You’ve probably noticed that I have taken several steps back from blogging regularly, but that’s good because it’s in favor of writing regularly (plus you get less emails in your Inbox 🙂 ).
2015 keyword: Introspection
I was in a seriously reflective mode during most of 2015. I published my debut novel at the end of 2014, but uncertainty over various aspects of novel-writing and self-publishing made me loath to engage in heavy promotion. I didn’t even get my KDP free days. Nothing. Still, I was excited to see that whoever borrowed it, read the entire book on a single day! All 492 KENPs, which should mean that the book is readable but, still, I wasn’t happy.
The reason? I took a magnifying lens to my initial reviews. Don’t get me wrong. My reviews have a 4.5 average, and most of them are what you’d call “raving”, but there were indications that the first part of the story was slow, that the plot could have moved forward more effectively, hints that there was room for improvement.
Enter writing classes. I attended several, some were “blah” and didn’t manage to hold my interest, but two courses with Rhay Christou at Margie Lawson’s Writer’s Academy hit the right chords. I finally figured what “writing deep” or “using deep PoV” meant, and why it matters to commercial fiction. I also learned how to build a page-turning scene and how to write compelling characters (more of that in a subsequent post).
I didn’t need further motivation to dive into the manuscript of my already published book. Trimming it was a difficult but rewarding task. It went down from 96K to 84K words. It’s now more compact, tight and definitely more readable. In the meantime, I wrote a second novel (52K words) applying what I’d learned and felt so confident that I submitted it to a RWA contest and … won!! Yes, that deserves its own bubbly-popping post, but I’ll do that when I have a cover to show you.
Equipping myself with knowledge and connecting with successful authors who have managed to turn their life around through writing, empowered me to get out of my introspective mode, turn a new leaf and consciously apply myself to writing. So this year’s keyword is:
2016 keyword: Momentum
Announcing my goals on this blog means I should be held accountable if I don’t reach them, so here are the major milestones for 2016.
- Pull down my published novel (Fate Accompli)
- Publish Fate Captured (Greek Lovers, Book 1) – manuscript complete and edited
- Re-launch Fate Accompli under the title Fate Awakened (Greek Lovers, Book 2) – manuscript re-vamped and edited
- Publish a Gothic romance, part of an anthology (new direction!) – currently writing
- Publish Fate Defied (Greek Lovers, Book 3) – 15K words written
- Publish a dark romance novel under another pen name – 10K words written
Will I manage when my day job keeps throwing curveballs and everyone in my family expects me to write only when I’m through with all my other obligations? It’s certainly challenging, but show me something that’s worth your while that’s not challenging. Okay, I’m watching the person across from me, at the cafe I’m writing this, gobbling up a huge sandwich–it’s certainly worth his while and poses no challenge–so I’ll rephrase my affirmation to: show me something that will better your life that’s not challenging.
Blogging will definitely have to go to the back burner (so will comfort-browsing on the internet) but I will log my progress along with useful conclusions I’ve reached that helped shift my writing mentality.
Watch this space for more, and here’s to an easier goal attainment this year! The key phrase for that? “Just do it!”