Hustling Status

See my newsletter? Meh? Not too shabby…I mean, for someone completely (sort of) starting out. You can say it: you liked that badass logo, that specifically selected color palette, and that link that led to a FREEBIE (because I know how to do that now). All me, baby. Oh, yeah. Amateur at its finest.

I’d like to say I winged it, but that is quite laughably far from the truth. Mailerlite (the newsletter service I’m using) offers these amazing tutorials that help technology-challenged people like me learn with idiot-proof videos. Huzzah! There IS hope for the dim-witted! I haven’t gotten through all of the tutorials yet, but it’s on my to-do list. Actually, there are about a thousand million-things on my to-do list right now, and I feel like as long as I check off one little thing each day, I’m not doing terrible. And that’s my goal at this point: don’t be terrible. I’ve been (mostly) terrible with all this for the past few years, so the goal is to change that. By doing a little everyday, I’m doing more than I did, elevating my “terrible” status to a “hustling” status, and I got to say: it feels good.

Other writing news:

I’m currently working with my cover designer, the fabulous Joleene Naylor, to bring A Royal Pairing in Perish to life visually. I can sort of see it, although some of it’s a bit blurry too, so I’ll have to figure it out here soon. I wonder if most traditionally published authors like having the burden of cover design taken off them, or if they feel they’re losing a huge creative opportunity. I’d feel like it’d be losing an opportunity, but man, a little creative direction would be nice! Of course, that’s what I’ve got Joleene for, but at the end of the day, it’s my choice. My book. My career. My business. It’s kinda important…should probably get it right…

I wish there was more to report, but that would mean more happened in my life and really, that’s not the case. Car is fine (praise the lord!), hubby’s still obsessed with Batman, and the doggos are still the best doggos in the world. Can’t complain.

What about you? What have you been up to this week? Do you have a thousand-million things on your to-do list like me? How do you handle it/get everything done and not lose your mind?

Share your secrets with me…I am royalty.

~Lady Caitlin

Newsletter Island

So…the plan—the PLAN—is to send out this year’s first newsletter on Saturday. Woot! Are you ready? I should probably be ready. I should probably work on it this week since I’ll be sending it out on 1/15 so… with that in mind, I’m keeping this post short. As in super-short. As in, barely a post at all. Since last week was the *big* announcement, we’ll call this one a bridge to next week with an awesome newsletter island in the middle.

Are you signed up? Would you like to be? In addition to my not-as-annoying pop up as before, you can sign up on my sign-up form, which should* be working. But again, it’s me, so we’ll see.

Alright guys, I’ve got nothing much for you right now. I’m on the cusp of getting my beta reader edits back, so every part of me is consumed with that—and realizing I will be even more poor (how is that possible?!) when this book is finally done because damn it takes money to make money. But at least I have my editor booked, and that sweet relief is enough.

Hope to see you in my newsletter on Saturday! Or not. Again, I’ll have no idea unless you sign up and actually open it (we have ways to know…muahahaha…) but you still might not even read it. It’s all good. (Probably just much more of me rambling anyway…) But still – yay for things happening and boo for being poor! I’m feeling all the emotions, guys.

2022 is off to a great start.

~ Lady Caitlin

*If the signup form isn’t working…please let me know. Thanks!

Too Excited To Be Scared

I’ve been keeping a giant Tupperware container in the fridge at work for over a week and I’m afraid to take it home. They’ll know it was me. That I’ve been taking up all the space (during the holiday week…) when it could’ve been used for all the other goodies. But I keep forgetting it’s there. Every day I leave, and every morning when I put my new lunch in there, I see the giant plastic bin of grossness with food and I think eww.

I think I’m just going to throw it away. It’s been in there for over a week and I really don’t want to smell it. I just don’t want to be seen throwing it away because they’ll FOR SURE know it was me and I’m still trying to make friends. Also, it’s the last of the original Tupperwares, so it’s probably time to toss the thing. Just can’t be caught when it goes down…

How was your holiday? Enjoyable? Stressful? Somewhere in the middle? Mine was great! Batman won Christmas this year because look at this:

Like, seriously. The candle alone proves he won. He could’ve gotten me this one thing and he still would’ve come out the victor. I’d never tell him this because then I’d literally only get the candle every year, and since he stopped reading this *amazing* blog years ago, he’ll never know. BWHAHAHA.

