Re-branding

Hey everyone! Now that the IndieGo Interviews have come to an end, I am posting this to let you all know what’s in store next! You may be wondering why this is titled as such so here I am to explain. I originally wanted to make this into a video but I ramble far too much and this is easier to keep my thoughts organized.

Most of you probably know me from my books, writing communities or something related to that. I am currently in the process of finishing my third book and will be publishing it sometime this year. It’s in this time (and even more now that it’s in the hands of betas and I’ve not written anything in weeks) that I have reflected on my journey so far. And also, where I am going after this book is done.

As much as I love to write, I’ve never looked it as a career. To me, once it gets to that point, I feel I won’t enjoy it as much. I write because I love to do it. I never planned on even publishing the books I have until less than a year before the first one. While I am extremely grateful for all of the experiences, people and opportunities to further my path as a writer, I am sadden to say that I won’t be continuing to publish books. I have thought about contributing to anthologies or something like that, but that will be the extent.

I have changed my social media counts a bit to match this “re-branding” and my name no longer has author in it. I am not saying I am no longer an author, but I want it to be a little less specific and more reflecting just myself. When I took a hiatus for a while, it was because I struggled with the simplest things and constantly wondered what made “successful” tweets and what didn’t. It’s embarrassing, but it caused me a lot of anxiety. My books aren’t selling at all (or like, 1 every few months) and it seems no matter how many followers I had, it didn’t help at all with sales. So now I am not focusing on writing or books, but more of just what I want to post.

In case you’re wondering, my main career goal is to be in marketing or advertising. (ironic, right?) Hey, maybe it will help with selling my books. Haha! I am wanting to go back to school to get my B.A. in graphic design or something related to help me with this goal. And my dream job is to someday work at a video game company. I’ve always been a huge gamer and I honestly miss playing as much as I used to. (I used to work at Gamestop for 8 years, and it was pretty much my entire life.) While the company sucked to work for, being able to talk video games all day was seriously awesome. I do miss that part. …there I go with the rambling. With that being said, I do have a new Twitch Channel! Check me out! I will be playing the Last of Us Part 2, starting TODAY!

Anyways, I wanted to make this post to let you all know what’s going on with me. If you unsubscribe, or unfollow, that’s fine with me, but I hope you don’t. I’m just trying my best to be myself and do what makes me happy. Publishing a story that I had a dream about was something I wanted to do, and I did it, and now it’s time to move on. I really hope you are all doing well and that you too, are doing what makes you happy.

Laura Mae

Daily Goals

Lately I have been trying to make my life feel more fulfilled. I was stuck in this phase of where I didn’t want to do anything (especially on days off work) and got nothing done. Ever. I was being a lazy piece of s***, to be brief. I started re-evaluating everything and wanting to better my life and feel the sense of accomplishment, even if it was the tiniest of things. I’ve always had self-confident issues pertaining to my skin and acne. So I made a conscience effort to wash my face every single day, at least once. This was about 3 weeks ago and I have not missed a single day yet, and I really think it’s making a difference in my skin. This has brought my confidence up, so I thought I would take on another small task, which is writing. And I mean on my MS. I write emails and go on social media all the time, but I DO NOT count that. (And if you’re a writer, I really don’t think you should count it, either.)

So far it’s been going pretty well! I’m also trying to read a little bit everyday as well. I told you, I was the laziest potato ever, but I’m up to three daily goals now. I used to hear people talk about having daily goals all the time and honestly, I used to roll my eyes at it. I’d  say “I’m not that ambitious” or “that seems like way too much work…” But I have to say, now that I’m doing it, I can see why people do it.

The key is starting very small. This is something I think I overlooked and thought that it needed to be something pretty significant. Daily goals can also help with diets and other things. I think of it like a snowball; they can be used to build up to much bigger goals. Change can be hard for a lot of people, but if you begin with one little thing that you want to improve on, it gets easier the more you do it, and it helps you to want to do it everyday. 

I also think it can help those who suffer from depression. It gives you a sense of purpose and again, fulfillment. I was at a low point in my life about a month ago, not really seeing a reason to get out of bed. And if this is you right now, literally pick anything that you want to improve. Something you can control easily. I would love to put to stop biting my nails, but…

“…it’s hard to stop a habit. It’s way easier to start a new habit; but a good one.”

Here are some you can think about starting:

  • Drinking a glass of water everyday; or a specific amount (like 16oz)
  • Flossing right after brushing your teeth
  • Reading/Writing for an hour a day
  • Walk a certain number a steps per day.
  • Play a game that challenges your mind once a day (if you have a smart phone)
  • And a million other things

Since starting this, I don’t sit around playing video games, or watching TV or playing on my phone as much. I have only a handful of daily goals I’m doing right now, and frankly, if that’s all you do, there is no shame. It’s not a competition, you’re doing all of this for yourself. Six months from now, you may only be taking on 2 daily goals, but at least you are still doing it. And that’s all that matters.

