Category Archives: writing

Plan Your Work & Work Your Plan

Goal Setting + ReviewHello once again Faithful Readers! Have I mentioned lately how grateful I am for each and every one of you? Not just because you’re patient enough to read the silly stuff I write on the interwebs, but because you’re you. Don’t forget that, while the universe might be really hard sometimes, you’re valid and needed. And, most importantly, you’re perfectly YOU and perfectly deserving of love and acceptance.

Okay. Glad we had that chat. 🙂

So, what have I been up to lately? This is a lot like one of my “What Am I Working On?” posts, but with a little more focus. Now that I’ve begun planning my work in quarterly “sprints,” I can go back and review my work even more easily! So, I figured what better way to review my work than to write a blog post about it? Some quarters, I might do a live video review. Would that be cool? Would any of you watch it? Let me know!

I had three goals for Q3 (July-August.) But here’s the catch: I didn’t start this whole thing until super late in July. So I really had a two month quarter. I planned my goals accordingly. Here they are:

  1. Submit to all of the agents and editors who requested material during pitches at RWA 2018 by August 1st.
  2. Increase my social media presence – increase frequency and regularity of posts on Facebook, Twitter, and in my Facebook Group (Elle’s Belles). Increase followers by 5-20%.
  3. Complete second edition revisions of SHIFT and RECAST in preparation for re-release in Q4!

So how did I do?

  1. Nailed it! I got all of my material submitted and have just begun hearing back from agents and editors I really admire. Super exciting!
  2. Got it! I became better about how I track my posting schedules on social media, particularly around writer-specific stuff. I still love to post on the fly to all of my channels (I’ll never be somebody who curates everything I ever post–nor do I want to be!) but I feel like I’m putting out more frequent, quality content which has given me some peace-of-mind that I’m not boring you all with too many random musings and not enough meaty goodness 😉  Those of you who like me on Facebook, or are members of Elle’s Belles have likely seen some new faces around those parts because my followers grew by more than 20% in both (Welcome, new faces!) On Twitter, where my number of followers was much higher to begin with, I didn’t quite hit my target, but the number did trend upward and I met a lot of really awesome new tweeps so I’m counting it as a win!
  3. Done! The second editions of both SHIFT and RECAST are complete and darn near ready for re-release later this year! Stay tuned for more on that soon!

So, what are my plans for the final quarter of 2018, I hear you ask? Let me tell you!

  1. Launch my author Instagram! I’ve been on Insta for a while, but wasn’t sure if I was ready to take the plunge and put my author self out there. Well, after some research and discussion, I’ve made it official! Come find me on Instagram! I mainly post book pics (other people’s, rarely my own,) coffee, secondhand fashion finds, and pics of my Happy Planner because I’m obsessed (more on that in a later post!) I also post aesthetics for my works in progress. Check it out!
  2. Get DRIFT and STAND second editions ready for re-release! Then, you know, RE-RELEASE THE ENTIRE SERIES!  It will happen sometime in December. I’m building the plan now, and I’ll let you all know as soon as I do!
  3. I’ve been asked to write a children’s book for an organization that’s near and dear to my heart. My goal is to have the rough draft completed by the end of October and emailed to the organization’s coordinator for review and iteration.  I’ll be writing this under a different name (because, as it turns out, paranormal romance and books for early-readers don’t exactly have the same audience lol!) but I may post about it some here because I’m really excited about it.

 

Well, there you have it! I’ve said all of these goals “out loud” on the internet, so now I better get them done or you’ll all come asking me when the hell the Shift Series is going to be re-released and better than ever! 😀

What are you hoping to accomplish by the end of the year? Do you track your goals formally or in a less rigid way? Tell me all about it!

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Here’s my kanban board looking awfully bottom-heavy at the end of Q3. It’s about to be filled with new post-its for Q4! 

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What Am I Working On?

In short: not my blog LOL!

Nah, just kidding. I did put aside weekly blog posts some months back, but that was a strategic decision. Sometimes I need to shake-up how I work to keep myself productive, and reducing my blog post frequency was part of that most recent shake-up. But that doesn’t mean I’m abandoning the blog entirely–not at all!  In fact, you’ll probably start seeing regular “What Am I Working On?” posts quarterly. See, I’ve started this new work management system I learned at the RWA National writer’s conference in July and it’s fantastic! Part of it involves focusing on 2-3 goals one quarter at a time, then reviewing my progress at the end of the quarter. So I’m going to post here each quarter with a quick rundown of what I’m focusing on.

