2018 Planning — Dream Big!

January’s always such a great time of year. It takes me the whole month to think about what I want to happen next, and to truly begin the new year — how about you? If you don’t stop to think about where you’ve been (at least recently), and where you want to go — how can you get there?

I always do a Year in Review and look at my accomplishments the prior twelve months. Then, I plan for the new year — 2018. Time to Dream Big! What do you really want to happen in the new year?

I finished my manuscript on December 29, 2017 — a day I consider very important. Now this year, I’ll be going through the steps of getting it published. Then on to celebrating the birth of my book, speaking engagements, and my new life. Yahoo!

I know 2018 for me will be exciting. Coincidentally, in Hebrew, the word for life is chai. It’s written with two letters. Each letter of the alphabet in Hebrew equates to a number, and guess what chai equates to? 18! So the symbolism of my new career and life as an author and speaker coming into existence this year, to me seems aligned with the Universe : ) I bet this will be a big year for you too!

Plan to, “Make it so!” Oey, thoughts of the Universe brings me to too many years of Star Trek indoctrination from my husband and Star Trek Captain John Luke Picard’s favorite command. Yes, this is how my mind works…a bit like being caught in an atom chamber bouncing around from thought to thought. Anyway…

Regarding finishing writing my first draft of my book…allow me to pause, take a deep breath, and revel in my accomplishment. It took me three years to write my manuscript and lots of hard work. I hadn’t written a book before, so I had to learn how to do it as best I could.

One great step I made was to find a terrific writing teacher, Maralys Wills, and her memoir writing class. Writing the book has been an adventure of its own. Not only revisiting the beautiful sites we visited and the terror I experienced, but the new personal discoveries to which writing the book has led me.

I learned so much more about the places we visited, as I researched them wanting to know more than the two lines on our travel itinerary. But what surprised me was what I learned about myself. Figuring out what the trip meant to me was truly mind blowing — I had never thought about my life in that context before, and I understood my life so much better after a more thorough investigation.

Yes, I knew the result of missiles coming toward us (besides having to change my underwear — just kidding,) was that it awakened me to want to work on Peace. However, while writing the ending of my book, I realized I had been working on Peace all of my life — which I found to be an amazing revelation. Years with my brother, leading me to a life of searching — well I’ve written about it before.

Our trip to Israel lasted only two weeks, yet after writing my book, I realized that beyond our adventure, it had taken me a lifetime not only to experience my life’s path, but to understand it thus far. After all, we’re all works in progress, and changing continuously whether we’re aware of it or not.

For quite some time now, I’ve learned the practice of staying in the present. Being conscious of my thoughts and feelings and trying to be sure they are positive, and not some nasty relative whispering negative or mean comments from my childhood. Do you also face those demons?

It sucked growing up with my mom’s world viewpoint, God rest her soul. She had a knack of turning every positive into a negative. If you can imagine Charles Schultz’s Pig Pen character, but instead of tracking dirt, my mom would manage to sweep negativity into most corners of the room as she entered. In retrospect, I feel sorry for the life she led with that attitude.

The great news is we have the power to stop the voices, and tell them to shut up! Yahoo. Although reading this it sounds a bit psycho, hopefully you know what I mean. We all think things in our heads and not all of them sound like anything you’d tell a friend. The good news is we’re in control and we can STOP IT! Case closed. I feel better now. Do you? You are not alone with your weirdness — most everyone has these thoughts — at least on occasion. I feel great that they rarely whisper to me anymore, but it definitely took lots of work.

First step for my book is I need to figure out my title. I need to move beyond my working title: “Blasted from Complacency: A Tale of Touring, Terror and Transformation,” and finalize what I’m going to call my exciting tale. Now why isn’t that the title — the golden girl? After all, everyone I’ve told it to has had a very positive response.

As I’ve been writing my book, I’ve been doing my usual — trying to learn as much as possible.

One part of that has been to attend various James Malinchak’s Speakers Bootcamps and events to learn about marketing. Writing books and speaking go together like Oreos and milk. James gives advice to a catalogue of successful authors too huge to mention but let’s just throw out a few names he advises on marketing like Jack Canfield, father of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series with over 250 titles, that’s sold over 500 million copies and is in print in over 40 languages. Brian Tracy, personal development guru with over 70 books. John Assaraf, from The Secret and his NeuroGym programs, teaching us how to innercise and use your brain to be the best we can be. Well you get the picture, Malinchak knows what he’s talking about.

