Nancy: July Accountability Thread

Hello I Am Accountable words on a name tag sticker showing you accept responsibility or blame for a problem

Wow. June 2018. What a month. I’m exhausted on so many levels. But still standing (mostly), still fighting the good fight, and still hoping for a better month to come. Also, just returning from a weekend out of town, overseeing multiple house projects, and preparing for houseguests coming at the end of the week. And fighting with my web host over my site they broke two weeks ago and still haven’t fixed.

But that’s no excuse for slacking off on July goals! First, a quick recap of my progress in June. Let’s take a look-see at those goals from what feels like a century ago.

June Progress

1) Finish the first draft of the Women’s Fiction project. Done! I typed THE END on the first draft just this past Friday! Of course, it’s only the end of phase one. Now the real work begins. Writing: It’s a process. Rewriting: It’s a necessary evil.

2) Finish the romance novella and novel 1 revisions. Yeah, kinda sorta. I’m still SO unhappy with the novella, but I think it’s time to let it go and give my editor a cut at it. I’m still tracking to a mid-November release date, but reserve the right to postpone if it means getting a better story out there.

3) Update the website. So, this is how my website got broken. And not by me! By the professional technical support, aka my new best friends, with whom I’ve spent over ten hours on the phone since I asked them to point to my new URL (which uses my new official writing name). At the writing of this blog post, I at least have a site up, but the SSL certificate is missing (meaning it’s an unsecured site). Still, I’m taking credit for accomplishing my part of this goal (so DONE!), while looking sideways with a stink eye at BlueHost.

4) Prep the partial I have of HFF novel 2 for my coach to review in July. Done, and with big dose of fun! It’s still early enough in the discovery and writing process for me to be in the infatuation stage with this book and the characters, so it’s been a nice escape from the finished and almost-finished manuscripts.

July Goals

1) Finish the Story Genius foundational work and revise/polish the first 50 pages of HFF Novel 2. Now I’ll start working with my coach on it, which will necessarily mean looking at all of this story’s warts, flaws, and plot holes. But we had a nice fling in June!

2) Finish the back cover copy for the HFF novella and novel 1. I need to get this text to my cover designers so they can finish my covers, so I can in turn share them with you. Expect to see a post with back cover copy and a request for your input later this month.

3) Turn over the novella and novel 1 to my editor for a final pass. Final pass makes these sound so close to being finished! In reality, I’ll probably need to double my writing output in August and possibly September to address editor feedback and get these stories into the hands of beta readers asap. But that’s August Nancy’s problem. For July, I just need to coordinate email submissions and editing phone calls.

4) Do the first-pass revisions on my WF manuscript. I will especially be tightening the opening scene and my 50-word pitch for this book, as I hope to take part in a WF online pitch session at the end of July. I hope to complete that during this first week of this shiny new month, then give it a 2-wk rest, and then dive back into heavy revisions and polishing (before I get editing letters back on the romance books). Oy, no wonder I’m so tired!

Oh, and I almost forgot –

5) Finish my sneak peeks of the HFF novella, novel 1, and novel 2. These are for the freebie I’ll give away to readers who sign up for my newsletter. And it will include a short story (currently it’s more of a vignette) in which readers will meet the five heroes of the full-length novels, set during their mischievous days at Harrow.

If that all sounds intense and overwhelming, it is. But when I decided to do my writing full time, I knew some months would be a tough slog. I told myself that my day job could easily escalate to 80-hour work weeks for several weeks at a time and, if necessary, I’d find the energy to do the same kind of heavy lifting for my writing. Writers reading this just spit coffee or whiskey all over their computer or phone screen, because they’re smart enough to realize creative energy doesn’t work this way. Still, onward and upward! I hope to have good news to report in a month from now, and the energy to still type up a blog post by that point.

How about you? Have you had any major accomplishments or suffered any setbacks? If it’s summer in your part of the world, are you enjoying some vacation time or using the longer days to get more creative tasks done? And if you go somewhere tropical and sip frozen cocktails on the beach, can you have a couple of margaritas for me? I’ll be here in my writing cave, drinking iced coffee and suffering the effects of Vitamin D deficiency.

8 thoughts on “Nancy: July Accountability Thread

  1. Nora Roberts says there’s no such thing as a writing muse, just sitting your butt in the chair and writing. It works for her–maybe it will work for you, too.

  2. So, I had to look back at June’s accountability thread to see what I had written. Here’s what I hoped to achieve: For June, my work will be light. I’m on vacation for 2 1/2 weeks starting on the 11th, so the only thing I want to get done is really stuff other people are doing…namely 1) get a mock-up of the first cover from my cover designer by the time I get back at the end of the month and 2) get back the comments from my editor on the storyboard so I can troubleshoot/continue writing. Oh, and get my website launched to the world before I leave next Monday (or at least get it so I don’t have a 404 error).

    What did I actually get done?
    — my book cover. Completely done (unless I get a testimonial from someone before I publish, in which case I’ll need to make a small change). I’ll reveal it soon. I LOVE IT!
    — series branding. This was a bonus…it’s the branding for my book series, The Beggars Club. (Nancy’s are Harrow men, mine are Eton, LOL.)
    — storyboard complete and comments from editor, including a Skype call to recap the changes I need to make (um…big changes).

    That’s it. As I had mentioned, we were on vacation, so frankly getting ANYTHING done while I was gone was progress in my book. July is another trip month — heading to MD/PA to visit family for almost the whole month and will be doing some family care taking, as my parents’ health isn’t great and my brother-in-law is having back surgery, so I’m trying to line up things I can do in short periods of time, or things I can easily walk away from. So…goals are:

    — get my website up and running, rebranded (attended a great class with Damon Suede about branding and marketing), and working
    — figure out the Mail Chimp integration.
    — finish writing the short story vignettes I have planned as backstory freebie giveaways for newsletter subscribers
    — get a cover done for the vignettes
    — get the vignettes copyrighted and formatted in Vellum
    — get BookFunnel up and running for distribution of the vignettes
    — get my storyboard squared away so I can hit the ground running (writing) in August when the kids go back to school

    So, as you can see, lots of little/administrative-type things for July, because I can walk away from them quickly if need be when a kid is calling for me, etc. I am no dummy, having done a few summer vacations already, and I know that I won’t get much done on the book when the kids aren’t in school. Period. So I’m loading up on other things that are still progress, but not necessarily book progress. But still things I need to do.

  3. That’s a lot for a travel month! I would get approximately zero things done if I were to take such a trip.

    One monkey wrench in my fall plans is a possible trip to Denmark. There’s a family wedding in September, and it’s already been seven years (seven!) since we’ve been back to the country, so my husband really wants to do a three-week trip. I simply cannot take that kind of time away and still stay on any kind of late 2018/early 2019 publication schedule, so might have to fly over with him, stay for a week, and fly home alone.

    Re: your Eton men versus my Harrow men, if only we were writing in the same decade, we could collaborate on some fun cross-over stories with some sort of school pride rivalry!

  4. Great job!
    I am not ready to be accountable this summer. I finally got a tiny bit of writing done, and I don’t want to jinx it by being accountable. My daughter is visiting this August, so I’m afraid most of my energies should go towards house and garden, so she and her new husband have a place to sleep! I’m going to try and fit some creativity into the nooks and crannies, rather than build a creativity infrastructure, and fit the housework into the little holes and cracks.

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