Writing Update September 2020 and some writing goals #amwriting

It’s September and we’re into the last 4 months of the year – that’s scary! Like most people I think I’ll be glad for 2020 to be over.

To help me through I’ve decided to plan my writing projects for the rest of the year. I’m not setting huge goals, so hopefully I can stick to them.

First it’s always nice to look back and see what I have achieved this year (and gloss over the fact I had originally planned to have published two books by this time in 2020)!

Achieved in 2020

I finally set up my mailing list with Mailchimp. This is a task I’ve been putting off for years. I haven’t started advertising it yet, but if you want to join please follow the link here. I’m working on some free and exclusive stories for my mailing list subscribers set in the worlds of my novels, so there’s a great reason to join me.

My big news for 2020 is that the audiobook for The Lost Sentinel is coming very soon! We’re just waiting for approval from ACX and then it will be on sale through Amazon, Audible and iTunes. Watch this space for more info.

Last month The Lost Sentinel hit number 1 bestseller in several free categories in the US, UK and Canada. It was a pretty big deal for me and I shared a post about how it happened here.

What’s to come

I’ve been writing a romance novella that I hope to publish in 2020. It’s a departure from my preferred fantasy genre but it’s been keeping me sane during lockdown and I’m really excited about it. I have yet to have beta readers feedback so I’m not even sure how good the story is, but I do have my editor booked in very soon so I need to get on with it!

Those short stories for my mailing list subscribers need to be a priority after the novella has gone to beta readers.

I’m writing a spy story with a friend. We’re not sure how long it will be, but I’ve already suggested we publish it at some point. This will be my friend’s first self published book and it’ll be great to share a joint project with the world. Again, testing out a new genre is exciting as well.

I have other romance novella ideas that I hope to start drafting over the coming months, but I really must get back to my first love – Fantasy! Which leads me to…

My planned trilogy. If I can just get on with it I might be able to publish the complete trilogy in 2021. That is a big ask, but book 1 is almost complete (if I don’t end up planning any major rewrites) and book 2 only has about a 1/4 to go. Book 3 is another matter, but I’ll worry about that later.

There are always more projects in the back of my mind including the book of short stories I’ve been itching to put together and a non-fiction book on writing and self publishing that keeps rearing up and forcing my attention away from other things. These are ideas I’ll sort out one day, I’m just not sure when.

Other News

Silent Sea Chronicles has a blog tour running from 6th to 12th September. Run by Storytellers on Tour, there will be some fun Q&A’s and lots of reviews and promo posts hitting over the week.

I’m also planning an Audiobook 1 day event for The Lost Sentinel in the next few months with the help of Rachel’s Random Resources.

I’ve signed up for an online social media course to help me understand some of the platforms I’ve been ignoring, so hopefully I can learn a few tips to reach a wider audience.

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I think that’s about all I should consider for now before I dig myself an even bigger writing hole to get lost in.

Tomorrow I have a book post from a debut author to share and then I’ll be blogging about my reading plans for the rest of 2020. Thanks for stopping by.

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Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic and heroic fantasy

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Writing update – Today I was supposed to publish! #fantasyauthor #indieauthor #amwriting

At the beginning of 2020 I planned to publish a prequel novella today – 30th June 2020.

I’m not and I have no idea when it will be ready. I know there is no point rushing and bringing out a book that isn’t the best I can make it, but I still feel disappointed.

Positive thinking…

I’ve realised that I need to relax and stop pressurising myself. Nothing terrible will happen if I don’t meet my own deadlines. That is the beauty of self publishing and being your own boss.

At the start of lock down I had hopes of publishing 3 books in a year! A prequel novella, the main book and then the sequel novella. Looking back now I see my crazy plan was unattainable. Hell, I haven’t even reached beyond a brief plan of the sequel and still have the last quarter of the main book to write. Now a beta reader suggests that the prequel novella should be novel size, so I no longer know where I am.

Future plans…

I would still like to get the first book out by the end of the year but I need to keep in mind that plans can change and that is just the way life is.

I also have ideas to publish a book of short stories and I’ve been working on a romance novella that could be a contender for publication later this year.

I have plenty to keep me busy and lots to look forward to in the future. I also want to work on getting more exposure for my 4 published books. Here they are, I still love looking at them.

A dose of reality….

My husband is very supportive of my dreams but we did have an honest chat about finances the other day. What he said has stayed with me and shown me that I need to get my act together. He said

‘Your books are our pension… so it looks like we’re going to starve.’

