Skip to main content

IWSG - Goal progress & cover reveal

 This is my Insecure Writers Support Group post for JUNE.

Alex's awesome co-hosts this month are: 
Olga Godim, and me.
Please stop by their blogs and say thank you


Earlier this year, I posted some bold goals. I decided to give an update on them for my IWSG post today. I'm also revealing the cover of my next book. You can skip to that if you want. 😉

Here are the goals for 2024 and my progress (or not):

Publish book 4 in my western series by June.
Not going to make that deadline. But I will publish it this year, possibly even this summer.

Develop a regular social media / newsletter schedule by March & send out 3 to 4 newsletters this year.
I'm still working on this. I blog monthly for IWSG and Cowboy Kisses, but I need to do more with Pioneer Hearts Facebook group. The only newsletter that has gone out is this cover reveal. That said, I will have at least two more by the end of the year, one for release day and one for a sale promo.

Reevaluate my social media activities and nix what isn't giving me something in return for my time (exception: worthy, altruistic endeavors, such as teaching new writers).
This is currently being evaluated.

Plot an entire new western series and begin writing those books.
I've done some brainstorming. Book 4's release comes first, then I'll dive into this project. 

Work on plotting the next book for my other pen name.
That's on the back burner for now. I did pull the existing books out of KU so I could go wide with them. Going wide and selling direct are on my list of things to investigate. 

Read at least one craft book or non-fiction diary/research book per month & make notes.
As of today, I've read one book for research and one craft book, both in April.

When I filled out the 'What got in the way of progress?' sections of each 'Month in review' of my author planner (That's free to download if you want it.), I often listed the same obstacles. 
  • Overtime shifts - I worked them by choice the first quarter of this year, to recover from the financial hit I took last year.
  • Projects at work - I'm the educator for the unit, and April was our annual skills fair.
  • Tax preparation - 'Nuff said.
  • Poor self-discipline during downtime hours - This was tough to admit, but interesting to explore. 
Working the night shift frequently chops up my week with naps and makes for less-productive 'zombie' off hours. But when I was honest with myself, I had enough alert times that I could have read more than I did. The reason I avoided reading craft books was that I knew it would make me want to dive into my WIP; and, since I didn't have time to write, that would only serve to frustrate me. 

But all that is about to change. 😊

I managed to accomplish one goal on the 5-year list: 
Reduce my work hours from full time to part time.

As of this month, my status at my job is officially part time! 
I got tired of saying someday. 'Someday' is June 16th.

Thanks for making it this far. As promised, here's the cover of book four in my western historical romance Forging America series.

Cover by Carrie Butler

Passion knows no prejudice.

After finding her husband’s mutilated body in the field of their Oregon Territory land grant, Eva McCabe assumes the impossible task of running the farm alone. The hatred she harbors for the savage who murdered the man she loved gives her vicious determination to achieve Keith’s dream, even if it kills her.

Hatchoq is a man of mixed blood and clashing heritage. His father’s people tolerate him, and his mother’s people want him dead. When Hatchoq kills a member of his clan to save a white, he’s doomed to wander brutal lands alone—a man without a family or a home. 

During his journey, Hatchoq encounters a struggling young widow and lingers to lend her aid. Hatchoq is drawn to Eva, even though she despises him. He longs to win her heart and help her earn her land. But staying means denying his Mojave identity and risking his life.


Battered Pride will release later this year.

If you'd like to be notified when that happens, 
If you do the latter, you get a free book!

Thanks for visiting!


IWSG is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. It's a monthly bloghop that offers a safe haven for writers to express their feelings and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. It's also a venue for offering  support, both in the form of comments and positive posts. Writers of all kinds are welcome. 

We 'meet' the first Wednesday of every month. If you're interested in learning more, click on the link above. And don't be intimidated by the size of the group. We're not expected to visit everyone on the list


  1. We sometimes sabotage our own productivity time, don't we?
    Great that you can keep the same designer for your covers so they all match!
    Thanks for co-hosting today.

  2. Thanks for co-hosting today. That's awesome that you're working part-time. I do too and really enjoy the flexibility and living a slower paced life. And congrats on your cool cover.

  3. First---awesome cover! Woohoo!

    And congrats on going part time. That can make a huge impact on all your over goals, which you have lots of. 😁

  4. Woot woot for getting your time back! That's great! I hope it turns out very productive for you and you're able to accomplish your goals.

    I saw your cover in the newsletter. Very cool. It fits well with your others.

  5. Nice cover. To take an account of what you've planned from time to time has always worked for me. Thank you for co-hosting.

  6. Thanks for co-hosting today! Congrats on keeping track of your goals and being honest with yourself about what's stood in your way. It's always a journey and the best lesson any of us can take is to be flexible and kind to ourselves. And awesome props for going part-time and getting yourself some more time!

  7. That's one impressive list of goals, Melissa! Here's to reaching all of them. Thanks for co-hosting today!

  8. Battered Pride sounds really good!

    Knowing what stands in the way of writing is half the battle.

  9. Thanks for co-hosting, Melissa. And I've passed along the Westerns to my husband who must read 15 books a month. Happy IWSG Wednesday!

  10. Thanks for co-hosting. Your series sounds like something I HAVE to read. Try changing your mind set from only working a half day to working a half day at the job and a half day at home on your writing. That mindset got me through preschoolers to highschoolers and dozens of titles.

  11. Congratulations on changing the status of your job to officially part time!
    I appreciate that took courage.
    Thank you for co-hosting our June IWSG blog hop.
    Cheers, Lynn @

  12. Thanks for co-hosting this month! Congrats on changing your job status and your book reveal! Your books sound like something I'd add to my Goodreads TBR(to be read) list.
    My productivity was nil last month. But plan to get back to it this month.

  13. Newletters are really hard to get out regularly. The seem to take a lot more thought than I expect. And I love the idea of paring back on social media that isn't providing some kind of reasonable return. Thanks so much for co-hosting!

  14. You're so industrious, Melissa. You've accomplished so much I'm in awe.
    Love the cover of your new book.

  15. Congrats on the move to part time. I hope it helps you find the balance you crave! @samanthabwriter from
    Balancing Act

  16. Congratulations on accomplishing your goals and especially going to work part-time. Love that book cover. I signed up for your newsletter to keep up with all you're doing!

  17. Thank you for cohosting this month's question, Melissa. LOVE the novel cover. Bravo!! You are amazing in all you do with your time. Don't beat yourself up for not spending every minute on your writing career. Life does get in the way, sometimes. [Are you listening, Victoria??]

  18. Thanks for co-hosting this week. Your goals update post reminds me that I should do one of those too. I didn't set crazy goals this year like I did last year. Many of them held over, but I've been in my "shoot my shot" era so I've basically been going for every opportunity that presents itself. Throwing spaghetti at a wall to see what sticks, I guess. It's worked some! That's exciting that you've been able to move to part-time! And congratulations on your upcoming release.

  19. Congratulations on being a part-timer! Woot woot!! Now you'll be crushing those goals.

    Cover is awesome. I can't wait to read the story!!


Post a Comment

I love to hear what you have to say.
Thanks for taking the time to comment. = )