Tag Archives: Writing

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

TRICKS AND SUGGESTIONS

TO KEEP YOUR WORD COUNT MOVING

1. Writer’s Block or Story Stalling

An empty page is not inspirational, many times we stare at one until we go blind, hoping for lightening to strike, to get the juices flowing again. This usually occurs when you are not as familiar as you need to be with your characters. You need to go back to the beginning, when you first introduced them and find out more of what makes them tick. They have a story to tell and you need to do it.

2. Stop Writing When You Still Have Something to Write.

When you know what is going to happen next it is easier to get started when you get back to it. The momentum isn’t lost, you just continue the flow you had at a later time. You won’t be facing a blank  page because you know where the story is going. So stop in the middle of a great scene or some intense dialogue, you’ll find your fingers will move you along quickly when you return.

3. Don’t be Afraid of Deadlines

Photo by Prateek Katyal on Pexels.com

Deadlines can be your friend, they push you to write, even  if you don’t have a contract. Make a contract with yourself. Some great novels have taken years to write, then their sequels come out quickly after, that is the value of a deadline. They push, gently, but you are aware. Be fearless.

4. Keep a Word Count Tally

Writing can be daunting at times (most times), but a word count tally at the end of  every session will show your progress. On a day when you feel you’ve accomplished nothing, a word count tally will prove you’ve accomplished something, sometimes more than you think. It is encouraging when you are feeling less so.

5. Take a Break

If the words aren’t flowing, go for a break. Step away from the computer, doing a mindless chore like washing the dishes, taking the dog for a walk ( that’s good for you too ). When your brain is focused on other tasks you might just find a solution to your problem. It works for me, many a good idea has come while taking a shower.

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