Wednesday, February 5, 2014

New Contract, New Goal, New Story

January proved to be one of the most productive months for me to date. I haven’t accomplished so much since…really…I can’t remember!

Let me give you a little update of what’s been going on.

New Contract!

Shortly before New Year’s Day, my publisher offered me a contract for The Witch’s Kiss. This will be Sage Merriweather and Marianne Grey’s story, both of whom are secondary characters in The Witch’s Thief. Marianne was left in a rather poor state by the end of that book as my editor mentioned, but I had plans for her that couldn’t be completed in that particular book. She needed a book of her own and Sage was the perfect hero. I signed the contract and within a few days my editor had the first round of edits prepared. I worked through and returned them to her a few weeks later. 

What a fantastic way to end 2013 and begin 2014!

New Goals

I love setting goals for myself. In fact, I think of goals as challenges. Challenges are a great motivation for me to get things done. My goal this year is to write 1000 words every day of the year. Yes, that’s 365,000 words this year. It’s an achievable goal since when I’m on my writing schedule I average about 1k a day anyway. So, why not keep doing it every day instead of taking so many breaks in between projects? My plan is to write in the mornings, edit in the afternoons and the read in the evenings. By the end of the year, we’ll see how well I do. I’m thinking of this as a trial year. If it works…great! If not, I’ll revise and re-plan for next year. Either way, I’m making sure that I prioritize my writing as the most important part of my day. Done first thing in the morning, so I won’t feel guilty for not getting around to it later because I spent most of the day doing laundry and dishes. 

Writing first, then laundry and dishes! Yes! I can do this!

New Story! Or Two! Or Three!

I was a writing machine in January! I keep track of my word count, hours spent writing, etc. I’m glad I did, since it was a jaw-dropping amount of data that I collected. I know other authors produce this sort of thing on a regular basis, but my work has always been sporadic. This month I decided to keep my writing as my #1 priority (well, aside from feeding my kids!) and ignored a lot of other things that always seem to take precedence over writing (like laundry!).

  1. In the first few days of January, I finished a Pirate Romance novella I began in 2013. This is a little different from the paranormal romances that I’m used to writing, but since I like to try new things when the story popped into my head, I charged right in. Then I let it sit for a while. Something wasn’t quite right about it. In late December, inspiration hit and I realized the story needed a new ending. That’s what was bothering me! So, I rewrote the last chapter and added a few more scenes. What an improvement!
  2.  I had a dream shortly after Christmas about a Contemporary Holiday Romance story idea. It grew quickly in my mind. Seeing as it was another short story, I decided to write it the first week of January. 8k words later, I was finished. As with the Pirate Romance, again, something feels off about it. Contemporary Romance is another genre I rarely dabble in, so I’m not sure what exactly is bothering me about it. Letting it sit, letting my subconscious figure things out will answer those questions. Eventually, I’ll return to it.
  3. Another dream came to me in December. This one was about zombies! Okay, although not the vampires or werewolves that I’m used to writing, this is still more my speed than what I’ve been working on recently. So, Untitled Zombie Romance was a like a breath of fresh air to my creative brain and it became my January obsession. I wrote morning, noon and night. When I wasn’t writing, I was thinking about the story so much that even making meals for my family became an annoyance. Although this isn’t really new…I am not a fan of cooking. I’m not good at it. Really. My husband likes to joke that I burn water, so you can see that my skills are better spent on writing instead of cooking. Thank goodness my husband enjoys cooking, so I usually don't have to. I worked like mad to get this story out of my brain and onto my laptop. My normal 1k day goal was surpassed by an average of 3k. Then on Thursday and Friday of my mad-writing-like-crazy-week I managed 6k! I haven’t done 6k in one day since I was a teenager! I was ecstatic. And the story was going great…


    My daughter got sick. Some sort of stomach bug that hit hard and fast. My little 3 year-old Puddin’ was so sick that I stayed up 2 whole days and nights to watch over her. I got about 5 hours of sleep that weekend. As much as I would have loved to write during that time, I was too upset to think about anything but her. Yes, my children always come before my writing. Luckily, she was only sick for two days. After that, she bounced right back to running around and playing like her normal cute and bossy self. All was good. But my house was a mess! With only 5 hours of sleep, and the rest of the time sitting with her, I let the housework slide. So, I took the next day to get caught up on those chores. And it was a good thing I did because the very next day my 6 y/o son, my husband and I all got sick at the same time.

    It. Was. Horrible.

    I don’t ever remember being so sick in my life. My entire body ached and I was so dizzy even when I was sitting. And, since I’m the mom, l still had to take care of everyone else.  Days later… I’m still recovering from that bout. Unfortunately, that was a week gone without writing, so I didn't finish the Zombie Romance like I'd planned. 

    Looking back at the month my best days were the 6k days. That particular week I wrote 30,000 words! Nearly half of my zombie novel in one week! If I’d had that second week, I’d have that baby finished in January! But, all is well, since I’m back to my writing schedule. A few more scenes and it is done! Then I can pat myself on the back.

    TOTAL Words for January: 56,552

    And on to February...

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