I am a workaholic...
When I sit down at my computer, you can plan on me being there for quite some time. Not on purpose, either I'm really "into" what I'm doing- hyper focused, or I get lost in a series of rabbit holes so I end up working on several things in bursts of attention.
I ALWAYS have so much to do! Every time I try to "streamline" and "systemize" the learning curve is so intense or there is SO much PRE-work that needs to be done before you days are care-free and running on auto-pilot. I'm still not convinced there IS such a thing. But that's a topic for another blog post. (which, I don't care what anyone says, cannot be automated.)
Anyway- see, what I mean? SQUIRREL!
The "plan" for this Oregon Trail adventure had so many side things that I wanted to happen as well.
What IS happening:
-I'm seeing some BEAUTIFUL landscapes! Some country I've never seen before! And since my imagination is super sensitive, I can immediately "go back in time" and see things the way they would have seen them, and story get wrapped around that... so yay for that.
-Along with these landscapes, I'm seeing landmarks that were pivotal to the pioneers- and those just feed the fire. It's like finding a piece to a continual scavenger hunt. I wonder if other people even notice these landmarks, or are moved in the slightest the significance they had on the travelers.
-I am getting to most of the museums and touristy traps that make me so happy. Budget is the only thing that gets in the way there. Budget is crazy tight.
-I'm keeping the PostCard Club on track. (I always lose money on this because I just want to get them just one more thing... ). But- they are on track and I'm pleased with all the goodies that I find along the way. I love postcards.
-I am staying pretty consistent in the History Revisited group. What a great group of people! I am so happy that everyone seems to be having a good time. They are not shy, and engagement is good, which of course builds my confidence- knowing that I'm on the right track and giving them stuff they like. That makes me happy.
What is NOT happening:
-As I've already confessed, I bailed on the podcast. And sure enough, the moment I said it outloud, my brain is writing episodes and trying to convince me that I made a terrible decision.
-I'm supposed to be doing videos. I don't know why I agreed to that. I don't know what I was thinking. I hate video. Always have. I love teaching, and experimenting and I KNOW the best way to share that with everyone is through video. But there is so much I have to learn before I can do it... so much prep time... editing... and then where to I store it or share it... so much. Which brings me to the whole purpose of this entry...
-One of the things I was going to video (or at least share) was recipes from the pioneer days. I'm so excited to try them! I bought a million pounds of flour for goodness sake!! The problem comes when I get lost in the computer and by the time a look up- I'm starving and don't want to take the time to build a fire and gather ingredients and figure out what I'm doing. So I end up drinking a protein shake or a snack... (which are running out and I'm not "allowed" to restock!). Maybe that will push me to do the cool stuff.
Do I need to make a schedule? Maybe I need to plan stuff as soon as I get up? Do I need to set up a time limit for the computer? Lol! Lol! I crack myself up.
Point is ... I need to start doing the stuff I said I was going to, otherwise I will severely regret it when I reach the end.
I would like to point out, that even though I am in front of my computer or phone screen for hours upon hours every day, I'm still enjoying my surroundings. I am looking at a beautiful view of the North Platte River surrounded by tall amber waves of grain.
The benefits of working from home. I don't take that lightly. Apparently I'm back to trying to figure out how to add MORE stuff to my day??
Which means by me giving up the second podcast, made zero difference.
...sigh. Welcome to my brain.
Man, I'm hungry.
Writers on Writing
My latest manuscript, A Detour Home, has been sent away to my team of editors and I am supposed to wait patiently until they arrive back to me covered in red ink.
It is a most anxious time for me and I have to remind myself not to text them with silly, insecure questions like: Are you reading it? Do you like it? What part are you on?
I just need to trust them and give them their space and hope it comes back marginally inked to death. (With every book, I try even harder to watch my grammar and punctuation as a competition with myself to see if I can improve with every venture.)
I do have lots of work to do in between the time that the editors are reading and when I get it back to do the correcting and formatting, like marketing plans, new projects and more, but this time, I thought I would try something new.
