September Goals 2020 | Just… Write All the Things *shrugs*

This will be the shortest goals post ever, friends and bookworms. It’s September, and that means I’m going back to work near the end–not for all five days like I usually would, but for three days + two when I’ll be working from home. I don’t know how busy with library stuff I’ll be on those days. I’m torn between being tempted to start writing and marketing at the weekend and being grateful for those two days of not needing to go anywhere.

(the little devil on my shoulder is asking me, ‘Why not both?’ Indeed. Why not both.)

Long story short, I’ve no idea how much I’ll have time for this month. This will be a new type of routine for me, but I’m excited to carve out something that works for me and my books.

So, instead of the usual book-specific headers, these are my goals for September:

  • write a lot (The Silence of Magic, Blood Wisp, some short stories maybe)
  • read a lot (all the things!)
  • market a lot (mainly the audiobook once it’s available everywhere)

*shrugs*

It’s not impressive, but it is what I’ve got. It’ll be more specific at the end of the month once I know what I’ve done ^-^


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August Progress | One Submitted Audiobook (*throws confetti*) and One VERY Messy Re-Structure (*inhales tea*)

Ever sit down to reflect on how much progress you’ve made and have no idea how much progress you’ve made? I genuinely couldn’t remember where I was at the beginning of August o.o

I looked back over my post earlier this month, where I said August would be all about my audiobook, and it kinda was (and still is) :

The Rise of the Sparrows Audiobook

I spent a good chunk of time this month listening to every chapter and sending feedback where needed. My narrator got on it right away, and long story short, I approved and submitted it *throws confetti*

My purse is a lot lighter, but I can’t wait to share this book and see how much you all love my amazing narrator <3

All being well, it’ll be out on Monday, but I don’t have much control over this part *shrugs*

For all the details, read my audiobook diaries.

Blood Wisp

I may have mentioned this before, but I expected the re-structuring to be monstrous…

And it was.

But it’s done now and I can actually rewrite the thing rather than obsess over the non-existent structure and very messy first draft :O

The Silence of Magic

The above didn’t leave too much time for this WIP, but I did write a little bit, I named some currencies, and I named almost all the countries. Some are a little harder to figure out, but I do at least know the general direction for them, which will help a lot when my characters talk about them.

And that’s it–a super short progress report after the super short goals I set at the start of this month 🙂


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August Goals – All About the Audiobook

Happy August, friends and bookworms!

This month will be all about my audiobook version of Rise of the Sparrows. My narrator finished recording over the weekend, so it’s my turn!

Because I don’t know how long this will take, I don’t want to set too many goals. The audiobook is the priority, and we might have to return to one or more chapters several times, so it’s hard for me to judge how busy this will keep me.

So, this is my short list for this month:

The Rise of the Sparrows Audiobook

My priority.

For more information, keep an eye on my audiobook diaries!

The Silence of Magic

I’ve made a good start last month, but now I want to keep the momentum going. I won’t set a word count goal for this month though – I’ll write as much as I can when I’m not working on the audiobook.

Blood Wisp

Now that the pressure of Camp NaNo is over, I can dedicate more time to this WIP again. I feel like I’ve been saying this for months – and I probably have been – but it’s finally time to return to this trilogy!

I have some re-outlining to do, followed by some re-ordering of chapters, followed by writing new ones and improving the draft I already have.

All this will take time, so the only goal I dare set right now is the re-outlining and re-ordering. Everything after that will be a plus!

And that’s it! Short and sweet 🙂


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July Progress | Camp NaNo Success!

Can you believe July is over after today?? :O It’s been a busy month, that’s for sure!

My burnout has reminded me two or three times this month that it is not, in fact, over, but still watching me very carefully from the shadows. I overdid it a few times, so I’m still being careful after all. What can I say? These things take time.

Having said that, prepare to be dazzled with all my progress:

Brightened Shadows

IT’S WITH MY EDITOR

and I’VE SEEN THE COVER PROOF

It’s all happening now ^-^

I’m nowhere near ready to do a cover reveal (for once, I wasn’t instantly in love with the proof, and my designer is now on holiday until the middle of August), but it’s coming, friends and bookworms.

I also changed my NaNo goal at the last minute to include all remaining edits of Brightened Shadows – this was to prepare it for my editor. I focussed on this goal and reached it first, so I got my biggest Camp goal done before I could switch to the fun project:

The Silence of Magic

Working on Brightened Shadows first didn’t leave me much time for The Silence of Magic, but I made tons of progress towards the plot itself. I actually know where I’m going with this book now o.o

And it’s been quite a journey! I went from only having a faint idea and rough goal to having half-plotted the book and worrying it wouldn’t be a series after all but a standalone (and then worrying that wouldn’t work very well) to having the rest of it plotted and realising that it has all the series potential. So it’s been that kind of roller coaster!

