April saw the Year of Hard Work take a marked change as I moved from first drafts to editing and submissions.
With hindsight I think I could have handled this a little better. Project 4S surprised me with how well it went. I’d honestly thought I’d blow past my initial deadline and finish it sometime around now. I would have still been happy if that happened but instead I finished the first draft of the novel in just 58 days and then found that my next project (the third book in the Four Realms series) just wasn’t ready to start writing.
So I did some work on articles, shorts and a novella as well as a bit of editing and got a bit stressed out when my word count wasn’t as good as previous months. I had to remind myself, especially in the euphoria of actually hitting a quarter of a million words, that I wasn’t in a race with myself.
So this month I missed my ambitious target of 333,000 words… mostly because I wasn’t writing Four Realms #3 that would have given me a lot of word count.
So far this year I’ve been blogging very much about the things that have been going right. I know some of my friends have become secretly a little sick about hearing about my insane word count. But a lot of this is unsailed terrirtory for me and as a result I do make mistakes.
And this month I’ve made a huge one!
So I drove to Eastercon with just under a quarter of a million words under my belt. I was so determined to hit the quarter of a million mark that I took myself off and forced myself to start some new things, all so I could get to opening ceremony with my word count total over the quarter of a million.
And that’s where my problems began.
Fantasy-Faction Article On Dropbox
The latest in my monthly articles for Fantasy Faction went live a couple of weeks ago and due to Eastercon I forgot to update you all about it. In my latest article, I look at Dropbox and how it can be used by writers as not only a backup solution but as a way of syncing your work between computers. Be sure to check out the article!
Eastercon is usually a time for me to get enthused for the months ahead. It’s the start of the convention season and usually a time when I’m working toward completing things. Two years ago, when I was last here, I was promoting The Four Realms with a massive hole in my leg. Last year, I missed Eastercon to go on my big storm chasing adventure, telling everyone that I was in Scotland with the day job.
This year, I came prepared.
A quarter of the way through the year and things are going pretty well. My aim was to get half a million words written this year and I’m already about half-way there.
My YTD target for March was 225,000 with an outlier goal of quarter of a million. Sadly I missed the quarter of a million word goal but I did exceed the other one. YTD total as of 1st April 2015 stands at a mighty 243,000. So close, and yet so far!
It’s actually hard to be disappointed with March’s results as it was an incredibly trying time for me. My father got rushed into hospital seriously ill, and even if I couldn’t always get up to the hospital to be with him, organising other things occupied my time and thinking about him occupied my mind. But a good foundation of organisation meant that something as major as this didn’t derail me. Yeah, take that universe!
There was a time when I’d spend weeks coming up with great April Fool’s articles but unfortunately I’ve been so busy this year I’ve not had time to do any. Instead, I’ve got a serious article I did for GPSTracklog on the benefits of Premium Membership of Geocaching.com. If you’ve wondered what benefits you get from Premium membership and whether you should buy it, be sure to check out this article.
Sir Terry Pratchett Obituary
This has been an incredibly difficult week. First my father gets rushed into hospital terribly ill and then one of my favourite authors dies. It’s fair to say there’s been quite a bit of emotion this week.
However, I’ve been determined not to let it derail my writing (even if I’ve slowed down a bit) and thought it only right that I contribute to Fantasy-Faction’s Sir Terry Pratchett obituary. You can read my words, along with those of other Fantasy-Faction staffers over at http://fantasy-faction.com/2015/sir-terry-pratchett-1948-2015
We don’t like to think of writing in terms of a business. It’s art, and art and business don’t mix! But the thing I’m continually learning is that in order to be a ‘professional’ writer (and by that I mean someone who makes money from it) you have to walk that tightrope.
I’ve had a few people comment that with everything I’m doing right now, I don’t seem to be too focused on the business side of things. I seem to be jumping from one project to another, as if I’m chopping and changing rather than focussing on one thing. And when I tell them some of the things I’m working on in the background, it just further cements that view.
New Fantasy Faction Article on Sonar 3
So my latest article for Fantasy Faction has gone line, continuing a look at software for authors. This month I look at the submission tracking software: Sonar 3. be sure to check it out!
So we’re already two months into the year. It’s going fast, isn’t it?
February was always going to be a big test for me. January was about shooting out of the gate and getting a load written. February was about polishing some things to completion and getting them submitted. As much as I would like to say I was sitting here with 200,000 words under my belt, the reality was that my wordcount dropped in February.
66,000 words compared to January’s 95,000, bringing my Year To Date total to 161,000 words.
I say that like it was a disappointment.
This WAS expected. I needed to put a lot of work into a few things that didn’t involve word count, either editing stuff or working on projects.
I’d said to a few fellow writers back at the end of January that my YTD (year to date) target for the end of February was to hit 150,000, given the amount of editing and non-wordcount writing tasks I had.
Looking back at what I wanted to achieve in February, I pretty much did everything I wanted. I think the only real miss was Project Tornado