Four reminders I’m practicing as an indie author

Over the last few weeks, I realized how important simple reminders are. With my routine and my family’s routine out of whack, I fell into that trap of telling myself I wasn’t doing enough when it came to my writing. This was especially so because I was preparing a new book for release.

  1. When I’m frustrated by the long process from writing to publication to earning, I remind myself there is more than one way to the top. 

Some authors achieve success (whatever that looks like to them) after publishing one book. Others in book five. Some, not until book twenty-two. The latter is not appealing but is closer to the reality for lots of indie authors. It goes to show that with persistence and patience, success is achievable. I remind myself that my way is the right way for me and my career.

  • I write to my tune.

When I decided to embark on a career in writing, I was overwhelmed by the multitude of writing advice about writing four, five, and ten books a year. And don’t get me started on rapid release and writing to market. It took time but I realized it was okay to do all or none of those things as long as I had a plan, or as you know from my other posts (Sustaining my writing during stressful times), goals that could be carried out from start to finish.

If there is one constant across the board it would be to keep writing. Write the next book. Write, edit, publish, repeat.

  • Leverage community.

Great communities have helped increase and improve my skills. Usually, during the summer, my in-person writing group takes a break. This summer three of us have committed to writing more, not less, holding each other accountable with weekly check-ins and critique exchanges.

  • Invest in me.

There are three main areas in which I invest in myself but everyone’s area of need will be different. Mine are:

  • Health – Without good health, I will struggle to keep pace. Anxiety and stress will set in. Good health means I get to keep doing what I love.
  • Family – I believe that a healthy work-family life balance is an extension of good health practices.
  • Career – There are lots of parts to invest in here: financial, craft, marketing, business management, etc. As an indie author, I may choose to outsource some of this but I believe it’s important to know what I want and have enough business sense to minimize my blunders.

Week 5

Small steps: Can be accomplished now.

Write daily (no matter the word count). Received book two back from editor and spent the last two weeks reviewing and started editing. 

Short term goals: Can be accomplished in one week.

Work on marketing twice per weekWorking book two cover which I’m hoping to reveal soon.

Long term goals: one month

Finish book 2In the middle of book two edits.

Dream: three months or more

Publish 1 story a month starting May – October

Publish 6 titles in six months

Works completed:

  1. The Captain’s Lady – first draft, edits, cover and formatting done. July release
  2. Champion of the Isles – first draft, edits, format and cover done. August release
  3. Loved by a Lady – first draft

What I’m listening to: 2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better

Sustaining your writing during stressful times—four:

Wow, two months in quarantine went by quickly. I hope everyone is keeping well and haven’t done anything silly.

It’s been a busy month as I try to sink my claws deeper into my writing. I’ve made personal goals to publish six pieces of work in six months and let me tell you, as a slow writer this is challenging. As indie publishers we are responsible for all aspects of publishing, not just writing. There are creative parts that I’m honestly enjoying, like putting a cover together, but I can’t say the same for sifting through tons of images.

I’m also enjoying marketing and learning a great deal about Facebook ads. At some point I will put together cost and ROI for this six-month challenge. I’m all about sharing what works and what doesn’t in hopes that it will help other budget conscious writers. But you’re not here to read my ramblings, you want to see if I’m blowing this challenge!

Sorry to disappoint you. But keep coming back because you just never know when I’ll fall face first!

Sustaining your writing during stressful times

The science of community is the section of Stick With It I’m currently reading. As I’ve mentioned before, a solid supportive community is invaluable. I’m constantly on the move to discover groups I can share with and learn from. Groups that hold me accountable. I’m also willing to bet that that is true for a number of writers, whether you’re new to the business or seasoned.

This section highlights six ingredients essential for a successful community: 

  • Trust 
  • The need to fit in 
  • Self-worth (feeling good about ourselves)
  • Need for a social magnet (team/group elements that keep people participating) 
  • Being rewarded 
  • Empowerment. 

The ingredient that stuck out for me was trust. Not because it is more important, it’s equally so, but it’s the one writers seem to trip over the most.

Even the act of blogging, posting and sharing my words are deeply personal. Some writing, especially topics around love, sex, and romance are particularly intimate and yet wide reaching, given today’s virtually communities.

As a writer and member of a number of groups, I see various degrees of trust discussed. One example is around plagiarism. Another common area of trust is copyright. I’m sure there are many examples and those two only reflect my most common experiences in writing communities. 

I’m curious, in your circle, how did you overcome the issue of trust and how did you know when you were ready to share? There is no question that on many levels in my life, trust has increased my willingness to learn.

  • Personally, the decision to share happened once I identified my dream for my writing. Being published. This will vary for everyone. I learned as much as I could about copyright and I am still learning.
  • In groups meant to improve writing skills, I critiqued before sharing. I was willing to leave groups that were more social in nature. If they didn’t take their writing seriously, why would they take mine?
  • I look for and offer honest feedback based on current skills. Be informative and respectful. No one likes a dick.

Gradually and after many tries, I started becoming comfortable sharing. I attribute this to gaining confidence in myself as a writer and the knowledge I gained. Trust also allowed me to be more receptive of information, weed through the good and the bad to find golden nuggets. If you don’t trust the person giving feedback you will be less likely to use it.

Week 3

Small steps: Can be accomplished now.

Write daily (no matter the word count). Okay, I missed Wednesday, but I totally killed it on Monday.

Short term goals: Can be accomplished in one week.

Work on marketing twice per weekWorking on a Facebook ad and a new cover for a short story.

Long term goals: one month

Finish book 2Added over 5,000 words last week

Dream: three months or more

Publish 1 story a month starting May – October

Publish 6 titles in six months

Works completed:

  1. The Captain’s Lady – first draft, edits, and cover done. Posted: May 2020

What I’m reading: Help! My Facebook Ads Suck: The Wooden Pen Press

Indie Publishing Question:

Q. Should I copyright my work?

A. I’m not a copyright lawyer, however copyright begins the moment a work is created and fixed in a tangible form. In my case, written/typed. A copyright notice should contain:

A. I’m not a copyright lawyer, however copyright begins the moment a work is created and fixed in a tangible form. In my case, written/typed. A copyright notice should contain:

  • the word “copyright”
  • a “c” in a circle (©)
  • the date of publication, and
  • the name of either the author or the owner of all the copyright rights in the published work.