January 2, 2012

Resolutions and a Giveaway: Welcome Elizabeth Ann West, Author of CANCELLED

Please welcome the lovely Elizabeth Ann West. I met Elizabeth through ROW80 and immediately was drawn to her posts and willingness to share knowledge.

I am thrilled to have her guest posting today and offering my readers copies of her novel, CANCELLED.

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I met Tia through a wonderful goal making program for writers called A Round of Words in 80 Days. I am very thankful she has invited me to her blog Depression Cookies, and I'm here for two things. We're going to talk about resolutions and at the end, I have a special gift for her readers: a free, autographed ebook in the format of their choice of my debut novel, CANCELLED.

CANCELLED is the result of my 2011 New Year's Resolution. I published the novel on September 13, 2011, a whole three months ahead of my beginning of the year deadline. The journey wasn't easy, but I wanted to share how I did it, and how you can apply the same logic to accomplishing your resolutions for 2012!!

I CAN SUCK

You have to give yourself permission to suck. Once you aren't hung up on missing one deadline, or one workout, it becomes much easier to shed the guilt. Without the guilt of falling short, it's easier to start back up where you left off.

I took nearly 30 days off from writing CANCELLED right after making it to about 35,000 words. Old me would have never finished that project. Instead, I didn't feel guilty about what I didn't do and focused on “Wow, I've written 35,000 words. Can I make it to 50,000?”

JOURNEYS, NOT DEADLINES

In the same vein of being allowed to suck, think of your resolution as a journey. Every journey has highs of new experiences and lows of lost luggage. If your journey takes a little longer than anticipated, that's okay. I repeat, it is OKAY to take longer than you expected! I planned to finish CANCELLED by May 31, 2011. Then I moved it to the middle of June. It finally took a weekend of me saying “We're done here” and jamming out 18,000 words in 72 hours. My fingers are still angry with me.

If you only work with deadlines, where's your overtime? Good resolutions map out over the entire year. If you miss a self-imposed deadline, don't sweat it. You've just moved into overtime where points count double!

MEH, MEASURE

We all hear how you must measure your goals. That usually translates to something like this: I'm going to work out X times per week. I'm going to only have X cups of coffee/cigarettes/Hershey's Kisses with Almonds. I'm going to write X blog posts per week. And so on. Sorry, but that kind of measurement is NO FUN!

A fun way to measure is to count up! That's right. Not workout three times a week, but accrue 100 workouts between now and April (and if I miss it, then there's OVERTIME). Or, I'm going to put a smiley in my planner every time I wanted a cup of coffee/cigarette/Hershey's Kiss with Almonds and substituted something healthier. When I get 100 smileys, I'm going to see a movie I want to see/Disneyland/buy an ereader. Focus on what you do, not what you haven't done... yet.

CHANGE YOUR VERNACULAR

“I'm going to” isn't very convincing. You might get to it... eventually. You know when absolutely nothing else exciting or interesting is available? Can't tell I've been there, can you?

To get through the tougher parts of writing my novel, I changed my mantra to “I want/I need/I am.” I want to write this novel. I need to finish this novel. I AM finishing this novel because I'm the boss. That's right, you're the boss. Don't make your resolution a “would be nice” to accomplish. Make it a goal you have wanted your entire life, or at least longer than the last 15 minutes that you've been thinking about it. Make it a goal that when you wake up in the morning, you're proud to work on it. You grin, uncontrollably, when you share a small success.

If your New Year's Resolution is an accomplishment others want from you, such as weight-loss or quitting an unhealthy habit, don't bother. Only once you reach the point of needing to adopt a resolution's outcome to your identity will you reach success. I was encouraged to write a book as early as 2009, but it wasn't until 2011 that I felt a NEED to write one. It's YOUR 2012, not anyone else's.

So what are my 2012 New Year's Resolutions?

Me first.

I'm hiring a personal assistant. I've always wanted one, and this year, I'm getting one. I'm calling her Gacinda. Meet Gacinda, she's also known as Google Calendar. I tested using Google Calendar over the last few months and I liked receiving reminders in my email for things I need to do. I felt important. I didn't feel like a stay-at-home-Mommy. So yes, I'm loading laundry, vacuuming, and writing time into my Google Calendar and Gacinda will alert me. (I'm pretty sure I can get her to text my phone, too. I'm so going to be a “home executive” this year!).

I'm counting up to 100 yoga workouts. By May, I'd like to have 100 workouts and then I'll tack on walks.

I am writing a sequel to CANCELLED, 1 novella, and 3 short stories.