Puts things into perspective, doesn’t it!

Staying positive…

I need to focus everything I have on these next few books and making them the best I can before setting any publication dates.

I hope having a bigger back catalogue of books will start working for me financially and if not, there perhaps at that point I’ll pull my head out of the clouds and get that proper job he’s always joked about. But not until I’ve given this my best shot.

I got a Czech publishing deal out of nowhere, so who knows if another great opportunity is just around the corner.

Stay safe and positive everyone.

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Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic and heroic fantasy

You can follow me on

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May writing update #fantasy #indieauthor #mondayblogs

The strange days we are living through have had a big impact on me emotionally. I’m constantly moved to tears by the kindness of strangers and the sacrifices people are making to get us through the epidemic.

The lockdown hasn’t impacted my life as much as others. I write from home anyway and my writing has kept me sane and helped me escape the gloom of the real world. I have fallen far behind on my original plan for 2020 but in these times we all have to adapt. I am now focused on 1 major project, though it does have 3 parts. It would be wonderful to complete the whole project by December 2020, but I won’t pressure myself just yet. There are still seven/eight months left – now that is actually beginning to sound impossible! Let’s see what happens. That has become a motto for me lately.

Publishing Plan for 2020

End June – publish prequel novella.

The odds of me completing on time? Not sure. I had though it was almost ready, but after a beta read I know I have a lot of work to do. With the kids home both doing live lessons and needing access to my laptop, it can get awkward.

There is also the pre-order issue to consider. I haven’t found it makes a huge difference to sales, but I would like a short pre-order period. That means I need to buy the cover and sort out the blurb asap – time to start panicking!

End September – publish The Starlight Prophecy

This books is probably 80% written. I know the end and what needs to happen, I’m just not yet sure how it all comes together. It has a dual timeline element like Visions of Zarua and I’m hoping it works. Again I will be relying on my beta readers for their verdicts. I already have the cover and I am really excited to start sharing information about the story, but I have to be patient for a bit longer.

December – publish sequel novella

A few weeks ago I had the wonderful idea of following on the story 6 years after the end of The Starlight Prophecy. Ideas have been flowing and I’ve even drafted quite a few scenes, but I have to be patient and finish the main book first!

Other projects

I hope to write some more short stories this year. Over the weekend I’ve written two that I’m really happy with and I’d love to keep up the momentum. I find I am most inspired first thing in the morning, sitting in bed with a notebook, a pen and a cuppa.

Book Reviewing

I have hardly reviewed any books over the last few years and I think that’s a shame. As an author I love getting reviews and I want to share the love for other books too. I’d love to make another author’s day so I’m determined to write a few reviews this year. I’ve already started with books 1 & 2 in the Firewalker’s series by Emma Miles. Here’s my review.

Audiobooks for Silent Sea Chronicles trilogy.

I’m hoping work will start this month on book 1 The Lost Sentinel. My narrator has been reading the trilogy and making notes on all the characters. This is a huge project and I admire him for taking it on. I can’t wait to start listening. Maybe I’ll even get to share a sample at some point…

Final thoughts

I have plenty of other projects and books waiting to be written but I don’t want to put any more pressure on myself this year. I’ve a feeling things are going to get worse before they get better here. My husband is self employed and has no work. When the lockdown lifts we hope that will change, but I think my writing is going to be even more important than ever to my sanity.

I’ll leave you with a picture of my new writing companion. She’s a neighbour’s cat who keeps sneaking into the house and is trying to adopt us.

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Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic and heroic fantasy

You can follow me on

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New Year Quarterly Plan. Bring on 2020! #indieauthor #goals #amwriting

I would like to wish everyone a very happy new year. I hope 2020 is a fruitful and productive year for us all.

happy new year

Before I lay out my quarterly plan, here’s a quick look back at 2019. The year was one of my quietest yet on the blogging front. But I did have the excuse of having written and published the final book in my Silent Sea Chronicles trilogy and also publishing the box set. I also released the audiobook of Visions of Zarua and went to visit the Czech edition of the book in a few bookshops in Prague. I also had three blog tours over the space of five months and a number of author events.

