Today’s Pondering~Calendar Girl…


It’s time, once again for us to look forward and plan out all of the wonderful things we’re going to accomplish in the New Year! I say this with only half of the required enthusiasm as my day consisted of researching issues that prevented me from publishing an e-book version of a new release and of putting together a bunch of analytical reports to show me what the sales trends were over the past year. I can say with absolute certainty that these are not my favorite pastimes.

I absolutely hate working with numbers. Ever since I dropped out of my Accounting program during the first year of college, I’ve known that numbers just aren’t my thing. Words are my thing. Lots of words. Combinations of words. Funny words, nonsensical words, serious words, words with bite…I like them all. Except for cummerbund, hubby, bubby, sissy, and a host of annoying phrases like, “I know, right,” “A whole ‘nother,” and the mispronunciation of the word, “nuclear.” I especially like the words retort, plethora, and indeed. And well, you get the idea. The fact is that after a day working with numbers, I want nothing more than to put away anything with a number on it for a good three or four weeks. But, at this point in the year, it is almost impossible not to look at numbers. For one thing, there’s the calendar. You have to pay attention to the calendar and it’s full of numbers. You can’t get away with ignoring the calendar when your business is dependent upon staying on schedule and meeting deadlines. The calendar is one of the most important pieces of your life when you’re a publisher and you’re trying to plan promotional efforts, new releases and events.

Aside from the calendar, January is a month that forces you to pay attention to all of your numbers. The dreaded New Year’s resolution to lose weight, the last-minute efforts to prepare all of your financial reports so that you can file taxes, and the day-to-day budget woes that accompany every minute of every day in this ridiculous economy. I can’t get away from numbers. No matter how hard I try. So, I guess I have to make friends with them. I don’t want to, but they aren’t going away so it’s better to set aside my hatred and try to accept them as an important part of my life.

My first order of business this new year will be to buy a new planner for the year and start penciling in all of my publication deadlines. I know, for example, that I have at least three (3) books on deck for publication in January. In order to be able to be able to finish those, I have to work at least fourteen (14) hours throughout the week to gather the necessary information to submit those books to the publishing platform. This means that I spend at least seven (7) hours on Saturdays and about four (4) hours on Sundays sitting at my computer formatting manuscripts, writing out bios, back cover blurbs, etc., designing book covers, and setting up ISBNs (yet another number). If I start on the first book this weekend, I should be able to finish it by next weekend. I’ll also spend at least five (5) hours throughout the week setting up promos and scheduling posts for social media.

After that, I’ll spend at least a couple (2) of hours every other day responding to emails and answering questions for authors. I do all of this after working an eight (8) hour day at my “day job”, five (5) days a week. And after that I’ll be creating about twenty (20) or so social media posts for the promos I need to post, I’ll schedule those across five (5) social media platforms. I’ll write posts for two (2) blogs, and I send out email blasts to about a hundred and seventy-five people (175). From all of this effort, I’ll hope to reach at least 10% of the 3,300 or so followers we have across those social media platforms. And after eight (8) years of this, all I can do is put in the effort and hope that we’ll see some sales and that those sales will result in a whole bunch of motivation falling into the hands of the people who need to read it and allow it to help them heal. I have to make friends with the numbers. And so, I’ll pick up my calendar and look, once again at the numbers that will rule my life this year. The dates when I’ll be releasing new books by the authors who have also spent hours and days and weeks and months putting their thoughts on paper in hopes of sharing something special with even a handful of readers.

The most important numbers I’ll pay attention to this year, however, won’t be my sales figures but the numbers that point me in the direction of Scripture to keep me motivated as I work through each day’s unique set of challenges, issues, and triumphs. Appropriately, a verse that comes to mind is Numbers 14:17 which says, “Now may the Lord’s strength be displayed, just as you have declared.” It reminds me that God will not leave the guilty unpunished and that even though time goes by, and we count our efforts as we navigate this life, we aren’t counting in vain. It’s not all just a bunch of numbers. It’s a measure of faith. With every turn of the page, we show faith that the rest of the story will hold something of value for us.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year! I hope 2023 is at least 150% better for you than 2022. God Bless!

Rebecca Benston is the owner of Higher Ground Books & Media and the author of over twenty titles currently available through Amazon and other outlets. Her books include a mystery series (The Rona Shively Stories), empowerment resources such as Wise Up to Rise Up, Don’t Be Stupid (And I Mean That in the Nicest Way), and From Judgment to Jubilee, children’s books including Grumble D. Grumble Learns to Smile, All the Scary Things, and See How Strong You Are. Benston lives in Springfield, Ohio with her awesome daughter, Mya and enjoys traveling, reading, writing, and telling it like it is. She enjoys being able to help other authors get their stories out there through Higher Ground and has recently expanded her freelance services to offer more extensive guidance as a writing coach and social media manager. For more information, you can contact Benston at highergroundbooksandmedia@gmail.com.

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My name is Rebecca Benston. I’m a Christian. I’m a woman. I’m a mother. I’m a writer. I’m a thinker. When I write fiction, I am usually writing a mystery series called The Rona Shively Stories. My P.I. character, Rona Shively is feisty, fearless and fabulous and is usually caught up in something she doesn’t want to be caught up in. In addition to this series, I also have a blog called Higher Ground for Life. Through this blog, I’m hoping to reach women or anyone who is seeking to develop a relationship with God and give them inspiration to get out there and follow His path for their lives!
I also have a blog called Leading the Follower. This one is my favorite. I write about religion, faith, spirituality and all that goes along with it. What we believe, what we don’t believe, what we are told to believe and how society feels about believing in general. I do a lot of testifying here and some of what I say may make you angry. Most of it will make you think. Some of it will make you cry. Any of it could make you laugh. It’s really up to you.

If you are looking for practical advice, honest conversation, and no nonsense observations about living in today’s world, check out my blogs at http://highergroundbooksandmedia.com and http://www.ronashively.wordpress.com and http://www.highergroundforlife.wordpress.com and http://www.leadingthefollower.wordpress.com. And if you’re so inclined, you can purchase my books and some other great, inspirational works from Higher Ground Books & Media at http://highergroundbooksandmedia.com.

Be blessed!

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