding it because, well, doing so means wearing a bathing suit, and people will look at you! Simply go to the ocean and swim and don’t wait to lose the weight. Letting go of the outcome means forgetting those awful negative thoughts and just doing what you want in that moment. That moment of action will lead you to the next. Then the next. Until you are finally a person who doesn’t sit back and let life pass you by--waiting for the “right moment.” The right moment is now!
 
If you want a little help and want to start aligning with your own purpose, then check out my book #Believe Dammit: 10 Principles for Attracting and Creating the Life You Crave. It's a perfect place to start considering your thoughts and the way you live your life

You might also like:

 
Till Next Time!
 

How to Find Your Authentic Voice

November 7, 2017

Happy Tuesday you guys, this is actually a funny intro because I got the idea for this post while watching myself on YouTube! LOL. how’s that for egotism.

Okay, all kidding aside, I think I’ve finally got it. For years, I’ve heard that the key to success is to be authentic. And for years, I thought I was being authentic, but I still felt like something was missing—like I knew I was being authentic, but then the “real me” knew I wasn’t. The real me knew that I was doing things to please others, instead of pleasing myself.

When it comes to writing, your business or networking, I’m telling you, the only way to be is authentic; by doing so, you will eliminate most—if not all—pressure from your life. Let me explain.

I recently created a freebie for my subscribers: a simple printable. It’s a 30 day calendar designed to my liking, which for me, included images that pertained to each month’s theme, for example this month is Thanksgiving and fall. The point of the printable was certainly more important than the design—or so I thought. The printable is a gift to my subscribers, as a thank you for being part of my community; in return they have one easy-to-fill-in calendar where they can write 5 things they are grateful for each day. Want to sign up? Click here.

Anywho, I loved designing this so much that I already created the next four months based on each month’s theme. However, as I was designing the form I started to do the usual, “well, I like this, but what if others prefer this or that.” I caught myself in the nick of time, thankfully. And this is where it all began: my finally getting that all I need to worry about when I’m creating is if I like it. I will never please everyone, and there are lots of people out there that like the same things I do, and those are the people that will choose to be part of my community.

We are not for everyone, but we are for someone. Please yourself first, and others will join you. Trying to be like someone else only causes confusion within yourself and your brand.

So, if you’ve been struggling with finding your way in this expansive universe, here are four things I recommend you do to get back on track:

  1. Stop worrying about what others are doing.
  2. Don’t worry if someone will “like” what you’re doing.
  3. Don’t look for others doing the same thing as you (uniqueness is good).
  4. Be you, you are enough. Your ideas, your likes, are good

The next time you begin a project be sure to include only your likes, and leave everyone else out of it. I hope these tips help you find your own voice.

If you want a little help and want to start aligning with your own purpose, then check out my book #Believe Dammit: 10 Principles for Attracting and Creating the Life You Crave. It's a perfect place to start considering your thoughts and the way you live your life

You might also like:

Inspiration for Social Media

Why Looking for External Approval Kills Your Dreams

Until next time!

 

My First Time Bullet Journaling

November 2, 2017

Hi there, I cannot believe it’s November! What has happened to this year? Well, for me it’s been a great one and I plan on ending the year with a bang. However, I’m always searching for ways to simplify my life and work smarter not harder.  Thankfully, I just discovered a new way of planning that I believe is going to make my life a whole lot easier. I’m talking about bullet journaling.

Bullet journaling is a way to journal and plan your life in one concise space--designed by you; which means, it's as fluid as your mood. With bullet journaling you’re not restricted by other’s design or way in which they think you should organize your life. Instead, you’re in control to run your days, weeks and months as you see fit. So without further ado, here’s a little insight into how I created my bullet journal.

Side note: because it’s November (almost the end of the year) I didn’t want to start on a new journal, plus, before fully investing in this way of journaling I wanted to test it out. So that’s what I’m doing here, and will be doing for the rest of the year. Also, check out the video I did on this, it explains it further.

