Wednesday, January 6, 2016

IWSG - RESOLUTIONS



Hello all, I hope your holidays were fabulous and that the New Year brings you the fulfillment of all your dreams and desires. But today is the day for insecurities, and while they seem to come and go in regular cycles, it's now time for new beginnings.

C. Hope Clark said in her most recent newsletter that her New Year's Resolution is "to write more this year."

She then followed that up with, " . . . maybe it's time we quit thinking of crazy ways to sell 99 cent books and instead slow down and write great stuff!"

Now that is a worthy goal, to write great stuff – and I wanted to make that my ultimate goal too. But I do have another book coming out this year, which tempers that resolution because selling that book is also a goal.

The necessary evil – marketing – that dreadful task that depletes writing time. A book signing that requires swag, table fees, transportation, and time – with the result being maybe 8 to 10 books sold. Is all that time and expense worth it?

Daily online socializing – how much is too much?

How about you – is your plan to sell more or write great stuff? Is it possible to do both, or are the two diametrically opposed?

Be sure to visit Alex's Blog today, the winners of the IWSG Anthology Contest will be announced.

Congratulations to all!

Especially the title winner

L. G. Keltner!

I'm thrilled to be included in 
such an amazing group!

____

Don't forget to give a special thank you to all the IWSG co-hosts:


*****
Looking for a few writing challenges? 
Here's two to consider.



Find out more HERE!


&



Find out more HERE!


101 comments:

  1. The goal "to write great stuff" may seem elusive, but it is always attainable. We simply need to keep trying. Not giving up is the key.

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    1. It's been a crazy week, you must be over the mood with the title story for the anthology. I know I am, and you're so right never give up!!!
      Congratulations Laura!

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  2. I'm signed up for the love lost and found blog hop! I love the idea of writing better material rather than .99 stuff.

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    1. Wonderful!
      The bloghop should be interesting. The 99 cents stuff is good stuff, it's just a shame we have to price it so low to get the attention. But that's were marketing has taken us - give away your work to maybe sell the next pieces. For some that's worked for others it hasn't.

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  3. Well, I'm hoping to "write great stuff" this year, regardless of how well it sells. The blogfest sounds interesting :)

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    1. BTW: CONTRATULATIONS on being accepted in the IWSG Anthology. I am thrilled for you.

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    2. Thanks Donna, I'm with you. I'd much rather be writing the great stuff than trying to sell it.

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  4. 'Write great stuff' resonates with me. Better to be proud of what we do than rushing to publish then feeling embarrassed. But it takes an awfully long time to write good stuff and we don't have the mentors and great editors of authors in the past. :-\
    Can't wait to see the winners for the Anthology!!!!!

    Denise :-)

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    1. I agree. I've been known to rush and regretted it. I did post my blog before the announcement, but now we all know! :)

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  5. Write great stuff is a good way to be indeed. I decided to screw marketing for a while and just write.

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  6. A worthy goal indeed. As for marketing - I suck. I cannot ever imagine attending a book signing - Strangers scare me. LOL

    Happy 2016!

    shahwharton.com

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    1. Hi Shah, I actually love book signings, but it's not usually worth the expense. Still it is fun to meet the readers, even if they buy it for their Kindle. An author's signature just doesn't mean that much today!

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  7. Yes, this is exactly the stuff I've been thinking about. I still believe (hope, anyway) that if you write great books the success will follow. And really, writing is the only thing we can control as writers. Figuring out how to get good sales is like hammering your head against a brick wall. I haven't heard many success stories about going to cons or book fairs, but people who seek out bookstores, libraries, and newspaper interviews in their own area seem to have better luck. I can't do anything like that in Egypt, but you might be able to in your area. Good luck!!

    (Thanks for commenting on my blog! Funny you mentioned making WEP badges instead of writing. I've been spending loads of time making mock-ups of covers for my new book. I hope to get a designer friend to do a mock up or two and then have a poll on my blog to choose the best. It's not a complete waste of time b/c I can use all the images in promos later -- or that's what I tell myself! Haha!)

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    1. Hi Lexa, nice to meet a fellow procrastinator! I don't know if we can rely on only the great stuff selling. I've seen crap make the best sellers list. It's all in how far / how much your willing to spend to make it a success. Great stuff should come to the top, but money still rules the roost.

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  8. The writing ALWAYS has to be the biggest as it is the only way to keep up the stamina when I also have a day job. I love the writing. This is why I have 3 times as many UN-published as published... the editing and querying or publishing is just harder to make myself do. But at some point I really need to commit, so this year I am working on a grand plan to hopefully REALLY get at least one of my genres launched.

