My Writing Journey

Come watch me write a book!

The beginning

I’m doing it. I’m actually doing it. I’m writing my first book. My very first book. And I’m chronicling my journey from first page to published. I started (roughly) December 6th, 2012, and my publish date was/is _________. I’ll get to fill that in someday!

The whole purpose of this blog (at least right now) is to have something to track my progress as a writer. Plus, share some thoughts and stuff, talk about writing, share my challenges and stuff. It’s all good.

The purpose of this page is a month-to-month update of my progress.

I’m an aspiring urban fantasy / sci-fi / fantasy writer. Those are my favorite genres to read, and those ended up being my favorite genres to write. I’m also very fond of horror, but I haven’t quite got up the gumption to write anything in that genre yet. Someday. One book at a time, eh?

I’ve been writing since I was a child (pretty much since I -could- write). In middle school, I filled spiral notebooks with writing, and in high school took a creative writing class, and got positive feedback from my peers (which was encouraging). I’m in college now, working on a Deaf Studies degree, but I still love writing, and it’s become the ‘first thing’ in the my life, as opposed to school, or my job. In fact, it’s all I do in my free time nowadays.

DECEMBER, 2012

For a really, REALLY long time, I didn’t think I could do it. I postponed it, or put it off, or told myself I’ll just ‘write when I can’, and nothing ever came out of it. One or two chapters of a rough idea, and that was it. I think part of it was the fear of having to make queries and send it off to agents – the fear of failure mostly. Then, out of the blue, I stumbled upon a blog (http://authormichaelhicks.com/) about how he’d self published to the Kindle, and was having some measures of success. I hadn’t even known that was a thing – that you self publish straight to the Kindle. I shot him a message, and he answered back, and it was the kick in the butt I needed. I got up off my *ss (pardon my french), and did it. I realized it was time to stop being lazy about it – if I wanted it bad enough, I should do it. The discovery of epublishing was somehow a relief; I could get published with enough of MY OWN hard work, rather than on the whim of an agent or a big publishing house. So, I sat down, really worked out my plot, my characters, outlined, researched and started writing. Now I’m 28k words in on my first draft after two and a half weeks. (As of December 19th, 2012)

I have a writing buddy, and she’s writing her book with me. Well, not with me, she’s writing her book and I’m writing mine, and we talk everyday about it. She also happens to be my best friend! It’s invaluable to have someone to throw ideas to, or run something by, or just to talk to for a break. It’s also very cool to watch her progress, and I’m excited to see her stuff when it’s done! You can visit her blog at authormaegaprovan.wordpress.com

For now, I’ve got a more or less daily routine of writing. I’m sticking with it, and I hope with some persistence and perseverance my book will be done and out before or at Summer 2013. That’s a total shot in the dark, but we’ll see!
I’m cautiously optimistic, but I keep telling myself if I have enough dogged determination, I can do it. Truth be told, though, the whole prospect of book marketing and the business side of things is starting to worry and scare me a little. I’d like to be a success (everyone would, I think), but I’m not sure I’ll have enough know-how to really get off the ground. My publish date is still a little while off, so if I just keep ‘studying’, I think I’ll be fine. I hope so, anyway!

JANUARY 2013

Holy frijoles! January was HUGE! Look at all the stuff that happened! January has brought on some HUGE milestones!

1. I finished my book! That’s nuts! I think I wrote ‘the end’ sometime around the 20th of January. I think I may have cried a little. Maybe? Either way, the dang thing got finished. I never knew I could write a whole book in such a short time. I figured writing a book took years, not weeks (or a month or so in my case I guess). My brain is still trying to comprehend it, I guess. This is so awesome. I wrote a book! Aaaah!

