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Are you a planner?

Diana here

Not the outline or panster type but the plan your year type?

I was not. That’s about to change. This year I went to a writer’s conference and even though Jennifer Crosswhite told me over and over I needed to plan, I didn’t. I thought it was too confining, too structured. What if I changed my mind? Or something more fun came along to do?

At the conference, I met another writer who suggested I attended Audrey Hughey’s class on planning your next year. So… despite really not wanting to I figured if two people were telling me I need this skill, and I was in a non-threatening environment to learn about it—read that as an introvert who could remain invisible in a crowd—I found a chair and prepared to be asleep in five minutes.

Now I have to admit I was so wrong about this planning stuff! Just in case you are anything like me it’s not about planning minute by minute. I know right? Shocked me! I think it’s because I used to teach and that’s how teachers plan. It’s a must.

But get this! You can loosely plan and even better use erasable pens like Frixion pens. (affiliate link) Then it’s easy to move things around.

Back to this planner. It is amazing and packed with ways to make your author life so much better which makes your personal life run at a do-able speed too. 

I have the coil-bound planner. I picked it up from LULU as a Christmas gift for myself. I like that I can fold it to half-width because my desk is a mess. And there is always a cat that takes up space.

So what’s in this planner besides a calendar?
  • A page for 3 goals—yes only 3! Not 50! And you reverse engineer how you’ll achieve those goals
  • A page for your vision for the next year.
  • You can track your daily and weekly word counts.
  • Track your monthly expenses
  • Plan your social media
  • A place for newsletter topics
  • And a lot more.


If you are an author, consider looking into this Ultimate Author planner for yourself. Don’t ask for it as a gift—you need this for your career. Get it for yourself for Christmas.


There are two versions. Both are lovely and the same inside with the exception that one is dated for 2020 and the other undated so you can pick it up anytime (if you’re reading this in February that’s a good option for you! )

The planner comes coil bound from LULU and perfect bound at Amazon.
One planner has pink pens and a watch on the front and the other has a typewriter so you can pick which cover tickles your muse.  

There isn’t a better planner for an indie author or a traditionally published author.

Find the planner here:


Face Plant Goals

Diana here:

It's that time of year writers embrace or fear. National Novel Writing Month. The questions start:
Should I do it?
Will I be able to hit such a high word count?
But in the USA it's the month of Thanksgiving how can I write and prepare for family?

I suggest if you are in a slump give it a try. Just don't set your goal so high. How many words did you write last month? Increase that number by 500 or 1000 and see what you can do when you push yourself through a busy month.

I'm giving it a try even though I'm going to be gone for a week to a conference. I'm not aiming for 50K but 20K. My true goal is to get words down every day, even if it is only 150 words. My daily writing has slid out of control. Notice I said slid, not risen. I have face planted. Time to get up and brush myself off and set a goal I can achieve.

How about you? Any advice on hitting your word count every day?







Book Brush Review


I've had the chance to review Bookbrush.com and see how it compares to Canva.com for author use.

The templates made for authors and the ability to search for the right photos fast makes this a purchase I'm likely to make. I do mean fast. The two graphics I made below took me less than a minute. They aren't the best but hey it's a start. 😃

Things it can do in the free version:

  • Make up to 3 graphics a month
  • Upload your own graphics background
  • Choose from their graphics library
  • Templates for paperbacks, e-readers 
  • Limited amount of bookseller stamps


Things it can do in the paid version.

  • Gradient colors in the background.
  • Line spacing
  • Premade templates to insert your background graphic and book image to look like a book or electronic device
  • Make a custom template to reuse many times
  • Tons of free images (on canva it seems like the ones I really want to use are a $1.00)
  • You can upload custom fonts
  • It's easy to make 3D covers
  • You can make book videos! 
  • Adding a stamp for your bookseller takes seconds


Here are some images and one video I've been playing around with for FaceBook ads.






Get it now!


Here's one for my series.

A Time for Love


There are two options available:  the free version where you can make 3 graphics, but no videos a month. You won't have access to everything this site offers but it's still powerful.

The second option is $96. a year or $8.00 a month to unlock the power of this beast.