Update Day: January is Over

Today is the last Friday of the month, which means it’s time for another Big Goals Update. For those of you wondering, fifteen of us have set some crazy or crazy important goals, and we update once a month on the last Friday, sharing our progress and encouragements.

You’re welcome to sign up, if you want. Just fill in what you would like to achieve, and then write a post today, or the next last Friday of the month.

So how did I do?

My goals for January were mostly loose-form. I basically wanted to write every day, finish overhauling my published books, do regular social network updates, and make $500.
I didn’t achieve four of those goals.
Mainly, though, because the one I did reach was a doozy.
To illustrate:
The line graph is my monthly income goal. The bar graph beneath is the amount I’ve generated in a given month.
To put that into perspective, each bar corresponds to the amount of income I’ve generated in every month since September. And in January, I more than doubled my previous record. And I basically did that in fourteen days.
Which is why my writing graph looks like this:
Womp womp womp. 
Started off very well, with me actually breaking my daily writing record by writing 10k words. In fact, I started off so well that I was convinced that I could write 100k words in But that was before the jobs started coming in.
I hadn’t expected my work-load to grow like it did, so I didn’t plan accordingly, and in the end, my writing went stagnant.
That said, I think I can get more done with proper planning.
Which brings me to my next point.

Goals for February

I have various goals that need to get done this year, but for this coming month, at least, I want to continue with my writing and income goals.
So.
I’m going to share first priority between writing 100k words (or close to it) and earning $1000 in income in a month.
I realize that both of these are actually crazy big goals, but that’s why I’m picking them. They make me reach.
More than that, I actually think I can make it.
It’s all in my planning.
So the short term plan for now is to figure out a structure that will actually help me get both done.
How are you doing? Did you set goals? 
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The Remnant Blog Tour

Hey everyone! Today, I’m welcoming William Michael Davidson to the Five Year Project as part of his blog tour.

William Michael Davidson lives in Long Beach, California with his wife and two daughters. A believer that “good living produces good writing,” Davidson writes early in the morning so he can get outside, exercise, spend time with people, and experience as much as possible.

A writer of speculative fiction, he enjoys stories that deal with humanity’s inherent need for redemption.

For more on Davidson and his writing, connect with him on Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, and Amazon Author’s Page.

Welcome to the Five Year Project, William. Since I’m all about goals on this blog, I was wondering about five-year goal. Tell me about it? 
 
My five year-goal is fairly simple.  Assuming The Remnant does well, I would like to finish the trilogy.  I have finished the first draft of the next novel, Mass Exodus, which is the sequel to The Remnant.  It’s going to take me several months to edit it and clean it up.  I would also like to write the third book in the trilogy.  In addition to finishing this series, I would like to publish another novel I recently finished, Storm Taken, and write an additional novel I have an idea for that is a bit larger (maybe 120,000 words or so).  So all in all, lots of writing and publishing in the next five years.
 
Colton Pierce apprehends Abberants—those who display symptoms of faith—and quarantines them on a remote island to ensure public safety.  Years prior, the government released a genetically-engineered super flu that destroyed the genes believed to be the biological source of spiritual experience in an effort to rid the world of terrorism. As an extractor with the Center for Theological Control, Colton is dedicated to the cause.
But Colton’s steadfast commitment is challenged when he learns his own son has been targeted for extraction. An underground militia, the Remnant, agrees to help Colton save his son in exchange for his assistance with their plan to free the Aberrants on the island.
Colton is faced with the most important decision of his life. Remain faithful to the CTC? Or give up everything to save his son?

 

THE REMNANT is available to order in eBook form at the following sites:
The print format of the book is available at these sites:
Thanks for stopping by, William! What do you guys think of the cover? Cool, isn’t it? 

I Survived! Blogfest

Hey everyone! Today I’m taking part in the I Survived Blogfest in honor of Chrys Fey’s newest book.


This is Chrys Fey reporting for Disaster 5 News. I am in Cape Town, South Africa where a tsunami hit yesterday morning. I have Misha with me, a survivor of the tsunami. Misha, can you tell our viewers what happened, and how you survived?

