Oh no you don’t.

Thanks to everyone who left encouraging messages to my previous blogpost! It really did encourage me.

I actually did end up getting some writing done. 1500 words, in fact, which is not bad, given that I’m hand drafting again. 
Still… I kind of feel that I should share what’s on my mind. 
Truth is… I’m getting seriously frustrated with my publishing house. Because I handed in first edits in November. I got the news of my editor quitting in January. About a week later, I had a replacement editor. 
Who let me know the day before yesterday that my book has been put on the back burner and that he’ll look at it again in March. “LOOK AT IT.” In other words, I’ll probably see the bloody thing in April. If I’m lucky.
Which is a problem, given that the book was supposed to be out six months after I handed the book in in November. This is written into my contract. As is the fact that I’m supposed to receive a complete monthly accounting of my sales. Which I am yet to receive. 
I’ve been runaround and pretty much ignored ever since I decided to stay with this publishing house, and I’m tired of it. 
I guess my words were feeding my growing resentment instead. 
So today, I’ve decided to channel my anger and do something about the situation. I sent a warning that they’re toeing the line (or at least partially over the line) of breaching the contract I signed with them. For both books. 
Because yes, I might be small fry, but my work is important to me. And I refuse to have it languishing on some back burner due to something that actually has nothing to do with me or my work ethic. 
I’m. Just. Done.

EDIT: 

Since doing this post, the pub house came back to me and clarified some stuff. So for now, I’m satisfied. So even though it might upset people, I’m glad I came out and spoke about it. That’s why I sent them the mail. I can’t expect the pub house to be up front with me when I’m not being up front with them. 

Hopefully now that we understand each other, we’ll be able to come to a mutual beneficial situation for us both. 🙂

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Sometimes, I need to rearrange the furniture in my head.

Ever since I’ve gone and set my goal, I’ve realized that I needed to change my approach to writing.

I still pick what I want to do and when, but I pretty much always need to do something.

Fortunately, there’s a lot to do. To illustrate. This is a long term list of  everything I want to get done so far:

Concept
StW
Wo6C4
Wo6C5
ES2
ES3
ES4
ES5
ES6
ES7
ES8
ES9
BvB2
CiC
DD
CaA?
HM
SS1
SS2
Draft
VD
P
MDtS
RH

Rewrite
Wo6C3
BvB
ES
O

Edit
Submit
Publish
Wo6C1
Wo6C2

Every single one of those highlighted abbreviations stand for books I want to write, edit or publish. The red, yellow and green show me my priorities. Green’s what I’m doing at the moment, yellow’s what I want to do in the near future and red’s for things I want to do, but that can or must wait for a bit longer. Either way, my list is growing.

In the past six weeks, I’ve added three more ideas to the list of concepts: HM, SS1 and SS2. SS1 and SS2 are two books in a series. I dreamed something that’s kickstarted a concept the night before last. Usually I just ignore my dreams, but for some reason, the more I ignore this one, the less I can think of anything else. So I gave in and SS is now a concept I’m trying to actively work on. In between my rewrite to BvB.

At least, now that I’ve decided to put more thought into the concept right now, it feels like it’s letting up enough for me to finish the rewrites. Phew.

Since I know some of you will want to know what the abbreviations stand for:

Wo6C is for The War of Six Crowns. So Wo6C1 is in fact the book I’m in the process of editing for publishing. (Remember to help reveal the title! I even made it easy for you.)
BvB is for Birds vs Bastards, which is just a working title for my high concept urban fantasy.
O is for Otto, the main character in the dystopian I wrote for last year’s NaNoWriMo.

The others… well… Guess you’ll have to wait and see. 😉

Do you also keep track of what you’ve worked on/are working on? Do you also feel the need to shift some priorities around as you go?

A to Z Challenge: Taking Breaks

Once you get to the end of your first draft, you’ll fall into one of two camps.

The “OMG THIS IS AWESOME WRITING!!!” Perky Writers and

The “HOLY SHIT THIS SUCKS” Emo Writers.

If you’re lucky, you’ll be on an island in the middle. And friendly with campers on both sides. Actually, I think this situation is by far more preferable to either of the above camps.

