3-Steps, Life-Changing, 6-Figures

I am a sucker for all articles with those three phrases in them.

3 Steps

Three steps? You mean, I can learn to speak French in only three steps? Okay, writer person, show me what you got!

Then, I read the article just to find out the three steps are to download an app or system, practice daily, and immerse myself in the culture.

These are legit steps, but for every one of these three steps, there is a sequence of other steps.

The first step will require money most likely, so a plan for saving is in order, download time, creating a profile, taking an assessment (most likely), etc.

Practice daily means I have to find the recommended amount of time in my calendar. This will take some trial and error. It could be months before I nail it.

Immersing myself in French culture would take even more steps. I would have to start small with borrowing French books and movies from the library, reading French magazines and listening to French podcasts, and the list goes on.

None of this is too much to ask of a person who wants to learn something new or achieve something, but I always feel let down that there aren’t really three simple steps.

It’s a good headline though. 3 Steps to ____ will always work as a headline.

Life-Changing

I might be happy with my life, but I always want to know how to make it better. Take me up to 11, article!

So, I read articles and books about life-changing habits. As ever, I enter with excitement, hope, and a little skepticism to find the article is about bullet journaling, exercising, drinking water, sleeping the appropriate amount of time, and meditating…all things I already do.

Again, I feel like my life is great, but I feel like I’m doing the minimum to keep myself sane. I read every Life-Changing article hoping to find something I missed that has nothing to do with crystals, oils, or colon cleansing.

(For the record — I like crystals, because they are pretty. I like oils, because they smell good. I have never had a colon cleanse. End of statement.)

6-Figures

Articles about how Joey Baby made his first six-figures in only two months selling one product are guaranteed to have me as a reader.

I’m a smart woman, but I hope against hope that I am going to stumble upon the one article that outlines in plain English and the proper amount of detail how to actually make six-figures quickly.

My pursuit of this does not keep me from working a day job, part-time job, and writing books, but I am always hopeful that I will find something in these articles to boost my business or create a new stream of income that will bring in enough money to allow someone in the house to quit one of their jobs.

When I find that article, by the way, you better believe it will be the only thing I write about for at least a year!

What Was The Point Of This Post

To show you that copywriters aren’t wrong. The cheesy headline and half-full promises work.

Also, you can be a logical and pragmatic person, and still be lured in by these headlines. It just proves that you’re a person interested in bettering yourself efficiently, and there is nothing wrong with that.

Where the Crawdads Sing

This year, I find myself in a book club. Our first book club read:

In-My-Own-Words Summary

Girl with troglodytes for family finds herself living in the marsh alone at a young age. Things are pretty well crap. But, it’s cool. Things are don’t end as poorly as they could have.

Also – murder mystery.

Also – nature book.

What I Liked

The descriptions of nature were absolutely lovely. Delia Owens could have written her entire book about the sites, smells, and sounds of the marsh, and I would have torn through it with enthusiasm and vigor!

I am a bit of a birder, so I loved the descriptions of the waterfowl and their feathers.

What I Didn’t Like

Reading about racism is hard for a southerner. I should say it is hard for this southerner.

Given the times we live in, it is especially hard to read about southern racism, because I was a fool and thought it didn’t exist anymore. It touches a nerve.

Being southern means we have good food, good music, and generally warm and welcoming demeanors. Unfortunately, it also means we (not me, but we southerners who were here before me) were on the wrong side of the war.

Also, reading about abuse and assault is never fun nor is it necessary. While the book did not recount the abuse and assault in incredible detail, I found myself shaking my head and putting the book down every now and then.

Final Thoughts

The writer is skilled. I look forward to reading her other non-fiction works for sure!

That being said, this is not a book I would have chosen for myself. Reading about abuse, assault, and racism has never been comfortable for me. That discomfort has only increased as I have gotten older.

I am glad that I read the book. It was incredibly different from anything I’ve read in the last few years and was emotionally evocative which is how we know the writer did a good job.

Rating

If you look at my GoodReads account, you’ll notice that I very rarely give less than a three-star rating. This is because I know what it takes to write a book. Every author deserves at least three stars for finishing the thing!

My scale goes like this:

3 stars for appreciation of completion of work, but not a book for me.

4 stars for appreciation, and I liked it.

5 stars for appreciation, I liked it, I will read it again, and I’ve already purchased it as a gift for someone else!

I gave this book 3 stars as it simply did not suit my reading taste, but the author did a wonderful job.

It’s Mega List Time

For those of you new to the show, a Mega List is a list of my own making. It started sometime in my 20s, but essentially, it is an on-going list of goals and desires.

But, this is no ordinary list of tasks, goals, dreams. No, no. This list is revisited almost daily. I make smaller lists based on this big list, so that I can actually achieve some of the items. Once a goal is met–Joy, of joys–I get to mark that goal off my list, and celebrate by adding more freaking goals to the list! It never ever ends.

This year, I am so proud to share that I got to mark one of the big ones off my list. In 2019, I wrote and published a (not children’s) book!

This year, I plan to mark another big item off my Mega List: Scuba Diving.

Here’s the deal, I can swim enough to save my life, but that’s it. In order for me to mark scuba diving off my list, I need to do the following things:

  • Take swimming lessons
  • Get certified as a lifeguard
  • Take a beginners scuba course
  • Become certified as a scuba instructor

Now, this might look excessive. Yes, I could just get certified to scuba, but what’s the fun in that!

By taking swim lessons, I will become more skilled and confident in the water. Getting certified as a lifeguard means I am not dead weight to any scuba party I may with traveling and swimming with. I become an asset instead of simply a participant.

