Tag Archives: stress

Focus on What You Can Control

Recently, I had a revelation: I was letting extraneous events and people shove me around. I kept feeling like I was just spinning my wheels. While reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, I realized exactly what I was doing wrong, in all aspects of my life: focusing on what I couldn’t control.

It might sound simple, but it was a huge breakthrough for me. Ever since I realized this, I keep coming across articles, podcasts, and other things that are in alignment with focusing on what I can control. It’s like now that I’m on this path and actively focusing on myself and my marriage, the universe is working with me.

These last few years have been rough. Mike and I have dealt with a lot of tumult, and we kept getting caught up in it. That’s not to say that you can’t help people or care when bad things happen, but you also can’t let it run your life.

I’ve also been focusing on the wrong things when it comes to my books. Instead of working on things I can control—like writing as many books as possible and connecting with the readers I do have—I worried about sales and advertising. Those things aren’t necessarily bad, but they only create short-term results, leaving you feeling like you’re doing something wrong and getting nowhere.

My new vision board, with 10 positive affirmations and inspirational images.

My new vision board, with 10 positive affirmations and inspirational images.

I’ve only taken little baby steps so far, but I already feel better. I feel less stressed and anxious, and feel more capable of getting things done. It also helps that I started a medication called Viibryd a week ago for my anxiety and depression. I was really scared to try something else after what happened with Prozac, but Viibryd and I seem to be getting along. Tomorrow, I move from 10mg to 20mg, and I have a feeling that it can only get better from here.

I’ve learned so much from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People that I had to pick up the workbook, too. Together, they’re like a power house. I’ve been kicking ass this past week. I have more energy and feel more motivated—and I’m not even doing anything crazy, like exercising. ;)

I also have a new goal.

50 Books By the End of 2015

Later this month, I will release my 18th title, putting me at almost halfway to my new goal! My intention is to build a mini empire of books, making it easier for new readers to discover me.

I’m not sure yet if this means that I will release 50 books total by then, but I’ll definitely have written them.

What constitutes as a book? For my goal, it has to be at least a novelette—around 10,000 words. Short stories don’t count.

I’m super excited about my new goal and all that will be happening in the next year. I can’t wait to tell you more. Make sure you’re on my email list because, when the times comes, I want you to be the first to know!


Have you been focusing on things you can’t control? Have you read “7 Habits”? Leave a comment and let me know!

Giving Away a Book Every Week, Releasing a Book Every Month, Building the Life I Love

I’m pretty sure I was supposed to give you a monthly progress report since I accidentally became a full-time writer in February. Four months later… :oops:

These last few months haven’t been easy. In all honesty, there have been (many) times when I wondered what the hell I was doing. It often feels pretty stupid to choose such a hard road over going back into retail or going back to school. At least then I wouldn’t have to choose between gas or groceries. The truth is, though, that I would be miserable. I’d rather do something I love and figure out the whole money thing as I go—which is exactly what I have been doing.

In November 2013, I set a goal: publish one new title every month. No matter what has happened, for the last eight months, I have stuck to this—even if it meant rearranging my release schedule or staying up all night to get things done. The best marketing any author can do is write another book. Because I have so many ideas and am a novelist at heart, I needed a way to create passive income while I worked on my longer projects. This year has been the year of the novelette/novella. Next year, I’ll start writing and releasing more novels. I’m in it for the long haul: word slave for life! ;)


Since February 2014:

  • I completed the On the Edge series; I re-branded the series that was known as Sandpaper Fidelity and then released Ever After (the fourth and final novelette in the series).
  • The ESX series has gained more and more traction. It is currently my best selling series. Because of its popularity, I will be releasing a spinoff series of novels, starting next year.
  • Barnes & Noble in Waterbury, Connecticut has hosted me for another signing and is currently stocking paperback copies of Sade on the Wall and Crazy Comes in Threes on their shelves. Their staff, especially manager Robin, has been amazing! I love, love, love my BN.
  • I increased my catalog to sixteen titles, and plan on having around twenty available by the fall. I’m incredibly proud of myself for sticking to this goal.
  • I screwed up somewhere, causing June’s sales to totally tank. After doing some homework, I’m still not entirely sure what I did. It might be because I deleted my Wattpad account a couple of months ago. (That’ll teach me!) It may even be because of the pricing structure I was using. I’ve since started adding my books to Wattpad again and am slowly updating my pricing, doing a crap load of market research and tweaking things until my eyes cross. :P
  • I started giving away one ebook every week for the summer! I saw the Win a Book Wednesday hashtag on Twitter and totally loved the idea. Since I have over a dozen titles now, I have a ton that I can give away. The goal is to increase my interaction with readers and build my email list.
  • I started a new series, Becoming Natalie, that is doing pretty well. The books are set in my favorite place in the world: Laurel Lock Campground! (I’ll be posting a mini tour of the campground soon, so keep an eye out.) I’ve taken my dad’s stubborn side, increased it by about a thousand times, and wove it into Natalie’s dad. Then I made her move back in with him. Raising Dad is currently one of my best selling books.
  • I started making the first books in each of my series permafree. As of right now, Amplified (ESX, Book #1) is free at all ebook retailers, and both Positive (On the Edge, Book #1) and Raising Dad (Becoming Natalie, Book #1) are free at most ebook retailers.
The docks that Natalie's dad drags her to in CHASING ROHAN for a very special and slightly terrifying surprise.

The docks that Natalie’s dad drags her to in CHASING ROHAN for a very special and slightly terrifying surprise.

Oh, yeah. I’ve also been fending off a nearly crippling episode of depression that has been dragging me down since January, possibly even longer. In the last four months, I’ve learned that medication and I don’t mix, and that it’s okay to take a mental health day—even if it’s more often than not. I’m also learning how to use meditation to combat stress.

I’m still not making enough money to replace my old part-time job, but I’m also only four months into this gig. Forging my own path as an author and stubbornly refusing to give up has become one and the same to me. ;) I wouldn’t trade it for anything, though. Slowly but surely, I am making a living, and I also get to write stories for people!

I’m building the life I want and love, one book at a time, no matter how hard things get. I feel like a character in one of my stories sometimes! Even though I am on a long road, I am excited to share my adventure with you.

What do you love? Are you on your own “crazy” journey? Tell me in the comments below!

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Let’s Walk and Talk, Episode #2: Tips for De-stressing

Show Notes

T-minus three days to the release of Raising Dad! If you haven’t already, please consider pre-ordering via iBooks or Kobo. If you pre-order, the book will automatically go to your device on the release date, without you having to do anything extra! This is good if you’re forgetful like I am. ;)

I have lots of great content coming up for you, in the next few weeks, all revolving around Raising Dad! I will admit that I’m a bit nervous about this one, since Natalie is a more prickly character than my other creations, but I think you’ll like her.

Stress! It affects everyone, but those of us in our twenties have a lot to deal with: school and career, relationships, family… Life in general is stressful! You may or may not even know that you’re stressed until your body starts throwing you some warning signals. Some of these include:

  • dry skin or eczema
  • illness, like a cold
  • fatigue

Keep listening for some of my favorite ways to de-stress!

Guided Meditation Podcasts

Do you have anything you want me to talk about in a future episode? Suggest it in the comments!