Once people find out that I am a full time author, they first off, wonder why I’m not rich and then they have a multitude of questions for me. I am all to happy to answer, and am flattered that people would be interested in my passion for writing and creating.
I recently put out a few memes that give snippets of some of the behind the scenes of being an author and they were well received prompting more questions.
So I thought, just in case you never get a chance to meet an author in person and ask questions, I would share the questions and the answers asked of me, here with you. I have about a dozen questions lined up from those who have previously written to me or have met me out and about, but if you’d like to add one I’d be most honored.
You can ask it in the comments below, or shoot me a message via the contact page or through my Facebook page.
Hopefully it will keep you entertained (or perhaps if there are budding authors out there, it may inspire) and it will keep me from pestering my editors and slowing down their progress. Fun experiment, wouldn’t you say?
Here’s a few inquires that I have gotten:
Please feel free to add to the list!
The answers can only apply to my writing quirks and you would probably get a different answer from every other author you meet, (or follow). But this is me and for what it’s worth, these are my quirks.
Thank you for being on this journey with me. I love writing and teaching and hope that my offerings touch your heart in the best of ways, even if sometimes it has to sting at first. I write from a place of love and hope that it brings you happiness!
Stay tuned for Operation Keep Elizabeth Distracted…
How Can You Help?
With the overwhelming series of unfortunate events surrounding my Leading With Love tour, I must say that your outpouring of love and concern have been so heart-warming.
So often when authors undertake something of this magnitude, we feel like we are "in it" alone. It makes sense; we do spend a lot of time alone. I write best when I'm alone... I research alone... I daydream alone... I create alone... And while all of my creations are meant to enrich the lives of others, they must have time to steep in quite and solitude.
My book signings and workshops are my main opportunities to really get to be with people and interact with them.
All that to say, I always just assume that I have to find solutions to my problems... alone.
So for the first few dozen folks or so, when they ask me "What can I do to help?" I've said, "Nothing, I just have to figure things out."
For person number thirteen, that was an unacceptable answer. I got the "No man is an island" speech.
So... (short of sending me food and gas money) I have come up with a list of ways you could help me keep my head above water with little to no cost to you.
This list will actually help any author on your love list but allow me to thank you in advance by participating in any, or all of the following suggestions!
1. Have You Bought A Book? (or several?)
Contrary to popular belief, I do not make much money from the sale of my books. However, every time a book is purchased through Amazon, it raises my status and ranking. I make more of an income when I sell my books at fairs, books signings or out of my trunk (lol). But the actual "public" sale of my books help me more in the long run. So if you haven't done so, go to amazon.com and search my name and purchase a book!
2. Leave a Review (5 stars?)
Once you read the book and realize how wonderful it was, while the moment is still warming your heart, head back to Amazon and leave a really great review. This too, raises my ranking (even more than the purchase. So if you have already purchased one of my books elsewhere, PLEASE, please, please go leave a review!) The higher ranking, the more Amazon will promote my books and get them in front of new readers. (A lot of new authors are purchased thanks to the "if you liked this book, you might like this.... method!)
Goodreads.com is also a really great place to leave a review!
Also- if you loan your book out to anyone else to read, please encourage them to leave a review as well!!
3. Amazon Searches
Every time you go on Amazon for anything, search my name. Type Elizabeth Bourgeret into the search bar, whether you need a new book or not. (Even if you are shopping for vitamins, fishing lures or cookware or... whatever) Again, it helps to trigger Amazon that maybe they might need to make my work a bit more accessible. If you are like me, I shop for everything on amazon! I also let Amazon know who I am similar to. For example, I'll do a search for Joel Osteen, Karen Kingsbury, Tony Robbins or Francine Rivers and THEN I'll do a search for my name. It starts to link the names together.
4. Social Media
Love it or hate it, I have to be a part of it. I do love it for the great way it allows me to connect with readers and give those who are interested quick updates of the highs and lows into the life of Elizabeth Bourgeret and her Great Dane, Meera.
You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+.
Whether you are on there sixty times a day or once a month, please like and follow my page.
