2019 Goals

2019 Goals: Revise book, Writing class, Exercise
White Christmas with snow-dusted ponderosa pines

Christmas 2018

Christmas was both beautiful and bittersweet. We spent the holiday among snow covered ponderosa pines with close family, dearly missing our recently departed father.

2019 Goals

Time for me to get up out of bed, take better care of myself, and accomplish some goals.

Revising My Book

As I’ve mentioned in my previous post, Eliezer Tristan Publishing is publishing my previously self-published collection of blog posts. When I self-published the content in book form, I simply cut and paste my posts in chronological order. Now, I’ve hired book coach Aaron J. Smith to help me organize the content into themes.

Wish me well. I must be sure not to overdo it and trigger hypomania.

Creative Writing Class

Starting Wednesday, I’m taking an Introduction to Creative Writing emeritus class (for older adults like me) at our local community college. I will learn basic elements of fiction and non-fiction writing: audience, structure, voice, description, setting, and manuscript development. Learning these basics elements will help me develop my skills as a writer.

Homework, deadlines, and social stimulation are all potential triggers to hypomania for me. So, I’m both excited and more than a little anxious.

Exercise

Research shows what many have observed — exercise improves mood. I knew that, yet remained sedentary. At my psychologist’s urging, I’ve made a commitment to exercising.

First, I signed up for a class in Qi Gong at my city’s community center. According to the class description:

Qigong is a safe practice that focuses on improving the overall
health and wellness of your mind-body-spirit. It is a sequence of
gentle movements synchronized with the breath to open the body’s
pathways.

This week, I joined a local gym and signed up for personal training. Friday I underwent my initial fitness assessment. I was dying just doing the ten minute warm up. My thighs kill me. I can’t even get up from a sitting position without using my arms to assist me. Obviously, I’m out of shape.

Our Beloved Dog Thumper Passed Away

Thumper
Our beloved labradoole Thumper as a puppy and full grown.

Our grief deepens with another loss. This time of our beloved labradoodle Thumper. Our newly adult son grew up with him. We got Thumper when our son was six. Thumper would’ve been twelve this month.

Unfortunately, our younger poodle Coco is showing similar symptoms. Our next door neighbor said she found eight dead rats in her backyard. Apparently, someone is poisoning rodents. Not good.

We back up to a hillside filled with rabbits and rats. Predatory animals, including mountain lions, coyotes, pet dogs and domestic cats, eat poisoned rodents and die.

Trap rodents. Don’t poison them.

Should I Change My Book?

As I’ve grieved my father’s recent death, I’ve thought about updating my book. Not right away. Maybe I’m just trying to get my mind off his passing. Still, please help me decide.

Kitt O'Malley Blogging for Bipolar Mental Health

Here’s the thing: my blog subtitle reads “Love, Learn & Live with Bipolar Disorder,” and my book title is Blogging for Bipolar Mental Health.

Though I consider myself a mental health advocate, I write about what is happening in my life. I don’t just write about living with bipolar disorder. I have it, but it’s not the focus of my daily life.

My blog began when my father-in-law was in sepsis over four years ago. My worries over his health crisis and how it would affect my husband triggered hypomania. So, I wrote. I wrote to cope with hypomanic symptoms. To gain control over racing thoughts. To allay anxiety.

As the years passed, I’ve written about raising my son, my mother’s stroke, and my father’s dementia. Most recently, I’ve been writing about grief.

The grief takes me in waves. I’ve been crying more and more often as time passes. Still, it’s been a healthy grief. My medication, psychotherapy, family and support systems help me stay stable.

Grief can trigger worsening of mental illness and can lead to situational depression. But, so far I’ve been mourning my father’s death well, or so I think (perhaps I’m just well defended).

What you you think? When I feel up to it, should I update my book, adding content written since September 2017? Should I change the title and cover to more accurately reflect the content written? What are your thoughts? Any suggestions?

Should I Lower the Price of My Book?

Blogging for Bipolar Mental Health by KItt O'Malley (Author). See all 2 formats and editions. Kindle $9.99. Paperback $14.99. Blogging for Bipolar Mental Health offers hope to those living with mental illness and their loved ones, educates the public about mental health, and fights stigma against those living with mental illness by challenging stereotypes. Kitt O'Malley's writing recounts her struggle with bipolar disorder type II, the two decades it took to get a proper diagnosis, and how her journey ultimately gave her purpose -- and at times, a sense of religious calling.

Considering lowering my book prices. Average paperback price is $13.95 to $17.95, so perhaps $14.99 is a reasonable price for a paperback. Yet, the book would get into more hands if I lowered the price.

But, I priced my ebook at $9.99. Now I’m thinking that’s too high. Have not sold many ebooks on Amazon. $3.99 is the most popular price for an ebook.

Haven’t run any promotions, either. Maybe I should start there…

What do you think?

Update — New Lower Book Prices

Ran Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publising (KDP) Pricing Support Beta. Based on historic data for KDP books similar to Blogging for Bipolar Mental Health, a list price of $4.99 (USD) in a 70% royalty plan maximizes author earnings.

Changing my Amazon Kindle ebook price to $4.99 gives me 70% royalty of $3.44. KDP paperback printing cost is $4.26. 60% paperback royalty of $3.51 yields a price of $12.95.

Making the changes now, because I just roll that way. Quickly and off the cuff, but very publicly and with transparency.

Grief and Putting Book Marketing on Hold

I’ve been grieving and neglecting marketing my book. It will remain. I can go back to it.

Part of me wants to experiment with reformatting it, removing indents, left justifying paragraphs, making sure that widow-orphan control is set up properly. Doing so would be tedious. That, too, can wait…