    Congrats on making that anthology! I was excited to see your name there!!!

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    1. Hi Hart. Thanks, and good luck with the grand plan! I've got one of my own - so here's to making them both come to fruition!

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  9. Write more and you will probably be able to sell more.

    A .99 sale is good once in a while, but we shouldn't have to devalue our work just to get people to buy it.

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    1. Hi Diane:
      We shouldn't but everyone says it's the best way to get attention. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't!

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  10. It's a production year for me--totally. I switch modes and have to take some time getting back to one from the other. Next year will likely be a promotion year. At any rate, HUGE congrats on making it into the anthology. *high five*

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    1. Hi Crystal,
      It's hard to make those transitions. A balance of the two is key, but hard to achieve. High five back at you! Thanks!

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  11. I'm struggling with the same thing. Trying to already work out promotion this year but also knowing I need to focus on writing...or I won't have anything to promote. Argh!

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    1. Hi Megan, double edged sword to be sure! Good luck - to both of us!

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  12. Came back to offer huge congratulations on making it into the Anthology! Girl, this is going to be your year!! :-)

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    1. Thanks Denis, you had a hand in the win. You read the story first. Thanks for your input! Priceless!

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  13. Now, now. Don't knock the 99 cent stuff. I'm pricing some of my collections that way in hopes of picking up new readers. Are they great? I wouldn't presume to say, but I'm not sure a high price goes with the highest quality writing in all cases. ;)

    Now you've got me wondering though. Would a higher price make the collection more desirable. Hmm . . .

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    1. Hi Tamara, I'm not knocking it. I've done the same, even the free thing. It's just a question about if it's worth the effort and does it achieve the goal? Or is marketing and low prices a waste of precious writing time?
      I have the same question - are we devaluing our writing???

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  14. Huge congratulations on your winning story!! I'm looking forward to reading it in the anthology.
    I want my focus to be on writing this year but I hope to have a book coming out too. Let's make it a great 2016! :)

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    1. Hi Julie, Thanks, me too. Can't wait to see the cover. Yes, let's make 2016 great!

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  15. Write great things...That's a word right there. lol

    Congrats on making the anthology!

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  16. I would try to do both as best I can. A lot of excitement heading your way. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  17. As a few folks have mentioned I think the key is that writing great stuff will help you sell more. These back each other up! And the more both of those happen the more inspired you'll be to keep it going.

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    1. This! I have an auto-buy romance author who somewhere in one of her series wrote a real stinker. I didn't get past page 50 after multiple attempts. All I could think was this author had a deadline and needed to make it work. I'm sure that's the reality of writing on contract, but it made me sad to see such a great author put out a downer of a book because it was part of the schedule.

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    2. That is a sad scenario, but it does happen!

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    3. I agree Jana, writing great stuff should make a huge difference in sales, but's with so many writers vying for the same audience it's the marketing that really makes the difference - at least in sales.

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  18. Congratulations Yolanda on winning a place in the antho! What a great way to begin the year! Looking forward to reading it once its released.

    All the very best, write great and sell great and may you find the right balance that works for you. Happy New Year 2016!

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    1. Hi Nila, thanks!
      It is balance that makes the difference, I'm still hoping to achieve it!

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  19. Recently in an online chat group I participate in, a lot of authors were bashing other writers that choose to sell books at 99 cents. It's an interesting argument at how it has "cheapened" an entire industry. I suppose your friend is right. I just don't know.

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    1. Hi Michael,
      I don't either. You want to get that attention, but when books are 99 cents or free - it's hard to compete. I've done both - and still trying to figure out if it was a good or bad thing.

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  20. My book isn't out yet, so I'm focusing on interacting with people on my favorite social media and writing my next projects. I agree no amount of dazzle in marketing can make up for a mediocre book. I network with many self published writers, and some are feeling fatigue from trying to keep up to 3-5 releases a year with novellas and promos. Maybe the answer lies in slowing down and putting out the best book rather than the most. This is not a slam on anyone putting out that many books, but if it's not working, then maybe another strategy is needed. I don't write that fast though I would love to!

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    1. That's a great thing to be concentrating on now. The higher those numbers the better the publisher likes it. But great writing is most important - and then comes the marketing.

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  21. So pleased about your success in the anthology contest, Yolanda (but not surprised). Congratulations.