I try very hard not to post too often and I am always considerate of inflammatory content. But my pages are a great way, like I said, to get quick updates, share stories and thoughts and be privy to new blog posts or books.
5. Share Posts
Yes, not only do I ask that you like my Author page, I do ask that you share posts or comment on them. (The demands are getting greater!! Sorry you asked yet? Lol) If you have found a reason to like me, there's a chance that someone connected with you just might like me too. Please encourage others to like my posts and hopefully, my page.
There are a lot of Elizabeth Bourgeret memes floating around with my quotes either made from my camp or elsewhere, but if you see one, PLEASE like it and share it!! It helps to build name recognition!
6. Local Bookstores
While you are out and about, stop in at your local bookstore (big or small) and request that they carry my books. (This can also link back to #1. If you want to help support your local bookstore AND me, this is a great way to do it! I love to promote and support the smaller bookstores! Just request that they order my book for you to purchase and maybe they'll get an extra to carry in their store. OR when I get around that city they may be more likely to allow me to come in for a book signing!!)
7. Invite me to your Book Club!
Book Clubs are SO fun! I'd love to support your book club! I am happy to help with book discounts for bulk purchases, I'm happy to Skype with your group and answer questions or if you are within a 60 mile radius of where I am located, I'd be most honored to make a live appearance, sign books and chat about whichever book you guys are reading!!
So, there you go. There are seven suggestions that you can help me get past this dreadful "hump" that I'm having trouble getting past. These are little to no cost, but just take up a bit of time. (Add a post-it note close to your computer to help remind you of your favorites so they can be done multiple times...!)
I can't say enough how much I appreciate your thoughts, prayers, words of encouragement and now actions. I am thrilled that you have chosen me to invest a piece of your heart in. It reminds me that I am doing good things and am where I am supposed to be.
Thank you, and thank you again.
Announcing Waiting for the Sun Release
Finally! My second work of fiction, Waiting for the Sun, hits the book stores today!
I was more than a little worried about this novel because it was SO completely different from my last book, Captive Heart. It's still in the same category or Christian- fiction, but while one is historical fiction, this new one is set in a contemporary setting. I am hoping that my readers will give this new work a chance.
But just in case they didn't, I decided to get some pre-reviews to hopefully open up to a wider audience. Here's a glimpse of the notes I have gotten back:
"I just realized that I am too soon to post my review! I did enjoy your book. I loved the fostering of the children on the huge ranch. Good job!" - Cindi Klemm
"I have to tell you that I love, love, love your book... I couldn't put it down! I can really see and feel the characters and setting. I am excited to be reading your book in a way I don't often get. I hope you have other books so I can read more!" - Julia Wilson
"Elizabeth Bourgeret! You have done it again! I am SO proud of you! I don't know what you were worried about!"
Needless to say, I'm feeling a little better about Waiting for the Sun being added to my published library! Being a writer has to be one of the neatest things in the whole world!! It thrills me to no end, and yes, I giggle every time, to see one of my books pop up on the internet or see my name in printed form. It's like... I am somebody now. Like, my work will be around long after I'm gone and my children's children's children can say, 'yep, that was my great- grammy!" It feels good.
Like anything made in a creative way, it's always scary to put it out there for the rest of the world to critique. And while I smile for days for every 5 star review I get, I ponder and question and doubt and dwell on every low star. (who rarely put a review with it so I am tormented as to WHY!!) But, so it goes. I am happy to say that the 5 stars FAR outweigh the low stars, and so I am encouraged to keep writing. Which I am thankful for because it gives me great satisfaction. I thought I was content just writing for myself and my family, but the joy I receive by being welcomed in the hearts of people I haven't even met yet, is too much for words. I am so very grateful.
So for those who might be interested, here is the little blurb from the back of the book to hopefully pique your interest:
Waiting for the Sun is the story of Gillian Sanders who's husband left her after many years of marriage. She took what might have been her darkest hour and turned it around by moving to a new state, opening her home to foster children, running a cattle ranch and teaching at the local theatre.