Writing News:

In my journey to actually do something with my writing, I applied for and got accepted to Radish – woot! What is Radish besides some small red vegetable? (Or is it a fruit? I don’t know…) Radish is a serialized platform that caters mostly to the romance genre, and readers pay per chapter. Kind of like sampling the book little by little instead of reading the whole thing. You can stop at any point and not continue…or you can keep going to the end. Some writers release a chapter a day, some every few days, and apparently, serialized platforms are *very* popular right now, so, I threw my name in the hat and actually got accepted. What?!  Seriously?!?

Yesssss.

I applied with my Better Than This Series, and the first chapter of the first book goes up today. Double woot! You can check it out, or check out Radish in general: here.

Other big news: beta reader copies are being distributed next week. NEXT WEEK GUYS. OMG. People—besides me and my laptop—are going to be aware of the story I’ve been writing for well over a year. I started May 2020 and here we are December 2021 with a *completely* different story, but one I love 1000 times more. I’m stoked, guys. I really am. All the nerves and terror are there (and I don’t think they’ll ever leave) but I’m pushing through. I’m too excited to be scared this time.

Next thing to work on is my newsletter because I’m realllllllly going to make it work this year. I need to. And I want to. It’s all about cultivating a fan base, right? Because if you have one of those, it helps to sell more books (which is the end game, folks.)

So, we’ve got Radish, beta readers, and a newsletter I will be Frankenstein-ing back to life. All the things, people. I’m doing all the things.

Well, this is our last chat in 2021. I hope you stick around for all the excitement in 2022, and I hope you have a fabulous time bringing in the new year!

~ Lady Caitlin

P.S. I finally threw the Tupperware out. There was no other way

Stay Tuned

I ended up telling a bunch of people about my poor experience at FDC, one of them being a coworker. I don’t like confrontation (as has been previously voiced) so my response to being ignored at a rich, fancy restaurant is to steam silently, tell everyone I know, and do absolutely nothing. A few people said I should write a review, but I like to put unfavorable experiences behind me. No use dwelling because I’ll only end up spoiling the present moment.

My coworker wasn’t having it. She went onto their site, completed a comment form, and wrote down exactly what happened. I didn’t ask her to, but she was infuriated on my behalf, and it was fun to waste twenty minutes at work talking crap about FDC. (I do love my job).

Guess what came in the mail the other day?

A gift card for two free dinners.

Batman and I swore we’d never go back, never give them anymore of our money.

But…

These are free delicious dinners with people carrying around slabs of steak and there’s a station of CANDIED BACON. CANDIED BACON, guys. Come on. Not sure I can ignore free candied bacon. That seems almost…sacrilegious. So, the question is, do we return in the new year and take advantage of our two free delicious dinners with the off-chance they remember us (probably not) and will therefore spit in our food (probably not) because an honest review was left of their crappy service? (Probably not). Or do we go eat candied bacon for free and enjoy it?

*scratches chin*

Yes, I’m an overthinker. Yes, I’m anxious when it comes to these kinds of things. And YES, not only have I seen Waiting with Ryan Reynolds (so I know servers mess with food) but I’ve worked in a restaurant and I KNOW SERVERS MESS WITH FOOD. But if we go in February/March, maybe they won’t remember us/know we’re there because of what happened? Maybe the bitterness of a less-than-stellar anniversary dinner won’t taunt a pleasant spring supper?

I don’t know, guys. Thinking I’m too poor to give up a station of free candied bacon.

Also, in my journey to become a *legit* indie author, I’m researching, like, everything, including my newsletter. You remember that, right? Haha, me too. Memories. Think I mentioned wanting to do one earlier this year, sent out a few and then…nothing…because I didn’t know what I was doing. First, sorry to the handful of you that got my first attempt. MUAHAHA. Apparently, I’ve been doing everything wrong—no surprise there—so I will be trying this again. Not sure how it will affect you, but wanted to give you a heads up that I AM working on it, it WILL one day be absolutely magnificent and you should see some more from me in the new year. So stay tuned for that.

