The Writer's Desk

Writing, publishing & marketing notes from Jamie DeBree & her alter egos

Writer’s Notes: January 25, 2015

I had such high hopes for this week. In some areas, I went backwards, in others, I made a lot of progress. Unfortunately I went backwards on the word count, and I’m never going to meet my monthly/yearly goals if that keeps up.

Here’s the word count tally for last week:

Mine (Meadowlark Mayhem 1, finishing Jan. installment): 379
The Dry Rain (planned short story): 220
The Time Stone (due end of Feb): 1,970
Total words: 2,569

This is where two things become abundantly evident. First, my pantser nature is biting me in the butt, hard. That nearly 2k words on TTS was done late in the week, once I *finally* found the thread I needed to follow for that story. When I don’t know where I’m going, it takes me longer to write. We’re talking 300 words per 30 minutes vs. nearly a thousand. I can type fast…I just need to establish the flow and tone of the story first. Unfortunately, that doesn’t generally kick in until I’m a little ways in, and for this particular story, since it’s a new genre and terribly unfamiliar territory, it took nearly 10k words. But now that I  have the thread, things should move along more quickly next week.

The second thing I realized is…I just need more time. I’ve got two hours of writing time per weekday, that really only equate to 45 minutes each when it comes down to it, and when I’m writing slow due to whatever, I need more time to write the same amount of words. The only way I could do that during the week is to stay up later, and honestly, I’m kind of enjoying getting more sleep – it makes my mornings and workday far easier. So the only other option is to add writing time on the weekends…which is difficult, due to the inherently spontaneous nature of weekends.


But, I’m serious about meeting my writing/publishing goals for the months and year, so I will make the time. I’m not quite sure how/when just yet, as I just spent this last weekend on marketing & business stuff, but even just an hour each weekend day would definitely make a difference.


And of course I need better planning, which is just a matter of getting all of my admin stuff done early enough on Sunday that I can go over the drafts I’ll be working on during the next week, and plan out the scenes I want to write. Just a few sentences is all I need to get the brain rolling, and if I put those into the Neo late Sunday, it will make jumping into my daily writing sessions much easier/quicker.

On the business side of things…my 2 hour marketing window ended up running the whole day and part of the evening on Saturday when I realized that I didn’t even have templates set up for my monthly newsletters any longer (long story). So I spent all day setting those up for my three author names, plus auto-responder welcome letters with file links so people joining at any time during the year could catch up with the monthly serial stories to that particular point.

In order to make *that* easier on myself, I also spent a good chunk of the day learning how to set up compile templates in Scrivener so I can easily export new copies of each serial draft to PDF that lives in my public Dropbox folder every month as well. Having never done that before, it was a bit of a learning curve, but now that I have it all set up, my newsletter administration should easily fit within one 2-hour Saturday marketing period each month from here on out. I just need to set up the main BSB newsletter, but that will have to wait…I simply ran out of time this weekend.

My 2-hour Sunday bookkeeping window was stressful and frustrating as always, and at the end, I have books that aren’t exactly balancing out. This is my fault, of course – data entry errors, or more likely, just general errors in how I’m using Quickbooks as a whole. I will still be able to run an accurate profit/loss statement for my taxes, but I really need a simpler solution for this year – I have no desire whatsoever to try to fix my Quickbooks file, or start a new one. Quickbooks is just simply more than I need. So I’m going to try SideShark, a relatively new bookkeeping program aimed specifically at sole proprietors like myself, and created specifically to be simple to use. As soon as I get the 2014 books done enough to be useful for taxes, I’ll play with that and see if it will make my life simpler. I sure hope so! I need to either make Sunday mornings easier, or find a new time for the bookkeeping. It makes me crabby, and gets my whole day off to a rather rotten start. Though maybe once I get the new program in place and am keeping it up to date on a regular basis, it won’t be so bad.

So. All that said, my goals for this week are:

– Plan out the scenes I need to write and get them typed into the Neo before bed tonight (Sunday)

– At least 5k words for the week, total.

– Edit, format and publish the book I just got back from my editor (will have to do this during TV hours, as it can’t preempt my writing times, and it needs to be out by Friday)

– Find a couple of weekend hours I can use for writing

– Finish putting revenue and expenses into Quickbooks for 2014, check profit/loss statement against receipts/statements for the year just to be sure

– Add ebook files to BSB website for donation-based downloads/sales

We’ll see how far I get, but that’s the goal. Onward!

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