I recently had a bit of a panic attack about what I was doing with my writing and where it was going. I was stressing about my deadlines. Because I had read or heard in one of my courses, that I should try to produce as much as possible. But I was worried that I was sacrificing quality for quantity and so I took some time to reassess.
Way back at the beginning of the year my writing goals included:
- Reading every day
- Continuing with the Legend of Iski Flare novella series with episodes 2, 3 and 4 planned for release this year
- The Raven Crown series books 1 and 2 planned for release this year. (Book 3 in 2017)
- The Mark of Oldra (formerly known as Snow) will be released at the beginning of February
- The Flow of Ink will continue to blog every week and produce a monthly newsletter. I am changing the posting day to Sunday.
- Improve my marketing skills to boost readership of my books and blog
- There will be some ideas generating for next year, including expansions on some of the larger works I’m putting out this year and a new series that has started bubbling away.
At my last goal check, at the end of June, things were looking pretty good.
Here is where I am at the three quarter mark of 2016:
I am almost reading every night and trying to work my way through the bedside pile. Kindle is my problem here as I keep seeing and buying and not getting to the physical books on the bedside table.
I joined a review group but find that I’m feeling pressured to read and when my editing is intense I’m not getting the chance. I also wasn’t getting many reviews in return for all the reading I was doing and so I’ve pulled out of the group to focus on my own writing first.
I do still review everything I read because I understand how important those reviews are.
The Legend of Iski Flare
I have now published three episodes of Iski’s adventures and I’m really pleased with how he is going. I am currently working on Episode 4 due for release on October 31.
I have reworked these so that they are all formatted the same way and as I go, I am inserting a sample of each episode in the previous one. Episode 5 is brewing away and I will start outlining at the end of the year.
The Raven Crown Series
The first in this series is coming together. Partly because I started putting in the work required to get it done. I have a fantastic cover designed.
This is the book that pushed me over the edge. Partly because I hadn’t shared any of it before and the varied responses from beta readers threw me for a spin. Although it was to be expected, I had only given myself a week to rework the manuscript before sending it to the proofreader. So after taking some deep breathes to get the oxygen back to my brain, I rescheduled the proofreader and gave myself some decent time to sort out the issues raised.
I also gave myself some extra time to make sure it was uploaded and ready for print at the same time (or they will be close) before the launch date. I would much rather you had a good story to read than just promising it comes out sooner.
I was working my way through the edit for book two but that is taking a back seat to book 1 at the moment.
The Mark of Oldra
I reported last time that The Mark of Oldra was published earlier this year and now I have finally organizing a print version. This is available as print on demand Amazon.com only at this point) and I’m selling off the side of my desk (literally). I’m working on the advertising for the print copy and I’m planning a Goodreads giveaway for October.
Still too scared to shop it around just yet, but I will get there.
The Flow of Ink
I am managing to maintain my weekly blog post. And I am somewhat more organized and scheduling ahead of time. I continue to fiddle with little bits of the site, including using a new program to put in lead pages and buttons that connect readers to my newsletter and a free book.
[insert button here]
Marketing and Social Media
As I reported last time, I am still learning. I wonder if I will ever learn it all. I struggled with Hootsuite and switched to Tweetdeck. Then I got carried away with scheduling posts only to discover the same ones were appearing on my timeline repeatedly. I’ve eased off a bit and gone back to just tweeting what is happening at the time, whether writing or life or writing life related.
I am working my way through a Facebook Advertising Course for Authors which is really interesting and I’m learning a lot. Although I’ve only run a couple of ads so far (the cost worries me) but the second one did reasonably well. I completed a marketing course for gaining readers and how now signed up for a more comprehensive course with Nick Stephenson.
Despite all my stress of late, I have played with a few ideas over the last couple of months for writing projects, everything from erotica to memoirs. But I am passionate about my fantasy writing and so I’m sticking with that.
I have an idea forming for another trilogy. It is fantasy but quite different to what I’m currently doing. I’ll let you know more when I have a better idea of what it is. And there are some short stories swimming around in there too.
Overall I am very pleased with how I’m going this year, despite having to rethink my major project’s time lines. I had more than a few moments of doubt this quarter as to whether I could deliver what I wanted to.
And other than lawns and painting and dance exams (and maybe Star Trek on Netflix) I’m actually doing pretty well. So there will be a novel delivered this year, and another Iski Flare adventure.
I won’t deliver what I thought I would at the beginning of the year. At times I forget just how much I have to squeeze into my life: working full time, being a single parent, all the house work, yard work and occasionally sleeping.
I have used this current restructuring to look at next year and what I can seriously deliver, in a reasonable time frame. I’m still looking at a couple of projects at a time but it will be a good year. I will refine this as I get closer to the end of the year and I’ll fill you in around Christmas time, or early next year when I release my goals for 2017. And I hope it doesn’t scare you if I mention I’m thinking about what that will mean for 2018 as well.