Wrap-up January 2018

Here’s how I did on my January plan

  • Draft a short story (revise and publish if time)
    • started but not finished – continuing in February
  • Revise Emergence
    • in progress – continuing in February
  • Publish print version of Shadows and Secrets
    • not done – hopefully will be done in February
  • Finish zero draft of Clockwork Empire
    • not done – partial draft reviewed and notes made
  • Revise Double Helix book
    • not done – notes made
  • submit Sirens short story for beta reader feed back
    • postponed until February
  • Post on Find the Soul, At the Shadows Edge, and here every week
    • posted every week except the last week of January

February 2018 Plan

Stories – Writing/Revisions

  • Regrets/No Regrets – February’s short story – rewrite due to short month
  • Finish Tapestry of Shadows – January’s short story
  • Clockwork Empire #1
  • Helix #2

Blog posts (weekly)

Other Writing Related Tasks

  • Double Helix site/wiki
  • Two book reviews (missed January’s)
  • Revamp mailing list

How You Can Help Your Favorite Authors

You may not think about it much, but your favorite authors need your help. They need you to do more than just buy their books when they come out. And there are lots of ways you can help them without spending any money.

So how can you help?

  • Write a review… on Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook, or a blog
  • Tell your friends and fellow readers about your favorite authors and stories
  • Loan out a copy of the book or story
  • Send the author an email or comment on one of their posts to let them know you enjoy their work
  • Ask your local bookstore ( especially indies)  or library to stock the books
  • When an author asks for feedback, participate. They’re asking because they want your help
  • Share what you like

Do you want more of a certain type of story from an author? Let them know. Help them make it profitable enough to write those stories instead of others.

Most of all, let authors know you’re reading and enjoying their work. Sometimes that’s the one small thing that keeps us writing.

January 2018 Plan

A little late getting this out…. but here goes.

  • Draft a short story (revise and publish if time)
  • Revise Emergence
  • Publish print version of Shadows and Secrets
  • Finish zero draft of Clockwork Empire
  • Revise Double Helix book 
  • submit Sirens short story for beta reader feed back
  • Post on Find the Soul, At the Shadows Edge, and here every week

2018 Writing and Publishing Plan

The plan for 2018? Write more and publish more!  *laughs*

You want more detail? Specifics are on the 2018 Plan page, but I’ll give you some general ideas of what I have planned.

  • Minimum of one post per week here and on my other sites
  • One short story drafted and revised (possibly published) each month
  • One zero or revision draft completed each month
  • Grow my list of beta readers/editors
  • Restart my mailing list
  • Learn more about marketing and improve mine
  • Create site for the Double Helix stories
  • Publish the second and third Double Helix books
  • Help coordinate and publish the third Sirens benefit anthology

I’ve scheduled writing/revision/editing/formatting time into everyday. It and my “wake up” time are the two blocks that can’t be touched, so that should help. I’ve gotten to the point where doing something writing related everyday is habit and it feels weird if I skip a day. That should help as well.

What I’m hoping for is to get enough content out there for readers to start finding me even if I’m still lousy at marketing at the end of the year. I expect several of the short stories will end up self-published – if they do, they’ll be exclusive to Kindle. Eventually I’ll publish collections, and those may be available with other online retailers.

Time to get writing!

2017 Wrap Up

How did I do this year? That depends on how you look at things.

I didn’t publish what I wanted to. I didn’t even write as much as I wanted to. Schedule changes at the day job and life changes cut into my writing schedule and I got way off track. A few new story ideas didn’t help matters.

On the bright side, I did write and I did get back on track in October and November. I’m not unhappy with where I am as 2017 ends. I have plans to increase my writing production and improve my pretty much none existent marketing.

I started several short stories that didn’t get finished. I revised several stories of different lengths. And I learned. My writing and my process are continually improving in ways that I can see. My plotting is getting better and my zero drafts are starting to include some of those things that I’ve always had to add in revisions.

My plan for 2018 is almost done. I’m still tweaking a few things, but I’ll be posting it soon.

Thanks for sticking with me!

I’m not good at…

  • Short stories
    • I have trouble with the length… I either write way too short or way too long.
    • I have trouble figuring out how much of the story to tell. There’s always more – whole world’s worth- that I know.
    • I have trouble with submission deadlines. Short stories always take longer than I think they will.
  • Keeping things updated
    • Remembering to update
    • Deciding what to write an update about
    • Making enough progress to be worth updating

I want to get better at both these things and I think I’ve got a plan that will help.

I’m scheduling time to write at least one short story each month in 2018. And I’ll publish those either as individual stories or collections. I may go as far as to schedule the actual days that I work on them first. Practice should make me better at writing short stories. Or at least make them a little easier to write.

I already have several update posts scheduled for the first part of 2018. That means I don’t have to try to come up with what kind of update to write. I have a tracking spreadsheet almost finished to help me keep track of the things I want to update. And I have people asking to see some of the stories I’ll be working on in 2018.

So here’s to recognizing what needs improvement and putting a plan in place to make it happen.

The Growing Project List

I have a project file. It has over one hundred projects of various lengths in it. That’s more than enough to keep me busy for at least a couple of years.

You’d think I’d concentrate  on those projects before considering new ones… or maybe my brain would stop coming up with new ones.

No such luck. It’s gotten to the point that I don’t even write an idea down unless it either sticks around for a few days or comes with a full-out plot. 

The more project ideas I have the more I want to write. And the more annoyed I get that I have to work the day job to pay the bills. But the more I write the better chance I might bring in enough income from it to quit the day job… that’s not something that’s  going to happen anytime soon.

Now I just have to figure out how to prioritize all my projects!

 Overambitious

I really can’t plan writing schedules well.

If you look at the pages for my writing plans you can see just how bad I am at it. The monthly plans aren’t much better.

I’m learning though. And I’m getting faster at writing and revising too. 

I have a feeling that my 2018 plan will still be too ambitious. I’m still working on it and trying to determine what I can realistically do.

But if you don’t try for more than you know you can do, you never learn how much you’re really capable of.  So I’m  hoping I’ve learned enough about what I can do to not over-plan too badly.

Playing Catch Up

It’s been entirely too long since I last updated here. Life’s been just a little on the busy side.

After posting a plan for July, I ended up searching for a new place and moving. That took up most of July and August. September was mostly catching up on all the stuff that didn’t get done during the previous two months and trying to get two short story submissions done.

October was a good month for starting to get back on track, even if I didn’t get there. I did a lot of planning and prep work for my NaNoWriMo project.  October was also the month the second Sirens Benefit Anthology, Witches & Warriors (also available on Amazon), was released. And it was my third Sirens – which turned out to be a very interesting experience when it came to writing related things.

November was  – of course – NaNoWriMo.  I completed the zero draft of the third Double Helix novel – the last in this trilogy. The draft came in it at over 60,000 words which is about 10,000 more than the zero drafts of the first and second books.

So that’s where things stand right now. More news and plans soon!