This is the first page for me, though typically, the first pages are of your key and index.

The next page, I used to create a calendar for the month, to write a powerful quote and then I wrote out my monthly business and personal goals.

Next, I created a tracker for the writing challenge I'm participating in this month (NanoWrimo) where I will be tracking how many words I write each day. Additionally, I will be tracking my personal goals on meditating, practicing yoga and walking.

And finally, this is how I will start each day, writing down 5 things I am grateful for. Then, I will decide what needs to be done daily, based off the monthly goals I've set for my self.

This brings me to an important point this month. If you haven't subscribed, be sure you do so because each month I'm sending you monthly lists for you to write down 5 things you're grateful for each day. Each month you'll get a new list. So be sure to sign up now.

Each day after that will be set up in the same way as this page. I will not set up "day 2" because I want to leave room to write my thoughts of the day, or quotes I hear, or a takeaway from I book I'm reading. This way, I'm not restricted in any way.

Like I mention in the video, I'm not an artist at all, and a lot of people who bullet journal have an artistic eye and they make their journal look beautiful. I will opt for stickers (as I've seen others do on plan with me videos) and pretty-it-up that way. This was my very first time trying this, so as the months goes by I'm sure I will adjust things to fit my lifestyle.

If you want to see the progress of this journal--and months to come--be sure to follow me on Instagram as I will be posting all the photos there.

Do you bullet journal? Or do you journal in a different way? Leave me a comment with your thoughts about bullet journal or letting me what works best for you.

I would love for you to follow me on Twitter and Instagram  and like my Facebook page. Through my social sites I share daily inspiration and motivation on writing and positive thinking. Also subscribe to my YouTube for more content like this.

In case you didn't know, my new non-fiction book #Believe Dammit was released on 09/26/2017, check it out here!

Want to try bullet journaling? 

 

You might also like...

How I Prepped for NaNoWrimo

How to Outline Your Using Index Cards

Four Inspirational Places to Write (other than cafes)

Until Next Time!

5 Thing Stopping You From Being Successful

October 31, 2017
Though we differ in many ways, and there are many reasons why we have yet to reach success—as defined respectively, the fact remains that most of us suffer from these five life-blocking sentiments:
  1. We’re afraid we’re not talented enough 
  2. We have fear of rejection
  3. We’re afraid it’s already been done
  4. What we desire is not important enough to make a change in other people’s life
  5. We’re afraid we don’t have the right degree or training
 
On some level we all do this; we all build our lives around the things we believe most about ourselves and the world. There's a saying that goes like this, “argue for your limitations, and you get to keep them.” Keeping this quote in mind, is this the kind of life you want to build? A life built around fears and limitations? Or do you want to build your world around knowing that anything is possible. That nothing can or should stop you because others that have come before you have done “it!”
 
This is what happens when we allow this type of thinking to control our lives:
  1. Because we think we’re not talented enough, we never try anything new. 
  2. Because we have fear of rejection, we don’t put ourselves out there.
  3. Because it’s already been done, we keep our inventions tucked away at the bottom of the drawer, or worse, in the corner of our minds until it disappears completely. 
  4. Because what we have to offer is not that important,—like say, savings lives, we don’t share what could possibly save someone’s life—like a song, a story, a favorite recipe, a dance that moves someone and awakens their souls. 
  5. Because we don’t have the right degree, we don’t apply for that job, or reach for that goal because, well, there’s no point really…. 

I suggest this, any time any of the above limited beliefs creep into your thought life challenge it by asking yourself this: What will I build my next hour around, fear or bravery? By bringing to the surface that you’re about to step on that fear track, it will shake you--alert you that you’re about to play small. Never again allow fear to be the place from which your life is built. Instead be brave, take chances and live fully.

I hope you found these tips helpful, and If you haven’t done so already, I would love for you to follow me on Twitter and Instagram  and like my Facebook page. Through my social sites I share daily inspiration and motivation on writing and positive thinking. Oh, and yeah, I'm now on YouTube!