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  22. Congrats! I'm looking forward to reading EVER-TON and sharing an anthology:) Thanks for stopping by and the well wishes. Here's to 2016.

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    1. Hi Sandra, I can't wait to read all the entries! Yes, to 2016!

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  23. Hello and Happy New Year!

    I love C.Hope Clark and I like listening to what she has to say in her newsletters. I want to write great fiction and thus I usually don't rush. I'm still working on the first manuscript but it will be finished this year and then I will start submitting it to agents.

    Congratulations on having your work included in the anthology.
    I wish you the very best and much success in 2016.

    Shalom,
    Patricia

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    1. She's done a lot for all writers, and it took awhile, but she published too and what a journey she had! Love her newsletter.
      Back at you Pat, Happy New Year!

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  24. I want to write great stuff so that I can sell more books. I'm a slow writer, so pumping out books as a strategy will never work for me. I've got to make the ones I do finish count.

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    1. A very good plan Ken, wishing you nothing but success!

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  25. I think I'll go with write more great stuff. Because if it is good, the selling part will come. (With my writing career, I've always considered it a bonus anyway.)
    Congratulations on making it into the anthology.

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    1. Thanks Alex, I'm thrilled, and yes, great stuff is the way to go!

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  26. Congrats on the anthology!! Hope Clark always has good advice and I respect it. I think 99 cent books do have a place in our marketing plans. Whether it's 99 cents or9.99, we always have to write great stuff.

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  27. Congratulations on having your story accepted for the anthology! That is terrific news!

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  28. Congrats on your story being a part of the anthology! It's going to rock. I dread marketing. I've been ignoring it for a while. Not marketing does nothing to help my books sell, but I feel less stressed from it. For now, I'm more focused on writing.

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    1. Hi Cherie, thanks - me too, it's the writing we actually have control over!

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  29. Hey now, I have two 99cent ebooks. And I think they are great. ;)

    Congrats on making it into the anthology! I knew you would. :D

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    1. Thank Chrys,
      Not putting them down, just the time it takes to market them - time away from writing. Love your stories!

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  30. I have to admit, I may be doing too much online socializing. I love my blog but I love writing too. Can I do both?

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    1. Of course you can, but it takes balance! Go for it!

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  31. I think everyone can strive to do both! And I agree with Chrys, 99 cents books doesn't mean they aren't great. I've read some incredible free ones. It's difficult to know exactly what will work for you, but we just have to keep on trying. Here's to a grand 2016 for all of us. :)

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    1. Hope you're feeling better, and yes, 99 cents isn't a slam against any book, we're talking about the marketing strategies to sell those hard written tomes! Wishing you all the best in 2016!

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  32. Striking a balance is always the biggest part of this business, isn't it? Have a great year! Find that balance.

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  33. Writing better is a great goal. I'll go for it too. Selling books is also a great goal, but ... not my strong point. :(
    Congrats on your story inclusion in the IWSG anthology.

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    1. Not mine either, but we all have to try. Thanks Olga!

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  34. I've spent a lot of time trying to write better. If/when I sell a book, I want to know it's the best one I could write. Congratulations on the IWSG victory. Sounds like you are already writing "better!" :)

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    1. Hi Liza, working at it every day! Thanks!

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  35. Congratulations on your anthology, Yolanda. And kudos to Clark for the great quote. Write Good Stuff. Good advice.

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  36. Hi Yolanda
    I think we must endeavor to write our best as well as attempt marketing.
    Nancy

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  37. Happy New Year Yolanda!! It's a shame to think of the long, hard, and lonely hours of writing, and sell that book for 99 cents. I do it to generate sales and pay for promos. It's mind boggling. But I also try, try to write good, entertaining books. I think most authors do.

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    1. Hi Cathrina, it is isn't it. But the evils of marketing today!

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  38. Hi Yolanda,

    I know, where the heck has that wonderful dude, Gary, been? Yay, I'm here!

    From my angle, I just write for a shared sense of interaction, for therapy and hopefully, I have written something that touches the one reader's heart. You see, my writing style is never written to an audience, but to just the one person reading my stuff. I hope it's liked and that's all that matters. As forever publishing a book, I okay with just being an amateur.

    I know all will be fine with you, Yolanda. The proof and momentum is already there with your anthology contribution, my dear friend.

    Gary :)

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    1. Hi Gary,
      Thanks, I'm so glad to see you any time!!!
      If only writing were all we had to do, but once you sign that contract you're a marketer - the hardest job in the world!

