Another day, another 2400 words. . .
I’m almost finished with volume 3, finally. This volume has been absolutely kicking my ass in terms of desire to finish it. I think a lot of it is my attitude towards the whole thing and generally just not feeling well. That said, I’m kind of okay with the way things are going, I hope I’ll be able to get more done over the weekend, though.
I’m really excited about getting the first volume published and, hopefully, getting ahead of the curve so I can have things lined up in queue and ready to go. I’m going to forgo graphic because it hasn’t really changed at all– I was just cleaning up stuff in preparation for posting it.
Instead, I will share with you what I’ve been using to help pull myself out of my funk. . .
Some time ago I punched ‘self discipline’ into a search engine and came across someone named Brian Tracy. Boiled down, his system is pretty straightforward.
The idea is to grab yourself a spiral bound notebook and write down ten goals. You do this every day in the frame as though you’ve already completed them. So instead of “I will make 20 dollars every day.” You would write your goals as “I make 20 dollars every day.” This works on your subconsciousness because while /you/ know you might not currently make 20 dollars a day, you’re giving your mind a command that says “I want this.”
Now, while you’re going through your day, while you’re sleeping or taking a long shower (god I miss those), your mind is working on how it can get you to a point where you’re making 20 dollars per day. Pretty straightforward, right?
Yes. That’s the whole trick to this. It’s ridiculously simple but also pretty effective.
Brian prescribes that you do this first thing in the morning when you wake up so it affirms your desire to do the things you’re setting yourself out to do. The other trick to it is that you write down the same goals daily, without referencing the previous day’s writing. You don’t have to get the same specific order down, you want the intent. You want to cement those goals in your mind. Because of this, you usually want to give yourself a time frame to accomplish these things.
I’m going to expand on this tomorrow, but McDonalds is closing here in 2 minutes, so I need to go find someplace to sleep, in the meantime, here is what my goal list looks like:
- I make 150.00 for every patreon post I make by January 1
- I have 2,000 dollars saved up to move by December 1 (because winter sucks!)
- Daily, I write 2,500 words without fail by January 1
- I have a stable address (preferably in a different state) by December 1
- My passport is in hand by Jan 18
- I published 2 volumes of the Dragon Slayers by September 15
- I wrote 2 full novels by January 18
- I have an emergency fund of 2,500 dollars by March 1
- My time management skills have improved greatly by Jan 1
- I have sold 500 copies of my work by January 18
Pretty simple, I know, but in 5 days I went from being monstrously apathetic to having some direction and, most importantly in my position, hope. . .
That, more than anything, is invaluable.
Welp, here we are with day 1 progress:
5,700 words on volume 3! Almost finished with it, I’m going to get chapter 5 polished up and polished off, then post it up first thing tomorrow– or maybe tonight if I get really ambitious. I also got a bit more planning done on volume 1’s revisions, I’d say I’m about 28% done with that, which I’ll get more done on when I can devote myself fully to it as I have with finishing volume 3’s main arc. The interludes will probably be done over the week as I can get a few words in here and there, but I really want to get volume 1 set up and done as polished as I can make it.
I’ve actually been reading some stuff about goal setting and how to get things done, including long term planning and getting motivation going. I’ll share those tomorrow, but McDonalds closes in 15 minutes, so I doubt I’ll be able to get it put together.
That said, here’s the progress wheel for today:
So, it’s been incredibly hard to get myself writing. . . As in, I didn’t get much of anything done last month at all– between the depression and feelings of hopelessness (I’m all right now, I’ve had a chance to get my head sorted out. . . I’ll be all right) but in this, I understand that I haven’t really been keeping my end of the bargain here– I haven’t finished Volume 1 as I wanted to!
This isn’t cool and it isn’t acceptable. So, I decided what I’m going to do this month is lay out my plan and do daily updates on it until I get the first volume cleaned up and published. For the sake of completeness, I’ve included my handy daily goal wheel which will get updated as I add to the goals.
