I need to protect the writing time

 

I have a lot of flexibility in my day job, so I can basically set my own schedule (which is good and bad, since it means if I take time off, I don’t get paid). Most of the time, I work 6 hours per day with Friday off, but last week I worked 7 hours for two days. And.. I decided that even if the extra hours were nice, it wasn’t worth it. Mainly because of self-care reasons but partially because it cut into my writing time.

That, and a lunch with my brother where he sprouted nonsense like writing less and working more, made me think about protecting the writing. Or rather protecting the writing time. While I write everyday, or try to at least, Friday is my main writing day were my family is busy (=no social obligations, except maybe a dinner), so I can focus on the writing. Except… lately I have been using it to schedule meetings. Meet the real estate guy to get an estimate on mum’s house? Friday. Go to the bank? Friday. Go and check on mum’s house? Friday.

I am the first to admit that is convenient to do it, since I have time on Friday. Except… since I live 1 hour+ away from mum’s house, it means that I lose a lot of writing time when I go there.

And.. I cannot keep doing that. Writing is… a balance towards my dayjob, which can be pretty bleak sometimes. So cutting into the writing time is bad, in the long run. Doubly so when I do it while dealing with mum’s estate.
In fact, I think I will cut down on hours until the house is sold. I mean what’s the point of being able to set my own schedule if I don’t use it when I feel that I need it?

*blows away the dust*

It has been a long time since I wrote something here, which has many reasons. Most of them life related, but things have calmed down now. (More or less.) While dealing with life I have been slowly working at The Dragon’s Blade, which is very messy but it is also at 26 000 words, so I am almost done.  Yay for slow and steady. 🙂

I have also been to Helsinki, which was so much fun! I got meet my friends and listen to people being smart. And I get to do it again in 2019 since Dublin won the Worldcon bid. (I might already have agreed to do a panel with my friends. Eeep.)

For the next month the plan is to wrap up the first draft of The Dragon’s Blade and then pick up Vanished again, since I put it aside when Life blew up. (I also needed the distance from it.)

If I was ambitious, I would aim to be done with Vanished before Octocon, but… I am going to be realistic and aim for Christmas instead. 🙂

 

And.. .done.

After a number of revision rounds, and line edits and copy edits, I finally finished the last rounds of edits on Daughter of the Dark.   I cut 500 words, mostly a lot of had’s and that’s and what’s. (And caught some inconsistencies) Now I am going to eat chocolate and read some books. 🙂

Busy February

I got home from Florida Feb 7 (it was so much fun). It feels as if the next time I looked up, it was Feb 20th. *whoosh*    I have been focused on day job ( new database to learn, new codes memorize) and edits. I got Vanished back from my editor ( the excellent Laura Anne Gilman), who gently pointed out that in a mystery it is good if they work on solving the crime. Oops. So, a lot of February was spent on replotting Vanished.  The outline was 3000 words long, but at least I have figured out all the plot holes. I hope. Hurrah.

I also got Daughter of the Dark back from the copy editor (dubble hurrah) 🙂  The plan is to work on the copy edits for the next week or two. ( I love this book. It is so good!)

Then I am going to focus on Vanished. Normally revision takes 4-6 weeks (unless it is for a really messy book, then if is 4 months *cries*), so hopefully I will be done at the end of April.

Then.. I get to start the next book.  Which also need a new outline.. sigh.

Anyway, I am going to read a book now.

Plans are made to be changed 

When I booked my Helsinki tickets, I was planning on travelling after it was over. Those plans were cancelled when my sister decided to get married on August 19th in southern Sweden.

Except I found out today that the wedding is moved. Let’s just say that the reason is the best birthday present ever. :D.

It does mean that I suddenly have time to travel. Except my original travel partner is uncertain if he can go to Helsinki due to work. (Boo.) 

The Prolific Reader!

A couple of days ago,I discovered The Prolific Reader which is a repository of Instafreebie books intended to be listed longer than 3 months.  On a whim, I decided to list Exile there, since I am planning to offer it for free until Vanished releases later this year.