      Kisses for Penny! Hugs for you!

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  39. Those questions are what took the wind out of my sails last year. It's overwhelming. This year, I've resolved to enjoy writing (hopefully producing some great stuff), enjoy my online time as time with friends instead of marketing, and just stop looking at where I think I should be.

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    1. He Elizabeth, it is overwhelming, but a necessity!

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  40. Knowing jack and squat about selling I will revert to my thoughts on the writing: write crappy stuff for the great stuff to grow out of. Have fun without thinking about how you'll eventually sell it or whether or not your current fans will like it. Write for the shear sake of writing and see what wonderful things come of it. That's my two cents, at least. ^_^

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    1. Hi Beverly
      Welcome back. Great two cents!

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  41. Hi, Renee,

    Congrats again on your selection chosen for the anthology... I am SOOOOO PROUD of you!

    I spent most of today reading posts. Something I haven't done in AGES... it felt so wonderful to visit old friends and read of their aspirations and successes... I may actually write again. Lol..

    Congrats to the other writers, too! I know this will be an amazing read!

    Writing good STUFF is something we should all aspire to do, but we all want our books read, so therefore they need to be SOLD... It's a double edged sword and it's a true balancing act for every writer today.

    All the best of the new year, Renee... I see a sparkling year for you!

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    1. Hi Michael,
      Thanks! You always make me feel better. So glad you've made progress on the loft and can move forward. Yes double edged! I like your vision!

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  42. Big congratulations on being accepted into the anthology! Unfortunately, it seems a profession in writing means a lot of balance. Good luck with writing MORE great stuff, and with getting your next book out there.

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    1. Thanks Shannon,
      I'll need it! Lots to do and a new book too!

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  43. WAHOOOOOOOOOOOOO, you made it. I cannot wait to read your story. I am so thankful that you and Denise are in my life. Look at you. You made it in. YEAH! XOXOXOXOXOXO P.S. What Michael said. He always says stuff better than me. I know that we should write the best stuff we can. And then market it like crazy. Aw, what the heck. We don't need no sleep! *wink* XOXOXOXO

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    1. Oh Robyn, you make me so happy! Thanks!

      Sleep, what's sleep?!

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  44. You bring up some really good points... how much is too much for the marketing.... One thing I am going to focus on is Book Clubs this year. I don't mind talking about myself or REVIVAL, so we'll see how that goes :)

    *BEST WISHES* with your upcoming book, and you know I'll be there to do what I can to help:) #JustLetMeKnow

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    1. Hi Mark, Thanks, and I will be calling on you! Appreciate it! I hate talking about myself. But you gotta do what you gotta do! :)

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  45. Congrats on winning the anthology contest, Yolanda! I'm so jealous - and totally happy for you. :)

    I guess my focus will be selling more, as I have a ton of books that need a final polish/rewrite before submitting. They are my focus this year.

    All the best in 2016!

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    1. Hi J. H. Thanks, stay focused and best of luck!

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  46. Yay! Thrilled your work will be in the anthology!! I'll help promote when the time comes:) And THANK YOU for the awesome Pitch contest feature on your site--really appreciate it!! For me, it's worth every bit of the time invested to write something great. I've spent over a year writing my YA series, and though my creative team is clamoring for the launch and publishing pressure is mounting, I refuse to release it into the world until it's truly, undeniably something I'm proud of. Cheers to a year of literary awesomeness!!

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    1. Thanks Sam,
      Love the idea of the Pitch. Yes, a year of awesomeness would be wonderful for all of us!

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  47. Write the best story I can and promote smartly. Do the best I can of both. Best wishes for a terrific 2016!

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  48. Congratulations on winning a spot in the anthology. What a huge honor. I have to say writing great stuff is most important. Also in answer to your other question about how much online socializing is too much - my family and I have been discussing the topic for quite a while. We want our kids to be more present in their real, everyday lives and we are all supposed to take a vow to eliminate "most," social media and focus on family for two months. Now, I've signed up for the Lost and Found blogfest. I've already violated my self imposed ban. I'm not setting a very good example of for my kids. Congrats again. Have a great 2016.

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    1. Thanks Melissa,
      I would hate to have to raise children now. What a task. Good luck to you, but the L&F bloghop doesn't count. Honest! :)

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Would love to hear from you, say hello and leave your blog address - I'll visit, but please take with you my undying gratitude that you stopped by for a read. Be well, be happy, and may your blog surfing bring you joy!