In case you didn't know, my new non-fiction book #Believe Dammit was released on 09/26/2017, check it out here!

You might also like:

How to Feel Alive and Balanced in Minutes

How to Let Inspired Thought Live

Stuck in Life: Three Steps That Will Help Get You the Results You Need

Until next time!

Three Powerful Tips to Living a 100% Fulfilled Life

October 24, 2017

Lately, a very important topic has been coming up for me and so I thought, hmm, better share it. For some of you this won’t be a new concept, but for some it may be the very thing you need to hear at this moment.

I’m reading Oprah Winfrey’s new book The Wisdom of Sundays. In it, she references a conversation she had with one of her guests from Supersoul Sunday, wherein they discussed the power of being present. Do you realize that we spend most of our time either thinking about the past or the future, but very rarely are we in the moment? This is a problem because when we fail to pay attention to the now, we miss out on our life.

Oprah’s guest gave a really great example; he suggests the next time you’re in the shower that you “check-in with yourself and see if you’re still in the shower.” He explained that most of us, while in the shower, are someplace else, perhaps at a Monday meeting, or having an argument with someone. He suggests that the next time we’re in the shower, to check in with ourselves and try to be in the present. The moment we check in, we’re back.

This is not the first time I’ve heard the message of being in the moment, and for me, even before my awakening, I knew the importance of paying attention to the moment I was in. When I’m in the moment, I experience peace of mind, joy and hope. When I focus on the past or the future, I lose the present and become anxious and worried. And when this happens, I then create a future I don’t want, and regret a past I can’t change.

So here are three tips to help you living in the present:

Be aware:

Awareness is key when it comes to returning to the present. Whenever you start to feel off, whether you’re feeling sadness, anger, anxious or fear, chances are that you’ve left the present and you’re somewhere off thinking something that has either passed, or hasn’t happened. So, in that moment, be aware that you have the power to feel better simply but coming back to the present.

The magical five:

But how? How do I get back to the present? It’s actually quite simple; we were created with a beautiful internal map that directs us right back to the now, your five senses. Whenever you want to return to the present but you’re stuck in your mind, pay attention to your five senses: what do you hear, see and smell? What do you taste? What can you touch? By paying attention to your senses you are now back in the present and out of your imaginary world.

Habits:

All habits aren’t bad, and I would put this one up there with the best habit to adapt. Every day practice the habit of being in the now. When you’re eating your breakfast, eat your breakfast. Really taste your food (there’s 1 of your 5 sense popping up again reminding you of the now) and avoid all distractions like your phone, TV or work. When you’re with your partner or your kids, truly pay attention to them and listen without thinking of your next move. Practice this habit at every turn and before you know it all your worries will disappear.  Because you have everything you need right now. Because right now is all we all ever have.

I hope you found these tips helpful, and If you haven’t done so already, I would love for you to follow me on Twitter and Instagram  and like my Facebook page. Through my social sites I share daily inspiration and motivation on writing and positive thinking.

In case you didn't know, my new non-fiction book #Believe Dammit was released on 09/26/2017, check it out here!

Until next time!

 

How I Prepped for NanoWrimo

October 19, 2017

You guys, I’m so excited because for the first time ever I’m participating in NanoWrimo! In case you don’t know, November is National Novel Writing Month and NanoWrimo is a platform where writers come together and set a goal to complete their novel in one month (or at least the first draft). Because this is my first year, I did a lot of research on how to prepare for this event and the following are my findings.

 

October is the prep time:

Okay, so come November the only thing you should be doing is putting your story down on paper. Your time for outlining, character building, world building, and creating pre-stories is in October. So there’s where I started…

Backstory

So, I got this idea for a young adult fantasy novel and I couldn’t wait to get started. Prior to knowing I was going to participate in NanoWrimo, I started writing the first chapter of my new novel with much enthusiasm. However, I soon learned that I couldn’t write this novel the same way I’d done my other novels. As stated in my previous post How to Outline Using Index Cards, I’m usually a pantsers (someone who doesn’t outline) but I’d never written a novel quite like this one, so once I started writing I had a million questions that kept popping up—interrupting my flow. Immediately I stopped writing the first chapter and headed straight into the back story of each of my characters, their archetypes, their personalities, and began world building.