Making sure she is too busy for romance, she focuses on her "kids" until a man she never expects fits right into her life... or does he?
Sometimes hiding from love is the best way to find it.
Waiting for the Sun is available on Amazon.com, at your local book stores (don't see it? Ask them to order it for you!) or right here on this website!
BONUS: If you order from here, and purchase $25 or more (on any books) you will receive a free canvas book bag! Good while supplies last!
Order your copy of WAITNG FOR THE SUN today! Right now!!
I don't know what I'm afraid of. I've been here before... at the crossroads. But every time I make my way to this point, I am stricken with fear. Choices. Go right? Go left? Go straight? ... go back? What if it's the wrong choice?
I am standing at the crossroads. I can see the choices before me... and that familiar fear creeps up my throat and makes it hard to breathe. I am deathly afraid of failure.
Its actually a ridiculous circle of events, I work and work and work so hard just to get me to this point and then I am freaked out when I get here. And one of two things is going to happen... Either, I will push ahead and give it my all and will face whatever outcome results from it, or subconsciously sabotage the project so that when I fail I have something to blame it on. Is it sad that I can literally SEE my two choices before me?
This is a big one. It's not like changing the color of my livingroom walls or even buying a new car. My choices in front of me are life changing. If I fail at this, it will knock me back quite a few notches. Sure, I've been there before, at the bottom of the failure pile ... but I don't like it. I realize that sometimes you have to fail before you can succeed, and I could really use a success.
If you've been following my blogs, you have seen how I am shifting slightly in my niche. I am turning my focus to teens and family coaching and diving in head first into the workshops and seminars. I have peace about my decision right up until the time I have to take action on it. So I've done all the small things, the research, the writing, the connections, the announcements... but now, it's actually time to do it. It's time to offer my first workshop. It's time to suck it up and start making videos for on-line seminars and the blogs, etc. It's time to make the new website go live. It's time to put the wheels in motion.
Scary stuff... Scary, scary stuff...
So, this is me where I am at this juncture of my writing career. Thank you for letting me share my trials with you and thank you for your prayers and kind words. I know the direction I need to follow. I am standing in the crossroads, but I know the direction I need to take. It's just a matter of taking that first step.
Maybe tomorrow.... yes, definitely tomorrow.
I had something completely different planned for my blog today, all nice and neat and written out, but I was side-tracked. So please bare with me. I just have to get this out there...
I am participating in a marketing program that is taking my web-site, my blogs, my writings and the things that I offer and scrutinizing them to find my strongest areas and creating the best ways monetize them. This is so very overwhelming. First of all, yes, I do want writing and training to be a career for me. So, I need to change my way of thinking that I can't just write whenever and whatever I want. It has to shift into more of a business mind-set. When they asked where my heart was; what my passions and personal goals were, I told them MY personal goal is to be able to offer fun and interactive workshops for teens. I want to be able to travel from city to city and give them this amazing opportunity to become the best part of themselves and face their future with confidence. I've called it the Total Truth Workshop. I am really proud of it but have not put it into action as yet. (I was waiting until this marketing team gives me feedback, I guess.)
I enjoy all the aspects of my writing "career", but they, the marketing team, have a point, and it is that I am spreading myself too thin. Try as I might, I cannot be all things to all people. I was told to choose. UGH! The agony!! I want to help EVERYONE!!! Why can't I help everyone??
With my history and my happiness, I return, always, to teens. My work in coaching leads me in that direction as well. I enjoy working with families and I do well with relational coaching and seminars. I have been working with kids for over twenty-five years! Whoa! That's saying something!
That time in their life is such a struggle and it seems like we are in a weird "pretending it's not happening" to "micro-managing" to "it's someone else's fault" way of dealing with things. These kids on the verge of adulthood are amazing but no one gives them the credit or the directions they need to make that transition!! I want to help them get everything they want out of life. I want their teenage years to be happy memories. I want them to have the confidence to go after whatever their heart desires regardless of where they came from. There is no other program out there that is offering what I do. It's fun, it's interactive and it's a life-time of support and new friendships. I am excited to get it out there.
