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Writing Journey: Journal Entry 50

December 22, 2021

Day 443, Week 63

Emotional State: Squirrel!

Life, BOOKS, & WritinG

I’m not sure it’s the season, my life, or me, but I am definitely in the focus on the shiny in the moment state of mind right now. I need to follow the advice I gave to a writer I’m working with this morning on a call – ground yourself and create a plan – but nah.

I don’t want another plan or schedule. Or required actions. I’m good with where I’m at, even if I do stop doing something midway through because something else captures my eye. Yes, I’m the meme, the reel and the absentminded old lady all rolled into one. I wander into a folder to find a document and find something else to read. I go online to research a new healthcare plan for 2022 and I end up looking at refurbished Macs, because you know, they’re connected.

No. They’re really not, brain!

What I’m trying to say is that I’m a bit scattered, but I’m okay with it. All the things I need to do are getting done. Nothing is suffering, besides my ability to complete a project, a thought, or a note to myself.

What have I got done? Well, loads actually. I’ve basically finished fleshing out the timeline/outline in Plottr for my first book and have added in the current outline of Book 2. I will wait to put in Book 3 once I see what happens to Book 2.

I have to say, I recall Book 2 being a total train-smash. An absolute mess of a manuscript that needs complete rewriting. And yet, when I put the chapters into the outline, it wasn’t that bad. Sure, I need to cut the random scenes I thought I needed and ended up not needing. And I have to add a bit more plot and substance to it now that I know what the plot is, but it’s in good shape. Not amazing shape. Not Book 3 shape, but good nonetheless. I can go into January feeling better about the gargantuan task in front of me.

I’ve also been watching a ton of good videos on how to plot out your series, which has been immensely helpful, while also confusing since I already wrote and published book 1. But, I have a plan. The series is 9 books total and each set of three is a mini arc with a specific overarching theme that fits into the larger series arc…sort of. This way, I can write a trilogy, take a wee break and publish a novella or companion novel, write the next trilogy, rinse and repeat. Fans can feel like the story ended, but didn’t. And I can work on my cozy mystery series.

Yes. I’m still writing that. I’m still figuring out where to smash it in. A writer on Twitter asked how people work on two stories at the same time and I was all over that thread looking for the same advice. I may, just may, try it out. Or maybe finish writing this first cozy book in February, after the heavy edits in January. Or do them both in January – write two days a week on the cozy and edit the rest of the days on the Fantasy series.

I worry that I’ll mix the voices up, even though my cozy is 1st person and my fantasy is 3rd person (something I may change, since conventional wisdom says to stick to the same POV across different genres…or not). And they are completely different worlds, characters and character arcs. Except they both move somewhere where they are outsiders. It’s a theme of mine, apparently. Eh, we’ll see.

I’m going to wing it and see what happens.

Just like I’m winging the plot of the cozy. I’ve done the meet cute of the slow burn love interest. I’ve gathered the suspects. I have no idea why the victim died, but I have the inkling of a thought about it. And I’m having fun with the sidekick, so we’ll see. Not having any pressure on me to finish it has meant that I’m writing about a chapter a day, which means it won’t get done before I dive into editing Book 2.

And I’m alright with that.

Website News

In other news, I’ve been playing around with my site design. I realized my first setup is a bit too much. Too many details, too much stuff. I’m in the clearing out phase of the year, apparently (thus the squirrel mindset maybe), and that includes the site.

I’ve looked at a few things, read some blogs, and will slowly play around with it until I get it to where I want. This time, however, I will make sure to clone the site right before I swap the staging site to the live site, so that I don’t lose 10 – 15 posts like I did the last time. I was able to find most of them, but not all and I lost a day recreating posts I deleted. I have multiple backups of my posts now, but I’d rather not waste the time.

The current plan is to be more specific about author branding, since I will be launching the cozy mysteries at some point and will want them to fold into the current site easily enough. And I have an idea of a logo I’m going to attempt to create. Attempt because I’m not any good at photoshop or GIMP (the free version) and I don’t want to pay $400 for a logo right now when I have to pay for editing and cover designs soon for Books 2 & 3.

It won’t be a massive change – same theme, same platform – but hopefully it’ll be a bit cleaner and easier to use. While I only have a small amount of people who visit it right now, the hope is that many more will as I release more books and put my master plan into place. And that means, it needs to represent me while also captivating the new people who view it.

One day, I hope to be able to afford someone else to design and update it, but that’s way after all the other expenses of releasing books first. Self-publishing is no joke and is not nearly as cheap as people make it out to be. Well, it could be if I wanted it to be, but I don’t. I know too well the power of a good editor and a genre-worthy cover design to skimp on it while I have the money.

And the beat goes on. Or the squirrel moment passes or something. I’ve run out of things to say and am bored with what I’ve said so far.

Definitely a squirrel.

To read more of my weekly whine fests and writing journal journey posts, click here.