you’re never going to be ready, but do it anyway.

I have a problem.

I mentioned before the Summer and my mini-hiatus that I was going to self-publish next year, and I’d set out a fairly clear plan to get me there. Of course, there were some wrenches thrown into that plan. I was training for a new position at my job, and there was a lot of wedding prep going on and I just didn’t have the mental energy to spend on writing, or even blogging.

Once I was over that hump, it took me a few weeks to reconnect to my projects after spending some time away from them, and I had a long list of things to get done in September. But I was ready. Motivated. Excited to get back to work. This was going to be the month that I got shit done.

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7 Ways to Use Evernote

So, I’m obsessed with Evernote, if you weren’t aware, and it has become integral to my workflow. There are three very specific reasons why:

  1. It’s cloud-synced and I have apps on all of my devices so I can access my notes from anywhere
  2. It can organize everything into notes, notebooks, and groups of notebooks. Not to mention the tags I can use to further coordinate notes between notebooks.
  3. Powerful searching function. It can search my freaking handwriting. I can scan in pictures of my notes using the app itself and my hand-written notes become searchable. It blows my mind every time.

It’s for those reasons that Evernote has become my go-to for pretty much anything. I’m sitting at 142 notebooks as of writing this. But what exactly do I use it for? Well, the short answer is a lot of things. Here are seven of the big ones.

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WIP Moodboard: The Wolves of the Far North

I love moodboards and aesthetics, okay? Going to call myself out right away, because you’ll probably see a lot more of these.

But they’re not just nice to look at – they can be really useful, too! When you only have a handful of images to convey your idea, you really have to think about what elements are important, how they express the look or capture the overall tone. Each image you choose is important.

And since I’m in the middle of edits for this novel, I figured it would be a good creative exercise to condense the concept behind it into only 9 images.

If you don’t know, The Wolves of the Far North is the novel I finished at the beginning of this year and I finally started my first round of edits this summer. It’s a YA fantasy novel, about two sisters who are rivals competing for membership in an elite group of warriors that protect their village, and what happens to that elite group, their village, and their relationship with each other when the South invades their territory.

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The Artist vs. the Entrepreneur: Making the ‘Marketable’ Choice

If there is any piece of advice I hear repeatedly told to the prospective indie, it’s that you have to write to market if you want to succeed. And that makes sense. It’s where the indie can do what the traditional cannot – a fast turn around time that takes advantage of trends. The artist in me has always found the idea distasteful – surely there is a market for a well-written story! While it’s certainly possible, it would be an exception and not the norm. And there is merit to the idea of writing to market now so you can write what you want later.

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Five Easy and Inexpensive Tricks for Better Flat Lay Photography

Let’s be honest, no matter where you go on the internet, there are going to be pictures. They’re essential at this point for establishing brand, creating content, marketing, etc. And the bread and butter of that is the flat lay because it works great for product photography.

And if you don’t know what that is, it’s pretty simple: a flat lay is a photograph taken from above, with items arranged in a way that looks visually appealing. You’ll see them all over the place on Instagram, and it’s a super-easy way of creating aesthetic or relevant images for your blog or social media feed.

A few examples of my own flat lays. I try to keep the look and colours similar so my Instagram feed looks distinctive and kinda matchy.

It can seem pretty intimidating at first, but I really encourage you to try it. You have nothing to lose by pulling out your camera or phone and snapping a few shots. Eventually, you’ll learn what you like and what works for you. And there are plenty of resources out there to help you sharpen your technique. I’ve done it for a while now, so I have a few suggestions that are easy and inexpensive, and will really help you step up your photography game.

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