Back to the marketing people...
Teens don't pay for my kind of programs. That's where the parents come in. So they suggest that I work on things for parents and then lead the parents into the Total Truth Workshop.
I can do that. I would enjoy doing that... but...
At the moment, I am feeling so overwhelmed and pulled in several directions. I have my fiction followers, my motivational followers, my relationship followers, my Christian followers, my fitness followers and (deep breath).... I don't want to disappoint a single one of them. I do however need to eat. So I am trying to "chunk down my niche." Not sure how I'm going to do this and for just a moment, I wasn't going to do it at all. I was just going to keep on doing what I've always been doing for as long as I could do it... but then...
I went to a couple of the teen support group pages I regularly comment on, and was so overwhelmed by the sadness that was coming from the posts. So much sadness and confusion. They have no foundation within themselves to turn to for strength when times get hard. I help provide that. I can help them. My workshops for teens are created for them. My seminars for families can help heal them. This is where I need to be.
So, it is decided. I will start shifting things in that direction. Teens and family will become my main focus. I do have some projects that are currently in the works that I will complete but I need to narrow my focus to where my heart is needed most and I feel that I am called. So hang with me as this slow shift happens. The exciting thing is that I still get to do all the things that make me happy, write, travel, speak, create, motivate, help others, I'm just narrowing down my target audience even more than before.
So- if you are part of a family (and there's a good chance that you are) and you need to communicate with others, (my area of expertise) then chances are you still might be able to find some value here on my site.
No! No! No! You've got to stop me!! Don't let me try to go back to writing for everyone!! Lol!! I need you to help keep me focused!! I'm so weak!!
Thank you for letting me go off track and vent just a little... I will get things back on track soon! Please, feel free to leave your comments below. I love to hear from you!
I've always known I was meant to be in an instructional role of some sort. I have always been the one people come to with their problems. My glass is always half full when I look into someone else's future. I even had a tutoring "school" on the front porch of my house when I was a kid to help out the other kids on the block with their school work. But I didn't know at what capacity I was meant to be an educator and to whom. And writing? I've been writing stories forever! But I didn't want to go to college to BE a journalist. I didn't want to go to college to BE a teacher. I didn't want to go to college to BE a psychologist. I didn't want to go to college to BE an anything! "It takes too long!" is the mantra I belonged to. I wanted life to begin right here and now.
I have eventually reached the teaching capacity I was meant to achieve and I am happier now than I have ever been. And I am a published author! Something I never took the time to do before and my self-confidence lead me to believe that it could never happen. And looking back, I was bucking my destination the entire time. The beauty of it is, God works all things out for the good. So all of my side roads, all of my smaller chunks of education, all of my experiences, built up and have led me right back to where He wanted me to be in the first place. My calling. My calling is to educate and coach, to help others see their potential, to lead by love and... to write. Which, I had apparently been doing all along, I just didn't know what to call it and I SURE didn't get paid for it!
I don't regret my decisions (well, most of them) because they have made me who I am today and I am grateful for that. Sometimes I think I would have gotten into less trouble if I went the 4-8 year college route, but then I think- it would have just been different trouble.
And here I am, almost...uh, well, older, doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing, but taking the longest route ever to get here!! Granted, it makes me unique in the experiences I have to share, but if I'd have known how satisfying my life could have been twenty-something years ago, maybe, just maybe, I could have started it sooner.
My point in all of this, is that it's never too late to do what you want to be doing. I had to figure out what I wanted to be doing, and that was part of my problem but so often I hear, "I can't go back to school!" "I can't find a new career!" "I can't buy a house."
You're busy with life. I get it. But you only get one. Shouldn't it be the best it can be? And I'm not saying to turn your world upside down to get to the life you want, but at least take a step. ONE step. And then maybe you'll be ready for another one.
And don't let money get in your way! There are many things you could be doing BEFORE it gets to the money part, even if one of those things means tucking away a dollar here and a dollar there so when the money part DOES come up, you'll be ready.
