Tag Archives: Full-Time Author

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Progress Made – Month Six of Being a Full-Time Author

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I had such high hopes for June. I had a great plan. I even gave myself extra time for everything, but in the end, it didn’t matter. Life blew up a few times and I barely got through the musts of the month and left many of the would-be-nice things in the dust.

A writer at a conference I went to once said that you should pad all of your time by 20%. I’m starting to believe him, and I’m also starting to believe that my number should be 30%. Because, life happens.

This past month my hubby’s family has all been in town. It’s been five years since that happened, so we’ve been spending a lot of time with them. In the middle of that, my dad ended up in the hospital for five days. My mother is incapable of taking care of  herself for more than a few hours, so my two sisters (one of which is recovering from an infection in her leg on top of a recent knee replacement) and I tag-teamed taking care of them. Seriously, the schedule was a thing of beauty. And I may have got my mom hooked on fancy sodas from Sips. Oops.

Like I said, life happens and we all get to roll with the punches. Am I right?

That being said, I’m going to list my wins:

The Jagged Scars Box Set is out! All five e-books books available on Amazon at a great price, if I do say so myself. I’m still really excited about having a completed series.

New Sight 3 (the final book of the trilogy) is with beta readers.This was two weeks behind, but I did get it out before the end of the month. Which, trust me, was nothing short of a miracle.

I managed to keep up with both my blog and my Flash Fiction Friday. Although I did end up writing one Flash Fiction on the Friday it was due. I really try to avoid that.

I ran a couple of promotions that ended up being quite lucrative. I sold the most books that I have ever sold in a single month. So that was awesome!

 

Most of my quarterly goals got juggled, but I managed to pull most of the big ones out at the end.

As usual, I wanted to get more done, but life did not permit. Not without losing sleep, which isn’t a great idea for me. Not if the people around me want to live.


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Progress Made-Month Five of Being a Full-Time Author

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As usual, I started the month off with way too much to do.

I’m like a kid in a candy store whose eyes are bigger than their stomach…

Ooh, a novel to finish. Ooh, a novella to edit. Ooh, covers to pick. Ooh, another novella. Ooh, a rough draft to write. Ooh, an anthology I could write something for. Ooh, two new projects. Ooh, marketing (okay, it’s more like “ewe, marketing”).

I knew there was too much. After four months of missing my goals, I decided I wanted to set reasonable expectations. You know, so I might be able to celebrate at the end of the month instead of being frustrated again.

I went so far as to write down everything I wanted to do, then cut it back to everything I knew I had to do. Then I went through everything that had to get finished and assigned hours to it. (I know, I know, not very creative, but there you go.) Then I calculated how many writing hours I had in the month. Then I compared them.

The hours were exactly the same.

And I know myself. Something always comes up, so I knew something would slip.

I moved forward anyway. I put everything that didn’t need to get done this month on the back burner, prioritized what had to get finished and in what order and dove in.

Guess what?

Almost everything got done.

I’m so excited!

Finally. Finally. Finally I have something to show for five months of writing. It’s been a long road, but I have to tell you that it’s been worth it!

Book five of my Jagged Scars series is out. I finished two novellas and have them ready to go. I’ve started advertising. The wheels are finally moving.

Have sales rocketed? No. But they’re steady. And growing, which is good.

So I guess this is my new process for my monthly goals. I already laid out this month, and it looks good.

 


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Wins and Losses-Month Four of Being a Full-Time Author

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The Montey Python boys say that I should always look on the bright side of life.

Johnny Mercer told me that I should accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative.

Dozens of kitty and puppy memes a day tell me to be happy.

But it’s so easy to be grouchy!

Especially when things aren’t going exactly according to plan.

In an attempt to accentuate the positive, I’ve been writing wins and not so much wins each day in my journal. It helps remind me that some things are going well, and others—while perhaps unexpected—are awesome.

So that’s what my report for April is going to be.

Writing Wins:

Re-wrote the last book of my Jagged Scars series (again and for the last time) and got it back to my editor

Finished my fairy tale retelling—beta readers loved it!

Entered two flash fiction horror story contests.

Outlined and wrote 25k of a rough draft for New Sight 3.

Learned some marketing stuff.

Went on a super fun writing retreat!

