March was a happy and busy month characterized by so much writing success! I launched my new website, The Hardworking Creative; received my first ever royalty check for my book; had several great articles published, including a print article where I interviewed a world champion athlete; started writing a new novel; went to an amazing writer’s conference; got three big new long-term, steady writing jobs; and made lots of money. Wow!
That was the main focus of my month, but I also coached softball twice a week (LOVE), worked at my nonprofit 1-3 times a week (most interesting conversation: a fifth-grade Burmese refugee casually telling me about her arranged marriage), and my family began visiting a new church that we all really like.
My health was pretty bad this month, so don’t ask me how I managed to do all this fun stuff. But here it is: went to Hobby Lobby and lunch with Cari and Erin; went to lunch and boutiques with Andrea; Brooke N came over for lunch (lol my friends and I like food) after church; I made new friends and had the BEST day at the Atlanta Writer’s Workshop; we went to the farm with some old friends; Brooke N and I went out for lunch and Barnes & Noble; Mom and Joshua and I saw The Greatest Showman (third time) and got fro-yo; we went to a nursing home with our new church; Cari and I had dinner and went to PetSmart (always a good time); Dad and I saw Black Panther; we went to a party/Easter Egg hunt with our old church; and we went to a Stations of the Cross event at Adventures in Missions.
This month I’m…
Reading: Salt to the Sea, Ruta Sepetys (reread–the BEST). This Savage Song, V.E. Schwab. Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Kate Douglas Wiggin (reread). A Cactus in the Valley, Olivia J. Bennett. I’ll Scream Later, Marlee Matlin. A Time to Die, A Time to Speak, and A Time to Rise, Nadine Brandes (MY NEW FAVORITE BOOKS IN THE HISTORY OF EVER). Sisters First, Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush. Hello Universe, Erin Entrada Kelly. 10 total.
Watching: Building a Youpreneur Business Around a Personal Brand. Rise on NBC. The Greatest Showman (third time). Black Panther (loved it!). Bringing Up Bates. Lots of sign language vlogs as well as my old ASL curriculum DVDs (as research for my new novel).
Writing: Where do I start? Okay. I launched my new website/blog, The Hardworking Creative, on March 1st. I received a royalty check for Hope is the Thing with Feathers (so COOL) and sent my novel Angelica to be critiqued. I did lots of research for my new historical fiction novel World on a String and wrote 7k words of it. I wrote four short stories and submitted stories to 20 magazines; I also applied to 8 jobs and pitched article ideas to 5 publications. I got several fan emails from strangers, including a few people who literally begged me to be their freelance writing mentor. (?) I spent basically the whole month in phone meetings. I had a fantastic Skype mentoring session. I spent the BEST DAY OF MY LIFE at the Atlanta Writer’s Workshop. I began a new job writing for a running shoe website; a freelance job I started in Jan finally kicked in with some work; and I’m in the trial phase writing for two marketing companies. (Aka I have ZERO time to do any writing I want to do anymore–but, I’m making money.) Last but not least, here’s everything I had published: “Sports for Homeschoolers” (print–Practical Homeschooling magazine); “Next Generation Focus” (print–Up in Cumming magazine); “Freshman Year,” Sunlight Press; “The 5 Craziest Words in English and How to Use Them,” Craft Your Content; and “Declaring the Light,” The Life.
Loving: The Strength to be Still by Bethany. How to Study the Bible: The Verse Brainstorming Method by Grace. 5 Things You Should Be Doing EVERY DAY To Stay Creative + Focused! by Abbie. to my writer friends by Hanne. Chronic Pain and the Book of Philippians by Esther. Let’s Rethink Our Language of “Calling” by the IMB. YA Contemporaries NEED economic diversity! by Sherbet Lemon Reviews.
I blogged two times over here this month: Atlanta Writer’s Workshop: What I Learned and Get Your Hopes Up. I blogged four times over at THC, and you can check out those interviews and posts here. (I’ll be writing over there much more than over here now, so definitely go sub by email if you haven’t.)
Grateful for: Sunshine and flowers and coffee. Dealing with horrible people at work being made not so horrible by laughing hysterically about it with coworkers when the person left. Reading a book in Spanish to one of the cute little boys at work. Having a baby in the house on a regular basis. All my amazing writing opportunities!! Sitting around a table eating chicharrones with Hispanic and Indian kids. The fact that our new church is the CUTEST building in the middle of the CUTEST valley. Brownie pie for pi day. Coming home at 8 intending to go to bed, but staying up for two hours reading old journal entries with Mom and Joshua. Making Easter baskets for some kids in the foster system. My favorite four-year-old unexpectedly climbing into my lap when we praying. Sitting down on the bucket of balls to give my 8U team a pregame talk and half of them immediately trying to sit in my lap.
What did you do in March? Tell me in the comments!