Obviously, I have to get a scuba diving certification, because that’s how one learns. Becoming a certified scuba instructor does a couple of things for me:

  • It gives me a way to pay myself back for the swim lessons, lifeguard certification, and scuba instruction.
  • It also gives me a way to travel for scuba without going broke.

So, this is my biggest task to tackle this year: Scuba diving. Let’s see what happens!

A Study in Scarlet Women

I thought I’d hate this book, but I absolutely loved it! I am already onto the next in the series!

Firstly, this is my first completed read of 2020! Woo hoo!

Secondly, I love Sherlock Holmes, but I am snobby about portrayals of the character and the original tales. Immediately, when I was told about a Sherlock Holmes tell wherein the main character (Sherlock) is a woman, I said, “No, thank you.”

Geez, Barbara! Why so sexist?

Not sexist. Just a kind of purist about certain Sherlockian things, but no more! I’m a believer in Charlotte Holmes.

Read this book. Do it. Do it now.

My First Actions of 2020

  • Woke at 6:30a
  • Put River out to enjoy the 30-degree morning
  • Made coffee
  • Cleaned the bathroom
  • Made River’s breakfast
  • Ran around the yard chasing River whilst wearing thin, yoga leggings and a protest sweatshirt shouting, “Come here! I just want to feed you!”
  • Took first Daily Mug photo of 2020

The first day of the year is off to a roaring start.

2020 – Welcome

white and brown abstract painting
Photo by Evie Shaffer on Pexels.com

Hello, Friends. It is a new year and time for a new featured post to welcome in all the new readers, writers, and strangers who’ve wandered in off the street.

So, welcome to HELLOTHISISBARBARA.com, the personal blog of me, Barbara. I’m Barbara. I’m a writer, entrepreneur, (No, really. I have a couple of businesses. Small, but businesses nonetheless.), and perpetual doer of projects.

You can see a list of those projects on the About page which I will link here: https://www.hellothisisbarbara.com/about

On this blog, you will find an assortment of posts. They may be photos, announcements, reviews, observation, or even recipes! Who knows!

I do what I want, because this is a personal blog.

I hope you enjoy your time here, and I highly recommend you start a blog that has little or nothing to do with your business(es) or one specific hobby, because it’s awesome.

Quick Links

Read The About Page, Because It Helps.

Instagram is the only social platform I spend anytime on.

PSA – WRITER. NOT EDITOR. I DO NOT GET PICKY ABOUT MY GRAMMAR, EDITING OR SPELLING HERE. You have been warned.

3 Pieces of Writing Advice

I like to finish projects. In order to get the rush of finishing something, everything I do needs to be efficient. It also means that I need to be okay with minimum viable products (MVP) while I am finding a system or process to do the thing I am setting out to do.

I am, among other things, a children’s book author. Children’s books are roughly 32 pages long and can have any number of words. Typically, they are mostly images, right? So, why, dear friends, did it take me nine months to write my first one?

I’ll tell you — overthinking.

I poured over my favorite children’s books from my childhood. I read new children’s books that were nothing like the books from my childhood. I asked everyone there opinion on using what I call “Scrabble words” in books for younger audiences. I asked people’s opinion on my book before I had even written it!

Do you see what I am getting at?

Here’s from friendly, generally writing advice:

1) No one in your inner circle is going to be your number one fan for your writing. Let them buy your book to support you, but don’t ask them to elaborate on their love of your work. Just say thank you, because they most likely didn’t read it. They are proud of you though, so let them be proud. Again — Just say thank you.

2) Since you aren’t worried about your friends and family reading what you’re writing, don’t worry about the language or ideas contained within your work. Use the language that is right for the piece, not the people. Your story will find its audience when it is finished, and you can help to shape that audience by adding language warnings, selecting demographics to advertise to, or publishing in specific categories.

3) Reading is a great idea, but I personally cannot read anything while I’m writing. It slows me down. So, yes, of course, read much as you like, but just read. Don’t compare yourself.

Read as a reader. Write as a writer.

My First $100 for My Small Press

Diaries of a Small Press, Part One

On November 3, 2019, I started a small business. To be very specific, I started a small, entertainment business selling evergreen digital products.

Plainly stated: Books. I launched a small press to publish and sell books.

Currently, my small press, Pilgrim Fowl Press, has one product: A Christmas Rideshare by Lily Dae.

Since releasing this book in November, it has earned $99.38. Mere inches from its first $100!

What Does This Mean For Me?

This first nearly $100 is proof of concept for me. I’ve been studying publishing and watching it change for the last ten years. I’ve been in publishing as an author and publisher before (independent), so the hours I put in have not been wasted.

Most importantly, it means the book I produced found its audience and made people happy! Not everyone who read it loved it I’m sure, but those who have loved it have reached out. That’s much more than I ever expected!

Businesswise — money is the motivation to publish more and often as the business appears to be viable.

Personally — knowing people were entertained and were joyful while reading a book that I put out in the world is the motivation to publish more and often.

What Does This Mean For You?

It means you can start a business with only one product or service to provide.

It means whatever you’ve been spending your time learning over the years may be something you should share with the world.

Will it make you millions? Not at first, but you don’t need to make millions out of the gate.

If my book earned nothing, I would still write, I would still publish, and I would still pursue publishing. I love it. Why would stop?

Knowing other people like and love what I am doing just fuels the fire.

So, what is your writing? What is your publishing?

Try putting something out there. Who knows; I might be reading your blog post about how you started your small business and made $100 in your first month or two soon!