Monday, November 27, 2017

November Update: No NaNo this year

Word count updates:
  • Words written so far in November: 7,263
  • Words written so far in 2017: 107,427

The slump has continued.  I bailed on NaNo pretty early on. Day 10, according to the site. I regret it, now, but it's not really salvageable at this point. I just lost interest in the idea, and I couldn't connect to the character enough to actually want to see what she did next. I've poked at it a bit today just to inflate my November word count, but with only four days left, I'll be lucky to break 10k at this point.

The magic of NaNo is broken for me, clearly. I never even made it to a write-in. I went out writing with Amanda once and got about 400 words written. I meant to go to write-ins. I meant to go to the Halfway Party. I meant to write every day. But it didn't happen. Not this year. I never pulled myself out of my writing slump.

That being said, I did send out a couple of queries. One to one last agent (so I have 60 total rather than 59, because OCD), and one to my first publisher.

Query updates:
  • Rejections: 40
  • Closed (no response): 19
  • Outstanding: 2

I will probably submit to two more publishers before I trunk MoL for awhile. I have plans to finish book three next year, but I still need to finish fixing up book two and do line edits so it's done for Aron next month. I'm running out of time to do that. It's not going to be perfect. Not in the way book one was. I had it as polished as I could for submission. Book two was always just going to be semi-polished, since it wasn't ever designed to hook agents or publishers. But I doubt Aron will mind.

I'll probably continue to work on book two cleanup through December, so I won't be completely taking my break. But since I've taken it easy the last two months, it shouldn't be a hardship. Maybe I'll poke at Witches in December, as well. Or SP. I dunno. I may be mostly idle, or I may work hard. I have no solid plans.

Except for doing my year-end post. I've really pared down what I plan to do next year. But I'll talk about that next month. Probably. Spoilers, I've already talked about it. It's as simple as one, two, three. Finish SoM, get Druid Wars prepped for beta readers, and finally edit Online Dating for Demons. That's all I'm focusing on.

It sounds like I'll have anywhere from two to four books to edit from Bottle Cap. I know I'll have at least one beta read. And I may try to do more with the Cafe (or less, depending on what the people want). And I just might edit the first season of SP. To what point and purpose, I have no clue, but hey. Maybe I can self-publish the first season for shits and giggles next year. It would throw off my entire plan, but I'm sick of plans. The publishing plan is dumb unless I'm self-publishing. If I'm going to keep trying to get agents, I'll be at their mercy, not my own.

And more and more that's kind of what I want to do. I don't think I'm cut out for self-publishing. I keep entertaining the idea because I like the idea of getting my books out there, to hell with the market, charging whatever I want, and making more. But it's a business. I'm not at a place in my life where I can start a business. I don't have enough product or the resources. Maybe a time will come someday. Maybe it won't. But. Like I have said in previous updates. I'm not going to make any plans next year. I will submit a bit, and then put it down and finish book three. Once it's completely done, I will reassess.

Yeah. That's all I've got for now. Minimal progress. It hasn't been my worst month as far as productivity this year, but it sure wasn't the month of progress I'd hoped for. I think I put too much pressure on this book. I did the same thing with book three. I have learned a lot in the last two years of NaNo attempts.

NaNo is for new, spur-of-the-moment ideas that I don't place any expectations on. I may even stop making covers, since that's held me back (intimidated me) two years now. I need to get into the community. I need to do self-care things (light box, exercise, fish oil) so I start in a better place. I need to stop going back to edit because it hinders my forward motion (although I fixed a lot of things in the first chapter that ended up enabling me to have a better book to start, so I think that may be okay).

I will remember how to do NaNo again one of these years. I wish I could go back and do it again this year, and now I have to wait a whole year.

Although not really. I can write any book I want at any point. I can kill myself to write 50k in a month any old month. I always have a writing group.

I think it more comes down to not really needing NaNo. I will always be thankful for what NaNo has done for me. And I will probably always sign up to write every year. But I don't think it matters that I'm not cranking out entire books in a month anymore, because it's not the only month I write in the year anymore. I've written over 100k words this year. And 50k of those was on one book. No, it's not done, but I've been solving problems as I've been writing rather than hoping I can fix them in editing. I think that works just as well, if not better.

The goal this year was to find out how to make writing fun again. The thing is, I do have times when writing is fun. I wouldn't have written 100k words this year if it wasn't. I had weird expectations this year, and I won't do that again next year.

But I also won't wait for next year. Between now and next November, I have every intention of writing words, finishing books, and maybe even starting a new project if it strikes me.

Despite having "lost" another NaNo, I feel surprisingly good. And maybe I'm finally past my slump. Too late to save NaNo, but hey. I'll take my writing mojo back whenever it decides to show up.

Here's to a better month next month, writing-wise.

And trying not to hurl when Aron reads my book. Hah.