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Happy New Year!

This holiday season has looked very different to any that have gone before, and was very different for everyone depending on where they were in the world. Wherever you are, whatever degree of restrictions you are currently subject to, I hope that your holiday period was as enjoyable as humanly possible.

I was very quiet on the blog front for the second half of last year, as I was deep in the writing and publishing process of two brand new supernatural short stories, Bedouin Boy and Grave Bargains. My blogging efforts have been inconsistent at best in recent times, so I have set myself a blogging goal for 2021 which I feel will be more achievable.

I post much more regularly on my socials, so if you would like a daily injection of writing, reading and general inspiration (and beach sunset photos), be sure to follow @katekelsenauthor and like my Facebook author page.

On New Year’s Day, I made myself a pot of my favourite black tea and sat on my balcony with my new diary and brainstormed a masterplan for 2021, including absolutely everything I wanted to do this year. This plan includes study goals, writing, publishing and marketing goals, and also some personal and spiritual goals for good measure.

I divided my year up into four quarters of 90-day periods, and made plans for what I want to achieve in those periods. I am going to start off each of these 90 day periods with a blog post to share with you what I am up to, including my progress from the previous three months and what I have planned for the following three months. If time permits, I will try and post an update on here once a month. I intend to eventually turn these updates into a newsletter, when I get around to setting up my author newsletter. For now, I will work with what I have, which is this blog. If you’d like to see more frequent updates on what I’m up to, and receive more regular injections of inspiration, be sure to follow me on Facebook and Instagram.

My publishing theme for 2021, at least for the first half of the year, is ‘Nothing New’.

This year is very much going to be about the completion of projects that have been in the works over the past 12-24 months. Most of my previously published titles are now available as eBooks, and in 2021 I will be focusing on completing my book distribution with the print versions. By January 2021, I want all of my previously published books to be available in both print and eBook, so that in the New Year I can shift my focus completely to new writing and publishing projects.

2021 marks ten years since the publishing of my first book, The Wilted Rose. I am aiming to re-release the print version of The Wilted Rose in March, and publish the long-awaited sequel in October in time for Mental Health Week. I have some exciting plans to celebrate this ten-year anniversary and the new release in the coming months- watch this space!

I will also be diving back into book marketing and promotion, something that has been basically non-existent for me and my books in 2020. Last year, everyone was extremely distracted, and for the most part book marketing and promotion felt like a bit if a waste of time. In order to deal with what was going on, I focused on reconnecting with the pure joy of writing, which was the fuel I needed to face the challenges of the pandemic, and a much-needed escape and distraction. In 2021, I aim to get my head back into this marketing and promotion space, and hopefully start selling some books! Make sure you keep an eye on this blog and my socials for book promotions and giveaways.

As for writing, for NaNoWriMo 2020, I started the first draft for the sequel to The Wilted Rose, which I am continuing to work on in these early months of 2021. I am hoping to have this first draft completed by the end of March, and well on the way to completion by June.

I am also continuing to collect stories for Wander Woman, my upcoming collection of women’s travel stories, and start a travel blog to which this book will be connected, and where I will also share my past travel experiences. If you are a woman with a unique travel experience, please get in touch. I am not looking for trips to Bali with the girls- I am looking for stories from women who have traveled off the beaten track, or who have overcome some adversity in order to travel, e.g. disability or hardship. If you know someone who has a story that might be suitable, please pass this information onto them. I have already received some incredibly inspiring stories, which I cannot wait to share in this book.

My professional study goals include finishing my Certificate 3 in Business, and start my Certificate 3 in Fitness. My personal study goals include completing The Artist’s Way.

Last year was so full of fear. Fear of uncertainty, of the unknown. Last year I gave away so much of my time, energy and mental space to the fear. In 2021, I am giving COVID the absolute bare minimum attention required. I will be sensible and safe of course. I am not in denial of reality. But this year, my blinkers are on, and I am focusing on my goals. I hope you will join me on this journey, and that my example can be of inspiration to you. I love communicating with my community, so if you would like to reach out, please do. If I can be of any assistance to your creative journey in 2021, please let me know.

