If you're new here, you won't know that at the end of 2016 Mark and I made an agreement. We agreed that we would try as hard as we could to spend the first six months of 2017 in one place. We were burnt out from a rough end to 2016, and I was feeling a little drifty. Mark doesn't get drifty, but if I spend too much time unmoored, I start to get anxious.
We settled in Jax in a cute little rental and signed a six-month lease. I decided that I would focus on staying put, creating a real foundation for my writing business and focusing on my health (Michigan weather had sent me backward in terms of my arthritis struggle). This morning I was surprised to realize that we are nearly halfway through that six months!
So how am I doing?
Well, I published Unraveled (Yay! Although I got my first one-star review yesterday. Not Yay!), and Unstoppable is with the editor (Yay!). I also have an outline for Book Three (Yay!) In less than three months I have collected an email list of over 3,000 people who have downloaded Unraveled and would like to hear more about upcoming books. Unraveled is selling between 3-5 books per day on Amazon. That sales trend doesn't sound like a lot, but considering I am a nobody from the land of nowhere, I consider this an amazing little stat. I would say that this forced "pause" has helped me create a foundation that will serve me well once the traveling starts. I never had a problem working on my ecommerce business while traveling. I worked from a bandwidth connection all over the world for years (granted I had employees who helped), but I have a feeling that writing while traveling will be a little more difficult. I am quite demanding about my environment for writing, desk, papers, post-its, tea, the list goes on, so I will need to chill out a bit. The ferry to Calais doesn't come with a desk, and it's tough for Mark to bring me a cup of tea while we are driving across Europe, especially since he is usually the one driving. We'll see.
How am I doing with staying put? Not always so great. We have a friend visiting us from Scotland for the past few weeks, so we have indulged in a few overnight trips - Savannah (photo above), St. Augustine, Manatees (!!!). The Manatees are next week so look out for photos on the Facebook page. In April we are going to take a drive to Austin for a writer's conference. I am very much looking forward to that. May is pretty quiet, and then in June, the craziness starts. I'm taking my daughter on a girl's trip, a cruise to Bermuda, and then Mark and I are headed over to Europe. Scotland first and then Italy with friends for a week and then Croatia in a house exchange for a week and then back to Italy and then... who knows? We will head back to Scotland but will probably take a few detours on the way.
So, I need to get cracking on Book Three. The plan is to have most of the first draft complete before we leave for Scotland. The last part of the first draft will be a guinea pig for testing how novel writing and traveling go together. Let's hope they go well.
Anyway, I still have three months of being "home" so I am still pushing on all three of my objectives (notice I didn't mention health, don't even ask).
Onwards and Upwards!