Writing progress

In February I quit my job, packed up my home, and moved to Texas. It’s now May…. so how am I doing? Here are each of my goals and what happened with them.

Write More

I am definitely writing more. Both March and April I wrote 20k words, and I’m on track to doing even more this month. If I keep this up I will be well over a quarter million words in a year, something I haven’t been able to do ever. And because of how I am working things are going well, and I do not see a problem with getting the word count in.
(For those interested in numbers, in 2017 and 2018 I wrote just over 100k. May just started and I’ve already written 66k this year. I’ll pass the last two years of writing by the end of June.)

Publish in April

This one didn’t happen, and while I am upset that it didn’t happen I am also happy with the reason. The novella I had been writing is now a full novel. The first two book Hub Series were around 30k words, and this latest one is 50k making it a full length novel. I’ve also taken the time to make the story better, made the characters a bit more compelling, added some things that I hadn’t tried before. The farther I go in this series the happier I am with it. On that note, I’m sending it to the editor this weekend so expect book three in a week or two.

Draw More

I have not been keeping up with my drawing. I did a few pieces in March (1, 2, 3, 4), but I never really finished them, and I haven’t added anything to redbubble or spoonflower. I’m a little disappointed in myself since I haven’t been gaming either to take up that time, so where is it going?

Stream More

I do have a Twitch stream that I have been known to do a few times, but it was rare. The trouble I found was that when I streamed I might have one or two people pop in, and they rarely stayed for more than a few minutes. This lead me to believe I really wasn’t good at holding peoples interest long enough to stream. I don’t know when or if I will go back to it. I might just try it because I enjoy playing some narrative games, and then I could put them up on my youtube channel. I haven’t decided yet.

Youtube Again

This is another one I haven’t done since being here.  It’s also another one I’m not sure I want to do. I have two channels, one for Writing and one for Gaming. The gaming channel only allows me to post 15 minute videos so I ended up using my writing channel for gaming, which I shouldn’t have done. Honestly…. I need to do this. It would be good for me because I need to learn to talk in front of a camera again. It’s very difficult for me sometimes so… I’ll have to see what I can do.

Overall

So writing is going well, and I’ll have another book to publish soon. Then I should be able to jump in and finish the second Half Blood Sorceress book since I have already written most of it, and that will be book two, hopefully by July. So much to write and so little time. I better get writing!

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Looking Back at 2018 Writing

Every January I do a new years post and look back on the year before. The highs, the lows, and the what I learned from it all. This year was interesting with fires, a job that took a lot of my time, and a brand new series that is going well.

First, I published three books in 2018. Ghostly Intentions in March, The Costume Shop in October, and Steel Soul in November. I meant to publish Steel Heart in December but ended up a little behind and instead it will be out this month. All in all not a bad year for publishing.

Writing was a different story.

February was the worst month with only 6700 words written. I honestly don’t know why February was so dismal. I do know that was toward the end of the “back to back calls every day” at work that went on for months and that may have had a lot to do with it. When I got home after those days I just didn’t want anything to do with words at all, ever. Still, I managed to finish, edit, and publish Ghostly Intentions in March, and I’m not sure how.

In April things started to look up. In fact that was when I found a lot of litRPG on amazon and started devouring it. I read so much of it that I had to write down my own story and on April 20th I made my first venture on a new series. On the last week of the month I wrote more than 3200 words in this new genre and had the basis for the new series.

In May I continued with the new litRPG and started to put aside Dragon’s Blood for the new series. The words were coming fast, and furiously, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I was so excited to get home and write every night! From April till August I kept working on it, loving every moment, and fleshing out the first three books along with the world.

But the streak couldn’t last and in August my health took a nose dive. Or rather the air quality did. Fires that covered much of the west coast filled the air with smoke, and my asthma made it difficult to breath or think. I managed to find ways to mitigate the damage, and I still put out more words in August then I thought possible. But after the fires cleared I had to go back to work. September also was the month I started working on book three in the series, and this book was not as solid as the first two had been. That meant I got lost several times, back tracked, rewrote, re-plotted, and eventually decided it was best to go clean up the other stories first before pushing forward on book three. So in October I worked on editing book 1, thus I didn’t complete NaNoWriMo, but I did publish book 1 in my series in November. This lack of NaNoWriMo word count is what made 2018 my worst year for getting word counts in. Then November and December I mainly worked on finishing and editing book two so that it is nearly ready to be published which also were low word count days.

