Blog Hop, Got Goals?

Got Goals? High and Lows

Big Goals BloghopReading my post from last month, I was full of excited energy, and feeling really positive about things. It’s bittersweet reading that now, because the mood has changed to a far more sunken one. That’s the thing about this writing game; it’s full of ups and downs. And June has definitely been that!

I had hoped to have finished writing While We Were Waiting by now, but it has been very slow-going, and I’m not there yet. So, I’ve signed up for another dose of Camp NaNoWriMo through July, so that I can use the NaNo effect to get this thing done. Because, there is nothing quite like the NaNo effect to get the words out!

On some better notes, I received a very exciting email (that, I’m afraid, I’m not allowed to talk about yet) that has allowed me to cross one of the things off my author bucket list. So, the beginning of the month had me happy dancing all over the place!

I’ve also finally launched my podcast. I’d been sitting on that plan for far too long, always finding excuses not to do it. But, last Tuesday, I finally sat down and recorded my first episode. It’s called The Great Western Woods (Narnia reference!) and it’s all about worldbuilding. Check it out here. Alongside that, I’ve started a related project which I’m moving forward with, albeit slowly.

To be honest, I think I’m pulling in too many different directions right now; doing a bit of this, a bit of that, some of the other. I need to focus on less, but all these new ideas keep popping up and demanding attention. I’ll get there.

Did you manage to hit your goals for June? Join the Got Goals? Bloghop here.

Blog Hop, Insecure Writer's Support Group, Twitter

The Importance of Habit

WritingLast month I didn’t write anything new. May came in off the back of April’s Camp NaNoWriMo, and it was a month of editing, plotting, book releases, and marketing. I wrote nothing new.

June came, and I duly sat down to write, to create, and I found myself empty.

Getting words out of me was like torture, it hurt, and I found myself stopping after just a couple of paragraphs, too frustrated and exhausted to continue. It felt like it might actually kill me. Slowly. One unwritten word by another.

I needed to rediscover the fire, the passion, the creativity that had, evidently, buried itself so deep inside me that I couldn’t find even a hint of it. After taking advice from my peers, I turned back to a tactic I’ve used before. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it myself, but, sometimes, you need someone else to tell you. It’s not always so simple to take your own advice.

I began reading what I’d already written during April, from the beginning, gently editing as I went. That’s where my mojo was. Not in the air, in the clouds, not in words I hadn’t even thought of yet, it was in the solidity of what was already penned. It took just two chapters. And then I was ready to go. The story came flowing.

So, that’s my lesson learnt. I can’t take a month off. I need to write, every day, even if it’s something that will never come to anything. Creativity can dry up, albeit temporarily, but it’s far better to keep it burning.

Insecure Writer's Support GroupThis post was written as part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group blog hop. If you want to visit the other IWSG member blogs, or sign up yourself, you can do so here.

Blog Hop, Got Goals?

Got Goals? She’s Here!

Big Goals BloghopIn my post last month, I was sailing towards the end of Camp NaNoWriMo, which I did complete with a 25k wordcount goal. Really happy with that, and a good chunk of my next book, While We Were Waiting, is now written.

May has been a little big of a mixed bag. I’ve been busy plotting the rest of While We Were Waiting (and finally worked out what the ending would be just yesterday!), and I returned to The Memory Trader series with the final edits and formatting of The Sister before its release on 22nd. So, yes, another book is now out, and the reviews have been absolutely amazing!

It really feels like things are moving forward, and picking up momentum now. Like I might, soon, be able to actually justify all this! Something’s definitely shifted, and I’m excited to see where it goes.

So, looking forward to June, it would be great to get While We Were Waiting fully plotted, fully written, and maybe even out to the beta readers. Too much? We’ll see!

How have you done with your goals in May? Join the Got Goals? Bloghop here.

Blog Hop, Insecure Writer's Support Group

What the People Want

Insecure Writer's Support GroupSomething I’ve been thinking about a lot, is writing to market. This is when an author either picks up on a current popular trend, or predicts an upcoming trend, and specifically writes for that market, to, hopefully, hit upon a bestseller by simply writing what the people want.

Among authors, it’s actually something of a controversial issue with accusations of writers ‘selling out’, or not being true to their craft. Honestly, I feel conflicted myself. So often, the act of writing books, of creating worlds and characters, of giving flesh to your dreams, so often, that feels completely at odds with the actual business side of selling books. The marketing, the numbers, the accounts. I know many writers for whom, once their hobby became their income source, they lost all joy for the act of writing.

Creativity and business seem to be uncomfortable bedfellows.

But, at the end of the day, it is a business, and it has to be run as a business if it’s going to succeed. Last year, I published a collection of short stories set in a post-apocalyptic world. I largely wrote it just to get it out of my head, where it was like a niggling thorn in my brain. And then I didn’t think much more about it. Until it started selling. And it sells well, and regularly. And my business brain said “You need to take advantage of this.”

So, yes, I’m now writing to market. A full-length post apocalyptic book I’d never intended to write. It’s a different thing for me; both the specific genre (although it’s not that far from dystopian fiction), and writing to market. It’s going to be interesting to see how it all turns out (especially as the story and characters seem to be insistent about taking it in an interesting new direction!)

Do you write to market?

This post was written as part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group blog hop. If you want to visit the other IWSG member blogs, or sign up yourself, you can do so here.

Blog Hop, Got Goals?

Got Goals? I’ve Been Camping

Big Goals BloghopAll of April has been focussed on completing Camp NaNoWriMo, and I’m totally on track to hit my 25k wordcount target. I set my goal there because the first two weeks of the month were taken up with the Easter holidays, and with two young boys to entertain, I wasn’t going to fool myself into thinking I could manage 50k.

But it’s been a good target for me, I haven’t been stressing, or having to push really hard to keep on track, and I haven’t had to let the rest of my life fester in the shadow of my complete abandonment as always happens for NaNoWriMo in November!

I’ve taken a break from my Memory Trader series, while The Sister has been out with beta readers, and so Camp NaNo has focussed on a new book, tentatively titled While We Were Waiting, but that may well change. It was meant to be a post-apocalyptic book, but it’s turned into something of a magical realism piece, so I’m going to let it take me there. At the end of the day, I can clear all of that up in editing.

Have you been doing Camp NaNoWriMo this month? Or have you been working towards other goals? Join the Got Goals? Bloghop here.

Blog Hop, Got Goals?

Got Goals? Running Full Pelt

Big Goals BloghopLast month saw the release of The Smudger, The Memory Trader book 1, and March has seen the completion of its sequel, The Sister, the first round of edits completed, and the book sent out to beta readers .

I can’t believe how quickly these books have come about. It was one of my goals for the year, to increase my writing speed, to produce more books, but I’m totally awed by how fast it’s happened.

And I’m not slowing up. I’m already plotting my next book, and I’m signed up to Camp NaNoWriMo with a 25k wordcount goal to make a start on writing it next month.

I love being so busy, so crazy busy, so in the zone. It is tiring, and I need to remind myself to slow down now and again (although the flu forced me to for a couple of weeks earlier this month). But I’m excited, and I’m gonna make the most of that feeling.

How’s your month been? Join the Got Goals? Bloghop here.