Christmas Presents and a little Break

The Legend of Iski Flare Episode One The Legend BeginsEpisode One of the Legend of Iski Flare will be available 24 December, 2015

 

It is that time of year again – whether you celebrate Christmas, as most of us do in my house, or something else it is time for a little break.

After a hideous festive season last year we have decided to rebadge Christmas, if just for lunch.

We are having a Non-Festive Non-Denominational Family Gathering. But we are exchanging gifts and we will be consuming the usual traditional Christmas fare. It appears there is a lot in a name and if we need to rename something just to get certain members of the group to participate then I’m all for it.

Now my little gift to the world is the release (finally) of The Legend of Iski Flare, Episode One: The Legend Begins. It will be available from 24 December in a number of formats for the electronic device of your choice (including Amazon, Nook, iBooks etc)

I hope your Family Gathering is as festive or non-festive or religious or otherwise as you require it to be. And that you are well rested and revived for the New Year.

I will be returning on Sunday January 10, 2016. I’m spending my non-blogging time writing and preparing for next year – because it is going to be a big one.

Stay safe and happy writing.

Dangers of the Soft Deadline

The Danger of Soft Deadlines

I have recently discovered that I’m not as good at meeting my own deadlines as I previously thought. And it is somewhat disappointing.

I had really hoped that I would be announcing the release of my next book but I’m not quite ready. Part of the reason is that I didn’t think to factor in other work I needed to reach the deadline, such as cover design. I only started discussions with the designer in the last week or so.

I also had a freak out about the story as a whole and sent it out to beta-readers. Thankfully they got back to me in a reasonable time but all of these activities impact on when I will be finished.

I haven’t been as strict with myself as I should have been either. My writing times have slipped and I’m a little distracted with other things, such as Christmas and end of year activities and catch-ups.

My plan for the future is to set a firm deadline with clear milestones and factor in some wiggle room. I have reworked my plans for next year to include some practices earlier in the process, such as cover design so that they are ready long before I need them.

I haven’t reached all my writing goals this year and that is simply down to me not completing work on time, or at all. I want to start treating this as a business, in that I take it seriously but I’m not sure that I’ve been taking myself seriously as a writer.

It is clear that the only thing holding me back is me.

I have changed the way I do some things over the course of the last year. Something that has dropped away is my weekly to do list. First on my list for this week is to create a list; capture everything I need to do and then make a clear plan. Too often in the last few weeks I have just moved items from one day to the next without thinking of the bigger picture.

If I am going to achieve what I plan to next year, I am going to have to make some changes to my thinking.

 

Stay tuned– there will be a new release coming shortly:

The Legend Begins, Episode 1 of The Legend of Iski Flare Series

 

What have you learnt from the last year?

What have you learnt from the last year

As the year draws to a close (and didn’t that come around quickly?) it is time not only to be planning for next year but reviewing the last year.

I like to do this for a couple of reasons:

  • To see if I achieved what I wanted to and if not why not
  • To learn from the first point to be more effective next year

I have also said before that I track my time as the year has gone on I have become more efficient and detailed in that tracking. This is useful because without tracking the actual time I spend on my writing projects I don’t know. Before I was tracking I thought I spent hours a day writing, but I wasn’t.

Every goal I set is a part of the larger picture. Every day builds towards my longer term goals and overall plan. That is (and I’ve shared this before) writing full time. Being certain of where I’m going and how well I am achieving this is important for me because I am trying to meet these goals around a full time job and raising a child (alone-ish). I need to make decisions about how much time I put into this and what I want to get out of it.

I want to stress here that I am not writing to make money. I would love to be able to write full time because I love to write. I need to write. Creating stories and discovering new worlds and people is a joy. I would rather being experiencing that joy all day every day than slaving at the other desk.

 

From 2015 I have learnt:

My day job does impact on my creativity (the busier it gets the less writing I do).

Writing down/setting writing times does help but I don’t always stick to them.

I can draft a heck of a lot faster than I first thought.

I can draft a heck of a lot better than I used to.

I don’t mind editing as much, now that I have a clearer system (that works for me). But that may not always be the case.

Self publishing is the way to go (for me).

I can’t do it alone. I would love to, but I need support, writers groups, writing buddies, friends with skills, paid friends and would be friends with skills I don’t have.

It takes effort and time but every little bit of it is worth it.

 

From all of this, and the above list is not in any order, I am more confident going into next year. My plan is clear, my goals are set and I’m sure I will learn a whole lot more. It’s exciting really. From my tracking this year I have a good idea how long each process takes. I know when my day job is crazy busy and it will impact on my writing. I know how much time each day I can give it. And I know why I am doing what I am and what I’m working toward.

That means all I have to do is focus on the writing. And that is all I want.