Thursday, January 29, 2015

What's your back up plan? Data back up is important.

My computer crashed and I do mean crashed hard. It was working perfectly fine, I got up went to the bathroom, and came back to the mouse not working. My first thought was 'crap, I killed the top case again.' As I had done it on my previous Mac. I did the first thing my IT guy (Aka hubby) tells me to do, restart. It didn't start back up. It gave me a grey screen with a flashing I did what any sane person would do. I searched it.

Somehow my bootfiles decided to go on vacation. Great, I know how to restore my computer, not a problem. Until the computer froze part of the way through, then decided that the hard drive didn't exist and wouldn't boot to a disk for a diagnostic. Well crap. My IT guy can't look at it until this weekend, so it's currently a paperweight without an operating system.

If at any point panic seized your heart and you asked "Did you lose everything?" You might want to reconsider your back up plan. The only thing I was in danger of losing was the two hours of work that may or may not have synced up to Dropbox and OneDrive (two different projects) before the computer crash. Compared to full manuscripts and 8 hours worth of edits, that's nothing. My husband recommends the 3-2-1 backup method.

Three backups total

Two different medias

One off site.

I have my writing backed up to dropbox and/or onedrive, both of which are offsite and can be accessed from any computer. Before my computer crashed, I was supposed to back up to an external hard drive, just in case. Sadly, I kept putting it off. Take a look at your set up right now. You may have a laptop, a desk top, or both. If one was to crash tomorrow, could you continue work? Unexpected things in life happen. I can't afford to take several days off or heaven forbid, several months off, because of a computer crash. I doubt you can too.

My husband has a desk top that I'm able to use while he's at work, his tablet is a desk top replacement. (I have an ipad, but because I use a particular software to write, I can't write on the iPad). After a few moments of OMG my computer crashed, what the hell am I going to do and my loving husband setting his computer up for me to work, it was taken care of. I discovered that I didn't lose any work, not even from that day and I was able to pick up where I left off. Our next step in the plan? Saving up money for a cheap laptop that will get me through until I can save up for another Mac. Sharing in our house is a challenge...we're both in school and I'm an author. You can imagine the fun.

So....what's your back up plan?


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Professionals Show Up

As I'm sitting here writing this, I'm cuddling my 3 year old, watching Cinderella, and wishing that I had something stronger than ibuprofen for pain. So why am I writing this right now? Why don't I post late this week? Or don't post at all? Because here's the deal, I consider this blog as part of my brand, part of something that makes me a professional. If I push it off, something else might be seen as more important. I missed my nap time window because well, someone wouldn't nap, so I was barely able to squeeze in 500 words. That's 500 words that I didn't have yesterday, so I'm calling it a win.

That all being said, I'm not here to make excuses, I'm not here to tell you a good try is what counts. Okay, that second one is kind of true. I just finished a book called "Manage Your Day to Day", as I'm sure you can tell it's all about time management, but the advice comes from some pretty big name people. That being said the one line that stuck with me was "Professionals Show Up". I have a lot of complaints about people who don't stick to what they say, wait until the last moment, or hand me a bunch of excuses. This isn't to say that I'm not understanding, I try to be. Things happen, deaths in the family, personal emergencies...things out of people's control.

As an indie author or a trade author, you have to look as writing as your job, part time or full. You show up, you get stuff done, some days are better than others. Despite the pain, I would have shown up to work if I worked a traditional job. My book is not going to write itself and Exclusively Yours certainly isn't going to edit itself. I have deadlines to meet, people to communicate with, and readers who are expecting books.

Your marketing, writing, editing and everything else isn't going to get done unless you show up everyday to make it so. (of course unless you hirer people for particular tasks). Block of part of your day, if you can make it the same time everyday. (I use nap time and coffee time, nap time my daughter is sleeping, most days. And coffee time is her tv time.) Somedays it gets screwed up, but you still get in that time. Why?

Because you a professional and professionals show up. I set a goal for my time: 1k words on one project 1k on another, if I still have time, I move to what's next in my editing cue. Some days I make it to editing and other days I don't. I have a particular time at night dedicated to just editing.

Just 2k total a day? Yes. I know authors who can write 5-10k a day. Most of them are twice my age and have no children at home. When my daughter is old enough for school those numbers will change, but I know that is the min that I can make in a day. As I can delegate other tasks out, like social media, I'll have more time to dedicate to writing. Right now, I wear all the hates in my business. For that is what this is, a business. This is what I want to do for a living. So set times everyday (or 5 days a week, or what schedule you want that will work) and show up. Make it happen.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from SPE! Thanks for sticking with us through 2014 and welcome to 2015! If you're new here, I'm Alexandra Webb and I'm an Erotic Romance Indie Author! (Well Hybrid technically) I also write Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy under a pen name that is also a Hybrid author!

The mission of SPE is to bring all of our own mistakes and learning to you, the aspiring or current author and reviews to readers.

That being said, my first focus for 2015 will be looking at your writing as a business. Kind of like: You published a book, now what? I'm excited for some of the subjects I'm going to touch on this year. Writing wise, my new SPE project will be Exclusively Yours and possibly Shards of Me! I'll take you along my journey as I learn to navigate the crazy journey again!

I want to invite everyone to participate, so let me know, what would you like to see as part of SPE in 2015?