Business Therapy – health update

I am going to keep tabs on my health during the month of September, as I may have to adjust my schedule if things don’t go well.

Family day outdoors today was lovely. We had a picnic with a long walk along the foreshore. Beautiful view. Good for the soul.

Ok. A simple list.

  • brain dripping through nose again… haha or whatever it is.
  • lately I notice I get very cold, a number of times through the day (when no-one else is)
  • falling asleep during the day (probably catching up on late nights)
  • fell asleep at picnic table while writing up business email draft
  • shivering and chattering with cold, although dressed warmer than everyone else
  • queasy and exhausted for walk home, many rest stops
  • fell asleep immediately once home for couple of hours
  • convulsions, heart beat faster than usual and working hard
  • memories of trauma
  • got up weak, heavy, and wobbly/dizzy
  • slurred, sometimes garbled speech

Hmm. That looks worse on paper.

Just letting my readers know – there is nothing to worry about… all of these things have happened before, and I simply want to keep track this month to make sure things don’t get worse, or unusual. (Unusual even for me, that is!)

I think I have mentioned before that colouring in was very helpful in healing from post-traumatic stress, and that I do not have the fear/terror/panic/stress symptoms any more. Only the physical symptoms remain, meaning, my body is worn out.

So we will see just how worn out it is, and how much load it can handle.

Basically, working for an income involves a lot of work, some stress which would normally be classed as a healthy and positive stress, and an added weight of responsibility.

Then add the negative stress that can creep in, if allowed to… such as lack of confidence. Anger at the other parent who does not share the responsibility. And loading up extra thoughts of responsibility, such as paying back the taxpayer’s money that has supported us these last years.  And also, an awareness of the negative thoughts of others around me toward the situation I am in. I have to throw these thoughts off to maintain health.

Ok. So the healthy focus for now is to simply work towards $10,140 for the year. And stick to my one month plan to get it all started. I will document how realistic my goal is, of 15 contacts in the morning, 15 in the afternoon. And adjust it if necessary.

The ‘positive healthy’ stress of working for an income is complicated by the particular trauma I went through. It adds an unhealthy and negative stress. And this is something I will work through as things come up. It looks as though a re-run of some memories is naturally coming up, and it is more of a review, with my brain putting together the pieces into a continuous story, rather than disjointed pieces.

I have been in a situation before where I realized that my earnings were not enough to cover all expenses, and it was my love for those I cared for that kept me going through the stress. I am drawing on that feeling now as I set out to earn what I can, even if it may not be enough to cover all of our expenses.

New routine

I’ve been feeling a bit ruffled since starting the blog. This morning I thought of a new routine to try out. It may or not work in practice. Only one way to find out!

One. Spirituality…  I need to find an outlet, and nourishment for the spiritual side of me. And it has to come first, so I’m going to start with this each morning.

Two. Means of living… Next I will work on, creating content to encourage community interaction. I would like to highlight people’s work so I guess it would be a bit like an online publisher, or a niche bookshop… I’ll get it sorted, what kind of an animal is it really? I will allot it the time it requires early in the day.

Three.  Healing, and giving to others… This means my colouring book. The artwork-a-day routine is very healthy for me, and I want to complete my goal of a year’s worth of artwork available for free over the internet. I want this to be a healing sort of environment.

Four. Interaction…. Instead of likes and follows, I want to make comments. Who knows what will come of it! I am interested to find out. I am wondering if the percentages will change. Instead of a smaller percentage of comments out of a very large amount of views, I want to see if I get a larger amount of comments from a smaller number of views. Because at the end of it all, I would like to grow a creative community of people with as little effort as possible in bringing them all together. Call me lazy (?!)

Five. Exercise. Probably between about 3-5pm. Maybe play with a basketball and shoot some hoops or something. Something a little more vigorous than my usual long walks.

Six. And this is the part I look forward to, and what is most often put off… Learning! I like to read, study, practice, and create. And perhaps, I could set apart this last part of the day to learn with others, in person somewhere. Mostly, I want to create a colouring book at home. And I need to devote some time to it. It has to be a little different from the standard colouring books.

