I had every intention of writing a whole lot in November, and I actually did– just not here. I had to swap writing frequent blog posts here so I could carve out time to write another book- an eBook.
I wish I could say it was born of a creative surge of energy and an abundance of hours in the day, but truthfully I had to write the eBook because we weren’t getting paid. We lost a client pretty abruptly when they restructured, some didn’t pay on time, and others just didn’t come through for q4, despite my hustle. I tried, I tried, I tried.
This year has been humbling and very hard, and I kept trying to figure out what the lesson was, worried that it was “You’re so freaking stupid for doing this and thinking you could support your whole family all on your own, you dumb, little mommy blogger.” Sometimes my inside voice is very mean to me and sounds like internet trolls.
I wound up writing and writing and writing for about 10 days straight- and I mean through the day and some nights, rarely leaving the RV or my PJs. I wrote the book that’s been bobbling around in my head for over a year– a 161 page how-to for people wanting to learn more about taking and editing photos with only their smart phones called Picture Play.
It’s based on a couple popular Facebook lives and some Instagram tutorials I did in 2016. I always knew I wanted to devote more to the topic, but I put it off for a long time because I never felt expert-y enough to do it, and I worried people wouldn’t really care about it, and that maybe it’s been done before, or will be done soon by someone much better than I. That’s the short list of excuses. At the heart of it all, as with a lot of things this year, was fear. I was afraid I’d pour my time and energy into something I cared a lot about that wouldn’t pay off, both creatively and financially.
Professionally, I’ve put my time and energy into a lot this year that has left me disappointed and scrambling again and again. I resent those endeavors because they’ve taken time away from enjoying this trip with my family and only increased my work load, but I feel like I finally figured out this lesson the universe has been trying to teach me all year– Stop believing the hype other people sell you about what they can do for you if you do something for them, just make things happen for yourself. Stop being afraid of the things that really excite you, and bring them to life on your own.
I can’t take all the credit for the amazing, quick success of my eBook Picture Play. Desiree, my managing editor for Baby Rabies (my parenting and pregnancy platform) was the one who really encouraged me to make it happen, and suggested we start pre-sales when I was about 30% done with it. I figured we’d get a few orders. I figured wrong.
We pre-sold more copies of this eBook in just 10 days than of my published book earlier this year even though we certainly worked way harder to pre-sell those “real” book copies over a much longer time frame. The eBook pre-sale success shocked me, thrilled me, but mostly terrified me. Why would all these people believe in something they hadn’t even seen yet?
When Picture Play was done and out in the world on November 30th (thanks in part to Desiree for designing it, and Miranda Wicker, a friend who I hired to edit it for me), I waited anxiously. I poured my heart into it and stressed that every detail would be crystal clear- that it would be a polished, professional work, and not a haphazard word doc I had the nerve to call some kind of “book.” I hoped it would make people happy, and that they would feel it was a worthwhile purchase. I needed to feel worth the money I had already made off of it.
Because, you guys? This book paid our bills for the entire month and then some over the course of a week. It saved us. It gave us more time on the road. And I’m kicking myself for not writing this book in Jan, Feb, March… anytime before November.
This has opened my eyes to a whole new side of this digital nomad life, and as the influencer/blogger/content creator landscape is rapidly changing, it feels good to have a little confidence in figuring this one part out for now, at least.
I’m on track to make more off of this eBook than I have off of my published book (so far) by the end of the year as long as sales remain slow and steady.
I’m really proud of Picture Play. It already has 15 5 star reviews, and the pictures people are sharing with me after they’ve read the book and applied the techniques I share are blowing me away. You can see a few on Instagram so far with the #BabyRabiesPicturePlay and #PicturePlay hashtags.
Photography is a big part of this trip for me because, of course, I want to document as much as I can. But also, photography is a big part of my life- a hobby and a passion that can exist with and without my lens focused on my children.
I get so much joy sharing what I know when it comes to taking pictures. I think because I’ve spent a lot of time trying to get those photos on my screen to look like the beauty I see through my eyes. As a parent, and simply as someone who travels and sees awe-inspiring sites, I am so glad I finally have the skills to capture what I’m really viewing. I want other people to have those skills, too!
If you would like to support us as we continue our journey, and if you also think you could put my mobile phone photography tips to use, I hope you’ll consider purchasing Picture Play. Not only will you get the digital download emailed to you immediately, but you’ll also get access to a closed Facebook group- Picture Play- where we share our photos, work on edits together, and I go into more detailed and advanced editing techniques.
All you need is a smart phone that takes photos and 3 apps, which I’ll list in the book. 2 are free and one is $1.99 (and that one’s optional, but it’s also everyone’s favorite so far). My book will walk you through everything else.
And if, like me, you mostly shoot with a DSLR and send those photos to your phone for editing and sharing, you will still learn a lot from this book! This book isn’t focused on one specific kind of camera or phone, and all apps are available for both iPhone and Android.
I’m breathing a huge sigh of relief tonight, knowing we’ll be able to fund a little bit longer on the road no matter what clients come through or who pays us when, And now my brain is really spinning with other ways to work smarter, not harder. I have so many YouTube videos to edit and blog posts to write and am hopeful I’ll find the time to do those again soon. Thank you for hanging in there as I paused the story-telling part of this journey, and thank you for listening as I tell the business part of this story.