In 2019 reading and blogging took a back seat and with the schedule I’ve set myself in 2020 it looks like it will be more of the same. I have some exciting stories on the go and I’m really looking forward to continuing my self publishing journey. I even plan to finally get my newsletter up and running soon. So here is my quarterly plan…

priority list

January 2020

  1. Plan the remaining chapters of my WIP.
  2. Draft the dual timeline story for my WIP.
  3. Read and develop novella linking to current WIP, which will be offered as a reader magnet for my newsletter.
  4.  Enter Visions of Zarua into audiobook competition.
  5. Set up Newsletter

February 2020

  1. Complete the final draft of WIP including the dual timeline story.
  2. Complete novella and give to newsletter subscribers.
  3. Work on the next chapters of my portal novel.
  4. Read an old completed novel and determine if it can be rewritten. Write out a full novel plan.

March 2020

  1. Prepare the WIP for beta readers.
  2. Publish novella in ebook format.
  3. Read my second novel written years ago to determine if it’s worth re-writing and complete a novel plan for it.
  4. Continue work on portal novel and start drafting up a plan.

 

Misc. tasks to slot in when time allows

Work on short story ideas for the book I plan to publish in the future.

Consider whether to work on a how to guide for kindle publishing as I’ve had several requests to do so.

Work on the website look and create a landing page for the newsletter.

Research ways to earn money from home using the skills I’ve learnt writing, editing, publishing and helping with my husband’s business.

 

Reading for the year

My Goodreads challenge of 2019 was 35 books but I only managed to read about 22.

I am being very careful this year and only going for 15 books. Hopefully I can smash this target and I would love to start reviewing books on my blog again though I won’t add that to the to do list just yet!

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Writing Plans for 2019 #amwriting

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I have lots of plans for 2019  but the biggest and most important has to be completing the Silence Sea Chronicles trilogy and publishing book 3!

For the next few months I will focus purely on this trilogy, which will consist of:

  • Reading and making notes on The Lost Sentinel – book 1
  • Reading and making notes on The Sentinel’s Reign – book 2
  • Reading the draft of The Sentinel’s Alliance – book 3
  • Completing the draft of book 3 as per my outline and notes.
  • When the draft is completed and ready for my beta readers I want to focus on the map of the Silent Sea. At some point I plan to commission someone to produce a map but I’ve decided it’s more important to finish the books first.

Any advice you can give about map making would be gratefully received!

  • Once the book is edited etc, there will be all the usual jobs involved in publishing a new book.

 

Future writing plans in 2019

I like to set out some of my goals for the year, even though I know I probably won’t have time for everything. It feels good to have a record and I love to tick things off a list!

  • Write the prequel to Silent Sea Chronicles
  • Release all four books in the Silence Sea Chronicles as a box set
  • Republish all my paperbacks with ISBN’s and through a publisher Waterstones recognises.
  • Approach indie bookshops as well.
  • Keep trying to get my books into the libraries.
  • Read ‘Writing Short Stories to promote your novel’ by Rayne Hall and action what I learn.
  • Re-read the 72k partly written novel I am desperate to finish and actually finish it!
  • Outline and draft the novella prequel to the above novel using the techniques I’ve learnt from Couch to 50k and Take off your pants – See below.

 

Other writing related plans

Reviews

  • Review Couch to 50K by Rachel Tonks Hill once I have used the technique and discuss if it helped my writing.

couch to 50k

  • Review Take off your pants by Libbie Hawker once I’ve used the outlining techniques for some novel ideas. (By the way I chose this as my favourite writer’s guide of 2018 in this post.)

take off your pants

  • Review ‘Writing Short Stories to promote your novels’ by Rayne Hall, as previously mentioned.

writing short stories

 

Embrace my self publishing journey by

  • Contacting more reviewers
  • Organising a blog tour for the release of book 3
  • Buy KDP Rocket and use it to help with my book categories, keywords, ads etc.
  • Work on getting audiobooks produced for all my books.
  • Create a landing page on my website
  • Decide if I’m ready to set up a mailing list / newsletter
  • Go to writing events including Winchester and Gollancz scifi / fantasy.

 

Non writing plans for 2019

  • Find a way to get more sleep.
  • Fit in some exercise as often as possible.
  • Get out with the family more.
  • Read what I feel like reading without pressure as per my reading goals posted here.
  • Fall in love with my garden again
  • Be more adventurous cooking

 

That’s about all I can think of for now. I like to review my goals every quarter or mid-year, so it will be interesting to see how far I get with this list. As I stated at the start, the most important thing is working on book 3. Anything else will be a bonus!

Happy new year to you all and good  luck with your own goals whatever they might be.

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