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What’s on your To Do list?

I recently shared this with my Scrivener newsletter readers, and I thought you might find it useful too…

The last couple of months I’ve been pretty stressed out and frustrated, feeling like despite all the hours I was working, I wasn’t getting enough done. And then I took a step back and realized something that has really helped: I was getting A LOT done, but I’d made it invisible.

For example, while I was running the 30-Day Scrivener Journey, I initially might’ve had an item on my to do list that looked like “Create Lesson 4.” And then I’d get to the end of the day, having worked for hours on it and still not be done, and not be able to check that off my list, and feel like a failure.

So I broke down all the discrete steps required to have a finished Lesson 4 on the class website, and there were THIRTEEN! No wonder I was overwhelmed. Once I had all the parts of the process mapped out—I guess that’s kind of my thing, lol—not only could I see just how much work I was actually accomplishing, but I could also stop in the middle without losing track of what needed to come next.

An example of my 13-step checklist
My 13-step lesson checklist

Maybe it sounds silly and obvious, but I think a lot of us fall into this trap. I’d like to gently suggest if you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed—whether in your writing or anywhere else in your life—that you take stock of the full effort required to finish something and give yourself more credit. It’s gratifying to be able to check off each step, and I think it’s motivating.

To apply this specifically to writing, you might think in chunks. Those could be blocks of time, word counts, chapters of a research book read, etc… It all counts. I track words written each day, but my daily goal is time based because I spend a lot of necessary time doing things for the book besides typing out words. Like research, rereading, revising, and brainstorming.

All are part of my process at some point, and the book won’t happen without them. I cannot just think about the story for three months, figure the whole thing out and then have it spill from my fingertips into a typewriter like Dick Francis. (But if I could, the three months of thinking would totally count toward writing!)

Anyway, all that to say that often we think “I just need to do this one thing,” but the idea that it’s only one thing is a lie. For your well being, consider breaking it down.

And if you have any of your own ideas/thoughts to share on this topic, leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you!

Kicking off the year with good news

Happy 2024! How’s the new year treating you so far? I realized I’ve been remiss in posting updates the last couple of months, so I thought I’d give you a quick recap of all my exciting news. Hope you're well!

LIE WITH ME IS A WINNER

In December, my latest book Lie With Me (Night Herons #1) won the romance category of the BookLife Prize for Fiction to advance to the final round! It wasn’t the grand prize winner, but I’m so proud that Emma and Jason’s story had such a good run through all the rounds and earned a 9.5/10 on the preliminary score sheet.

Lie With Me cover

Romance finals judge, author Dylan Newton, said:

This page-turning romantic suspense has grit, substance, and a sizzling second-chance romance woven throughout. Hernandez's writing grabs you in the very first chapter and doesn't let go until the end. Lie With Me is a fantastic thrill-ride of a romance!

🥰

AUDIO BOOKS ON AUDIBLE

Many of you have told me you don’t use Scribd (now Everand) for audiobooks, so I’m happy to announce that Blind Fury and Blind Ambition are now available now on Audible!

And since Scribd bought the audio rights to the rest of the series, all of your favorite men of Steele should be coming to both Everand and Audible soon. I’ll be sure to let you know when they hit the shelf.

🎧

FREEBIES

Did you know that my newsletter subscribers not only see all my news first, they also get exclusive access to things like short romance stories or monthly Scrivener tips? Don’t miss out! Click the button below to get in on the fun and get a freebie just for signing up.

Veterans Day deep discounts on military romances

As a lifetime military brat and 20-year military spouse, I just can’t seem to stop writing military heroes (and heroines—hello, Caitlyn in Running Blind). So, to celebrate Veterans Day, I’m having a sale on the steamy, adventurous books that started it all.

Forced proximity, best friend’s little sister, second chances, enemies to lovers… These books feature your favorite tropes with smoking hot heroes who’ll do anything to protect the women they love.

If you haven’t read BLIND FURY, BLIND AMBITION, or BLINDSIDED yet, don’t miss your chance to bring these sexy vets home with you at these low, low prices!

Amazon | Amazon AU | Apple | Nook | Kobo | Google

Free Romantic Suspense anthology for a limited time 📚

Would you like 9 romantic suspense books to get you through the fall season? Wish granted! I’ve teamed up with a group of amazing authors to give you 9 full-length, enemies-to-lovers/opposites attract novels, absolutely FREE!

But only through September 30th, so don’t snooze on this one.

PROTECTING THE ENEMY

He's dangerous. Daring. Deadly. 

Everything about him is wrong, yet you can’t stay away. Sometimes the man you shouldn't want is exactly the man you need…

Opposites attract in this stunning multi-trope collection of romantic suspense novels that will drive you to the edge of your seat and take your breath away.

Download your copy of Protecting the Enemy now!

Amazon | Apple | Nook | Kobo | Google 

Includes 9 full-length books from your favorite authors of romantic suspense:

  • Morgan James
  • Stephanie St. Klaire
  • Gwen Hernandez (that’s me 😉)
  • Anna Brooks
  • Sienna Snow
  • L.K. Shaw
  • S.M. West
  • Ellie Isaacson
  • Kenzie Macallan

This anthology disappears after September 30th, so get it before it’s gone!

Amazon | Apple | Nook | Kobo | Google 

Donate to help Maui and get a free ebook

Please join me in supporting those affected by the devastating wildfires in Maui. If you donate at least $5 USD to one of the charities below, and send me a copy of the receipt by August 31, 2023 at 11:59pm PDT, I’ll send you a link for an ebook of your choice from those I’ve written.

My chosen charities:

Maui Food Bank

Red Cross of Hawaii (choose Hawaii Wildfires from the “I Want to Support” dropdown)

Maui Strong Fund

Maui Humane Society

Send a screenshot of your receipt (similar to the one below)—along with your ebook choice—to me at gwen @ gwenhernandez.com (without the spaces). THANK YOU!

Maui Food Bank donation confirmation