New Directions

hourglassTwo months have passed since I last posted (actually almost 3 months if you don’t count my one post in January!). This was supposed to be my daily accountability method to keep going with the path I was on. The only thing is, I’ve changed directions, at least somewhat.

Some things are the same. I’m still tutoring, and I even have a couple new students. I’m still editing, too, though I’ve become more focused in what I’ll do. I love memoir, historical fiction, a variety of non-fiction, literary fiction, magazine articles, some kinds of spiritual writing, as well as some poetry and children’s stories.  I don’t so much love certain genres like romance, thrillers, occult, horror, and such, and I’m happy to pass those editing opportunities onto others who enjoy them.

So what, you may be wondering, is this “new direction?” I’ve developed a very strong interest in all the different aspects of publishing that are now available, and I’ve been exploring related topics with great interest: agents, queries, proposals, traditional publishing, hybrid publishing, multiple forms of indie/self-publishing, platform/brand building, book design, social media, email lists and newsletters, marketing, freelance writing (articles, guest blog posts, etc.).

The more I research, the more interested I’ve become, and I’ve been experimenting with a number of these areas myself.  I love to teach and share what I’ve been learning. I’ve decided to offer workshops and seminars, do research for writers, and consult in areas like understanding publishing options, writing queries and proposals, and finding agents and/or publishers.

Some of the “study” I’ve done in the past 2 months includes:

  • order and study the “Agent Kit” from Writers Digest
  • learn to use canva.com and do other design studies
  • listen to numerous webinars and videos such as “Successful Self-Publishing ” with Joanna Penn and Joel Friedlander
  • order and read books like William Zinsser’s On Writing Well and Chuck Sambuchino’s Guide to Query Letters
  • read numerous articles on the internet
  • take Tim Grahl’s 30-day podcast course “Hacking Amazon” and some other similar online courses
  • follow a number of really good writing/publishing blogs
  • take Charlene Kingston’s “Create E-Books Your Customers Will Love” course
  • and much more!

Meanwhile, I’m still writing memoir stories, and working through Bill Roorbach’s Writing Life Stories. I’m also trying out the updated Grammarly software to improve my editing.

I’ve organized my life by creating a huge wall chart with mind maps covering my tutoring, editing, writing, publishing, online activities–and friends, family, spiritual, and creative life.

I’m busy updating my brochures, and preparing to start an e-newsletter using MailChimp.  I’m also starting an actual “writer’s blog” in addition to my penandpapermama.com site. And yes–my new site will use my name: normajhill.com. Coming soon!

It’s Spring Break this week and next, and my tutoring students are all taking a break. So this is my opportunity to take my own “writer’s retreat” and do lots of writing–including blogging again–and get my “new direction” in gear. Enough with the studying (though I’ll continue to keep up-to-date); but it’s time now for ACTION–starting with reorganizing my office and writing 3 blog posts today.

So … am I forgiven for my temporary disappearance?

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