Wednesday, December 28, 2016

2016 almost over, writing, writing

Feeling better about my career as an author. I took four days earlier this month, Dec. 8, and booked a hotel room in Melbourne at the Doubletree on the beach. Getting away from all the distractions, from the dogs to DH and the house, really helped. I was very sick, though. We had our annual Christmas party the weekend before and someone came and gave me this vicious sinus infection. So I was coughing the entire time i was away, but I STILL MANAGED TO WRITE 30,000 words. In four days.

Goal had been to write 40,000 words. I figure that 10,000 less is damn good, considering I hardly slept. I'd get up early, have my coffee on the balcony of the room and look at the ocean, and then get to work. There was a desk by the window where I kept the pink laptop, and I would write and write. Sometimes I would take the alpha smart down to the pool to write, but mostly I stayed in the room. In the early afternoon, I'd head out to Friendlys for chicken noodle soup.

It's a weird feeling, being alone for four days with only a book to write. Very isolating and lonely, but when I book these solo writing retreats,I am determined to make the most of them and get the most for the money I'm spending on the hotel. 

I returned, went back to the day job, and the writing, as I knew it would, slowed because of the holidays. Christmas is over now, and the fun and frenzy, and I hope to write a great deal this weekend. I have 46,000 words on Navy Seal book 3, and my goal was to get to 50,000 words before New Year's. 

I did tally up my writing income for this year and feel much better about being an author. I didn't produce as many indie books this year as last, so the results are as expected. Not sure about next year. Figure it will be one step at a time. I was really bogged down emotionally and time-wise with the mold problem in January, moving out of the house for 3 weeks, and then the nightmare with the &#*@#& mold contractor, who turned out to be a total asphalt, and then the renovations. But the kitchen is done, even though we had to hire the original granite installer to tear apart the granite counters and then reset to our satisfaction because the &*#@&# mold contractor did such a crummy job, and both bathrooms are done and Holly, whom we thought we would lose twice this year, is holding her own. Lots of crisis this year, which doesn't help you as an author. So I'm grateful I managed to produce 3 books for self publishing, and write the HQ books as well.

Guess I'll see what 2017 brings. I have my eye on some projects, and the Mating Game will be out in March. But I have learned over the years that I can break my back trying to produce books, but the stress will affect my health, and that is something that I must put first. balance. That's what I strove to attain in 2016 and I'd say I did a decent job of it!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Where did this year go for this writer?

I have no clue. It's December. I still haven't started on the HQ book due. I am taking four days to go to a hotel this weekend to write. Focus. Being home has too many distractions. Laundry. Dogs. Stuff to do. I figure four days away, no phone, home, etc. and I can stream through and really make a dent in this book.

I wrote earlier this summer that I had burnout. Now I realize part of the burnout is that no one is buying the books. It's one thing to feel tired and burned out; another when no one is buying your books so you think, "Why am I killing myself to write this much?"

I've been sidelined with other projects and trying to make money. The short story turned into a novella of 41,000 words and it's out Dec. 12. Pre orders suck. Not the worst ever, but close. Very discouraging. I'm finally using instafreebie for a newsletter list, to build it up, but it's slow work. And I'm not even sure that it will work because it seems readers only want free, at least some of them. I have loyal readers who love the series, and I'm grateful for that.

Xavier's book is finished and going to edits in January, but I may delay publication in order to really promote it. I don't know. I suspect Xavier's book is the last in the series. I work really hard and it's not paying off. I told a friend this weekend at our Christmas party that I'm tired of spending all my free time promoting or trying to figure out promotions instead of writing.

I started a new project under a new name, to totally cut myself off from my real name. That project is 80 percent finished. Yay. No plans to promote, just put it up on KU and see what happens. Not even hiring a proofreader or editor. It would be hilarious if it made money. AFter all the money I've spent on editors and proofreaders, and this project takes off without either, I'd just laugh.

It costs me an average of $1,000 to produce an indie book, between the cover, editing and proofing and formatting. And I doubt I will break even with Cowboy Werewolf. Sad, sad state of affairs.