I’ve made other impressive indie-author strides too, but I’ll fill you in on that next week since the free dinner card from FDC is obviously of top priority. Again, free candied bacon. I mean…it’s soooo good…

I’ve taken up too much of your time. Go do something with your life. Be somebody. Make today great and you’ll hear from me next Wednesday.

~ Lady Caitlin

Launching My Newsletter

This is it—my official last post BEFORE launching my newsletter.

Any idea what I’m going to talk about?

That’s right—my newsletter! Gosh, you’re smart.

As a recap, I have been self-publishing since 2013, which is still long after the self-publishing pioneers who blazed the path before us. I only mention it because SEVEN years later I am finally doing something that I—know that I understand—should’ve been doing since pre-publication.

*Smacks forehead*

Take it as a lesson, padawan. Don’t do what I did. Or, don’t take as long to realize the power of cultivating a subscriber list since it’s one of the few things you own in any entrepreneur endeavor. In plain English: email newsletters are of the most beneficial marketing tools on the market, so, I figure—eh, I’d give it a try. Seven years in, can’t hurt.

But why sign up? What’s in it for you? Excellent questions, although I did answer these in a previous post…but, what the hell, we’ll go over it again:

  1. An opportunity for you to be lazy while STILL enjoying awesome content. As in, in addition to visiting this *amazing* blog, you won’t have to come to me—I will come to you in an email on the 15th of every month! All that’s required from you is the ability open an email. But I have faith.
  2. MORE CONTENT. Blogs are awesome, and I will continue to keep mine up, but even MORE content? What? Is she for real? (Yes, I am). I’ll also include things I don’t normally on my site, like snippets from current projects, and more writing-related updates (join me in my querying journey!)
  3. Learn about other creators and entrepreneurs. It turns out I have a lot of really talented friends who do all sorts of neat stuff! And y’all should know about them, so, I’ll be highlighting one each month. (If this is you, totally contact me. I’ll probably contact you though. Wait for it.)

Okay, by now—and per my understanding—you should have received a pop-up asking to join the newsletter. Were you like me and just closed it because you feel pop-ups are slightly accosting sometimes? That’s okay. If you missed your chance to sign up, I *believe* you can come back tomorrow and it will ask again. I think. I’m not really sure I understand any of what I did so I’m feeling 70% confident here.

First newsletter goes out this Friday, 1/15.

GUYS. I’m finally doing it. Seven years in, baby.

It’s never too late.

~ Lady Caitlin

It Pays Sometimes To Be Unemployed

So…I started playing with my blog because I’m trying to make it look more professional, and I meant to tweak the background and colors a little, and somehow my font got updated? I’m not sure how that happened, which means I’m not sure how to fix it, which makes me hesitant to touch anything else on this blog I’ve barley learned how to use over the past six years. Hope you like the new look.

But why the updates, right? The leaves were functioning…okayish. Well, I’m actually trying to be more professional here, and this website still seems super novice-y and I’m sure that’s a deterrent for some potential readers. So, not a good thing for me. But at this point, with my lack of know-how and incredible talent for being anti-techy, maybe I should enlist help? Go to Fiverr or update to Squarespace? I don’t know. I’ve had the mentality of at least having a blog for my writing was good enough, but after six years, it should look a little better—right? I don’t know. You tell me.

Also, with this whole trying to be professional thing, I’d like to come clean about something I’m working on. Ready for this? And I am NOT teasing this time (I don’t think). But yes, after seven self-published books, I am finally going to be smart and have an actual newsletter (and not immediately cancel it) to provide updates on me, what I’m working on, and to promote other entrepreneurs. I didn’t understand the importance of having one of these for the past few years, and I guess, it sort of came together in the world’s longest click over the last few months, when I recently realized that, oh shit, yep, I do need one of those.

*drums fingertips dramatically*

And here we are.