And I’m so excited he’s going to be my marketing coach as well! Look out world, I’m finally going to figure this puzzle out. I’m ripping off the bandaids from my former We R’ Moms website that I shut down years ago because I couldn’t figure out how to market it.

This time, I’m going to learn from the best and make my branding efforts successful. Will you help me, too? You are the most important part of the puzzle. Please show me some love and Like this blog and my others whenever you do, or can. Thanks!

In December, at James Malinchak’s Big Money Speakers Bootcamp, I was listening to a speaker wax poetic about key words and the lightbulbs went on. Israel wasn’t in the title of my book…oh no! Many of my prospective readers are people interested in Israel, might have time on a Sunday afternoon and say Google Israel, wanting to know more about it. Well, they were never going to find my heart-felt book about our experiences and what I learned dodging missiles and hiding in bomb shelters… because some author who shall remain nameless, hadn’t put Israel in the title. Phew! Glad I caught that mistake before I made a permanent blunder, duh!

Then another thought…what if Israel isn’t the best market for me? After all, beyond our Israeli wild-ass experience, it’s also a story of personal transformation. Which market(s) makes sense, and is there a way to grab both with the title and book cover? These are issues to ponder and lessons to be learned from experts. After all, I do want to find that pot of gold at the end of my long, hard path…don’t you? I know I couldn’t have worked any harder, and I’d like someone to finally, show me the money!

Well that’s the thing — you don’t know what you don’t know, so you have to work hard to try to avoid mistakes whether that’s hiring coaches if your budget can handle it, or reading books, taking classes and researching on the internet.

Caution, that online thing. The internet has increased our opportunities exponentially to learn, but also unfortunately to be taken, so buyer beware! Be sure you read between the lines, check references, speak to experts who are recommended, or who you can check out. You can find out information with the speed of light and also be robbed of your budget for publishing your book just as fast. There’s lots of folks selling mining tools to the miners who just happen to forget to tell you about that pick you’re going to need, but for another $299, they’d be happy to explain…

So as I move into the publishing side of things it’s very exciting and a new phase. What’s your new adventure for 2018?

I have one last planning event for 2018 that I held at my Writers4Writers January meeting — Manifest Your Dreams, at the Vision Board 2018 Workshop. Please check it out in my next article. As always, I invite you to:

Join Me On My Journey…

Recent Comments

  • Sherry Seto
    January 25, 2018 - 2:07 pm · Reply

    I feel your pain! Writing my book was the fun part. Making heads or tails of the publishing business (self, hybrid, traditional…what else is out there? Maybe I’ll just do something completely unconventional) is exhausting! And unnerving! So even if you’ve managed to quiet down those old, sabotaging, mean inner voices (many of us have them, unfortunately) they are sure to come back loud and clear as you navigate publishing, and marketing, and distributing, and…it’s endless!
    On the positive side, I sure am exercising my old brain researching and learning a lot!
    Slowly I am making decisions, not making some mistakes, but making others (so far not too costly)
    and moving toward the finishing line. But will I be finished? I suspect that I am going to want to do it all over again with Book 2. Maybe I won’t be able to silence those doubting Thomas’ mean old inner voices completely but I am getting better at ignoring them! Maybe Book 2 will be a little easier…

    • Penny S. Tee
      January 25, 2018 - 5:34 pm · Reply

      You’re doing fantastic! Enjoy the journey. Give yourself credit for all you’ve learned and with your first and foremost intention of helping ESL Learners, well the Universe will make sure your talents are acknowledged : )

  • Marilyn Grant
    January 25, 2018 - 5:28 pm · Reply

    I feel energized just reading this and excited for you! Like you, one of the best discoveries I ever made was “don’t believe your thoughts!” A most helpful book for me has been “The Untethered Soul,” by Michael Singer. Your “inner roommate” is not always your friend! I love the way you have set your intention and are honoring your heart’s desire. That is also my wish for 2018!

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