Taught a class on writing action scenes. That went well.

Beta read a novel for a friend.

Blogged every week.

Put up Flash Fiction every week.

 

Not so much wins:

The rough draft of New Sight 3 was supposed to be finished on April 30th. It will be about 90k words.

I’m a few weeks behind on Jagged Scars 5 as well as a novella in that series.

Didn’t get any marketing done…because I was writing. I need to work on that.

I was supposed to start outlining my next project (just a few hours a week) but got nothing done on that.

Conclusion:

When I look at the good and then the not so good, I feel better than if I just focus on what didn’t get finished.

I took a few hours at the beginning of the month to layout Q2 of this year. And guess what? It’s already in danger.

But one thing came up that I wasn’t prepared for. I had the project I was going to work on after New Sight 3 all picked out, but I got distracted. You know how shiny, new ideas are, they’re so appealing and seductive. So now I’m trying to decide between the shiny new idea, or the awesome old idea. There are pros and cons to each, so I’m weighing them in an attempt to choose.

So basically I’m writing like mad, trying not to get distracted by the internet, family or anything else that comes up during my working time. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I fail.

 

 

 

 


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Five Lessons Learned from Month 3 of Being a Full-Time Author

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It has been three months since I started my Full-Time author adventure. Here are a few lessons that I have learned.

1) You control your own destiny…mostly

I have a problem of making lofty goals. Q1 of being a full-time author was no different. I worked my tail off and still didn’t make them. Most of that is my fault, but there were some unforeseen circumstances. My editor, and good friend, had also made some lofty goals for her Q1, her life exploded a little bit and chaos ensued. Which meant one goal that I could have accomplished didn’t get finished because she was unable to get my book edited in her usual timeframe.

I can’t point fingers, it’s just life.

2) You have to treat it like a real job

Everyone told me this before I went full-time, and while I believed it and thought I understood it, I didn’t. I still don’t, but I’m getting there.

The best thing I did for this is to make a daily schedule for myself. It’s not set in stone, but the first two or three things in the morning, including exercise, really set my mood for the rest of the day. Sitting down at my computer and typing in my journal for a few minutes allows me to get into the writing mindset, and then into the groove.

Each morning I also sit down and make my to-do list for the day. I tried doing that the night before, but kept forgetting, so now I do it in the morning.

3) Break it down, break it down, break it down

Besides making daily to do lists, I found it helpful to take Friday afternoon or Monday morning to make a to do list for the week ahead. Sometimes the list looks daunting, but if I need to get 10k written on a project before the coming Friday, then I can look at everything I need to do and work it all into the schedule.

This week, for instance, I need to finish an outline I’ve been working on. Which sounds daunting, I’m not going to lie, but if I break it down into smaller chunks, it’s more likely I’ll get it finished. Today I’ll work on the main character’s flaw/problem and how she is going to change by the end of the story. Tomorrow I’ll do the same for a few of the side characters. The next day I’ll start working on my outline beats, and hopefully a day or two after that, I’ll be finished.

4) Having a hard time concentrating? Leave your house.

As most of you know, my hubby got laid off in January, so he was home for a couple of weeks. And even when he’s “hiding in his office not making a sound and pretending he doesn’t exist” it’s distracting to have him at home. Also, about 10:30am each morning I feel the urge to take a nap. Every time I get up my mind says I need a snack. And let’s not even start with the internet.

There’s a Barnes and Noble not too far away, and I tend to go there if I’m dawdling too much. I know several authors who do all of their creating time somewhere besides their home. Others have one computer for writing and another for business stuff. Some have separate offices. I don’t have the space for that, but I can go somewhere else.

5) The unexpected can be good

One reason several of my Q1 goals got pushed back was that I received an invitation to participate in a boxed set of fairy tale retellings. I won’t spoil the surprise, but it was a nice invitation from some great ladies that I know. It took me twenty or so hours to outline, write and edit the story, so while that wasn’t originally part of my Q1 goals, it should be fun.

I also entered several Flash Fiction contests, which I wasn’t planning on. All good things, but unexpected.

Q1 didn’t turn out like I wanted it to, but maybe the most important lesson I was reminded of is to focus on the positive! Whatever you’re doing, keep going and don’t give up!

 


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