Why am I still up?

Coffee. I shouldn’t have drank it and now… I’m still up at 1:00 am and I know better. Tomorrow is supposed to be me getting back to writing one of my books and working on hitting a word count record.

Holy crap. I’ve lost all self-control.

I hate caffeine.

Or maybe not . . .

I’m apparently not writing today. It’s 10:30 pm and I haven’t done diddly. Zero words so far, which of course, I’ll have to correct, because I can’t go to bed without keeping my no more zero word days / write everyday streak alive. :o

I worked on a cover upgrade that turned out quite nicely (a tweak really, because I just made some simple adjustments to the artwork and text to make it look nicer). I just didn’t finish it. I should do that. I have a bad habit of starting these things and never doing anything with them.

Hmm.

I’ve just realized I need to practice follow-through. Because not following through isn’t a habit I want to reinforce.

Writing today

I know! It was supposed to be Friday, then Saturday. Instead, it’s today.

Every publishing task I did took longer than usual this time. Then, yesterday, it was time to get my accounts in order for the coming months…

I brought my sales spreadsheet up to date, balanced some accounts, and planned my spending for the next few months.

I’m a huge fan of YNAB, a handy little piece of budgeting software that I’ve been using for years (still on version 3 because it does what I need). It works really well with the writing lifestyle and lets me plan my spending months in advance to match incoming royalties. If you depend on your publishing income the way I do, you need to be able to plan months in advance for cash flow if you don’t want finances to stress you out. YNAB is particularly suited to the task and I love it. I don’t go overboard, and I use only 3 master categories: Payments and Bills (Mortgage, Insurance, Electricity, Internet & Phone, etc.), Savings Categories (Maintenance, Doctor, Gifts, Long-term Savings, a.k.a. stuff that’s needed to address the “not if, when” vagaries of life), and Flexible Spending (Food, Clothes, Entertainment, blah blah).

Now I’m all planned up through February and I can turn my attention back to other things. :)

Time to try to break my one day word count record again!

And format a paperback or two, finish some paperback covers, redo some images, make a few typo fixes in a couple of my previously published stories I recently read as research for my next book, and copy edit a story I finished back in October, make a cover for it, and publish the danged thing!

Whew. I have a lot to do.

I kind of wish it wasn’t already 1:42 in the afternoon. I have a feeling my goals today have gotten a little out of hand. :o

Three days off? Make that seven

 

Still working on those publishing tasks for that book. The cover took too long, and the copy edit is dragging. I’m going to be lucky to get back to writing on Friday. It was supposed to be Monday. Didn’t happen. So seven days off writing instead of three.

Pulling out my hair here. But … onward. I’ll get it done.

Cover design frustrates me, but I do it anyway

Have I mentioned before that designing covers for my books frustrates me? Yes? I thought so.

I’ve been trying to learn more about all of it, but I still can’t visualize what I want and then translate that into something that makes sense. I usually have to have a really good piece of stock art to get what I want quickly. Doesn’t usually happen. I’m not good at picking stock art, because I’m not good at visualizing what I can do with it once I have it. I seem to buy licenses for all the wrong stuff and then have to try again. And again. ;)

Today, I seem to have come up with an okay design for my next release, although something’s still off about it. Still, it will be a record-breaking achievement if I only make a few tweaks to this and consider it done.* It came together so much quicker than I’m used to stuff coming together. Or maybe it just feels that way because my new “publishing days” workflow gives me an entire day for cover design and nothing else! That my dear has turned out to be a genius move for me. I feel a distinct lack of stress about this cover. Also, I have finally accepted that covers just have to be good enough not to suck and they’ll get the job done; I’m sure that attitude is helping too.**

Finally, I do want to devote some more time to tutorials, but I’ve been so focused on increasing my daily word counts that I just haven’t had the energy left for it. Nor to spend on practicing cover design.

I have no interest in doing nothing but writing; I like having hobbies, and designing my own covers would be a great one to have. But I’ve had to focus on priorities right now, which is learning how to get more words written each day without it taking me all day to do it. :D I’ll get there, and then I’ll turn my attention to become a better cover designer for myself.

I want to redo a lot of my covers, and tbh, I would like to hire it out, but every time I consider it, I think about how that will bottleneck my publishing workflow and I really can’t stand the idea. If I had unlimited money where I could get anyone at any price to do the work on my timetable and do it exactly the way I wanted, then I think it would be easier to let go. But there’s also the fact that I want to be a good cover designer. Because of these things, I always keep coming back to the idea that I just need to suck it up and keep trying. If I don’t give up, eventually I’ll learn how to design great covers myself.