Organization time

In order to stay organized I bought a binder so that all my information was concise and in one space. This week’s YouTube video is precisely me doing that, so if you want to check out how I put my binder together, swing by. 

Calendar

I’m a full believer that if you show up for your novel, your novel will show up for you. However, in terms of setting time each day to write, I’m guilty to say I don’t always show up. I sometimes go weeks without writing my novel (usually due to my mood and less to do with time). With that said, I still wanted to see exactly what 50,000 words in 30 days looked like. So, if I want to write 50K words, this means I need to write roughly 1,666 words each day. Realistically speaking, I won’t have 30 days because it is likely I won’t be writing on Thanksgiving. Take away 1 day, now I have 29 days, now we’re up to 1,724. Okay, now I have a ballpark idea of what it will take to get this done. So, if I aim for 2,000 each day, then I will most likely accomplish my goal. See, planning is everything!

Mood

Setting the write mood when writing is always important, but I felt it was definitely a running theme while prepping for NanoWrimo. For this reason, in last week’s post My Writing Must-Heves This Fall, I took you along while I shoppped for my favorite fall items, which go hand-in-hand with prepping for NanoWrimo. Things like, my favorite mug, comfortable clothes, blankets and music are among some of my must-haves when I sit down to write.

Okay you guys, just one more tip. I wasn't always a planner, and sometimes I still find it hard to stick to a schedule, but when I do, I get so much accomplished. Often times, we resist the very things that we need. I have always been someone that thrived spontaneity and hated the rules that came with schedules--of all kinds. But I've learned that schedules  don't restrict me in any way, in fact, they free me to have more guilt-free-time to do everything I want to do without feeling like there's never enough time.

I hope you found these tips helpful and if you like the content, leave me a comment and lets continue connecting!

If you haven’t done so already, I would love for you to follow me on Twitter and Instagram  and like my Facebook page. Through my social sites I share daily inspiration and motivation on writing and positive thinking.

In case you didn't know, my new non-fiction book #Believe Dammit was released on 09/26/2017, check it out here!

Till Next Time, Stay Safe! 

Motivational Books to Read In October 2017

October 17, 2017

Hi guys,

I had so much going on in September that I forgot to post my book recommendations, but because I read some pretty great books I wanted to share them with you today.

First up is Dr. Joe Dispenza’s Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself. This amazing book was my favorite this month. Dr. Dispenza takes the reader on a journey on how the brain really works. This helps the reader understand what they’re up against so that they have a real shot at transforming. He explains the difference between our conscious and subconscious mind, and the role of each. Understanding how these two work is essential for anyone seeking to transform their life. What he teaches is not just about breaking habits like smoking, alcohol or drugs, but it's also about breaking the routine of our life, so to create a new one. For example, if you’re trying to lose weight, perhaps you say things like this, “I try so hard but I always fall off the wagon.” Well, if you want to know why you fall and how it’s not your fault, but rather, that you’re fighting against a powerful “95%” then pick up this book.

Ah... next up is Rebecca Campbell’s Light is The New Black, you guys, what can I say about this book that will relate what it did for my soul? It was truly life changing, therefore, I recommend this book to anyone looking to reconnect with their soul. I experienced another—much needed—awakening while reading this Light is the New Black. Campbell offers a kind and gentle reminder that our light needs to shine not just for others, but for ourselves. She reminds us that to shine our light we don’t need a stage, Hollywood or the media, that we can shine and serve and be the light from any place, at any time. She reminds us to reconnect with the spiritual side of life, and disconnect from the material life that often holds us back from shinning our light. If you’ve been feeling a nudge in your soul that says this world has become too much about things, then, this is a great book to reconnect with a deeper you.