I want to be proud of the food I put in my body, so by June, I'd like to eliminate most processed foods from my family's diet (we're not going crazy, but I'm going to stop buying boxed mixes and use more fresh herbs and spices and ingredients we can spell).

My big challenge this year? I'm co-writing my first novel with Saffina Desforges, the best-selling author of Sugar and Spice and the Red Rose series.

So here's to an awesome 2012 for all of us!

WIN MY BOOK

I have two different giveaways.

First, everyone who leaves THEIR New Year's Resolution for 2012 below in the comments (today only, 1/2/12) wins a free, signed ebook of my novel, CANCELLED.

Just let me know who you would like it signed to and which format you prefer (.mobi or .epub). You can either leave your email below, or I can ask Tia to help me make sure you get the copy. :)

[Note: To sideload the file to your ereader, you will need a USB connection from your computer to the ereader. It came with the device, or you can get one at a superstore for a few bucks. You need a mini USB to USB cable. :) Once you plug it in, your computer will recognize the ereader like any portable device, and you just copy the file over into a folder probably labeled books.]

I also have a monthly newsletter sign-up on my site. Each week of my Virtual Book Signing Tour I am randomly drawing the name of one new subscriber. He or she wins a signed, annotated copy of CANCELLED!

Thank you again for having me visit Depression Cookies. This is a great blog, and I'm excited to see what Tia has in store for it in 2012! And if you missed the giveaway because you're visiting on another day, you can see the entire schedule for my Virtual Book Signing Tour and catch me at my next stop!

Elizabeth Ann West is a Jane-of-all-trades, mistress to none! After writing non-fiction professionally for three years, she made the jump to fiction in 2011 with her debut novel, CANCELLED. A chicklit/romance from the male POV, Elizabeth's novel challenges the conventions of modern romance. CANCELLED is now available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble as both an ebook and paperback. Elizabeth also writes regular posts about technology subjects on Mark Williams international, and her sites eawestwriting.com and eawestwriting.blogspot.com.

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And just in case all of this has not convinced you to comment, please check out my review of CANCELLED here. A small preview: I gave it a squealing 5 stars.

26 comments:

Shannon said...

Thank you Tia for introducing us to Elizabeth! My sister in law asked me last night if I read anything good! Looking forward to a great read in the new year... Running at the gym!!!

Elizabeth Ann West said...

Hi Shannon! Would you like a signed ebook? I can make you an epub or a mobi. I can also make it out to anyone you'd like! You can let me know the email addy to send it to or drop me a line at eawestwrites on gmail.

Carysabel said...

One of my resolution is to read less gossip/trash magazine and more sciency/social/economic articles and books. Looking forward to read Cancelled.

Julie Glover said...

I absolutely love the idea of counting up! That will make me feel much better about what I'm accomplishing.

As for my New Year's resolutions, I have several. One is to write my prayers out since my mind wanders like crazy when I try to simply say them. (Sorry, God.) Another is to exercise regularly with my teenage son, so that both he and I can get into better shape. One more is to finish two more novel drafts in 2012, both of which I have plotted and started.

Thanks! Great post.

Elizabeth Ann West said...

Shannon- Did you want a signed ebook of CANCELLED? Just let me know format and who to sign it out to! (I'm personalizing them ;) ) You can either give your email or drop me a line at eawestwrites on gmail

Carysabel- Do you read the Economist? I LOVE that magazine! It really helps me remember there's a big, big world out there! Please let me know Nook or kindle format for the signed ebook, who to sign it out to, and the email address to send it to. Or you can email me at eawestwrites on Gmail's free email service.

Julie- You and me both sister are going to be slaves to the keyboard! If you'd like the signed copy of CANCELLED, just let me know the format you need, who make it to, and where to send it! :) OR drop me a line at eawestwrites on Gmail if you don't want your email address public.

Tia Bach said...

You are all going to love this book. I know I did! Thanks for stopping by, and thank again to Elizabeth for including my blog on her tour.

mmshaunakelley said...

My resolution is to treat writing like a job and not a hobby. It's a job I love, but I need to be more serious about it if I ever hope to make it my sole job :)

Millette said...

I appreciate the insight to making resolutions. Therefore, I've decided that mine will be to "count up" to 24 family walks/hikes/bike rides. I'm very much looking forward to doing more reading on my nook, as well. Especially Cancelled by Elizabeth Ann West! (Please sign my copy to Millette) I'm not sure about what format I want/need, as long as it works on the Nook.
Thank you for your generosity, I think this world could use a lot more of it!