I’ve simplified it a lot, and there are things missing which will probably shuffle into weekends and odd pockets of the day.

I avoid deadlines as much as possible, and setting specific times to do things. I do get very specific about my goals, and have regular checks weekly and monthly to review them and make changes or update them. Usually my timing is way out. I either achieve a goal in a few months that I set for a year, or I take a year or more to achieve something I set out to do in a few months. It’s all part of the process and I adjust the timeframe to suit as I go along.

How I Became A Full-Time Freelance Writer and Blogger

Joe Warnimont shares practical words of experience with fellow bloggers. There are a few things I’d like to check out, such as Genesis as a platform for self-hosting. And I want to get serious about finding my niche. Recommended reading!

My new words to practice saying, and writing:

I am an artist

I am a poet

What do you get out of Joe’s story?

via How I Became A Full-Time Freelance Writer and Blogger.

Business Therapy

Trucking along with this idea of making an income online… I came around a corner and delved into an e-book on how to make it big with an e-book. I’ve answered some of the questions, and it is easier than coming up with a ‘standard business plan.’ This is more of a specific, e-book business plan!

In the meantime, we have set a family goal to achieve. The first combined goal involving making money together!

To share something personal – it wasn’t so long ago when it was difficult for me to get beyond my own front door and face the world. From walking to the letterbox, to walking around the block, to taking trips into town and back, and venturing out on longer walks, we have eventually made it out of town for a small number of trips, and overnight stays, and now even two week stays with family.

Getting sick is a pain, because it feels like I am going backwards, and cocooning into my house again. It is not such a big issue for me dealing with the physical symptoms. The thunder storm has rolled on past, and the sun is shining outdoors again, so a walk around the block with my buggy sniffly, phlegmy family will be a welcome break from the last few days indoors.

So, this is our goal:

To take a two-week tour of the South Island of New Zealand.
This will involve a flight for three of us, approx $1000
Bus tour for three, approx $2000
Accommodation 14 nights approx $1500
and food at approx $400

All very rough estimates and trying to err on the side of having “too much money” rather than being stuck with too little, far from home! Grand Total of around $5000.

I’ll share my secret: This is intended to motivate me to make an income. I have been a homeschooling mum for many years, and making a re-entry into the paid workforce is a very interesting process. Not only do I need motivation to keep my mind of a husband appearing out of thin air, I also need motivation to keep my family supportive of my efforts to create and maintain a business from home. Without the support of those in my own home, it makes all efforts more difficult to sustain.

The special thing about this trip, is that I have always wanted to explore and get to know my own country before venturing out to visit the rest of the world. To know that I can stay away from home for two weeks, means that this trip is possible for me now. And once this trip is completed, I will know that I am ready to travel overseas.

I have taken on-board OM’s very helpful tips in his e-book HarsH ReaLiTy (A Blogging Manual). And have made some specific measurable goals to work towards, which will help me to reach the South Island, and beyond!

  • 100,000 views in six months
  • 6,800 followers in six months
  • Commit to making three comments on new blogs every day (minimum)

Sounds ambitious, and that is the nature of goal-setting. I review my goals weekly, monthly and every three months. Because sometimes they can be too ambitious, or else I have achieved the goal earlier than expected. Or it has evolved into something else. So these figures may change. It is my prompt to get started, and to stay motivated.  Actually, OM is a major motivating force for me. I guess this is because essentially we have a similar aim, of earning an income from blogging in one way or another. Rather than a conventional 9 to 5 day-job or career.

I reckon there’s a few of us out there with the same motivation 🙂

At the root of it, for me, is the desire to spend maximum amount of time with those I love most.

There’s a careful balance needed then, to make sure the means does not swamp the end.

The therapeutic part of this business planning, is in the mindset I strive to develop. It is focused actively on love and hope. And draws the rest of my existence around those things.

Business Therapy

Or Business School. I’m going to share what I’m up to, and then ask you a question at the end.