*I redid the cover and then redid it again and then again. In the end, I spent three entire days on this particular cover. :o

**Apparently that attitude didn’t help after all. See note * above. :D

Addendum: I tried hiring it out and I learned a valuable lesson: hiring out doesn’t work for me, at all.

Catch Up Post: Haven’t Finished the Book

I’m still working on finishing my latest book—you know, the one that’s driving me crazy because it’s about to become the longest book I’ve written yet (since I started indie publishing—cause you know, I’ve definitely written longer books, just not recently).

I haven’t broken my 5,758 one-day word count record, yet. Today won’t be that day either. I’m not sick, but I’m not 100% either. I mean, when you’re sitting in a room with the temp set at 74°F and you’re still cold, I think it’s safe to say something isn’t right.

I’m counting today as a sick day, but I’ve still written over 1,300 words today (so far). I’m definitely writing more today, although probably not as many as I wanted to write.

I think that post about what makes a reasonable word count goal for me really did signal the start of a breakthrough.

I’ve been having some of the best word counts I’ve had in a long while. But this isn’t the first time I’ve thought similarly. I had a great month back in February 2013 and I thought it was going to last. I was consistent. I thought I had the right motivation going. There was just no reason to think it would end. But it did.

That’s my fear with this one: That as soon as the pressure of getting this latest book finished is gone, I’ll slack off and never pick up momentum again.

I get to work every day and remind myself there are lots of things in my world that I can’t control, but this isn’t one of those things. I can change. I can be the prolific writer I want to be.

And this is where I get back to writing so I can get closer to that reasonable word count goal for today.

I’d like this theme better if the header wasn’t so large

Unfortunately, the header is also the thing I like about it. I could get rid of it, and the theme wouldn’t be that much different from the old one. But I don’t want to get rid of the header! However, on my laptop screen, it just takes up too much space and I hate scrolling down to see my last post. :(

This is what I see:

Perpetualized Screenshot

That’s it. The whole window.

It’s a say day today. :(

New theme and yes, that’s my real desk

That’s it! I like this theme a lot! I saw it on a website I shouldn’t have been on because no, I haven’t finished my writing today and it’s not dinnertime.

That desk is where I sometimes work. I have moved it though. Now it’s at a right angle to that window and in the “command position” in that very small room. Oh, and I have a new chair. I wrote posts about both of those things but I can’t remember when. :D (Found them.)

The only thing I don’t like about this theme is how links aren’t underlined and the text color is almost a match for the link color. Hmm. I might have to tweak it! We’ll see, but absolutely not right now.* I must turn my attention to writing or I’m going to want to kick my own rear later tonight. :o

*Ta-da. I fixed the links anyway. Took about 5-10 minutes to install Child Theme Configurator, generate a child theme, find the link css in the original stylesheet, copy it, paste it in my new child theme, and save. I still shouldn’t have done it. :( Boo on me.

Yesterday’s Fail; Today’s Plan To Finish My Book

I don’t even want to talk about my fail yesterday, but fail I did.

Today I’m starting even later, and I don’t have any excuse at all except that it’s Saturday and apparently I’m just not “on” today.

I managed to recover enough yesterday to write 2,465 words. That was after writing only 561 (plus 277) by 5:55 pm. I’m proud of myself for one thing only yesterday and that was realizing the spiral I had fallen into and taking corrective measures.

You see, I decided to watch The Big Bang Theory at lunch. New episode. But it was short and I wanted to take a quick look at Hand of God on Amazon while I was sitting there, so I did. I watched two entire episodes, when I realized I was going to spend way too much time watching TV if I didn’t do something to stop myself.

So the something I did was skip straight to the last episode and watch it. :D

It worked. I got closure and the urge to watch more episodes disappeared. I was ready to get back to work without distraction and that was key. I could have given up at my 561 words, but I didn’t. And I ended up with 2,465 words instead.

I’m cut off from the world here, really, and didn’t hear about the terrible violence in France until I read some NPR news last night. I don’t mind admitting that I prefer ignorance when it comes to news. I haven’t stopped thinking about what I read and that kind of anxiety over something I can do nothing about isn’t helpful.

Anyway, moving on.

Despite my late start today, I’m going to try to finish my book today. It’s a personal challenge I’ve set myself for the day. I don’t know how many words that’ll be but the goal is 4,558 words, and if I have to write something else at the end of the day to get them, that’s the plan! Today is a writing day, and I really think how I’ve separated my writing days from my publishing days is a lot better way of working for me.

Updates later, in another post likely.

For now, WIFI is going off and staying off until I’ve hit 4,558 or it’s dinnertime!