I’m very nearly at my NaNo word count goal. Today’s writing session will do it. I’m cutting it a little close, but as long as I can reach it today, I’m happy.

Blood Wisp

Not gonna lie, I could have re-outlined this book this month, but I chose to prioritise The Silence of Magic – partially because, as I mentioned above, I’m cutting the NaNo deadline a little fine.

But Camp will be over after today, and Yua will get more of my attention again.

I bought and read Save the Cat! Writes a Novel this month, which will be a huge help when I start the new outline. It’s already helped me make sense of The Silence of Magic, and I’m confident that it’ll help me figure out Blood Wisp and its sequels too.

This Blog

You might have noticed that I haven’t changed anything yet, but I’ve got things scheduled for August!

Again, the delicate combination of Camp NaNo pressure and burnout-waiting-to-return meant that I didn’t push myself. But things are lined up and coming next month 🙂


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July Goals | All the Camp NaNo excitement!

Happy JULY, friends and Sparrows!

My burnout is finally over and I feel like myself again, so my to-do list is finally looking a bit more ambitious! I’ll keep this post short so I can get to work *does little ready dance*

Brightened Shadows

I’m thrilled to finally be making good progress with this book. My read-through is well underway and my editor knows it’s coming her way this month!

I loved writing this sequel to my duology, but I’m at a point now where I don’t want to look at it any more. I’m very ready for my editor to do her thing!

The Silence of Magic

I’m so pleased that I’ve chosen this WIP for my NaNo project! I’ve been excited about this book and its intricate world for years, and I can feel it restoring my creative well as I’m writing and plotting. It’s kinda been a blessing so far. I know it won’t last forever, but right now I’ll treasure it.

I’ve set my NaNo goal to 15k to allow for burnout prevention, and I have a feeling I’ll reach it pretty quickly! I’ll need to fill in some world-building details along the way, and that alone is pure rejuvenation for me <3

Blood Wisp

Now, I don’t want to give myself too much to do and fall right back into burnout, but the plan is to return to BLOOD WISP once BRIGHTENED SHADOWS is with my editor. I’m usually editing one book while writing another, so it should be fine.

BUT, if I can feel my burnout returning, I’ll put it back on hold. Right now, I feel fine, but I’m also very aware that a two-month-long burnout is likely to have some lingering effects, so I’ll be careful.

This Blog

See above note about careful burnout prevention…

All being well, I’d like to get back to posting once a week. I’ve got a few ideas for regular posts, so technically I just need to make it happen now. And if you have any ideas for what you’d like to see on an author blog, let me know! I’m all ears.

What have you got planned this month? Share a tea with me and let me know.


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June Progress | An Unexpected WIP & #burnoutisabitch

Remember how I mentioned back at the end of May that I had burned out badly? Well, friends, it’s taken me all of June to recover.

Take that as your friendly reminder to look after yourselves <3

I’m not quite there yet, but it’s getting there, and I’ve made self-care a priority. The moment I sense burnout winking at me from the shadows, I take a break – no questions asked, no arguments.

As you can probably imagine, I didn’t get as much done this month as I might have liked, but I’m proud of what I did manage, and I remind myself that burnout is a bitch whenever I feel like it’s not enough.

Brightened Shadows

I’ve gone over all critique partner feedback and have made a note of things to adjust when I read over it again, which I’ll start doing today. I’ve also sent the chapter headings to my editor ahead of the book since some of my critique partners felt they were repetitive. I split opinions there – half thought they were repetitive, half thought they weren’t.

The Rise of the Sparrows Audiobook

I’ve booked my narrator, we’ve signed the contract, and she’s currently reading the book to take notes and prepare herself.

For all other updates and details, please check out The Audiobook Diaries.

The Silence of Magic

Honestly, this was a pleasant surprise to me. Camp NaNo begins tomorrow, and I was in the uncomfortable position of not wanting to work on any of my WIPs. (#burnoutisabitch)

Now, I really like NaNo, and since I’m unlikely to have time for the big event in November, I wanted to at least do both camps. But what to work on? All my WIPs made me feel like I was slipping back into burnout, and that’s the last thing I want!

