So, perhaps optimistically, I thought I would do Camp NaNoWriMo last month. With my wedding over, being back from holiday, and getting over being sick, I thought things might settle into routine.
Reader, how very wrong I was.
Editing Strikes Again
Something that often happens in the summer is that I end up with a bunch of projects. These books don’t need writing. They want editing. Then typesetting. And proofreading. And marketing, so that they can actually find you, the readers.
All of that takes an inordinate amount of time. When you’re doing it for more than one book, simultaneously, it consumes a lot more of your time than you thought.
I’m working on both Rare Flower and Evan and the Alpha right now. Flower is, thankfully, very close to done. (ARCs are out now, huzzah.) Evan has gotten a bit behind schedule, but I can likely make that up.
I just got Selkie back from Editor, so I’m also working on that project. The timeline is fine; I’m not terribly worried about it. It does, however, have to be done. Things could still move out a bit, seeing as how the cover design process is also behind.
Then there’s the On the Pleasure Planet short (well, novella now), which got very badly behind. That book should have been out on the 8th (Amazon mucked up), so I ended up rushing.
That, in turn, pushed everything else back.
Once I’ve finished thinking about all of those projects, then I can turn my attention to things that need to be written.
(Did I mention Two Scorpions? I’m working on editing that too.)
Day Job Woes
Adding to the miasma of July was the fact I was unexpectedly let go from a long-term contract. And then a blogging gig fell through. Then none of my other clients had work. And the few older clients I reached out to didn’t have openings either.
Soooo, I kind of ended up being relatively unemployed during July.
You’d think that would mean I had a ton of time to write and edit, right?
You’d be surprised.
So, two or three things happened with this. One was that I was frantically job searching and, unfortunately, a lot of deals I was trying to do just kept collapsing. So, I spent a lot of time searching for work, doing samples, putting together offers and estimates, and … no dice.
The few projects I did come up with were short-notice, fast-turnaround type projects. That meant I had to drop everything and do.
Despite being unemployed and my income dropping pretty precipitously, I was still somehow working 12-hour days. Those are longer shifts than I’ve worked in a while.
The good news is that things do seem to be turning around now. I have a new contract starting soon, as well as some smaller projects trickling in.
A small reminder that the majority of us, no matter how well we seem to be doing, are only a few months’ away from being out on the streets.
Did I Get Anything Done for Camp NaNoWriMo?
Surprisingly, yes! I did get somewhere with the manuscript for Book 7 of the Flirting with the Zodiac series.
Now, some people might consider it cheating a little bit. Traditionally, for NaNoWriMo projects, you’re supposed to start from scratch. Camp, which runs in April and July, is a little different. You can still do the traditional 50k-novel in a month, from scratch, if you want to.
But many Campers choose to do more … unorthodox projects. That might mean picking up a manuscript they’ve already started. It could mean doing some editing.
Perhaps a bit myopically, I decided my goal was the traditional 50k-novel in a month.
I probably should have picked an editing goal, especially since I have five manuscripts in various stages of editing. Even Book 7 was something of an editing project.
I thought what I did have was going to need much more of an overhaul than it did, though. I ended up relining and rewriting most of what I had, and I think it’s much more solid now. Now I have a much clearer sense of where the book is going. I think the characters are more likeable too.
Of course, I fell very short of the goal. I do not have a 50k-word first draft of this novel. I do have about 20,000 words. That’s much more than I thought I was going to have at the end of Camp NaNoWriMo.
So, as much as I failed in my goal, I still do feel quite accomplished.
What Else Did I Manage to Complete?
If I’d set different goals at the start of July, I might now be calling myself a Camp NaNoWriMo winner. As noted, I managed to write and edit about 20,000 out of a projected 50,000 words.
I also finished my second pass and a second round of corrections on Rare Flower. I edited the 80k-word draft for Evan and the Alpha, in addition to typesetting it and starting the proofreading.
On top of that, I finished the Pleasure Planet novella, which clocks in around 25,000 words. I didn’t write all of those this month, but I did write probably 5-10,000 of them. And I edited the whole thing, completing three passes on the manuscript.
So, all in all, I did actually have a somewhat productive month. Just looking at my Camp NaNo goal, you wouldn’t be able to tell that. And that’s really where I “failed.” It wasn’t that I had a bad month (although I kinda did). It was more that I set the wrong goals for the month I was going to have.
What’s on Deck Now that Camp NaNoWriMo Is Over?
As I noted, I’m working on Selkie now. Once I have the cover, I’ll be ready to set a preorder up and announce a firm release date.
Obviously, then I’ll be knee-deep in editing, typesetting, and proofreading for that one. Rare Flower comes out in about five weeks, so I’m wrapping up with the corrections, finalizing files, and so on. Evan is still being proofed, but I have around two months to work on it and make sure it’s spiffy for release day.
I’m also working on another story to come out in December. With some luck, I’ll have a draft of that ready shortly. (It’s been a lot smoother than this Pleasure Planet novella.)
I might also be working on a short thing with horror vibes, but I don’t want to say too much. Given the way things have been going, I don’t want to make promises or tease upcoming stuff that I can’t deliver on.
Two Scorpions in a Bottle is still being relined. I plan to keep working on Book 7 as well. And there’s the next Selkie book, which will likely make its way across my desk and back into my inspiration soon. At least, I hope it does.
There is a lot of other stuff going on here right now as well, so I will be a busy little bee. I hope to keep up writing, editing, and book production in the meantime.
A Word on Rare Flower
A final update, which nobody is likely to notice anyway, is that I had to cancel the Rare Flower preorder packages. With basically being unemployed for a month, I couldn’t commit the funds needed.
I’ve also been dealing with a nagging hand injury since December. I can’t really draw, so designs I was planning haven’t been committed to paper yet. I, unfortunately, can’t do treatment for the hand at this point, so I’m just going to have be cautious of it. While I hope it continues to improve, the doctor has suggested I remain at a high risk of recurrence.
So, I can’t draw the stuff, and I’m broke enough that I can’t hire anyone to do it.
The upshot of this is that there was pretty much no interest in the preorder packages anyway—I was the only person who had signed up for one between when I put it up in March and when I canceled in early July. If there had been more orders, I would have reconsidered. But as it stands, there’s no harm, no foul.
Anyway: if you thought you saw something about that or went looking for the link and found it was dead, that’s what happened.
I may do something in the future, such as a sort of special edition paperback or something, but for now, those plans are on ice.
Hopefully, my hand will continue to improve, as will my fortunes, and I’ll be able to look at doing some fun stuff for books soon!