Also, average word count (on days I wrote) for the time I was working on the LitRPG was over 500 a day. On days I worked on anything else it was 2-300 a day. I attribute this more to being passionate about the project than anything else because I saw similar trends when I was working on other stories I was passionate about.

What I’ve learned

Editing is slower than writing. It’s also a necessary part of writing, and it takes a different skill than just putting down the words. I would prefer to have someone else do it forever, but that isn’t an option all the time so it is probably time to figure out how to make writing and editing something I do every day, and get them working together.

LitRPG is my favorite genre ever. Games meets books, how could I not love it? I plan I writing some more litRPG this year, but I also want to finish my Half-Blood Sorceress series too.

My health is important. So important that I have been working harder to exercise, eat better, and take mental health breaks when I need them. I have also had more health problems this year between acute asthma and allergies, to a strained back muscle, and just general colds and flues. Nothing I couldn’t deal with (though at times it felt like I was going to die) but definitely something to be mindful of. Exercise is the biggest thing and I’ve been working harder at adding that into my daily routine because I only have one body, and the older I get the harder it is to move it around.

2019 and beyond!

So what’s for next year? Well there’s the move to Texas, and the opportunity to write full time. I’m not taking this lightly. I am already updating my YouTube channel, adding videos, planning a stream schedule, and scanning in all my art work. This is for the artistic and gaming side. For my writing I am reaching out to people I know to get information on the best steps to take, letting my newsletter know there will be more news, and trying to branch out a little bit. It’s going to be a huge learning curve, but this is important. For my health both mentally and physically, and because I don’t want to get to the end of my life and realize I never really gave it a shot. I need to try to make this work, and put my whole heart into it, or I will always wonder “what if.” I don’t want to do that.

So look forward to hearing from me a lot more in 2019.

5min – Word Counts

It’s August, and I thought it was time to take a look at my writing for the year. It’s easier now, right after I’ve finished a big writing project, (YAY, completed book one in Half Blood Sorceress Series) to look back and see what I’ve been doing.

I keep stats of every days writing, and I keep track of actual story word count separate from things like blogs, newsletters, and other writing media that I do. I don’t keep track of every word I write, because I love social media, but I do keep track of things that matter to me.

So how does this year stack up to previous years? Well, it’s now the 8th month of the year and I have only written 50,000 words. For the past four years I have written about 230k each year, which includes the NaNoWriMo 50k write in Nov. So if I manage to get through NaNo this year I’ll be a lot closer to my usual yearly goal, but still much farther behind then usual.

Why did this happen?

If we take a look at my monthly word count for just this year we see that I started okay in January, then in February everything went down hill, and didn’t pick up again till July. That’s because I was going through a bunch of changes at the end of last year, beginning of this year. Mostly moving to a much more involved, and stress filled job. I couldn’t write at work like I use to and had to make sure I took time out at home to actually write. I also had to make sure I made time with Gregg, who now works from home.

Overall, it feels like I’ve finally sorted that all out, and I’m able to work on my next novel with a bit more confidence, but still, I shouldn’t take my writing for granted.

And that’s my five.

 

A Year in Writing

Well… It’s the new year and time to go over my stats for writing, as I have for the last four years. And boy is it an eye opener.

yearly-writingFirst, I wrote 20,000 words less than last year. Admittedly, last year was a fantastic year and I wrote 15k more than any other year. I also lost about 12k just by loosing NaNoWriMo this year. I took another huge dip around the time I switched jobs. Clearly major changes have made huge differences in my writing.

But all these numbers forced me to go back and really look at what I’ve accomplished over the last four years, not just in amount of words written, but what I’ve published.

I started publishing in 2012 with three short stories and a novella. Not bad for my first year. 2013 followed with 16 short stories, a novella, and a short novel. 2014 saw a single publication, and a short story at that. I had to go back to my stats for that year and find out if that was true. After two years of writing, and publishing tons of short stories suddenly…NOTHING! But there was a reason behind it. In 2014 I published one short story, and I wrote the majority of the three Witch’s Trilogy novels.

In 2015 I started actually publishing the Witch’s Trilogy. Two novels, and one little short story.

yearly-writing2And 2016, the year that we just finished? I finished the Witch’s trilogy, publishing Witch’s Stand in April, then added a short story prequel in May. I also published two more short stories in my Illicit Gain’s series (Mirror and Scarab Necklace) bringing the total to three short stories and a novel for 2016. What else did I do for 2016? I started on my next novel series. Of the 230k words I wrote this year the majority of them went to “Half-Blood Sorceress”.