That’s when I wondered about this idea I’ve had for years. I’ve mentioned it here and there, but I wasn’t expecting to start work on it any time soon.

And yet, the moment I considered it I felt excited.

Friends, I haven’t felt excited in months!

It feels beyond indulgent to work on THE SILENCE OF MAGIC when BLOOD WISP needs so much work and when BRIGHTENED SHADOWS still isn’t with my editor, but I feel good about this. It’ll be nice to work on a book and actually enjoy myself! I’ve been missing this feeling for months, so TSoM will be my NaNo project.

I’ve spend the last few days preparing for it, naming characters and sorting out the backstory that’s responsible for the main plot. I don’t have as many details worked out as I usually would, but that’ll be part of the joy! I’m excited to discover this vast lore-rich world alongside my characters.


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June Goals | WIP Milestones and Booking My Audiobook Narrator

Happy June, Sparrows and bookworms!

After I’ve burned myself out in May – badly – I vow to do better this month *high five*

The below may not read like much, but they’re all big milestones across all WIPs!

Brightened Shadows

My first priority this June is to go over the rest of my critique partner feedback and make some changes to my draft. Once that’s done, it’ll go to my editor for its line edit. I might also read over everything again before that to make sure I’m happy with the changes and that everything flows well.

Blood Wisp

As I mentioned in the May update, this book is a right mess. Once I’m done with Brightened Shadows and it’s in my editor’s capable hands, I’ll restructure Blood Wisp. I’ve already started, and it’ll be a fairly simple process of copying chapters from the current draft and pasting them into a new draft, without any of that repetition and now-unnecessary chapters.

I’ll have quite a bit of rewriting and adding to do afterwards, but it’ll be much stronger for it when I’m done.

The Rise of the Sparrows Audiobook

I won’t say too much here because details are what my Audiobook Diaries are for, BUT I’ve chosen my narrator and am ready to book her.

I’m a little unclear right now as to how the next steps work (mostly admin-y things), but I’m hoping to wait with production until July to make sure I leave myself enough for living costs.

I’ve gone slightly over budget, but this narrator is perfect for my book, so I’m okay with that.

If they are happy to wait, too, I’ll be booking my narrator this month. I imagine it’ll be fine, but as someone who’s never done this before, I don’t want to make any assumptions.

And that’s my little big update! What are you all up to this June?


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May Progress | Between Audiobook Excitement and Burnout

I’ll keep this month’s update short because I’ve burned myself out pretty badly this month *rolls eyes at self*

Brightened Shadows

I’ve received all critique partner feedback and have begun to go over their suggestions. Most of it is straightforward – a word spelled wrong here, an easy-to-fix inconsistency there – but other parts…

I’d go over one set of feedback and the critique partner loved, say, a chapter. I’d then move on to the next set of feedback, and the critique partner didn’t get on with the same chapter at all.

There’s one character I was worried had too many chapters compared to the others. One critique partner thinks they had too few and need more.

And on it went! So, in short, I somewhat divided my critique partners with this one. This isn’t on everything, of course, but they’ve given me a lot to think about, and I have some ideas on how to strengthen important parts of the book thanks to them.

Blood Wisp

Remember how I said at the beginning of the month that I’d dive into rewrites at some point this month, depending on how messy this draft really is?

Turns out, it’s messy. I was tempted to start over from scratch at one point.

I’ve gone over the entire draft now and have begun to take notes of my notes. There are some serious structural problems (friendly reminder to avoid turning three novellas into one novel), which means a good bit of rewriting is necessary.

To hopefully make sense of the mess without creating more mess, I’ve re-outlined it and will copy and paste the chapters I’m keeping/moving into a new, clean document. I’m cutting a few chapters and need to add quite a few more so everything comes together well, so I’m hoping this will make it easier.

The Audiobook Diaries

The audiobook process for Rise of the Sparrows has begun! You can follow my audiobook journey here.

At the moment, entries are weekly every Friday – and the reason this monthly progress update happens today rather than tomorrow.

Twitter

I’ve rejoined Twitter earlier this month! I considered tidying up my account, but that would have taken a very long time, so I deleted it and started over.

You can follow me here.

And that sums up my May! Remember to look after yourselves <3


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May Goals | Two WIPs and an Audiobook

Happy May, friends and Sparrows!

I hope you’re all keeping well and safe, especially as the lock down ends in some places and eases in others <3

This will be the month my progress picks UP, because I’ll hit a big deadline this week. While it’s not related to my own books, it’s been taking up a lot of my time every day, so finishing it will free up my schedule like nothing else has done in a long time!