2. I GOT A COVER. I found a lovely lady who agreed to do both my ebook and printed cover. Skylar Faith is amazing, and thank goodness for Deviantart (cause thats where I found her.) My cover is gorgeous and I can’t wait to hold a physical copy of it. It’s so amazing to be able to see Lucy is glorious high res. She’s exactly how I pictured her. Such a surreal thing. She also made me some banner goodies. :)

redhaven-book-1-wordpress-banner.jpg

3. Edits started. Thats the sucky part. I ended up changing a lot of stuff, but I think the book will end up better for it. A couple of chapters ended up being re-written in their entirety, and I actually added two chapters. So, go figure. At the end of editing, I think I was getting sick of staring at Siren Snow day in and day out. My lap top blue screened a couple times, haha. Poor Cirro. (Yeah, I named my lappy.)

4. I got my wisdom teeth out. It’s not really writing related, but I pushed to finish before toothy stuff cause I was out of it for a couple days. I’m okay though, it was a quick recovery. :D

5. My facebook page seems to be growing. I was at 24 likes sometime in late December, and as I write this (in early feb), I’ve got almost 400. So thats cool. :D Hopefully I can build up some sort of audience before launch. I probably wont make any real progress until the next couple books are out, but still! Cray-cray! (I hate that phrase, but I’ma use it anyway.)

Lets see what happens in February!

FEBRUARY 2013

I’M PUBLISHED!

-Talk about a crazy month! I had a crash course in formatting and book cover dimensions. Kind of. Formatting for 3 formats ended up tough, but I found an awesome guy who made my book exactly how I wanted it. (Yay Jason!)

-I wrote my dedication and acknowledgements, and made sure everything was perfect for the print edition.

-Also learned a crap top about kdp, and createspace. So, book #2 should be a little smoother, since I know who to go to and all that.

-The official kindle version officially went ‘live’ on February 27th, but I didn’t announce it until March 1st. I even made a release-y trailer type thing. Kind of.

-AND THEN – my proof from Createspace came in the mail. And I cried. A lot. I finally did it! I published my own book, and it’s real, and has pages, and my name on it and everything. And then Kev came home and I CRIED SOME MORE, and he hugged me, and congratulated me, and told me how proud he was of me. It was a very emotional day.

-What a crazy February! I’m an author! /faint

(P.s. – So is Maegan! I love you, best friend! Go check it out!)

MARCH 2013

Marketing. …Yay.

-Well, the book’s out now, but marketing is more time consuming and more difficult than actually writing. It’s hard to get a book noticed amongst so many others. On the other hand, there’s about 40 bajillion ways to promote it. Giveaways, goodreads, review copies, blog tour, guest spots, paid adverts, paid blog tours, forums, groups, reading/book clubs, and like… fourty ferfillion other things. It’s a little hard to weed out all the worthy ventures.

My brain hurts.

-However, I’ve made enough sales to pay for gas. So that’s cool, yeah? :D I don’t expect to make any serious progress until the next few books are out. (Give ’em some slack, and reel ’em in! Give ’em some slack, and reel ’em in! …God I wish I could find a gif of that.)

-Ended up giving away free copies in exchange for reviews. So, we’ll see how that turns out. Hoping for the best! *crosses fingers*

APRIL 2013

-So, April was kind of nuts. Two major things happened:
-I hardcore procrastinated/fought with Redhaven #2. I got all the way up to 11 chapters before I decided the book was total garbage, trashed what I had, and started over. It totally sucks ass tossing out 20k words, but… sometimes it must be done.

-Serious work began on re-inventing Redhaven #2’s plot. After a lot of deliberation and brainstorming, book 2 finally got underway, (fo’ realz), and is slowly making headway.

-The second big thing that happened: I gave away 5,457 copies during my first ever KDP free promo weekend!

Total units given away: 5,457

Look how high up I got! :D Granted, it’s in the free listings, but still! Totally awesome! Definitely a high point.

-Reviews started coming in too. Some less than stellar, but otherwise helpful.

-Heavy re-editing commenced on book #1. Should have an updated Kindle version once I get it all compiled.

-All in all, kind of a restless April. Revamped book 2, editing book 1… again. Ah, such is the life of an indie writer. (Maybe? At least partly.)

-Thing I learned this month: Edit your books. A lot. Like, a freaking metric shit ton a lot. Fo’ srsly.

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