What I Learned in November (from John Grisham to Bullet Journaling)

There’s something thought provoking about taking the time to dwell on what I’ve learned. My entire fall has been all consumed by book knowledge and know-how (or which I have little) so settling on a few simple things for November gave me some much needed perspective.

In no particular order, here’s what I learned:

    1. FB Live is more fun–LIVE. The lovely and talented Pepper Basham met up with me last week to host a little giveaway and interview via Facebook Live. I’ve done a couple of these during my book launch, but y’all, talking to my phone in a coffee shop in Franklin, NC is just so much more fun with a friend. Our giveaway is over, but you can still catch the video–and all our shenanigans and grandmother wisdom.
    2. I can handle social media–if I have a plan. The #12daysofbookstagram challenge by Modern Mrs. Darcy on Instagram not only gained me new followers, it made me realize something very simple. If I have a list, I can check it off. You’d think I’d know this by now. Basically, I’m just applying my don’t-go-to-the-grocery-store-without-a-list philosophy to social media. Which, when being used for marketing and branding, is absolutely necessary. (I’ll still be really random over on my personal Facebook page but my kids are getting older and less inclined to be shared publicly.)
    3. Speaking of plans, marketing goes better with one. I haven’t written a formal marketing plan just yet, but I did spend a couple hours a week or so ago hammering out my plan for the next six months in my beloved bullet journal. Small publishing means small marketing budget but it DOESN’T have to mean small sales. I hope. IMG_3466
    4. Speaking of small, John Grisham sold A Time to Kill out of his car. Who knew? Apparently Grisham’s debut novel (and I would argue still his best) was bought by a small publisher. He did most of the marketing–pre-social media days–himself with a southern bookstore tour. He sold the first 1000 copies out of his trunk. Literally. Since I’ve sold a good many copies of Still Waters out of my old (and now my new!) minivan, I’m feeling right up there with Grisham. Right?
    5. When something isn’t working just right, tweak it. I’m a creature of habit. See the grocery store post if you think I’m kidding. So when I find something that works good enough, I stick with it. But when I actually admit that thing could be better with a few changes? Wow, the difference. I adopted this weekly spread (courtesy of a friend) and suddenly the journal I was already liking a lot became my new BFF. IMG_3201
    6. Coffee is for serious writers. Seriously. At the Ohio Christian Writers Conference earlier in November, they gave out samples of Cool Chicks Coffee Serious Writers blend. I’ve become a coffee snob in the last few years (blame the coupons that used to get me free Starbucks) and I loved this blend so much I put it on my Christmas list. You can put it on yours too. Best part? Read the origin story and be amazed at what this homeschooling family has accomplished.
    7. Advent just got easier. Well, easier-ish. My kids still argue over who’s going to do what. So much so that we’ve got four calendars going so everyone has a job every day. Luckily they’re all simple countdowns because I am not put together enough to have a gift for everyday. (If you are can you please come over to my house and decorate next year?) Lucky for me Ann Voskamp released an interactive version of her family devotion, The Greatest Gift. The included devotion is much simpler and shorter than ever before. I love Ann, but she loves words. More than me. That’s saying something. But this? This we can handle and it all folds up, easy peasy, for reducing the already overwhelming amount of Christmas clutter in my house.


Joining in the link up with some of my favorites: the other Anne and Emily. If only I was talking about L.M. Montgomery characters…

What did you learn recently?

One thought on “What I Learned in November (from John Grisham to Bullet Journaling)

  1. What a great list! I am with you on the Social Media schedule! It sure is hard to get that mess down without one! I remember reading one of John Grisham’s books, The Client, and remember feeling let down by the movie. Which was good, but this is the moment that I realized that the book is almost always better than the movie. Great info about him btw!

    I would love to have you link up with me, if you have the time. Jessica from Overwhelmed to Fulfilled and I started a link up, Live Life Well: Encouragement for the Journey. We really want to work on connecting with other bloggers and have encouraging resources for our readers.




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