I also read:

Rebecca Campbell’s Rise Sister Rise : Although I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads--because it was a good book--I didn’t connect with it as much as I did with the two listed above.

Gary Zukav’s The Seat of the Soul : This is the book that Oprah says changed her life. Once I heard this, I had to pick it up. This book was good, but not life-changing for me. But again, if you’re looking to learn about the soul and how it’s an essential part of living on earth, then this is another good one.

Currently reading:

Nonfiction:

Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth Awakening to Your Life's Purpose 

Marie Condo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up             

Fiction:

Dina Gabaldon's Outlander Book 1                                             

I hope you guys pick these up and if you do, let me know, I would love to know your thoughts on them. In case you didn’t know, I’m now on YouTube and I post weekly videos on my writing journey, plus, I share motivational tips to help you reach your goals.

More recommendations:

3 Motivational Books to Read In August 2017

3 Motivational Books to Read This Month (July 2017)

5 books That Will Transform Your Life

Also, my nonfiction book #Believe Dammit: 10 Principles for Attracting and Creating the Life You Crave is now available for purchase on Amazon!

Till Next time, stay safe

 

My Writing Must-Haves This Fall

October 13, 2017

If you follow me on my social sites, you probably know by now that Fall is my absolute favorite time of year. However, for some reason this year, I’m just starting to realize that I’m not alone here, there are so many girls that love this season—I’m still not sure why, but anywho, regardless of the amount of people who love fall and are sharing their favorites of the season, I am going to do the same. Without further ado, here are my must haves for the fall season as I write.

Coffee Anyone?

I am a total coffee person. But, I’m also a very picky coffee person. I prefer coffee at home any day over coffee- shop coffees, with the exception of Starbucks, of course. That said, nothing beats a good cup of coffee at home with your favorite mug. 

Snuggle time!

I don’t know about you, but I’m always cold! Even in the summer, no lie. So it comes as no surprise that come fall and winter I’m extremely cold all the time. For that reason, I always have cozy blankets at my fingertips. Though I bought a couple Christmas blankets last year, and I have others that I use year-round, I wanted to get a new for fall. And this was the lucky winner.

Cozy from head to toe!

On the same theme here, my feet are always cold, so I’m always s wearing socks. Here they are—the most comfortable, coziest socks I now own.

Inspiration is a must

Because I’m always most inspired to write during this season, I spend a lot of time at my desk. I like to be surrounded by positive things, for me, some of those things include motivational words and quotes. And this year, the winner is my mantra wrapped in a fall leaf. I can’t believe I found this! How adorable is this? #Believe. Plus, the season would not be the same if I didn't include my traditional pumpkin spice candle.

Taking care of yourself is often just a matter of paying attention to the little things that make you happy--in whatever season you're in (metaphorically speaking). Just like the seasons change, so do our moods, needs and desires. For example, if you're going through a stage in your life when you wish to be alone, instead of forcing yourself to be as you were, when you were in a season of feeling comforted by being around others, honor your inner calling and be alone. This season in your life is temporary. Most important thing to remember is to listen to the calling of your soul, no matter how small the calling may appear. For instance, if I didn't adhere to the calling that comes with fall, and for me this means: all things orange & green, pumpkin spice scents, Halloween music and TV shows I may not be as inspired in life as I would otherwise be. Because I listen and follow my bliss, I'm happier and I get inspired to write (to fulfill my soul's calling).

So, don't neglect the calling of your soul as it moves you from season to season. Do you have things you must have during fall? If so, leave me a comment with what they are.

For more on this topic, check out this week's video as I take you shopping for the this things mentioned above.

I hope you found these tips helpful and if you like the content, leave me a comment and lets continue connecting!

If you haven’t done so already, follow me on Twitter and Instagram  and like my Facebook page. Through my social sites I share daily inspiration and motivation on writing and positive thinking.