If you get overwhelmed or keep skipping tasks daily, cut back one or two things and just focus on those. Once you get back into the habit again, just add one more. Do this for a few months, then add another if you can. It’s all about self-improvement and making your life wonderful.

If you have any daily goals or advice you would like to share, I highly encourage it! Please comment below!

Happy Trails,

Laura Mae ❤

Social Anxiety

I want to talk about something that is more bloggy and not really writing related. However, I feel like a lot of writers could sympathize with this trait, which of course is social anxiety. I was talking with a friend of mine recently and she told me she had really bad social anxiety and if you knew her, you wouldn’t think so. To me she seems very confident and charismatic, but I guess it’s because I knew her well enough for her to be comfortable around me. And then the very next day, my best friend invites me to a girls night out . While we’re on our way there, we start talking about… you guessed it; social anxiety. I thought this was too strange to not talk about.

In case you aren’t aware, social anxiety is a feeling a person gets when they are surrounded by a lot of other people they don’t know. It’s a feeling that shuts most of us down and we climb back into the comfort of our shells. For me, it’s gotten so bad to the point I left the get together my ex boyfriend put together and I sat in the car the rest of the time. This is not a fun time. It’s not only the fact that you feel the pressure to be outgoing to strangers you don’t know, even though you are not an outgoing person, but you also feel the pressure of the host (or boyfriend) getting upset with you because you disappeared. When he finally found me, it was not a fun conversation. He didn’t understand and it made me cry; and he hated when I cried. So, ya know, MORE pressure.

There was another time I was out with my sister and she invited me to a place filled with her co-workers from work. And when I say filled, there were at least 20 people there that all knew each other and I sat in the corner like an awkward turtle. I tried to make small talk, but it usually only lasted a minute and then they would get bored. I’m not one to initiate conversations to strangers. But I am totally different if people ask me questions, because I am a friendly person and I want to talk and get to know people, it’s just hard sometimes. I ended up leaving that party to and hiding in the car. Luckily my sister understood and helped me a little out of my shell.

I guess the point of this blog is to be aware of what social anxiety is and that it is a real thing and to understand it. We’re not trying to be rude to your friends or create drama by leaving an uncomfortable situation. (trust me, drama is the LAST thing we want) I feel like my sister did the right thing by asking me what was wrong and trying to help, rather than getting upset that I just left and tried to ruin her night.

Having friends in your life who know you have this, can help so much and actually helps to build better friendships.

Oh, the girls night out wasn’t bad. I debated texting my friend from the bathroom to tell her I was ready to leave, but I also didn’t want to be that person to make her leave if she was having a good time. I knew she had the same issue I had, but she knew more of them than I did and she opened up more. I ended up not telling her over text and tried to be more social. It was awkward for sure, but certain things they talked about I was able to contribute too, and that helped a lot.

You may not experience this yourself, but may have friends who do. It’s all about how you react. Try to understand why they might be quieter than usual, or leave frequently. don’t get upset or call them out in front of others. You’ll only push them further away.

 

Podcast

Omg, I just realized I never told you guys that I did a podcast a couple weeks ago! I’m so sorry. It’s been a little crazy. Here is that podcast if you’re interested: Podcast.

The ladies who interviewed me were super nice. If you happen to look at any of the other podcast interviews, I really enjoyed most of them and they cover every aspect of the writing world. Especially when it comes to independent authors. The topic I chose was all about social media and the importance of it. If it’s not your thing, I would suggest taking a listen to understand why we need it when it comes to marketing ourselves.

So in case you haven’t been keeping up, my second book is out in less than 2 weeks! 8 days to be exact. I CAN’T BELIEVE HOW CLOSE IT’S GETTING! I’ve been trying to get things ready with it and perfecting it before it goes public. But let me just say how incredibly grateful I am to my ARC readers! Of course I didn’t have a perfect, error-free manuscript and they told me! Just little things here and there, but sometimes it can really take the reader out of the story. One thing that was found was really helpful as it was an inconsistency as far as age went. So, I was super happy that was noticed. And I’m also very happy that some of them submitted reviews already, letting everyone know what they are getting before they get it. It’s so awesome. Thank you guys!

Besides book things, I was recently promoted at my day job and that has me much busier than before. I’m actually really happy where I am too because I have more responsibilities and get to actually talk to people on the phone and build relationships. It’s much better than directing calls and dispatching (it can get old, fast). But now that my boss just left and we have no one to replace him yet, it’s gonna probably get even busier.

Anyways, thought I’d give you all an update about what’s going on with me. I have also slowed down on the Indie-Go Interviews. I may start doing it again, but we’ll see. I hope you all have been doing well and that the summer heat isn’t dragging you down too much!

Happy Trails,

Laura Mae