When I first saw that list of publications, and how many of them happened in 2013 I was a little shocked. Then I remembered that a lot of the short stories I finished, and published, for that year were already half finished when I started writing them. That while it was a big publishing year it wasn’t a big writing year, I was just finishing words of half completed projects, not taking on as many new challenges.

Even though 2016 saw less writing over all, it was still a productive year. I completed the trilogy, found a new job, and started on a new series that I have already put down 78,400 words in just a few months.

I’m working to get the first two published in 2017. I do not know if that is possible because of editing and cover design, but at the very least they will be written. But since I’m focusing on Half-Blood Sorceress it means I might not publish anything else this year, just like 2014. And I think I’m okay with that.

The Witch’s Trilogy is good because I took the time I needed to write the books. I didn’t rush it, and I’m not going to rush Half-Blood Sorceress either. I want the series to be good, and go on. I have five books planned, after all, and I want to finish all of them.

Learning to write faster was a great help in 2015. It pushed me through, got Witch’s Trilogy finished, and helped me complete something. I need to find that fire again. That’s what I’ll be working on for 2017. Writing, finding the passion for the writing, and making it the priority again.

The world is messed up!

My daughters boyfriend spent a week in jail. He was suppose to be in there for three days because he couldn’t pay a fine. He almost had to spend a month in jail. FOR A FINE! What kind of messed up country do we have that we put people in jail for being unable to pay a fine, and not only that but we keep them there for longer then we were suppose to, because we can.

It’s all about the money. Each person in a jail is money. Tax money that goes to the jail to house, cloth and feed them. Do you know what they are eating? Can’s of food marked “NOT FIT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION.” I was incredulous about that so looked it up. Apparently it is common practice for jails to get food that is suppose to be used for animals, or is expired, sometimes with worms in it, to save the jail money. Because money.

And this is not the first person I’ve known to have this happen to them. A friend of mine served three months on a one month sentence. After serving a month he was told “this month doesn’t count toward your service because it’s at the wrong jail.” The wrong jail? WTF! It’s a jail? How is it the WRONG JAIL!? Lets not even get into the fact that my friend was serving for a domestic abuse when in fact his ex is the one that is stalking, beating, and screaming at him. (I’ve seen her do it.) He’s homeless now and she calls up anyone willing to help him and tries to spread more lies about him being on meth (he’s on probation and being tested, so no meth) and basically making life miserable for everyone. But he goes to jail.

Screen-Shot-2012-10-15-at-10.25.43-AMWe call this a justice system? Where is the justice? And now that pot is no longer a jailable offence they are finding other excuses, because we need to keep the jails full, right? WHY? Why are we paying our tax dollars to jail 2.2 million people, and put another 4.8 million on probation. That’s SEVEN MILLION PEOPLE in the USA that are under “correctional supervision”. Why? For money. More then TRIPLE per capita of any other country.

Prison labor is the only form of slavery still allowed in the USA. Prisoners who do not perform the work they are “asked” to do can be sanctioned with less food, longer sentence, or worse treatment. Prisoners can work in call centers, making books for the blind, park benches and Victoria Secret lingerie. They often do this work for cents on the dollar, because they are prisoners not people.

We say we are “the nation of the free”. I don’t really see it anymore.

(More info here)

Freebie Weekend Aftermath

Twilight TalesThis weekend I did a freebie giveaway using the KDP select program for Twilight Tales. It went amazing!

It is still free for a few more hours but I thought I’d give a run down of how it went.

I tried KDP a shortly after I started to publish. I had several books up at the tigraphme, but very few reviews, and only managed to get 200 downloads for the entire weekend. No reviews. No extra sales that I know of.

This time I managed to use Author Marketing Club to my advantage
and posted Twilight Tales to every freebie site I could. Well, I at least submitted it. I know at least one of them actually ran it, no idea if others did. Most of them do not tell you whether or not they run your book. I had to go snoop in order to find the one that did. I do not think anyone ran an advert for my book the first time.

This time I gave away more than 1000 books.

The results of all the give always: ranking #1 in two categories. I managed a screen capture of the two. In the third category it ranked as high as #2, but I did not manage to get a screen shot of that.

Only time will tell if this gives me any actual sales to books, or reviews. Right now all I got was a little visibility in a couple sub genre charts. The nicest one I saw was #10 on the Horror page. Very visible for anyone looking for Horror. Did it make a difference? Not sure yet, but I will definitely let you know in a few weeks.

ranking

 

 

 

Also, if you’d like to get Twilight Tales it is still free until midnight.