In case you didn't know, my new non-fiction book #Believe Dammit was released last Tuesday 09/26/2017, in it, I dedicate chapters to meditation and forgiveness--as both are crucial steps in your overall success. Check it out here!

Till Next Time, Stay Safe! 

 

 

Guest Post: Kim Chance, The Six Things We've Learned This Year About Publishing

October 10, 2017

Today I have a pretty fun collab with the talented Kim Chance, each of us wrote about the three things we learned this year about publishing: me, on self-publishing and Kim on being traditionally published. Below are Kim's top 3, and to read my top three visit Kim's blog here!

Hi guys! For those of you that don’t know me, my name is Kim Chance and I’m the author of the upcoming YA contemporary fantasy novel, KEEPER. Thanks so much to Mari for collaborating with me on this! I hope you enjoy!

Even when you are traditionally published, you still need to market yourself.

One of the common misconceptions about traditional publishers is that once a publishing contract is signed, an author no longer has to worry about things like marketing and publicity—that the publishing house will do all the work. Well, one of the things that I have definitely learned this year, is how false that assumption is. Traditional publishers do a lot for their authors, and they do create publicity and marketing plans for their books. However, a writer who signs with a traditional publisher can’t just sit back and expect to do nothing. Publishers want books and authors to do well, but with so many clients, there’s only so much attention that they can give to a single book—especially if it’s a debut novel from a largely unknown author. That’s why it’s so important for traditionally published authors to expect to do a moderate amount of the promotional stuff all on their own.

I’m very lucky to be working with such a great publishing house. Flux has been absolutely incredible to me, and they are giving KEEPER and I so much support. However, because I’m a debut author and the imprint is small, I can’t expect them to put all their eggs in one basket so to speak. I still have to do my part in spreading the word. That’s why I’ve put together a street team, developed a pre-order campaign (details on that coming soon!), and worked to create some exclusive content and swag for promotional purposes. Doing some of my own promo is costing me a good bit of time and money, but if I want KEEPER to do well, this is what needs to happen. I’ve talked to a lot of other authors who are signed with traditional publishers, and they all say the same thing: put aside money and resources for marketing and publicity. Even with support from the publisher, a debut author will still need to take his/her own steps in marketing and promoting his/her book.

It’s important to find your people

There have been a lot of challenges that have popped up this year—things that I didn’t anticipate or expect. Publishing is quite unpredictable, and at any given moment, things can go off kilter. That’s why it is so important to have people who support and encourage you. More than that even, it’s important to find other writers to connect with. Writers are the ones, after all, who will truly understand how you’re feeling and what you’re going through. I’ve been lucky enough to connect with a group of other 2018 debut authors (The Electric 18s) and having them to bounce ideas off of, ask questions, and get advice from has been a complete game-changer for me. I often feel like a very small fish in a very large pond, but the 18s do a lot to ameliorate any stress and anxiety I feel over publishing issues. Ever writer needs a support system of other writers. It’s so much easier to navigate unknown waters when there are others in the exact same boat as you.

I’ve also been lucky to find one hell of a critique partner and friend. I don’t remember how we first connected (though Megan will tell you she stalked me a bit! LOL!), but my CP Megan is honestly the reason I haven’t completely succumbed to the stress and worry that comes along with publishing a novel. She is always there to listen when I need to vent, offer suggestions when I’m stuck, and squee with me over the exciting stuff! She’s in my corner supporting me every step of the way and that makes the tough stuff a lot easier to deal with.

Having a support system is so important. Publishing isn’t for the faint of heart, so go out there and find your people. Trust me, you’ll need them.