[Wiping away tears, clinging to the emergency blanket around her shoulders.] It was terrible. Just… Just water everywhere. One moment I was shopping for groceries–

[Sniffles, chin wobbling as she wipes away tears with the heel of her hand] I’d just come out of the shop and talking to my mom on the phone when I heard screams. It just didn’t make sense.

[Clears throat, tears welling in her eyes.] People shouldn’t scream on Fridays. I looked in the screams’ direction and there was just this…this roar and– [Breaths shallowing as she tries not to break down] Water. Water everywhere.

It pushed me back before it even hit me, and when it did, I knew I was going to die. [Breaks down crying, shoulders shaking with the force of her sobs.]

[Manages to look up again. Speaking through tears] I woke up on the roof of a bus stop. The wave must have put me there. I… I can’t believe… I don’t know how I survived.

The street below me was empty of people.

 

Title: Tsunami Crimes
Series: Disaster Crimes #3
Author: Chrys Fey
Genre: Romantic-Suspense

Page Count: 272


BLURB: Beth and Donovan have come a long way from Hurricane
Sabrina and the San Francisco earthquake. Now they are approaching their
wedding day and anxiously waiting to promise each other a lifetime of love. The
journey down the aisle isn’t smooth, though, as they receive threats from the
followers of the notorious criminal, Jackson Storm. They think they’ll be safe
in Hawaii, but distance can’t stop these killers. Not even a tsunami can.
 
This monstrous wave is the most devastating disaster Beth
has ever faced. It leaves her beaten, frightened. Is she a widow on her
honeymoon? As she struggles to hold herself together and find Donovan, she’s
kidnapped by Jackson’s men.
 
Fearing her dead, Donovan searches the rubble and shelters
with no luck. The thought of her being swept out to sea is almost too much for
him to bear, but the reality is much worse. She’s being used as bait to get him
to fall into a deadly trap.

If they live through this disaster, they may never be the
same again. 


DIGITAL LINKS:
 
PRINT LINK:
 



99 CENTS: Amazon
And everywhere ebooks are sold. 
 
 
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Balancing

I’m stealing a few moments to check in. It’s really busy here on my side, since I’m trying to write 100k words this month and I got three editing and formatting jobs to do.

Not sure what I’m doing right to get all those jobs, but I’m not going to argue with it. I have to say, I’m really glad that I decided to augment my publishing income this way, because I’m actually enjoying it a lot. More than that, spending most of my working hours on this means that I’m really getting paid (and incentivized) to sharpen skills that I can use on my own publishing efforts later.

My major thing this week is to get these jobs done by Friday, because then I have enough money to pay out my Payoneer account, which means my cash flows at least until next month again. Yeah yeah. I know. Business. Bleh.

I realize the need for balance, though. I can’t keep writing so much that I don’t actually check in on my social networks. (I know. I’m TERRIBLE.) I can’t freelance so much that I can’t actually write. There has to be a way to make everything fit in.

So now I’m giving myself regular breaks on editing gigs. Usually, I have a tendency to sit down and power through the entire manuscripts in as close to one sitting as possible. I just get lost in what I’m doing, so I don’t realize that I haven’t moved in four straight hours.

Which is a terrible thing. Very bad for my health. So.

Now I have a timer running. I set it for 30 minutes to an hour, and stop, move around, blog, check in on twitter etc for a short while before starting again.

That way, I also get to refresh my mind, which I imagine will only serve me even better for getting frequent rests than it does without them.

I’m also hoping that giving myself frequent short breaks will keep me from being too tired once I get around to writing. I don’t like pushing through exhaustion too much. It’s too risky, because if I burn out, it’ll be months before I can write, and I’ve given myself an official(ish) deadline for Book 3.

Luckily for me, writing is feeling like fun at the moment, which means my brain isn’t picking up that it’s actually a hell of a lot of work. Unless I’m tired.

So it’s much better not to tire myself out. I’m way more productive that way.

How are you doing? Any tips for me to stay balanced?

 

So…looks like this is happening…

Well. I’ve been wanting to put my social networking stuff into a regular schedule, starting on 1 January and keeping to it as consistently as possible.

I lasted until 5 January.

Terrible, I know.

I have a really good excuse, though.