Your creativity is a source of strength during these challenging times, and I implore you to draw on it in 2021. When times are tough it can be hard to motivate yourself and find the mental, emotional and physical energy to be creative. But creativity is a source of energy in itself, and sometimes we have to put the proverbial horse before the cart and be creative in order to replenish our energy levels. Sometimes we just need to show up, for ourselves and our creative endeavours, and do the thing even when we don’t feel like it, and we will be delighted to discover how inspired we feel as a result. And, of course, let ourselves rest when we need to.

We all knew that January 1st, 2021 wasn’t going to be the magical day when everything went back to ‘normal’. To the contrary, this year is already presenting new, unique challenges. But if we can take this New Year off its pedestal of expectations, and let it be what it will be, we will be much more content as a result. This can be a great year, if we choose to make it so.

Let’s do this!

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Holiday Writing- The Struggle Is Real

It is 10.22pm here in Queensland on Australia’s east coast, and I’ve just finished writing the first two scenes of a brand new short story/novella (not sure what it will end up being yet). A prequel to my suburban noir short story The New Neighbors.

As any introvert could agree, Christmas is a draining time, especially with friends and family coming to stay. I am surrounded by people 24×7 at the moment, and I am exhausted. At 3pm this afternoon I crashed out, sleeping for two and a half hours, even though I had slept in until 9am that morning. There goes my writing time, I thought. Hence why I was writing til 10pm. Not good for the sleep cycles, but I need to take the writing time where I can get it at the moment.

After completing NaNoWriMo in November, I took a break from my main writing projects for the Christmas/New Year period. Hours at my retail jobs were picking up in the lead-up to Christmas, and celebrations with family and friends were beginning. However in early December I was itching to write something (quite foolish of me to think I could go a whole month without writing anything!).

I scratched this itch by starting work on a prequel to my supernatural short story Grave Bargains. I got that done, plus a complete rewrite of Grave Bargains as well. At the start of this week, I started planning work on the prequel to The New Neighbors.

I’ve found short story writing to be a great way to tide me over between big projects like novels. I’ve got so many of them waiting to be written and fine-tuned.

I like to have something small on the go to tap into when I have a spare moment amidst the chaos of the silly season. However this year, I will definitely plan ahead. Deciding what to work on, and then trying to do research and prep work has been tricky indeed. And don’t even get me started on trying to find the time to write.

When I do find the time, the injection of creativity gives me a boost of energy, which I draw on during this busy time.

The view from the Keppel Bay Sailing Club here in Yeppoon on the Central Coast of Queensland

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Happy New Year!

As I start to write this, there is precisely seven hours and fifty-five minutes left before 2020 arrives. As are many, I’m reflecting on the year that was, and the year that is to be.

As it has been for many others, 2019 has been an absolute roller-coaster for me, personally and as a writer. I have tried to keep up blogging, but unfortunately with all the life upheavals, it has been inconsistent, for which I apologize. I want to take this opportunity to sincerely thank everyone that has joined me on my writing journey, and stuck with me through all of the highs and lows along the way. I am sorry for the inconsistency in publishing new releases and new blog content, and in the availability of my books. Like 2019, my writing and publishing journey has certainly been a roller-coaster ride.

I thought I’d take this opportunity, on the verge of New Years, to give you an update on my writing and publishing activities.

My overall goal for 2020 is to get all my previously published books into distribution again, through IngramSpark and other online publishing tools (NOT Kindle Direct Publishing).

Here’s a breakdown of the progress of each project:

The Wilted Rose will be re-published worldwide in paperback and e-book formats. I am currently awaiting to begin a new cover design, and once this is done the book will be ready to be published.

The New Neighbors short story collection is currently under review and will be re-published in paperback and e-book worldwide with a whole new theme.

Paid To Dance Series will be revised and re-published in paperback and e-book formats.

Grave Bargains (Short Story): To be re-published individually as an e-book, and as part of a new supernatural short story collection, in paperback and e-book.

I will also have some NEW projects in the pipeline:

  • Wander Woman- a collection of short stories about women who have traveled off the beaten track.
  • New supernatural-themed short story collection
  • Irish psychological suspense novellas.

I hope you have found much writing inspiration from this blog throughout 2019, and I will endeavour to keep you inspired throughout 2020.

 

I would love to hear your goals for the New Year- writing or otherwise. COMMENT your goals for 2020!