October 2018 Newsletter

I’m sorry I’m late in writing this post this month. I’m not going to have anything out until January. For those who already know, I won’t go over the details again, but for those who don’t know, I had to go through adjust my entire writing schedule. I’m done with trying to hurry up and get another book out. The rat race isn’t for me. I’m slowing down my schedule.

So with that stated, I’ll proceed with what I’m currently working on.

One Enchanted Evening is still being edited.

One Enchanted Evening ebook cover

Marriage by Fairytale Series

  • Book 1: The Marriage Contract
  • Book 2: One Enchanted Evening
  • Book 3: The Wedding Pact
  • (more may or may not be coming)

I decided to push back the release date on this book to January 6. I’ve decided from now on, I’m not going to put anything out from October to December. These months are centered on different holidays (at least they are in the United States where I live), so I’d rather people focus on their family and friends during this time.

The Imperfect Husband (Book 4) is a little over halfway done.

The Imperfect Husband ebook cover 6

Misled Mail Order Brides Series

  • Book 1: The Bride Price
  • Book 2: The Rejected Groom
  • Book 3: The Perfect Wife
  • Book 4: The Imperfect Husband

I had to slow down in this one in order to figure out how to best resolve the issues between Tony and Mark that were started in Book 2 (The Rejected Groom). I have rewritten portions of these scenes as the book progresses because there are things that pop up that I need to go back and adjust. With the exception of The Rejected Groom, every book in this series has been difficult to write. I have books that pop up like that from time to time, but it’s rare it happens with almost the entire series. Wagon Trail Bride (one of my favorites) was so difficult to write, it took me a couple of years to finally get it done. Some books are just harder to write than others. Those are best put off until the time is right.

Shane’s Deal is nearing the halfway point.

Shane's Deal new ebook cover

Montana Collection

  • Book 1: Mitch’s Win
  • Book 2: Boaz’s Wager
  • Book 3: Patty’s Gamble
  • Book 4: Shane’s Deal

This was supposed to be a novella. I originally planned on making this a 20,000 to 30,000 word book. I’m at 26,000 words, and there’s a lot more to go. So it’s going to be a full-length novel. This one will go to my publisher when it’s done.

Kidnapping the Viscount is about 1/3 of the way done.

Kidnapping the Viscount Ebook Cover

Marriage by Fate Series

  • Book 1: The Reclusive Earl
  • Book 2: Married In Haste
  • Book 3: Make Believe Bride
  • Book 4: The Perfect Duke
  • Book 5: Kidnapping the Viscount

I’m at the point where the heroine has successfully kidnapped the hero. He helped her with it, though she doesn’t realize it. At its core, this is a comedy.

I have a Young Adult Thriller I’m working on under a pen name.

You're Next ebook cover2

Since some people have expressed an interest in it, I’ll mention it here. I’m about 80% of the way into it. This is going to be around 35,000 words, which makes it a novella. I can’t seem to make a novella from a romance, but I can manage it for a YA Thriller.

This particular book is about a teen girl who witnessed the murder of her classmate, and now the killer is out to get her. I’ll post more information later.

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That’s all for now. I hope everyone has a great October!

 

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Old Habits Are Hard To Break (But Not Impossible)

When I made the announcement that I was going to go back to writing for passion and that I wasn’t going to stress over having a new book out all the time, I had no idea it was going to take months to fully embrace the new direction in my writing life. The greatest battle we face really is in the mind.

By changing my path, I was essentially letting go of a dream. But that’s okay. I’m a firm believer that when God closes a door, He opens a window. Sometimes He’ll put me at the end of my rope, so I can see where He’s leading me. I’ve always been the kind of person who doesn’t get a hint. People need to come out and tell me exactly what they want. I think my husband is a lot better at picking out subtleties than I am. I guess that’s why this writing to passion thing (and everything that would follow in line after it) has been harder to properly embrace.

After taking the advice of the author who made the two You Tube videos I included in the last post, I gave myself permission to do things I haven’t allowed in a long time. For example, I didn’t feel like writing on Tuesday. On Tuesday, I felt like walking. So I got off the computer and went on the treadmill for two hours. Then I didn’t write after that like I normally would. I’m now stopping writing when I no longer feel like doing it. My word count average has gone from 3500 (when I was pushing myself) to 2000. And now I’m doing about 3-4 days a week instead of the full 5.

I don’t know what the future of publishing looks like. Things are so different now than they were when I put my books on Amazon and Smashwords in 2009. Now it’s a pay-to-play game. If you don’t have the money to put into ads or other ways to get exposure, it’s hard to get visibility. I’m not complaining about it. I’m just being realistic. The landscape isn’t what it used to be. It doesn’t do anyone any good to live in denial.