I’ve started working on Book 3 of The War of Six Crowns again, and boy did I hit my stride. I even wrote a whopping 10k words on January 5th. Which means for the first time in my life, I really feel like I can make and cross 100k words in one month. (Less, actually, given that I’ve only started writing on the 5th.)

Crazy, I know, but I really want to see if I can do it. Preferably without burning out.

My strategy was to write as much as I could for the past few days, and see if I could catch up to par for 50k (since I started late.)

It went so well that I’m on par for 75k words. In fact, I’m a day ahead. Which means I only need 6k words to get on par for 100k.

After that, it’s 5k a day. Which I might actually make quite easily, given how the words just keep coming at the moment.

That said, I don’t want to crash either.

So I’m going to write today’s 6k words in 30 minute sprints, followed by 15 minute rest periods, to see how that goes.

Hopefully it works out. Cause it’ll be awesome to have Book 3 done.

How are you doing? Anyone want to sprint with me? I’m using #100kchase on Twitter to call my sprints, if you want to keep me company. 

Insecure Writer’s Support Group: It’s Never as Good as You Remember

It’s the first Wednesday of the month, which means it’s time for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. The brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh, IWSG is a monthly bloghop where writers can share their doubts, fears and insecurities. In supporting each other, we can then see that we’re really not alone.
You’re welcome to join. All you have to do is click here for more info and to sign up.

As I’ve been mentioning lately, I’m busy updating (and in a lot of ways, upgrading) my first two books in The War of Six Crowns. Since I’m a bit of a perfectionist, I couldn’t leave things at changing the covers and fonts. Oh no, I decided to give the books another proofreading pass.
After all, it’s a well-known fact that mistakes slip through the finest of nets. So it couldn’t hurt, right?
Well.
I finished reading through The Vanished Knight yesterday with a growing sense of insecurity. Not because it was bad, but because it was good. The characters’ voices sing in this story. There’s a sort of poetry to the way it’s written.
It’s just… amazing.
Almost to the point where it’s shocking to think that I wrote it.
And Book 3… just isn’t on that level.
And that got me down.
 
But then I gave myself a mental slap. 
 
See, I first published The Vanished Knight in 2013. And before that, I spent two years struggling to get through writing it and the sequel. In fact, it was such a pain in my ass that I almost quit writing altogether. Gasp! I know it’s hard to think that I’d seriously contemplate quitting.
But The Vanished Knight and The Heir’s Choice were so hard to write that it damn near convinced me I couldn’t write for shit.
Fortunately, I had a lot of awesome blogging buddies (including you guys in the IWSG) who could talk me down, and I didn’t give up.
After that, The Vanished Knight alone when through over 30 (count them. THIRTY) revision and editing rounds to get it into the shape it’s in now.
And I guess I forgot about all that because one doesn’t remember pain.
But the history is there.
The struggle was there.
And expecting myself to draft out the sequel to the books that almost made me quit while expecting it to look like The Vanished Knight looks now is lunacy.
So this is a reminder.
 
Don’t ever compare your drafts to books that have been published. (Be they your own or someone else’s.)
Those books look so good because of a huge amount of work that went into polishing them. Work that you still need to do, but that you can’t do if you’re crippled by the idea that you’re a bad writer.
So.
Stop moping because a book is soooooo much better than yours, and just write yours. Who knows? The book you’re working on right now might just be good enough to send someone else moping later.
Do you get down when comparing the quality of your writing to published works? 
 Before you go, the Mni Wiconi Bloghop in support of Standing Rock has been extended to 7 January, if you’d still like to sign up. There are prizes to be won too, so check it out. 🙂

Update Day: New Year, New Goals

Hey everyone!

This is my Update Day post for the Got Goals? Bloghop. Same bloghop as the one you’ve been seeing on the last Friday of every month, but now with a new (extra) name and button. For those of you wondering what this is about, a bunch of us set some crazy, huge or crazy important goals, and to keep ourselves motivated, we post monthly updates and encourage each other.

As I mentioned, we usually post the updates on the last Friday of the month, but we made an exception for December’s post in order to give everyone time.

I’m doing things a little differently, by recording a vlog with my goals, and not really looking at my progress for December. (Sensible, because there was very little progress made after I decided to give myself a break.)

 

Do you set goals in January? How did your goals go last year?