  1. Free colouring book with fast, easy drawing. Low time, low (no) cost, low quality…
  2. Sellbox shop with listings on Medium time, low cost, higher quality.
  3. Spoonflower designs made to order, medium time, higher cost, higher quality
  4. Etsy shop with handmade one-off artworks created from Spoonflower designs, on fabric. Highest time, highest cost, highest quality.

To work on next:

  • Keep loading up daily artwork for free colouring book. In a way, this is absolutely free promotion of anything else I create. It is literally a look at the artist’s drawing board, with scribbles and sketches of ideas that may blossom into something later.
  • Create a beautiful and intricate artwork from my Spoonflower design. (Butterfly design on fabric – using beads and fabric paint, and who knows what else. It may turn into a beautiful bag of some sort…)
  • Figure out how to have all my blogs on, so I have only one point of contact. The trick is to make it so it is text only, mostly, on the front page, so that it loads quickly and easily. And also have all of the colouring pictures display as a gallery with no text. I think I can achieve this by carefully adding categories, and putting them into a menu. Or else I will have to figure out some coding, and how to use shortcodes.

Other ideas brewing:

  • A regular radio broadcast
  • A regular tv channel, you know, YouTube channel. With broadcasts, perhaps via Google+
  • Twitter poetry – 140 character poems. Perhaps it could make a good e-book, with photos and/or artwork added.
  • Skype or Gmail video chat available for face-to-face video chat.

My drive to share freely is in gratitude for the wonderfully supportive bloggers on WP, and also in a spirit of passing on what has helped me to heal.

My drive to start a business is to make money to support my family. Call me old fashioned, it kind of breaks my heart, as I believe in the Man having the role of providing for the family. The way I frame this in my mind, is that I am giving my kids the direct experience of seeing and being involved in a business start-up. Gotta be good for them. I love it when they come up with something better. I like to stimulate ideas, and head them down tracks they may not have considered. And then watch them run with it, in directions beyond my imagination or ability.

In the meantime… I am thoroughly enjoying the art I do with my own hands. Finally I am really starting to add colour. Somehow my mind is also tuning in to what other people want or need, that I could perhaps provide.

For now, here’s my question to you: What are your dreams, plans and goals? What is important to you in life right now? And what are your challenges, or disappointments, and how do you frame them so as to get on with things? (Big question…!)

Butterflies and bumblebees

My new Esty shop has butterflies and bumblebees for sale, neatly packed into colouring books that are printable and downloadable. It took me four hours today to create and upload them all, with a sample on my blog and Butterfly Woman‘s blog, and a Twitter and Facebook update.  I’m getting used to how the shop works, and how quick the pages load.  The PayPal works well, and Etsy tests that out for me at the start, so I feel secure and confident about it.

I visited the tax office, and feel relieved that it is much easier than I expected.  I don’t need to keep records of every single person who buys stuff.  A total for the month is fine, and Amazon and Etsy and PayPal all provide monthly reports so – sweeeet.

Thinking of it like a fish n’ chip shop, and tallying up the till.

I’ll change my WuFoo form so it doesn’t collect billing details.

Right. That’s my update.  The shop really does seem ‘live’ now. Even though I haven’t sold anything yet!

Let you in on a secret. I really like to give the colouring pictures for free online here. ( And all of this setting up shop carry-on, is like a non-stressful test run to get ready to sell other stuff……. won’t think about it too much yet. Don’t want to freak myself out!

Meantime – my canvas textured paper is still sitting on my desk, ready to start on a portrait in acrylics.  And my new confidence with building PDFs and uploading them for sale, is spurring me on to create an illustrated book of poems.  I have tried some very basic HTML in a text file, and tested it out in a browser window. It works. The pictures look enormous.  Then when I pull the whole thing into Kindle and preview it, the image sizes reduce to fit on the page. I haven’t perfected getting them the right size to go with the text. That’s my next mission. (I’m working on it, CP!)



The Weekend Saunters In…

The weekend saunters in

takes a seat

with jovial confidence

Helps him-


to some-

thing to eat.

I curl up warm in

the absence of

a cat. Purr and

fall asleep.