Since things have changed, old habits need to change, too. I’m still learning what those changes are for me. I’m not interested in playing the pay-to-play game. I’m not interested in writing novellas in order to get something out every month. (I did consider it. I even started a story that was meant to be a novella, and it’s already at 26,000 words with a lot more to go.) I am interested in doing a short story here and there for fun, but I don’t want to do that all the time. I’m not interested in spending most of my time on social media because, as an introvert, that drains me. I can only handle social media in small doses. That’s one of the reasons I don’t email right away. I need time to recharge my batteries.

All I really want to do is write and publish my books. That’s it. So that’s what I’m going to do. I don’t know how often a new book will be out. I plan to push back at least one pre-order date as we get later into the year since I’m not going to strain myself to get the book written by a certain time. If the day comes when I feel like God is telling me to stop writing, I’ll stop. I don’t feel He’s leading me that way at this time. I’m going to leave the details up to Him. I don’t know what’s beyond the window He opened for me, but I’m going to find out because I’m no longer going to try to open the door that’s closed.

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Shifting Things Around

The past couple of weeks have been a busy time as I tried to rearrange my goals and writing schedule to accommodate them. The other day, I got links from a good author friend on two excellent videos.

1. This is a good one on focusing in on goals in a way that won’t get overwhelming. It’s aimed at writers, but honestly, it could work for any goals.

2. The other video was on handling burnout. Again, it’s primarily aimed at writers, but I can see how the symptoms of burnout and ways to overcome it could work for other areas, too. Writers aren’t the only ones who get burned out.

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I took both videos to heart and worked on how I can best modify things I have control over. Trying to work with things I can’t control is pointless. This is what I’ve been trying to do for the past 2.5 years, and it hasn’t worked. So now I’m working with goals I do have control over.

Regarding the 90 Day Plan:

Now, the author in the videos does a board. I like having something printed out in paper form that I created in my Word program. I like being able to cross things out as I finish them. I know an author who likes putting everything in a planner.

The bottom line is to use whatever method best motivates you. Seeing stuff on a board and moving them around wouldn’t motivate me. Also, I don’t like to list out every little thing on a sticky note. I like to have everything on one sheet of paper that I can glance at. Otherwise, I get overwhelmed. So this is a flexible plan.

If anyone’s interested, these are the three things I came up with for my 90 Day Plan.

Things I’ve decided to change in how I do things. I’m hoping these will help eliminate burnout and renew my focus on writing for passion.

  • I log in to work on writing, publishing, and/or marketing Monday through Friday from 8am to 2pm. Wednesdays will end at 1pm due to kids’ early out from school. (Note: I do household chores during this time, too.) Once the 1-2pm mark hits, I quit no matter how much I did or didn’t do.
  • Once You’re Next (my YA thriller under my pen name) is done, I’m going back to working on three books at a time. I’m also lowering my word count per book.
  • At least three days a week, I will write 250 – 1000 words in each the book for the day. I was making myself do 3,000 words total Monday through Friday. That seemed to be pushing myself too hard.
  • Monday through Friday, I walk for 30-60 minutes on the treadmill. (I finally broke down and bought one since it’s cold in Montana too many months in the year.)
  • Saturday and Sunday is for other activities. It’s time I got back to reading more and doing other hobbies I haven’t done in ages.

Regarding my publishing schedule:

  • I want to be three months ahead of schedule. Part of  my problem is that I’ve been writing, editing, and publishing as quickly as I could. I published back all of my pre-order dates so far out that I hope to be able to have every book done three months before I publish it. That way, I hope to be more relaxed about things.
  • I will no longer put up pre-orders until I finish the book. I’ve finally learned my lesson on this one. Pre-orders are nice in that they give me time to put all of my ducks in a row, so to speak.
  • I’m not going to stress how often I publish books. When they’re done, they’ll get ready for publication.
  • I’m also only taking on stories I want to write. I’m hoping this will get me out of the writing to market mindset.

One final thought on the You Tube video on avoiding burnout that I think is important to mention:

The author made an excellent point that when setting goals, one of the best things to aim for is how you want to feel. I’d never thought of things that way before. How I feel is something I can control. It’s something we can all control. The idea is to think of how you want to feel and then take the steps necessary to get there.

For example, my goal is to feel relaxed while writing. Since publishing eight books in 2019 would stress me out, I lower the number to six books. I can comfortably do six books that range between 50,000 to 70,000 words. I’m not focused on how the books will sell, who’ll like them, or anything else I can’t control. I’m just focused on the thing I can do: write.

I don’t know if something in this post can help, but I figured I’d pass this along in case something in here will work for you. I think part of living a hectic life is trying to figure out a way to best organize our time so we don’t stress ourselves out, whether we’re writing or doing something else.

 

 

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