There are quite a few exciting things ahead! So many, in fact, that I’ve summarised my goals for this month at the end. Feel free to jump ahead if you’re short on time or don’t want to read the whole post.

Brightened Shadows

The deadline for critique partner feedback is the 18th. I will clear my schedule once it’s with me so I can go over their suggestions and apply the ones I agree with. I also have a small list of questions to ask the group once everyone is done – I could have included them when I sent the draft but didn’t want to influence their reading, so we’ll have this discussion when they’re done!

And once that’s done, I’ll send it to my editor for the line edit. Not sure that’ll happen this month, but it might! If my critique partners don’t come back with too many problems and there are no fires elsewhere in my WIPs, it’s definitely possible.

Fingers crossed!

Blood Wisp

I’ll finish taking notes this month and will dive into rewrites once that’s done. Depending on how everything goes (read: on how messy this draft really is), I should finish taking notes next week or the week after – Brightened Shadows feedback permitting, of course!

I’ve been hiding in the editing cave for so long I can’t wait to write again, even if it’s super complicated rewrites.

The Audiobook Diaries

This is a big one!

I’ve decided to dive into the wonderful world of audiobooks with my babies. Some time this month, I’ll start the process with Rise of the Sparrows.

It’s the first I’m doing this, so I’m excited to learn something new as well as to have my books out there in another format!

Since I first mentioned this on Instagram and in my Facebook Reader Group, several people have asked me to let them know how it goes and to share my experience because they are curious, too.

Instead of making a note of everyone who asked me and inform them all individually, I’ve decided to blog about my progress and my experience. That way, everyone can learn how it works, what’s involved, what issues I run into and how to solve them, etc in one place, month by month.

Keep an eye out for The AudioBook Diaries. The first entry will hit this blog this May.

Twitter

I left Twitter last autumn because everything was getting a bit overwhelming – running two blogs regularly, running two Facebook groups regularly, editing jobs, my own books (I had three release dates in short succession ahead of me at the time), Instagram seven days a week, Twitter, regular Pinterest session to drive traffic to one of my blogs–

It was too much, so I left.

But now, I only have this blog right here, I handed one of my Facebook groups over to someone else, I post on Instagram only three times a week, and I closed my editing services. Closing my other blog also brought an end to the Pinterest stress, so that’s five less things to worry about.

Long story short–I’m coming back, Twitter!

I’d share a link right now, but I think I’ll tidy up a little first *ahem*

So, to summarise:

  • I’ll receive my critique partners’ feedback for Brightened Shadows around the 18th. If all goes well and the issues aren’t too complicated to fix, it might even go to my editor for its line edit.
  • I’ll finish taking notes of Blood Wisp and will begin rewrites.
  • I’ll begin the lengthy audiobook progress and blog about it here under The Audiobook Diaries.
  • I’ll return to Twitter.

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April Progress – Camp NaNo Success and Heavy Rewrites

Hi everyone!

I hope you’re all coping well with this lockdown. For me, it’s been a strange blessing, because I’ve been able to make massive progress towards my last editing jobs this month – thanks to the quarantine, I was able to power through 400 pages of line edits!

(yes, I am tired)

BUT an end is in sight, because I’ll be done after next week, and then gone will be the tiny progress updates!

I’m very excited to have more time for my own again, to say the least, and big plans are unfolding, but more about that next week. My to-do list may have been smaller this month, but it’s nothing to scoff at all the same:

Brightened Shadows

Brightened Shadows is with my critique partners! *throws confetti* I asked them to email me right away if there were any big issues so I can get on it right away, but it’s been silent since I send them the book around two weeks ago (it feels much longer ago than that!). That can only be a good sign.

Getting it to this point was my Camp NaNo goal, and I’m proud I got it done.

Blood Wisp

I was torn about how best to proceed. I wanted to start writing Blood Song, but I also left Blood Wisp in a right state. Since I combined three novellas to form the first book, the draft is essentially not done. It’s more of a detailed outline with big chunks missing.

So, I decided to tackle Blood Wisp before diving into Blood Song. Novellas flow much faster than full-length novels; therefore, the structure is all over the place, the plot is incomplete, and it’s not long enough to be a full-length novel even with all three novellas combined.

Basically, this WIP needs work.

I’m reading the whole thing with my structure sheets next to me, a notebook, and several pens in different colours. I’ve got some ideas for how to improve it, but because of the state it’s in, it’ll take time.

And that’s it! Prepare for an exciting announcement in my May goals on Monday 😉


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