A poem practice with splitting words and sentences across lines. Noticed it has an effect on rhythm, and is conducive to slipping in double meanings.

I’ll call this poem therapy – I enjoy the healing effects of a bit of creativity each day. The drawing and colouring really do it for me. I want to ramp up the writing now, and see what effect it has. Also – my business therapy continues, bumpily, and I foresee that selling larger value stuff will be very important.

Well,there’s an extra motivator to edit stories and publish them! And also to paint. The animations and short films become important too. And collaborations – especially as a long-term thing. The royalties make for a passive income later on.  I guess the ideal would be to make an artwork that just keeps on selling as a print. So my focus becomes to make an artwork that everyone loves.  That’s what my daily drawings find out for me.  Seems that round pictures, symmetrical, with geometric shapes, of something from nature are quite popular and I enjoy making them. Just remembered today how much I really wanted to move into portrait and figure art, and sculpture.

There is time for everything. Photography, film and animation have always fascinated me too. So I will plan for much creativity, and let it all unfold.

As for my one-page business plan – I am stuck on the purpose. Long-term purpose is to create a passive income. I would like it to be open to becoming a family business. And it is all about encouraging creativity.  I have to be careful not to inject fears into my goal setting!

Shorter term goals, are to support myself and my teenagers as best I can.

Medium term goal, I would love to travel, and take my business with me – completely portable.

On a personal front – I would like to be wife and mother… and it will be slow going, as it will take getting to know someone, and finding someone with compatible beliefs and values. So I reckon I would have to place this as a really long-term goal.  And that’s okay.

There! That’s done. The only part left for my one page plan is getting the numbers to add up! What to sell, at what price, to meet costs of living.  Smaller goals to start with – such as to sell five itty bitty $1.40 colouring pics!

Hee hee…. I’ll get there. It’s my testing ground here in WordPress. I will find my niche.

Meantime: Did you know the Wildersoul Colouring Book is on sale at Amazon? (Yes buy it! Buy it now! Ha ha – yes I would like you to do it! hee hee) Here’s a link to some crayons in case you don’t have any. Crayola Crayons Colour Pack, 8 Colours/Box.   I use Faber Castell colouring pencils although I notice they cost a bit more than the crayons! Although, I see some are sold new for just a couple of dollars. Depends what’s in stock! Amazon is pretty cool when you have free shipping.

Messiness, I mean ‘Busi-ness’

My mind is a mess

My faulty thoughts

open yawning crevasses

and paint mirages

of a bridge

across the divide.


Failed assurances

to take the role of the man

Provide for a family

and absolve responsibility.


I am not a man.

Closing doors with chilly fear




just out of reach.

The fire is licking

the hearth. As I stare

in the frosty window,



This is where business meets the crossroads with personal. What is the purpose of my business?

Artwork helps to heal…

Perhaps this is bigger than me. My fear cannot be the purpose. It is like planning for what I do not wish to come. To provide for myself and baby alone? Where is the man? Dead?  Surely planning for life is better than planning for death?

What really is the purpose of my business? To help heal.

I could add all sorts of extras. To educate, or to entertain.  Not to protect me from grief and inevitable change. It is time for me to trust.

My business is not about me. It is about what I can do for others.

It is its own entity. My business helps to heal. So… it is in the health industry.

I am revising my one-page plan. This one won’t kill off my man.

Businessmen and Colourful Art

Today I meet with a businessman. I’ll show him what I’m doing here at Wildersoul, and he will tell us what his association can do for us.  I am wondering if all this might come down to grants and sponsorship, rather than making a profit.  We’ll see.

I would like to fund it myself with sales of my own artwork. That would be pretty cool.

So – here’s a start to doing more colourful artwork: I have started colouring in my own work, and this will hopefully lead to many more colourful adventures!

celtic triangle coloured 300dpi scan


This was coloured from the Celtric triangle artwork on my Wildersoul Colouring Book.