You have to have thick skin

Of all the things I have learned this year about publishing, this is the one that was most surprising. We’ve all heard that writers need thick skin and to be honest, I thought that my skin was fairly thick—especially after having survived the query trenches and being on submission. However, the one thing I was woefully unprepared for were those first few negative reviews about my book. It doesn’t matter how many good reviews you get, when you get a negative one, it’s like a punch to the heart. Why? Because it’s a form of rejection that you simply can’t prepare for. Rejections from agents, editors, and publishers are never easy, but after time, that type of rejection becomes manageable. Rejections from readers, however, never become something we get used to. Readers, after all, are the very reason we wrote the book in the first place, and when they hate your book it makes you feel worse than when Luke Skywalker found out Darth Vader was his father. You have to have thick skin. You have to understand that while there will be people who love your book, there will always be people who hate it. It’s just the way things go. Negative reviews weren’t something I prepared for. It’s not that I expected not to get any, but I never stopped to think about how they’d make me feel and how I’d cope with those feelings. I was caught off guard and got my heart broken. I’m better about it now and I’m trying not to take things personally. It’s challenging though, and I’m not there yet. But when they say it, it’s true. You really do have to have thick skin to be an author.

Twitter: www.twitter.com/_KimChance

Instagram: www.instagram.com/kimwritesbooks

YouTube: www.youtube.com/kimchance1

Website: www.kimchance.com

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16733096.Kim_Chance

How to Outline Your Novel Using Index Cards

October 5, 2017

As you may or may not know, there are two types of writers: plotters and pantsers, which means, some of us outline and others of us do not.

I’ve published three books and I have outlined not one of them. However, I’m currently writing a young adult fantasy novel which involves a lot of world and character building and it got me thinking, hmm, I better try this outlining thing. And God am I glad that I did.

What I discovered is that outlining is a life-saver and a lot of fun to do—at least for me it was—especially because I used index cards which was totally new for me.

So this is what I did.

  • I researched the interweb for different forms of outlining
  • Then, I settled on index cards!
  • I wanted to focus on story structure within in each act (Act I, II & III) so onto the web I went again.
  • This is when I came across the blog ran by K.M. Weiland “Helping Writers Become Authors” https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/
  • Using K.M. Weiland guideline (which is a common outline) https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/secrets-of-story-structure-pt-3-first/ regarding Act I, II, III, I began mapping out my story.
  • I separated each act and focused only on the story elements that fit within that act (all while keeping in my mind what I believed my ending was going to be).
  • I used color index cards to signify important markers, like the hook, inciting event, key event and first plot point, but also when I added a flashback and the white cards for the scenes in between.

Act I:

First card:          The Hook

Second card:      The Inciting Event

Third card:         The Key Event

Fourth card:       The First Plot Point (end of Act I)

After I had my cards in place, I started filing in the scenes that went between each major event in the novel; for example, I wrote my hook, then the scenes that came after that, until I finally landed on the “inciting event.” I did this over and over again until I got to the end of the first act (which should be the first 25% of your novel—for proper pacing).

By doing this I was able to see my scenes clearly and add, rearrange or delete scenes as I continued to build my story.

I did the same thing for Act II:

First Card: The First Pinch Point

Second Card: The Midpoint

Third Card: Second Half Of the Second Act

Fourth Card: Second Pinch Point

Fifth Card: Third Plot Point

 

And Act III:

First Card: The Climax

Second Card: The Climatic Moment

Third Card: The Resolution

This method was so easy and so much fun that I can't believe that as a writer I hadn’t tried it before. This is an example of how rigid we can be in our own lives. I recommend that if you’re struggling with something in your life, something that seems daunting to you, that you open yourself up to the possibility that this might be exactly what you need. Sometimes change is hard, but often necessary.

For more on how I outlined my novel and how I did it check out my YouTube video here.

So that’s it you guys, I hope you enjoyed this blog and if you would like to see more content like this leave me a comment.

Until Next Time, Stay Safe!

Supplies I used:

White Ruled Index Cards

Color Ruled Index Cards

Highlighters

Sharpie

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In case you didn't know, my new non-fiction book #Believe Dammit was released last Tuesday 09/26/2017, in it, I dedicate chapters to meditation and forgiveness--as both are crucial steps in your overall success. Check it out here!

Till Next Time, Stay Safe! 

 

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