Okay, where to start.

I completed a major revision in May of the first book in my latest project (it’s a 3.5-book series I’m currently calling The Cloaked Series.) The revision was requested by an agent I submitted to and really admire, so it was very exciting. I’ve sent that off and am now awaiting responses from that agent and one other.

Meanwhile, I attended the RWA National conference in July, as I mentioned above, and it was AMAZING! I met so many awesome writers, learned a TON, and brought back more free romance novels than I’ll likely be able to read this year (but I’m sure as heck gonna try!)

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Me and writer-friend Lin being silly in the photo booth at the RITA Awards after party during the RWA National conference. It was a good night 😀

This quarter (well, August and September–I’m doing a short quarter so I can get on track with Q4) I’m focusing on sending out all of the material that agents and editors requested from me at the conference, reinvigorating my social media mojo so I can continue to meaningfully connect with more readers, and getting SHIFT and RECAST ready for re-release.

WHAAA?

Yep, that’s right. I will be re-releasing new editions of all 4 books in the Shift Series (SHIFT, RECAST, DRIFT, and STAND) at the end of this year! Newly edited, with new covers, links to new exclusive content, and more. I’ll definitely be posting more about it, so stay tuned in the coming months.

So those are my focuses for Q3. In the spirit of reinvigorating my social media presence,  here are links to find me across the interwebs (including my new Facebook Group, Elle’s Belles!)

Facebook

Elle’s Belles (a safe place to geek out about our favorite paranormal/fantasy beings–from my books or ANYWHERE! It’s brand new and just getting off the ground, but we’re already having a ton of fun. Join us!)

Twitter

Pinterest

Elle's Belles

Mythologicals Saga Updates

Hello Faithful Readers!

I’ve mentioned updating Harbinger and Augury a couple of times over the last weeks/months. The reasons for doing so are numerous and varied, but primarily, it’s a twofold issue:

  1. Harbinger no longer meets my expectations for quality. It was the first novel-length book I wrote. And, frankly put, the writing sucks. Still love the story–hate the writing.
  2. Even more importantly, Harbinger no longer fits with the rest of my brand as it exists currently. Now, that doesn’t mean I plan to change the story dramatically (though the book will read much differently when I’m done with the re-write, the core story will remain mostly unchanged), but I do plan to change how the story fits into the series, which will help the series in a couple of ways: fitting within my  paranormal romance brand, and letting Augury shine.

Harbinger cannot be considered part of the romance genre (even though it has very strong romantic elements) because, well, it does not end in an emotionally satisfying way. I’m sorry for that. It sucks. But, damn it, it’s how the story unfolds and to change that would be unauthentic. The worst part is that Harbinger’s tragic ending (combined with the crummy writing) seems to keep people from continuing on to Augury–which is a tragedy in and of itself.

Augury is quite possibly the most favorite thing I’ve ever written. It deserves to shine.

So, starting today, I’m enacting a plan to let it do just that. The plan has six steps:

  1. Remove Harbinger and Augury from all e-book stores (sounds drastic, but just wait! It will be worth it!)
  2. Revise Augury to support a new series order, placing Augury as the first book in the series.
  3. Rewrite Harbinger to align with readers’ expectations, and my own expectations for my work.
  4. Rerelease Augury as the first book in the Immortals Duology*.
  5. Rerelease Harbinger as a supplement to Augury. It will still be Augury’s prequel, but now it will be branded that way. Instead of a flagship title, Harbinger will be aimed at readers who are interested in exploring Luceam’s tragic past before the events of Augury.
  6. Complete and release Corrollary, the second and final book in the Immortals Duology* in 2019.

*Immortals Duology is my current working title for the revamped series. It might stick, it might change. You all will be the first to know, either way.

So why am I telling you all of this?

Primarily because I want you to know that if you own the Harbinger and/or Augury e-books, your copies will be unaffected when I remove them from e-bookstores. You’ll still own the copies you already have–they won’t disappear from your library or your ereaders, so have no fear.  When I get ready to release the updated versions, later this year, I will give an update on how to get a copy without having to buy them again if you own the originals.

So wish me luck! And check-in here, on Twitter, and Facebook for updates!