But deciding to have one alone isn’t enough. I need to know when y’all want this—for those who do—and the question is all about timing. I don’t want to come at you like a missile with something every three days because frankly, I can’t come up with that much content. Only the coke-writers can, and I am years away from that kind of depression. But I also don’t want to fade into nothing, so when an email does pop up, you aren’t like Who? Her? Meh. Nope. Please don’t Who? Her? Meh. Nope. me. It’s a difficult line to gauge the frequency newsletter emails should be sent. I’m thinking monthly. Just enough to remember me, but not too much to make you hate me. The perfect amount to subtlety capture and brainwash you.

Also, why sign up for it, right? What makes it any different than this awesome blog? Two great questions. The first because, who doesn’t love more awesome content?  And second, because I’ll include snippets from current projects I’m working on, and highlight a different entrepreneur each time so you can learn about other people and not just me. Win-win-win. PLUS, this is sent to your email, so you won’t have to go digging or searching for it, which is always good in my book. (Also, yes, I am still updating my Patreon, but it’s about the same frequency – once a month. And if you want to get on that track, which you totally should, please be patient because I’m in the midst of updating all that too. Wow, it pays sometimes to be unemployed).

This whole thing is sounding really cool in my head, so let’s see if I can pull it off. Look for…something soon. Like, really soon. I’m thinking this newsletter will go out around mid-month because that is a date I can likely remember, so let’s aim for a release every 15th.

Be on the lookout for…something. Some sign-up. We’ll see what I can figure out here in the next two weeks. Depends on how well my brain works. And how much wine I still have to get me through it.

Please everyone have a safe, smart, fun, and healthy New Years. 2020 wasn’t great in many ways, but it was in others (Batman and I got married, friends had babies and got great new jobs!) Remember the blessings we all take for granted and lets bring this positivity in 2021. Please for fucks sake.

~ Lady Caitlin signing off

See My Dilemma? #IWSG

Here’s my dilemma:

  • Focus on one project (work is done quicker, but reaches fewer people)
  • Focus on multiple projects (takes longer for each piece to finish, but reaches more people)

Focusing on one thing (like, say, writing an epic saga of a book) can still take forever. I should know. I’m still writing the first draft of RTD, and I started late last year. I should be around done with it by now (or at least close to it) but I’m not. Because it’s a monster and there’s sooo much to it. I’m focusing all my creative energy on finishing it, but in doing so, I’m not entering any contests, writing short stories or extra pieces. I’m not getting other work out there. See my dilemma?

Do I stretch myself thin by working on multiple projects so I can reach more people, or keep steady so I can finish the damn book to complete the series? Which makes more sense?

*pulls out hair*

I’m seriously considering doing the NL (newsletter) again. I know. I know. I sort of didn’t follow through with it last time, but I was way overwhelmed, it was confusing to my dumb non-tech brain, and I didn’t see the benefit. What’s changed? Not a bunch, but I think it’s probably pretty necessary at this point. Just being honest. I’m not a big fan of NLs, so having my own is foreign, but as I’ve learned lurking in FB writing groups, it’s a necessity in this business. I have to get one. But it’s okay, because I have stuff I can share. Plus, I like to think my dumb-tech brain has gotten a little smarter (it hasn’t. I just like to pretend).

I’m thinking of doing a quarterly NL—what do you think? Some opt for monthly, or a few times a month. That’s too much. As a writer and reader, too much. A little update four times a year should be plenty, right? Anything more, and we’re on stalking terms, especially since I maintain this lovely blog with fresh content every Wednesday.

In other super-related news, I stumbled upon a writing contest (I get notifications for them constantly, but don’t participate because…read dilemma above). Although there’s a monetary prize, this contest offers something better: targeted audience. Actual BETA READERS in your genre! It’s a new site with a program that connects writers with their intended audience, and potentially permanent beta readers. As a kickoff, they’re launching contests (novels, novellas, short stories) across all genres, and will match readers interested in that genre to judge. HOW COOL IS THAT? It’s called fresh.ink. Check it out! 😊

Please offer dilemma and NL insights—I’m open and welcome to it all.

Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is a monthly blog hop for writers at all levels to share their fears and insecurities in a safe and encouraging place. Please drop by and say hi to Alex Cavanaugh who started this nifty concept in bringing us all together.