I belong to a great group. Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. I have been a member for almost two years now, and have taken the step to volunteer for more. Recently, I took over the task of Newsletter Editor.

Whoa. Whoawhoawhoa. Woe.

The previous editor let me know it’s about ten hours of work a month. She was right. More, this time. Why? Because it was my first time putting one together – the first time putting ANY newsletter together. So let’s just say, ‘learning curve‘ and leave it at that.

Well, actually, let’s not. I really like MS Office Publisher. It’s fairly easy – but – and this is a big but – the templates are NOT your friend. Maybe it’s because I am newsletter-impaired, but a fair amount of my learning curve was trying to work with the templates. Which I chose because I thought, Oh, this will make things easier.

No. Just. No. That’s where it went to Woe. Much, much woe.

Finally, I tossed the template, and started from scratch. Did it all myself. Note to self and you – look at the Page Parts section. Then look at the additional parts link offered. Parts is parts, but using them made it look better.

In a year, I’ll look back and give a scoffing laugh at my humble efforts, I’m sure. But right now, I feel pretty good. Because I taught myself something that I hadn’t done before. With only a normal amount of colorful descriptives (see previous post).

As well, as an indie author, being able to put together a newsletter that you’re not ashamed of is important. It’s one of the ways you communicate to your readers. With One Night at the Ball releasing soon, I’ll be sending out my first newsletter. Now I know how to do it. I won’t lie, the thought of building one has been rather daunting. But having put together one in a really short time frame because I tossed my initial work – I know I can do it, and it won’t be all that bad.

So there’s my PSA today. Go outside of the things you normally do. Learn a skill – and don’t be afraid to step up and volunteer to learn it. Things that confounded me – I went and Googled them. You can find anything on Google. You can usually find a video of how to do it. (Yes, I know this intimately.)

But everything you learn can be used moving forward. And we should never, ever stop learning. Something to keep in mind – because it’s easy to forget when you’re just trying to get through the day.