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5min- Publishing

It’s been a wild ride this year. I’m getting ready to publish my fourth real book. When I say “real” I just mean that it has more than 50k words in it and qualifies as a full novel. Most of the books I have up are short stories and novellas with the three main books that are full novels.

But I looked today and I have actually published 40 short stories. Not all separately, some are in anthologies. But, dang, that’s a lot of short stories.

Trying to figure out what I should be doing with those short stories. They don’t sell a lot of copies, but I give them away a lot. I get some reviews, and a lot of comments from people that read them. I am considering giving them away as a Patreon reward, or a reward for subscribers to my newsletters. Or both, maybe?

It’s the little things, though. Setting up the publishing details. Starting to do the print book set up. Considering where/how I might advertise it when I finally get it done. But! it’s at the editors now and I’m all set to go from here.

Of all 46 stories I’ve written over the years, and publishing so many books, I am so happy that I’ve continued on this journey. It isn’t always easy, it’s a lot of time, energy, and sometimes tears getting out all of those words. But the stories are worth it. Having the books on my shelf, or having something to show to others, or even the audio books, are all worth the trouble it took to get here.

And that’s my five.

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2017 in On Writing

 

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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.

 

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2017 in On Writing

 

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5min- Finished! 

Back in April of 2015 I got a fantastic idea for a story by looking at a lonely piece of art. The art was looking for a book to be a cover for, and it would be a fantastic cover. Unfortunately it was a pro artist and I can’t afford his rates. But that didn’t stop me from writing the story. 

So in. May of 2016, a year later, I started outlining the series. Five books. Five complete stories, each one with a valuable part to play in making one girl, Sybel, who she needs to be to save everyone from an unknown danger. I started writing  it during NaNoWriMo 2016. 

And tonight I’ve completed the first novel in that series! 

It feels so good to be done. I wrote the first draft, went through line by line to clean up any plot holes and add descriptions to some areas, and I’m finally satisfied that it’s ready to go to the editor. 

So happy! And I  can’t wait to share it with all of you. 

And that’s my five. 

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2017 in On Writing

 

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5min – The goal is right there!

It’s 3:30 in the morning and I just finished editing a few more chapters of Dragons’s Flame. That leaves one more chapter, and the epilogue, to finish. Once I’m done I can send it off to the editor. I almost finished it tonight, almost, but when I started editing the final chapter my brain started rebelling.

Writing is so much different than editing. For writing it’s often helpful to be slightly tired because then it’s easier to let go of that editor trying to fix things all the time, and just write. Sometimes I write my best words while slightly tired at the end of the night. Other times I write the worst. I think it depends on how sleepy I am. Just slightly sleepy with a cup of coffee, great. Ready to fall over on the keyboard? Not so much.

I’m so happy with how the novel has come out. It is currently 49,500 words long. After editing this last chapter I’m pretty sure it will be 50k. That’s perfect. I wasn’t trying to hit that number, but it is a nice number in instead. And the second book is already 40k words long and only about half finished so it will likely be longer. That’s about how the Witch’s Trilogy worked out as well.

Last month, and this month so far, has been the best writing months I’ve had all year. I think this five minute writing page has helped a lot. It’s gotten me to get out of my head, and get onto the paper. It’s also been very good at getting me to write instead of just thinking about writing.

But that’s my five.

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2017 in On Writing

 

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5min – Half Blood Sorceress

Today has been a good day. I’m writing this at the end of the day, instead of the beginning, because I’ve been doing a lot of writing and editing. Mostly editing of the first book so I can get it to the editor.

I hate estimating these things. I’m almost always wrong. I have these big ideas that I can just ‘edit one chapter a day and get it done” but something else comes up. And I know some of it is excuses, and other times it’s legitimate things. Like being sick for the last week because there are forest fires going on and my asthma is not making life easy.

Regardless, I have grand ideas that I don’t end up doing it. Another big reason is that I end up spending time on other things instead of the main project. I have been trying to get the editing done for this book, but I admit that I hate editing. I have taken a lot of “breaks” to write major plots for the third book so that I can start on it soon. On the plus side I have a lot of that story already figured out. On the minus side…book one isn’t finished yet!

But after this second pass I’m actually happy with the story. I had been thinking the main character was too ‘whiny” when I first wrote her. But no, she isn’t. She’s the right amount of upset that a large portion of her life goes south really fast, and nothing she seems can fix it. And it’s okay to be upset when that happens. That’s life, and that’s how it works. We can’t control everything around us, even when we really want to.

I guess I should take a note from my characters at this point.

And that’s my five.

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2017 in On Writing

 

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5 min – Day’s off are worth it.

I helped my daughter today, and in return she helped me…by shoving my phone in her backpack when I dropped her off at work.

Every time I forget my phone, or something like this happens, I’m struck by how much I use it for. Right now I am doing my five minute writing. I use the phone as a timer for the five minutes. I sometimes use the phone to write my five minute blog post. Other times I just use it to check, and reply to, email. Or catch up on social media when standing in line some where. If all you have is seconds between customers then checking social media, or posting a little bit about a project is often some good use of time since I want to go actually WRITE when I have more f it.

Speaking of writing, I took a three day weekend this weekend. (That would be Wed-Fri because of my off schedule.) I needed a break from the rat race of the day job. I thought I’d get more editing done. That did not happen. Instead, yesterday I spent a good chunk of time just playing a video game and listening to podcasts. Why? Because I wanted to, darn it!

But today I feel so much better after taking that needed health break. And now I’m back to writing.

Care for yourself. Keep in mind the tools you have at your disposal. Use even the small moments to keep write down notes, thoughts, or check in with your followers. And some days just take a day off.

And that’s my five.

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2017 in On Writing

 

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5min – Writers Block

I was listening to an episode of The Creative Penn today and she mentioned that all the pro writers at a recent convention she went to all have the same idea about writers block….it doesn’t exist.

The idea I see is “a plumber can’t have plumbers block, they have to go out and do their job.”

And they are right. Each and every one of them. A pro writer has to be able to get past “blocks” and just write, weather or not they feel like it. I have to go to my day job and do my work, or I don’t get paid. Same with a writer.

But, the idea of writers block is a thing. Perhaps it shouldn’t be called writers block though. Rather it is something causing the writer to spend their energy elsewhere.

For me it’s often bills. I have to pay bills, so I go to a day job, and I spend a lot of time on that day job. It’s a tough, and stressful day job. I often come home with a need to just close the door, and stay away from words for sometimes hours. That’s because my day job is using words. Talking to people. Trying to explain to them how to fix things. Depending on the day that is easier sometimes than others.

Other people might be “blocked” because they have family problems, medical issues or stress going on in their life that they are spending so much time on those things that they just don’t have time (or don’t think they have time) to do something creative.

Then there are the people that actually do sit down and try to write, but end up staring at a blank page for hours instead of writing. Now that, I think, is true. That isn’t a block so much as a lack of confidence. Inability to progress. Or plain don’t know what they are supposed to do.

I think I’ll come back to this idea later. But for now, my 5 min are up, and I need to go finish writing.

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2017 in On Writing

 

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