(millette.moist@gmail.com)

Shannon Knobel said...

Cannot wait to read!!!

Shannon Knobel
Shannonknobel@modmomsnorth.org

Elizabeth Ann West said...

Just wrote all of the dedications out and scanned them. Adding them to the files now :) You should get an email from me this afternoon.

By the way, this is one of my best ideas ever! I thoroughly LOVED signing an ebook for each and every one of you!

Elizabeth Ann West said...

Milette, the email address you listed is kicking back as not valid. Could you send me a note to eawestwrites on gmail?

Tia Bach said...

I love the idea of signing ebooks, too. I'll have to get some instructions from you on this, Elizabeth... when you aren't in the middle of a signing tour of course. ;-)

Elizabeth Ann West said...

Tia, I'm signing you one too! Epub is easy. Kindle's giving me a little headache. Will send you instructions though, this is so cool looking.

WolfDreamer25 said...

I love the post about the goals, and once of my resolutions is to finish, type, and edit my YA novel Astral Witch. I will hopefully submit it to agents, and my email is jdsamuels25@yahoo.com. I would like the file as a .mobi one. I look forward to reading it, and I have read your blog too.

Nana said...

Tia, your book review encourages all to want to read Elizabeth's book and her blog interview capped it. I will definitely recommend it to my many book clubbers. Thank you for starting out the blog posting with such an inspiring author.

Tia Bach said...

Ah shucks, Mom! I'm sure you want a copy for yourself. Elizabeth, mom's email is adsilverthorne at yahoo.com.

Elizabeth Ann West said...

Okay, Shannon's, Millette's, and Tia's are all sent. I'm compiling Julie's right now (giving you .mobi and .epub since I don't know which reader you use). :) Shauna, I need an email dear to send it to.

Isa, yours is coming up too, just takes 20 minutes per each mobi file to compile. :)

And one for Miss Angela, absolutely! Is she a Kindle or a Nook?

Taslim Jaffer said...

Oh wow - this is so generous of you, Elizabeth! My resolution is, in fact, to do away with resolutions and instead make commitments from a place of self-love. I'm going to add things to my life that nurture me - continuing with yoga and reading more for pleasure make the top of the list!

Taslim Jaffer said...

Oops - I'd love a copy in .mobi - thank again!!

Anonymous said...

I was so impressed by all the work you did yesterday, and with such good cheer, that I ordered the paperback. :-) Still, I would love a personalized epub - thank you!

My resolution (in addition to continuing to support indie authors!) is to stay in the Now, and stop borrowing trouble. So far, so good... (it's easy to gloat on January 2nd!)

Thank you!

Resa

RM (vthfs2 at gmail)

Elizabeth Ann West said...

Wolfdreamer25 I need a first name to dedicate the book to, unless you want me to write it out to Wolfdreamer25? ;)

Elizabeth Ann West said...

Okay, my little fingers are hurting so I'm going to take a break for tonight.

I need an email address for Shauna and Taslim.

I need a name for Wolfdreamer25.

Tomorrow morning first thing, Resa will get her book, Miss Angela, shauna, Taslim, and Wolfdreamer :)

Tia Bach said...

Thank you everyone for visiting!

Elizabeth, Angela/Mom is Kindle. Thanks again for spending the day with us. Happy 2012.

My resolution is to be in the moment more and write every single day.

Natalie Hartford said...

Love the tips here on making and keeping resolutions. This year, my resolutions are to write my novel, maintain/grow my social media presence, and to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Now normally I write my goals down and promptly forget them but this year I am using the 4 rounds of ROW80 to stay on point, accountable and motivated....that's my plan! :-)
Congrats Elizabeth on the release of Cancelled and wishing you ALL the success!!! And so generous of you to offer a copy to all commentors...wow! And you can autograph e-books - how COOL!!!
I can't wait to read it - sounds right up my alley! Please sign my copy to Natalie and Kindle .mobi file format. Natalie at nataliehartford dot com.
Thank you again...
And thanks Tia for introducing us to Elizabeth and this great post! :-))

Tia Bach said...

Thanks for visiting, Natalie. Elizabeth will be in touch. Happy 2012!

Elizabeth Ann West said...

All ebooks are sent out, two I had to send to Tia because the comment writer didn't leave an email address. If you missed the ebook signing, please visit my website, http://eawestwriting.com to learn about my next stop in January.

Thank you again Tia and the Depression Cookies family for having me. It was a blast, and I couldn't have chosen a better place to start this ebook signing tour!