I am still on track with uploading free artwork for the year. Only 8 months to go…

If you would like your own 6 x 9″ paperback with pictures to colour (they are quite small, so easy to colour in a short space of time, giving a sense of completion quite quickly.)  Then pop over to Amazon and search for Wildersoul Colouring Book. 🙂 The book is quite portable, ideal for whipping out and colouring a pic on a lunchbreak, or while waiting for public transport…

Catching up with the housework

My life seems quiet from the outside.  And peace pervades my home.  Generally.

On the inside, there is busy work and thoughts that crowd each room.  There is a castle built in my mind. It’s under re-construction. And the guards have received orders to let the drawbridge down and allow people in.

I invited a man in for coffee today.  I must have been reasonably certain he would not come in. (She says withholding a grin!)

Twitter seems a friendly place, and ideally suited to the friendly business I want to thrive in.  (Hope you got my good morning and welcome tweets!)  I may use it to let people know when I am in, and available for coffee and a chat.

My colouring pictures seem to be left till the evenings lately and that’s cool.  I have a room full of laundry to do, and it’s a grey cold day.  Our hot water has run out, so I’m boiling up a great big pot on our new stove.

Here’s my day ahead – which I will no way get through completely.  It will spill over to tomorrow.

Wash all the clothes.

Get a chicken and veges to roast in our new oven.  That includes a half hour walk to the shops in the fresh air and a mini endurance-training stint on the way back, lugging the food.

Look up public domain pictures of native pollinators and plants for a certain State in the US.  Look up which State…

Practice drawing the pollinators and plants.

Think up a design for a poster for kids to colour in.  Keeping in mind the aim of raising awareness that butterflies sipping nectar means food on our tables.  No butterflies, no food.

Re-read children’s nonsense poem and break into pictures.  Then figure out what I need to learn to draw.  And then find public domain images to practice on.  Create a collection of colouring pics and send them to wonderful author.

Sit down and plan out priorities for learning how to setup a small business.  I might as well list what is hanging over my shoulders:

  • Prepare for Chamber of Commerce appointment next week, with outline of business, and questions to ask.
  • Prepare for IRD appointment the week after, with questions on tax for items sold outside of NZ, and about special tax codes to avoid being charged tax twice.
  • Make appointments with Creative NZ, and Arts Access Aotearoa
  • Read
  • The rest can wait…

Find silver dampguard stuff to lay on the sleepout floor so the underlay and carpet don’t get damp and mouldy…

Turf everything out of the sleepout again, and lay all the dampguard, underlay and carpet so the room is usable. Fix the broken windowpane in the door, with a bit of money and a phone call.  Hurf some things back into the sleepout and the rest out on the street.  Or somewhere…  (Oh how I long for a bonfire…)

Step 519: Clear moss out of cobblestones, and seriously clear out the garden. Hah. Not likely today.

I am pleased to see the sun has come out, so I going to go and sit in it, on the back step.  When I come back, I hope to have finished everything on the list… hahaha…  Still doesn’t include checking in on the kids making their movie for the next Cut! Secondary School competition, learning how to use Twitter, finding out how the WooCommerce Subscriptions, Groups WooCommerce, and Groups plugins work. And making new collections of artwork to sell in my shop. (sigh).

Never mind vacuuming the floor, and washing the windows, and figuring out why on earth the toilet overflow pipe randomly leaks all over the floor!

And I still haven’t gone next door to meet the new baby, and give them my present.

I do all right when I find I have a lot on my mind, and I write up some sort of plan to tackle it.  I am in the stage just before that where I feel totally overwhelmed.

This was meant to be a short post to say – “Hi everyone – bit busy catching up on housework – will be back later today!”

I feeeeeel good…. like I know that I should….

Two more wonderful moments – the man delivered the underlay, which is clean, soft and smells nice. And the people who pay to keep me alive called and are more than happy with the work and study I am doing.  So we live on another day. 🙂

Sending sunshine and peace your way…


PS – please don’t ask often how I am… giggle and chortle…

PPS – and I didn’t count contacting new blog followers, interacting in comments, reading blog posts, and writing my own…

PPS – nor any kind of focused and directed spiritual pursuits!