You're not going to be a doctor over night. You're not going to be an all-star pitcher over night. You're not going to be the number one real estate agent over night. You're not suddenly going to be able to buy that new Hog over night. All of those things happen because of one step. That pitcher, probably threw that ball thousands of times before someone caught a glimpse of that talent. That doctor has probably been reading and talking with people in the field long before she signed up for school. But suddenly, you look back and one step after another, you've climbed a mountain. You got that degree. You saved up for that vacation.
And when you look back on your life you'll be able to say "I did," instead of, "I wish I had."
Take the one step. You never know where that new path will lead you. Sometimes even to places you would have never suspected.
There's a lot of changes going on at the Elizabeth Bourgeret camp and when you visit the website, it's like going to a playground and not being able to play on anything! I know there are a lot of new tabs to click on that are not giving you the information that you're looking for, but I promise you, we're working on it!
The teen photo shoot is scheduled for this Sunday, and that was part of the hold up because we need the images from the photo shoot. (If you haven't signed up for the shoot and still want to, click on the camera icon on the home page for all the details.) And, honestly, there is just SO much happening that I'm having trouble keeping up! All good things, I assure you.
As you might have seen, I'm opening up my Teen Life Coaching sessions on a broader (more public) scale and the brand new Total Truth Teen Workshop which will be launched in St. Louis in January 2014! (Then, look for it in your city after that!) I have switched my schedule around so I can kick my speaking engagement opportunities up a notch and yes, on top of that, I will still be writing my fiction novels and non-fiction books. The next fiction, Waiting for the Sun, should be released in Spring of 2014. And that's not all! There's more! But I'll tell you about those things another time! As you can see, things are pretty busy around here!
So, I just wanted to thank you for your patience and to ask you to please come back and visit when it all gets set up and running smoothly! I'll be sure to share in more detail with you all the new things that are going on. I just know you'll be excited right along with me! I anticipate that the site will be completed by October 14th. (Whoo! There's something about putting that date out there that motivates me to work twice as hard! Don't want to disappoint!)
I hope you will like the changes that are coming and it will benefit your lives in positive ways. I am already so blessed that I didn't think it could get any better, but I am happy to be wrong!
Congratulations to all twenty winners of the Goodreads Give-away Contest!!
And thank you to all 984 people who entered to win!! I am so inspired by the feedback I have gotten from this, my debut novel!
I am very grateful to have the opportunity to get this book into the hands of some avid readers and am anxious for their feed back!
For those of you who were not chosen as winners, may I offer that Amazon has Captive Heart on sale and is available for free shipping!
"This book is inspiring and is a great read for all of us who are or have at some point faced adversity that tested our faith in what we know and feel." - Jessie King
"This is one great novel. I average about 3-4 books each month and this one is in a class by itself. So realistic that it really grabs you by the throat (and heart)." - Terry Hutton
"I absolutely loved this book! I had trouble putting it down since there were so many exciting parts and I couldn't wait to see what happened next." -Megan Chadwick
"It was incredible! I laughed, I cried... Seriously, a good book! Thank you!" - Christy Lawson, Element Church, Wentzville, MO
Congratulations again to: D. Senn of Portland OR, D. Duncan of Dover OH, M. Geenen of Redmond OR, P. Bogue of Hopkinton RI, C. Chu of San Francisco CA, B. Wheeler of Spokane WA, H. Bridenstine of Crossville TN, G. Ocamplo of Chicago IL, J. Morris-Duffy of Portland OR, M. Melton of Lincoln NE, J. Kohman of Salina KS, M Dotson of Marshall TX, J. White of DuPont WA, S. Tromm of Tracys Landing MD, C. Diggs of Pensacola FL, H. Kinnon Tallahassee FL, L. Siebeneichen of Adamstown MD, L. Fennimore of Flagtown NJ, and T. Smith of Van Nuys CA!!
It is so exciting to see all the different cities that Captive Heart is heading out to! I hope you enjoy reading the book as much as I did writing it!