Writing 365,000 Words in a Year Update #20

Well, yesterday I reached the official halfway point… And I’m currently only 3,400 words behind my goal!!!! *Celebration dance* *Throws flowers in the air*

image1-2

I never planned on rewards for this challenge. Writing almost 180,000 words in six months feels like accomplishment enough. Especially when I have a near full-time day job, two crazy monsters and one crazy cat to look after the rest of the time. Let’s be honest, it can be very difficult most days. But this goal has taught me so much, even though I’m only halfway through. For instance, I’ve learned that I CAN write 1,000 words a day every day if I really set my mind to it, though writing over 600 words feels like a challenge on the busy days, but is really easy on the weekends (unless it is a jam-packed fun weekend of ice fishing).

This past week was a great week. I even had one 3,000 word day that I wasn’t expecting, though it was on a side project instead of the main project I’m working on drafting, which is MF. A lot of my word count lately comes from rewriting Under Jupiter. Since I drafted UJ about ten years ago, there is a lot of rewriting to do. I’m a much stronger writer now, and have an easier time picking out the plot gaps and character weaknesses that need to be filled in. In other words, there are a lot of missing words. Here’s a shot of my tracking sheet for the past week. You can also see that there were a couple days slightly under the 1,000 words. But at least I averaged out well!

screen-shot-2017-03-02-at-11-00-22-pm

When I set this massive goal back in September, I said I would be focusing on five major projects, and nothing else. That goal has definitely changed, though I did initially wrap up the Black Depths Universe, which was one of the projects. I’m currently working on drafting MF, which for now all I will say is an adult fantasy novel. The rewriting project, Under Jupiter, wasn’t initially budgeted for, because I didn’t take into account all the effort of rewriting, and all the new words I would be adding. These words will likely only count for the rewriting process, and when I get into third and forth drafts, that word count will disappear and I will have to go back to drafting new things to get my 1,000 words a day. After I finish drafting MF, I’m hoping to write a new adult fantasy. I’m pretty excited for this but I don’t think I’ll get around to it until at least June, and that will probably be the last project of this year long goal, and hopefully by then I’ll be at my 365,000 words.

So, while I wasn’t planning on getting myself rewards, I feel that this halfway point is deserving of a little something, mostly because there is still a long way to go! I’m thinking a book or a chocolate bar or something. Nothing big. Just a little something to put an even bigger smile on my face.

How is your writing going?

JEH

Self-Publishing: Or Being Busier Than You’ve Ever Been Before

Well, I’ve finally finished my rewrites and edits on Twisted Currents, and am now waiting for editorial and cover art. Whew! *Take a big breath*

If you read the title of this post, then you already know I’m talking about how busy self-publishing is. The real work that goes on behind the scenes. If you’re a self-published author, you’ll know what I mean about being busier than ever before. Unless you’ve published and made millions (which is so, so rare), then you likely aren’t sitting on a beach in Mexico sipping drinks from coconuts. Instead, you’re probably huddled in a dark corner of your basement, hoping to squeeze in two more minutes of writing/editing/promo time.

CIMG1476.JPG
Where I’m Not

If you’re a reader of this blog, then you’ve probably noticed the slow down in blog posts over the past couple of weeks, the lack of book reviews, and the lack of posting in general. And that’s mostly do to those pesky rewrites I’ve been working on. Rewriting is the most difficult part of the writing process for me. It’s that time when I sit down and think: Does this part really make sense? What is the symbology of that? How would this character say it? It’s a lot of work. And it’s even more work when self-publishing because there is no one to help you out. Though, you can remedy that by finding beta-readers or hiring an editor, for me, part of self-publishing is doing it on my own and writing something that is nearly 100% mine, and not 50% mine and 25% feedback from beta reads and 25% changes made by an editor I may or may not know. The editing I pay for is generally typo/grammatical only, which means the creative part of my novels are all mine. But it makes me so busy!

So what takes up all my time?

  1. Writing the Draft – This takes me at least 40-60 hours of straight work for an 80K word novel. I’ve tried to do this all in one week before, but mentally it’s exhausting, so I usually spread that 40-60 hours out over a month or two.

    IMG_1793
    And Then There’s Cat Distraction Time…
  2. Rewriting the Draft (at least once) – I rewrite at a speed of 10 pages per hour (on a good day), for an 80K word book, that’s around another 40 hours. Again, this is spread out because yes, I do have a day job, and yes, I prefer to write at night, making it my “night job”.
  3. Editing the Draft – This is slightly quicker, because at this point I’m only making small changes, but it still takes around 30 hours.
  4. Getting Someone Else to Edit the Draft )and making those edits into a Final) – Most hired editors will get an 80K words novel back to you in 1-2 weeks. So there is the waiting time (where you can at least do other things), and then the review of those edits, which takes about another 5 hours.
  5. Formatting – I hate formatting. This is probable the bane of my existence. This takes me anywhere from 1-10 hours (or maybe a million, I’m not sure, but it certain feels like FOREVER).
  6. Blog – This is just a constant process. And fun (I love blogging)
  7. Tweeting – I should really tweet more than I do (15 min per day)
  8. Facebook – I should definitely Facebook more than I do (15 min per day)
  9. Cover Art Design (hire out or do my own) – I currently hire out my cover designs, though I do the text myself. While my artist is working on the drawing, there is a feedback process to make sure the image is going in the direction I need. In total, cover art probably takes around 2-3 hours, and that’s because I don’t draw (if I did, I would love to do my own art but I imagine it would take me another 40 hours at least).
  10. Book Launch Planning – If you’re going this, look at spending 5-6 hours over the course of a month to choose the sections you want to read, what kind of treats you want to serve, sending out e-vites, preparing other promotional material, and practicing your reading.img_3874
  11. Readings/Arts Fairs/Public Events – This is similar to the launch, and a similar amount of time. IMG_0136

Writing a novel is a long, slow process. Writing a series is a slightly more fast-paced process that is just as much work. I have to admit, I’m glad to be concluding the Black Depths Series for the moment, because I need a breather. After a week of getting sampling edits back from potential editors so that I can find the right editor at the right price, I’m just about burnt out. But I’ve timed this perfectly, because now that the book is off to the chopping block, I have time to sit back, read, relax, and blog prior to starting NaNoWriMo in exactly one week.

Join me tomorrow when I post my first blog about my 2016 NaNoWriMo preparations.

Have you planned out  your novel yet?

JEH