The repository has a lot of interesting books, with new ones added every day.  I am definitely planning on stocking up for my trip to Florida in February. I have a long flight over the Atlantic, a charged and fully loaded Kindle is definitely a must. 🙂

 

Back to the drawing board

So. Last year, I outlined The Dragon’s Blade, from Erwan’s POV. And it was a decent outline.  Except… I realised last week that I was using the wrong POV.  I had begun writing it from Erwan’s POV, and the 5000 words that I had wasn’t bad. It just wasn’t the right words. I took some days off to think about why I felt like that.  I realised it was because of the title. The Dragon’s blade is the perfect title, since it both hints about the plot and what the heroine does. Yeah. Having a title that hints about the heroine, while the book is told by another POV…. Is probably not the smartest thing to do.  So it is back to the drawing board for me. I will probably able to reuse a chunk of the outline, but we will see. I am much happier with the new outline, though.  Now I just need another 1000 words, though I would prefer 1500, then I can begin to write the book.  *looks at calendar* Though that should be around the time that I get the edits back… Good thing that I have until August to finish the book. ( I am also planning to work on it in Florida.)  The outline will also help me write faster. If I know what happens, the words flow more easily, which means I can write more every day. (It also means that the revision wont involve adding 20 000 words. Hopefully.)

And done

It took me 3 weeks, but I am finally done with editing Vanished. Just in time to send it to my awesome editor.  So that I can do it all again in a month or so.. but for now, I am done, done, done.  I have a trillion things to do, but that can wait until tomorrow.

Cause I did it.  I revised a book multiple times, including the second draft which involved adding 20 000 words, and in a 6 month period.  Which is something I have never done before. I am glad I decided to try it, since now I know that I can do it.  Hopefully I can do it again with The Dragon’s Blade. 🙂

Anyway. Now I am going to read a book. Or three.

 

 

 

 

Reflections over Instafreebie giveaways

Recently, I have run two Instafreebie giveaways. The first one was for Exile. I ran it for 14 days and I made signing up for my newsletter mandatory. The result: 46 copies claimed. Which I was happy with. It is fa short story, and I have no problem giving away that for free.

Last week I decided to giveaway the Cauldron Bound, since it was Thanksgiving. This time, the giveaway was shorter, just 5 days and I required nothing. I just gave copies away. And the result: 27 downloads. Which I am also happy with.

The results of the giveaways is interesting. I will admit that I thought that the difference would be bigger. Because while 20 more people downloaded Exile, that giveaway ran 10 days longer than the Cauldron Bound giveaway.

The difference makes me wonder what impact the mandatory newsletter had. Probably bigger than I thought it would have. Which is something that I wish I had thought about before I set up the giveaway.

The next time, I will do newsletter sign-ups non-mandatory, and see what happens. Because I am definitely doing them again. These giveaways cost nothing, they gain me more downloads that e-mail blasts does. The next time will probably be an arc giveaway of some sort, since I want to build word of mouth. And I think Instafreebie is the easiest way to do that.

All the words

After last weekend, I needed the time to recover from the shock and just write. The weather cooperated, by dumping 40 cm of snow. Yeah. There was chaos on Wednesday. I was more than happy to stay inside and just write. And write I did.  Since Wednesday, I have written 4000 words on the next Portal Justicar book. Go me! I am planning to put it as soon, though, since I need to do another pass on Vanished and a polishing pass on Daughter of the Dark, before I send them to editors.  (Whom I still haven’t paid. Must do that.)

It feels so good to be writing something new.  I have tried to work on other things, but I couldn’t focus on them. It was as if my brain was whispering that I should work on this book.

Oh and Book 3 ( that is already written) has a title: Shifter’s Justice. Which fits *beautifully*. Since it is about shifters and justice. It is also about many other things, but I am not going to reveal that, since they are spoilers.

Here is a rough snippet from the opening scene:

“Yes. I want you to find out why they are upset. Why they aren’t talking with Silvarians or Lumarians. Before the Dragon Queens convene.”
“You sound certain that will happen.”
“It will. And once it happens things will be bad. They will leave a trail of fire and blood behind them.”
I gulped. “I thought they couldn’t fit through the portals?”
The Director gave me an exasperated look. “They are magic, Erwan, as is the Portals. The Portals can easily grow or shrink.”
I gave him a dubious look. “Are you sure?”

The Director gave me an exasperated look. “Didn’t they teach you history in school? The treaty was signed in Lumaria, Silvarna and Mereze, three copies all signed by leaders of all three races.”
I blushed. “School was a long time ago.”
“You also found history boring.”
“Yes. You didn’t. You loved it.”
“I did.”