Why? Well. You think that the Perkies are best? No. Because Perkies tend not to have a clue as to the depth of the suckiness in their first drafts. I mean… Really. I don’t think I know anyone who writes a publishable first draft. And as unassuming as I am, I think I’d secretly hate that person if I did. Ahem. There’s also a special class of Perky. The Delusional. Don’t be one. They’re usually the least popular kids at camp. Seriously. Other writers often want to drown them.

On the other end are the Emos. They don’t think that anything they produce is worthwhile. So. When they edit, there’s a serious risk that they’ll cut out too much, even jewels that really should have stayed. They have been known to take out a story’s very soul during edits. Because they just can’t stop tweaking.

See? The island is best. Come chill out away from the terrible over-confidence or the negativity. How? By taking a break. Catch up on t.v. Write something else. Paint. Take that non-writing holiday you sort of planned. Don’t read your story or work on it for a while. By this I mean, if you remember a detail from something you wrote a few weeks ago, leave the book alone. What you want is the thrill of discovering something new every time you open your WiP to work on it. This includes rewrites, revisions and EVERY. SINGLE. ROUND. OF. EDITS.

Because if you veer towards either camp mentioned above, your edits are sunk until you can be neutral about your work again.

So, veteran novelists. Which camp do you usually belong to? How do you prefer to get away from your book?

Taking Control

Hi all! Today I welcome Jolene Stockman, who’ll be talking about how writers can control some aspects of their lives. She’s also here to plug her new book, Total Blueprint for World Domination. Take it away, Jolene!

Thank you so much for hosting me (and my first guest post) Misha! When doubt starts niggling, I like to remind myself of the things that I can do something about. I hope your readers relate 🙂

Taking control!

Author Jolene Stockman

You may not be able to decide who will buy or like your book, but there are some things you can control.

Your book
From the second you make the decision to write, you are in charge! You choose the genre, the word count, the content, the editing, and (if you are self-published) the cover, too. Even changes your agent and editor suggest are ultimately up to you. Your book is a fingerprint on the world, and it is absolutely your creation.

Your promotion
Facebook? Twitter? Goodreads? You choose! The amount of time, energy, and you that goes into your promotion is your choice. Forget what you could be doing, what you should be doing, or what everyone else is doing. Do what feels right for you! As Nathan Bransford says, “The next big thing is never like the last big thing.”

Your responses
An anonymous interwebber tweets you. They review your book, your baby. They call it rubbish. Crap. Badly formatted, hideously worded, error-filled-ugly-covered crap. And they do it with spelling that would disappoint a first grader. Prepare yourself. Once your work is published, it belongs to the world. Your response? Thank you. Thank you for taking the time to not only read my book, but to share your thoughts. You don’t have to correct, complain, or justify. Yes, the reviewer might be completely wrong. They might be mistaken, out of line, and all kinds of mean. (Or they might be the only person brave enough to tell you the truth..!) Either way, when someone spends money, time, and energy on you – it is awesome! One review is one review. A tweet is gone tomorrow. But the way you respond reflects on you, and a rant can reek forever.

Your intentions
Your goals are what you do, but your intentions are how you do it. You get to present yourself with professionalism, humor, warmth, and optimism (or not!) You get to choose what you put out in the world. You may get rejected, but you get to choose the agents you query, the groups you join and the writers you support. And as for who you link up with, and where you hang out? That’s right: all yours. Decide how you want to be in the world, and who you want to connect with. Because over time your intentions become who you are.

Your attitude
Chances are, even your favorite author has had some scathing reviews. Some rejection. Some slow sale days. Do you hear them going off about it? Whining? Grizzling? Nope. They’re busy. Writing. Being a writer is a dream. It’s a top-of-the-bucket list, thing-to-do-before-I-die, can’t-believe-I-get-to-see-it-on-a-bookshelf dream. You are doing something that people aspire to. Even when the blank page is taunting you. Even when the twenty-third rejection rolls in. Even when you’re squishing rewrites in with a million other things. You are part of something amazing. Feel that with all your heart. Know that it’s true no matter what. You are a writer. You may not be able to control who reads or likes what you write, but you can choose your words, your attitude, and your intention. Grab hold! Take control of what you can, and let the rest go. Seriously. Focus on what matters – having fun, creating the world you want, and writing your amazing next book! (I can’t wait to read it!)

Jolene Stockman’s book Total Blueprint for World Domination takes you from this very moment to your greatest dream. Plot a step-by-step plan for world domination!
You can find Jolene on her blog, as well as Twitter, and Facebook.