The daily goal right now has been to get volume 3 finished up but that hasn’t happened! I’m going to keep working on it, but in the meantime, I’ve set up a rough plan to fix the volume up and give it a cohesive self-contained story that people will enjoy and be aroused by– naturally.
So, I’m going to get started first thing tomorrow and I’ll post an update this time tomorrow night along with the updated graph might have fallen off track, but dammit, I know I’m better than this. I’m also hoping someone will learn something through this, so let’s find out!
Oh, and I also plotted out a pilot for a serial. . . You can expect to hear more about that this week, too.
So, here’s the graphic. Shaded areas show completion:
So as I was trying to get some of my client work done, I started thinking about how I’m going to get Volume 1 up and on Amazon and a few things came to mind.
This is going to be a semi-self contained volume that introduces the characters and gets the ball rolling on the story (duh), so it has to be interesting enough for people to want to pick it up and read it and go on to buy the next volume.
From the reviews it’s been getting on Lit-Erotica (link below), the general reception has been fairly positive but it’s going to need some editing for content, flow and pace. Additionally, trying to squeeze in a complete story arc would probably be a really good idea if I want to show that I can tell a story.
At least I won’t have to worry about hitting the target release word count; combined, all the individual parts of Volume 1 total 34,586 words. My goal release count is 30,000.
What are our other goals?
25 Reviews attached to the first volume in 1 month.
I’m going to be advertising this on my usual haunts to get people to review it (honest reviews, obviously) and see about building up from there. I think it’ll be really important to getting more exposure. I also plan to bug the hell out of people on my blog and my Internet friends to leave their honest reviews about it.
4 Pieces of insert art. (optional)
I’m a HUGE fan of insert art that used to be included in fantasy novels. That said, I can deal without it if I have to. Money is a bit tight this year, so maybe I’ll hold off on that until I’m prepared to do a print run. (Wouldn’t that be awesome?)
Sell 500 copies within 12 months.
I think this is a realistic number. Even if I -gave- these books away or sold them for 99 cents, 500 copies sold would be a fairly easy number to reach and I think it could do a lot for my confidence.
Put together a marketing plan.
A lot of self-pub authors think they can just offload their books and make tons of cash right from the get go. The realities are often very different. Especially in a target niche so saturated with content; sex sells, but good -God- is there a lot of competition. This is why my series, marketed as an erotic fantasy adventure hits a few different notes.
I’m not trying to be everything to everyone, but right from the start, my story sets itself apart by introducing unusual characters, an unusual situation and an epic-esque scope. So is it fantasy with a lot of sex or is it sex with a fantasy backdrop? Not really the point, but it’s easier to tell you that it’s not another ‘Debbie does the pizza guy’ story. (Not that there’s anything wrong with pizza <3)
Some ideas I’ve had for pushing this is through my usual publishing channels in comments and in the content I publish, forums associated with the community and such obviously. Another thing I plan to do is poke around for book review sites and see if I can get some reviews from them and, finally, looking for ‘top reviewers’ on Amazon to see if I can get one of them to take a look at it.
Second volume and ancillary e-books.
WHAT A TWIST! I’m going to keep putting together the second volume and try and get Breaking Diamonds ready for prime time so I’ll have 2 books out there instead of 1, and then 3 instead of one… See how this works? Leap frog the content enough that I’m producing and releasing something every 30-45 days without falling behind in my client work or burning the hell out. Yes, I can pump out 10k words at a stretch if I push myself, but that’s not sustainable.
Set up a MAILING LIST.
Because of the kind of client work I do, I see a lot of emphasis put on mailing lists and such. I’m beginning to understand why and I think it would be a good way to encourage people to get involved with my burgeoning author platform, I’m just not sure I have the gumption to maintain it like I’m some kind of social media guru. I’m going to see what I can figure out about how to make this work for my goals, but this seems kind of important.
Be forewarned, dear reader, what you see on Lit-Erotica is -DRAFT- material. There will be plenty of revision and polishing before I go full bore with marketing it, and furthermore the story will be edited to reflect lessons learned on LE and other sites as well as personal tastes/observations.
So! All that said, it’s 0900 and I need to get to work. Seeya later!