Friday, January 18, 2019

News and Notes from the Writing Desk: January Edition

It's been busy around here: fifteen pieces sent to five publications. One entry fee. This should help me beat the odds and continue my momentum of getting new pieces out there. If these things ever do get published, it also gives me a little more room to get them out of my mind and make way for new pieces to be created. I still have a long list of publications and an even longer list of unpublished works, so this is just a start.

Upcoming Projects

Along with submitting work, I'm still getting bigger projects ready to go. My entire focus this month is on the poetry collection If It Was New York, Summer 2009. I wanted to have all the writing done by the end of 2018, but there are still about ten poems yet to be written. I also have to really sit down and think of the book blurb/synopsis. Those are a lot easier to write for regular fiction. Poetry covers so much, even in a collection that has a major theme tying everything together.

Whenever I move onto the formatting/pre-ordering phase of my poetry collection, I will be getting back to my YA novel. It's been waiting patiently for me to return to it--at least I hope Lola hasn't stood up and walked out with her story. You never know with teens.

You're a Star, Aren't You?

According to my Patreon page, there aren't any 2019 all-stars. I know you want to be an all-star with all the perks that come with it. What are you waiting for? Sign up to be an all-star and get a crazy amount of perks and exclusives. There are only 10 spots available, so wouldn't hesitate, especially if you are interested in getting both my entire digital backlist and a digital ARC of If It Was New York, Summer 2009 two weeks before it is officially released.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Thanks for the 140-Character Memories

There are different levels to how annoyed I get when unfollowed on different social media platforms.  Instagram is too difficult to even try and keep track of who follows and unfollows on any given day, so there's no reason to get riled. I tend to feel the same way about Twitter because for me that platform is 99% business, even if a real human connection is made on occasion.

I only bring this up because lately on Twitter there has been a clear and patterned departure in who follows my account. I first noticed this about three months ago with the unfollow of one of the first writers that I made a connection with. I was a little disappointed in that one because it was a writer who I was looking up to and gaining a lot of knowledge from by example. We never corresponded directly, but I did read many of her books. But there were three or four others like this writer, so it didn't matter.

Until this week, that is. The rest of them, all female writers, all working predominately in romance, all starting out as independent and transitioning into traditional are now unaware of what I'm up to. I'm quite sure none of them were paying close attention to my posts anyway, but I do find it interesting that it is happening now. I've been immersed in poetry almost full time for the past six months. I haven't thought about any of my romance manuscripts for a good long while. I don't tweet about romance novels at the moment and I haven't been reviewing many of them either. These could be reasons for the departure, but there are many other plausible reasons too. They could have unfollowed me through a management service that told them I was inactive for a period of time (which is how I found out about the unfollows in the first place), they could have hired a social media manager--I've been in the game awhile now so I know how easy it can be to flush the followers that aren't serving a very specific goal.

I'm not dwelling on the act itself of unfollowing, which can be misinterpreted as removing support for a fellow writer. I really don't think that much thought was put into it. What I did want to do is thank these writers for giving me what I don't think I would have had otherwise--a clear perspective of what its like to be a writer in this day and age. What this job entails, which has a lot less to do with writing and a lot more to do with marketing.

And they all taught me many important lessons about writing in a professional capacity. They taught me that your first book is probably of significantly lesser quality than your latest release, which once I discovered this with all of them was a relief. They also taught me that a devoted, highly engaged following is the only way to keep moving up in the industry. I'm still working that one out, but I do have insights that I can use to try and keep that train chugging along through my own career.

These lessons were important, so I'm glad that I was able to receive them just before and during the early days of my career. Of course those lessons could keep continuing, but like these writers, I have to keep my social media in check--so I've followed their lead and rid myself of what's no longer useful. 

Thursday, January 03, 2019

New Year, New Tier

2019 is here, folks. I'm cautiously optimistic about it because last year I was able to accomplish most of the goals I set for myself, but there's still caution for the future because 2019 is an odd-numbered year. I tend to not do so well professionally in odd-numbered years. Don't ask me why, it just happens. I'm looking to break that streak this year by again setting the same goal as last year. I'm aiming for four published works by the end of 2019, which I now know is doable since I already accomplished it once. However, this time there won't be unfinished live projects to lean on. I'm making 2019's pieces all new and all polished to a shine when they are revealed.

I'm nearly twenty-five percent into my goal already with the upcoming poetry collection If It Was New York, Summer 2009. This collection will be available for pre-order soon. I've hit a few behind-the-scenes snags, otherwise the pre-order would be available now. But I've got a plan to fix all of that. I just need to strap myself to my computer and get all of it done, though it's difficult because I find myself in input mode rather than output mode. I'm consuming a lot of content, but the original stuff just isn't flowing out at a fast enough rate. 

In other news, if you have been interested in checking out my work or my Patreon page but still haven't done so, I've got a deal for you. There are ten spots available to sign up as a 2019 All-Star on my Patreon page. What does this mean? It means that you get access to all posts and tier rewards available and for only a $1. That includes exclusive excerpts of new projects, cover reveals, early access to ARCs, and my entire backlist--including the out-of-print Melody of Love novella series. Since there are only 10 spots available, I wouldn't hesitate to sign up.

What are your writing goals this year? What do you want to see happen for yourself in 2019?

Thursday, December 20, 2018

New Work Now Live

I'm happy to tell you the collection that includes my latest published piece, "Our Conversation in the Garden" is now live on Amazon.

I will tell you something funny about this particular piece. I submitted a few poems for this, and I find it very interesting that for a collection of Midwestern writing, they chose the poem that (at least in my brain) takes place in the L.A. area--Beverly Hills, if you want specifics. I guess it's a nice juxtaposition that makes the work stand out that much more.

No matter what or how or who or where, I hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

The Good, The Bad and the Undetermined

After a lovely acceptance letter last week, I got another rejection. Not a big deal, but this is the one that I've been talking about because I really do think I can make it into this specific poetry publication, but the third time was certainly not a charm. I know I'm flipping the process upside down since normal writers write something, then look for a publication that fits the style of what they've already written. This is what I do with 99.9% of my work. It's just that this publication for some reason is very enticing, and I want to get in it. So I've been tailoring work towards the style of the publication. Both tactics have not worked. So, I'm giving that one a break and focusing on hundreds of other publications out there for a little while.

In freelancing news, I'm reluctantly back on Fiverr. The only gig I have available at the moment is the blog spotlight gig. The others are still in the process of being revamped so that I can ensure a higher percentage of clients who have a clear understanding of the parameters of the gig. I know I'm going to run into another jerk who doesn't read the description, but I'm not going to let issues arise due to something on my end. But the good news is that Fiverr sent out an email today saying that sellers no longer have to endure an additional Paypal fee on top of the company's 20% cut. That'll save me about $0.22 per gig, which does add up.

I'm also thinking ahead to January and what my major goals will be for the coming year. Mostly I would like to build my audience (who wouldn't?) and build it primarily on Patreon. I still haven't figured out the secret to that success, but that's not stopping me from trying. So I'm going to get back to that stack of poetry ready for revision which is the fun part of this whole wild ride.