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Monday, April 4, 2016

A Sad, but True, Story and a Challenge

It’s been almost five years since I started the Losing Penny and Pounds blog. As a family, we’re doing great financially, but I know that’s only to my husband’s credit. As a business, my books are diddling along. If I make the same as I made this  month for the rest of the year, then I'll make about the same as I made last year.
And my weight? Even with all my good intentions, I'm ten pounds heavier this year than last. My weight is up, my income is down. Everything is backward.
This is coinciding with the publishing of my what I'm calling my blog books. Here's the intro to Blog Book One and Two:
Book One
When I was eight-years-old, I wrote in my diary, a paperback book embellished with pink flowers, that I wanted to be a writer. I have never wavered, although I’ve often felt discouraged. There is an adage that goes something like this: a writer is someone who writes. I started writing around age eight, as my early diaries will prove, but I didn’t start writing a blog until much later, 2010 to be exact. What follows is a snap shot of my writing through the past five years. I would love to capture all the years before that, but I lack the patience to wade through my collection of diaries and journals, and I also suspect that no sane person would wish to read them.
I’m dissembling my blog and its posts into a few key areas of my life—family, health, writing. There may be more as time goes on—travel, money, retirement. Just like I couldn’t predict where my life would take me when I was eight years old, I can only imagine and dream of what my future holds. Since I plan to live longer than a century, I’m only smidgen past my halfway point.
This particular book is dedicated to my writing, and the chasing down of my dreams. I suppose for the reader and aspiring writer, it would have been nice if I’d had lumped the posts into chapters of relevance, but since this is more a diary than a how-to book, I’ve left the posts in the order that I wrote them.
I don’t pretend to be an expert on anything. Nor do I pretend to have had rousing successes. Kipling told us that we should meet Triumph and Disaster and treat them just the same. I agree. I’m not suggesting that anyone follow my career path. If you want to make money, sell real estate. If you love to tell stories, write books. It’s as simple and as complicated as that.

Book Two
Like the first book in this series, A Writer’s Story, An Indie’s Memoir, this is a compilation of blog excerpts from 2010 to the end of 2015. I first felt the desire to publish my posts when I realized something dire could happen to Blogger, my website provider, and it would all disappear as I don’t have them saved anywhere else.
I hope my writings will prove helpful, entertaining, and a smidge enlightening to others. As I read through my posts, I enjoy them, but I’m also full of doubt—worried that maybe I take pleasure in them the way a child likes looking at herself in the mirror. I also worry that by writing about my own experiences, I’m exposing my introverted-self to ridicule and scorn in a new way. When a critic leaves a poor review of one of my novels, they’re criticizing my fictional work, but a review of my life experiences will be much more personal and painful.
To write one such book seems egocentric, but to write three seems like excessive narcissism.  But the posts on writing alone were more than 600 pages. Knowing that no one would want to slog through it all, I scaled them back. I found the slow and steady upward climb of my writing career interesting, I hope others will, as well. This book is mostly about life lessons, delivered, I hope, with humor. The third book will be random advice on finances, health, and managing—the sort of guidance I wished someone had told me before I became a grown-up and had to bungle my way through sticky situations.

But here's the thing--I can't publish these books, especially the third one, until I feel I've successfully met my goals. So, I'm giving myself a challenge. 

Before the end of the year, I will:
Double my book income. Last year I made about $7,000. This year, I will make $14,000. (Actually, $15,000 since I like to round up.)
Double my weight loss (I gained ten pounds since last year, so now I must lose twenty.)

And I will capture it all on this blog.



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