Chapter 3: Week commencing Friday 14 January
After a bit of hit and miss, I was back on track again by Friday. I did my typing practice first, and then I had a good long look at my projects and moved them around a bit so that they have more chance of working.
I did the gig list admin I should have done on Thursday. Then I stared at Plottr for a bit while I worked out how I could utilise it.
The rest of the day was spent on GW2 work. I sent a chapter back to her before the end of the day.
On Monday, a new Wordsworth Short was published.
The Mystery of Woolley Dam is one that two fiction editors really liked, but it was kyboshed by the magazine editors. So I published it myself in Twee Tales Twee. Now it’s available as a standalone.
You can find all of my books on the BUY MY BOOKS tab on the blog, or you can go to www.books2read.com/DianeWordsworth.
Monday was a very busy day in the end. I did my typing practice, including some revision from last week, and I sent another two chapters back to GW2 client. I worked solid on that for much of the day and didn’t finish work until 10pm. That’s why I didn’t do a blog post for the publishing challenge on Monday.
Due to my late finish on Monday, I had a bit of a late start on Tuesday and a lazy day for the rest of it. I didn’t even manage any typing practice or any other personal development. I just spent the day faffing.
One outcome was the easier books2read URL. It wasn’t very bad in the first place, but there were a bunch of numbers in between the / and the DianeWordsworth. I just took those out, but the old link still works.
I did some catch-up on my date work, as I do like to write stories that are topical. After finding a load of dates sites, I weeded out the ones that had mistakes on them or that didn’t have the kind of thing I was looking for, and I now have eight bookmarked on my browser.
Then I sat down and started to add (by hand) feasts, celebrations, special dates, dates of interest to the planner sheets I printed off last week, and I selected a few to brainstorm, see where they take me.
I’ve done this for May, June and July as in January I should be THINKing July, WRIT(E)ing June, and SUBMITting May. I’ve removed the QUERY one as I’m not really querying markets with articles any more.
I also had a mess around on Plottr and Story Planner. I was seriously contemplating using one or the other. But Story Planner will only let me pay for it via PayPal, and I don’t pay for things that way, and Plottr… well…
I have a free app on my phone called Story Plotter. I can pay a monthly subscription to sync between devices, but I can only use it on the laptop via an emulator like BlueStacks, and I don’t really want BlueStacks. It’s messy and cumbersome and anyway, I can’t seem to save anything I create on Story Plotter.
However, I can create a text file on my phone and email the file to myself. At the moment, Story Plotter does everything I want it to and it seems to work better than either of the other two.
I’ve spent days staring at both Story Planner and Plottr trying to work out how either will work for me, and I’ve ended up with nothing. Using Story Plotter on my phone and emailing the outline to myself has resulted in four short stories so far. I just need to work out how to use the other functions on there too.
So I’ve decided to stick with Story Plotter. It works, I don’t waste hours staring at a blank screen. I closed my Story Planner account and I removed Plottr from my computer.
On Tuesday evening, I had a faff with Story Plotter and brainstormed a new short story set in early Regency Wales. The way my mind’s working, though, it might be a much longer story…
On Wednesday morning I made an executive decision to put Words Worth Reading on hold. I have so much work already that I’m struggling to write enough new material in time, including two books I’m halfway through ghostwriting. So I’m bringing the short story publishing forward by one week, and icing Words Worth Reading for now.
I created Words Worth Reading so I had a reason for writing new fiction – new short stories, new series episodes, new novellas and, ultimately, new novels. However, I don’t have enough new material in stock to sufficiently plan ahead.
This means I’m constantly working up against the clock and shifting jobs around to try and fit the new stuff in. That means I’m not leaving the new material long enough to cool. And that means stories without much depth.
I like to have my publications ready more than 10 days in advance, to give some of the sites time to add a pre-order button. The WWR material just kept being pushed further and further up against the wire until I was finalising it on a Friday for publication the following Monday – 3 days later.
This was making me feel rushed and frustrated, and that made me grumpy too. AND I’ve been trying to write short stories in my sleep. I’ve been thinking of shelving it for a couple of weeks, but now I feel I may as well just do it and come back to it when I have more time – or at least more stock already finalised.
I’m still going to write topical material, and I’m still going to write new novellas, novels and books. But I’m going to target the short material at least to the two paying markets I’ve been successful with. If it’s rejected, I can still use it, but any feedback will be useful and appreciated.
Watch now as another one of those markets either closes or drops pay or asks for more rights or something… (Cynical much? Moi?)
That sorted, I went through and removed everything related to WWR2 from the project manager and I moved two short stories up in the pecking order: Martha’s Favourite Doll and The Complete Angler. I replaced the novella The Fool with another collection, Flash Fiction: another five very short stories (aka Flash Fiction 2).
And I moved Project Management for Writers: Gate 2 to the end of March, tentatively replacing that one with the short story I started to work on this week, as it’s too late for the weekly magazines and it won’t be topical next year.
So, with all of that done and moved and with timings on and everything, I heaved a sigh of relief and felt a huge weight lift from my shoulders.
THEN I went in and updated my word-count log spreadsheet, removing the stories I haven’t written yet and replacing them with stories I’ll definitely write, i.e. the ones I’ve been able to plan properly in Story Plotter.
Moving forwards, I’ve allocated myself an hour at a time to ghostwrite a 2,000-word chapter for the Regency contract, and two hours to ghostwrite a 3,000-word chapter for GW2. I’ve restarted the typing practice from next Monday while I clear the current ghostwriting decks. And I’ve made the typing practice, the Dean Wesley Smith online workshops and my dinner breaks recurring on week days.
Once ALL of that was out the way, I carried on with GW1. Ah yes, and an email came in from Story Planner saying I can opt to pay by card at the end of the process. However, when I had another look, I still had to log in to Paypal to get there. And I don’t want to log in to Paypal that way. My Paypal is for money coming in the other direction.
I had a busy day planned on Thursday. Wall to wall ghostwriting. But after sitting and staring at blank pages for far too long, I started to faff with covers again, in the hope that something would percolate at the back of my mind.
I found a load of new artwork that I want to use to illustrate the Twee Tales collections. These are looking a bit dated now and it’s easy enough to change the covers…
However, as I always credit the source/creator of the images, I have to go in and update the text file as well…
And if I change the text file, then the book appears to go into another publication loop and Amazon start to reject the Twee Tales stories because they’re reprints of old material. MY old material I hasten to add, but old material all the same.
I had one thrown back at me last week that Amazon published three years ago. They’d also already made the book for sale on more than one of their territorial sites. And people wonder why I suspect there’s a spot of sour grapes there.
The guys at Draft2Digital persevered again and did their thang – again – and it was accepted. Again. But oh, does it add extra work and time to something that should really be so simple and quick.
So now I’m hesitating about updating the inside of the books. I can’t just submit the new covers without crediting the artist. I’ll just have to wait until I find the time and energy to deal with the completely unnecessary bureaucracy again.
When I ran out of faff, though, I did indeed crack on with the ghostwriting. And I worked until gone 10pm.
Today is supposed to be wall to wall ghostwriting again.
Have a great weekend.
Note: I’m not including links because they take forever to edit out when I’m preparing the final version of the book for publication.